Sustainability academic programs at the University of Arkansas are growing to accommodate the increased interest in sustainability issues across campus. The goal of the University of Arkansas Sustainability Program is to become a global leader in sustainability education, knowledge generation, and outreach. The last five years have seen progress with the addition of the undergraduate minor, a graduate certificate, and a number of successful summer Research Experience for Undergraduate (REU) programs.
The three required SUST minor courses are:
SUST 1103: Foundations of Sustainability
SUST 2103: Applications of Sustainability
SUST 4103: Capstone Experience in Sustainability
For the past seven years the U of A Sustainability Program has led the U of A’s Ecological Research Experience for Undergraduates (EcoREU) program. The focus of this program includes sustainable agricultural systems, funded by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the sustainable management and assessment of ecosystem services, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
During the summer of 2015, 18 undergraduate students from universities across the country came to the U of A campus as REU Interns. They started with a three-day immersion course in Exploration of Sustainability Ethics and Experimental Design followed by an eight-week research experience under the direct mentorship of faculty from across campus. The program concluded with a science communications symposium, where students presented their projects and project results to one another and their faculty mentors. More than 120 students from around the US have benefited from this program thus far.
The UA Sustainability Minor requires three core courses in addition to three elective courses from a portfolio of almost 100 technical electives from a broad range of disciplines. The required courses provide a common body of knowledge for students, and include Foundations of Sustainability (SUST 1103), Applications of Sustainability (SUST 2103), and Capstone Experience in Sustainability (SUST 4103). Enrollment in the minor has steadily increased since it became available in 2011. In 2015 the Sustainability Minor was ranked among the top 10 most popular minors at the University of Arkansas.
Sustainability Graduate Certificate
The University of Arkansas Graduate Certificate in Sustainability is open to any student admitted to the Graduate School, and requires one required course and four technical electives from a portfolio of courses across disciplines. The Graduate Certificate was created in 2012 to provide an opportunity for graduate students and working professionals to expand their competency in the science of sustainability.