Courses & Engagement

We invite graduate students from all disciplines to engage with us. There is no formal process to do so, and all may attend our seminar series and annual research symposium. The Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Sustainability provides another avenue to broaden your literacy in sustainability and the environment.

The courses below affiliated with the GCSC provide students an interdisciplinary foundation for future study in the realm of global changes, natural and human built ecosystems, and society.

SUST 6800: Seminar Series

seminar audienceThis one credit course (SUST 6800) gives students exposure to a variety of scientists from both within and outside the university who are leaders in their fields. Students will attend the seminar series and meet as a class on alternate weeks. The course is offered in Fall and Spring semesters. This is a required course for the Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Sustainability.





SUST 6000: Global Changes & Society

2013 Global Changes & Society class

2013 Global Changes & Society class

“This course was excellent practice in translating knowledge into action in the community and thinking about policy around sustainability.”

GCSC graduate students and others have the opportunity to engage in a unique interdisciplinary course, “Global Changes and Society” (SUST 6000). Offered in the Spring, this project-based course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to research related to global changes and sustainability. In this course, students from different disciplines Identify a theme or focus area, begin to learn the language and approaches of other disciplines around the theme, explore perspectives and approaches of different stakeholders, and develop a team project.

This  course includes participation by multiple GCSC-affiliated faculty, incorporating land-use change, engineering, ecology, geography, planning, hydrology, and sustainability. Students are able to engage with speakers from city, county, and state agencies affiliated with sustainability issues as well as input from U of U experts. Students identify a specific project to be addressed during the course of the semester. Projects have the potential to grow after the semester is completed. This is a required course for the Interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Sustainability.

Go here to learn about the projects from each class.
Students from the 2012 course authored a paper outlining the benefits of such an interdisciplinary, problem-based course: Sphere of Sustainability: Lessons from the University of Utah’s Global Changes and Society Course Walsh, T., Miller, O., Bowen, B., Levine, Z., and Ehleringer, J. Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management 2015 141:12.