Clarion University Sustainability: Science and Policy Program

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[edit] Introduction

The negative social, health, and environmental impacts of society’s current unsustainable patterns of resource exploitation and waste disposal are now well documented. The magnitude and severity of the implications of this global environmental disruption have led many to believe that humankind faces a “sustainability crisis” in which we are approaching the “ecological threshold” of the planet. Research into this field is burgeoning from a variety of scientific disciplines. Good science, however, is not enough to solve these problems. Active sustainable policy is necessary to implement the latest science and technological solutions. As an institution with significant access to the latest knowledge of both environmental problems and social-technical solutions, Clarion University has both the opportunity and the responsibility to meet this challenge and lead society towards sustainability. It is within this context that Clarion University of Pennsylvania created a minor in Sustainable Science and Policy.

Some of the highlights of the green building and integrated design of Clarion's Science and Technology Center can be seen in this video (20 min.). In addition the photovoltaic performance of the rooftop system can be seen here.

[edit] Sustainability: Science and Policy Minor

The minor in Sustainable Science and Policy will provide students already enrolled in Clarion University the opportunity to add a vital skill set and knowledge base to their present baccalaureate degree. This program will also give students added incentive to pursue undergraduate research by providing them with opportunities to work with cutting edge technology in an applied science and an opportunity to affect the real world in contemporary policy implementation. This minor compliments established environmental programs because of the focus on students performing interdisciplinary research to find solutions to environmental problems, which are quantified in existing courses. The Sustainability Science and Policy Minor also compliments the work of the Pennsylvania Consortium For Interdisciplinary Environmental Policy, an organization comprised of environmental policy makers and universities and colleges devoted to improving environmental policy and understanding through government and academic cooperation that encourages interdisciplinary analysis and discourse.

[edit] Requirements

The 19 credit minor is built around an existing set of environmental focused courses offered at and consists of five parts:

  1. An introductory course in Physics of Energy and the Environment - PH261
  2. Two elective courses in Sustainable Science
  3. Two elective courses in Sustainable Policy
  4. At least one credit of Research in either Sustainable Science or Policy
  5. A capstone seminar on Environment and Society in their senior year.

See the checklist for a complete list of requirements and electives.

[edit] Jobs in Sustainable Science and Policy

It has never been easier to start a solid career in sustainable science and policy.

Below is just a small list of some of the types of careers you can be involved in.

  • Teacher - secondary school focusing on outdoor/environmental issues through literature, science, history, and politics
  • Educator at an Environmental Center or Outdoor Center
  • Management Consultant focusing on corporate challenge & development
  • Outdoor Trip Leader - Outward Bound, National Outdoor Leadership School, or similar program,
  • Program Director/Manager for outdoor center, environmental center, environmental organization, conservation group
  • Scientist - University setting, private foundation, environmental organization, state or federal government
  • Lobbyist for an environmental organization, conservation group, PIRG, green company, foundation
  • Engineer working for an environmental consulting firm, environmental organization, conservation group, state or federal government
  • Lawyer working for an environmental consulting firm, environmental organization, conservation group, state or federal government
  • Urban Planner/Architect working on a state or local level
  • Forest Ranger working for state or federal government
  • Fund Raiser for an environmental organization, conservation group, foundation
  • Researcher for an environmental organization, conservation group