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Sustainability Curriculum

In order to increase the profile of sustainability education at COCC and make life easier for interested students, two new course designations were established Fall 2020. The first is an SUS prefix for courses with a specific and central focus on sustainability. The second is a Sustainability Designated (SD) Course List that highlights existing courses with a moderate-to-strong emphasis on sustainability content. See the course descriptions below and stay tuned for additional courses coming Fall 2021.

  • BI 142, Introduction to Marine Biology (4 Credits). Examines the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of the marine environment with emphasis on ecology, biodiversity, sustainability and conservation of marine resources. Laboratory focuses on field experience through a multi-day trip to the Oregon Coast.
  • FOR 208, Soils: Sustainable Ecosystems (4 Credits). Focuses on the basics of Soil Science, ranging from physical properties to use and management. Soils with respect to traditional agricultural, wildlands and rangelands, watersheds and modern environmental perspectives will be discussed. New and current events of soils applications and the science of soils in the world around us will be reviewed to better understand the role soil has in our everyday lives. Lab component will include in and out of classroom lab work and field trips.
  • FOR 260, Conservation of Natural Resources (3 Credits). Examines current utilization and issues surrounding natural resources availability and management, as well as the effect of human population on resource use and the environment. Includes critical analysis of sustainable development and resource use concepts, including principles of conservation and management. Emphasis placed on current issues. Two-day field trip required. WR 121 recommended.
  • G 201, Geology I (4 credits). Examines the nature of Earth's interior processes from a geologic perspective. Need not be taken in sequence. Field trips will occasionally substitute for labs, with multiple options to ensure accessibility for every student.
  • G 202, Geology II (4 credits). Examines the nature of Earth's surface processes from a geologic perspective. Need not be taken in sequence. Field trips will occasionally substitute for labs, with multiple options to ensure accessibility for every student.
  • HHP 228, Health and Social Justice (4 credits). This course explores the intersection of health and social justice concepts in order to better understand how socially unjust health differences (inequities) present in communities across the United States and abroad. Particular attention will be paid to the social ecological framework for health promotion and the social determinants of health, which include environmental, social, and economic factors (e.g., access to clean air and water, cultural/institutional discrimination, and socioeconomic disparities). 
  • HHP 268, Sustainable Food and Nutrition (4 credits). In order to understand the causes and consequences of what we eat, this course explores American food production from start to finish, past to present, and field to fork. Along the way we answer questions like: How does a plant grow? What is the difference between conventional vs. organic agriculture? Why does the industrial food system operate the way it does? What and why is food biotechnology? Where can I buy a local head of lettuce or leg of lamb? And, ultimately, what should I eat?
  • SUS 101, Introduction to Sustainability: This course explores the environmental, social, and economic dimensions of sustainability. Students will develop a broad understanding of sustainability concepts, reflect on the current state of global affairs, and debate best practices to address today’s most pressing challenges. This course approaches sustainability from a multidisciplinary perspective by integrating faculty from across campus, including public health, biology, forestry, sociology, and economics, as well as representatives from the Central Oregon community. Specific topics include historical and cultural perspectives of sustainability, climate change, ecosystem services, energy use and conservation, agriculture and food policy issues, Native American history and perspectives, natural resource management, environmental ethics, social movements, and sustainable economics. This course is designed for all disciplines and majors.

Faculty information