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Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics


New Courses to be Offered in 2013 as Part of the Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability (EEDS) Curriculum

Dec. 12, 2012

Beginning in Spring 2013, Ohio State will offer several new courses as part of the Environment, Economy, Development, and Sustainability (EEDS) curriculum. EEDS is a multi-disciplinary degree program that focuses on the human dimensions of sustainability. The program is offered as a joint major between the School of Environment and Natural Resources (SENR) and the Department of Agricultural, Environmental and Development Economics (AEDE).  

This cutting-edge undergraduate major provides the core knowledge and skills students need to launch a career in sustainability in the private, public or non-profit sectors. All EEDS students take an integrated set of coursework in environmental economics, business management, environmental sociology, community and international development, ecological engineering and environmental sciences. Students build on this foundation by choosing to specialize in one of four areas: sustainability and business; environmental economics and policy analysis; community development; or international development. 

To learn more about the EEDS program, please visit the EEDS website. If you would like to speak to a program contact, please contact Dr. Neil Drobny, EEDS Program Director, at

The new EEDS programming for 2013 includes:

AED Econ 4330: The Sustainable Economy: Concepts and Methods

Instructor: Dr. Elena G. Irwin
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 9:35am – 10:55am

Are we consuming too much as a society? What is a sustainable economy? How can “sustainability” be measured? How sustainable or unsustainable is it to mine coal or extract oil and natural gas from the earth? What are the limits to economic growth imposed by ecological systems? How much should we rely on technology to solve the problem? What are the costs and benefits of extracting shale gas? Will a transition to a green economy occur and if so how?

This course teaches how to operationalize the concept of sustainability, what it means for an economy, community or organization to be sustainable, and how to evaluate whether our current consumption and production is sustainable or not.

Pre-requisite: AED Econ 4310 (formerly AED Econ 531) Environmental and Resource Economics, or permission of the instructor. For more information, please contact Professor Irwin at

ENR 5194: International Conservation, Local Peoples, and Natural Resource Management

Instructor: Dr. Jeremy Brooks
Wednesdays and Fridays, 9:35am – 10:55am

Who bears the costs and who gains the benefits of international conservation efforts? How do we resolve the tension between biodiversity protection and rights to livelihoods? What kinds of knowledge do we use to make decisions about natural resource management? Can we effectively balance conservation, development and local autonomy? How do different cultures perceive nature and how might this affect natural resource use?

This course examines conflicts between indigenous/local peoples, conservationists, and policymakers regarding environmental conservation and natural resource use. It explores biodiversity conservation, protected areas, global inequities, environmental history and politics, and sustainable development.

For more information, please contact Dr. Brooks at

BIO 1102: Human Biology (The Nature of Sustainability)

Instructor: Dr. Steve Rissing
Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:10pm – 6:10pm

This course will focus on sustainability related aspects of “Human Biology”. The course considers five, in-depth case studies: increase of breast cancer incidence in the US, stem cell biology, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in agriculture, biodiversity and its loss, and climate change from a biological process. Class discussions and specialist guest lecturers will apply biological insights from previous courses (including high school).

The course targets General Education students interested in applying scientific and economic insights in their lives and society. The course uses a cooperative learning approach and focuses on preparation of concise, relevant, policy position statements over traditional memorization and recall formats. This course is available for GE natural sciences credit and it is recommended for students pursuing various programs in sustainability.

For more information, please contact Professor Rissing at

ECE 2194.01: Sustainable Energy and Society

Instructor: Dr. Betty Lise Anderson
Monday and Wednesdays, 9:10am – 10:05am

This course explores how energy is created and used in today’s society. We’ll discuss wind, solar, coal, nuclear, geothermal, energy from the ocean, and discuss their impacts on the climate and on us. Course topics include: what is sustainability; what is engineering; energy for cars and planes; energy for heating and cooling; energy for food; engineering better heating; sustainable finite resources; power fluctuations and energy storage; what is the smart grid.

The course is intended for non-engineers (but engineering students are welcome). Additionally, the course is offered in person (class number 22481) or online (class number 14168).

Pre-requisite: MATH 1148 (104) or higher (college algebra). For more information, please contact Professor Anderson at

December 12, 2012