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The Solar Trailer, a student project in sustainability.
Sustainability is the philosophy that increasingly drives global business, organization, and politics. Our changing world has presented challenges that future leaders will be called on to address, including climate change, reliance on traditional energy sources, water issues, and a growing demand for socially and environmentally responsible products and services. At Oregon State, we consider sustainability in the context of the Brundtland definition: encompassing environmental, economic, and social aspects and maintaining them for future generations. Whether dealing with small businesses, large organizations, government, academia, or even just daily life chioces, the Sustainability Double-Degree provides a value added benefit to a student's main field of study by formalizing his or her ability to deal with the breadth of long-term analyses needed for decision making.
The Sustainability double-degree exposes students to these real-world problems and fosters knowledge, skills, and abilities to address them in communities and workplaces. In step with the interdisciplinary nature of sustainability, the degree was designed to complement all OSU degree programs and is to be earned as a second bachelor’s degree, in addition to a major area of study.
Students take a sustainability "core" consisting of 5 courses: environmental science, sustainable communities, sustainability assessment, and a choice of several (1) economics and (2) sociology courses.
Students also engage in either a required internship (see below) or research experience, which will expose them to challenging sustainability issues.
Finally, students take 16 + hours of elective courses to further their sustainability education. While we have a list of recommended courses, we are willing to work with students to make each degree individualized and practical. The distribution of course hours is flexible; a student could take 4 4-hour science courses with lab, or 6 3 hour courses without lab, or a mix of the two. We suggest that students use the degree checklist below to guide their search for electives, while also being aware of new courses being offered per term through emails from various departments. Joining the list serv aids students in finding out about these opportunities.
The sustainability double-degree is available both on campus and on e-campus. In general, students are finding that the additional hours of the degree can be easily incorporated into their desired academic timeline, provided that planning begins early! We work hand in hand with the students main degree program to help each student reach graduation in a timely manner and with practical skills that will augment the main degree.
In order to join the program, a student must come to OSU having declared a primary major. The sustainability double-degree can then be added as a secondary major, for an additional 36 credit hours. The total hours required by the degree (plus the main degree) are 212.
One of our fantastic e-campus students has been featured in her local media for a sustainability dual degree internship! Jennifer will be working with the Vedic Village Educational Gardens in Detroit, MI, to develop a sustainable permaculture-based garden for a previously urban 12-acre plot in downtown Detroit!
Another of our students will be doing a supply-chain optimization internship at a sawmill this summer in Chile! We're looking forward to expanding sustainability.
We have recently appointed a Sustainability Marketing intern! Please stay tuned for new sustainability events, outreach, and of course... stuff!
Be sure your Oregon State Account is clear and you are ready to register in upcoming terms!
Careers in Sustainability
Some sample careers in sustainability:
- Carbon and greenhouse gas management
- Sustainability operations for private companies, universities, and government entities
- Sustainability marketing and market research
- Sustainability and engineering manager
- Sustainability/environmental performance assessment and monitoring
- Sustainability specialist for waste, energy, or water management
- Sustainability strategic planning
- Sustainable supply chain management
- Sustainable packaging design and management
- Sustainability coordinator for school districts, hospitals, and for-profit organizations
- Attend graduate school for the Masters in Environmental Arts and Humanities
Earning a Sustainability double-degree begins with choosing a primary degree program major. Students are required to complete 180 credits in an OSU major and can receive a second bachelor’s degree in Sustainability by completing an additional 36 credits. Courses from a student’s major course of study will not count towards double-degree requirements. The Sustainability double-degree code is 870.
The sustainability field is rich in internship opportunities. Opportunities for hands-on learning in conjunction with a Sustainability double-degree might include working with local organizations to develop community gardens and greenhouses, including food distribution systems, land use and food production or collaborative development of strategic sustainability plans for businesses, organizations and local government institutions, and more.
To register for an internship, please sign up with Fox and use the SUS 410 course for credits. You will need to fill out appropriate pre- and post- internship paperwork, as well as generating a 5-8 page report on sustainability or a project which you will discuss beforehand with Fox.
Updated internship "protocol."
1. Find an internship of interest either in your field or through suggestions from the SUS list serv
2. Contact the organization and confirm with them that this internship is open and available for you.
3. Contact Fox to ask permission for the internship, and to discuss your timeline and hours of work time you will do. Provide the intership coordinator or your future supervisors' email, phone, or other contact information. NOTE THAT YOU MAY NOT DO INTERNSHIPS IN MARYLAND, TENNESSEE, MASSACHUSETTS, or NEW HAMPSHIRE. This is OSU policy. PLEASE BE AWARE!
4. Fox and your supervisor for internship will confirm your plans to work for them, and their expectations of you. We will then all three discuss a relevant project for you. The project should be something that will
(1) educate you in practical sustainabilit
(2) be something you would be proud to have on your resume (I can help you post your final product or documentation of it on a website or on linked in if you need
(3) be something that will help the organization you are working for
5. You will complete your internship, and you and your supervisor will confirm to me that you have fulfilled the requirements we initially discussed. We may talk about extending your time at the internship if it becomes a good potential career!
6. You then have 3 weeks to turn in a final product to me. The final product will be reviewed by me and another in the department or an external person of note for suitability.
Similar procedure will be used for research experience.
To register for a research experience, please sign up with Fox or another approved instructor and use the SUS 401 course for credits. Departmental approval is needed.
Please follow firstname.lastname@example.org for the most updated internship opportunities.
Sustainabilty "playlist" created by the Bacc Core (note, does not feature SUS core yet)