sustainability hssc courses

Courses

Part A: Courses on Sustainability and Environmental Issues

Literature and Science (Environmental Literature)
Philosophy, Society, and Energy

Part B: Courses with Some Content that Relates to Sustainability

Leadership Models and Practices
World Masterpieces I
World Masterpieces II
American Literature: 1900 to the Present (Modernism and After)
Mythology
Literature of the Built Environment
Media, Communication and Society
Introduction to Business Law
Principles of Economics
Principles of Microeconomics
Principles of Economics 2
Foundations of the American Experience
Development of the American Experience
Industrial Economics
Public Finance
Philosophy of Space Exploration
Social Responsibility and Community Action

Part C: Courses that Develop Necessary Critical Thinking Skills for Examining Sustainability

Technical and Professional Communication
Speech
Introduction to Rhetoric and Logic
Research Principles and Methods
Document Design
Interpersonal and Nonverbal Communication
Collaborative Communication for Leaders
Desktop Publishing
Writing Proposals

Graduate Courses (MSTPC) that Advance Critical Thinking
Foundations of Technical and Professional Communication
Professional Presentation Strategies
Rhetoric of Technical Communication
Research Methods and Applications
Team Problem Solving and Decision Making
Advanced Publication Design
Managing Organizational Communication
Communicating Across Cultures
Advanced Interpersonal Communication
Advanced Nonverbal Communication


Literature and Science (Environmental Literature)

Course Number: LLT 3623
Course Description: How should we, as humans, relate to the natural world?  What does it mean to be an environmentalist?  How do race, class, and gender figure in to the equation?

In this course, we will read works from the seventeenth through the late twentieth centuries, examining the roots of American environmentalism as well as investigating environmentally oriented texts from beyond the North American continent.  We will explore some of the fundamental concerns in American environmental thought, including conservation and "toxic discourse," and we will consider what protecting the environment means in places where wilderness is not central: for instance, where environmentalism is motivated by social justice rather than a desire to preserve seemingly empty tracts of land.  Through careful, close readings of these texts, we will examine how nature and culture shape one another, as well as how international perspectives on the environment inflect our understanding of and attitudes towards the environment closer to home.

Sustainability Content: Course deals explicitly with sustainability as one strain of environmental thought.

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Philosophy, Society, and Energy

Course Number: SSC3363 
Course Description: Is there global warming? Can a reasonable person doubt it?  Can we develop forms of energy that save the environment while contributing to a better life?  Is the goal of sustainable technology plausible?  What are the prospects for the truly long run? These and many other significant questions will be our subject matter.  The aim of the course is to give you the tools to offer plausible interpretations of the best ideas on the subject, to think critically about them, to unmask the assumptions behind them, and to express your thoughts well orally and in writing.

Sustainability Content: Course engages students in a critical discussion of sustainability.

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Leadership Models and Practices

Course Number: LDR 2001
Sustainability Content:
 For their final projects, students work in teams to identify a problem and then put together a proposal and action plan to create "positive, sustainable change" to address and improve the issue they have identified.  In Leadership Models and Practices, the intent is for students to think long-term about making changes that improve their communities.

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World Masterpieces I

Course Number: LLT 1213
Possible sustainability content: Students can trace the development of attitudes toward the environment from Odysseus' wanderings after the Trojan War through Enlightenment ideas of natural order in Candide.  Course also includes Lao Tzu's Tao Te Ching, which provides an alternative to Western conceptions of nature.

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World Masterpieces II

Course Number: LLT 1223
Sustainability content:
 Course begins with a unit on Romantic poetry-a period that helped transform Western conceptions of nature and landscape-and includes To the Lighthouse, which provides a classic modernist reading of human perception of and understanding of nature as threat, comfort, and inspiration in reaction to dominant Romantic conceptions, which were derived from the nineteenth century and continue to influence our thinking and responses to nature.

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American Literature: 1900 to the Present (Modernism and After)

Course Number: LLT 3223
Course Description:  The diverse body of literature produced by American modernist authors may be seen as a collective attempt to define a national culture.  In one way or another, all of the American authors of the modernist period responded to the rapidly changing social conditions in which they lived.

This course examines what this body of texts can tell us about American society, both in the past and the present.  In this class, we will investigate not only the aesthetic significance of twentieth-century American literature but its cultural, social, historical, economic and ethical implications as well.

Sustainability Content: The course examines Manifest Destiny and industrialization-two of  the highly unsustainable modern roots of today's problems.

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Mythology

Course Number: LLT4913
Sustainability Content:  The course includes a film called "in the Light of Reverence" which looks at three indigenous communities and the lands they are trying to protect: the Lakota of the Great Plains, the Hopi of New Mexico, and the Wintu of Northern California.

In all of the Mythologies the course examines, nature is a significant character, sentient, and often gendered as feminine. The course traces the complicated and hostile rather than cooperative relationship between humans and nature.

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Literature of the Built Environment

Course Number: LLT8012
Sustainability Content:
Course typically considers the multiple contexts of built structures, including the social, economic, and cultural roots of the built environment.  Readings include Sennet's Flesh and Stone, concerned specifically with the sustainability of cultures over time and the impact their understanding of the environment had on their survival, and extensive selections from Thoreau's Walden, the classic American work on the sustainability of the American way of life.

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Media, Communication and Society

Course Number: MCO1003
Course Description:
Electronic mass media and their functions: legal, economic, psychological aspects of media broadcasting and production are discussed. A survey of race, gender, and multicultural issues with regard to the media are also addressed. Special focus on the ethics of media communication professionals in problem solving. Required for all Media Communication majors.

Sustainability Content: How the media approaches environmental issues as well as the sustainability of scientific evidence as it relates to 'global warming' and other societal issues is examined periodically.

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Introduction to Business Law

Course Number: MGT2113
Sustainability Content:
Relationship between traditional and modern property rights in broader context of the legal system; evolution of regulation and social responsibility for sustainable  and environmentally thoughtful business decisions.

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Principles of Economics

Course Number: SSC2303
Sustainability Content:
Introduction to "External costs and benefits," which fall on people other than buyers and sellers. For example, the costs of pollution from steel manufacturing may fall on those who live downwind.   Introduction to limitations of natural resources from Malthus forward, with attempt to define "sustainability."  Relationship between sustainability and property rights, including "tragedy of the commons" and Coase Theorem on resolving conflicts in property rights.

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Principles of Microeconomics

Course Number: SSC2323
Sustainability Content:
Comparing present and future costs and benefits as "intertemporal exchange." Problems of policy changes in "Path Dependency" (the "qwerty trap.")

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Principles of Economics 2

Course Number: SSC2403
Sustainability Content:
Economic growth and aid to poor nations; relationship between national income and sustainability; economics of technological change.

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Foundations of the American Experience

Course Number: SSC 2413
Possible Sustainability Content: While the question of sustainability is not explicitly addressed in Foundations of the American Experience, attention is paid to the pre-Socratic transition from theological to scientific explanations of natural phenomena.  The two approaches -- the theological and the scientific -- are seen thereafter as intellectual alternatives, existing in a tension which itself becomes one of the foundational features of Western culture.

Indeed, we commonly distinguish between three fundamental positions in this regard: (1) the theological, (2) the original "eastern" pre-Socratic (emphasizing flux and trusting the senses) and (3) the "western" Pythagorean pre-Socratic, (emphasizing permanent "being" and trusting reason).  Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Galileo, Descartes and Hobbes are studied within this enduring framework.

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Development of the American Experience

Course Number: SSC 2423
Sustainability Content: The "state of nature" is a central concept in Development.  We raise this question in the first week in Locke, and we continue the theme by comparing Locke's views to Rousseau's and Jefferson's through the remainder of the semester.  The primary context for the state of nature is man's internal nature.  But also crucial, especially for Locke and Jefferson, is the manner in which the characteristics of the state of nature create a specific form of property (which reaches its culmination in Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill.)  Hence the commodification of nature becomes a major theme of the course-a basis for distinguishing liberal from Marxist political economies.

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Industrial Economics

Course Number: SSC3513
Sustainability Content:
Social regulation of business, with measurement of costs of pollution, occupational disease and accidents, and consumer-product safety.

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Public Finance

Course Number: SSC3583
Sustainability Content:
Cost-benefit analysis in government spending programs; use of taxes to encourage efficient environmental outcomes.

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Philosophy of Space Exploration

Course Number: SSC 4713
Course Description: Space exploration brings up a host of interesting philosophical issues.  By the end of the semester students should be conversant with the most important of those issues and be able to discuss them intelligently orally and in writing. The class will follow the Reading and Writing Schedule. The Dimming of Starlight will be the main textbook.  It will be posted on Blackboard one chapter at a time.  The other works are P. Gilster, Centauri Dreams (Copernicus, 2004), C. Pickover's The Science of Aliens (Basic Books, 1998), and P.D Ward and D. Brownlee, The Life and Death of Planet Earth (Times Books, 2002).   You will also need Michael Harvey's The Nuts and Bolts of College Writing (Hackett, 2003).  From time to time I will assign some additional readings from the Internet.

Sustainability Content:
Discussion of The Life and Death of Planet Earth.

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Social Responsibility and Community Action

Course Number: SSC8012
Sustainability Content:
Introduction to economic concepts from Principles; applications to local governments in questions of urban sprawl and land-use regulation such as zoning.

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Technical and Professional Communication

Course Number: COM2103
Course Description: This course overviews all areas of technical communication, including writing letters, memos, resumes, instructions manuals, proposals, and reports.  Team work, problem solving, document design, and oral presentations are also emphasized.

Possible Sustainability Content: One instructor discusses how poor business communication potentially contributed to the Three Mile Island drama and the Space Shuttle Challenger Tragedy.

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Speech

Course Number: COM 2113
Course Description:
The course focuses on traditional public speaking skills with individual and group presentations. Informative, demonstrative, researched persuasive speaking as well as rebuttal, debate and panel presentations are highlighted.

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Introduction to Rhetoric and Logic

Course Number: COM2443
Course Description:
 This course focuses on the origins of rhetoric and logic; analysis o f reasoning and fallacies; theory of logic and rhetoric; Venn diagrams and syllogisms.  Included are critical examinations of texts, formal logic and rhetoric in oral and written communication.

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Research Principles and Methods

Course Number: COM3453
Course Description:
Examination of principles and methods of gathering information for technical and scientific research projects from pint-based, computerized, electronic resources, and interviews.  Bibliographic methods and accepted forms of documentation also introduced.

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Document Design

Course Number: COM3473
Course Description:
Emphasis on the concepts of layout and design of technical documents, documents for publication, presentation support materials and electronic media.

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Interpersonal and Nonverbal Communication

Course Number: COM3553
Course Description:
The course focuses on interpersonal relations in the professional world.  Listening skills, nonverbal communication, language analysis, conflict management and intercultural and gender communication are highlighted aspects.

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Collaborative Communication for Leaders

Course Number: COM3563
Course Description:
The course focuses on group discussion and leadership focus on groups in the professions.  Group theory, power structure, teamwork, critical analysis, leadership styles, problem solving and decision making are highlighted during group presentations.

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Desktop Publishing

Course Number: COM4143
Course Description:
Application of the principles of document design using computerized desktop publishing software to produce print-based publications. Students work in groups to design and produce short print pieces (newsletter, brochure, etc.) for specialized audiences.

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Writing Proposals

Course Number: COM4153
Course Description:
The basic principles of writing proposals that seek organizational support and funding. Methods for identifying funding sources and analyzing the needs of the target audience. Students will prepare and critique their own and others' proposals.

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Foundations of Technical and Professional Communication

Course Number: COM6103
Course Description:
This course offers an overview of the fundamental techniques, theories, and research from a variety of fields that inform the study and practice of technical communication. It covers the historical and social context of technical communication, the aims of technical discourse, readability, usability, invention and audience, audience analysis, technical style, and graphics. Theoretical information is put into practice through individual, collaborative, and oral presentation scenarios.

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Professional Presentation Strategies

Course Number: COM6123
Course Description: 
This is an advanced speech course that will focus on storytelling techniques, rhetorical analysis, presentations with professional style, and dynamic oral skills. Not only will you design a final presentation that you can use, but you will also receive coaching.

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Rhetoric of Technical Communication

Course Number: COM6443
Course Description: This course addresses the rhetorical dimension and rhetorical impact of technical communication upon various audiences. The rhetorical aspects of technical communication are explored with special attention given to verbal technical communication (both written and oral), visual technical communication, web-design, and other electronic media for formatting issues in technical communication.

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Research Methods and Applications

Course Number: COM6453
Course Description:
This course provides an examination of the basic materials available for research in technical writing: analysis and application of qualitative and quantitative methods of research in technical communication; evaluation of the application of research results within professional workplace settings; and practice in the conventions of reporting research results for publication.

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Team Problem Solving and Decision Making

Course Number: COM6463
Course Description:
This course introduces students to the principles of leadership, problem solving and decision making as it is accomplished by workplace teams of technical communicators. Practice in applying theoretical approaches to case studies is emphasized. Lecture 3 hours.

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Advanced Publication Design

Course Number: COM6473
Course Description:
This course provides techniques for the analysis and practice of the basic techniques and principles required for the effective management of technical publications and professionals.

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Managing Organizational Communication

Course Number: COM6483
Course Description:
This course emphasizes the role and function of communication as a key to understanding organizational frameworks and practices. Students learn traditional and innovative approaches to viewing and participating as technical communicators within a variety of organizational structures, managerial and communication styles. They also analyze the various organizational roles and responsibilities of technical communication, as well as the impact of technologies on the communication within corporate environments.

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Communicating Across Cultures

Course Number: COM6493
Course Description: May need permission of instructor. In this course, students will review and discuss current readings in multicultural studies. Once students are familiarized with the conceptual and theoretical framework supporting studies in multiculturalism, the focus of the course will shift to how technical communicators can use such scholarship in multicultural studies to better adapt to the multicultural aspects of their audiences.

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Advanced Interpersonal Communication

Course Number: COM6553
Course Description:
This course advances the student's knowledge of the theories and practices of interpersonal communication, focusing on its use and importance in the professional world. The course emphasizes effective listening skills, perception, language, conflict management, leadership, and relationships.

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Advanced Nonverbal Communication

Course Number: COM6563
Course Description:
This course advances an understanding of the theories, practices, and power of nonverbal communication. The course examines the dynamics of nonverbal communication, including body language, proxemics, chronemics, facial cues, paralanguage, and environment, emphasizing the workplace and understanding different cultures.

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