The sustainable studies program is committed to education for sustainable living. The growth and development of students is promoted through curriculum, instruction, research, and field experiences in collaboration with faculty, peers, and members of the community. All of these elements contribute to a solid foundation for the development of ecological citizenship, which includes:
- Ecological knowledge: The acquisition of a "knowledge base" of important ecological concepts, theories, research findings, and issues; understanding of the diverse intellectual, cultural, humanistic, and scientific traditions of ecology, which include the histories and cultural perspectives of those people, including indigenous peoples, traditionally excluded from formal study.
- Ecological literacy: The ability to present your views using a variety of approaches and media to communicate understanding of ecological concepts, theories, and research findings in writing and speaking; not just the ability to read, write, and speak, but the motivation and capacity to be critical of what you read, see, and hear; to probe and go beyond the surface appearance and question common wisdom.
- Ecological responsibility: The ability to use knowledge and skill in effective ways to create and pursue your own goals; to make informed personal, moral, and political decisions; to develop cooperative learning skills in problem solving, setting group goals, and communicating effectively; and to act responsibly in your community to promote sustainable living.
The sustainability studies program is composed of core courses and program electives in the following four areas of study:
- Philosophical & Historical Foundations
- Environmental Sciences
- Social & Economic Justice Education
- Literature & The Arts
All courses are designed as learning communities in which students will experience and practice the basic principles of education for sustainability-encouraging collaboration and shared leadership, fostering interdisciplinary learning, integrating community-based learning with academic curricula, and grounding students in a sense of place. The sustainability department offers the following programs: