This course introduces engineering and non-engineering students to innovative technologies that must be employed to sustain the human species on Earth by reducing the impact of urban communities. After an introduction to Sustainability, technologies will be considered in five areas related to the built environment: environmental protection, energy, water, shelter, and transportation. The course is designed to increase students’ understanding of sustainable technologies and ability to incorporate such technologies into programs to improve sustainability.


M 12:15 - 1:30 PM Rowan Hall 239

W 12:15 - 1:30 PM Rowan Hall 239

Office Hours: Rowan Hall 335. Stop by anytime except during lunch (I'm in my office most of the time). You can also make an appointment by email. Finally, I will make sure I am in my office from 9 to 11 AM on Tuesdays.


PowerPoints will be used during a number of class periods. Links to PowerPoint files are provided in the Schedule below (Topic column). You are encouraged to print the PowerPoints (6 slides per page please!), bring them to class, and can take notes on them. You may use a lap top to electronically take notes on the PowerPoints; however, laptops must only be used to class related activities. There is a good chance we will vary somewhat from the schedule this semester, so BRING THE NEXT TWO POWERPOINTS TO CLASS FOR EACH SESSION. You DO NOT need to read my PowerPoints before class.

Schedule (Subject to Change)

Homework / Bring to Class
Jan 22 (W)
Jan 27 (M)
Discuss Projects
Jan 29 (W)
Select Projects, Ecological Footprint HW
Feb 3 (M)
Feb 5 (W)
Feb 10 (M)
Feb 12 (W)
Bring Calculator
Feb 17 (M)
Bring Calculator
Feb 19 (W)
Bring Calculator
Feb 24 (M)
Feb 26 (W)
Bring Calculator
Mar 3 (M)
Snow Day
Bring Calculator, SP (PV) HW
Mar 5 (W)
Term Paper GOOD Draft
Mar 10 (M)
Urban Biophilia / Exam Review
Mar 12 (W)
Bring Calculator, SW HW
Mar 24 (M)
Mar 26 (W
Exam (Up to & including Biophilia)
Mid-Term Exam
Mar 31 (M)
Bring Calculator, DW HW
Apr 2 (W)
Solar Power (Passive) Continued
Bring Calculator, Lesson Plans, Presentations
Apr 7 (M)
Lesson Plans, Presentations
Apr 9 (W)
Lesson Plans, Presentations
Apr 14 (M)
Nauss & Composting
Lesson Plans, Presentations, SP (P) HW
Apr 16 (W)
Lesson Plans, Presentations
Apr 21 (M)
Trull & Vincz
Les. Plans, Presentations, Larson & Ag HW
Apr 23 (W)
Lazin & Blalog
Lesson Plans, Presentations
Apr 28 (M)
Holt & Beattie
Lesson Plans, Presentations
Apr 30 (W)
Santos & LEEDs ND
May 5 (M)
Final Review
May 7
Final (2:45 - 4:45)
Final, Term Paper

Use the links in the Preparation column above to prepare for class. Prepare BEFORE class! If there is a reading, read it before class, mark it up or make notes, and bring a printout or electronic version to class. If you are asked to investigate topics on the internet, make notes summarizing what you find. Homework is due at the start of class on the day shown above. Use the links to find specifics.


≥92 = A, ≥90 = A-, ≥88 = B+, ≥82 = B and so on. The scale may be adjusted down for the final grades, e.g., an 89.9 might be an A-. The grade distribution is given below.

  1. Participation, Professionalism (10 %)
  2. Term Paper Draft (A GOOD Draft!) - See topics below. (15 %) Electronic Submission, ~15 pages double spaced
    • Introduction (Goal & Objectives)
    • History of technology(s)
    • Current state-of-the-art
    • Pros and cons
    • Future directions
    • Case study(s)
    • Conclusion
    • References (scholarly articles and reports by reputable organizations)
    • Optional - Include Example and HW problem for feedback (see "Lesson Plan")
  3. Mid-Semester Exam (10 %)
  4. "Lesson Plan" based on Term paper - Due 1 week before YOUR class session (10 %) Electronic Submission
    • PowerPoint Presentation
    • Discussion Question List
    • Optional, For students wanting an A - Assigned Reading - Article or Website (provide article as pdf)
    • Optional, For students wanting an A - Example & HW problem
      • Example should be included in presentation
      • HW should be provided as a Word File and must include the solution as a separate page
  5. Presentation - Lead class for half of period using "Lesson Plan" (10 %)
  6. HW Problems - created by instructor and other students (10 %)
  7. Term Paper (15 %) Electronic Submission
  8. Final Exam (15 %)

See my Student Resources page for guidance on Report formats, grading abbreviations, etc. Use the "Research Paper Format" and the "Citing & Reference Formats (ASCE)". You can use the bullet points in item 2 above as section headings for the middle part of the paper. No abstract needed in your report.

Suggested Student Topics (First to email me gets the topic; other topics OK with permission of instructor)


If you are to miss an assignment due date, exam, quiz, field trip, or class session you must have a valid excuse and notify me prior to the event (except in case of emergency).

If you have a documented disability that may have an impact upon your work, please contact me. Students must provide documentation of their disability to the Academic Success Center in order to receive official University services and accommodations (856 256 4234). The staff is available to answer questions regarding accommodations or assist you in your pursuit of accommodations. Make sure you notify me by email before a test if you need an accommodation.

You are encouraged to work together on assignments. However, copying is not acceptable. Copied assignments can receive a zero grade (both original and copies). For paper assignments, copying is writing on your paper while looking at another student's paper. When working electronically, copying is when two students are working on one computer or a student uses a file created by another student. Cheating on a test will cause the student to receive a zero grade, at a minimum. Plagiarism will also cause the student to receive a zero grade, at a minimum.

Rowan University has a licensing agreement with Turnitin, an online service to help prevent student plagiarism. As part of this course I may use Turnitin at my discretion to determine the originality of your work. If your work is submitted to Turnitin, it will be stored in the Turnitin database. You have the right to refuse either to submit your work to Turnitin or have the university do so; availing yourself of this right will not negatively impact your success in the course. If you do not wish to use Turnitin you must notify me by e-mail before the fourth class period. If you object to the use of Turnitin, I will use other procedures to assess originality.


I expect you to prepare for most classes, as described below.

Sustainability: Just come to class ready to participate.

Environmental Protection: Spend ~30 minutes on the Internet exploring one or more major environmental problem. Possibilities include: Habitat Destruction, Acid Rain, Air Pollution, Water Pollution, Pharmaceutical Pollution, Water Supply, Stormwater Management,Ozone Depletion, Hazardous Waste, Municipal Solid Waste, Ocean Plastics, Human Caused Climate Change, etc. Be prepared to participate in a conversation about major environmental problems. As always, use critical thinking to process what you find. Is a given website reputable? Unbiased? Scientific? Rational?

World Carrying Capacity: Read Jeroen et al. Don’t get bogged down in the statistics. Focus on the big picture. What kinds of factors can limit world carrying capacity? What is a reasonable estimate of world carrying capacity?

American Way of Life: Spend ~30 minute on the Internet exploring the impact of the American Way of Life. Focus on relationships between our way of life and waste, innovation, environmental degradation, environmental protection, etc. Look at the good and bad.

Sustainable Urbanism: Read “What is Sustainable Urbanism?” This is a long reading (and no pictures!), but it will give you a good introduction to this very important topic.

Wind Power: Spend ~30 minutes on the Internet exploring the good and bad side of Wind Power.

Urban Density: Read Normal et al. Don't get too bogged down in the metrics. Just understand the implications of Urban density.

Solar Power (PV): Spend ~30 minutes on the Internet exploring the good and bad side of Solar Power.

Urban Corridors: No preparation needed. Work on your midterm paper.

Lighting: No preparation needed. Work on your midterm paper.

Urban Neighborhoods: No preparation needed. Work on your midterm paper.

Storm Water: Carefully walk through Lot D (by the football stadium) and check out the bioinfiltration basins in the parking lot medians and between the parking lot and the stadium. Read the big sign next to the stadium fence. Where else on campus could Rowan install infiltration basins?

Buildings & Infrastructure: No preparation needed. Work on your presentation and/or term paper.

Urban Biophilia:No preparation needed. Work on your presentation and/or term paper.

Drinking Water: The first objective of Goal 7 (Ensure Environmental Sustainability) of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals is "Halve proportion of population without improved drinking water". How are we doing?

Solar Power (Active): Spend ~20 minutes on the Internet exploring the good and bad side of Solar Power Towers. You can also search "central tower power plant" and/or "heliostat power plant". Make sure to look at pictures! How many are operating today? In what countries?

Solar Power (Passive): Spend ~15 minutes on the Internet looking at pictures of passive solar homes. How are they different from traditional homes? Similar?

Green Roofs: No preparation needed. Work on your presentation and/or term paper.


Ecological Footprint Memo.
Calculate your family's ecological footprint using the calculator at www.myfootprint.org. Do it as if you live with your immediate family, e.g., in your parent’s home. Complete the most detailed quiz. Answer the following questions:

Email me a 1 page email memo, i.e., with the text in the email. The "To", "From", etc. are built into the email. Write the email as if you were sending information to your boss. Answer the questions in order. Do some research on the Internet. Cite and reference sources using my guide. I expect at least three citations, for: ecological footprints, what you can do personally, and the role of technology. Include your last name and the assignment name in the subject line, e.g., Jane Doe, Ecological Footprint Memo.

Carbon Footprint Memo. 

Calculate your family's greenhouse gas emissions using the EPA calculator. Do it as if you live with your immediate family, e.g., with your parents. Answer the following:

Follow the guidance for the previous memo. I expect at least three citations, for greenhouse gases in general, what you can do personally, and the role of technology.

Additional HW is assigned via email. See the schedule above for due dates.