Otterbein's Sustainability Studies program strives to challenge students to look beyond the surface of the issues and explore the complexity of what may seem to be simple solutions.
Sustainability Studies Program
Exploring questions like: when isn’t recycling good, or why could ethanol cause social and water resource impacts if it replaces hydrocarbons, help students look not just at technical solutions, but also at the far-reaching impacts of environmentally motivated changes. Employers and communities value an individual’s ability to critically assess, understand and communicate these difficult issues.
Why Study Sustainability Studies?
Global environmental issues related to climate, agriculture, resource management and sustainability are in the headlines daily. These issues affect political decisions, business decisions and have far-reaching social impacts. Tomorrow’s decision-makers need to understand environmental processes, and have critical thinking skills related to the analysis and interpretation of impacts related to environmental policies. These skills will enable you to evaluate both the short-term and long-term implications of human actions that affect the earth’s environment.
Otterbein University values and encourages students to pursue internships. The most effective internships allow students the opportunity to apply their classroom skill to professional settings. A multidisciplinary aspect of Otterbein’s Sustainability Studies program allows students a broad range of internship opportunities. Students can use internships to substitute for one of a set of defined classes (contact the program for details). Sustainability Studies faculty will work with students to identify appropriate opportunities and help assure that students have meaningful internship experiences. Some of Otterbein’s potential internship partners include:
- The Columbus Zoo
- Lakeside Leadership Academy
- Ohio Department of Natural Resources
- Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
- Westerville Parks and Recreation Department
- Brown and Caldwell Environmental Engineers and Consultants
- Franklin County Soil And Water Conservation District
Graduate School and Careers
Opportunities for Graduate Study
Otterbein University focuses on educating the whole person, challenging students to think beyond the typical circumstances and look for new and innovative ways to solve problems. This academic training fits well with the expectations of most graduate research institutions. Otterbein’s Sustainability Studies faculty are familiar with applicable graduate programs at many research institutions and are willing to help you explore graduate school opportunities.
Will a minor in environmental studies help you land a job? To answer that question, reflect on the various media messages you have encountered during the last few weeks. Topics like climate, energy, water, waste, sustainability, etc. are continually present in news articles, political pitches and advertisements. The increase in environmental awareness and concern for the stewardship of our planet’s resources and populations now places environmental issues into almost every profession. Businesses are challenged to reimagine and redesign to help create products that are environmentally friendly and more sustainable.
Otterbein’s Sustainability Studies Program provides students in any discipline or major the skills necessary to understand and analyze complex environmental problems.