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Courses for the Minor in Sustainability Studies: 2023-2024

Note that, in case of disagreement in terms of course location or time between this site and your class schedule, your class schedule is correct. Please contact the College to report errors or in case of any questions or comments.

Required courses

This course begins with an introduction to the science of ecology and to the concept of sustainability as an ecological principle. The concept of sustainability is then broadened to include humans, as students are introduced to ethics, economics, and resource management from an eco-centric point of view. Students are encouraged to think critically about current environmental problems and to take action on an individual project.
NOTE: Students who have received credit for BIOL 205, 208, or for this topic under a BIOL 298 number may not take this course for credit.

NOTE: Students registered in a Biology program may not take this course for credit towards their Biology program but may take it towards the Minor in Sustainability Studies.

The current state of biodiversity around the world and the forces that affect this diversity are the main focus of this course. It addresses the origins of this diversity, the advantages of variability in the environment for human life, and the contemporary challenges to this diversity. This course is intended to emphasize holistic thinking and system analysis.

This online course is an introduction to the emerging field of global environmental politics. It surveys the present environmental crisis and the roles of states, international organizations, and civil society. Various case studies dealing with oceans, forests, fisheries, biodiversity, global warming, and others are used to illustrate the inherent complexity of transnational ecological issues in the era of globalization.

This course is offered every year online.  

*Students registerd to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later can take this course as a 200-level elective towards the 9-credit block of the Minor if they so choose.

 

9-credit block (choose three courses*)

*If you would rather replace some or all of these with 300- or 400-level courses from the 12-credit block list below, please fill out a student request form and submit it to the College.

This course introduces the evolution, biodiversity, and ecology of organisms. The origin and diversity of life, from prokaryotes, through simple eukaryotes to multi-cellular organisms are introduced. Natural selection, speciation, and phylogeny, stressing evolutionary relationships in conjunction with changing conditions on earth, are presented. The course introduces major concepts in ecology: the physical and chemical environment, population structure, life histories, species interactions, communities, and ecosystems. Lectures only.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the Department of Biology.

This course presents an overview of factors influencing personal and community health. Students are exposed to prevalent physical and mental health issues from biological, psychological, and sociological points of view. Health-related consequences of alcohol abuse, drugs, birth control, sedentary lifestyle, eating disorders, and communicable diseases are among the topics considered. Lectures only.     

NOTE: Exercise Science students may not take this course for credit.

This course examines a number of global environmental issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. The complex interactions and interdependencies among the biophysical, socio-economic, political, and cultural aspects of global environmental change are explored in relation to issues such as global warming, desertification, deforestation, declining biodiversity, and acid rain.

NOTE: Students currently registered in a Human Environment, Environmental Geography, or Environmental Science program may not take this course for credit.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in any Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the Department of Geography,Planning and Environment.

This course explores the main differences between the world’s major cultures, religious beliefs, and philosophies, and addresses the tensions between establishing universal values and maintaining cultural diversity in an age of accelerating globalization. There is also an emphasis on the conception of different levels of social complexity, principally the role of the individual, the interpersonal, and the group within a society. This course is intended to develop team research and presentation skills, and the ability to communicate and work effectively within a small group setting.

This course focuses on the natural environment and our interactions with it as presented through selected films. Students deconstruct the visual representation of a problem or complex set of problems around the natural environment presented both as “fact” and as “entertainment”. Students generate an understanding of how the individual and one's society can operate more effectively in a global context of increased inter-cultural interaction, in unison with the environment.

 

This course examines recent developments in ethical theories as they are applied to questions of environmental practices. Topics discussed may include the moral significance of nonhuman nature, duties to respond to climate change, economics and sustainable environmental protection, and environmental justice.

NOTE: Students who have received credit for this topic under a PHIL 298 or 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the Department of Philosophy.

Based on an overview of current economic issues, this course introduces students to the fundamental analytical tools and concepts that are necessary to understand economic public policy and relevant to community development and empowerment.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the School of Community and Public Affairs.

This course introduces the evolution, biodiversity, and ecology of organisms. The origin and diversity of life, from prokaryotes, through simple eukaryotes to multi-cellular organisms are introduced. Natural selection, speciation, and phylogeny, stressing evolutionary relationships in conjunction with changing conditions on earth, are presented. The course introduces major concepts in ecology: the physical and chemical environment, population structure, life histories, species interactions, communities, and ecosystems. Lectures only.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the Department of Biology.

This course presents an overview of factors influencing personal and community health. Students are exposed to prevalent physical and mental health issues from biological, psychological, and sociological points of view. Health-related consequences of alcohol abuse, drugs, birth control, sedentary lifestyle, eating disorders, and communicable diseases are among the topics considered. Lectures only.     

NOTE: Exercise Science students may not take this course for credit.

This course provides an introductory overview of knowledge related to the eleven cultural groups of First Peoples in Canada. It explores theories of migration, geographic location, cultural and linguistic diversity, historical socio-economic and political systems as well as the relationships with the environment and traditional practices and beliefs. In-depth focus is placed on representative nations within each group.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the School of Community and Public Affairs.

This course examines a number of global environmental issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. The complex interactions and interdependencies among the biophysical, socio-economic, political, and cultural aspects of global environmental change are explored in relation to issues such as global warming, desertification, deforestation, declining biodiversity, and acid rain.

NOTE: Students currently registered in a Human Environment, Environmental Geography, or Environmental Science program may not take this course for credit.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in any Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the Department of Geography,Planning and Environment.

This online course is an introduction to the emerging field of global environmental politics. It surveys the present environmental crisis and the roles of states, international organizations, and civil society. Various case studies dealing with oceans, forests, fisheries, biodiversity, global warming, and others are used to illustrate the inherent complexity of transnational ecological issues in the era of globalization.

*Students registered to begin the Minor before January 2019 must take this course and three other 200-level courses of relevance.

This course provides an introduction to the main problems in the philosophy of science. These include the structure of scientific theories, various models of scientific method and explanation, and the existence of unobservables.

NOTE: Students who have received credit for INTE 250 or PHIL 228 may not take this course for credit.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the Department of Philosophy.

This course studies energy — a critical resource for civilization — and the impact of energy consumption on societies and the environment. Topics include renewable and non-renewable energy sources, the physics of energy including the second law of thermodynamics and the notion of entropy, energy production and distribution, and social and global environmental issues such as pollution, sustainability, climate change, regulation and the future of energy. Lectures only.


NOTE: Students registered in Physics, Chemistry, Biochemistry, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering programs may not take this course for credit.

 

12-credit block (choose four)

Prerequisite: Membership in the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability, 30 credits, and permission of the College. The student works under the supervision of a Concordia faculty member on an in-depth research project approved by the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability as relevant to either Sustainability Studies or Diversity Studies. Note that the onus is on the student to find a supervisor willing to supervise their work.

Urbanization represents one of the most powerful, irreversible, and visible forms of global change, with over 50% of the world’s people now living in cities. Urban ecology is the study of the processes, systems, and relationships between organisms that occur in these urban environments. This course will introduce students to the ecological features of cities, the processes determining patterns of abundance and distribution of organisms, and the interactions between humans and nature in urban ecosystems. We will also discuss urban ecology as an interdisciplinary science, emphasizing linkages with social and physical sciences and the humanities, as well as policy and planning. Students will come away from this course with a stronger understanding of urban ecosystem function, and how urban nature and biodiversity are critical for making cities more sustainable, resilient, and equitable. Throughout the semester, we will also make short observational trips to local urban ecosystems, conduct hands-on ecological measurements, and speak with local experts. 

Notes: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the Department of Biology.

Prerequisite: 24 credits in the Major in Design; or 24 credits in a Major in Fine Arts; or enrolment in the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability’s Minor in Diversity and the Contemporary World; or written permission of the Department. A special project-based studio that provides students the opportunities to dialogue with and engage with Montreal-based outreach programs, community centres and not-for-profit organizations. Concordia students apply their communication and technical skill sets to collaborate with community partners and participants on specific design projects.


Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the Department of Design and Computation Arts.

This course explores the situation of First Peoples across the world from a comparative indigenous perspective. The primary aim of the course is to familiarize students with the similarities and differences between indigenous cultures and nations within the context of global colonialism past and present.


NOTE: Students who have received credit for ANTH/SOCI 303 may not take this course for credit.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the School of Community and Public Affairs.

Prerequisite: Membership in the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability, 30 credits, and permission of the College. The student works under the supervision of a Concordia faculty member on an in-depth research project approved by the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability as relevant to either Sustainability Studies or Diversity Studies. Note that the onus is on the student to find a supervisor willing to supervise their work.

This course explores the role of business in developing a sustainable global society. Students explore current environmental and societal concerns and the role of business in influencing them. Students learn how the relationships between business and various stakeholders, including communities, governments, and the natural environment, can create opportunities for generating economic, environmental, and social value.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the Department of Management.

This course focuses on the emerging business environment, and how organizations implement ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable management. Sustainable strategies are explored within the context of global economic development, to develop organizational vision, products and processes for achieving long‑term sustainable prosperity.

NOTE: Students who have received credit for this course under a MANA 299 or COMM 299 number may not take this course for credit.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the Department of Management.

This course explores historically enduring non-governmental institutions - such as botanic gardens, museums, and zoos and/or other institutions similar in kind - that seek to work in the service of society and play a role in the governance of ‘nature’ by producing and disseminating social, cultural, and environmental scientific knowledge in
informal education settings. Topics covered may include the intersection of these institutions with the emergence of Modernity, European colonialism/coloniality, and current decolonization debates, as well as their reinvention in the 20th and 21st century as sites of socio-environmental conservation and climate change adaptation.


NOTE: Students who have received credit for ANTH 320 or SOCI 320 or for this topic under an ANTH 398 or SOCI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

This course critically examines the existing food system by asking whether it is economically, socially and ecologically sustainable. It explores the politics of food by introducing students to existing and emerging social movements whose goal is to build a more sustainable food system.

NOTE: Students who have received credit for ANTH 384 or SOCI 384 or for this topic under an ANTH 398 or SOCI 398 number may not take this course for credit.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

Prerequisite: BIOL 225, 226. This course presents an introduction to biological communities, the processes that maintain them and their emergent properties. Topics include the interactions between abiotic and biotic factors in determining community composition, the concepts of niche and habitat, succession theory, community diversity and stability, energy flow and nutrient cycling. Examples emphasize both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and the major global biomes. Lectures only.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the Department of Biology.

 

Prerequisite: 24 credits in the Major in Design; or 24 credits in a Major in Fine Arts; or enrolment in the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability’s Minor in Diversity and the Contemporary World; or written permission of the Department. A special project-based studio that provides students the opportunities to dialogue with and engage with Montreal-based outreach programs, community centres and not-for-profit organizations. Concordia students apply their communication and technical skill sets to collaborate with community partners and participants on specific design projects.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the Department of Design and Computation Arts.

In 2015, the 193 members states of the United Nations (UN) adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), providing a vision of a brighter future for people and the planet. They explicitly recognized the links between social, economic, and environmental sustainability, stressing the crucial need to address issues of poverty, inequality, health, education, and economic growth, while tackling the challenges of climate change and biodiversity conservation. Through this course, students will be introduced to all 17 SDGs from an interdisciplinary perspective and will examine progress towards these goals in Canada and across the globe. By the end of the course, students will be able to describe the different SDGs, understand their inter-relationships, and analyze our effectiveness at achieving these goals from different disciplinary perspectives.

In this project-based course, students will work at the intersection of science and society to address cross-disciplinary issues of relevance to health and sustainability. Issues addressed may include links between biodiversity loss and novel diseases; air quality and respiratory disease; biodiversity and health; food production, justice, and nutrition; race, health, and the biology of race; vaccine development and distribution; and more. Science and non-science students alike from the Science College and the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability are invited to bring their interests and expertise to exchanges and group work. Active learning will be complemented by lectures from the instructor and guests experts.

This course is cross-listed with SCOL 350; it is open to students of the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability.

Prerequisite: 12 credits of LOYC courses; or permission of the College. This course focuses on the conceptualization of cross-disciplinary inquiry and the problems of interdisciplinary communication. The role of discipline-based and cross-disciplinary research is studied. A brief intellectual history of discipline-formation and emerging interdisciplinary fields is discussed. One contemporary global issue will usually be discussed in detail in this context.

There are two options for this course: the internship option and the research project option. For the first, students complete 120 hours of an approved internship and some related work in class. For the second, students complete a major research paper.

Prerequisite: Membership in the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability, 30 credits, and permission of the College. The student works under the supervision of a Concordia faculty member on an in-depth research project approved by the Loyola College for Diversity and Sustainability as relevant to either Sustainability Studies or Diversity Studies. Note that the onus is on the student to find a supervisor willing to supervise their work.

This course explores the role of business in developing a sustainable global society. Students explore current environmental and societal concerns and the role of business in influencing them. Students learn how the relationships between business and various stakeholders, including communities, governments, and the natural environment, can create opportunities for generating economic, environmental, and social value.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the Department of Management.

This course focuses on the emerging business environment, and how organizations implement ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable management. Sustainable strategies are explored within the context of global economic development, to develop organizational vision, products and processes for achieving long‑term sustainable prosperity.

NOTE: Students who have received credit for this course under a MANA 299 or COMM 299 number may not take this course for credit.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the Department of Management.

This course is an introduction to the emerging field of global environmental politics. It surveys the present environmental crisis and the roles of states, international organizations, and civil society. Various case studies dealing with oceans, forests, fisheries, biodiversity, global warming, and others are used to illustrate the inherent complexity of transnational ecological issues in the era of globalization.

Note: Students registered to begin the Minor in January 2019 or later cannot take this course towards their Minor if they are also registered in a Major, Specialization, or Honours program hosted by the Department of Political Science.

Due to the limitation in the number of courses we can offer every year, the following LOYC courses listed in the Undergraduate Calendar are not offered this year and likely will not be offered in the 2023-2024 academic year:

  • LOYC 201:     The Idea of Modernity
  • LOYC 202:     What is the Environment?
  • LOYC 210:     The 20th Century
  • LOYC 310:     Science and the Contemporary World
  • LOYC 350:     Internship in Sustainability. To get credit for internships, students can take LOYC 420 or LOYC 421
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