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Majors and Minor

Sustainability Studies Minor

Sustainability Studies is the study of human interaction with the environment, which includes the natural and built environments and the relationships between them. The Otterbein Sustainability Studies program uses a multidisciplinary approach to explore environments, to understand environmental issues, and to work toward developing realistic solutions that promote the sustainability of our planet.

Not all environmental problem-solving skills are founded in the science and engineering disciplines, and the Otterbein Sustainability Studies program curriculum emphasizes the holistic approach to environmental understanding. To earn a Sustainability Studies minor, students can take a mixture of classes from the environmental studies, humanities, social sciences, earth sciences and life sciences curricula.

Sustainability Studies Majors

This major focuses on the evolving "green economy." Graduates will have exciting new career options as the country transitions from a fossil fuel based energy and economy infrastructure to one that integrates more sustainable and renewable energy sources. Students in the Sustainability Studies major will explore concepts such as benefits and limitations of various renewable/sustainable energies, changes in energy infrastructure related to new sources of energy, and societal issues related to these changes.

Sustainability Studies students choose between two tracks:

  • Science track (Bachelor of Science degree)
    The Science track focuses on developing the skills and tools necessary to use the new technologies associated with management of resources and development of alternative energies and distribution systems. This track stresses a broad training in chemistry, physical sciences and mathematics. Sustainability Studies B.S. Major Detailed Curriculum Information (PDF).

  • Humanities/Social Sciences track (Bachelor of Arts degree)
    The Humanities/Social Sciences track is designed for a student whose interests are related to the economic and social changes that are likely to occur as our fossil fuel based economy evolves to include more sustainable forms of energy and resources. Sustainability Studies HSS Major Detailed Curriculum Information.
Post-Otterbein opportunities for students include:
  • Graduate studies in technology fields (land use and planning, engineering technology, physical sciences, etc.) related to building, planning, energy conservation, new resource development, etc.
  • Careers in non-profit organizations, advocacy groups and government agencies that work with sustainability issues.
  • MBA programs that focus on resource economics and redevelopment strategies.
  • Careers in planning focused on resource utilization and distribution, infrastructure development and investment.
  • Career opportunities in technology fields related to development and distribution of renewable energy sources.
  • Careers related to land use management practices, from both conservation and redevelopment (Brownfield development) perspectives.

/ Sustainability Studies

Kevin Svitana
p / 614.823.1507
e / ksvitana@otterbein.edu


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Ohio EPA groundwater class
Ohio EPA Conducts Certified Environmental Professionals Training at Otterbein

The Ohio EPA Department of Emergency and Remedial Response conducted groundwater sampling on Otterbein University's campus for Ohio's Certified Environmental Professionals in September. The class was designed to provide continuing education for the environmental professionals. Otterbein environmental science students were also able to participate in the training event.