FOR ESS (Enviromnental and Sustainability Studies) MINORS at UTA


Check out the new cross-disciplinary Minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies! Taking advantage of the many courses on sustainability and the environment offered throughout the university, this broadly interdisciplinary program provides students a powerful way to enrich their education and more effectively apply their major field of study to some of the most complex and crucial problems of the new millennium. In an era when concerns about the atmosphere, oceans, biodiversity, extinction, energy, urban sprawl, toxins, human health, and environmental justice are dramatically intensifying, the ESS program opens important new career paths and responds to the need for environmentally savvy citizens in all areas of contemporary society. Click here for more Information about careers and degrees in sustainability. See also Ecojobs and information about careers in environmentalism in many fields.

The official UTA website for the ESS Minor is at SUPA; you can find information about the minor and its requirements here. As Coordinator of the ESS Minor I keep this web page in order to give students the most up to date information, especially about course offerings. For advising, please contact Students interested in adding the Minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies should consult with the Advisor in their major. (SUPA is currently in the process of hiring an Advisor for ESS.) If you are minoring in ESS but haven't officially declared the minor, we really need you to **declare** your ESS minor so that we know how many students we have in the program and how we can offer courses you need! If you are minoring in ESS and have questions about whether a course will count, or suggestions for more courses, please contact me: Dr. Alaimo: The best place to find information about specific UTA courses is by looking at the faculty member's Mentis page-since all faculty are *required* to post syllabi there. For a partial list of UTA Faculty Experts on sustainability and environment, click here.

Students and faculty: Please join the Facebook group: "ESS Minors at UTA." For more information about academic programs, events, and other opportunities to get involved in sustainability and environmentalism at UTA click here for the Mavericks Go Green web pages. UTA has an active student group, The Environmental Society, with a FB group. For a wealth of information about sustainability on university and college campuses see the AASHE (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) website. You may wish to consider a career in the field of sustainability or another environmentally-related position. See Orion's Green Jobs list.

The requirements for the minor are straightforward. 1. Take the core course, ESST 2300. 2. Take 15 more hours of courses approved for the ESS Minor, including at least one course from Group One (Liberal Arts, Social Science, and Business) and at least one course from Group Two (Natural Sciences and Engineering). At least 6 hours must be taken in 3000 or 4000 level courses. (See below for approved courses for the ESS minor. Also note that Independent studies, Honors theses, capstone courses with senior projects, studio or design courses, internships, or service learning courses may all be eligible for the ESS minor if the student concentrates on topics related to environmental or sustainability studies. Email Dr. Alaimo for approval.

ESS APPROVED COURSES FOR Spring 2015 (Under construction)

GROUP 1 - Liberal Arts, Fine Arts, Social Sciences, and Business

ANTH 4358.001 Collapse and Sustainability. MWF 2-2:50. Ingram.

ARCH 3331. Architecture and Environment. MW 5:30-6:50.

ARCH 4330. Energy Use and Conservation in Architecture. TR 12:30-1:50.

ENGL 2303.014: Environmental Literature. 12:30-1:50 PM TTH.(THIS course, section, and instructor only!) Justin Lerberg. "It will focus on environmental literature broadly conceived and will include traditional literature, poems, theory, non-fiction, film, web-stuff, and comic books to name a few."

ENGL 2329.012: American Literature: Islands, Environment and Biogeography. (THIS course, section, and instructor only!) TuTh 9:30-10:50AM.McCown.

ENGL 3366: Topics in Literature and Environment. TR 9:30-10:50.

ENGL 4365.001. Children's Literature: The Child and Nature. MWF at 9am. Martin.

GEOG 1302. Introduction to Human Geography. MWF 11-11:50.

INT 4388.002. Special Topics in Interdisciplinary Studies: Introduction to Native America. Akers. TR 9:30-10:50.

GROUP 2 - Natural Sciences and Engineering

BIOL 2343. Evolution and Ecology. DeVito. MWF 1:150. MW 5:30-6:50. DeMuth Wintersesson: MTWRF 1-4:45.

BIOL 3310-002. Sustenance and Sustainability: The Human Ecology of Food. DeVito.M/W 3-4:20 pm

BIOL 3310-001. Biology of Texas. Roelke.MWF 1-1:50.

BIOL 3328. Environmental Microbiology. Chrzanowiski. TR 12:30-1:50.

BIOL 3355: Toxicology. Purgason. MW 4-5:20.

BIOL 3356: Environmental Systems, Biological Aspects. Baker. M 6-8:50.

BIOL 3457. General Ecology. 3 different sections available.

GEOL 4325. Paleoclimate and Climate Change. TR 2-3:20

CE 3334. Principles of Environmental Engineering. MWF 8-8:50.



Core Course for ESS: ESST 2300/HIST 4388. MWF 10-10:50, Chris Morris. (This course is required for all ESS Minors.)

GROUP 1 - Liberal Arts, Social Sciences, and Business

ARCH 3331: Architecture and Environment, MW 5:30-6:50

ART 3357: Sustainable Design. T/R 2:00: 4:50

CIRP 4320 - 001 Sustainable Communities
Tu 3:00PM - 5:50PM, Dr. Yekang Ko. This course course explores broad environmental and social issues in sustainable communities. Potential topics include urban water management, food and resources, wildlife conservation, native landscaping, waste management, green building, housing diversity, public transportation and community participation. The course serves as a laboratory for working with governmental and non-governmental organizations in the DFW area and developing issue-based, action research projects to solve real-world problems in our communities. This hands-on course combines lecture, student-led discussion, site visits and collaborative team work for service learning projects.

ECON 4302: Environmental Economics, TR 12:30-1:50, Wunder.

ENGL 3376-001: Business/Professional Writing, T: R 8.00-10.50 AM
Crystal Elerson
Junior-level course focused on advanced grammar, writing style, and design. The first third of this course focuses on writing. The second third of the course focuses on design and business formatting. The final third of this course focuses on Environmental Sustainability studies in the form of proposal writing, instructional writing, feasibility studies, and manual writing. This course includes both individual and collaborative projects.

[Note: Students who do ESS-related projects in the following courses taught by Dr. Elerson (only) may also receive ESS credit: ENGL 3373 (a Technical Editing course), and two sections of ENGL 3374 (Technical Presentations). Dr. Elerson will have ESS-related projects available for students who would like to take these courses for the minor.]

ENGL 4326-001: Shakespeare, TR 12:30-1:50 PM
Amy Tigner
This class will take an ecocritical approach to Shakespeare, as we will study the notion of both urban and rural nature and its relationship to culture. Our study will be historical and we will discuss the landscape and environmental issues of both city and country—both in the plays and in Shakespeare's world. The plays that we will be reading include Midsummer Night's Dream, The Winter's Tale, King Lear, As You Like It, and The Tempest. We will also be reading contemporary ecocriticism to contextualize the environmental problems of the early modern period. Students will participate by presenting group projects and contributing to the class blog. At the end of the semester, students will have the option of doing a creative project that is oriented to environmental issues and Shakespeare, along with a short paper, or they can write a longer, more traditional, literary criticism paper.

ENGL 4365-001: Children's Literature, MWF 11:00-11:50 AM
Gyde Martin
This course will survey 120 years of children's fiction with a particular focus: the presentation of Nature and the Environment. We will examine some of the most popular and enduring genres—the Survival Novel (including the feral-child story) and the Animal Novel—to trace our culture's changing sensibility toward Nature and our growing concern for its (and our) survival. Ultimately, we also want to know HOW this serious concern is presented to young audiences.
Required Texts: Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden; Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Book; Karen Hesse, The Music of Dolphins; Walt Morey, Gentle Ben; Gary Paulsen, Hatchet; Carl Hiaasen, Flush; Michael Ende, The Night of Wishes; plus 4 individually assigned novels.

GEOG 1303: World Regional Geography. Andrew Milson, MWF, 11-11:50

HIST 4388. 007 (This section only!) "Unsustainable: Destruction, Extinction, and Catastrophic Failure in History." MWF 10-10:50, Chris Morris.

GROUP 2 - Natural Sciences and Engineering

BIOL 2343 Evolution and Ecology (Prerequisite: BIOL 1441,) TR 11-12:20, Demuth and Walsh; or TR 5:30-6:50, Devito.

GEOL 4305 - 045 SELECTED TOPICS IN GEOLOGY: Intro to Environmental Studies Ashanti Turner. Online.
This course serves as an introduction to and covers broad aspects of environmental studies. It is designed to foster an increased understanding of physical, chemical and biological systems of the terrestrial and aquatic environments, their complex connections and patterns, and human interactions. In this course emphasis is placed on a holistic approach to environmental studies using case studies, learning activities, and discussions to reinforce scientific principles. Students will examine the relationship between humankind and nature in order to gain a broad understanding of issues, causes, and possible solutions to the array of environmental challenges faced in today's world.

GEOL 4308: Environmental Geochemistry, M 5:30-8:20

Civil Engineering:

CE 3334 Principles of Environmental Engineering, MWF, 9-9:50

CE 4323 Landfill Design, TR 7-8:20

CE 4350 Introduction to Air Pollution, TR 9:30-10:50

CE 4351 Physical Unit Processes, MW 5:30-650

CE 4354 Introduction to Solid and Hazardous Waste Management, MW 7-8:20

CE 4355 Design of Water and Wastewater Treatment Facilities, TR 5:30-6:50

Mechanical Engineering:

MAE 4301 - 002 Special Topics in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineerin: [These topics only]

More courses for ESS credit? Independent studies, Honors theses, capstone courses with senior projects, studio or design courses, internships, may all be eligible for the ESS minor if they are focused on topics related to environmental or sustainability studies. Please contact Dr. Alaimo to see if your course, project, or internship would qualify.

River Legacy Park with Dr. MorrisESS Minors at River Legacy Park


(Note that these courses are not offered every semester. Topics courses must be identified by the specific topic and the instructor, not just the course number. Check each semester's list of approved courses to be certain a course will count. And depending on special topics, there may be more or different courses that qualify, semester by semester. See above.)

ESST 2300: Core Course for the Minor

GROUP 1 - Liberal Arts, Social Sciences, and Business

GROUP 2 - Natural Sciences and Engineering

Civil Engineering:

Mechanical Engineering:

Canoe trip: Dr. Chris Morris' Environmental History Course Spring 2012Canoe trip: Dr. Chris Morris' Environmental History Course, Spring 2012



ESS APPROVED COURSES for Maymester and Summer 2014:

LING 4362/5362 Language Documentation. Instructor: Colleen Fitzgerald. Summer session 1, MTWR 1 pm - 3 pm in GS 104. (reg# 54006) This course will count for ESS credit if the student chooses the Ethnobotany 1 & 2 or the Ethnobiology 1&2 CoLang workshop sequences to attend, and if the student's final project work is on a project that relates to traditional ecological knowledge as approved by the instructor. Note: instructor has several ongoing projects on TEK (traditional ecological knowledge) where students can contribute.Full information about all the activities of CoLang 2014 are online at

BIOL 2343: Evolution and Ecology, Maymester, DeVito.

BIOL 2343: Evolution and Ecology, Summer II. DeVito

CE 3334: Principles of Environmental Engineering, 11-Week Summer Session. MW 8-9:50.

CE 4232: Landfill Design. 11-Week Summer Session. MW 10:30-12:30.

CANCELLED! CIRP 4391 "Studies in City and Regional Planning."Summer II MTWR 10:30-12:20, Andrew Whittemore .

GEOG 1302: Introduction to Human Geography. 11-week summer session. Andrew J. Milson, MW 1:00-2:50

GEOL 4305 - 045 SELECTED TOPICS IN GEOLOGY: Intro to Environmental Studies. Summer I, online. Ashanti Turner. [Cancelled for summer; will be offered in the fall.]

[New ESS course for Summer II]: INTS 4388 sec 002 Dian Nostikasari. MoTuWeTh 10:30AM - 12:30PM
"The class will discusses food insecurity and poverty issues that are situated within an urban/metropolitan region context. We will discuss the problem of food insecurity; social and spatial structures of cities and metropolitan regions; how communities across the DFW have unequal access to healthy and affordable food options due to their surrounding built environment; and how the food supply system and big companies affect how people access food. We will learn about various neighborhoods in the DFW Metroplex that are designated as food deserts by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The course will consist of lectures, discussion groups, and assignments that are oriented for service learning."


GROUP 1 - Liberal Arts, Social Sciences, and Business 

GROUP 2 - Natural Sciences and Engineering 

Civil Engineering

CE 3334 Principles of Environmental Engineering, Srinivas Prabakar, MoWe 4-5:2



Please note that whether or not topics courses will count for the ESS Minor depends on the *specific topic and the instructor* for that particular section of the course. Some topics courses--with the same course number--will contain ESS content and some won't so please be careful.

GROUP 1 - Liberal Arts, Social Sciences, and Business

GROUP 2 - Natural Sciences and Engineering


GROUP 2 - Natural Sciences and Engineering


ESST 2300: Core Course for the Minor: Douglas Klahr (Architecture) T/TH 11-12:20

GROUP 1 - Liberal Arts, Social Sciences, and Business

GROUP 2 - Natural Sciences and Engineering

Note: Starting Spring 2013 the ESS Minor will be reconfigured to include two groups of courses--not three. (Groups 1 and 3 have been combined.) This should make it easier for students to fulfill the distribution requirement for the minor.

Approved ESS Courses offered in SUMMER 2012

GROUP 1 - Liberal Arts, Social and Cultural Studies

GROUP 2 - Natural Sciences and Engineering

GROUP 3 - Architecture and Urban and Public Affairs

Approved ESS Courses offered in FALL 2012:

GROUP 1 - Liberal Arts, Social and Cultural Studies

GROUP 2 - Natural Sciences and Engineering

Civil Engineering:

Mechanical Engineering:

GROUP 3 - Architecture and Urban and Public Affairs