Course Descriptions

In our efforts to provide an interdisciplinary understanding of sustainability the courses are not the same, or even from the same disciplines each spring.  Faculty from humanities, social and natural sciences rotate through the program with only the Core Course taught every spring.

Courses for Spring 2016 include: 

ODST 248 Core Course: Sustainability Studies – Dr. Cathy Shrady

This course will examine some of the essential topics in sustainability not covered by the other Sustainability Semester courses. Possible topics include: food, energy, transportation, social justice, population, green building, urban sustainability and more.  Students will work with community partners to learn about issues of sustainability in the local area and experience a variety of practices and skills related to sustainable living in the North Country. This course includes two week’s residency in Boston during which students will focus on urban sustainability.

This course will count as a First-Year Seminar (FYS) for all first-year students:

247D Sustainability Theory and Practice: A Critical Assessment Dr. Bill Vitek

This course will offer an overview and critical assessment of some of the founders, fundamental assumptions and contributions of the environmental sustainability movement in an effort to evaluate its effectiveness as an inside the paradigm response to the most critical challenges of our time.  How does sustainability stand up as a social movement, or as a successful response to the greatest challenges of our—or any—time in modern human history?  Can we speak of it as a single movement?  Does it represent a true social and conceptual revolution, or is it operating largely within the status quo worldview that brought us our environmental challenges in the first place?  Can it do the work we need it to do as an inside-the-paradigm movement or does the heavy lifting in response to climate change, soil erosion, a burgeoning human population, and the energy and material demands of complex cultures demand a fuller, deeper and more radical approach?  And if a more radical approach is necessary, will sustainability give us the time we need?

Ecological Restoration, ENVS 367 (ESP) - Dr. Sara Ashpole

This course examines how the principles and techniques of restoration ecology are used in planning and implementing projects in degraded landscapes. An introduction to restoration ecology, conservation of biological diversity, ecological integrity, and sustainable land-use are major themes. Students learn field and analytical techniques pertaining to ecosystem management. Comparisons of restoration frameworks through case study analysis illustrate modeling and analytical techniques for the restoration field. A course field report gives experience in restoration approaches, planning, and implementation.  Where possible, guest lectures by professionals or stakeholders augment student experience

Tiny House ODST STPT - Everett Smith & Phil Royce

In this course, students will learn the theory and gain the skills necessary to design and build a tiny house and, under supervision, will build the tiny house. They will consider energy efficiency, aesthetics, green design and materials. As a part of this course, students will visit other tiny and “green” homes in the North Country.

Students will earn a total of 4.5 credits:

  • Environmental Studies (2 credits, 1 ESP)
  • Outdoor Studies  (2.5 credits)
  • Biology/Con. Bio  (possible)
  • Philosophy  (possible)

 Students will receive the following graduation requirements:

  • First-Year Seminar
  • Environmental Literacy 
  • Integrated Learning