GES 520 - Issues in Global Environmental Sustainability

This course will introduce the concept of sustainability, its various definitions, and current influences on society. Students will be exposed to the ways sustainability impacts many disciplines and will gain an understanding of the connections of sustainability within their chosen discipline. Students will achieve a holistic understanding of environmental, social, and economic sustainability through individual research work as well as interdisciplinary collaboration, an essential component to the successful integration of sustainability.

Textbooks and Materials

Textbooks and materials can be purchased at the CSU Bookstore unless otherwise indicated.


  • Sustainability: A Comprehensive Foundation (2012)
    Theis, T., Tomkin, J.

The absolutely cool thing here is the book is FREE! You will have access to download a free PDF in the course in Canvas.
Additionally, students will select one (1) book from a book list (provided by instructor). Students will read the selected book for the critical analysis reading assignment. The book list includes selections based on relevant topics to the course and is updated each semester. To request a copy of the Spring 2021 Book List, please email Dr. Harmon.


Renée Harmon
Renée Harmon

Renée Harmon, PhD, (she/her) is an instructor in the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University. Dr. Harmon completed her PhD in Education and Human Resource Studies in 2017 at CSU's School of Education. Her dissertation titled Assessing College Students’ Sustainability Literacy: The Development, Use, and Analysis of an Assessment Tool (2019) describes the development of the CSU Sustainability Literacy Assessment, of which the results are reported to the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). Dr. Harmon also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from Western Illinois University and a Master of Arts degree in Communication from the University of Missouri - St Louis. Dr. Harmon's research and work focuses on sustainability education, specifically in higher education and community education, refugee resettlement, nonprofit administration, nontraditional teaching methods, and curriculum design.