UR Now Offering a Minor in Sustainability

If you are browsing the University’s sustainability webpage, you will probably notice this definition:

sus·tain·a·bil·i·ty
at the u·ni·ver·si·ty of roch·es·ter:
a guiding principle in facilities planning, curriculum development, and student-led initiatives

It has been evident that the University has stood true to this definition in the areas of facilities planning and student-led initiatives. But a group of faculty has also been hard at work to incorporate sustainability into the academic curriculum as well. Their efforts have paid off and now the University is proud to announce that a minor in Sustainability is available beginning this fall. You can see the coursework and details at: http://www.rochester.edu/college/msc/sustainability.html

Most of you reading this are planet lovers yourself and are likely aware that environmental sustainability is a relatively new term and therefore is young as a field of study as well. This fact has made it an interesting challenge for the academic leaders within our institution to define exactly what sustainability at the University of Rochester should include in as and academic field of study and what classes it should incorporate. By nature sustainability is an interdisciplinary study, and that is how it will be offered here including coursework from the physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities.

In terms of landing a green job in the current market, having a minor in this field in combination with a major in another area is seemingly a very smart way to go. In fact, most employers who are seeking to fill sustainability related positions seek candidates who have other areas of expertise as well, such as business, sales, engineering, accounting, mechanics, electrics, plumbing, architecture, chemist, biology, etc.  In the words of Roger Guzowski, Recycling Manager of Five Colleges, Inc. offering advice to a job-seeker, “If you can bundle sustainability with one of those other experiences (if you had a student job outside the sustainability field, think about building on that, even if it was something like a student job in the dining commons or a print shop), I think you will find yourself with a long career and a more clear pathway toward that future.”

The next logical step would be to implement a Sustainability major, and as the market grows and more green jobs are created, a major in this field will also be very valuable. As the Univerity pursues this, it is staying true to another favorite phrase, Meliora (meaning “ever better”)! 

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