Overall Rating Platinum - expired
Overall Score 85.74
Liaison Moira Hafer
Submission Date June 28, 2017
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Stanford University
AC-3: Undergraduate Program

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Moira Hafer
Sustainability Specialist
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

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:
Earth Systems

A brief description of the undergraduate degree program:

The Earth Systems Program is an interdisciplinary environmental science major. Students learn about and independently investigate complex environmental problems caused by human activities in interaction with natural changes in the ecosystem. Earth Systems majors become skilled in those areas of science, economics, and policy needed to tackle the globe’s most pressing environmental problems, becoming part of a generation of scientists, professionals, and citizens who approach and solve problems in a systematic and interdisciplinary way.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program:
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Civil & Environmental Engineering

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

The Civil and Environmental Engineering department is committed to finding solutions to our major sustainability challenges this century, as well as educating and training the leaders who will have a large impact on the profession and on society.


The website URL for the undergraduate degree program (2nd program):
Name of the sustainability-focused, undergraduate degree program (3rd program):
Science, Technology & Society

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

The mission of the Science, Technology and Society (STS) Program is to provide Stanford undergraduates with intellectually stimulating education that will prepare them for life in the contemporary era, one in which science and technology are pervasive and potent forces for transformative social change. To that end, STS courses explore the evolving natures and interrelationship of science and technology, influences of science and technology on different kinds of societies, how societies manage and otherwise shape their scientific and technological endeavors and products, and ethical, social, cultural, and policy issues raised by scientific and technological innovations in contemporary societies. STS faculty believe that probing study of this vital subject matter provides an innovative form of liberal arts and pre-professional education, one that helps STS students fulfill their future civic and professional roles in an informed, responsible manner. STS is an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary program; students learn to critically analyze the interplay of science and technology with human values and world views, political and economic forces, and cultural and environmental systems.

The Science, Technology and Society major requires completion of the core course STS 1: The Public Life of Science and Technology, which explicitly links social, economic, and environmental sustainability by exploring the historical analysis of contemporary global matters using human causes of and response to climate change as the primary case study. The course also explores bioethical reasoning around health issues, including disease management, and the sociological study of knowledge and education. In addition to this required course, students must fulfill the remaining core requirements, which include 2 courses in engineering and science and four courses in social sciences, resulting in a fully integrated lens through which to understand and view sustainability. Finally, students choose a concentration area, one of which is Nature and Environment. This concentration encompasses a variety of issues that surround our environment, from scientific knowledge of and technological intervention into the natural world, to cultural differences in approaches to environmentalism, to challenges of global environmental governance. Topics include conservation, preservation, pollution, environmental justice, environmental politics and policymaking, climate change, biodiversity, green technology, and representation of nature.


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

There are numerous such programs offered for undergraduate-level degrees. Please see the complete list of degree programs and website URLs in the uploaded back-up materials for AC-2.


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:
Earth Systems, Sustainability subplan

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

The minor in Earth Systems, Sustainability subplan, provides an introduction to the fundamental science, interdisciplinary systems thinking, and environmental justice considerations, as well as a foundation in practical skills and applied problem solving experience needed to understand social-environmental systems and address intergenerational sustainability challenges. Coursework requirements for the minor are listed below:

Core:
EARTHSYS 10: Introduction to Earth Systems, 4 units
EARTHSYS 111: Biology and Global Change, 4 units
EARTHSYS 112: Human Society and Environmental Change, 4 units (ECON 1 recommended as a pre- or co-requisite to EARTHSYS 112)
SUST 210: Pursuing Sustainability: Managing Complex Social Environmental Systems, 3 units (Prerequisites to SUST 210 for the minor: EARTHSYS 111, EARTHSYS 112)
EARTHSYS 131: Pathways in Sustainability Careers, 1 unit

Electives:
Students must take a minimum of 19 units of electives at the 100-level or above that address dimensions of environmental systems and social-environmental systems in theory or practice, with at least one course taken in each category.

Of the electives selected from the categories above:
1) at least one course must address dimensions of environmental justice in theory or practice;
2) at least two courses must provide opportunities to develop skills applicable to sustainability-related questions or challenges; and
3) at least one course must engage students in applied problem solving on a sustainability-related question or challenge.


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

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

The Urban Studies program treats urbanism as an interdisciplinary field; it brings together students, faculty, and outside specialists concerned with cities and the impacts of cities on society and people's lives. The Urban Studies major encourages students to inquire deeply into the nature of cities and the techniques used to modify urban environments. It prepares students to address urbanization, and gives students a knowledge base and theoretical, analytical, and practical skills to understand urban social systems and effect social change.


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

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

A minor in Human Biology provides an introductory background to the relationship between the biological and social aspects of humanity's origin, development, and future. Many of the major problems facing human civilization today involve both biological and social aspects. Scientific approaches to these problems are essential, but they must be broadly conceived, integrating what is known of the biological with an understanding of the social and cultural settings in which they exist. Students with a minor in Human Biology are expected to develop a strong background in the integration between the biological and social aspects of human beings.

To adopt this background in both biological and social dimensions, students must complete a set of core courses to earn the minor. These include:

HUMBIO 2A Genetics, Evolution, and Ecology
HUMBIO 2B Culture, Evolution, and Society
HUMBIO 3A Cell and Developmental Biology
HUMBIO 3B Behavior, Health, and Development
HUMBIO 4A The Human Organism
HUMBIO 4B Environmental and Health Policy Analysis

If not directly based on the integration of economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainability (such as HUMBIO 4B Environmental and Health Policy Analysis), these courses all integrate examples of sustainability into their curriculum in order to showcase the breadth and depth of sustainability as a topic area and how it ties directly to the relationships between the biological and social aspects of humanity.


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:

There are numerous such programs offered for undergraduate-level minors, concentrations and certificates. Please see the complete list of degree programs and website URLs in the uploaded back-up materials for AC-2.


Additional documentation to support the submission:
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