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Environment / Sustainability

SoGES offers new minor in Global Environmental Sustainability

April 21, 2011
by Candace Carlucci

As one of the nation's leading universities in environmental research and education, Colorado State University's School of Global Environmental Sustainability, or SoGES, has created the university's first interdisciplinary minor in Global Environmental Sustainability.

A horticulture student works in a CSU greenhouseThe Global Environmental Sustainability Interdisciplinary minor will give students from across campus the opportunity to obtain a diverse background in environmental sustainability, including the physical, biological, economic and social pillars of sustainability.

Today, many different industries are working to incorporate sustainable practices into their respective fields. Recognizing this increasing trend, the Global Environmental Sustainability minor provides students with a foundation in sustainability to best prepare students for the workforce.

High demand for program among students

“There has been a high demand from our students for a program like this,” said Diana Wall, director of SoGES. “Enrollment in our GES-101, Foundations of Global Environmental Sustainability course, has been very high, with enrollment exceeding the course cap.”

In addition to high demand from students, the new minor was created to provide a foundation in global environmental sustainability that students can use in the workforce.

“Environmental sustainability is becoming an increasingly important focus for many industries, as it has with Woodward’s energy-focused business segments,” said Tom Gendron, chairman and chief executive officer of Woodward Inc., a Fort Collins-based manufacturer of energy control technologies. “An understanding of sustainability is becoming a valuable skill set for graduates entering the workforce as industries seek to improve the design and manufacture of their products in ways that enhance the global quality of life.”

Curriculum includes 21 credit hours

Faculty member Brian Dunbar and the Institute for the Built Environment consulted on Fossil Ridge High School's green buildingCurriculum for the new minor includes the completion of 21-credit hours. SoGES has created two new courses, GES-101 - Foundations of Environmental Sustainability and GES-470 - Applications of Environmental Sustainability, which are required for the minor. The remaining credits of the minor are completed through curriculum categorized in four areas that were identified as pillars of sustainability education. Students choose from a variety of interdisciplinary courses in Society and Social Processes, Biological and Physical Processes, Economy and Profitability, and Skills courses, which help students apply what they have learned in their GES experience to real-world problems.

“One of the greatest things about this minor is that it can supplement any degree offered at CSU,” Wall said. “Students from all majors can tailor the program to mean something to their major. This minor is really unique because it offers courses that are represented from each of the university’s colleges.”

For more information on the education programs and courses offered by the School of Global Environmental Sustainability, visit http://soges.colostate.edu or contact Patrick Canavan at patrick.canavan@colostate.edu or by calling (970) 492-4070.

About the School of Global Environmental Sustainability

A first for the state, the School of Global Environmental Sustainability is an umbrella organization that encompasses all environmental education and research at Colorado State University. The school positions CSU to address the multiple challenges to global sustainability through broad-based research, curricular programs and outreach initiatives. The school’s emphases include food security, environmental institutions and governance, sustainable communities, land and water resources, biodiversity, conservation and management, climate change and energy. This approach will capitalize on the university's historic strength in environmental research and education and will build upon the education and research that already exists within all eight colleges on campus from the Warner College of Natural Resources to the College of Business. 


Contact: Emily Wilmsen
E-mail: Emily.Wilmsen@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-2336