Sustainability Minor

The sustainability minor draws upon the Sustainability Leadership Semester for the majority of the credits for this minor. Students who complete the 15 credits in the SLS may choose to take one additional course from a list of approved courses to complete a minor in sustainability.

Program description
The Sustainability Leadership Semester is an undergraduate immersion program offered in the fall semester, which is focused on sustainability and regeneration. A cohort of students spends the semester in full-time residence at Merry Lea’s Rieth Village. Students closely evaluate day-to-day decisions and make sustainable living choices concerning both personal lifestyle and community life. They study ecosystems and their functions at Merry Lea and in the surrounding region.

The Sustainability Leadership Semester is a problem-based learning experience in which students engage in solving real issues of local concern. The learning community provides an opportunity for students and faculty with a wide range of backgrounds and expertise to contribute to the process of understanding these problems and looking for solutions. Students interact with people from the local community who are faced with real environmental issues and learn the complexity of and interdisciplinary nature of possible solutions.

Planning and advising notes
The SLS program is designed to be part of a student’s third year of college, but there is some flexibility to fit with student schedules. There are no specific prerequisite courses for this program. Participants are selected through a competitive application process. Applications may be obtained through the offices at Merry Lea. Permission from the director of the Sustainability Leadership Semester is required to enroll.

Course Requirements

In order to earn the sustainability minor, students must successfully complete all the courses in the SLS program. These courses add up to 15 credit hours:

SUST 300 Sustainability and Regeneration 3 credits
SUST 309 Faith, Ethics and Eco-justice 3 credits
BIOL/SUST 313 Landscape Limnology 4 credits
SUST 320 Environmental Policy and Politics 3 credits
BIOL/SUST 330 Environmental Problem Solving 2 credits

To complete the requirements for the minor, students must take one additional three-credit course selected from the following options.

BIOL 110 Ecology and Evolution 3 credits
BIOL 309 General Ecology 3 credits
BIOL 340 Field Experience in Environmental Education 3 credits
ECON 309 Environmental Economics 3 credits
HIST 345 Environmental History 3 credits

Other courses appropriate to the student’s area of interest may be substituted with the approval of their advisor and the director of the SLS.