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Lauren Gersbach
Office of Sustainability

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University Communications

Last modified: Tuesday, April 7, 2009

List released for sustainability courses at IU Bloomington

April 7, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- In an effort to enhance visibility, coordination and access to sustainability-related courses for current and prospective students on Indiana University's Bloomington campus, the IU Office of Sustainability has released a comprehensive list of sustainability-related courses offered across departments at IU Bloomington.

This compilation of courses, located at, builds upon the work of past Sustainability Task Force summer interns Tatyana Ruseva and Joshua Hunter. An initial list of sustainability-related courses drawn from the IU Bloomington bulletins was updated with feedback from department chairs and individual faculty members.

environmental logo

As sustainability relates not only to the environment, but also to our communities and economic systems, a broad definition of sustainability was used when considering courses to include. Courses covering aspects of sustainable enterprise, urban development, consumerism, international affairs and economics, in addition to earth system science, ecology, environmental policy and management, human-environment interaction and environmental education were included.

The listing is made up of more than 200 courses, spread over 27 departments in eight of IU Bloomington's 13 schools, ranging from introductory-level undergraduate courses to advanced graduate seminars.

"This new compilation is a remarkable demonstration of the breadth and depth of academic course offerings available to IU's students," said Michael Hamburger, professor of geological sciences and co-chair of the IU Task Force on Campus Sustainability. "By bringing all of these courses together under a single umbrella, we hope to offer enhanced access to existing courses for IU's students, as well as coordinate and plan for exciting, new interdisciplinary programs related to sustainability on the Bloomington campus."

A special sustainability designation through the Office of the Registrar is also now available for relevant courses. An 'SU' will appear next to courses designated as such in the Schedule of Classes, beginning with the Fall 2009 semester, and these courses will appear together under the Special Course Listings section. The sustainability designation will open future opportunities for undergraduate concentration areas, individualized majors and new degree and certificate programs.

Emilie Rex, graduate student in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs and president of the Sustainable Development Association, is excited for the new opportunities this list will provide students. "It's clear that sustainability touches so many different aspects of how we think and live, and different departments and schools on campus bring their own unique views," she said. "I appreciate having this diverse selection of courses in one place. I think the clearing house gives us a sense of just how many sustainability-related classes are available to us within SPEA, while informing us of opportunities for supplementing our degree with relevant classes in other departments."

"In this time of disruptive change, IU students face a perfect storm of new challenges," said Bill Brown, IU Bloomington director of sustainability. "Unprecedented economic, environmental and equity imperatives can best be addressed with an integrated cross-disciplinary approach. By offering a wide range of sustainability courses in multiple colleges, we can move toward a time when all IU graduates have a basic level of sustainability literacy to allow them to work together to turn these daunting challenges into new opportunities, including rewarding future careers."