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New! One-Stop Shop for Sustainability Ed

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Thumbnail image for goldy_at_ northrop.jpgBARRETT COLOMBO

The University of Minnesota offers students world-class opportunities to study sustainability through many disciplines and across several colleges. With the number of sustainability-focused courses, programs, and other learning opportunities growing rapidly, a new Sustainability Education website offers a valuable one-stop shop for sustainability education opportunities.

Supported by the Institute on the Environment, the new site includes resources for the undergraduate Sustainability Studies Minor and the faculty-based Sustainability Education Network, and compiles opportunities for graduate and professional students. It also provides up-to-date announcements about sustainability-related events, innovative classes and other opportunities.

Both faculty and students have expressed the need for increased communications about sustainability courses and programs. How does a water resources student interested in legal issues surrounding water quality learn about courses available at the Law School?  How might a faculty advisor in the English department better direct students interested in sustainability communication to opportunities to study the ecology of landscape change? A highlight of the new site is a powerful search tool for finding sustainability courses across the University. The Sustainability Course Search allows Google-style searching for keywords (such as energy or water) while also tailoring to departments, schools, and other criteria. The database is continuously updated with input from faculty and students.

The sustainability studies minor immerses U of M students from any college and major in the study of the real-world challenges of sustainability. Faculty from five colleges govern and teach courses in the minor and more than 600 students have participated since its launch in 2007.

The Sustainability Education Network is a group of faculty interested in improving curricular opportunities around issues of sustainability.  More than 50 faculty and staff members from 12 colleges across the University are now active network members.  They represent disciplines within the humanities, design and architecture, and professional schools, as well as the natural, physical, and social sciences.  

To learn more about these opportunities and more, check out the new website: susteducation.umn.edu.

Barrett Colombo is a graduate sustainability coordinator for the U of M.

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  of the Institute on the Environment/University of Minnesota.