Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 55.78
Liaison Jennifer McLaughlin
Submission Date Dec. 9, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

South Dakota State University
AC-3: Undergraduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Jennifer McLaughlin
Sustainability Intern
Facilities and Services
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Does the institution offer at least one sustainability-focused major, degree program, or the equivalent for undergraduate students (I.e. an interdisciplinary academic program that concentrates on sustainability as an integrated concept)?:
Yes

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate degree program:
Ecology & Environmental Science

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program:

The Ecology and Environmental Science major includes a strong core in biological and physical sciences and a variety of elective courses that allow students to follow different career paths within the major. Most students enrolled in this major are planning careers with state and federal natural resource agencies, consulting firms and industry. Predefined emphases are available to support careers in ecological informatics and analysis, watershed management, ecology, analytical laboratory analysis and health. Students seek employment with state or federal environmental monitoring and regulatory agencies or private consulting firms immediately following graduation. Many go on to pursue graduate degrees in conservation, ecology and environmental science.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program:
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Geography

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):

Geography is the scientific study of the distribution of both physical and human features of the Earth's surface. Geographers seek to describe, relate and explain the natural and cultural phenomena that distinguish places around the world. Geographers focus upon "where" and "why" questions concerning the global environment. Geography also functions as a bridge between the natural sciences; its perspective on the location of phenomena makes it unique among the academic disciplines. The process of change is a fundamental theme in geography and the examination of how humankind modifies the Earth is a continual emphasis. The study of geography is thus of vital concern to all citizens and provides graduates with numerous career opportunities in business, education, and government. The Geography program is designed to provide the student with a general education as well as a concentration in the major field of study. The faculty recommends that majors take several courses in disciplines closely related to their specific area of interest in geography. Those interested in physical geography might register for associated courses in physics, agricultural sciences, botany or other allied disciplines. If one is interested in human geography, course work in sociology, economics, history, political science or foreign language or some other social science might be considered. For technical geography, computer science and mathematics courses are recommended. Qualified students may also enhance their academic experience with participation in the Undergraduate Scholars Program. Program Emphases
The Planning Emphasis stresses research techniques and is oriented toward future employment in governmental, industrial, military, or planning positions.
The Environmental Planning and Management Emphasis is designed to prepare students for careers in governmental, industrial, managerial, recreational areas, and commercial corporations.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
Precision Agriculture

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):

The Precision Agriculture major prepares students for careers that bridge the gaps between agronomy, agriculture machinery management, and data sciences caused by the rapid evolution of high-speed sensor technology.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program(s):

Rangeland Ecology and Management - The Rangeland major focuses on the scientific study of rangelands, arid regions and grasslands to achieve resource management for maximum benefit and environmental balance. Graduates are well prepared for careers in a variety of land management fields, as well as agency and private sector positions.

Agricultural & Resource Economics - this major provides a rigorous education in economic theory and quantitative methods applied to agriculture and resource management. Students develop analytical and critical-thinking skills, and are well prepared for careers in agricultural policy analysis, natural resource stewardship, or future graduate study. The curriculum emphasizes economic theory, agricultural economics, quantitative methods, and agricultural and biological sciences electives. This program also provides strong preparation for students who wish to pursue a graduate degree in economics or related field.

Conservation Planning & Park Management (B.S.) - this major is an interdisciplinary science that trains students to develop conservation strategies at landscape scales. This program will prepare students for careers in Park Management, Landscape Conservation Planning, Natural Areas Management, Land Use Planning, and as a Park Ranger, and Interpretive/Naturalist.

Conservation Planning & Park Management (B.S.) - Park Administration & Management Specialization - this major is an interdisciplinary science that trains students to develop conservation strategies at landscape scales. The specialization in Park Administration and Management prepares student for careers in park management, particularly Federal and state government managed facilities. The courses outlined in this specialization are designed to enhance the human management focus needed for this career track

Natural Resource Law Enforcement (B.S.) - this program was developed in coordination with state and federal agencies to prepare students for careers as conservation Academic Programs 233 officers, federal wildlife agents, park rangers, and game wardens. The curriculum is designed to provide students with a strong academic foundation that integrates natural resource management, conservation and law enforcement. Students pursue coursework in wildlife and fisheries sciences, ecology, criminal law and procedures, constitutional law, social issues, and environmental laws and policies. Students acquire skills in communication, conflict resolution, teamwork, leadership, ethics, laws and human dimensions, statistics, technology, global competence, critical thinking, and problem solving. The Natural Resource Law Enforcement Program also delivers outstanding non-traditional educational experiences to students, further increasing their opportunities for career success.

Wildlife & Fisheries (B.S.) - this major requirements prepare undergraduate students for careers in wildlife and fisheries conservation and management. Coursework is directed at organisms, natural populations and communities, their habitats and human users. Imbedded in these courses are additional skills that further enable students to be competitive in the natural resources disciplines. These skills include communications, teamwork, leadership, ethics, statistics, technology, global competence, critical thinking, and problem solving. Most employment is with state and federal natural resource agencies. Each state has natural resource agencies that hire students with wildlife and fisheries sciences degrees and multiple federal agencies hire graduates from the program. In addition, employment opportunities exist with local and tribal governments, nongovernmental organizations, and private industry. Many undergraduates continue their education by seeking advanced degrees.


Does the institution offer one or more sustainability-focused minors, concentrations or certificates for undergraduate students?:
Yes

Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Sustainability Minor

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:

The minor in Sustainability provides an interdisciplinary approach to sustainability, allowing students to explore the challenges of sustainability and to think about how to develop solutions to pressing issues at the local, regional, and global scale. Students will be exposed to information and experiences that increase their knowledge base of the three pillars of sustainability as reflected in the human and scientific dimensions as well as coursework on ethics and policy. The minor complements any major on campus and provides both intellectual breadth and depth in a challenging new area of inquiry that is gaining a high level of interest in businesses, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations. A minor in Sustainability and a major in a discipline will provide excellent thinking and problem-solving skills for students as a citizen, employee, or graduate student.


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate:
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Sustainable Energy Systems

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):

The Sustainable Energy Systems Minor is appropriate for students interested in gaining a background in sustainability, energy efficiency, and renewable energy technologies. The minor helps to prepare graduates with training that distinguishes them from their peers and supports immediate entry into careers in energy.


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
Geography

A brief description of the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):

The study of geography is of vital concern to all citizens and provides graduates with numerous career opportunities in business, education, and government. The minor in Geography is designed to be flexible, including general education courses as well as electives to compliment a student's major field of study. The faculty recommends that students take several courses in disciplines closely related to their specific area of interest in geography.


The website URL for the undergraduate minor, concentration or certificate (3rd program):
The name and website URLs of all other sustainability-focused undergraduate minors, concentrations and certificates:

Minors:
Precision Ag- The minor in Precision Agriculture is designed for students pursuing careers with agricultural equipment manufacturers, agricultural equipment dealerships, agronomic service providers, production agriculture, and companies working with the management and analysis of agricultural data. The minor will provide students with skill sets needed to provide troubleshooting and support of sophisticated agricultural equipment systems and the decision making skills needed to analyze large amounts of data to determine the precise inputs needed for maximum crop production through data analysis.

Rangeland Ecology & Management - This minor focuses on the scientific study of rangelands, arid regions, grasslands, as well as resource management for maximum benefit and environmental balance. Students from a variety of majors select a minor in Rangeland Ecology and Management to enhance their baccalaureate education and increase their career possibilities.

Certifications:
Agricultural and Environmental Law - this program expands the opportunity for degree-seeking students as well as life-long learners to enhance the knowledge of law, emerging legal issues focusing on agriculture, rural communities, and the food industry. The certificate addresses legal concepts pertaining to water quality, land-use and other environmental concerns. Additionally, students gain an appreciation of the challenges created by an expanding population on food production and renewable energy resources.


Additional documentation to support the submission:
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