You are here

Encourage Course Development or Modification (Ongoing)

Recent Project Updates

Associated Collections


The iCAP 2020 objective 6.1 is to "Broaden the availability of sustainability education across the entire curriculum, beginning with first-year student orientation and continuing through commencement, with at least one of four proposed methods implemented by FY24." The responsible campus unit for championing this objective is iSEE.

This objective is the revision of 2015 iCAP, chapter 10, objective 3 is, "​Add at least five new sustainability-focused courses by FY20." Sustainability is relevant to all departments on campus; the learning outcomes have potential to be adapted across the array of academic programs.

An inventory of sustainability courses and programs is available on iSEE website. As of FY17, there were five new sustainability-focused courses added. 


1. ENVS 491: Sustainability Experience

In this course, undergraduate or grad students work with faculty, staff, and/or the Student Sustainability Committee (SSC) to advance campus sustainability goals and the Illinois Climate Action Plan. This course is designed to enable students to apply their disciplinary knowledge to tackle inherently interdisciplinary problems, while also developing and enhancing their critical analysis, leadership, organizational, and project management/evaluation skills and preparing them for addressing sustainability issues in their careers. Class syllabus here <<<.

2. ENVS 492: Sustainability, Energy and Environment Capstone

This fall course is the capstone experience to the Sustainability, Energy, and Environment Fellows Program— a campuswide minor in sustainable problem solving. In this final piece of the minor degree, students will apply sustainability assessment tools, such as life-cycle analysis, cost-benefit methods and impact analysis to real-world world problems related to sustainability of campus and/or the community to be developed in collaboration with campus, Facilities & Services, local sustainability planners, private firms, and non-government organizations. Field site visits will be arranged during regular class time to visit local buildings, businesses, and environmental infrastructure facilities. This course is taught in conjunction with CEE 398 Project Based Learning.

3. ENVS 301: Tools for Sustainability

This spring course teaches systems-thinking skills to enable better understanding of the different dimensions of sustainability and the problems and trade-offs involved in achieving that sustainability.  Students learn about metrics for measuring sustainability and gain competence in tools such as cost-benefit and life-cycle analyses needed to compare the sustainability of different technologies and development options. This is part of the Sustainability Minor.

4. GCL 210: Frameworks for Sustainability

The course, which is open to all undergraduates and has no prerequisites, features several professors on campus who care passionately about sustainability, including Chemistry Professor Ben McCall, Trevor Birkenholtz in Geography, Lisa Lucero in Anthropology, Ming Kuo in Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences, Melissa Orlie in Political Science, Murugesu “Siva” Sivapalan in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Madhu Viswanathan in Business.

5. ESE/ENGL 477 Advanced Environmental Writing was started in Fall 2017 as part of the new Certificate in Environmental Writing (CEW) offered through iSEE.  It emphasizes the deep interconnections between nature and human lifestyles, how everything from food on your table to the jeans you wear flows through complex global chains, with resource costs and waste at each point. How can we make those product chains more sustainable?

Additional courses will be added, as appropriate to support the campus sustainability educational mission.

No description has been provided yet.


  • Proposed December 17, 2010
    Proposed by Education Task Force


Project Location(s)

This map is interactive! Click (or touch) and drag to pan; scroll (or pinch) to zoom.

View larger location(s) map