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Credit Hour Interviews Sustainability and Environment Chair Meghann Jarchow

Credit Hour interviews Meghann Jarchow Meghann Jarchow discusses the sustainability program and easy ways to make the world a better place on Credit Hour.

Vermillion, S.D. – Meghann Jarchow, Ph.D., chair of Sustainability and Environment, spoke with Credit Hour about recent changes in the sustainability program as well as how we can make the world a better place.

The sustainability undergraduate program started in 2012, and six years later, students can now receive a Master’s and doctorate degree in sustainability. This makes the University of South Dakota one of the few institutions in the country to offer an undergraduate and graduate education in sustainability.

“I think sustainability is the ultimate liberal art in that it is more of a way of thinking about the world or a different lens or worldview of understanding how we might think of topics,” Jarchow said.

Jarchow describes sustainability as a proactive way of thought to improve the environment, improve social well-being and to have financial systems that could continue over time. The end goal is to find solutions that make change.

“Sustainability is more than recycling,” Jarchow said. “It is trying to create a better world and actually taking steps to make it happen.”

There are several easy steps a person can take to make the world a more desirable place, Jarchow said, such as using a reusable water bottle or grocery bag. Additionally, with the free bike share program the sustainability department helped develop, Jarchow hopes it becomes normal for more people to bike around town all year around.

"Meghann does a great job of explaining the history of sustainability at USD as well as what's next for the new degree programs," said Michael Ewald, host of Credit Hour. "It was fun to learn how sustainability impacts our daily lives in unique ways."

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Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
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