Apr 14, 2024  
2020-2021 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog 
2020-2021 UMass Dartmouth Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Sustainability Studies Program

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Program Description

The purpose of the Sustainability Studies Program is to prepare students to be educated citizens, to be conversant with the sustainability-related issues and tasks that arise in the modern workplace, and to pursue careers as sustainability professionals. Sustainability Studies currently offers an 18-credit minor that may be combined with any major field of study.

Sustainability is most often defined as development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. As such, it focuses upon the interaction of natural, economic, and social systems. This triple focus is reflected in kindred concepts such as “corporate social responsibility” and “triple bottom line accounting.”

The rising importance of sustainability has been accompanied by an increased demand within all kinds of organizations—public, private, and nonprofit—for employees conversant with the issues and tasks involved. Individuals who devote themselves full-time or part-time to these tasks are known as “sustainability professionals.” Common duties of sustainability professionals include:

  • compiling regular reports on the organization’s environmental, social, and economic performance, both locally and throughout the world
  • ensuring compliance with governmental regulations regarding pollution and occupational health and safety
  • reducing waste and energy use by making operations more efficient
  • measuring and reporting on greenhouse gas emissions
  • ensuring compliance with nongovernmental sustainability standards, labels, and certifications
  • maintaining outreach to important stakeholders such as the local community, governmental officials, businesses, nongovernmental organizations, shareholders, and the media
  • creating and monitoring management plans for natural resources owned or impacted by the organization
  • educating and motivating fellow employees

All of these tasks require an ability to communicate across disciplinary boundaries. This emphasis on communication across boundaries is reflected in the design and delivery of the Sustainability Studies curriculum at UMass Dartmouth. The participating faculty and students represent a wide range of academic disciplines, and many non-faculty members of the campus community participate in the program as well.



Participating Faculty

Rachel Kulick (Program Director), Associate Professor of Sociology

Mark Altabet, Department of Estuarine & Ocean Sciences

Smita Bala, Department of Chemistry

Heidi Berggren, Department of Political Science

Sankha Bhowmick, Department of Mechanical Engineering

James Bisagni, Department of Estuarine & Ocean Sciences

Jerry Blitefield, Department of English

Sarah Cosgrove, Department of Economics

Robert Darst, Department of Political Science

Anna Dempsey, Department of Art History

Neil Fennessey, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Catherine Gardner, Departments of Philosophy and Women’s & Gender Studies

Randall Hall, Department of Economics

Memory Holloway, Department of Art History

Shannon Jenkins, Department of Political Science

Pamela Karimi, Department of Art History

Lisa Maya Knauer, Department of Sociology & Anthropology

Crystal Lubinsky, Religious Studies Program

Devon Lynch, Departments of Economics & Public Policy

Yale Magrass, Department of Sociology & Anthropology

David Manke, Department of Chemistry

Chad McGuire, Department of Public Policy

Heather Miller, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Jennifer Mulnix, Department of Philosophy

Nancy O’Connor, Department of Biology

David Prentiss, Department of Political Science

Tara Rajaniemi, Department of Biology

Isabel Rodrigues, Department of Sociology & Anthropology

John Silva, Department of Physics

Miles Sundermeyer, Department of Estuarine & Ocean Sciences

Amit Tandon, Department of Mechanical Engineering

Jefferson Turner, Department of Biology

Timothy Walker, Department of History

Steven White, Department of Management & Marketing

Marguerite Zarrillo, Department of Physics

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