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College of Arts & Sciences

Sustainability Studies: Thriving in the Anthropocene

sustainability

A Curricular Theme at Ohio University

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About This Theme

Sustainability has become the dominant framework for understanding the challenges of the Anthropocene Epoch, the geological epoch in which humans significantly have altered the functioning of Earth's biological, chemical and physical systems. These changes in Earth's biophysical systems pose a major threat to both humans and non-humans. As a curricular theme, Sustainability Studies invites critical exploration of a multitude of complex issues from the local to the global levels, including resource management and sustainable development; climate change; global capitalism and industrial agriculture; social and environmental resilience; inter-generational equity; environmental justice, ethics and citizenship; social change; consumption, and personal sustainability.

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Sustainability: Meeting the needs of the present while safeguarding Earth's life support system, on which the welfare of current and future generations depends.

Sustainability Studies integrates knowledge from the social sciences, natural sciences and the humanities in a coherent framework that enables students to explore the multi-disciplinary complexity of global sustainability issues. Sustainability Studies invites students to think critically about economic, social, political, cultural and scientific assumptions about humans' relationships to the environment. Sustainability Studies engages students in visionary conversation and collaborative, real-world problem solving, Sustainability Studies also invites students to explore their own personal values and envision a meaningful future in which they can thrive.

Sustainability Studies is a strong complement to a wide variety of majors, minors and certificates in Arts & Sciences as well as across Ohio University. Students pursuing Sustainability Studies will find many opportunities to be involved in hands-on campus and community sustainability projects through the Office of Sustainability, and University College’s Common Experience Project on Sustainability. Perhaps most importantly, the Sustainability Studies curriculum will contribute to students' post-graduation success. There are countless opportunities to work on the necessary social, political, economic, and technological changes necessary to realize a truly sustainable future. Public and private sector organizations in the United States and across the globe increasingly are seeking individuals with a solid grasp of contemporary sustainability challenges and collaborative, multidisciplinary problem-solving skills.

Sustainable Living Floor

Are you interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle? Do you enjoy learning about current sustainability issues? Imagine living on the Sustainable Living Floor and being surrounded by people who share these same interests! With this unique living experience, both freshmen and upperclassmen will have the opportunity to explore different sustainable issues and topics, make new friends, participate in a variety of exciting activities, and build strong relationships with others in the sustainable community here at Ohio University.

Contact Us

For more information contact Dr. Nancy Manring, Sustainability Studies Theme Leader, at manring@ohio.edu or sustainabilitytheme@ohio.edu.

Core Faculty

The development of the Sustainability Studies theme is led by Dr. Nancy Manring (Political Science) and a Core Curriculum Group of four faculty members: Dr. Ryan Fogt (Geography), Dr. Dina Lopez (Geology), Dr. Stephen Scanlan (Sociology), Dr. Viorel Popescu (Biological Sciences), and Dr. Edna Wangui (Geography).

Departmental Social Media

College of Arts & Sciences