Sustainability Designations

The college designates courses as Sustainability-Focused or Sustainability-Related based on the definitions below.  The two-tiered designation system was instituted to track the amount and type of courses taught at the College with sustainability themes, and to give students the opportunity to choose courses and course sections that integrate sustainability concepts within and throughout the curriculum.

Designation Definitions

  • Sustainability-Focused- assigned by course, permanent designation
    • AASHE guideline: “a course in which the primary and explicit focus is on sustainability and/or on understanding or solving one or more major sustainability challenge (e.g., the course contributes toward achieving principles outlined in the Earth Charter).” 
  • Sustainability-Related- assigned by section, designation applied each semester
    • AASHE guideline: “a course that includes sustainability that is primarily focused on a topic other than sustainability, but incorporates a unit or module on sustainability or a sustainability challenge, includes one or more sustainability-focused activities, or integrates sustainability issues throughout the course.”

Process for Applying

The permanent sustainability-focused designation can be requested for an existing or new course through CurricuLog

  • New courses: In your new course proposal in CurricuLog, select that you would like to apply for the sustainability-focused designation. Include a short justification regarding your course’s sustainability content and upload a sample syllabus. It is recommended that sustainability is clearly reflected in the student learning outcomes, course materials, assignments and/or topics.
  • Existing courses: If you are applying for the designation for an existing course, select “Attribute Change” as the type of change you are requesting in your Course Change form, provide a short justification for your request and upload a sample syllabus. It is recommended that sustainability is reflected in the student learning outcomes, course materials, assignments and/or topics.

The Sustainability Subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee will review undergraduate applications and the Graduate Committee will review graduate applications.  Both will make final recommendations to the Registrar. You will be notified of your approval by the Sustainability Coordinator. These courses will retain the designation permanently and will not require re-submission for future semesters.

The sustainability-related designation is more variable since it is given at the section level.

  • Apply for the designation in the course section you are teaching by completing this document and e-mailing it to the Sustainability Coordinator, The Sustainability Coordinator will compile all documents and forward to the Sustainability Subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee for undergraduate courses or the Graduate Committee for graduate courses. The Sustainability Subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee will review undergraduate applications and the Graduate Committee will review graduate applications.  Both will make final recommendations to the Registrar. You will be notified of your approval by the Sustainability Coordinator. 

Spring 2020 Sustainability Courses:

Are you interested in learning more about sustainability? The college offers courses in over 20 departments that are Sustainability Focused and Sustainability Related every semester, a major in Environmental Sustainability, and a minor in Community and Environment.  Below are the courses that have been designated as "Sustainability Focused" (SUSF) or "Sustainability Related" (SUSR).


- Ecology, BIOL 282, Section 01 (SUSF)

Communication Studies

- Small Group Communication, COMM 227, Section 03 (SUSR)


- Composition, COMP 100, Sections 17 & 18 (SUSR)

- Technical & Professional Writing, COMP 239, Section 01(SUSR)

Environmental Sciences

- Environmental Sustainability, ENVS 110, Sections 01 & 02, (SUSF)

- Interdisciplinary Junior Seminar, ENVS 291, Sections 01 & 02 (SUSF)


- Quality Analysis: Apparel, FASH 123, Section 01, (SUSR)


- Cost Control & Service Management, FOOD 232, Section 01 (SUSF)

- Applied Food Service Systems Management, FOOD 571 (SUSF)


- Geography of Culture & Environment, GEOG 230, Sections 01 & 02 (SUSF)


- Music Ensemble: Chamber Percussion Ensemble, MUSC 280, Section 03 (SUSR)

Political Science

- Environment, Politics & Policy, POLS 235, Section 01 (SUSF)

Science Museum Studies (Graduate)

- Foodways, Sustainability & Environmental Justice, SMUS 545, Section 01 (SUSF)


- Environmental Sociology, SOC 254, Section 01 (SUSF)

- Urban Sociology, SOC 350, Section 01 (SUSF)

Online Resources

EcoCareers Virtual Conference hosted by National Wildlife Federation

  • When? April 1 & 2nd, 11-5 pm
  • What is it? Entrepreneurs and professionals from leading organizations, businesses, and government agencies will share insider knowledge on the latest clean economy trends, employment demands, required credentials, and experiences across myriad fields ranging from food justice, circular economy to climate change to the arts and more!
  • How to participate? Individual students/staff can register for free - they simply need to join the EcoLeaders community (free to join), and then register for the conference.  Registration closes at 4 pm ET Tues, March 30


    • If you need any support with registering I can try to help! 

Solve Climate by 2030  hosted by the Center for Environmental Policy at Bard College and University at Albany

  • When? April 7, 5:30-7 pm, with recording made available after the event
  • What is it? Simultaneous “power dialogue” webinars, one in every state in the country have been organized to focus Americans on state-level and local solutions to climate change. The statewide webinar will be live from 6 pm to 7 pm and will feature a moderated panel discussion with Assembly member Patricia Fahy, Director of the NYS Office of Climate Change Maureen Leddy and Executive Director of the Alliance for Clean Energy New York Anne Reynolds on the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act and how students can take action.  Teachers guides for follow up conversations in a variety of disciplines available.
  • How to participate?  Register to watch the New York Power Dialog live on April 7 or to receive an e-mail with a link to the recording following the event.
  • Option: If you would be interested in incorporating this into your course, I am considering holding an online session after the event to give space for students to react to the discussion and lead the group in imagining the future they would like to see for Oneonta/NYS/US/world in 2030.  Please reply to me if you would like to incorporate this live into your course work and I can schedule at a time that works for your groups.

Workshops and Leadership Certification Trainings hosted by Post Landfill Action Network

  • When? The digital sessions are LIVE and scheduled through March and April
  • What is it? Campus Coordinators offer expertise in leadership development and best-practices to equip students with the tools they need to reach Zero Waste on campus.  Topic examples include Break Free From Plastic 101, Conducting a Waste Audit, Tools and Tactics for Taking Action.
  • How to participate?  All online sessions are free to anyone with a SUNY Oneonta email address because we are a member campus.
  • Go to website: 
  1. In the top right hand corner, click that button that says "Login" 
  2. Click the big green button that says "Register" 
  3. Make an account with your [] email address
  4. You'll be emailed a link to reset your password (Make sure to check your spam too!) 
  5. That will re-route you to a page with a password box (Note: all of the security measures are suggestions. You can make your password as "weak" as you'd like) 
  6. This will auto log you on -- you now have access to the Member Hub!
  • Follow the links to the Workshops and Trainings, click on the event you are interested in and select learn more.

Ecological Footprint calculator

  • What is it? “…An online calculator to measure their personal Ecological Footprints, discover their biggest areas of resource consumption, and learn what they can do to tread more lightly on the Earth.”  Supporting curriculum, case studies, journal articles and data also available. 

Shared Resources for Online Teaching 

Geoscience Materials for Teaching Online

Ecology and Environmental Science Materials for Teaching Online: 


Sustainable Susquehanna

Curriculum Workshop

    Oneonta’s Sustainable Susquehanna is an annual program that brings together faculty from across the university to support new courses, or new units in existing courses, that incorporate issues of sustainability and environmental awareness. Sustainable Susquehanna is based on nationally recognized models known for their innovative approach to curricular change and is designed to create a community for intellectual conversation around the economic, societal and environmental dimensions of sustainability on the local and global scale.

    The workshop will explore how to meaningfully integrate sustainability into our classrooms. Sustainability issues can be incorporated in any department and can include climate change, food systems, economic development, ecological systems, environmental justice, public health and wellness, land use and sustainable design, energy, water, and human rights. Campus faculty and staff will facilitate and catalyze discussion of a green curriculum and its integration and role in the broader community.

    Participants receive an honorarium of $1000 upon completion of a new or revised syllabus (with the intent to teach the course by the fall semester of 2021 or sooner). Participants will participate in a variety of interactive activities during the two-day workshop, and connect with other faculty across the campus to create new networks.

    Sustainable Susquehanna participants agree to:

    1. Read material prior to the workshop.
    2. Participate in the 2-day workshop, May 2020
    3. Prepare course materials over the summer.
    4. Submit updated course materials by announced deadline (fall semester).
    5. Attend a follow-up meeting to go over your revised or new syllabus in the fall (either in late August or early September).

    Interested? Contact or apply.  Applications open until March 20.

    Congratulations to the 2019 participants:

    • Beniam Awash (Sociology & Criminal Justice)
    • Suzanne Black (English)
    • Collen Engle (Human Ecology)
    • Racheal Fest (English)
    • Brett Heindl (Political Science)
    • Karen Joest (Child and Family Studies)
    • Shahin Kachwala (Women's & Gender Studies
    • Matt Murphy (Political Science)
    • Nancy Tarr (Music)

    Comments from 2017 participants:

    “An immense opportunity not only to think about the pedagogical aspects of sustainability but also to collaborate with such a wide variety of scholars and learn from them.”

    “I consider the college’s commitment to sustainability to be one of its most important priorities, now more than ever.”

    ”I think sustainability is one of those ‘hot button’ issues that students can connect with and speak to- even in non “sustainability” focused-content areas.” “I appreciated the opportunity to work with other faculty with interests in this area. “

    Sustainability Research

    Student Research

    The campus’ annual Student Research & Creative Activity (SRCA) Day provides a professional forum for students to showcase research to the campus and greater community. Although open to all disciplines, sustainability projects are encouraged, and relevant projects are designated by the President’s Advisory Council on Sustainability (PACS) as such in the SRCA program and on the presentations. Since 2016, when the sustainability designation began,80 student projects from 14 different departments presented at SRCA Day have been designated as sustainability-related (30% of all presentations in 2016, and 36.5% of all presentations in 2017). Visit the Grants Development Office to learn more and to apply to present.

    Faculty Research

    The annual faculty showcase event, the Life of the Mind (LOTM), spotlights faculty research and scholarship contributions to the intellectual life of the campus community and beyond. Although open to all disciplines, sustainability projects are encouraged; and, as with SRCA Day, organizers began clearly designating sustainability-related projects as such in the LOTM program and on the presentations. Since 2016, when the sustainability designation of projects began, 36 presentations from 14 different departments have been designated as sustainability-related by the PACS (32.3% of all presentations in 2016, and 26.3% of all presentations in 2017).


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