Academic Programs

Climate Change & Sustainability

Climate Change


  Concentration Description:

The Climate Change and Sustainability concentration provides an interdisciplinary approach for students to advance their career by providing the knowledge and skills necessary to assess the impacts of climate change and vulnerability, and to develop climate change mitigation and adaptation measures for both developed and developing nations. The concentration explores the contemporary perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs associated with the climate debate by defining the issues and framing the localized nature of impacts. Analysis of different regions around the globe will provide insight on climate change mitigation policy, climate change impacts and vulnerabilities, adaptation planning, and societal resilience. The concentration emphasizes the translation of policy and research into climate-smart mitigation and adaptation strategies that will yield sustainable and resilient communities.

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Concentration Director:

Dr. T.H. Culhane

Director of Climate Change & Sustainability Concentration
Associate Faculty

 TH Culhane



  • IDS 6938 - Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation (3) 

This course will use an interdisciplinary approach to explore climate vulnerability and pathways of climate  mitigation and adaption. Case studies will be reviewed to provide insight on climate change adaption planning and societal resilience.

             *This course is available on-campus and online.

  •  IDS 6938 - Navigating The Sustainable Food-Energy-Water Nexus (3)

The Food Energy Water (FEW) nexus helps students navigate the complexities of sustainability, using systems thinking and case studies in food, energy, and water to create industrial ecology systems, closing the loop from the solar energy that sustains food production through food waste to new food.

               *This course is available on-campus and online.

Concentration Course (3 credit hours)                    Choose ONe: 

  • IDS 6208 - Renewable Power Portfolio (3)

The course analyzes the market status and growth potential of the portfolio of renewable power sources (solar, wind, geothermal, ocean, biogas), production technologies, economics and financing, infrastructure integration and smart grid issues, and regulatory and environmental aspects.

*This course is available on-campus and online.

  • IDS 6210 - Bioresources for a Sustainable Future (3)

Agricultural and biological resources (bioresources) for producing food, bio-based products, and renewable energy are presented and discusses along with their environmental and climate change impact using an integrated food-energy-water nexus approach.

*This course is available on-campus and online.

  • PHI 6686 - Climate Change and Societal Evolution (3)

Climate change is the central challenge for civilization in this century, and it cannot be met by technological solutions alone. For mitigation to succeed, such technologies need to be embedded in a comprehensive societal transformation. This course explores what such a transformation requires--on the levels of politics, economics, education, and culture. We will discuss philosophical approaches, interdisciplinary findings, and features of contemporary societies that are evolving accordingly.

*This course is only available on-campus.

  • IDS 6938 - Waste Not, Want Not: Reconsidering Waste, Re-purposing Wasted Resources (3) - Pending Approval

This course is designed to help us deal with and eliminate waste. The course explores all kinds of wasted resources and opportunities with particular focus on organic and inorganic "production and consumption residuals" and wasted energy.

*This course is available on-campus and online

  • EVR 6216 / IDS 6938- Water Quality Policy and Management (3)

The course covers the conceptual structure and practical implementation of U.S. watershed-based water quality regulations and policies. Practical application of scientific information and quantitative methods in management/policy decisions for water quality protection.

*This course is available on-campus and online

  • IDS 6938 – Policy for Sustainability (3) - Pending Approval

This course explores the definition of sustainability policy, how policy can be implemented at all levels of government, the myriad actors involved in policy formation and implementation, metrics used to measure policy robustness, and the politics of sustainability. Policies and case studies pertaining to other Patel College of Global Sustainability concentrations will be presented and discussed.  A class debate and policy-position paper will    challenge critical thinking skills. 

                *This course is available on-campus and online

NOTE: Please be advised that your degree requirements may be different than the requirements mentioned above if you were admitted to our degree program prior to Fall 2018. Please refer to our previous catalog to understand your respective degree requirements

On successful completion of this program, participants should be able to: 

  • Analyze concerns of climate change and explore current perceptions, attitudes, and beliefs
  • Understand the social, economic, and political impacts of climate change
  • Develop a solid understanding of the consequences, risks, and uncertainties of climatic influences on urban environments, population distribution, food availability, water resources, and energy security
  • Analyze different strategies for reduction of net greenhouse gas emissions
  • Assess different pathways of climate resilience and sustainability at the local, regional, and national levels
  • Understand how cities build resilience in the face of a changing climate through the integration of adaptation strategies
  • Explore national and international policy responses to the challenges of climate change
  • Demonstrate effective communication to effectively translate climate change science for local decision-makers

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For more information about this concentration, please contact the PCGS Academic Programs Director, Randall Pape at