Projects - Education

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Incorporating sustainability in the curriculum is a part of the American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment.  At Macalester College, sustainability is included in classes, through academic internships, and in study away opportunities.


The Environmental Studies department at Macalester serves as the academic cornerstone of sustainability work at the college.  In 1973 Environmental Studies became an official program and in 2004 it became an official department of the college.  The department has supported campus sustainability through classes, events, newsletters, internships, study abroad programs, student projects, and support of sustainability projects on campus. 

Faculty in biology, philosophy, economics, geography, geology, chemistry, anthropology and physics have all been involved with environmental studies at Macalester College.

Are you doing sustainability research?  See what the Macalester library has to offer through their Environmental Studies Subject Guide.

Here is one example of how a class used campus sustainability as a class topic.  It is explored in this article: 
Using a Class to Conduct a Carbon Inventory:  A Case Study with Practical Results at Macalester College
Christopher Wells, Suzanne Savanick Hansen and Christie Manning.

We would like to include information about other academic projects about sustainability to this website, please email Suzanne Savanick Hansen with information about the project.


Sustainability-focused internships 2008-2013

Senior Graduation Pledge

Since 2000, Environmental Studies students have organized the "Senior Graduation Pledge" for commencement.  The graduates state "I pledge to explore and take into account the social and environmental consequences of any job I consider or any organization for which I work." Taking the pledge is voluntary; students determine for themselves what they consider to be socially and environmentally responsible. The students who pledge wear a green ribbon on their graduation gown.

This idea first started at Manchester College, Indiana, in 1988.  For some students,  searching for a job means searching for companies or organizations that do not pollute streams, rivers, or the air; practice discriminatory or unfair business; or create an  unfriendly work atmosphere.  These students conscientiously go the extra mile in their job searches because they support this nation-wide effort.

Here are the numbers of graduates who signed the pledge:


2014 - 60
2013 - 100
2012 - 57
2011 - 92
2010 - 151
2009 - 115
2008 - 195
2007 - 124

2006 - 62
2005 - 148
2004 - 126
2003 - Pledge sheet with signatures lost
2002 - 169
2001 - 183
2000 - 147