Murray State University will unveil a new graduate-level program in sustainability science this fall. Students across all disciplines of study have expressed an increased interest in a cleaner earth and promoting a healthier environment for the ecosystem.
The university’s sustainability efforts go all the way back to 1925, when the geography, geology and agriculture departments established classes in the conservation of natural resources, climatology and water conservation. Even then, Murray State saw the need for helping students to become responsible, productive members of society and find innovative solutions to contemporary environmental and social problems.
Murray State’s new M.S. in sustainability science degree is the first graduate level program of its kind in Kentucky and a timely topic that is affecting all societies in all nations. No one is immune to the effects of climate change, decreasing species diversity, quality of life or the depletion of natural resources.
“Sustainability is all about operating in a way that keeps our ecosystem healthy,” said Dr. Robert Pervine, associate provost for graduate education and research. “The structure of the newly-developed curriculum cuts across lots of different disciplines. Core courses are mandatory,” Pervine explained, “but we also offer electives that cross different tracks of interest.”
The new program is unique in many ways. There are elective courses in agriculture, chemistry, biology, mathematics, geology, occupational safety and health, and education. The program is open to being tailored to many facets of interest. If a student is interested in environmental sustainability, his track can be tailored accordingly, noted Pervine. If a student is interested in agricultural sustainability, that track can be tailored also. Students interested in educating others about sustainability can have an altered track to meet their needs. The new program is broad, adaptable and open to students with many different backgrounds.
Everything needed for survival and well-being depends on the natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions where humans and nature can co-exist in productive harmony and permit a healthy environment that will carry forward to generations walking in our path.
Murray State has made the first footstep in this direction and is committed to helping students pursue ingenious ways of reducing the environmental footprint that affects everyone.
To learn more about this new degree, call Dr. Howard Whiteman at 270.809.6753.