Green Corner: Sustainability minor unites people, planet and profit

As scheduling for the spring semester begins, students are meeting with their advisors to create a plan. The new semester brings classes that weren’t previously available, including those required for the sustainability studies minor.

The minor was introduced in 2011 and developed by current director Daniel Druckenbrod. “Dr. D” is famous here amongst geological, environmental and marine science majors.

The courses that are available through the sustainability studies minor program are catered to fit in anyone’s schedule. Druckenbrod said, “This is a minor that goes well with any major,” so science, liberal arts and business majors can all enjoy the wealth of classes the program offers.

This spring, an English course titled “Writing in the Workplace” will be offered. This course will teach students how to draft professional documents and grant proposals. Courses like this will prepare students to apply for funding in any field they enter. Other classes include Weather and Climate Change, Global Politics, Social Policy, and Introduction to Supply Chain Management — and that’s only half of the choices for spring of 2018.

“This spring, I’m taking introduction to sustainability studies. A lot of my friends told me how good of a course it is, and I can’t wait,” environmental science major and sustainability minor, Rahul Mehta he said.

An internship course is also required, designed to create outside opportunities for Rider students. Junior environmental science major, Loorena Avery, who took on the minor, focused on species conservation in China where she studied.

Senior environmental science major Aleesha Rouse said, “I love the opportunities the minor is giving me. I am particularly interested in agricultural sustainability, and the minor will give me the knowledge I need to get into this particular working field.”

Sustainability analyzes the relationship between people, the planet and profit. A way to ensure that students are aware of the sustainability programs is to have experts from their fields become a part of the sustainability initiative here at Rider — and that’s exactly what Druckenbrod did.

“Twelve faculty members from across campus, all experts in their fields, have joined the sustainability program as leaders,” he said. The hope, with this addition of leaders, is that the program will become more accessible to students.

The push for knowledgeable students in the sustainability field is nothing new. From an article written in the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, including a curriculum that is focused on sustainable development has been in the works since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. The curriculum would be focused on learning how to make decisions that consider the long-term future, similar to what Rider’s courses are trying to accomplish. Thanks to the Kyoto Declaration of 1993, 90 different universities worldwide incorporated education for sustainable development.

Other universities in New Jersey trying to pave a more sustainable future for the planet include Princeton, Monmouth, Rowan, Rutgers and The College of New Jersey. Adding the sustainability studies minor at Rider will broaden every student’s knowledge of the three interconnected aspects that bring us all together.

— Lauren Margel

Lawrencville Eco Rep

Printed in the 10/18/17 issue. 

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