Program Director: Dr. Richard Niesenbaum, Professor of Biology and Sustainability Studies
Associate Professors: Carter, Doviak, Ouellete
Assistant Professors: Chesterton, Adams
Senior Lecturer: Heiman
Sustainability is most commonly defined as meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. The field of Sustainability Studies explores and critiques ways to do this within the context of maintaining environmental health while generating economic opportunity, equitable development and ensuring social justice and well-being. The major and minor operate across disciplines with the goal of instilling understanding, appreciation, and thoughtful problem-solving skills with regard to the relationships and interactions of humans and the environment. Focus areas include study of the environment in relation to human needs, wants and activity; social justice and social movements; economics development, and business; and policy and practice. The program explores and integrates issues broadly related to sustainability, and how they impact and are addressed at local, national, and global levels; and specifically addresses the intersectional nature of environmental and social issues in relation to human difference, power relations, and equity. Sustainability Studies provides the interdisciplinary foundation and the opportunity for integration among disciplines that are needed to understand many of the complex challenges facing our world, and equips students with the skills required to develop solutions to these problems and effect real change. An additional goal is to build a community of faculty and students with a diversity of perspectives and areas of expertise committed to seeking creative solutions for sustainability.
Sustainability Studies minors are required to complete 6 course units. Students take two courses (one in the sciences, and one in the humanities or social sciences) that focus on the Human-Environment Connection; one in the area of Social Justice and Social Movements; and one in the area of Economics, Development, and Business. One advanced course in the area of Sustainability in Practice, and SUS 405 Sustainable Solutions are also required.
Choose two, one must be in the Sciences (BIO, CHM, ESC), and one must be from the Humanities or Social Sciences (ATH, ENG, PHL, REL, or SOC).
Social Justice and Movements
Development, Business and Economics
Integration through Policy and Practice
Choose one; half course unit courses may be combined.