Mission and Outcomes

Geography, Urban, Environment & Sustainability Studies


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Mission and Learning Outcomes:

The mission of the ES program is to train future sustainable development practitioners by providing interdisciplinary instruction on our most pressing social/environmental problems, their most promising solutions and the barriers to implementing these solutions as well as practical ‘hands-on’ experience working on a wide variety of regional sustainable development projects.  

 The ES Program has the following Student Learning Outcomes:

 Students gain an integrated understanding of the environmental, economic and social dimensions of sustainable development

  1. Students gain an understanding of the fundamental teachings of Biology and Ecology along with how human activities impact the natural environment
  2. Students gain an understanding of both traditional neoclassical and more modern ecological economic approaches to appreciate and contribute to the critical paradigm shift taking place in economics to support sustainable development
  3. 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
  4. Students understand the motives behind and barriers to implementing these sustainable solutions in modern society
  5. Students demonstrate an ability to apply their classroom learning experience by conducting successful work in the community advancing sustainable development projects

The knowledge gained from their interdisciplinary coursework and the practical experience applying that knowledge will prepare students for a wide variety of jobs in the growing field involving the development and implementation of more sustainable solutions to our most pressing environmental and social problems.  This ‘3-legged’ (social, economic, environmental) interdisciplinary approach to sustainable development has become the ‘industry standard’ now widely adopted by industry, government and non-profit employment sectors.  Students with limited exposure to any of these three critical dimensions of sustainability will be hindered in their search for employment.