Loyola University Maryland

Sustainability at Loyola

Academic Resources

There are a wide variety of courses about the environment and sustainability taught at Loyola University Maryland. Below, you will see a list of courses that have run at Loyola in the past. The courses are separated out by department and some have a faculty member listed as the instructor for the course. Please note that these classes don’t necessarily run every semester.


Twisted Planet: Global Issues in Biology (BL-104)

An examination of biological issues of significance in our global society, which is increasingly marked by an understanding of environmental consequences; worldwide markets and technology; competitions for resources; civil/ethnic wars; changing traditional boundaries to disease; and the increasing disparity between developed and developing countries and regions. Major topics include biological considerations of race, population dynamics, the consequences of war, forest and biodiversity loss, global climate change, global water distribution, and the threats of emerging diseases.  Fulfills the natural science core for nonscience majors.

A field trip to the National Aquarium in Baltimore is required.

Faculty: Dr. Alfredo Herrera

Environmental Biology (BL-111)

An integrated study of environmental problems, connections and solutions. Environmental issues are explored by combining information from the natural sciences with ideas from the social sciences. Topics include ecosystem functioning, sustaining biodiversity, climate change, conservation efforts, environmental risk, waste issues, food production, and energy resources. A variety of learning techniques are used including debates, student presentations, field trips, service activities, timely readings, group discussions, and weekly laboratory work.  Fulfills the natural science core requirement for nonscience majors.

Faculty: Dr. Bernadette Roche

The Chesapeake Bay Environment (BL-116)

A comprehensive study of the Chesapeake Bay that introduces students to the wealth of resources and the fragility of the United States' largest estuarine system, which happens to be here in our own backyard. The course examines physical, chemical, and biological processes affecting coastal and estuarine ecosystems, focusing primarily on the Chesapeake Bay. Historical and present day human influences and impacts, as well as important management techniques in the Chesapeake Bay Region are examined. Topics include estuary types; diversity of animal, plant, and microbial communities in the Bay; energy and material flows (including such things as erosion); policy and economic decisions; and ecosystem management in the Chesapeake Bay region. A variety of learning techniques are used including readings, group discussion, laboratory activities, case studies, student presentations, and field trips. Fulfills the natural science core requirement for nonscience majors.

Faculty: Dr. Andrew Adams

Beans and Bugs: Food Production Implications (BL-117)

Students investigate the science and issues involved in food production. Topics include agricultural practices and policy; environmental effects of producing food; nutritional illnesses and the obesity epidemic; use of technology to increase food supplies; pest management practices; and sustainable agricultural systems. The issues are explored using case studies, debates, and lab experiments. Some lab work is required. Fulfills the natural science core requirement for nonscience majors. Closed to students who have taken BL120.

Ecosystems Ecology (BL-298)

An introduction to ecosystem ecology, and a detailed examination of one ecosystem. Readings and library research provide the background to appreciate the intricate workings of the ecosystem and to design a research proposal. Ecosystems studied will vary from year to year but generally rotate among tropical forests, coral reef systems, and desert/sky islands of Arizona. An option for students who wish to take BL299 without the field component.

Exploring Ecosystems (BL-299)

An introduction to ecosystem ecology, including a detailed examination of one ecosystem. Readings and library research provide the background to appreciate the intricate workings of the ecosystem and to design experiments. Students travel to the ecosystem to experience what they have learned and conduct experiments. Ecosystems studied will vary from year to year but generally rotate among tropical rain forests, coral reef systems, and desert/sky islands of Arizona. Students maintain a journal during the trip, conduct a seminar, write a research proposal, conduct their experiment, and write up their results. Seniors taking this course will not graduate until September. An additional fee is required. May be repeated for credit with different topics.

Conservation Biology (BL-390)

A comprehensive survey of current practices and theoretical background in conservation biology. Students examine local and global threats to biological diversity; the value of biological diversity; conservation strategies including the design and management of protected areas, captive breeding of endangered species, and reintroduction programs; and ethical and moral responsibilities of our society as it interacts with nature and other nations.

Conservation Biology Seminar (BL-392)

Faculty and small groups of students present seminars on selected topics in conservation biology. Also, groups of students present opposing viewpoints on selected topics in a courtroom-like setting (environmental law). Employs computer simulations to further the understanding of theoretical models presented in lecture. Possible field trips to zoological parks and research centers to see application of principles.

Seminar: Special Topics in Ecology, Evolution, and Diversity (BL-471)

An examination of current topics in ecology, evolution, and diversity with an emphasis on primary literature. Students lead group discussions and/or make oral presentations. May be repeated for credit with different topics.

back to top


Global Environment (CH-114)

A study of how the various systems of the Earth interconnect to form the Earth system. Global environmental issues such as climate change, water resources, and biodiversity loss, as well as how humans affect the Earth system are discussed with an emphasis on environmental justice. Field trips are included. Fulfills one math/science core requirement for non-natural science majors.

Faculty: Dr. Elizabeth Dahl

back to top


Environmental Economics (EC-360)

Examines contemporary issues of environmental quality, natural resource allocation, and conservation from the economic perspective. Students develop an understanding of the history of the environmental movement and learn to analyze environmental issues using economic tools. Topics include benefit-cost analysis, property rights, incentive-based pollution control policies, and a review of government regulatory performance.

back to top


American Environmental History (HS-343)

Explores the changing relationship between people and the natural world from the colonial period to the present in the region that became the United States. The physical environment shaped the development of American culture even as different groups of Americans transformed that environment. Topics include Native American ideas about the natural world, European transformations of the environment, the rise of capitalism and its environmental consequences, water the West, the development of an environmental movement, and current debates about the natural world and our place in it.

back to top


Engaging Nature (HN-215)

An introductory science course which emphasizes close observation of the natural world, problem solving, and hypothesis development. It is designed to introduce students to science as a "way of knowing" and to the nature of scientific research and debate. Restricted to Honors students. (Spring only)

Faculty: Dr. Randall Jones

back to top

Law and Social Responsibility

Environmental Law and Policy (LW-411)

Surveys the statutes, regulations, and common law principles and policies that address a wide range of environmental problems. Also compares different approaches to resolving environmental problems, e.g., traditional regulations, pollution prevention, and ecological restoration.

Faculty: Dr. Eliza Smith

back to top


Philosophical Perspectives: Gender and Nature (PL-232)

Examines the history of Western concepts of nature and science with particular attention to how ideas about hierarchy, gender, and violence have affected our relationship to the natural world. Introductory course for the Gender Studies minor.

Faculty: Dr. Whitney Howell

Environmental Ethics (PL-314)

An investigation of the relationship between human beings and the natural world, with attention to the ethical dimensions of our life-style and environmental policies. Students explore their obligations to the nonhuman world and to future generations. Fulfills ethics core requirement.

Faculty: Dr. Drew Leder

back to top


Writing about the Environment  (WR-354)

To write about the environment is to cultivate an appreciation for one's place in regional, national, and global contexts. Students write in various genres as they learn what traditions inform contemporary environmental writing and explore the ways in which representations of nature influence the complex relationship between Americans and the environment.  A background in science is not required.

Faculty: Dr. Terre Ryan

back to top