Sustainability in Academics

Our society faces the task of learning how to live in a manner that does not endanger the Earth. Through their teaching and research activities, faculty members at Saint Mary’s College are addressing this challenge.

The environmental crisis challenges us to confront taken-for-granted patterns of thinking. As David Orr sees the problem, “The planetary emergency unfolding around us is, first and foremost . . .a crisis of thought, values, perceptions, ideas and judgments. In other words, it is a crisis of mind, which makes it a crisis of those institutions which purport to improve minds.”

BA in Economics with a concentration in Sustainability Studies

Interested? Read "The Universal Owner's Role in Sustainable Economic Development" by James P. Hawley and Andrew T. Williams taken from the International Journal of Corporate Sustainability.

BA/BS in Environmental Science & Studies (ES&S)

It's important to understand the consequences of the continuing changes we make to our environment. The Environmental Science and Studies program will give you a unique, layered perspective on the ecosystems, the interaction between physical and living systems, and the effects of human society on the world around us.

A sampling of courses focusing on the environment include:

  • "Community Service"
  • "California Flora and Communities"
  • "Environment and Society"
  • "Nature Writing"
  • "Environmental Responsibility in a Global Community
  • "Public Relations and Civic Engagement"
  • "Symbiotic Universe"
  • "Urban Environmental Issues"
  • "Natural Resource Economics"
  • "Environmental Politics"
  • "Environmental Law and Regulation"
  • "U.S. Environmental History"
  • "Latin American Environmental History" 
  • "Scientific & Religious Perspectives on the Environment"

List of Sustainability Courses

From the 2016-17 Course Catalog, we have succesffully categorized sustainabiility central/related courses for all undergraduate courses, including January Term. You can search courses within our four schools (SEBA, SOS, KSOE, SOLA) and based on keywords (ex. agriculture) in spreadsheet and .doc form.

In 2014-2015, the archived inventory of courses (found below) also contains a list of Graduate courses.

JCL coursework

Numerous Justice, Community and Leadership (JCL) courses (130, 150) utilize Campus Sustainability as a partner in their academic work. Past co-curricular work has included the creation of the Free Store, a visioning workshop on sustainability and the mapping of physical assets on our campus.


PDF icon Sustainability Courses, 2014-15358.98 KB