VERMILLION, S.D. -- Funding from the National Science Foundation will help the University of South Dakota add master’s and doctorate degrees to its sustainability program, making it one of only a handful of U.S. colleges to offer such graduate-level degrees.
USD’s sustainability program, which currently offers bachelor of arts and science degrees and a minor, encourages students to use systems thinking to evaluate complex environmental, social and economic problems. Students are also encouraged to actually do sustainability, with the average graduate having completed 10 different experiential learning opportunities focused on sustainability while at USD.
Since it started in August 2012, the sustainability program has grown in student and faculty numbers and research capacity, said Meghann Jarchow, Ph.D., program coordinator.
“As the public liberal arts university in the state that already has an undergraduate sustainability program, we are well poised to move into graduate sustainability training,” she said. “USD already has graduate programs related to environmental conservation, civic engagement and corporate social responsibility. We will be able to build on the expertise that already exists here.”
The sustainability program, with Jarchow as the co-principal investigator, recently received a nearly $2 million NSF grant for sustainability research. The grant will support the hiring of two new faculty members who will contribute to the sustainability program and the assistantships for three doctoral students who will conduct research on the project.
Download an image: Meghann Jarchow, coordinator of USD's sustainability program, which will be one of a few offering graduate-level degrees.