Sustainability Certificate

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Nathaniel Boesch
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Go Green - Be Sustainable

In today's world, it's essential to go green, which means living and working sustainably. Public opinion, political pressure, emerging business opportunities, and ecological realities have created sustainability-focused career options in nearly every major job sector. The Sustainability Certificate at SNHU provides students with the knowledge, skills, and practical experience needed to succeed in these careers. Our program blends insights from environmental science, the environmental social sciences, and other sustainability-focused fields into a uniquely practical learning experience that is more than merely interdisciplinary. Its many one-of-a-kind features are designed to meet the demand for sustainability-focused professionals of many different types in today's job market, especially in the private sector.

The Sustainability Certificate is especially for students pursuing bachelor's degrees in SNHU's School of Business or enrolled in other complementary SNHU degree programs, such as the B.S. in Environmental Science. It also is open to anyone not already enrolled in a degree program at SNHU who is interested in earning a stand-alone undergraduate certificate in the sustainability field. The Sustainability Certificate is not for students enrolled in SNHU's B.A. in Environmental Management or B.A. in Environmental Management (International).

Our Faculty

Our faculty includes distinguished teachers, scholars, and practitioners with many years of experience working in and with some of the most prominent private firms, public institutions, and not-for-profit organizations worldwide. For example, Dr. Paul Barresi, an environmental lawyer and political scientist who also has a background in science-based natural resource management, has helped to advise Fortune 500 companies in complex environmental compliance matters at one of the biggest law firms in the United States. Dr. Michele Goldsmith, a behavioral ecologist, studies the impact of ecotourism on mountain gorillas in Uganda with the help of SNHU student research assistants and National Geographic Society grants. Adjunct professor Tim Brecheen, an environmental manager and civil engineer, remains active in the latest phase of a long and distinguished career managing pollution prevention, environmental restoration, and energy conservation projects; environmental compliance, cleanup, and monitoring operations; and related scientific studies throughout the United States, while also teaching at SNHU. More than one of the professors in our program has been nominated for an SNHU Excellence in Teaching Award.

Sustainability Certificate Required Courses

ENV-319: US Environmental Law and Politics
How can businesses, governments, and public interest groups achieve environmental sustainability goals in legal and political contexts that were designed with other goals in mind? This interdisciplinary course explores the options in the United States, and provides a comprehensive point of comparison for topics explored in ENV-329 and ENV-349. Students spend about half of the course learning how to spot facts that give rise to compliance issues for businesses and other private parties under a full spectrum of federal environmental laws, and to identify opportunities for achieving broader sustainability goals within the constraints imposed by the law. In the other half, students learn both how to predict environmental law and policy outcomes and how to shape them adaptively in pursuit of sustainability goals in a fragmented system of governance that was designed to privilege special interests and to favor the status quo.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101 or SCI-219 and POL-210 or at least junior standing
ENV-372: Sustainability Strategies for Business
This course introduces students to sustainability practices in business settings. After learning the fundamentals of earth system science and ecological economics, students will explore topics such as carbon management, ecosystem services, natural resource sustainability, and energy use options. Students will analyze regional, national, and international case studies that highlight sustainability practices in business settings to determine what works and what does not. Students will also read, write about, and discuss articles on sustainability in business.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101 or SCI-219
SCS-224: Social Science Research Methods
This course offers a broad introduction to research methods in the social sciences, including surveys, case studies, experiments, and quasi-experiments. Students learn to spot design flaws in research intended to generate scientifically sound conclusions about social phenomena, and to evaluate critically the interpretations of social science research results by third-party observers, such as reporters. Students also learn how to draft a research proposal that would satisfy the requirements of peer review within the community of professional social scientists.
Prerequisites:
MAT-240
SCS-444: Capstone Colloquium
This colloquium serves as the capstone course for students in the sociology, law and politics, and environmental management majors. Students learn from their instructor and from each other as they apply the knowledge and skills acquired in their other course work to a directed research project in the appropriate discipline or field. Prerequisite: Senior standing in the sociology, law and politics, or environmental management major.
Prerequisites:
Senior prereg status

Choose one of the following:

ENV-101: Environmental Science
This course provides an introduction to the scientific aspects of the environmental field. The first part of the course introduces students to the foundations of environmental science, while the second part concentrates on the application of these foundations to real life environmental problems. Therefore, the course not only engages the fundamentals of environmental science but also shows students how science informs sustainability, environmental policies, economics and personal choice.
SCI-219: Environmental Issues
This course covers a variety of environmental topics in a manner specifically designed for the non-science major. It provides a fundamental understanding of the various processes necessary to support life on Earth and examines how human activities and attitudes (individual, traditional, cultural, and others) generate environmental issues that threaten these processes. Topics include ecology, populations, agriculture, desertification and deforestation, water and ocean pollution, air pollution including ozone depletion, solid and hazardous wastes, energy including fossil fuels and nuclear power, economies and sustainability. This course is cross-listed as ENV-219.

Choose one of the following:

ENV-325: Industrial Ecology
How can industrialized societies, industrial economic sectors, and industrial firms maintain and enhance productivity without exceeding the capacity of the natural environment to serve as a source of raw materials and to absorb wastes? This interdisciplinary course looks to the field of industrial ecology for answers to these questions. Industrial ecology aims to minimize the environmental costs of industrial activities by applying lessons learned from ecosystems, in which all wastes are consumed as raw materials by other parts of the system. At scales ranging from whole societies to individual firms, students in this course learn how to stretch resources, manage risks, protect human health, and pursue environmental sustainability through strategies for preventing, reducing, reusing, and recycling the wastes that otherwise would be released to the environment as pollution.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101 or SCI-219
SCI-333: Waste: Sources, Reduction, & Remediation
Waste is a major issue in nearly all aspects of society and understanding it is essential when considering the environment and sustainability. This class will focus on how waste is produced, how to reduce this pollution and how to clean it up once it is released. In addition to the physical science, we will examine the impact of waste on the economy, society and public health.
Prerequisites:
SCI-211 or SCI-212 or SCI-213 or SCI-219

Choose one of the following:

BIO-330: Conservation Biology
This course will focus on the importance of biodiversity. Currently, we are experiencing an unprecedented loss in species; losing, on average, two species a day. Unlike past mass extinctions humans are largely responsible. Following the Society of Conservation Biology's guidelines for conservation literacy, this course will investigate how we can apply biological principals to reverse trends in species loss. We will focus on case studies to develop our understanding of what maintains, reduces, and restores biodiversity. The course will be organized into three sections 1) history and value of conservation biology, 2) threats to biodiversity, and 3) approaches to solving conservation problems.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101, SCI-219, or SCI-220 or permission of instructor
ENV-305: Global Climate Change
This interdisciplinary course brings students up to date on what is known and not known about the causes and consequences of global climate change, and about viable response options. Topics include analysis of climate drivers such as greenhouse gas emissions, and land-use changes, and investigation of some climate system responses such as increased storm intensity and increased surface temperature. Students also explore some of the societal and economic impacts of global climate change. By reference to the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, paleoclimate studies, and other authoritative sources, students learn how to separate fact from fiction in the often publicized debate about the dynamics of global climate change and about how we should respond to it.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101 or SCI-219
ENV-322: Environment and Development
How can businesses, governments, and civil society organizations work together to build environmentally sustainable economies and livable local communities in an increasingly crowded and globalized world? Students in this interdisciplinary course use insights drawn from the social sciences to identify assumptions about human nature and nurture that lead to environmentally unsustainable economic and development practices, then apply those insights to the practical problems of building robust national economies and healthy local communities worldwide, with an emphasis on less developed countries. Students spend part of the course playing and critiquing their own performance in Stratagem, a computer-assisted simulation game, in which they assume the roles of government ministers in a less developed country and try to chart a course of environmentally sustainable development for that country over more than half a century.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101 or SCI-219
ENV-325: Industrial Ecology
How can industrialized societies, industrial economic sectors, and industrial firms maintain and enhance productivity without exceeding the capacity of the natural environment to serve as a source of raw materials and to absorb wastes? This interdisciplinary course looks to the field of industrial ecology for answers to these questions. Industrial ecology aims to minimize the environmental costs of industrial activities by applying lessons learned from ecosystems, in which all wastes are consumed as raw materials by other parts of the system. At scales ranging from whole societies to individual firms, students in this course learn how to stretch resources, manage risks, protect human health, and pursue environmental sustainability through strategies for preventing, reducing, reusing, and recycling the wastes that otherwise would be released to the environment as pollution.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101 or SCI-219
ENV-329: International Environmental Law and Negotiation
How can we resolve environmental disagreements without picking winners and losers or merely agreeing to disagree? This interdisciplinary course explores the most effective strategy for doing so in negotiating agreements of all kinds, using the multi-country agreements that are at the center of international environmental law as illustrative examples. Students spend most of the course building win-win negotiation skills in a series of increasingly complex computer-assisted and other role-playing simulation games. First, they explore some of the factors that give rise to international environmental dilemmas by assuming the roles of users of an international common pool resource that is not the subject of a negotiated management agreement. Then they assume the roles of member-states of the International Whaling Commission to negotiate the fate of a controversial proposal to end the international ban on commercial whaling. Finally, with the help of C-ROADS, an award-winning computer simulation used by governments, corporations, and nongovernmental organizations worldwide to model the long-term climate impacts of alternative greenhouse gas emission policy scenarios, and World Climate, a companion role-playing game, students assume the roles of state-parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to develop and to negotiate the fate of their own proposals for resolving the many environmental and development dilemmas associated with the climatic disruption being caused by human greenhouse gas emissions.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101 or SCI-219 and either POL-211 or at least junior standing
ENV-349: Comparative Environmental Law and Sustainable Development
How effective is environmental law as a strategy for achieving sustainable development? How does its diversity across countries and cultures constrain the ability of businesses, governments, and civil society organizations to achieve environmental sustainability goals in an increasingly globalized world? This interdisciplinary course examines the many legal, political, cultural, and other factors that shape the answer to these questions, using China, India, Russia, the European Union, and the United States as illustrative examples. Students explore the implications of these factors not only for businesses, governments, and civil society organizations pursuing sustainability goals within their own countries, but also for their counterparts in other countries to whom the former are linked through bilateral trade relationships and global supply chains.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101 or SCI-219 and POL-210 or at least junior standing
PHL-363: Environmental Ethics
This course analyzes the application of ethical theory to moral questions about the environment. A number of different traditions in environmental ethics will be discussed and their strengths and weaknesses evaluated by applying them to practical moral problems.
SCI-333: Waste: Sources, Reduction, & Remediation
Waste is a major issue in nearly all aspects of society and understanding it is essential when considering the environment and sustainability. This class will focus on how waste is produced, how to reduce this pollution and how to clean it up once it is released. In addition to the physical science, we will examine the impact of waste on the economy, society and public health.
Prerequisites:
SCI-211 or SCI-212 or SCI-213 or SCI-219
SOC-318: Sustainable Communities
How do we build a society fit for living? This course looks to the field of environmentally sustainable community development (ESCD) for answers to this question. Students explore the principles and practices of ESCD using pattern-mapping of community needs, site visits, and other experiential learning tools that turn communities into classrooms, and bring the challenge of building environmentally sustainable communities to life. In the process, students identify assumptions that lead to unsustainable social practices, and develop the skills necessary to help create livable local landscapes and sustainable local futures through individual and community action.
Prerequisites:
ENV-219 or SCI-219 or SOC-112

For students pursuing the Certificate in Sustainability and an SNHU undergraduate degree concurrently, at least four courses used to satisfy the requirements of the Certificate in Sustainability must be in addition to any courses counted toward the requirement of the student's major course of study.

University Accreditation

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