Liberal Arts and Sustainability

The Earth is a complex, dynamic system. The following academic majors and minors provide a context for study of the planet and humanity's role in it, through geologic time to the present.

Each major is designed to thoughtfully engage students with concepts and issues related to the Earth and its environments, through coursework, laboratory and field study, and an introduction to research.

Majors and Minor with a Focus in Sustainability:

  • Environmental Science (Major)
  • Environmental Studies (Major and Minor)
  • Geoscience (Major and Minor)
  • Biology (Major)
  • Environmental Management, Policy, and Science (3/2 program with Duke University)

Faculty in Sustainability 

  • American Studies

    David Schuyler

    • Environmental studies
    • American landscape
    •  Landscapes
    •  Urban history
    • Environmental history

  • Anthropology

    • Restoration of Iraq's southern marshes
    • How environmentalism intersected with U.S. wartime strategies

  • Art & Art History

    Linda Aleci

    • Local Economy Center
    • Food systems
    • USDA
    • Food access
    • LGH's Healthy Communities

    Rick Kent

    • Landscape in Chinese painting
    • Garden design
    • Visual culture
    • Vegetarianism
    • Environmental problems in China

    Kostis Kourelis

    • Green architecture
    • Historical preservation and the environment 
    • Landscape archaeology
    • Environmental humanities

     

  • Biology

    Dan Ardia

    • Evolutionary biology
    • Behavioral and physiological biology
    • Ornithology
    • Vertebrate biology

    Jaime Blair

    • Evolutionary genomics
    • Molecular evolution of plant pathogens
    • Bioinformatics

    Sarah Dawson, Center for the Sustainable Environment

    • Sustainability Committee
    • The effects of human disturbance on predator behavior
    • Wildlife conservation
    • Sustainability
    • Programming at the CSE

    Peter Fields

    • Biochemical and physiological adaptations to extreme environments 

    Janet Fischer

    • Alpine lakes as sentinels of environmental change

    Sybil Gotsch

    • Effects of climate change and water stress on plants
    • Stormwater mitigation

    Jorge Mena-Ali

    • Genetics of plant populations
    • Invasive & rare species
    • Green revolution

    Mark Olson

    • Size-structured interactions in freshwater fish communities
    • Effects of UV radiation and temperature on pelagic food webs

    Tim Sipe

    • Plant ecology
    • Response to disturbance
    • Invasive species
    • Nature writing
    • Forests, wood & culture

  • Business, Organizations, & Society

    Alan Glazer

    • Sustainability reporting: how business organizations communicate their environmental, social, and governance activities to corporations

    Nancy Kurland

    • Benefit corporations
    • Food markets

    Bryan Stinchfield

    • Eco-preneurship
    • Green business

  • Center for the Sustainable Environment

    Sarah Dawson

    • Sustainability Committee
    • The effects of human disturbance on predator behavior
    • Wildlife conservation
    • Sustainability
    • Programming at the CSE

  • Chemistry

    Dustin Covell

    • Organic dye base solar cells
    • Green chemical synthesis 

    Jennifer Morford

    • Trace metal cycling in the marine environment 

    Kate Plass

    • Solar cell technology
    • Energy issues in general chemistry
    • Development of new  sustainable energy technology 

  • Classics

    Zach Biles

    • Greek: Humans & nature

    • Progress

     

  • Earth & Environment

    Eve Bratman

    • Sustainable development politics in the Brazilian Amazon
    • Honey bees

    Sarah Dawson,  Center for the Sustainable Environment

    • Sustainability Committee
    • The effects of human disturbance on predator behavior
    • Wildlife conservation
    • Sustainability
    • Programming at the CSE

    Elizabeth De Santo

    • The efficacy of spatial approaches to conserving marine species and habitats
    • The science-policy interface in environmental decision-making
    • Challenges of effectively implementing marine protected areas
    • Biodiversity conservation worldwide

    Andy de Wet

    • Environmental impacts of energy production and use
    • Geological and environmental applications of GIS 

    Carol de Wet

    • Reef ecosystems and human impacts, including ocean warming and acidification
    • Paleoenvironmental reconstructions, including past climate interpretations

    Paul Harnik

    • Extinction risk
    • Effects of human activities on marine biodiversity
    • Conservation Paleobiology 

    Dorothy Merritts

    • Geomorphology
    • Surface water hydrology

    Jim Strick

    • Environment and human values 

    Bob Walter

    • Landscapes
    • Human impact on water resources

    Chris Williams

    • The role that high-latitude forests and peat forming environments play in the global carbon cycle

  • Economics

    • Environmental economics 

  • English

    Judith Mueller

    • Values
    • Animal studies
    • Nature in literature

  • Government

    • Environmental issues in western political thought
    • French environmental issues 

  • Physics

  • Psychology

    Timothy Roth

    • Cognition as a strategy to respond to environmental change
    • Effect of climate change on hybrid zones

    Josh Rottman

    • Cognitive precursors of environmental ethics

  • Sociology

    • Sustainable food systems in Indonesia