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Sustainability Program

Sustainability Is Everybody's Business

The Sustainability Program at the University of Dayton provides students an understanding and appreciation of the interdisciplinary aspects of sustainability, energy and the environment. The goal of the program and the Hanley Sustainability Institute is to equip students with tools to implement sustainability in their careers. For the latest news, visit the Hanley Sustainability Institute blog. The bachelor of arts and bachelor of science degrees are designed to be part of a double major. Students eyeing environmental protection careers could double major in environmental biology and sustainability. A double major in history or sociology and sustainability could suit future urban planners. Students pursuing nonprofit careers, especially combatting food deserts, could benefit from a philosophy-sustainability double major. Sustainability majors will be marketable for engineering, architecture, agriculture, data analysis, education, facilities management and public administration, among others.

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Sustainability Program and HSI working through the pandemic

The work of the Sustainability Program and the Hanley Sustainability Institute is continuing despite challenges posed by COVID-19. Click the link to see a message from HSI Executive Director Ben McCall and for instructions on how to contact us.

Sustainability Program and HSI working through the pandemic

Hands with globe superimposed on them

The work of the Sustainability Program and the Hanley Sustainability Institute is continuing despite challenges posed by COVID-19. Click the link to see a message from HSI Executive Director Ben McCall and for instructions on how to contact us.

Striving Toward the Common Good

The first group of Sustainability Program majors start attending classes in early 2020. This video produced by the University of Dayton illustrates the work and motivation of some current sustainability students.

Striving Toward the Common Good

The first group of Sustainability Program majors start attending classes in early 2020. This video produced by the University of Dayton illustrates the work and motivation of some current sustainability students.

Bachelor of Arts

Food Systems

Required and elective courses include food justice, nutrition and health, politics of human rights, history of food and writing for grants and non-profits.

Academic Catalog for FSS

Urban Sustainability

Required and elective courses include cities and energy, applied geographic information systems (GIS), urban sociology and history of American city planning.

Academic Catalog for USS

Bachelor of Science

Energy

Required and elective courses include biology, chemistry, biology, physics, statistics, energy resources and principles of microeconomics.

Academic Catalog for NRG

Sustainable Watersheds

Required and elective courses include biology, chemistry, geology, physics, biology of rivers and lakes and surface and groundwater hydrology.

Academic Catalog for WAT

Other academic programs

The Sustainability Minor at the University of Dayton strives to provide a deep understanding and appreciation of the interdisciplinary aspects of sustainability, energy, and the environment and to equip students with the tools to implement sustainability in their careers – here at UD and beyond. Students in this minor program engage with faculty, staff, peers, student organizations, and local community partners to achieve hands-on experience through integrative learning, research, service, and community events.

Learn more about this program
Students earning the Certificate in Sustainability (SUS) take two sustainability courses: Foundations in Sustainability and Applied Sustainability. They also choose six semester hours of coursework from the social sciences, the physical sciences and engineering, allowing them to custom fit the certificate to their personal and professional goals and needs.

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Learn more about us

Find the courses in sustainability that are right for you.

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Learn about the opportunities and activities that are available to students interested in sustainability.

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Learn more about our advisory committee, our faculty, staff and student assistants.

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Reach out. We are here to answer your questions.

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I don’t think you can find a major – whether bachelor of science or bachelor of arts or in any of the schools – that is as integrative and innovative as this one.

Rebecca Potter

Director, Sustainability Program

Sustainability Week 2019

The University of Dayton's Sustainability Club hosted several events during Sustainability Week 2019. The calendar included yoga on KU's green roof, a farmer's market, a bicycle blender, a climate change dialogue, a cookout on Art Street, a clothing swap and a keynote address from UD graduate Matt Cox, the CEO and co-founder of The Greenlink Group. Here's a look back movie trailer-style and a reminder to stay tuned for the sequel - Sustainability Week 2020.

Sustainability Careers: Alumni making a difference

Though the new Sustainability Program bachelors of arts and sciences majors just launched in 2019, UD graduates with sustainability education have made their mark in important and rewarding positions. Those jobs are in many varied industries. After all, sustainability is everybody's business.

UD Sustainability alumni career snapshots

In the News
Sustainability 10.12.20
Running down goals: UD student-athlete joins sustainability major’s energy track

Melissa Weidner took one sustainability class to see if that would be a major she would like. She said the course "confirmed my passion" and she chose the energy track of the sustainability major. The sophomore also is a UD athlete on the track and cross country teams.

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Sustainability 09.28.20
Chance meeting at swim club leads to friendship, choice of University of Dayton and sustainability major

Pilar Bertollini said her journey to studying sustainability at the University of Dayton began when she was 9 years old and walked into the Forest Hills Swim Club in Birmingham, Michigan. A girl two grades older than her, Kathleen Lemire, became Bertollini’s swimming and diving partner and a friend to play games and cards with in the snack shack. “When we got older, Kathleen told me she was going to the University of Dayton, and I’d never heard of it, so I looked into it,” Bertollini said. “I was only a junior in high school when she was starting her first year at UD, and I remember reading all about UD and thinking it was perfect for me."

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Sustainability 09.23.20
From F-16 mechanic to sustainability at UD, local grad finds her way home

Darion Smith grew up pretending to be the Crocodile Hunter, hiking in Glen Helen Nature Preserve and credits (Clayton) Northmont High School with helping “encourage my love for nature and wildlife with cool field trips.” “I have always lived in suburban areas, and the outdoors was my refuge, especially from family issues and stress,” she said. “I loved going on hikes, splashing in the streams, listening to the birds. As I grew older, however, I became aware of the real issues facing society. Nature went from something I loved to play in, to something I needed to protect and felt concerned for.”

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Sustainability 08.19.20
A switch to UD’s sustainability major and semester in Hawaii have Moore on the right (watershed) track

Abbey Moore’s interest in water quality began during high school environmental classes. That curiosity led her to the University of Dayton and a semester in Hawaii. “Dayton of all places is the best place to get a hydrological education due to the Great Miami Buried Valley Aquifer and the effect the Great Lakes have on us,” said Moore, a sophomore at UD taking the sustainability major’s watershed track. “Ohio is perfect for hydrology and I feel as if my education has true substance and value.”

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Sustainability 04.20.20
Sinclair transfer picked UD's 'multi-dimensional' sustainability major

Mark Ryan hasn’t totally decided on which sustainability track he will take, but he chose the major because he said it’s his way to make the world better. “I think sustainability is the best path for me to take because it focuses on so many different aspects of society so I get to learn about how different parts of society interact and how I can help improve them,” said Ryan, a sophomore at the University of Dayton after transferring from Sinclair Community College. “It focuses on the integration of environmental, economic and societal factors that interact with each other to make up society.”

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Sustainability 04.03.20
Freshman from Texas found a home at UD and in the sustainability major

Yamilet Perez Aragon is a Mexican-American first generation student from Austin, Texas, who chose the University of Dayton because it aligned with the values she developed growing up and spending time at her parents’ Mexican villages. The freshman enrolled to study graphic design, but near the end of last semester she found another passion.

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