Sep 24, 2022  
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Sustainability and Environment Department

Meghann Jarchow, Chairperson
201 Akeley-Lawrence Science Center
(605) 677-5649



Brennan T. JordanGeodiversity, Geoheritage,Sustainable Tourism, Volcanology
Mark R. Sweeney, Geomorphology, Environmental Science, Climate Change

Associate Professor:

Meghann Jarchow, Prairie Ecology, Ecosystem Services, Sustainability Pedagogy

Assistant Professors:

Ranjeet John, Landscape and Ecosystem Ecology, Biogeography, Ecological Modeling, Remote Sensing

Joseph Kantenbacher, Sustainable Behavior, Energy


Jennifer Fierro, Coastal Geology


Sustainability, B.A., B.S.


Earth Sciences

The concept of sustainability encompasses a wide range of topics broadly focused around environmental conservation, economic development, and social justice issues. Its unifying core is a commitment to the development of a more desirable world, one that can be sustained over time while preserving the health of both human society and the environment. 

Students majoring in Sustainability will be prepared to pursue careers in the private sector or government in the areas of sustainable practices, natural resource management, renewable energy, community planning, and non-governmental organizations focused on sustainable development or community empowerment.


Please contact the department for additional information about available scholarships and awards. Also see College of Arts & Sciences  for college/school level scholarships.

  • Bruno C. Petsch Honorarium
  • E.P. Rothrock Scholarship
  • Timothy H. & Julia S. Heaton Scholarship

Student Learning Outcomes for Sustainability (B.A./B.S.)

  1. Students will be able to systematically explore issues, objects or works through the collection and analysis of evidence that results in informed conclusions or judgments, and break down complex topics or issues into parts to gain a better understanding of them. 
  2. Students will interact with other students and evaluate the effort put into team tasks, interactions with others, and the quantity and quality made to team discussions. 
  3. Students will be able to demonstrate the cultivation of knowledge, skills, values and motivation that will enable them to make a difference in the civic life of communities and promote the quality of life in a community and engage in activities of personal and public concern that are both individually life enriching and socially beneficial to the community 
  4. Students will comprehensively explore issues, ideas, artifacts and events before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion, and combine or synthesize existing ideas, images or expertise in original ways reflecting a high degree of innovation, divergent thinking, and risk taking. 
  5. Students will connect ideas and experiences in order to synthesize and transfer learning to new, complex situations within and beyond the campus.  
  6. Students will intentionally engage with diversity in ways that increase awareness, content knowledge, cognitive sophistication, and empathic understanding of the complex ways individuals interact within systems and institutions leading to opportunities for equal access to participation in educational and community programs for all members of society. 
  7. Students will demonstrate mastery of social or environmental sustainability knowledge within their chosen area of specialization. 
  8. Students will work with others respectfully to accomplish shared goals. 
  9. Students will use a systems-thinking approach to assess issues. 
  10. Students will deliver well-organized content orally to designated audience(s). 
  11. Students will compose readable prose that effectively conveys content to designated audience(s). 
  12. Students will apply their knowledge of sustainability to a real-world issue through community-based or other experiential learning activities.