Sustainability and Climate Action, Certificate

(Code 488-601)

Advisors:  J. Boulter (Public Health and Environmental Studies), C. Pierce (Public Health and Environmental Studies), B. Rockler (Public Health and Environmental Studies), L. Suppes (Public Health and Environmental Studies).

This certificate is for students who are concerned about the escalating climate crisis and who seek the foundational understanding and skills to lead societal and technological transitions necessary to achieve a sustainable world. It is designed to complement students’ primary field(s) of study so that they can apply their learning from these five courses to whatever future academic studies and/or career paths they follow. All enrolled students will gain curricular breadth, essential to developing their interdisciplinary thinking to address this 21st century problem.

Minimum of 15 credits with at least 9 credits at the 300-level or above. 

Climate science fundamentals – take 1 of the following
Environmental Biology and Conservation
Chemistry and Climate
Environmental Chemistry
Global Environmental Change
Climate policies and systems – take 1 of the following
Environmental Economics
U.S. Environmental and Sustainability Policy
Geography of Food
International Environmental Problems and Policy
Global Health
Environmental Sociology
Scientific/technical solutions – take 1 of the following
Conservation Biology
Taking the Measure of Sustainability
Remote Sensing of the Environment
The Future of Global Energy
Earth Resources and Sustainability
Living in a Materials World
Societal transitions – take 2 of the following
Contemporary American Indian Communities
Topics in Communication and Social Advocacy (when offered as Environmental Communication)
Sustainability Basics and Beyond
Sustainable Cities
Waste & Society: Energy, Food, and Efficiency
Sustainable Placemaking and Community
Introduction to Public Health
Sociology of Food and Agriculture

Note:  A minimum of 48 unique credits must be earned between the student’s major and this certificate for purposes of meeting graduation requirements for first- and second-degree programs.

Program Learning Outcomes 

Students completing this program will be expected to meet the following learning outcomes:

  • Explain in an easily accessible manner the fundamental basis of climate change from a scientific viewpoint and exclude false narratives.
  • Identify connections between physical changes in climate systems and changes in social systems: this includes how climate threatens human social systems in addition to how policy decisions affect climate change.
  • Illustrate how both technological advances and changes to policy and behavior can either mitigate the severity of climate change and/or improve adaptation of human and natural systems in a changing climate.