Sustainability Studies Minor Program
In 2014, Rachel Carson College (formerly College Eight) launched a minor in Sustainability Studies, which is now in a three-year pilot phase from 2014-2017. Not only is this minor designed to be highly interdisciplinary, it is also the first such college-sponsored degree program in several decades.
As such, the Sustainability Studies minor offers a model for new college-based undergraduate curricula and pedagogies and emphasizes the central academic role of UCSC’s college system on the campus.
The pedagogical underpinnings of this minor are premised on relationships between classroom learning, service learning, and research and application. Broad interdisciplinarity and individual facility in both STEM and social sciences are critical, elements at the center of the minor’s core courses. The curriculum is therefore structured to (i) facilitate interdisciplinary academic and research collaborations among faculty and students across multiple UCSC divisions (drawing on but outside of the divisional structure); (ii) teach and train students in the ecology and sustainability of design and application in the built environment, and the use of STEM skills and social science knowledge to these ends; and (iii) meet undergraduate demand for a sustainability curriculum with focuses distinct from those offered in existing UCSC departments.
The minor is designed to be a complement to students’ majors, allowing them to broaden their applied skills and knowledge, and their ability to analyze and understand complex systems and their interactions through society and the environment. The minor will provide skills useful for work with non-profits, government agencies, small businesses and startups. Businesses are increasingly interested in sustainability and specific positions are difficult to fill. Institutions of higher education, government agencies and others are also seeking staff with expertise in sustainability.
Core Faculty: Ronnie Lipschutz (CLEI & POLI), Michael Isaacson (EE), Ben Crow (SOC), Sue Carter (PHYS), Patrick Chuang (EPS)
Affiliated Faculty: Daniel Press (ENVS), Ingrid Parker (EEB), Flora Lu (ENVS), Julie Guthman, (Soc Sci), Andy Szasz (ENVS), Andrew Fisher (EPS), Beth Stephens (ART), Laurel Fox (EEB)
Affiliated instructors: Kevin Bell (CLEI), Katie Monsen (ENVS, EE, CLEI), Susan Watrous (CLEI), Lindsey Collins, Thomas Rettenwender
The minor consists of:
- one required (EE80S) and one elective lower division course (EE80J, PHYS 2, ENVS 23, 24, 25) are required for entry (10 lower division units)
- a service learning internship (CLEI 55 & 155; 2 LD, 4 Upper Division units)
- a three quarter research and enterprise practicum (CLEI 150a-b-c; 6 UD units total)
- an Education for Sustainable Living Program class (CLEI 161; 5 UD units),
- a three quarter project development course (via Rachel Carson College (formerly College Eight) independent study credit) or
- two breadth electives (10 UD units).
Through the program’s learning objectives:
- Students will understand the causes, features, data, complexities, policies and practices giving rise to and needed to address the contemporary global socioecological crisis; the role of production, consumption, politics, policies, markets and behavior in this crisis; and options and alternatives for moving toward and achieving sustainability.
- Students will learn basic applied STEM skills needed for dealing with real-world applications including assessments, measurements, technologies, behavior and other factors related to objective a.
- Students will become cognizant of appropriate social science knowledge and methods needed to design and implement social enterprise and service learning projects in sustainability and ecological design and practice.
- Students will design and conduct interdisciplinary research projects in issues and topics that are related to sustainability, including energy, food, water, the built environment, life-cycle analysis, waste disposal and recycling.
- Students will design and participate in service-learning projects in collaboration with on- and off-campus units, agencies and organizations, and apply the knowledge and skills acquired through the minor
Courses (click on the hyperlink to see a sample course syllabus)
1. Lower division gateway courses: These courses offer basic instruction in the social science, physical, biological and engineering aspects of sustainability and environmental science. Students must take EE80S and at least one of the four additional 5-unit courses listed below. ENVS majors may substitute ENVS 23, 24 or 25 for the minor’s second lower division course requirement.
Required: EE80S (Fall) “Sustainability Engineering and Design.” Topical introduction to principles and practices of sustainability engineering and ecological design with emphasis on implementation in society. Provides an understanding of basic scientific, engineering, and social principles in the design, deployment, and operation of resource-based human systems, and how they can be maintained for this and future generations. No specialized background in engineering, science, or social sciences is assumed.
And one of the following:
CLEI 81B/EART 81B NOT OFFERED IN 2016 or 2017 (Winter) “Fundamentals of Environmental Science.” Addresses major issues in physical and biological environmental sciences and provides tools to critically evaluate, debate, and make informed choices regarding one's own impact on the environment. Topics include: climate change, water resources, air pollution, evolution, ecology (from populations to ecosystems), and conservation. Quantitative problem solving is an integral part of this course.
CLEI 81C/EE 81C NOT OFFERED IN SPRING 2016 or 2017 (Spring) “Designing a Sustainable Future.” Introduces key technological solutions to environmental problems; discusses their underlying principles; and examines their societal dimensions. Topics include: conventional and renewable energy; emerging technologies for transportation, energy efficiency clean water; planetary engineering; and lean manufacturing.
PHYS 2 (Spring) “Elementary Physics of Energy.” The physics of energy developed in a course accessible to non-science majors as well as science majors. Fundamental principles and elementary calculations, at the level of basic algebra, developed and applied to the understanding of the physics of energy. Topics include fossil fuels, renewable energy, solar cells and waste energy, waste-energy recovery, nuclear power, and global greenhouse effects.
EE80J ( Spring): “Renewable Energy Sources” Introduction to and advanced concepts in energy storage and conversion with special emphasis on renewable sources. Fundamental energy conversion limits based on physics and existing material properties. Various sources, such as solar, wind, hydropower, geothermal, and fuel cells described. Cost-benefit analysis of different alternative sources performed, and key roadblocks for large-scale implementation examined. Latest research on solar cells and applications of nanotechnology on energy conversion and storage introduced.
ENVS 23 (Spring): "The Physical and Chemical Environment." Provides an overview of the physical and chemical environment of planet Earth. Fundamental chemistry and physics is introduced in the process of learning about Earth in a holistic way. The influence of human societies on the global environment is one focus of discussion. Earth's many "spheres" are explored first: the lithosphere; the atmosphere; the hydrosphere, and the ecosphere. Then global cycles of carbon, nitrogen, and several other elements are studied in the context of basic sciences and societal issues. (General Education Code(s): IN.)
ENVS 24 (Fall): "General Ecology." Covers principles of ecology including limits to species abundances, evolutionary ecology, population dynamics, community interactions and patterns, and ecosystem patterns and dynamics. Prerequisite(s): Applied Mathematics and Statistics 2 or 3 or 6, or MATH 3 or higher; or mathematics placement examination (MPE) score of 300 or higher; or AP Calculus AB exam score of 3 or higher; course 23 recommended as prerequisite to this course. (General Education Code(s): SI, IN.)
ENVS 25 (Winter): "Environmental Policy & Economics." Introduces the policy and economic dimensions of some pressing environmental challenges. Uses examples from population, water, climate change, and other topics to examine the economic underpinnings of environmental problems, the process of environmental policy-making, and the trade-offs in different policy solutions. (General Education Code(s): PE-E, IS.)
2. Service learning sustainability internship: This internship sequence provides students the opportunity to undertake internships in participating on- or off-campus service projects (e.g., CASFS, Homeless Garden, etc. For more information, see the Service Learning Sustainability Internship placement page.) Students must enroll in the lower division introduction (CLEI 55) to service learning and at least two quarters (CLEI 155) of the upper division internship program (2LD + 4 UD units).
CLEI 55 (Fall): “Introduction to Service Learning for Sustainability.” For students enrolling in the service learning sustainability sequence. Basic introduction to principles of service learning and participatory action research, and placement in campus and community internships. Students are advised and taught by the College Provost and staff and determine the content of their internship in consultation with Provost, staff and individual supervisors (2 LD units).
CLEI 155 (Susan Watrous, W-S): “Rachel Carson College (formerly College Eight) Sustainability Internship.” For students undertaking sustainability-oriented service learning work in the College, College-related projects, community service organizations, or public agencies, who have already taken CLEI 55 (4 UD units).
3. Sustainability research & green enterprise practicum: This practicum sequence provides classroom and field instruction in sustainability-related research (Fall), either with faculty or independently, green project design and social enterprise (Winter), and grant-writing and fund-raising for sustainability projects (Spring). Students must take all three quarters at some time during the minor (6 UD units).
CLEI 150A (Fall): “Sustainability Praxis in the Built Environment.” Introduction to the concepts, methods and practices of research on sustainable energy, water and food production and consumption; resources surveying and assessment; building energy auditing; renewable energy systems; water supply, demand and distribution; intensive agroecology conducted at campus sites.
CLEI 150B (Winter): “Tools of the Trade.” Problem solving in sustainability through basic STEM concepts, statistical tools and analytical methods for engaging in advanced sustainability studies, drawn from physics, chemistry, biology, ecology, engineering, electronics, sociology, economics and public policy.
CLEI 150C (Spring): “Green Enterprise & Social Entrepreneurship.” Concepts and principles of developing green enterprises and seeking support for them. How to conceptualize and design projects in applied areas of sustainability studies, to devise a business plan, solicit participation from mentors and prepare funding proposals.
4. Education for Sustainable Living Program: ESLP is a student-organized set of 2 and 5-unit classes on sustainability-related topics, and a weekly speaker series, offered for credit through Rachel Carson College (formerly College Eight) Students must take one upper division ESLP course (5 units).
CLEI 161 (Supervised by C8 Provost, Spring): “Education for Sustainable Living.” Analyzes sustainability and its application in daily life and on campus, involving collaboration between students, faculty, staff, administration, and the community. Guest lecturers, discussions, an optional UC-wide retreat, and essays allow engagement with aspects of ecological and social sustainability.
5. Other Upper Division courses (10-15 UD units):
Independent studies through Rachel Carson College (formerly College Eight) (at least 10 units)
Two breadth electives: As feasible, students should take two relevant 5-unit courses outside of their major and, where possible, their division (10 UD units; to be decided in consultation with minor advisors). Many of the available course require prerequisites or are closed to non-majors. Students wanting to take such course will be expected to meet prerequisites or receive instructor approval to enroll.
Fall 2016 courses
ANTHRO110K: Culture through Food
ANTHRO 147: Anthropocene
CMMU 149. Political Economy of Food and Agriculture
EEB 107: Ecology
EEB 145: Plant Ecology
EEB 155: Freshwater Ecology
ECON 170. Environmental Economics
EE 175/L. Energy Generation and Control
LGST 159. Property and the Law
SOCY 130. Sociology of Food
SOCY 179. Nature, Poverty, and Progress
Courses offered in other quarters
ANTHRO 111: Human Ecology
ANTHRO 135A. Cities
ANTHRO 137. Consuming Culture
ANTHRO 146. Anthropology and the Environment
ANTHRO 160. Reproductive and Population Politics
ANTHRO 161. The Anthropology of Food
ART 125. Environmental Art Studio
CLTE 105. The Making and Influencing of Environmental Policy
CMMU 133. Making California: Landscapes, People, Politics, Economy
CMMU 162. Community Gardens and Social Change
CMMU 186. Agriculture, Food & Social Justice
EART 107. Remote Sensing of the Environment
EART 116. Hydrology
EART 121. The Atmosphere
EART 142. Engineering Geology for Environmental Scientists
EART 146. Ground Water
EART 191. Climate Change Science and Policy
EEB 108: Marine Ecology
EEB 147: Community EcologyECON 171. Natural Resource Economics
ECON 175. Energy Economics
EE 176/L. Energy Conservation and Control
EE 177/L. Power Electronics
EE180J. Advanced Renewable Energy Sources
FMST 124. Technology, Science, and Race Across the Americas
FMST 133. Science and the Body
HAVC 141I. Environments, Installations and Sites
HAVC 141K. Activist Art Since 1960: Art, Technology, Activism
HAVC 143B. History of Urban Design
HISC 139A. Market Crises and the Future of Capitalism
HIST 101C. Oceans in World History
HIST 177. Smoke, Smallpox and the Sublime
HIST 196F. European Environmental History
LALS 152. Consumer Cultures Between the Americas
LALS 164. Environmental Justice
LGST 131 Wildlife, Wilderness, and the Law
LGST 132. California Water Law and Policy
LGST 137. International Environmental Law and Policy
LGST 149. Environmental Law & Policy
METX 101. Sources and Fates of Pollutants
METX 144: Groundwater Contamination
OCEA 101: The Marine Environment
OCEA 102: Oceans and Climate
POLI 174: Political Ecology
PSYCH 159E : Peace Psychology
SOCY 115. Green Governance
SOCY 125. Society and Nature
SOCY 132 : Sociology of Science and Technology
SOCY 167. Development and Underdevelopment
SOCY 173. Water
SOCY 177G. Global Cities
To enroll in the Sustainability Studies Minor, please print and fill out the form below (or at this link) and make an appointment to see the Rachel Carson College (formerly College Eight) Provost (firstname.lastname@example.org) to discuss your plan. To declare the Sustainability Studies minor so that it will appear in your records, please see the instructions below the planning sheet, below.
Sustainability Studies Enrollment Work Sheet
Declaring the Sustainability Studies Minor
In order to ensure that the Sustainability Studies minor appears on AIS and your transcript at graduation, you need to do the following.
1. If you have not already done so, fill in the on-line course form at http://eight.ucsc.edu/academic-programs/Minor%20in%20Sustainability%20Studies.html and bring it to Ronnie Lipschutz in 121 Rachel Carson College (formerly College Eight).
2a. If you have not yet declared your major, when you do so, you will need to fill out the Academic Planning from at http://advising.ucsc.edu/planning/your-major/declaration/docs/academic-planning-form.pdf and the Major Declaration form at http://advising.ucsc.edu/planning/your-major/declaration/docs/major-declaration.pdf. You will need to fill out both forms.
2b. If you have declared your major but the minor does not show up on AIS, you will have to fill out the forms again (sorry!).
3. Fill out your schedule of courses to show when you have taken or will take courses required for your major and the Sustainability Studies minor, until your graduation.
4. Take both both forms to your major department and have them reviewed and signed, and then bring them to Ronnie Lipschutz for signature for the minor.
5. The Rachel Carson College (formerly College Eight) Preceptor will then ensure that the minor is entered on AIS and will show up on your record.
If you have questions about this, please contact Ronnie Lipschutz, 459-2543 or email@example.com.