Academics

Wesleyan has taken many steps to make sustainability a part of its curriculum through the creation of the College of the Environment and increasing numbers of sustainability course offerings, including through the Sustainability & Environmental Justice Pedagogical Initiative and Sustainability & Environmental Justice course cluster. Integrating sustainability into the curriculum and into the operations of academic departments help to make sustainability knowledge and skills universal for Wesleyan students and faculty.

What We've Done

  • Degrees and Courses
    1. In 1999, Wesleyan launched the Environmental Studies certificate, now the Environmental Studies minor. The College of the Environment (COE) launched in 2009 with a linked major to prepare students to interpret scientific and environmental information, engage both scholars and the public in discourse about environmental issues, understand connections between environmental and social or political issues, and have both practical and theoretical experience in environmental issues.
    2. Earth and Environmental Sciences (E&ES) offers BA and MA programs that cover many aspects of the natural world. 
    3. The Sustainability & Environmental Justice Pedagogical Initiative (formerly Sustainability Across the Curriculum) brings together faculty from all disciplines looking to integrate these topics into existing courses.  As of January 2021, 35 courses had been amended.
    4. formal description of explorations of sustainability in the curriculum was developed in 2016.  It continues to be refined and used to identify courses that meet the definition.
    5. In 2019, a sustainability & environmental justice course cluster launched.
    6. By the numbers (Source: STARS 2020 Report):
      1. 2% of students graduated with a linked major in Environmental Studies.
      2. Sustainability-focused or -related courses comprised 5% of total courses offered. Immersive courses are routinely offered; past explorations have included mountaintop removal perspectives, tropical ecology, and mining methane from a closed local landfill.
      3. 77% of campus departments offer at least 1 sustainability course.
  • Research
    1. As of 2019, approximately 9% of Wesleyan faculty members are engaged in sustainability research, accounting for 59% of campus departments. 
    2. Each year, College of the Environment Fellows and faculty associated with the COE advance knowledge in sustainability areas.
    3. COE Colloquium dinners provide opportunities for sustainability-focused students and faculty to interact informally and learn about one another’s research.
    4. The College of the Environment offers annual paid internships for students to do research under the guidance of a mentor during the summer or fall on projects directly concerned with Environmental Studies.
    5. Several faculty members serve as formal or informal advisors for sustainability-related student groups, including Long Lane Farm.

Contact

Tony Hatch, Coordinator, Sustainability & Environmental Justice
Jan Naegele, SAGES Academic Affairs Representative