Sustainability Courses

Whether you are interested in a degree program focused on environmental sustainability or just want to learn a bit more about how sustainability relates to you, we have the course for you. Through our interdisciplinary approach, you are sure to have a dynamic, hands-on learning experience that is unique to our institution.

Students doing a field survey in the wetland for a class

Courses available at UW Bothell focused on or related to environmental sustainability are divided into three categories:

  • Courses principally focused on sustainability
  • Courses focused on the environment
  • Courses with significant relevance to sustainability and/or environmental issues

Sustainability courses have been developed at UW Bothell in a variety of schools and academic programs on campus. Below is a list of courses offered by each unit, though special topics courses may be offered exploring specific aspects of sustainability. Special topics courses change every quarter and are often only offered once, so be sure to check MyPlan regularly for these courses.

To learn more about how to take courses at the UW Seattle campus, visit our cross-campus registration webpage.

Earth System Sciences

BEARTH 154 Introduction to Oceanography
Case studies of research on oceans, deep-sea exploration, climate change, and human impacts on marine life. Considers societal factors affecting progress in marine science, changing popular attitudes toward the oceans, and key current policy implications of marine science.

BEARTH 155 Introduction to Climate Science
Introduces climate science and global climate change. Topics include the scientific method, earth history, global biogeochemical cycles, population and energy consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions; fundamental climate science, energy conservation, alternative energy, climate and the media, and climate policy.

BEARTH 201 Mapping the Earth System
Focuses on issues of environmental health and environmental change in a local or regional earth system as a means to investigate the interconnected biologic, geologic, hydrologic and social systems of that region.

BEARTH 202 Modeling Global Systems
Introduces computer-based modeling as a tool to represent, investigate and understand Earth’s interconnected systems.

BEARTH 300 Environmental Systems Thinking
Introduces students to the Schools of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences and STEM, interdisciplinary inquiry, reflective learning, and the creation of a learning portfolio. Pedagogies emphasize critical reading, writing development, research question formation, and peer collaboration. Thematic focus on the characteristics and applications of systems thinking in analyzing complex socio-ecological phenomena.

BEARTH 310 Fundamentals of Weather and Climate
Comprehensive introduction to the science of the atmosphere and climate systems including: composition and structure of the atmosphere; atmospheric physics; thermodynamic processes; solar and terrestrial radiation; atmospheric dynamics and large-scale circulation; and climate processes and dynamics.

BEARTH 317 Soils in the Environment
Introduces the types of soils analyses necessary to understand the physical and chemical state of soils. Includes an introduction to soils in general, and local soils in particular.

BEARTH 318 Hydrogeology
Examines details and mechanisms of the natural processes associated with the hydrologic cycle. Explores rivers, groundwater, and watershed management issues within Washington State.

BEARTH 320 Impacts of Climate Change
Surveys climate change implications for natural and human systems, both globally and locally. Topics include natural science, human health, and policy issues; climate system processes, air/water quality, ecosystem services, human health, extreme weather, flooding, snow pack, stream flow, vulnerability assessment, adaptation, and mitigation strategies.

BEARTH 321 Geomorphology
Provides an overview of the science and geomorphology, emphasizing field observations, data collection, and data analyses associated with geomorphological methods. Examines how landforms evolve, how landforms and abiotic processes influence ecosystems, and how human activities are impacting all of the above.

BEARTH 341 Natural Hazards and Human Disasters
Investigates the distribution and impacts of natural hazards and what controls the magnitude and frequency of these events. Examines how cultural and social factors influence the hazard vulnerability of populations.

School of Business

B BUS 120 Introduction to Social Enterprise
Explores the intersection of how business principles are used to help solve societal challenges on global and local levels. Examines the history of the social sector in the U.S, global trends within the social enterprise sector, and the successes, challenges, and organizational structures of social enterprises that achieve societal goals.

B BUS 300 Organizational Behavior, Ethics, and Inclusivity
The course focuses on how organizations succeed through the actions of employees and innovative and evidence-based human-centered management practices. This course emphasizes diversity and inclusivity across all topics and examines managers and leaders’ responsibilities in facilitating (1) individual, group, and organizational inclusive and ethical performance, (2) decision making, and (3) diversity, employee motivation, and well-being.

B BUS 449 Accounting Practices in Not-for-Profit Organizations
Examines accounting and reporting practices in governments, universities, hospitals and charitable foundations. Focuses on fund accounting fundamentals, followed by a review of current challenges in budgeting, auditing, and reporting to multiple stakeholders.

B BUS 460 Sustainable Business
Explores the critical challenges facing business when becoming more environmentally sustainable without forgoing traditional indicators of success. Topics involve elements of strategy, marketing, manufacturing and technology, finance, organization theory, and accounting and draw from current major concerns related to environment and sustainability, such as climate, toxins, and food.

B BUS 461 Business, Government, and Society
Covers capitalism and its critics; corporate social responsibility and business ethics; government and politics; regulation business; stakeholders and interest groups; the role of technology and the future of business.

B BUS 476 New Technology and Future Markets
Examines the business dynamics of technological revolutions. The primary objective is to help managers critically analyze the potential impacts of upcoming “leading edge” technologies on their industry sector. Students engage in forecasting a high technology sector.

B BUS 483 Global Strategic Sourcing
Introduces foundational theories, tools, and techniques related to managing sourcing and procurement related activities in manufacturing, services, retailing, and governmental sectors.

Master of Business

B BUS 507 Global Business (graduate course)
Synthesizes and extends perspective on global business environment. Demonstrates how choices related to organization and strategy (such as outsourcing and diversification) require an understanding of trade theory and policy, differences in national cultures, and international institutions.

B BUS 546 Seminar on Global Economic Issues (graduate course)
Analyzes economic structures and trends in nations across the globe and examines their implications for business decision-making. Examines how these economies are influenced by political, legal, regulatory, and technological issues in a global context.

B BUS 560 Sustainable Business (graduate course)
Explores the critical challenges facing businesses in becoming more environmentally sustainable without forgoing traditional indicators of success. Topics drawn from current major concerns related to environment and sustainability, such as climate, water, toxics, transportation, buildings, and food. Application of economics, strategy, marketing, manufacturing and technology, finance, organization theory, and accounting.

Business in Bellevue

ELCBUS 300 Organizational Behavior, Ethics, and Inclusivity
The course focuses on how organizations succeed through the actions of employees and innovative and evidence-based human-centered management practices. This course emphasizes diversity and inclusivity across all topics and examines managers and leaders’ responsibilities in facilitating (1) individual, group, and organizational inclusive and ethical performance, (2) decision making, and (3) diversity, employee motivation, and well-being.

ELCBUS 382 Business, Government, and Society
Examines relationships among business, government, and civil society. Emphasizes perspectives and interests of each sector as to economic, social, and environmental goals. Addresses business ethics and corporate social responsibility. Includes intensive writing and revision, with emphasis on logical and persuasive support of recommendations and positions.

ELCBUS 461 International Environment of Business
Focuses on major changes and issues facing businesses and managers operating in an increasingly global environment. Emphasizes topics such as trade policy, technological advances, the changing nature of the workforce, and societal expectations of business.

ELCBUS 464 History and Globalization
Examines the process of globalization from a historical perspective and applies a systems theory framework based on the insights of modern science to enhance understanding of the process.

ELCBUS 483 Global Strategic Sourcing
Introduces foundational theories, tools, and techniques related to managing sourcing and procurement related activities in manufacturing, services, retailing, and governmental sectors.

School of Educational Studies

B EDUC 230 Culture, Knowledge, and Education
Explores the intersection of culture, knowledge, and education. Examines each concept separately then focuses on ways they interact and affect educational opportunities. Cultural issues include; race, socio-economic histories, language, gender, sexual orientation, and religious views. Uses perspectives from diverse academic disciplines and considers education as extending beyond school settings.

B EDUC 255 Critical Diversity Studies
Introduces theories, concepts, research, and polices that provide a foundation for exploring connections between diversity and equity and for recognizing ways in which these connections are relevant to individuals, institutions, and the world.

B EDUC 310 Theories of Learning, Culture, and Identity
Introduces theories of learning based on psychology, child development, anthropology, and social justice. Examines how learning theories are applied to teaching, assessment, and educational policy. Explores how culture and identity are tied to learning.

B EDUC 328 Diversity, Leadership, and Engagement
Explores theories and practices of diversity, leadership, and engagement. Provides opportunity for leadership development and academic reflection in relation to initiatives in which students work on questions of diversity and campus or community engagement.

B EDUC 330 Race, Culture, and Identity in the Classroom
Examines the ways that various aspects of student identity are entwined with pedagogy and curriculum. Focuses on multicultural education, the politics of language, racism and testing, cultural identity development, and classroom diversity.

B EDUC 340 STEAM Education
Explores the idea that concepts integral to science, technology, engineering, and math deeply overlap with integral concepts in art. Examines how art can be incorporated into STEM curricular goals, and how to develop culturally responsive practices in STEAM pedagogy.

B EDUC 421 Knowing, Teaching, and Assessing in: Earth, Physical, and Life Sciences
Introduces the nature of science as subject matter, as a process of inquiry, and as a fascinating way to make sense of the world. Emphasizes the techniques, attitudes, skills, and competencies needed to become a scientifically literate citizen.

B EDUC 438 Knowing, Teaching, and Assessing in Learning Tribal Sovereignty
The first course in a two-course sequence that builds essential understandings of tribal sovereignty, Indigenous histories and cultures, and Indigenous education. Focuses on learning key concepts in tribal sovereignty, tribal history, and Indigenous education in the US.

B EDUC 493 Environmental Education
The second course in a two-course sequence that builds essential understandings of tribal sovereignty, Indigenous histories and cultures, and Indigenous education. Focuses on implementation of tribal sovereignty into the K-12 curriculum.

Leadership Development for Educators

LEDE 530 Leading Schools as Responsive Public Institutions (graduate course)
Helps principal candidates build knowledge for developing and stewarding a schools’ vision and goals so that they are just, sustainable, and responsive to legal, political, professional, and local interests. Focuses on legal, political, and professional contexts of school leadership and builds skills for communication about school goals and needs.

LEDE 550 Leading Inclusive School Communities (graduate course)
Helps principal candidates strengthen relationships, steward norms, establish programs, and lead conservations that foster collaborative decisions and collective action among the school’s many constituencies. Builds understanding of the ways that social capital, student and family diversity, and family involvement influence student learning and can be influenced by principle leadership.

School of Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences

Environmental Science

BES 303 Environmental Monitoring Practicum
Provides an introduction to the principles and methods of environmental monitoring and analysis. Field and laboratory studies provide experience with monitoring equipment and rigorous sampling techniques; enhance understanding of the range and variability of environmental parameters; and develop abilities in the quantitative analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data.

BES 311 Environmental Chemistry
Uses fundamental chemical principles to examine fate, reactivity and transport of environmental pollutants. Emphasis given to atmospheric pollution, chemistry of natural and polluted waters, soil chemistry, chemistry of organic and inorganic toxins.

BES 312 Ecology
Introduces major concepts of ecology and relates these concepts to current environmental issues. Topics include the relationship between organisms and the physical environment, evolutionary processes, the structure and function of ecosystems, population biology, forest management, pesticide use, and global warming.

BES 316 Ecological Methods
Introduces students to methods used in the analysis of ecological systems and their processes. Employs data analysis tools, graphic presentation, and scientific writing in the presentation of results from laboratory and field studies. Includes lectures, laboratory work, and field investigations.

BES 330 Limnology
Explores the interaction among physical, chemical, and ecological systems in lakes with a focus anthropogenic change in local and regional lakes. Entails collaborative fieldwork component in water quality.

BES 331 Estuarine Science and Management
Provides an overview of the formation, circulation, water quality, ecology, and environmental problems of estuaries. Students investigate the unique environments and processes of the Puget Sound watershed and interact with community members to learn about Puget Sound advocacy, management, research, and education efforts.

BES 362 Introduction to Restoration Ecology
Introduces ecological restoration of damaged ecosystems. Develops a broad understanding of restoration ecology, including diverse ecological aspects of the practice of restoration, conceptual and philosophical issues underlying the field, and social and political factors that influence restoration outcomes. Includes field work, lectures, readings, and discussion.

BES 397 Special Topics in Environmental Science
Unique course offerings designed to respond to faculty and student interests. Possible topics may include economic and environmental issues, air pollution, water quality, ecological restoration, global warming, or conservation biology.

BES 415 Advanced Environmental Measurements Laboratory
Analysis of air, water, and soil samples using advanced methods. Instrumental methods include: atomic absorption spectroscopy and liquid chromatography.

BES 439 Computer Modeling & Visualization in Environmental Science
Addresses the ways scientists use computer simulations and modeling. Uses case studies from problem areas such as global climate change, regional air and water pollution, and the interaction between biological species and their environment.

BES 440 Remote Sensing of the Environment
Studies digital image processing and aerial photography interpretation within the context of Geographic Information Systems and Science (GISci). Focuses primarily on the use of satellite imagery and aerial photography to study the environment.

BES 460 Water Quality
Examines the chemical and physical processes that influence the fate of nutrients and contaminants in natural surface, ground, and soil waters. Addresses basic environmental chemistry in natural waters and soils, potentially important inputs, transformations and movement, and the environmental impacts of nutrients and contaminants.

BES 462 Restoration Ecology Capstone: Introduction
First of a three-course capstone sequence in restoration ecology. Students review and assess project plans and installations. Class meets with members of previous capstone classes to review their projects.

BES 463 Restoration Ecology Capstone: Proposal and Work Plan
Second of a three-course capstone sequence in restoration ecology. Student teams prepare proposals in response to requests for proposals (RFPs) from actual clients. Clients may be governments, non-profit organizations, and others. Upon acceptance of the proposal, teams prepare restoration plans.

BES 464 Restoration Ecology Capstone: Field Site Restoration
Third of a three-course capstone sequence in restoration ecology. Teams take a restoration plan developed in BES 463 and complete the installation. Team participation may include supervision of volunteers. Teams prepare management guidelines for the client and conduct a training class for their use

BES 485 Conservation Biology
Exploration of the science underlying methods of species and ecosystem conservation. Emphasis is placed on understanding the limits and promise of scientific approaches to conservation, within the social, political and economic context of conservation problems.

BES 486 Watershed Ecology & Management
Overview of the ecology and management of watersheds. Explores physical, biological, and ecological components of watersheds and their interrelationships. Examines human and natural impacts on watersheds, and planning and management through theory and case studies.

BES 487 Field Lab in Wildland Plants and Soils
Provides direct field study of alpine soils and plants. Identify soils and landscape/vegetation changes in remote areas where little information is available about these ecosystems. Experience climate, relief, and parent materials that form soils and their associated plant communities.

BES 488 Wetland Ecology
Examines wetland types and their distribution as well as wetland functions for habitat and human resources. Emphasizes the ecology and adaptations of wetland plants and their interaction with soils and biogeochemical processes. Discusses human impacts, wetland regulation, and management approaches. Required field trips.

BES 489 Pacific Northwest Ecosystems
Examines major ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest to understand the structure, function, and location of these characteristic ecosystems in our region. Investigates the intersection of ecological knowledge, environmental policy and management strategies in selected ecosystems.

BES 490 Pacific Northwest Plants in Restoration & Conservation
Examines plants of the Pacific Northwest commonly used in ecological restoration and habitat conservation. Topics include the ecology, propagation, distribution, restoration use, ethnobotany, and habitat values of major species. Includes required field trips and field study.

BES 491 Undergraduate Research in Environmental Science
Capstone course. Independent research projects in an area of environmental science, based on mutual agreement with the instructor.

BES 492 Capstone Research in Environmental Science I
The first course of a two-quarter capstone sequence. Students plan and develop a detailed proposal for their capstone environmental science project.

BES 493 Capstone Research in Environmental Science II
Second course of a two-quarter capstone sequence. Completion of projects planned in the previous quarter.

BES 497 Special Topics in Environmental Science
Topics may include economic and environmental issues, air pollution, water quality, ecological restoration, global warming, conservation biology or other topics.

Interdisciplinary Studies

BIS 141 Natural History and Environmental Science
Introduces the study of the natural world through the approaches and tools of both traditional natural historians and modern scientific inquiry. Emphasizes the application of these approaches to studying nearby natural areas and using education principles to communicate and interpret nature.

BIS 216 Introduction to Cultural Studies
Introduces cultural studies as an interdisciplinary field and practice. Explores multiple histories of the field with an emphasis on current issues and developments. Focuses on culture as a site of political and social debate and struggle.

BIS 218 The Power of Maps
Introduces maps, cartography, and geographic visualization, with an emphasis on digital and GIS maps on the web. Addresses maps and human understanding, map abstraction and generalization, and key map elements.

BIS 232 Using, Understanding & Visualizing Quantitative Data
Introduces descriptive statistics and visual representations of quantitative data. Examines data sets using graphing and statistical software packages. Demonstrates how to present data in ways that are accurate, effective, and visually appealing.

BIS 240 Introduction to Sustainable Practices
Introduces contemporary practices of environmental sustainability. Examines permaculture, sustainable building, life cycle analysis, renewable energy, soil amendments, and recycling. Provides hands-on experience in the implementation of sustainable practices.

BIS 241 Nature and the Northwest
Examines local and regional ecosystems and their interaction with human communities. Applies approaches from the environmental sciences and the practice of natural history to develop an understanding of ecosystem functions, organisms, and their relationships.

BIS 242 Environmental Geography
Investigates the interactions of a dynamic planet and society. Analyzes geographic variability and the human consequences of environmental phenomena such as climate, natural resources, natural hazards, and infectious diseases. Emphasizes the application of geographic tools and methods.

BIS 243 Introduction to Environmental Issues
Introduction to the major environmental challenges confronting society, and the science of understanding and addressing those challenges. Provides an overview of major issues such as global climate change, biodiversity loss, and sustainability; as well as in-depth understanding of specific issues.

BIS 244 Wetlands Discovery
Provides an experimental introduction to environmental science, education, and policy through an exploration of wetland ecosystems. Explores how humans interact with wetland ecosystems. Stresses active learning in relation to the campus Wetland at North Creek.

BIS 245 Environment and Humanities
Examines complex and historically situated ways that humans imagine, represent, and inhabit more-than-human worlds. Focuses on close reading and interpretation skills by analyzing cultural texts such as fiction, nature writing, poetry, and the visual arts. Traces interdisciplinary relations between literary history, environmental studies, and critical theory.

BIS 246 Introduction to Sustainability
Provides a framework to explore the various meanings, justifications, possibilities, and contentious nature of both sustainability and sustainable development. Differentiates between these terms as buzzwords, philosophical ideals, political movements, and ethical lenses for analysis, policy, and management of human actions.

BIS 252 Politics of Science
Explores the cultural politics of scientific practice with particular attention to toxic exposure, biomedical research, genetic science, and constructs of race and gender. Investigates how social and scientific “truths” are negotiated through normative understandings of the body. Considers the powerful role of doubt and uncertainty in scientific knowledge production.

BIS 255 Critical Diversity Studies
Introduces theories, concepts, research, and policies that provide a foundation for exploring connections between diversity and equity and for recognizing ways in which these connections are relevant to individuals, institutions, and the world.

BIS 275 Social Problems
Explores how challenges to society; such as crime, violence, injustice, poverty, and disease; are framed as social problems and then related to solutions. Examines the role of major institutions in problem identification, the power of language and media, and how social agendas are determined.

BIS 281 Contemporary Political Ideas and Ideologies
Explores different views on the purpose of government and nature of human society. Concepts examined include democracy, freedom, equality, justice, nation, and community; ideologies examined may include cosmopolitanism, nationalism, liberalism, anarchism, conservatism, and socialism.

BIS 282 Globalization
Investigates different meanings of the claims about globalization, a term often used to describe processes of change that take place across and outside of national contexts. Critically examines contemporary global processes in order to explore their impacts on our lives.

BIS 304 Introduction to Political Economy and the Environment
Studies an interdisciplinary approach to political economy and the environment. Focuses on the theoretical and historical basis of modern economic ideas and the history of industrial development, examining the interaction between politics, market formation, notions of value, and the natural world. Explores the promises and limitations of markets to justify, allocate resources, and the sustainability of capitalism.

BIS 306 Marine Diversity and Conservation
Explores marine biodiversity. Basic concepts in evolution, development, ecology, and conservation are introduced through inquiry-guided exercises based in the marine environment. Examines human impacts on marine environments and subsequent consequences for human health and welfare.

BIS 307 Environmental Justice
Explores issues of social equity associated with environmental hazards, risks, and benefits. Examines the ways social structures, environmental decision-making procedures, and scientific and technological practices distribute the burden of environmental problems, as well as community response through political action and cultural production.

BIS 310 Women, Culture, and Development
Facilitates a critical understanding of the social, cultural, political, and economic positions of women in the developing world. Addresses colonialism and post-colonialism, feminist theories of development, and practices of globalization.

BIS 319 Public Arts and Ecological Restoration
Explores the intersection of public art and ecological restoration. Examines how the natural environment informs human identity and how humans have transformed the environment. Provides an understanding of environmental challenges related to artistic representations of nature and some of the possible opportunities for solving them.

BIS 320 Comparative Political Economies
Examines the production and distribution of goods, the organization of labor, and systems of wealth and power in diverse cultural settings within and outside the realm of “classical” capitalist development. Analyzes interactions between political constituencies and the economies they attempt to govern.

BIS 326 Race, Space, and Segregation
Explores intersections between race, human space (i.e, perceived, conceived, and lived), and segregation through law, policies, and other institutional practices. Focuses primarily on US locations/cases in historical and comparative perspectives. Topics include spatial control during settler colonization and slavery, Jim Crow segregation, ghettoization, the border, and environmental racism.

BIS 328 Diversity, Leadership, and Engagement
Explores theories and practices of diversity, leadership, and engagement. Provides opportunity for leadership development and academic reflection in relation to initiatives in which students work on questions of diversity and campus or community engagement.

BIS 330 Democratic Capitalism in the United States
Critical examination of the relationship between three political perspectives (libertarian, liberal and radical) and democratic capitalism.

BIS 332 Global Digital Industries
Provides critical understandings about global digital industries as political, economic and cultural institutions. Taking a political economy approach, the course foregrounds the power dynamics, social relations and policy controversies that enable and constrain the practices in digital production, distribution, consumption and regulation across national borders.

BIS 339 Issues in Global Cultural Studies
Examination of various topics and approaches to the study of culture in a global context. May include the study art, literature, theater, cultural history, music history/ethnomusicology, and/or cultural anthropology/geography. Topics and approaches may vary with instructor.

BIS 340 Approaches to Cultural Research
Examines different approaches to understanding the production and consumption of culture and cultural practices. Invites students to evaluate cultural research, to experiment with different research methodologies, and to carry out research assignments. Explores ethnographic, textual, and arts-based methods.

BIS 342 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Examines the concepts and methods of geographic information systems (GIS) and related elements of spatial analysis and representation. Through projects and lab exercises, students gain basic proficiency in the use of GIS and an interdisciplinary understanding of the applications of GIS.

BIS 343 Geographic Visualization
Focuses on different geovisualization techniques to represent physical, social, and cultural phenomena associated with spatial data and designing maps. Addresses GIS programs and explores how geographic visualization can be applied to various research and policy areas.

BIS 344 Intermediate Geographic Analysis and Applications
Provides intermediate level training in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for the analysis of environmental and spatial data. Emphasizes on the applications of raster and vector modeling to map and analyze geo-spatial phenomena, and proposes solutions to environmental problems.

BIS 345 American Environmental Thought
Explores the development of current ideas about nature and the relationship between humans and the natural world, as expressed in literature and other cultural forms. Emphasizes historical, cultural, philosophical, and global dimensions of American environmental thought, along with implications for human interactions with the environment.

BIS 346 Topics in Environmental Policy
Explores specific topics in environmental policy in an interdisciplinary context, combining considerations of politics, policy, economics, and science. Emphasizes quantitative analysis and scientific method.

BIS 352 Mapping Communities
Uses mapping and other methods to examine the concept of community. Explores the intersections of life in urban areas including perception and interaction with built environments, political and economic relationships, and social and cultural ties.

BIS 353 Human Rights in Theory and Practice
Introduces political, economic, legal, and cultural aspects of the theory and practice of human rights. Students will explore, critique, and develop theories of human rights.

BIS 356 Ethics and the Environment
Examination of the “environmental crisis” and associated social conflicts, tracing them to their philosophical roots. Focuses on the facts of the current situation, on classic and recent readings from the environmental literature, and on ethical responses to current issues.

BIS 357 Native American Religious and Philosophical Thought
An exploration and comparison of religious and philosophical themes developed by tribal people in the New World; an analytical examination of various forms of religious and philosophical expression and how they relate to our human sense of an existing moral order.

BIS 358 Issues in Environmental Science
Explores environmental problems from stratospheric ozone depletion to the preservation of endangered species to acid rain. Focuses on methods of analysis from the physical and life sciences as well as economics, psychology and related fields. Examines issues within their larger social, historic, and political contexts.

BIS 359 Principles and Controversies of Sustainability
Focuses on the challenges, principles, and controversies of sustainability. Analyzes the sustainability issues, identifying the values underlying societal actions and conflicting perspectives, and considers the ecological, ethical, and human well-being ramifications of following different sustainability proposals and cultural trajectories.

BIS 360 Pollinator Diversity and Conservation
Examines the critical roles that animal pollinators play in maintaining biodiversity and healthy agricultural systems. Focuses on the study of plant-pollinator relationships, the threats facing pollinators and efforts to conserve, protect and restore pollinators and their habitats. Requires field work and close observation of native bees and honeybees in an outdoor setting.

BIS 369 Indigenous Psychology and Health
Explores cultural constructions of personhood, health, and healing in different professional mental health and indigenous community practices for promoting wellness and ameliorating debilitating distress. Requires careful reading and written analyses of peer-reviewed journal articles describing mental health interventions in indigenous communities.

BIS 381 The History of Life
Explores the principles of evolution by examining the fossil record, focusing on how past events shaped today’s biodiversity. Engages with contemporary controversies regarding scientific literacy.

BIS 382 The Visual Art of Biology
Explores the intersection of biology and art through representations of nature in illustrations, photography, and film. Examines the effect of technological discoveries such as the telescope, microscope, and camera that shape and enhance our representations of nature.

BIS 384 Health, Medicine, and Society
Examines health, disease, and healing as social phenomena. Explores the nature and experience of illness through the study of patients, communities, healthcare providers, and medical systems in different cultural, social, political, and economic contexts.

BIS 385 Art and Climate Change
Studies how artists and scientists respond to historic and contemporary landscapes, revealing the human and environmental challenges that inform our ideologies. Explores the implications of a changing planet – in light of new information, new circumstances and new challenges.

BIS 386 Climate Change Adaptation Policy
Examines various ecosystem and infrastructure-based approaches to climate change adaptation, assesses the policies and norms that influence why certain adaptations are considered, and explores the actions to reduce vulnerability to climate change impacts.

BIS 390 Ecology and the Environment
A general introduction to ecology. Introduces the principles that govern how organisms interact with each other and with their surroundings.

BIS 391 Environmental History of the Pacific Northwest Bioregion
Examines the history of the relationships between humans and their environments in the Pacific Northwest, from the time of earliest human inhabitants to the present, with particular reference to current environmental and resource issues.

BIS 392 Water and Sustainability
Provides an understanding of past and present water challenges and some of the possible opportunities for solving them. What is the state of water in the United States and how did we get to this point? Examines the future prospects for wisely using water resources.

BIS 395 Environmental Change in Washington State
Examines issues in science, society, technology, and policy that impact the future of natural ecosystems and their relationship to human communities in Washington State. Issues include climate change, urban sprawl, environmental policies, management of natural resources, and loss of agricultural lands.

BIS 396 Topics in Sustainability
Examines topics in sustainability. Includes social, political, historical, cultural, artistic, economic, or scientific explorations of sustainability issues.

BIS 405 Environmental Education
Analyze various environmental programs and prepare an individualized project. Learn to apply ecological concepts in the classroom and learn how to teach about various environmental education programs.

BIS 406 Urban Planning and Geography
Examines historical and modern conceptualizations of “‘urban”‘, covering topics such as urban systems, urban forms, urban ecologies, urban planning, and urbanism. Investigates the integration of built forms; human interactions; and the environmental, social, political, and economic aspects of urban places.

BIS 408 Critical Physical Geography
Explores environmental issues by applying knowledge of biophysical and technological systems with an understanding of social power structures and critical theory. Emphasizes the use of interdisciplinary physical and social methods to solve complex environmental problems.

BIS 412 Advanced Data Visualization
Provides advanced trainings on visualization methods to show data in complex and compelling ways. Applies complex visualization methods to examine topics including, project management, the grammar of graphics, data types, data structure, modeling, complex and interactive data visualization, and data dashboards.

BIS 414 Topics in Human Rights
Explores a critical issue of human rights theory and practice and its intersection with the other fields of thought and disciplines. Topics may include such issues as the rights of children, workers, or women; or the relationship of human rights to democracy, globalization, and the arts.

BIS 424 Pacific Northwest History
Explores the region known as the Pacific Northwest (primarily the land now occupied by the American states of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho) from approximately the 17th century to the late 20th century.

BIS 441 Global Labor Markets
Explores the history, theory, and institutions that affect labor’s position in an increasingly globalized labor market. Fosters critical inquiry upon the globalization of labor markets and makes connections between global markets and local employment conditions.

BIS 442 Advanced Geographic Analysis and Applications
Provides advanced training in Geographic Information Systems and other geospatial applications for display and analysis of environmental and socio-economic data.

BIS 443 Educational Policy and the American Economy
Examines relationships between the economy and our educational and training infrastructure: What are we doing and what should our educational policy be?

BIS 445 Meanings and Realities of Inequality
A socioeconomic investigation into the meanings and realities of inequality using a variety of theoretical frameworks and empirical research. Focuses on the determinants of economic mobility and social status. Addresses discrimination, poverty, welfare, and education.

BIS 446 Science, Expertise, and Public Policy
Addresses how we incorporate both public participation and expert advice into democratic decision-making. Acknowledges that science is necessarily value-laden and that non-scientists often have salient knowledge, and examines how the tension between democracy and expertise has been reconciled in practices of, and proposals for, policy-making in Western democracies.

BIS 448 Social Policy
Addresses the need for and purposes of US social policy by linking policy interventions and advocacy to social welfare. Examines causes and policy solutions to social welfare issues such as poverty, income, public assistance, food and housing, mental health and substance abuse, child welfare, and social security.

BIS 458 Energy, the Environment and Society
Discusses energy production, distribution, and consumption in modern society. Topics include basic scientific, technological, economic, political and environmental issues and questions raised by the utilization of traditional and alternative energy sources.

BIS 459 Conservation and Sustainable Development
Examines the connections between human welfare and diverse and healthy ecosystems. Considers tensions among economic development, poverty eradication, and biodiversity conservation. Examines efforts to create sustainable development solutions to easing poverty and protecting biodiversity.

BIS 466 Human Rights and Resistance
Examines how cultural practice interacts with the modern human rights movement, exploring how cultural production such as music, literature, theater, or the visual arts can promote the human rights regime as it resists challenges to justices and human dignity.

BIS 468 Human Rights and Sustainable Development
Examines social aspects of a human right to sustainable development including education, democratic participation, the rule of law, human capabilities and functioning, nationality, religion, and a right to a safe environment.

BIS 483 Community Organizing
Provides a theoretical and practical approach to community organizing. Students examine the phases of the organizing process including assessment, research, action/mobilization, and reflection. Students undertake the process of organizing through a community-based learning and research project.

Community Psychology

BISCP 343 Community Psychology
Examines the historical foundations, theory, methods, and practice that constitute the interdisciplinary field of community psychology. Students build upon an existing empirical knowledge base, including effective modes of community intervention, and examine the relevance of community psychology for addressing social problems.

BISCP 489 Projects in Community Psychology
Provides the opportunity to apply concepts from BISCP 343 in a relevant organizational setting, to engage in a meaningful community-based intervention or research project, and to critically reflect on the project as it is conceived and carried out.

Global Studies

BISGST 303 History and Globalization
The phenomenon of globalization has attracted the attention of many academic disciplines which often attribute novelty to trends that have in fact been around for centuries. Provides a historical perspective on current debates about globalization.

BISGST 397 Topics in Global Studies
Examines a topic, theme, problem, or area of the world in order to provide a deeper understanding of an aspect of Global Studies.

BISGST 497 Advanced Topics in Global Studies
Advanced study of a specific topic, problem, or area of the world in order to provide a deeper understanding of an aspect of Global Studies.

Interdisciplinary Arts

BISIA 342 Materials and Meanings
Explores the relationship between materials and meanings in art works, focusing on contemporary art practice. Students will create and critique art projects that engage diverse and often hybrid media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, film, written language, as well as non-traditional and found materials.

Master of Policy Studies

BPOLST 583 Issues in Environmental Policy (graduate course)
Analyzes current policy issues in the complex and every changing arena of environmental policy.

Master of Cultural Studies

BCULST 510 Engaging Cultural Studies (graduate course)
Focuses on the design, development, and piloting of students’ individual or collaborative capstone projects and the development of their program portfolio. Initiates the first phase of the capstone project.

BCULST 580 Approaches to Ethnographic Research (graduate course)
Investigates and evaluates the theoretical and methodological foundations on ethnography. Provides hands-on experiences in ethnographic methods, and development and assessment of ethnographic research proposals.

BCULST 583 Topics in Public History and Culture (graduate course)
Explores theories and practices of public history and culture.

BCULST 585 Topics in Cultural Activism and Advocacy (graduate course)
Explores theory, practice, and dilemmas relating to cultural advocacy, understood as object, site, instrument, or basis of social action.

BCULST 588 Topics in Culture and Diversity (graduate course)
Investigates the intersections between culture and diversity and focuses on the encoding and transmission of knowledge through a variety of cultural practices. Uses ethnographic, historiographical, textual, and performance based methods to move from the forms themselves to community sites of memory and identity.

School of Nursing & Health Studies

Health Studies

BHS 201 Introduction to Public Health
Provides an introduction to the principle of public health with exploration of the frameworks, tools, and evidence base that guides disease prevention and health promotion efforts. Consideration given to ethical and public policy issues important to ensuring the fair distribution of resources.

BHS 302 Social Dimensions of Health
Addresses several main concepts in public health with an exploration of the links between: community, health, and culture; health equity and social justice; and the emerging field of global health.

Health Electives

B HLTH 201 Introduction to Global Health
Introduction to global health for students of all backgrounds and disciplines. Focuses on how health is measured around the world, and how socioecological forces shape health experiences and outcomes. Surveys topics of global health research and practice, and invites students to independently analyze global health issues in specific geographic contexts.

B HLTH 216 Culture/Ethnicity and Religions Influence on Food Choices
Multiple factors contribute to the nutritional status of individuals. Among these factors are culture and religion. Understanding the meanings people place on food and the role food holds in some people’s value and belief systems is necessary to provide holistic care.

B HLTH 219 Lifespan Nutrition
Examines the fundamentals of nutrition for different life stages including pregnancy, infancy, childhood adolescence, adulthood, and old age. Covers topics applicable to needs at each stage, Students conduct a personal dietary assessment and analyze the application of nutrition at the self, family, and community levels.

B HLTH 220 Community Nutrition
Investigates the role of nutrition in promoting, maintaining, and improving health in the community. Students study the role of various indicators of a healthy community; social determinants of health, legislation, food access, and community design. Students outreach with local nutrition and wellness partners.

B HLTH 221 Dimensions of Personal Health and Wellness
Introduces students to a holistic view of health and covers the eight dimensions of wellness. Emphasizes personal health and how socio-ecological and cultural factors influence individual behavior and overall health status. Explore strategies that improve lifetime wellness.

B HLTH 226 Race, Socioeconomic Status, and Health
Examines race and socioeconomic status, and their effect on health and health care. Attention is given to the health status of the poor and of major racial/ethnic minority groups in the United States, with respect to ways in which their health and healthcare services are embedded in social contexts.

B HLTH 320 Human Health and the Environment
Examines the relationship between environmental factors and the health and well-being of individuals, families, communities, and populations. Contemporary understanding of how the natural and built environments influence risk for disease and illness illustrated through case examples. Explores multi-disciplinary approaches to address environmental problems and improve living and work spaces.

B HLTH 405 Race, Power, and Food
Examines the politics of nutrition in the age of globalization. Revisits, re-envisions, and re-articulates dominant understandings of history and culture as they relate to food. Explores food culture as a form of artistic expression, and uses documentary films and interactive theater to build communication strategies rooted in students’ identities. Presents powerful tools for building alliances across racial, gender, class, and cultural lines.

B HLTH 411 Environments and Health
Facilitates understanding of complex relationships between human health and living and working environments. Students identify ways that professionals, private citizens, and members of community groups can take actions to preserve the environment and protect human health.

B HLTH 421 Food and Culture
Through writing, video, storytelling, and creative exploration, examines the forces that shape our choices about food, and how food choices drive our economy, our health, our self-image, and our social connections.

B HLTH 423 Global Health: Critical Perspectives
Critical exploration into the emerging field of global health, focusing on: how historical and social forces shape health in the world; and global health practice and strategy across different contexts.

B HLTH 429 Global and Local Health Inequalities and Interventions
Examines the conditions (political, economic, cultural, historical) that create and sustain disparities in health globally and locally. Critically examines health issues from multiple perspectives, exploring theories and movements of people creating social justice in health within frameworks that are both globally and locally situated.

B HLTH 430 Health Policies and Politics in a Global Context
Examines current and emerging global health challenges, their transnational determinants, and selected policies that address those challenges at varying national and global political contexts.

B HLTH 439 Health Policy and Advocacy
Examines how health policy and advocacy influence health outcomes of individuals and populations. Addresses policy process and the advocacy role of health education specialists in influencing local, state, and federal policy. Considers the impact of global trends on public health practice, policy, and systems.

B HLTH 441 Community Engagement in Health Interventions and Research: From Principles to Practice*
Introduces principles and approaches of engaging and collaborating with communities when planning, implementing, and evaluating population-level interventions and research. Includes fieldwork assignment with a community agency or organization so lessons of community engagement can be experienced.

B HLTH 444 Disaster Preparation: Promoting Community Resiliency
Analyzes community and individual vulnerabilities and assets that impact disaster outcomes. Examines hazard awareness, risk reduction, resiliency, and mitigation in disaster prevention planning and response. Addresses select assessment, planning, implementation, and evaluation efforts to enhance community and individual capacities. Also applies public health principles in disaster preparation to promote community health.


B NURS 421 Social Justice in Health
Examines how multilevel societal factors influence differences in health and the provision of health services. Emphasizes impact of power and inequality on health of individuals, families, communities, and populations. Considers principles and actions of social justice and public health ethics to encourage self-exploration of roles to advocate for social change.

B NURS 424 Population-Based Health in Community Practice
Provides introduction to community health practice emphasizing nurses’ roles in population-based care through partnership with community agencies. Discusses socio-cultural, epidemiological, economic, and political influences on community health. Explores the role of professional communication and collaboration in facilitating health promotion, disease prevention, public health, and social justice efforts.

Master of Nursing

B NURS 504 Disparity and Social Justice in Healthcare (graduate course)
Analyzes how social, cultural, economic, and political factors related to the nature, distribution, and meaning of health and illness. Examines how social determinants contribute to health inequity and create health disparities. Emphasizes advocacy approaches to improve individual and population health outcomes and quality of healthcare system.

School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics


B BIO 130 Introduction to Marine Life
Identification of invertebrates, fish, mammals, and birds of the Salish Sea with a focus on their anatomy, adaptations, and roles in the ecosystem. Exploration of unique environmental conditions that allow life to thrive in the Salish Sea, including anthropogenic impacts on local species.

B BIO 180 Introductory Biology I
For students intending to take advanced courses in the biological sciences or enroll in pre-professional programs. Mendelian genetics, evolution, biodiversity of life forms, ecology, conservation biology.

B BIO 330 Marine Biology
Investigates how marine life adapts to ocean habitats from deep-sea vents to tropical coral reefs by exploring animal behavior, physiology, evolution, and ecology. Field trips required, including an overnight to Friday Harbor Lab.

B BIO 335 Salmon and Society
Exploration of the complexities of salmon biology, management, and conservation from local to international scales, and the cultural, historical, and political contexts in which management decisions are made.

B BIO 340 Computational Biology
Develops confidence in using programming to incorporate computational methods into research. Introduces topics such as DNA sequence analysis alongside elements of the python programming language useful for that topic. Emphasizes student-directed projects that work with real data to address open-ended biological questions.

B BIO 471 Plant Ecology
Explores the evolution and ecology of plants, starting at the scale of a plant individual to populations to community interactions to ecosystem dynamics. Topics covered in lecture and explored through student-led discussion of primary literature. Includes student collected field and greenhouse data.


B CHEM 315 Quantitative Environmental Analysis
Covers fundamental principles for making quantitative chemical measurements including techniques in stoichiometry, spectroscopy, chromatography, statistics, and potentiometric methods. Includes laboratory.

B CHEM 350 Atmospheric Chemistry and Air Pollution
Examines the chemistry of the atmosphere and the relationship between air pollution sources, air quality, and human health from both a scientific and policy perspective.

Mechanical Engineering

B ME 435 Introduction to Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning
Fundamentals of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) to keep buildings comfortable and healthy for their occupants while minimizing environmental impact. Topics include: properties of air-water mixtures; combustion, refrigeration cycles, heating and cooling load calculations, HVAC equipment, and design of HVAC systems for sustainable buildings.

B ME 446 Sustainable Energy
Studies principles and technologies of energy conversion and their application in sustainable power generation systems. Topics include: fuels and combustion; combined cycles; renewable energy; nuclear power; fuel cells; and energy storage. Economic, environmental, and policy implications of energy technologies are also considered.

B ME 450 Introduction to Ocean Engineering and Science
Introduction to fundamental concepts of ocean sciences and engineering through project-based activities. Topics include Hydrostatistics, Hydrodynamics, Ocean Sensors, Underwater Acoustics, Sonar, Marine Geology, Ocean Vehicles, Marine Ecosystem, Marine Mammals, Energy, Pollution and Policy.

B ME 481 Citizen Engineer
Examines the responsibilities of the engineer in the ethical application of technology in diverse, interconnected, and global societies. Historical and contemporary cases are used to probe socio-cultural implications of engineering practice and the role of engineers in local, national, and global development.

Science and Technology

BST 381 Introduction to Electric Power Generation
Reviews the design and operation of power plants for the generation of electric power. Covers thermodynamic principles of energy conversion, cycle analysis, combustion, nuclear and hydroelectric power, emerging energy technologies, plant economics, emission controls, and environmental impact.

BST 445 Political Economy of Energy
Covers the theoretical and practical issues in developing public policy to meet demands for efficient, secure, and environmentally sustainable energy. Students evaluate energy technologies in terms of scientific merit, economics, environmental impacts, and political contexts, and propose technologically sound and politically feasible solutions.

BST 446 Sustainable Energy
Covers the principles of energy conservation and technologies for generating and transmitting energy sustainably to meet growing energy demand. Discusses the status and prospects of current and emerging energy choices, including fossil and nuclear fuels, biomass, wind, and solar.

This course list was populated throughout Autumn 2021 and while most of the courses are repeated at some point throughout the academic year, some of the courses below may not be currently offered. Additionally, there may be new courses offered that are not on this list. If you have any questions about the courses, we encourage you to reach out to an advisor within the given department.