EJ Courses Environmental Justice

UCollege: A Unique Opportunity for WashU Employees to Learn About Sustainability

Officially founded in 1931, University College has the mission to give adult students the opportunity to experience the excitement of attending and earning a degree or certificate from a world-class research institution.

As the professional and continuing education division of Arts & Sciences, UCollege offers tuition rates that are surprisingly affordable and competitive for everyone, especially WashU employees. Through the Employee Tuition Assistance, WashU full-time employees receive 100% tuition remission for undergraduate for-credit courses and 50% tuition remission for graduate for-credit courses, up to 7 units per semester!

Among more than 40 programs of study, UCollege offers a number of degrees, certificates and courses related to sustainability, with a range of content, including: food systems, environmental law, policy and sustainability in business. Even those who aren’t seeking a degree will find their place—the open enrollment policy allows students to take evening undergraduate courses on a non-degree basis while exploring their interests.

For the full listing of courses that will be offered this spring by UCollege, browse here. See below for the course selection that offers sustainability-related content.


Sustainable Food Systems Thinking: NEW!
  • U19 SUST 337, Tuesdays, 5:30 – 8:00p
  • Instructor: Lynn Peemoeller

Planning a more sustainable future and equitable, heathy present requires us to critically examine the current food system and understand the key challenges it faces in a world of rapid urbanization, population growth, and climate change. What does the future of food look like? How are food visionaries working to change those futures now? In this course, students will learn to articulate the multiple facets of the food system and how they intersect with frameworks of sustainability, history, health and nutrition, policy, technology, culture, food activism, and biodiversity. We examine our own personal food behaviors to illuminate challenges at the individual level so we can begin to scale-up solutions. We will study the approach of change makers in this field and look at ways to integrate food systems thinking into multiple aspects of personal life and professional practice.


Sustainability in Business
  • U19 SUST 105, Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30 – 7:00p
  • Instructor: David Webb

In an increasingly crowded and competitive marketplace, sustainability has become a source of competitive advantage through which an organization can have a positive impact not only on the “bottom line” but also on the environment and society. In this course, we explore key concepts, debates, and issues driving sustainability in business. We will also look at various sustainability tools, principles, and frameworks that business can use to better understand the natural systems from which sustainability is derived and upon which all organisms and organizations rely to sustain their own existence.


Just Do It! Skills That Turn Passion Into Policy
  • U19 SUST 227, Tuesdays, 5:30 – 6:30p
  • Instructor: Kuou Irwin

The course will focus on skills related to the democratic expression of political rights and responsibilities. The course will balance background knowledge of the issues with application. Students will explore how to use coalition building and advocacy skills to relate to personal issues to public issues. Students will research a current Missouri bill, create a strategic plan for its passage or failure, and prepare to give testimony on such bill in a mock House of Representatives committee hearing. Students will also learn about ethical dilemmas in policy and politics and create a plan for turning their passions into policy.


Environmental Law: Applications Toward Sustainability
  • U19 SUST 328, Mondays, 6:00 – 8:30p
  • Instructor: Catherine Werner

This course provides an overview of significant environmental legal and policy issues. It will be taught from a sustainability practitioner’s perspective, linking environmental law to sustainability applications. The content touches on both environmental hazards and natural resource issues, and they will be discussed within the scope of both a legal and sustainability framework. The goal of the course is to provide the students with a general understanding of numerous environmental issues — such as they might encounter in the field of sustainability– and to help them develop the knowledge and tools that will be useful in addressing those environmental issues.


Environmental Science: Regional and Global Perspectives
  • U19 SUST 413, Fully Online
  • Instructor: Mark Manteuffel

This course examines the interrelationships between humans and their environment, moving from local and regional views up to a global perspective. Taking a systems approach, the course starts with basic ecological principles necessary for understanding our environment, and then progresses through an examination of the biosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere. Online lectures and discussions will focus on the major issues involved in environmental challenges, drawing on current publications from primary scientific literature. Prerequisite: General Biology I or permission of the instructor.


Introduction to Climate Change
  • U13 EPSc 121, Wednesdays, 6:30 – 9:30p
  • Instructor: William Smith

Global climate and global climate change and their impacts on life and civilization. Integrated view of global climate and the diverse forces that can alter global climate. Historical and potential future consequences of global climate change on human life, our industrial civilization, and its sustainability.


Introduction to GIS
  • U19 SUST 200, Tuesdays, 5:30 – 8:00p
  • Instructor: Jennifer Moore

This course introduces students to the fundamental principles and applications of geographic information systems (GIS), their underlying geospatial science and spatial thinking. This problem-based course explores applications of GIS to spatial questions in the areas of social science, business, the humanities and earth sciences. Example topics include understanding spatial data types; map coordinate systems and projections; basic spatial data analysis; acquiring, editing, creating and managing geospatial data; and processing and visualizing data using GIS. This hands-on course works through problems using (mainly) ESRI ArcGIS software (including ArcMap and ArcCatalog), but other open source tools will also be introduced. Students who complete this course should be able to apply skills to think through a spatial problem and employ GIS tools to address it.


Introduction to Global Health
  • U69 Anthro 3281, Mondays, 6:00 – 8:30p
  • Instructor: Katharina Rynkiewich

This course provides a general introduction to the field of public health. It examines the philosophy, history, organization, functions, activities, and results of public health research and practice. Case studies include infectious and chronic diseases, mental health, maternal and reproductive health, food safety and nutrition, environmental health, and global public health. Students are encouraged to look at health issues from a systemic and population level perspective, and to think critically about health systems and problems, especially health disparities and health care delivery to diverse populations. No background in anthropology or public health is required.


Questions? Contact Mary Anna Lazarus at questions at: lazarus9876@wustl.edu