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Environment & Sustainability Program

Anemometer installation at Lutsen Ski Resort.
anemometer installation at Lutsen Ski ResortThe University of Minnesota Duluth’s College of Liberal Arts provides a unique interdisciplinary degree in Environment & Sustainability (ES) emphasizing the notion of Sustainable Development.  Students will examine the environmental (resource depletion and pollution), social and economic problems associated with continued economic expansion on a finite planet, and explore the many emerging solutions for transitioning to a more sustainable future.

The ES Program provides detailed coverage of our most pressing environmental problems and their most promising sustainable solutions at local, regional and global scales.  In addition, students will explore the barriers to developing and implementing these solutions rooted in the workings of our policy -making processes.  Finally, students will have the opportunity to work directly on a wide variety of regional sustainable community development projects to truly appreciate what they have learned in the classroom, and better prepare themselves to be effective sustainable development practitioners.

Students will see that in many cases we have an adequate understanding of these problems to warrant appropriate policy changes.  They will also see that in many cases there are several environmental, social and economically sustainable solutions within our reach.  Finally, and perhaps most importantly, students will learn that understanding the problem and developing promising solutions is just the beginning.  Equally complicated is the implementation of sustainable solutions that require the negotiation of our social-decision making processes.   Students will come to appreciate that meaningful change, especially if it comes at the expense of powerful special interests, does not come easily!

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