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SMC|Academic Affairs|Sustainability at SMC|Greening the Curriculum

Greening the Curriculum

Center for Environmental and Urban Studies logo

1744 Pearl Street
Santa Monica, CA 90405




  • AA in Environmental Science
  • AA in Environmental Studies
  • Certificate / AA in Photovoltaic Technology
  • Certificate / AA in Recycling and Resource Management


Santa Monica College students will, “assume responsibility for their own impact on the earth by living a sustainable and ethical life style.”


A student meeting the Global Citizenship AA requirement would develop an awareness of the diversity of cultures within the United States and/or an appreciation for the interconnectedness of cultural, ecological, economic, political, social and technological systems of the contemporary world. This prepares the student to make a responsible contribution to a rapidly changing global society. The student must take a minimum of three units in one of the following areas: American Cultures, Ecological Literacy, Global Studies, Service Learning or a Santa Monica College Study Abroad Experience.

Ecological Literacy

Ecological literacy requires interdisciplinary understanding of both nature and humanity. This includes scientific examination of the interactions between and within the systems and cycles of the atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere, which together provide the basis for life on Earth. Ecological literacy also includes awareness and understanding of the many continuing impacts that human beings have had on natural environments, at scales ranging from the local to the global, and how those impacts are linked to the sustainability of social, cultural, and political-economic systems.  Any course whose content focuses primarily on one or more of three areas will be considered for the Ecological Literacy category.

  • Conceptual foundations of our environmental attitudes, values and challenges from a variety of cultural perspectives.
  • Scientific understanding of Earth’s natural systems and cycles, emphasizing humanity’s role as the planet’s ecologically dominant species and how that affects the continuing viability of habitats for life on Earth.
  • Analysis of human activity and its impact on Earth’s natural environments, both local and global, and the shorter-and longer-term implications for the planet’s livability and sustainability.

Courses that meet the Global Citizenship Graduation Requirement for Ecological Literacy:

Course Number* Course Name Professors
BIO 9 Human Ecology
ENVR 7 or
Introduction to Environmental Studies Selby W A
POLSC 22 Environmental Politics and Policies Katherine A L
​RRM 1 ​Recycling and Resource Management ​Charles V
​PV 1 ​Photovoltaic Installation ​Cooley S

* Please consult SMC's Academic Schedule of Classes for details.



The Academic Senate’s Environmental Affairs Committee (EAC) educates the campus and the surrounding community on environmental needs and concerns. The EAC supports the Center for Environmental and Urban Studies (CEUS) as a resource for environmental research, information gathering, volunteer work, and education, and supports sustainability-related and sustainability-focused academic courses and programs at the College.


In the fall of 2009 the Environmental Affairs Committee of the Academic Senate began a campaign to "green the curriculum" i.e. to encourage and inspire faculty to integrate ecological literacy into their existing courses without changing the fundamental objectives of the courses. EAC representatives have already visited many departments to find out what faculty are doing and could do at the intersection of ecological literacy and their respective disciplines. Our goal is to visit all academic departments on campus by the end of the academic year 2010-11. The culmination of the initiative will be the launching of a “Greening the Curriculum” website which features discipline specific examples, tools and resources devoted to green professional development across the campus.