A broad spectrum of ecological and social factors interact to shape the future of our ecosystems and societies.  The Ecosystem Sustainability program enables students to develop core competencies in ecosystem science – the study of interactions between organisms and the environment – and apply that knowledge to address real‐world issues.  Together with interdisciplinary education in sustainability science, this unique educational path will provide graduates with the ability to understand and deal with the complex scientific issues in sustainability, serving as a foundation for a wide range of careers including academic and scholarly professions, as experts in government agencies, and non‐government conservation organizations.

The program aims to provide students with the training to develop and implement solutions to global problems related to water resources, food supplies, energy, greenhouse gas management, land use change, and climate change.

During the program, students will gain:

  • A thorough knowledge of the quantitative and qualitative methods applicable to the study of Ecosystem Sustainability.
  • An understanding of how ecosystems work and how their various parts are inter-related.
  • An understanding of the linkages between socioeconomic and ecological processes in coupled human-natural systems.
  • An understanding of the most important concepts and principles in fields other than their own that bear on the issue of ecosystem sustainability.

Upon graduation, our students will possess:

  • A demonstrated ability to work in a multidisciplinary setting or as part of a multidisciplinary team.
  • The ability to communicate usefully with those from the other disciplines.
  • An understanding of the role of these disciplines in dealing with issues of ecosystem sustainability.
  • An ability to recognize when his/her field of study has a central role in the consideration of a given issue and when it has a supporting role.
  • The skills to carry out integrated assessments using systems approaches and integrative methods, including the development and/or application of conceptual, mathematical, geospatial applications, and statistical models.
  • The ability to determine whether a system is sustainable; and if so why, and if not, what might be done to make it sustainable.