The sustainability challenges facing communities locally and globally today underscore the need for interdisciplinary sustainability education that enables students to become informed citizens, engaged professionals and effective problem solvers. Sustainability education is an integral pillar of 21 st - century public, land grant, research and community-engaged institutions. Ohio State recognizes the importance of sustainability, including sustainability education, in its university-wide strategic sustainability goals.
Ohio State’s commitment to cultivating future sustainability leaders begins in the classroom, where we offer 74 undergraduate majors and minors and a variety of master’s and doctoral programs that identify one or more sustainability-related learning outcomes as well as over 1,245 courses that feature sustainability topics. The university delivers a curriculum that provides Ohio State students with opportunities to understand sustainability holistically, framed by the environment, science, technology, society, the economy, history, culture and politics.
AN INTERDISCIPLINARY APPROACH
The Sustainability Education and Learning Committee (SELC), facilitated by the Sustainability Institute, provides a platform for faculty and academic units to develop a comprehensive and coordinated approach to interdisciplinary sustainability education programs for undergraduate and graduate students. SELC's May 2019 report on undergraduate sustainability education establishes a framework for sustainability education at Ohio State, strengthening existing academic programs and identifying opportunities for new ones. The group is currently providing guidance on the sustainability theme that is part of the university’s revised General Education requirements and developing tools to support new or expanded academic program opportunities for students. For more information, contact Gina Jaquet, director of sustainability education and learning.
STUDENT RESEARCH AWARDS
Ohio State rewards sustainability scholarship by providing incentives for students to make discoveries and stimulate creative efforts that promote and achieve sustainability. Each year, Ohio State undergraduate students gain research experience by participating in the Richard J. and Martha D. Denman Undergraduate Research Forum. The forum celebrates students’ research discoveries, innovation and passions. The Sustainability Institute provides awards to excellent undergraduate research in the area of sustainability as it encompasses many diverse disciplines and student interests. Sustainability Institute faculty and staff consider how the students’ projects connect to sustainability, the interdisciplinary connections in their research, and how well they can translate their research and findings to varied audiences when selecting awardees. Read about the 2020 Denman Forum sustainability awardees.