Monday, November 21, 2011
San Diego State University will offer a major in "sustainability'' next fall, the school announced today.
Instruction in resource conservation will be offered through the College of Arts and Letters and incorporate several academic disciplines.
"There has been a lot of interest, starting with our students, for this type of degree,'' said Matt Lauer, an associate professor of anthropology.
"And so after several years of talking about it, we finally put together a proposal to make it happen, and it was approved very quickly.''
Students will take courses in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences.
Sarah Elkind, an associate professor of history, led the effort to create the sustainability major. She said that in order to fully understand sustainability, students in the major will not only study how to conserve energy or reduce carbon emissions, but will investigate the cultural values that shape resource use, consumption and governance.
"To really implement sustainability, you need to be able to talk to both scientists and policymakers,'' Elkind said.
The new major will train students to bridge this divide, and will prepare them for careers in sustainable business, public policy, environmental education and other fields, according to SDSU.