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.


  • The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming (2019)
    Wallace-Wells, D.

Sustainability: A Comprehensive Foundation (2012)
Theis, T., Tomkin, J.
*The absolutely cool thing here is this book is FREE! You can download a free PDF of the text here.


Renée Harmon
Renée Harmon

Renée Harmon, PhD, is an instructor in the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University. Dr. Harmon was named a CSU 2018 Best Teacher based on her work in this course. With a strong background in online education, Dr. Harmon works to create an engaging learning environment that incorporates students' background and experience.

Dr. Harmon completed her PhD in Education and Human Resource Studies with a specialization in Education Sciences in 2017 at CSU. Her dissertation titled “Assessing College Students’ Sustainability Literacy: The Development, Use, and Analysis of an Assessment Tool” was published in 2019 and 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 (AASHE) Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS). Additionally, Dr. Harmon earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from Western Illinois University and a master's degree in communication from the University of Missouri - St Louis. Her research and interests include sustainability education and literacy in higher education, community sustainability education (specifically on the topic of refugee resettlement), non-traditional student learning (adult, military, and veteran students), and case-based instruction.