By Sarah Baulac, Education and Research Intern
On Thursday, February 27 over 45 students came together to discuss sustainability issues on campus and students’ role in sustainability. Topics ranged from sustainable computing to transportation to sustainability as a lens for teaching many disciplines. The program featured a special announcement from Jeff White, Director of the Integrated Program in the Environment. The College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs will jointly offer a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.
The BA was just approved on February 26, 2014. The description of the BA is as follows:
“Understanding human-environment interactions, sustainable living and our connectedness with Earth at local, regional, and global scales is a core competency in today’s world. The BA E&SS degree complements traditional disciplines and bridges art and humanities, social sciences, and physical and life sciences to explore environment, society, and economy in the context of sustainability in the modern world. The goal of the degree is to provide students a broad introduction to the complex system-scale challenges of sustainability as well as the tools needed to address problems that transcend solely social or environmental domains.”
Students have the choice to concentrate in Sustainable Food systems, Sustainable Energy and Resources, Environmental Justice/Ethics, Biodiversity and Sustainability, or Sustainability Individualized Programs.
The BA is constructed so that students can matriculate after their freshman year. Students also have the option to minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. For more information, students can contact Carlin Schrag (firstname.lastname@example.org), advisor for the major.
The approval of this degree comes on the brink of a new campus strategic plan. The campus strategic plan is dedicated to the academic vision of IU Bloomington. The plan is still in draft format, but is open for comment by going to http://www.indiana.edu/~provost/plan/. There will also be a town hall meeting on Tuesday, March 4 12-2pm in the IU Auditorium. This is our chance as students to demand the inclusion of sustainability in more of our academic programs.