Economics Department

History of Economic Thought

Nancy Bertaux

This course explores the historical development and background of economic thought. Of particular interest to students of sustainability are the views of classical economists such as Adam Smith, David Ricardo, Thomas Malthus, and John Stuart Mill, with their divergent views on the nature and desirability of a slowdown or even end to economic growth (the 'stationary state'). Also relevant is the perspective of John Maynard Keynes (and the responses of his critics) on how to restore economic growth during downturns.

Natural Resource Economics

Dr. Cobb

This course emphasizes the efficient use of natural resources to benefit mankind's well-being. Also considered are the circumstances in which markets may not work to achieve this efficiency, the so-called 'market failure' issue, and consequently the kinds of government policies that might be needed to correct such failure. As an economics and environmental studies course, this course provides important insights as to how to best manage natural resources to serve the interests of the members of society. And, as an Ethics/Religion and Society focus elective, it will help us appreciate alternative points of view with respect to how mankind and natural resources should coexist.

History Department

US Environmental History

John Fairfield

Survey of the history of the United States focuses on the interaction between human societies and the non-human natural world. It covers many of the traditional topics in American history, including the clash of cultures in the colonial era, the Revolution and its aftermath, commercial and geographic expansion, and the Civil War, but always with an emphasis on the role of the environment in shaping human action and interaction. Themes will include changing and conflicting ideas about nature, the role of natural wealth in the development of American civilization, and the various forms of exploitation of human and natural resources.

Theology Department

God, Creation, and Ecology

Leon Chartrand

To better understand the environment and the harm being done to it. To better integrate Christian beliefs with environmental concerns.

Theology and Ecology

Elizabeth Groppe

Exploration of the philosophical and theological issues underlying a sane approach to the protection of all life-forms within a finite world in which hard choices frequently have to be made.

Biology Department (for non-science majors)

Life: Ecology and People With lab

An exploration of critical environmental issues that affect our world today, through a study of ecological principles and their interaction with human society, especially considering the ethical, political, and economic aspects.

Biology Department (for science majors)


Dr. Blair

A course on the relationships between organisms and their living and non-living environments.

  • Lab: Laboratory and field exercises to illustrate ecological principles. Local aquatic and terrestrial habitats are investigated.

For Environmental Science Majors

Introduction to Environmental Science

Dr. McIntosh

In this introductory course, students will focus on the study of the natural environment, specifically how living and nonliving components on Earth are interconnected. Students will examine how natural and human activities alter these natural systems resulting in environmental problems at both local and global scales. Students will be introduced to concepts of sustainability and solutions for current and future environmental problems that humanity will encounter.

Lab: In this course, students will gain hands-on experience in environmental science topics through observation and experimentation in the field and laboratory, data collection and analysis, communication of results and discussions on current environmental issues. Students will also be exposed to various local environmental organizations and issues through guest speakers and field trips.

Chemistry Department (for non-science majors)

Chemistry: Environment and Energy With lab

The relationship between chemistry and contemporary society.

Physics Department (for non-science majors)

Our Universe: Environmental Physics With lab

This course will examine natural and human-induced causes affecting the environment from a physics/engineering perspective. Students will first address the way science interfaces with the climate change, energy policy and sustainability, urban infrastructure, environmental health and the impact of developing economies, and the role of technology and scientific innovation in addressing the environmental problems.

Green Urbanism and Urban Gardening

John Fairfield and Kathleen Smythe

The block of courses is about doing something about the environmental issues we face a task that, of course, will require research, analysis, organization, and writing, but that must also result in practical action. The goals of the course are to encourage you to become an active citizen in your own educational process and our wider community; to learn about, analyze, critique, and apply some of the historical and contemporary interdisciplinary thinking regarding green urbanism and urban gardening to a particular community project; to immerse yourself in one local attempt to bring Cincinnati closer to its goals of being a greener city.