Ball State University 
Clustered Academic Minors in 
Environmentally Sustainable Practices 

Interdepartmental Minor in:
Technology & the Environment

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Environmental Awakening
An environmental awakening has occurred in the 1990s.  There is an expanding knowledge that the planet's many systems are stressed beyond sustainability.  The roots of many of the problems leading to diminished environmental quality may be found in the everyday behavior of the people who inhabit the earth.  Identifying the causes and possible solutions to environmental problems will require a knowledgeable and skilled citizenry.  Education is the key to creating a population aware of its responsibilities for stewardship.  However, the problems and solutions of environmental issues go beyond the boundaries of a single discipline.  Current students are in a unique position to acquire needed technical skills, keen environmental awareness, and operational ability to affect the future.

In an effort to increase the technological and environmental literacy of students at Ball State University, a new interdepartmental minor in Technology and the Environment has emerged from within the College of Applied Sciences and Technology.  The goal of the program is to offer participating students a clear vision of the interrelationships between technology and the environment.  Its interdisciplinary nature provides students with creative tools and critical skills that will help them find innovative solutions to complex technological and environmental issues.

No other university in the United States is known to offer a minor course of study specific to technology and the environment.  Ball State provides a unique curriculum for the purpose of engendering technological and environmental literacy.  Known for its commitments to environmental quality through the Green Committee, two Greening of the Campus conferences, and Professional Development Environmental Education Workshops, Ball State further enhances its reputation in the area of environmental literacy by providing this outstanding program of course offerings related to technology and the environment.

A newly revised course in Using and Assessing Technology (ITEDU 206) serves as the anchoring course within the program.  This is complemented by the three core courses (Ecology, Environmental Economics, and Environmental Ethics), a carefully-chosen set of electives from which students will select three courses, and the closing course within the clustered minors program, Creating a Sustainable Future (ID 400).

Students who successfully complete the minor in Technology and the Environment will gain insight to the link among disciplines, allowing them to use highly transferable skills to solve problems.  They will gain an understanding of the environmental consequences of technological development, the complex environmental challenges facing the planet, and the knowledge and skills to participate actively in solving technological and environmental problems.  They will come away from this experience with the ability to infuse environmental perspectives into their major courses of study.

For more information or assistance, contact:

Department of 
Industry and Technology
AT 131 
(765) 285-5642
Center for  Energy Research/Education/Service 
AB 018
(765) 285-1135.

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25 Hours
Required Courses:
Clustered Minors Core Courses:
BIO 216 Ecology 4
ECON 311/
NREM 303
Environmental Economics  3
PHIL 230 Environmental Ethics 3
Anchoring Course:
ITEDU 206 Using and Assessing Technology 3
Closing Course:
ID 400 Creating a Sustainable Future 3

 9 Hours from the Following:
ANTH 105 Evolution and Human Behavior 3
ANTH 312 Ecological Anthropology 3
HIST 204 /
NREM 204
American Environmental History 3
ITDPT 203 Material Processing 3
ITDTP 204 Energy Processing 3
ITEDU 101 Introduction to Technology 3
ITEDU 402 Designing Technological Systems 3
NREM 211 Water Resources 3
NREM 331 Energy and Mineral Resources:
Issues and Choices
NREM 387 Solid and Hazardous 
Waste Management
PLAN 433 Environmental Planning 3
POLS 281 Economic and Political Problems 
of Emerging Nations

NOTE:  All students pursuing a minor within the cluster are encouraged to take NREM 101, Environment and Society, as a distribution elective within the university core curriculum.

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Course Descriptions  Courses

BIO 216 Ecology (3).   Effects of physical and biotic conditions on the distribution and abundance of plants and animals.  Dynamics of ecological systems are examined at the population, community, and ecosystem levels, and from an evolutionary perspective.  Practical applications are emphasized.  Lecture and laboratory. 

ECON 311/NREM 303 Environmental Economics (3).  The application of economic principles to environmental problems.  Emphasis is on applying the economist's decision-making model to environmental issues and the advantages and shortcomings of the economist's analysis. 

PHIL 230 Environmental Ethics (3).  Introduction to and analysis of basic concepts, principles, theories, and issues in environmental ethics. 

ITEDU 206 Using and Assessing Technology (3).   The appropriate use and assessment of technology is explored.  Course experiences include using criteria for the selection of technological products or services and the development of public and personal policy related to technological decisions.

ID 400 Creating a Sustainable Future:  The Clustered Minors Capstone (3).  Capstone course for students in the interdepartmental minor programs in environmentally sustainable practices.  Variable topics.  Emphasizes interdisciplinary perspectives on creating sustainable  practices--environmentally and culturally--for the future.  Seminar format, with visiting scholars working interactively with students. 


ANTH 105 Evolution and Human Behavior (3).  Modern evolutionary theory, the fossil record for human development from primate ancestors, the relevance of these and studies of other living primates for an understanding of human behavior, and the interrelationships between biology and culture in modern human environmental adaptation.

ANTH 312 Ecological Anthropology (3).  Explores the system of relationships between any human population and its environment focusing on cultural behavior.  Uses studies from ancient to modern times and models and theories from ecology and anthropology.

HIST 204/NREM 204 American Environmental History (3). Designed to give students knowledge of resource use in the United States.  Government policies and private enterprise practices of exploitation and conservation from settlement to the present are treated in historical perspective.  Emphasis is on the way resource use has shaped society.

ITDPT 203 Material Processing (3).  Various types of industrial materials including their identification, classification, properties, procurement, transformation, use, and disposal are explored.  Laboratory experiences include a wide variety of materials and processes.

ITDPT 204 Energy Processing (3).  Sources and types of energy and common energy   processing techniques are examined.  Emphasis is on the methods of controlling and  transmitting energy and on the operation of energy conversion systems.

ITEDU 101 Introduction to Technology (3).  An overview of technology and how it interacts with people, society, and the environment is provided.  The evolution of technology and the relationship of technology with other disciplines is also explored.

ITEDU 402 Designing Technological Systems (3).  The nature of technological systems and their interrelationship with people, society, and the environment are explored.  Activities include identifying problems and opportunities, specifying design characteristics, and developing, modeling, evaluating, and presenting system designs.

NREM 211 Water Resources (3).  The hydrologic cycle as an integral part of the resource base and the relationship of water to other natural resources; its economic and social importance to humans.  Water conservation practices with emphasis on pollution abatement.  Government and private participation and responsibilities in water conservation programs.  Includes laboratory and field work.

NREM 331 Energy and Mineral Resources:  Issues and Choices (3).  Appraisal of the problems, prospects, and societal and technical issues surrounding the use of energy and mineral resources.  Emphasis is on environmental problems and ecoenergetics, consideration of the natural resource base, distribution and production problems, conservation, alternative energy systems, resource policy, and research.

NREM 387 Solid and Hazardous Waste Management (3). Delineation of solid and hazardous waste management in the United States.  Waste reduction, recycling, processing, and disposal methods are discussed.  Technical, political, and economic aspects of waste management.  Effects of improper disposal on environmental quality.

PLAN 433 Environmental Planning (3).  Introduction to the fundamental issues and technologies associated with planning for sensitive use of environmental resources.  Topics include waste management, air and water quality planning, ecological systems, and methods of environmental analysis and implementation.

POLS 281 Economic and Political Problems of Emerging Nations (3).  Historical and contemporary problems of the less-developed nations.  Conditions contributing to economic, political, and social change.  Problems of economic development policies and programs within the institutional structure.  Internal and external pressures that influence patterns of development.

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Author | Last Modification: March, 2008 | Technical comments to the Webmaster

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