Skip to content

Bringing “Sustainability” to Stony Brook

by ericarunsamerica on August 29th, 2013

Hey Stony Brook!

Happy first week back at SBU! I hope your Fall 2013 Semester is off to a fantastic start.

I start this post with a question: What does the word “sustainability” mean to you? For you logophiles out there, the word is logically deduced to its roots: “the ability to sustain.” Still stumped? For everyone else: “Sustainability” is based upon the fact that everything humans need for survival (food, water, shelter, etc) and health/happiness (clean air/water/land, animals, plants, etc) depends on our natural environment.

As the EPA has put it:

Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations.”

Essentially, it means that humans better treat the earth and its animals/plants/other humans with respect, or we will have to face dire, direct, and dangerous consequences…some of which we are already seeing, like global air temperature raising, weather pattern shifting, sea-level rising, climate change.

On Campus, you may have seen the words “Sustainability Studies Program” affixed to a window on the bottom floor of the Frank Melville Jr. Memorial Library, adjacent to the Chem Building and the Union. Many students and faculty pass by without a second thought, but to those involved in the program, that almost-subterranean space under the Library holds a special place in our hearts.

The mission of the Sustainability Studies Program at SBU is to ready students from all academic, economic, ethnic, and experiential backgrounds for careers in which they will work to solve the world’s most prescient environmental problems. Essentially, this multidisciplinary academic platform aims to bring “sustainability” to the world–prepping today’s environmental students to become tomorrow’s environmental leaders.

The comprehensive program, which offers five exciting majors and six minors, has made a lot of incredible progress in bringing “sustainability” to the campus of Stony Brook University, and beyond. As it happens, our school is pretty “green,” enough to make Princeton Review’s “Guide to 322 Green Colleges: 2013 Edition“ for the fourth consecutive year…but, our work is not done here.

The students involved in SBU’s Sustainability Studies Program are constantly working to make Stony Brook, and the world at large, a “greener” place. At last year’s Earthstock, students worked to teach others about what they have learned in their studies and experiences; from fracking to toxins to GMOs. One group conjured up some homemade lip balm made from 100% natural and biodegradable materials, packaged in a recyclable plastic tube. Others have worked in organic farming, both at Stony Brook and in their own hometowns.

If you are interested in being a part of the “Sustainability” movement at Stony Brook and beyond, consider a major or minor in SBU’s Sustainability Studies Program. You’ll forge bonds with some of the most amazing professors and students. You’ll take many incredible field trips, meet important environmentalists, and help create a more “sustainable” world.

What could be better than that?

peace. love. run.


Stony Brook Sustainability Studies Program Students, Staff, and Friends Hoisting the Sails Aboard the Clearwater Sloop, Oct. 2013

PS. You can “Like” the SBU Sustainability Studies Program on Facebook to keep tabs on all the latest of the program’s developments!

From → Erica

One Comment
  1. ericarunsamerica
    ericarunsamerica permalink

    Hey Anna!

    There are many ways to get involved with the Sustainability Studies Program here at SBU.
    Like us on Facebook to find out the latest projects and updates!

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.