SDSU Establishes ‘Sustainability’ Major

New degree program will incorporate classes from several disciplines.


San Diego State University will offer a major in sustainability next fall, the school announced Monday.

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 as part of the major.

Sarah Elkind, an associate professor of history, led the effort to create the 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 businesses, public policy, environmental education and other fields, according to SDSU.


– City News Service

Gary November 22, 2011 at 11:24 PM
And a minor in pepper spray.
Steven Bartholow November 22, 2011 at 11:34 PM
There is a huge difference between democratic ideals and democracy as a form of governance. Yet again, this black and white ideology that is your paradigm is too limiting. In any type of government that includes the populace voting, I think it's in all of our best interests to have educated voters. And there is such a thing as education without indoctrination. As for morals, I have derived my morals from my personal education, much of it formed by my schooling, and don't think I would necessarily have the well developed sense of morals I think I have, without that schooling. I guess this comes down to a disagreement on the term sustainability. There is a lot of baggage that comes with the word, just like "global warming." But as a society, I think we need to come to terms with what we can agree on about an idea, not what we can get hung up on. Can most of us agree that this modern global society, with all its destructive capabilities, can't just go wild and crazy and needs some people whose education and job it is to specifically keep an eye and some sort of guidance in that regard? We surely need our engineers, but not everyone can do that. Now, I'm off to let my commie professor friend know there's a lecture job open for him : ) darn... no sarcasm button, gets me every time.
Steven Bartholow November 22, 2011 at 11:36 PM
I hear you're immune to it after you minor in it
Steven Bartholow November 22, 2011 at 11:41 PM
I hope there are. This degree could really pack a punch with a minor in either of those fields as well. I'm going to dig further to see if I can find course requirements, but here's a lay out of it: http://newscenter.sdsu.edu/sdsu_newscenter/news.aspx?s=73280
Kevin Boldin November 23, 2011 at 12:25 AM
I don’t believe there is a huge difference at all, one begets the other. If you believe in democratic ideals, your more or less incline to side with socialism/communism/marxism. If you believe in individual liberty, you’re more or less inclined to side with a constitutional republic form of government. That’s not limited thinking as much and using logic and understanding the differences between the forms of government and what democratic ideals are. Right, education without indoctrination, again do you really believe this class will be non-partisan? Please…. Further, here’s where it all goes awry for you “needs some people whose education and job it is to specifically keep an eye and some sort of guidance in that regard”. What regard? Who’s opinion? From who’s analysis? With what guidance? On who’s authority? Under what law? Can you see where this leads? There are many examples throughout history that demonstrate “good intentions” on behalf of the whole because they believed in their righteousness for their society. Do I really need to provide examples??? All I’m saying, don’t complain or seek financial assistance later down the road because of your political proclivities. Don’t complain later when the political climate changes and your perceived value for this course diminishes over time. Spend your wealth wisely my friend.


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