Department of Environment, Society & Sustainability Mission

The mission of the Department of Environment, Society, and Sustainability is to provide students with an integrated learning experience encompassing the major social-environmental problems of our planet.  Uniquely, we approach such problems-including the climate crisis, biodiversity loss, changes in land system use, and rising social inequality and conflict-through the natural and social sciences as well as considerations of justice and ethics.  The interdisciplinary nature of the department offers students a strong foundation in the physical sciences; broad training in geospatial technologies such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and remote sensing; and environmental policy applications through experiential, collaborative, laboratory, field, capstone, and seminar learning opportunities.  We offer students the opportunity to examine the human-natural relationship at multiple scales: the local and regional explorations of human and natural diversity, the planet-scale impacts of human civilization on the biophysical systems that maintain life on Earth, and Earth as part of the solar system and the universe.  Furthermore, we offer students the ability to integrate physical and natural aspects of the world with the social, cultural, economic, and political aspects of the world to recognize and redress issues related to environmental racism and climate justice.  Program graduates will be positioned for professional employment in governmental agencies, private corporations, non-profit organizations, and consulting firms.  Program graduates are also positioned to pursue graduate studies in a variety of fields including earth science, environmental science, conservation biology, resource management, environmental planning, environmental engineering, environmental law, and environmental education.  Through faculty trained in multiple disciplines, from urban planning to geology, from astronomy to geographical information systems, from physics and engineering to human cultural diversity and environmental justice, our programs offer a rich integrative experience to students that matches the transdisciplinary nature of the world’s most challenging problems.