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Environment and Sustainability minor

Program Type: 
Geography and Philosophy

The purpose of the Environment & Sustainability program is to give students the skills they need to understand and play a role in solving the critical environmental and sustainability challenges faced by communities all over the world. Students in this program learn the science behind how the physical systems of the earth work and also learn about the political and social systems that govern our relationship with the environment.

Our program is unique in that students learn about both environmental and social forces shaping the world with a focus on students becoming change makers in their communities and the world. Classes are small, all students have a chance to interact with professors doing research in the field of environment and sustainability. The program is designed to provide students the skills they need to understand the complexities of environment and sustainability, and ultimately find employment or a place in graduate school.

The ES Program provides detailed coverage of our most pressing environmental problems and their most promising sustainable solutions at local, regional and global scales.  In addition, students will explore the barriers to developing and implementing these solutions rooted in the workings of our policy -making processes.  Finally, students will have the opportunity to work directly on a wide variety of regional sustainable community development projects to truly appreciate what they have learned in the classroom, and better prepare themselves to be effective sustainable development practitioners.

Acquired Skills

  • Students gain an integrated understanding of the environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainable development
  • Students gain an understanding of the social and community components of sustainability along with an understanding of the solutions for and benefits of creating more sustainable societies
  • Students understand the motives behind and barriers to implementing these sustainable solutions in modern society
  • Students demonstrate an ability to apply their classroom learning experience by conducting successful work in the community advancing sustainable development projects