Develop skills to protect the world
Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ESS) is a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary minor that offers students the opportunity to explore and critically examine issues related to the environments we share with other humans and with other species. Students have the opportunity to consider how the scientific, social, cultural, cognitive, intellectual, and spiritual dimensions of human-ecological relationships relate to the natural world and how these relationships affect the well-being of human, non-human, and shared communities alike. In addition, students develop the tools to form, evaluate, and act upon environmental questions at the local, national, and global levels.
The mission of the ESS program is to bring together faculty and students to explore human-environment relationships. Environmental degradation produced by human activity poses an existential threat to humans and other-than-humans. Communities around the world are creating alternative social, political, economic, and ethical structures and worldviews to transition to a just and sustainable future. The ESS Program prepares students to become part of this transformation.
Students who choose a minor in ESS will:
1. Understand the critical urgency of threats to our ecological communities and systems,
2. Deepen their understanding of the connections between individual and community well-being and the integrity of the places we inhabit,
3. Deconstruct systems of privilege and power to examine how they threaten natural systems and environments,
4. Explore the rich variety of existing practices and perspectives that represent sustainable alternatives to dominant socio-economic structures,
5. Focus on the interconnected socio-cultural, economic, political, and ethical systems that lead to environmental degradation and/or environmental sustainability,
6. Explore sustainable alternatives to human ecology and communities,
7. Reflect on the meaning of being human in a more-than-human world, and
8. Engage in community stewardship projects and/or creative expression that combines environmental theory and practice.