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Welcome to our Blog: Getting to GREENR

In an August 31, 2009 article, The Chronicle of Higher Education named Sustainability Studies one of 5 “college majors on the rise,” noting that colleges are not only greening their campuses, but greening their curricula as well.

This is no surprise. The global threat of climate change is great, but the public will to address the problem through innovation and education is growing to meet that threat. The failure of Copenhagen has not diminished our desire for sustainability–it has personalized it. We know now that we can’t rely solely on world leaders to solve this problem for us. We must all do our part. More of us must take the lead.

It’s these green leaders of the future who are creating the growing student demand for environmental and sustainability studies classes. Universities are creating interdisciplinary programs to meet this demand, bringing together professors from different departments–economics and engineering, business and anthropology, agriculture and English–to create the faculties that will teach and mentor these sustainability leaders of tomorrow. It’s an exciting field, and one whose emergence is parallel to the transformation of teaching and learning in the age of the internet. Students graduating this year will be leaving the university with vastly different skills than those who graduated just five short years ago.

The old rules of the university are being re-written. Back when I graduated college in 2003, there were few programs as interdisciplinary as the sustainability and sustainable development programs currently being created. There were far fewer electronic resources available to help me write my research than now. That wasn’t even a decade ago.

This purpose of this blog is to support sustainability students of all kinds. Whether you’re an environmental studies major at a 4-year university or a laid off worker who is taking the opportunity to get green job certification training at your local community college, it’s my hope that you’ll find something in this blog to help you along your way. This blog is for  you.

Helping me in this task will be two other writers:

Laura Stephenson is an environmental studies student in her senior year at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill,  focusing on environmental and community health issues. After graduation, she plans to enter a Master’s program in sustainable agriculture or environmental education. Laura has a first-hand point of view on studying sustainability issues in the 21st century university and will be sharing her experiences.

Rachel Harkai is a freelance writer who studied environmental science and creative writing at the University of Michigan. In addition to writing for local and national publications Rachel currently works as a Writer-in-Residence with InsideOut Literary Arts Project, a non-profit organization that places professional writers as teachers and mentors in Detroit Public Schools. Rachel will be reporting on community colleges and  green skills certification programs.

Feel free to comment, suggest topics to cover, ask to be a guest blogger, and subscribe to our RSS reader. I hope you’ll find this blog a useful resource for helping you to get greener in your career and education.


This blog is supported by GREENR (pronounced “greener”), an interdisciplinary Web portal for environmental and sustainability studies, available in participating libraries in North American and elsewhere. A product of Gale, GREENR is a valuable asset for any student, researcher or teacher focused on the field of environmental and sustainability studies, offering impressive assets in academic journals, news, video, statistics, primary source documents and case studies.

We are serious about sustainability education.

Posted on: March 24, 2010, 12:15 pm Category: Sustainability and Education Tagged with: , , , , ,

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