Sustainability: Courses

Courses with Integrated Sustainability Content

Faculty interested in gaining “SUS” designation or inclusion on the relevant courses list should email sustainability@uab.edu.

The courses listed below, when taught by the faculty member indicated, are designated “SUS” following the course title in Blazernet and on the student’s final transcript. The faculty listed have completed a course development program, Red Mountain Project, or other such training to receive the designation. “SUS” courses integrate sustainability through a disciplinary lens, with a focus on empowering students to investigate relationships among social, environmental, and economic sustainability issues.

Department of Anthropology

ANTH 299 - Contemporary Global Issues

Lori Cormier

This course explores anthropological perspectives, applications, and contributions to solving to contemporary world problems including: terrorism, warfare, genocide; global warming and sustainable development; global epidemic disease and new pandemics; torture and human rights abuses; global capitalism, sweatshops, and economic justice; poverty and hunger; illiteracy; child labor and child soldiers; and human population explosion.

Department of Art and Art History

ARS 101 - Two-Dimensional Design Foundations

Doug Baulos

The course provides students with a foundational knowledge of two-dimensional creative media and an understanding of working with the elements and principles of art and design.

ARS 200 - Experimental Drawing

Doug Baulos

This course will expand students’ knowledge of drawing and will explore a variety of approaches and media to improve their creative practice. Students will engage in active research of their individual creative practice as well as collaborative experiences.

Prerequisites: ARS 100 [Min Grade: C] and ARS 101 [Min Grade: C] and ARS 103 [Min Grade: C] and ARS 110 [Min Grade: C]

Department of Biology

BY 124 - Introductory Biology II

Samiksha Raut

The course emphasizes the transition from cell, to tissue, to organs in multicellular systems. Specific attention in the course will be paid to a survey of the various groups of plants, fungi, invertebrates and vertebrates. Strong emphasis will be placed on comparing the anatomy and physiology of the major organ systems in humans with those of other organisms. The course is designed to expand the students understanding of the process of scientific writing. Quantitative Literacy and Writing are significant components of this course. This course meets the Core Curriculum requirements for Area III: Natural Sciences.

Prerequisites: BY 123 [Min Grade: C]

BY 451/651/751 - Plant Biology

Karolina Mukhtar

This course introduces the student to the basic concepts of plant biology including plant diversity, structure, physiology, metabolism, reproduction, genetics, molecular biology, evolution and ecology. It is targeted to Biology Majors and Biology Graduate Students. This class brings together knowledge and methodologies from a number of different disciplines to provide students with an intensive and comprehensive plant curriculum from the molecular to the organismal level.

Prerequisites: BY 123 [Min Grade: C] and BY 124 [Min Grade: C] and BY 210 [Min Grade: C]

Department of Chemistry

ES 101/102L - Physical Geology

Scott Brande

Study of the earth, its materials and natural resources, processes of change, natural hazards to mankind. Lecture. This course, when taken with its corresponding laboratory, meets the Core Curriculum requirements for Area III: Natural Sciences.

Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

CE 236 - Environmental Engineering

Jason Kirby

Air/water pollution and solid waste. Quality of environment. Environmental health. Regulations and legal considerations. Ethics and Civic Responsibility are significant components of this courses.

Prerequisites: MA 125 [Min Grade: C](Can be taken Concurrently) or MA 225 [Min Grade: C](Can be taken Concurrently) and CH 117 [Min Grade: C]

CE 395 - Engineering Economics

Christopher Waldron

Fundamental concepts of engineering economy. Introduction to cost and revenue estimating and cash flow analysis for engineering projects. Choosing between alternatives taking into account the time value of money, depreciation, inflation, income taxes and risk factors.

Prerequisites: MA 125 [Min Grade: C]

CE 431/531 - Energy Resources

Robert Peters

Overview of the various energy resources: oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydro, solar, geothermal, biomass, wind, and ocean energy resources, in terms of supply, distribution, recovery and conversion, environmental impacts, economies, policy, and technology. Concepts and opportunities for energy conservation; including electric power generation, changing role of electric utilities, transportation applications, and energy use in developing countries. Field trips.

Prerequisites: CE 236 [Min Grade: C]

CE 485/585 - Engineering Hydrology

Robert Peters

Hydrologic principles including the hydrologic cycle, precipitation data and stream-flow measurements. Applications to engineering problems: stream-flow analysis, and watershed management.

Prerequisites: CE 337 [Min Grade: C]

CE 490 - Special Topics in Sustainability Design and Rating Systems

Virginia Sisiopiku

This is a 3-hour course which addresses LEED-Neighborhood development (ND) principles and other green design applications and rating methodologies. Topics covered focus on sustainable transportation, smart location and linkage, neighborhood pattern and design, and green infrastructure and buildings. The course examines issues related to smart location selection, brownfields redevelopment options, walkability, compact development, mixed-use development options, and designs promoting accessibility for all, elements of certified green buildings, building energy and water efficiency, and stormwater, wastewater, and solid waste management infrastructure.

Department of English

EH 102/202 - English Composition II

Cynthia Ryan

Process and final product of argumentative essays. Research and documentation required on most essays. Students must receive grade of C or higher in EH 101 or EH 102 to complete Core Curriculum requirement in English Language. (Also see CLEP examinations and AP examinations).

Prerequisites: EH 101 [Min Grade: C]

EH 222 - British and Irish Literature II: 1800-Present

Kieran Quinlan

British/Irish literature from end of eighteenth century into twentieth century with emphasis on writing and literary analysis. Writing is a significant component of this course. This course meets the Core Curriculum requirements for Area II: Literature.

Prerequisites: EH 102 [Min Grade: C]

Department of Family, Community, & Health Systems

NFN 622 - Advanced Forensic Nursing

Patricia Speck

The purpose of this course is to prepare nurses to care for patients intersecting with legal systems, specifically as a member of an interprofessional team of forensic healthcare professionals. The course builds on philosophies, concepts, frameworks, and theories included in nursing, health, forensic, and legal sciences realizing an integrated model of forensic nursing care, focusing on specialized forensic nursing treatment of the individual and family to promote safety and health. Emphasis is on the care of the individual patient, intersecting with legal systems, and includes evaluation and treatment of wounds, the process of investigation, and the use of evidence in the discrimination between intentional and unintentional injury in the medical forensic setting.

Department of Government

MPA 607 - Quantitative Methods for PA (Graduate Level)

Peter Jones

Using a pragmatic and applied approach, this course introduces statistical techniques used to analyze data in the social sciences including simple and multiple regression.

Prerequisites: MPA 606 [Min Grade: C]

Department of Human Studies

EPR 594 - Introduction to Educational Research Design

Jenna LaChenaye

Introduction to educational research design purposes and characteristics of research process, types of research approaches and research designs, procedures for collecting, analyzing and evaluating data, critical review of published research, research ethics and institutional review.

Prerequisites: EPR 607 [Min Grade: C] and EPR 608 [Min Grade: C]

CHHS689 - Intervention Strategies in Health Education

Retta Evans

Ethical, theoretical, and practical aspects of health education; teaching techniques, decision-making skills, curricular development, organization skills, and techniques.

Prerequisites: CHHS 610 [Min Grade: C] or HE 610 [Min Grade: C]

Department of Management, Information Systems, & Quantitative Methods

IS 321 - Systems Analysis

Samuel Thompson

Focuses on the planning, decision making tasks and requisite skills necessary for the analysis of information systems.

BUS 450 - Strategic Management Capstone Experience

Anthony Hood

Senior seminar integrating functional business fields of accounting, economics, finance, information systems, management, marketing, production policy and decision making. This course is writing intensive and students must demonstrate an ability to write to appropriate audiences and incorporate pertinent external sources. Strong emphasis on ethical reasoning and decision-making and relating material to contemporary business events and issues. Must be senior in last term.

Department of Marketing, Industrial Distribution, and Economics

EC 210 - Principles of Microeconomics

Griffin Edwards

Theory of production and value, including problems of monopoly, oligopoly, and distribution of income. Not open to entering freshmen. This course meets the Core Curriculum requirements for Area IV: Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Department of Materials Science & Engineering

MSE 280 - Engineering Materials

Charles Monroe

Fundamentals of materials engineering, including terminology, mechanical testing and behavior, heat treating, and processing of metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites. Degradation of materials and criteria for materials selection. Course requires completion of 4 credits of Area III Science.

MSE 498 - Capstone Design Project I

Hessam Taherian

Capstone design project: interdisciplinary design teams, ethics, materials selection, design process, development of proposal, project planning and scheduling, project execution and resource scheduling, and communication of design. Writing is a significant component of this course.

Prerequisites: MSE 401 [Min Grade: D](Can be taken Concurrently) or ME 405 [Min Grade: D](Can be taken Concurrently)

Department of Mechanical Engineering

ME 498 - Capstone Design Project I

Hessam Taherian

Capstone design project: interdisciplinary design teams, ethics, materials selection, design process, development of proposal, project planning and scheduling, project execution and resource scheduling, and communication of design.

Prerequisites: (ME 322 [Min Grade: C] and ME 360 [Min Grade: C]) or (ME 322 [Min Grade: C] and ME 370 [Min Grade: C]) or (ME 322 [Min Grade: C] and ME 371 [Min Grade: C]) or (ME 360 [Min Grade: C] and ME 370 [Min Grade: C]) or (ME 360 [Min Grade: C] and ME 371 [Min Grade: C]) or (ME 370 [Min Grade: C] and ME 371 [Min Grade: C]) and MSE 401 [Min Grade: C](Can be taken Concurrently) or ME 405 [Min Grade: C](Can be taken Concurrently)

Department of Philosophy

PHL 100 - Introduction to Philosophy

Kevin McCain

Introductory survey of philosophy, its nature, methods and problems. Topics typically include, among others, existence of God, freedom, knowledge, right and wrong. Classical and/or contemporary readings. This course meets the Core Curriculum requirements for Area II: Humanities.

PHL 116 - Bioethics

Mary Whall

Moral problems and dilemmas in medicine and health professions; elementary methods and concepts of moral philosophy. Problems typically include, among others, AIDS and human and animal experimentation. Ethics and Civic Responsibility are significant components of this course. This course meets the Core Curriculum requirements for Area II: Humanities.

PHL 290/490 - Topics in Philosophy: Environmental Ethics

Mary Whall

In this course, we will consider the moral relationship of human beings to the natural environment and to non-human animals. We will explore the attempt to apply traditional ethical theories to this new area of concern. In addition, we will consider the challenge of environmental ethics to the anthropocentrism (i.e. human-centeredness) embedded in traditional western ethical thinking. Other topics include the preservation of biodiversity as an ethical goal, the broader concerns of some thinkers with wilderness, the built environment and the politics of poverty, the ethics of sustainability, and climate change. No previous philosophy course is required.

School of Public Health

PUH 333 - Food, Water, and Air: The Global Environment and Health

Amy Badham

This service-learning course will examine food security and nutrition as complex issues of sustainable human development. While learning about food security and nutrition in the classroom, students will gain further understanding of the topic through engaging with non-profit organizations in Birmingham that address food security and nutritional issues. Topics to be covered include issues of availability, access, and use of food in the domestic and global context, as well as current responses and potential solutions. The course will also focus on helping students develop a skill set for global citizenship that includes opportunities for advocacy, leadership, and critical thinking.

Science and Technology Honors Program

STH 199 - Introduction to the Scientific Process

Diane Tucker

Fall semester of freshman year for students accepted in the Science and Technology Honors Program. Discussion of basic concepts of scientific methodology will be integrated with analysis of scientific journal articles and use of visual representations to communicate ideas. Students learn about research ongoing at UAB through working with a small team to analyze a scientific publication. The course will culminate in presentation of a poster representing their analysis of the article.

Other Relevant Courses

The courses listed below include learning outcomes and content relevant to social, environmental, and/or economic components of the interdisciplinary lens of sustainability.

Department of Anthropology

ANTH 307 - Environmental Archaeology

3 Hours

Study of human interaction with the environment in the past through archaeology and related disciplines.

ANTH 351 - Anthropology of Human Rights

3 Hours

Examination of conceptual, political, and legal aspects of human rights from an anthropological perspective. Topics considered may include: state violence; the history of human rights claims; the opposition of cultural rights and human rights claim; human rights as a form of political discourse; human rights practices in select contemporary settings.

ANTH 366 - Urban Anthropology

3 Hours

Human life in cities from cross-cultural perspective; process of urbanization in ancient civilizations, colonial empires, and modern-day Third World.

ANTH 460 - Historical Ecology

3 Hours

This course explores the topic of Historical Ecology and examines the relationship between humans and their environments from the perspectives of history, anthropology, archaeology, ecology, and biogeography.

Department of Biology

ENV 108 - Human Populations

3 Hours

Influence of human population on Earth’s environment: ecological principles, population dynamics, climate change, water and energy resources, pollution, climate change, water and energy resources, pollution, waste disposal, plant and animal extinctions, and food resources. Lecture and films.

ENV 109 - Laboratory in Environmental Science

1 Hour

Experiments on topics essential to study of environment and which reveal complexity of solving environmental problems. Writing, Ethics and Civic Responsibility are significant components of this course.

BY 470 - Ecology

3 Hours

Ecosystems and population biology.

MESC 302 - Coastal Zone Management

2 Hours

Ecological features and set of physical management policies for coastal communities, with description of relevant federal and state programs.

Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering

CE 433 - Solid and Hazardous Wastes Management

3 Hours

Overview of waste characterizations, regulations, and management options. The course covers fundamentals of landfill design, recycling, incineration, emerging disposal technologies, federal and state laws, and hazardous waste treatment, and ultimate disposal of hazardous waste.

Department of Environmental Health Sciences

ENH 400 - Our Global Environment: Issues and Challenges

3 Hours

This course will consider how biological, chemical and physical agents in the environment impact human health. Sources, routes of exposure, human health impacts and risk reduction will be discussed for each topic. Topics include indoor air pollution, medical radiation, noise, food and water contaminants, pests and pesticides, hazardous and solid waste treatment, natural disasters, biological and chemical terrorism, regulatory agencies and legislation, risk awareness and reduction.

ENH 405 - Nature vs. Nurture: Genes, Environment and Health

3 Hours

This didactic lecture course will examine how components of the world around us impact our lives and health. The classic battle of nature (genes) vs. nurture (environment) is being replaced with the understanding of how our exposure to our environment impacts gene expression, which can increase (or decrease) our own likelihood of disease. Using everyday, real-world examples we will study the environment-gene interaction and how this helps determine why some people are more disease prone than others. Each example will focus on the underlying science and the medical consequence of exposure, and will also examine exposure prevention strategies for individuals and practical legislation to reduce environmental contamination. Examples will vary from year to year, but damaging examples may include nanoparticles, smog, medical radiation, drugs and alcohol, pesticides, noise, indoor air pollution, toxic metals, plastics, food and water contamination, and sexually transmitted infections. We will also discuss how the environment can positively impact gene expression, and will include discussions of functional foods (i.e. nutraceuticals such as soy, green tea and garlic) and other alternative medicinal therapies. Prerequisite: BY116 or equivalent is required; completion of or registration in BY210 or BY330 is recommended.

ENH 600 - Fundamentals of Environmental Health Sciences

3 Hours

This introductory course is designed to teach public health graduate students the fundamental concepts of environmental health science, the scientific research methods used to study the interaction between human health and the environment, and basic issues in the management of occupational and environmental health problems. Prerequisites: Admission into the MPH program or permission of instructor. College level biology and/or chemistry strongly recommended. This course is also available online with permission of the instructor.

ENH 601 - Environmental Chemistry

3 Hours

Chemical concepts applied to pollutant behavior in biosphere; absorption, leaching, evaporation. Mechanisms of chemical modification in environmental, photochemical processes, redox systems, hydrolysis; metabolic transformation of selected pesticides, air contaminants, and hazardous chemical wastes are also discussed. Prerequisite: General Chemistry and Calculus recommended.

ENH 660 - Fundamentals of Air & Water Pollution

3 hours

An integrated introduction to air and water pollution, including its sources, transport, and effects. Focus will be on measurement and characterization of air pollution and the bio-assessment of water quality. Regulatory control of pollutants and the technical aspects of engineering controls will also be given emphasis.

Department of Epidemiology

EPI 616 - Environmental Epidemiology

3 Hours

Design and conduct of studies examining health effects of environmental exposures. Strengths and limitations of research strategies and interpretation of study results. Areas of interest include air and water pollution, lead, and biological marker outcomes.

Department of Government

PSC 355 - Politics of Development

3 Hours

Analysis of social, economic and political problems confronting the world's poor countries. Topics examined include national responses to the following problems: child soldiers and child labor; government corruption and transparency; ethnic conflict; environmental destruction; social inequality; globalization; and cultural preservation.

Department of Health Behavior

HB 604 - High Technology Approaches to Health Communications and Behavior Change Interventions

3 hours

To present students with an initial, in-depth exposure to concepts, technical skills and research findings associated with the integration of computer technology and health communications. Course will be graded by letter.

Department of Health Care Organization and Policy

HCO 617 - International Children's Rights and Social Justice: Global Perspectives

3 hours

Familiarizes students with public health and legal issues with regard to children. The course provides background on international law and international human rights law, and international treaties focused particularly on children, followed by the role of public health in achieving these rights and lessening the gap between theory and practice. Prerequisites: Only available to School of Public Health degree seeking students.

Department of History

HY 480 - Historic Preservation and Public Policy

3 Hours

Ways to research, assess, and use historic buildings and architecture as a way to study history and inform public policy.

Department of Marketing, Industrial Distribution, and Economics

EC 211 - Principles of Macroeconomics

3 Hours

Economic analysis and its use in dealing with business and governmental problems. National income, price-level, employment, governmental fiscal policies, and international economics. Not open to entering freshmen. (CORE AREA IV).

EC 308 - Economics of Environment

3 Hours

Use of economic analysis to examine interaction between economic institutions and physical environment. Specific topics: social costs and benefits of economic growth, interactions between private business and public welfare, and socio economic systems and goals.

EC 405 - Economic Development and Growth

3 Hours

Problems of economic development; growth of less developed economies compared with those of advanced economies. Theories of economic development. Policy measures to promote development of growth, with emphasis on measures to accelerate development of countries.

EC 413 - Urban Economics

3 Hours

Economic issues and structure of metropolitan areas. Economic growth and decay of urban regions. Specific topics: housing, education, employment, political economy, and public safety.

MK 320 - Industrial Distribution Management

3 Hours

Introduction to basic problems, concepts, and management practices of industrial distribution firms and manufacturing relationships. History of types of distributor organizations, functions, and role of industrial distribution in economy.

MK 430 - Industrial Distribution Operations

3 Hours

Concepts of value added, profitability, inventory management, scheduling, decision support systems, facilities, and warehouse operations integrated with financial control of distributor operations. Case studies and industrial speakers.

Department of Philosophy

PHL 115 - Contemporary Moral Issues

3 Hours

Survey of contemporary moral problems and dilemmas; introduction to methods and concepts of moral philosophy. Topics may include abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, economic justice, homosexuality, animal rights, and respect for nature. Ethics and Civic Responsibility are significant components of this course.

PHL 321 - Cooperation and Competition

3 Hours

This is an introductory course in game theory. Topics include game forms, Nash and subgame perfect equilibrium, von Neumann-Morgenstern utility theory, design and solution of games, strategic implications of uncertainty and information asymmetries, institutions and elementary mechanism design, and basic evolutionary game theory. All topics are taught by application to examples from business, politics, law and individual behavior. Course work will include analysis of philosophical implications and applications. One previous PHL course or permission of instructor required. Quantitative Literacy is a significant component of this course (QEP).

School of Public Health

PUH 250 - Biostatistics.

3 Hours

Students will gain a thorough understanding of basic analysis methods, elementary concepts, statistical models and applications of probability, commonly used sampling distributions, parametric and nonparametric one and two sample tests, confidence intervals, applications of analysis of two-way contingency table data, simple linear regression, and simple analysis of variance.

PUH 300 - Environment Factors in PH

3 Hours

This didactic lecture course open to students from all majors will survey current issues and challenges in our global and local environmental and how those impact our health. It will examine the sources, exposure routes, regulation and health outcomes associated with biological, chemical, and physical agents in the environment, both naturally occurring and man-made. We will examine these agents and how they impact air, water and food quality to cause disease. Regulatory agencies, risk assessment and disaster response and preparedness will be discussed.

PUH 301 - Origins of Epidemics: How Public Health Defines Population and Nations

3 Hours

The intellectual tools of public health describe diseases from cholera and pandemic avian influenza to obesity and diabetes that threaten the integrity of organized societies. This course explores the richness of public health through its disciplines and its stories to demonstrate how the understanding of the origins of epidemics determines the progress of civilizations.

PUH 302 - Epid: Beyond the Outbreak

3 Hours

The course will provide students with a basic understanding of epidemiology history, methods, and practice. The history of epidemiology will focus on major historical events such as John Snow and the 1854 Broad Street cholera outbreak . The course will also cover basic epidemiologic methods such measures of disease occurrence (e.g., prevalence and incidence) as well as basic study designs such as case-control and cohort studies. Later in the term, students will utilize actual epidemiologic investigations in order to learn how these methods are put into practice. The coursework will focus mostly on discussion for the first part of the course focused on the history of epidemiology. The section on methods will primarily be problem-based, performing basic analysis of epidemiologic data through calculation of prevalence/incidence and measures of association (e.g., prevalence ratio, incidence rate ratio). This work will lead to students to prepare a document on how they would respond to an outbreak in a situation described by the course master. The entire coursework will take place in a lecture format, with the class meeting twice a week.

PUH 303 - Intro Global Health

3 Hours

This course is designed to provide students with an appreciation of the interdisciplinary nature of global health, its history, successes to date, and current challenges. Students will be introduced to basic concepts of health disparities, major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide and determinants of health. Students will be introduced to challenges of health care organization and delivery and will discuss health as a human right. Finally students will discuss key 'players' in global health and how partnerships are essential for addressing health needs worldwide. Lectures, discussion, and case studies will be integral teaching elements of the course.

Department of Sociology

SOC 200 - Social Change

3 Hours

Change as ever present feature of contemporary, global societies. Comparative analysis of the impact of change on societies and citizens in Developed and Lesser Countries. Application of change theories to contemporary issues.

SOC 245 - Contemporary Social Problems

3 Hours

How certain social conditions or behaviors come to be seen as social problems, why they persist and how they can be changed. Emphasis on understanding contemporary issues, and how diverse social groups are impacted by them.

SOC 370 - Population Problems

3 Hours

Scope and method of population analysis; analysis of growth, distribution of characteristics, and changes of population of U.S.; impact of changes in population structure on American and world society.

SOC 431 - Environmental Sociology

3 Hours

Examines the interaction between the biophysical environment and human society, how social processes, define, construct, and alter the environment, and human causes and consequences of environmental problems.

SOC 470 - Urban Ecology

3 Hours

Spatial distribution of social, demographic, and physical factors in urban environment; distribution of population by age, race and class; competition for land between businesses and homeowners; consequences of local ecology for poverty, health, etc.

SOC 480 - Sociology of Health and Illness

3 Hours

Critical evaluation of medical care system and health policy; social consequences of current health issues; social causes of health and illness; alternative practitioners and self-help groups.