Earth Friendly Majors

Sustainability Focused Majors, Certificates, Classes, and Research Opportunities

Majors

  • Environmental Policy Major (BA or BS)
  • Geology Major with Environmental option
  • B.A. Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • Interdisciplinary Programs – Bio-Geosciences

Certificates

  • Environmental Law Certificate Program: Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law (REEL) offering courses in: Energy & Natural Resources Law & Policy Seminar, Energy Law Journal, Energy Policy: The REEL World, Environmental Law, Federal Energy & Natural Resource Policy Seminar, International Energy & Natural Resources Law, International Environmental Law Seminar, Native American Natural Resources, Natural Resources & Environmental Law on Federal Lands, Toxic Torts, and Water Law. Additionally, they are actively working to expand the legal curriculum to include more classes pertaining to natural resources, energy, and environmental law.

Courses

  • Continuing Education Course – College of Law - Sustainable Development Law in China June 2007
  • ARTH: Aesthetics of Sustainability – Sustainable Aesthetics
  • BUS: Social Entrepreneurship, Environmental Economics, Policy Analysis
  • MGT/MKT: Social Responsibility in Business
  • SOC: Environmental Sociology, Population and Ecology, Urban Sociology
  • POL: Environmentalism
  • HIST: US Environmental History
  • BIO: Environmental- Ecology, Environmental Ethics and Conservation
  • ChemE: Ecosystem Damage and Recovery, Environmental Engineering
  • GEOL: Earth Resources
  • ME: Sustainable Energy Engineering, SENEA (Sustainability for NE Asia) This was the first TU course focused on Sustainable Energy Engineering. (21 students, Spring 2009) Service-learning type term projects included: home energy audits for Tulsa homes and businesses as well as sustainable energy projects for NE Asia.  

Research Opportunities

  • Research Projects focused on alternative fuel/transportation: Hybrid Electric Golf Cart running off fuel cell and diesel technology, Rainforest Biomes, Environmental Impact of Sunscreen (Sean Fuentes), Indoor Air Quality and Oil/Fuel Remediation, Sustainable Microeconomic Activities like Eat Local Movement, Tall Grass Prairie preservation, and sustainable energy management including wind energy. There has been work the last few years on "human powered electric vehicles," funded through TURC, the ENS College, and SENEA, with applications in disadvantaged regions of the world and for persons with disabilities.
  • The Off-Grid Water Treatment Project is an interdisciplinary research program between the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and the Mechanical Engineering Department. The project involves developing a system to be used in in places that have no access to either treated water or electricity. The goal of the project is to take water contaminated with bacteria, protozoa and other harmful micro-organisms and use either solar radiation or wind energy to convert salt into a chlorinating agent that can be used to disinfect the contaminated water. (Gordon Purser)
  • Algae Biofuels –Chemical engineering faculty researchers developed a patent-pending refining process for Sapphire Energy’s green crude in 2008. Green crude is a crude oil equivalent derived from algae via renewable processes. Algae Production doesn’t require large amounts of fertilizer, farmland or fresh water. It does absorb large quantities of CO2, creating a carbon-neutral cycle that removes an equivalent amount of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere as are emitted from cars. Fuel made from algae is projected to produce about 50% of the transportation fuel requirements of the entire country-using about one-quarter of the land that is currently used to grow corn in the U.S. Gasoline made from green crude is compatible with the existing petroleum infrastructure and fuels derived from green crude were used successfully in several test flights with commercial airlines Continental and JAL in January 2009. Green crude fueled the Algaeus, a Toyota Prius that was the world’s first hybrid vehicle to cross the country on algae-based renewable gasoline in September 2008.
  • Indoor Air Quality Management Program is internationally recognized for its work dedicated to improving the indoor air quality in homes, schools and workplace environments. Currently, working with a major US flooring manufacturer on a three year study that will examine differences between varied flooring types and the impact on occupied school classroom environments. Focus will be on settled dust data collection, cleaning methodology and resuspension rates of particulate matter with emphasis on creating a healthier breathing environment for the nation’s schools. Continuing study to assess the relationship between academic performance of school children and IAQ in elementary schools. Through a combination of on-site training sessions for General IAQ, Maintenance, HVAC/Ventilation and Walk Through Validations, low-cost or no cost improvements that reduce illness and asthma triggers, increase ventilation and minimize exposure to indoor air pollutants can be identified.

Other Opportunities

  • Sustainability-focused Internships/green jobs – Undergrad. Career Services and  Sierra Club Environmental Law Program (San Francisco). Typically about six student interns are employed to work on sustainability efforts each semester.
  • Office of University and Community Service notifies campus of volunteer projects promoting many community charities including sustainable organizations such as: Neighbor to Neighbor event preparing or working a booth at the Jenks Herb & Plant Festival in April.  Or Blue Dome Festival in May.
  • National Energy Policy Institute (NEPI) seeks to find sustainable energy sources that mitigate global warming and national security challenges