-BACKGROUND-

The growing field of sustainability studies questions that cross and expand disciplinary boundaries. Understanding and conceptualizing breakthroughs in sustainability studies derives from successfully integrating its multiple components – society, economics, and environment. The Sustainability Engagement Certificate is thus centrally designed to facilitate learning and research among students that confronts the interconnections between environmental, economic, and social aspects of sustainability. A core focus of the Certificate is to help students learn to apply interdisciplinary systems thinking in service to society professionally and in civic life after they graduate. In this context, systems thinking means that students consider not only constituent parts of various environmental and human systems but also how these systems work over time, space, and scale.

Although the general conceptions of the word “sustainability” often privilege the environmental component of the word, students in the Certificate must understand the importance of all three aspects. Students will achieve a strong interdisciplinary understanding of sustainability through the Certificate, both in the operation of the Certificate and in each student’s specific program. Faculty from every corner of campus participate with the Certificate through teaching, advising, and experiential engagement.

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