Global Sustainability


Jim Zaffiro (director), Anya Butt, Paul Weihe


Statement of Philosophy:

Global sustainability is meeting the needs of Earth’s living generations without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. Sustainability education emphasizes the interconnectedness of ecological, political, economic, socio-cultural, and moral-ethical systems. Global sustainability education promotes active learning, trans-disciplinary integration, and synthesis of concepts, theories, and methods of inquiry, along with development of practical problem-solving skills.

Sustainability education helps students acquire and apply heightened knowledge of significant intergenerational issues and problems and solutions by raising awareness and understanding of how their personal and collective actions affect the sustainability of local and global systems.  Many problems are global in scope, transcending national boundaries and requiring global solutions. Complex underlying local, national, and international political and economic institutions and processes structure and manage the research, policy debates, and international negotiations aimed at reaching agreements and finding ways to implement solutions for the problems themselves.

This integrative program is designed to offer all students, regardless of major or career aspirations, a means of acquiring some of the tools and practical experience they will need when they enter the work force, assume leadership positions in their communities, and deal with complex, interconnected problems on a scale never before faced by humans.

The Global Sustainability minor is one component of Central’s commitment to becoming a leader in sustainability education, along with the Environmental Studies program. Both programs focus on addressing global issues that arise due to the scarcity of resources on our earth and the subsequent efforts by humanity to balance our needs with those of the future generations, and thus work in concert with one another.

Minor restrictions

Due to the commonalities in courses and focus between the Global Sustainability minor and the Environmental Studies program, students are not allowed to declare major/minors in both programs.


Global Sustainability Minor Requirements (21-23 credits)

  1.  Complete both of the following:  (8 credits)
    ENVS 120 Introduction to Environmental Science With Lab (4)
    POLS 242 Global Sustainability Politics (4)
  2. Complete an approved 283 or 383 Service Learning Module course, approved campus or community-based sustainability service project, internship, or supervised independent research project (1-3 credits)
  3. Complete at least 12 credits from the approved lists of electives with at least 3 credits from each category and a minimum of 3 credits at the 300 level or above:

Ecological Systems Integrity (Complete at least 3 credits of the following):
BIOL 118 Environmental Problems and Midwest Ecosystems with Lab (4)
BIOL 229 Ecology and Evolution with Lab (4)
BIOL 310 Tropical Ecology (1-4)
BIOL 315 Aquatic Toxicology with Lab (4)
BIOL 345 Limnology with Lab (4)
CHEM 107 Introduction to Environmental Chemistry (3)
CHEM 372 Environmental Chemistry with Lab (3)
EDUC 275 Health, Safety and Nutrition (3)
ENVS 125 Geology and the Environment with Lab (3)
KIN 215 Introduction to Angling (3)
KIN 261 Community, Consumer and Global Health (3)
GEOG 210  Human Geography (3)
GEOG 320 Principles of GIS (3)
LAS 410 HIV and the AIDS Pandemic (4)
NASC 105 Science, Technology and Literature (3)
PHYS 204 Energy and the Environment (3) (not offered regularly)

Ethical, Social and Cultural Integrity (Complete at least 3 credits. of the following):
ANTH 266 First Peoples of North America (3)
COMM 268 Intercultural Communication (3)
GEOG 215 Introduction to International Studies (3)
ENGL 213 Literature, Environment and Ecology (3)
ENGL 246 Writing for Non-Profit Organizations (4)
ENGL 270 Illness and Health in Literature (4)
SOC  325 Social Movements (3)

Political and Economic Systems Equity
(Complete at least 3 credits of the following):
BEHS 285 Not-for-Profit Seminar (1)
BMGT 335 Not-for-Profit Management (3)
ECON 321 Environmental Economics (3)
ECON 329 Economic Development (3)
GERM 362 Germany and the Environment (3)
POLS 140 Introduction to International Politics (4)
POLS 233 American Environmental Politics and Policy (4)
POLS 241 International Political Economy (4)
POLS 344 International Law and Human Rights (4)
POLS 397 State and Local Environmental Project Review Internship (3)
SOC 335 Globalization and Development (4) 


  • Students planning to major or minor in Environmental Studies may not minor in Global Sustainability
  • Students interested in Global Sustainability are encouraged to explore Environmental Studies
  • Students completing this minor are strongly encouraged to choose an LAS capstone course related to their particular areas of interest within the minor
  • Study abroad courses may apply as electives with permission from the director(s)