Introduction to Sustainability Science

A bike wheel partially submerged in a snow bank

Tuesday/Thursday, 1–2:15 p.m. + lab
4 credits


Tim Lindstrom

Course Description

This course focuses on a small part of the wider world: our UW-Madison campus. This place that we call home connects to our local environment, which in turn connects to regional and global issues. Together, we examine sustainability initiatives on our campus relating to energy, carbon, food, and waste.

This course teaches through these initiatives to the underlying principles of environmental science. In other words, we position ourselves with our feet on the campus and ask questions about the air we breathe, the energy we consume, the food we eat, the goods we purchase, and the waste we create.

The three-hour laboratory period each week complements lecture content. Together we will explore campus sustainability issues through hands-on activities and field trips relating to power generation, energy and energy efficiency, the carbon cycle and climate change, social justice, food systems, and waste generation and management.

View course syllabus (pdf)

Fulfills Environmental Studies

Physical Science Foundation


Counts Toward

Sustainability Certificate

UW Designations


Physical Science