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.”
Major in Sustainability Studies
Environmental Science and 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.
Faculty have developed a number of new courses focusing on the environment, such as:
- "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"
A special learning community course, "Renewable Environment: Transforming Urban Neighborhoods (RETUrN)", links a Sociology course and a Chemistry course to engage students in the redevelopment of a nearby EPA Superfund site.
Under the auspices of SENCER (Science Education For New Civic Engagements and Responsibilities) , this course has become a national model.
Sustainable Economic Development
Read "The Universal Owner's Role in Sustainable Economic Development" (pdf) by James P. Hawley and Andrew T. Williams taken from the International Journal of Corporate Sustainability.