Global Sustainability
1 credit hour
Fall 2023

Instructor: Bob Hunckler



This course consists of facility tours that exemplify sustainable philosophies. On Friday 9/15/23, we will visit a recycling sorting facility in Southfield, Michigan. We are also planning to visit an aquaponics fish farm in Detroit as well as the Flint Mass Transportation Authority (hydrogen fuel). On Friday 9/22/23, we will be visiting a wind farm near Pigeon, Michigan as well as a DTE wind turbine command center in Bad Axe and the Willows Earth Education Center in Lapeer.

Remember that sustainability is much more than just environmental sustainability. See the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs. Please include at least a short paragraph about each of these 17 goals in your report.

Report: Due on October 1, 2023 (by 11:59 p.m.). Students are required to type a report detailing the facilities that we toured in this course as well as any discussions along the way. The report should include technical data (Google as needed) as well as the basic philosophies behind the construction of each facility. Please include individual paragraphs on each of the 17 SDGs and a discussion of the future of coal as we discussed on the bus (see "Coal" link on the course website to refresh your memory). You can get creative and include any information that you feel is helpful. I'm also interested in your thoughts and ideas for the future of a sustainable world if you decide to include them. You can also include your thoughts and opinions for each stop (positive or negative). The report should be at least seven pages long, double-spaced, 12-point font (any normal looking font). The reports can be longer than seven pages if needed. Don't be afraid to write as much as necessary to meet all of the requirements. Reports should be e-mailed as an attachment to:

The course website has other links that may be helpful.

Return to Course Website


A description of basic sustainability concepts starting with household recycling, energy conservation, weatherization, renewable energy, green roofs and then moving into regional sustainability efforts such as mass transportation, updated electrical grids and smart metering of electrical utilities. Global sustainability relies on local and regional efforts while global politics is often based on the need to obtain energy or goods that may be in short supply. The course offers a broad overview of sustainable options for human societies around the world. This course is structured as a course for non-science majors, but science majors are welcome too.


GEO 175 (Global Sustainability) is a field course that showcases sustainable practices in professional settings to allow students the opportunity to observe and evaluate the benefits and disadvantages of such practices. This course is designed for non-science majors, but science majors are welcome.


When students complete the course, they will be able to:

      1. describe the basic sustainability techniques to be used at home and at work.

      2. describe historical sustainability efforts that have led to the techniques employed today.

      3. identify probable future sources of energy.

      4. identify geographic locations for probable future sources of energy.

      5. describe connections between world politics, global economics and individual country energy and material needs.

1 credit hour - 1 contact hour