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 Annual Academic Sustainability Symposium 

Since 2016, the Academic Subcommittee of the President's Sustainability Committee has hosted an annual Sustainability Symposium with the goal of bringing faculty and students together to share their research and teaching materials related to sustainability.  The Symposium has also been a space to host guest lectures, review seminal literature, and discuss the importance of incorporating sustainability into course curriculum across divisions and departments. Click here for the 2018 Agenda of the Sustainanability Symposium.

Sustainability-Related Degree Programs and Courses 

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.