rotating photosSustainability Science

In collaboration with the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute

The definition of sustainability science can be elusive in part because what defines what is sustainable. Sustainability Science probes interactions between global, social, and human systems, the complex mechanisms that lead to degradation of these systems, and concomitant risks to human well-being. As Sustainability science has emerged in the 21st century as a new academic discipline, it brings together scholarship and practice, global and local perspectives, and disciplines across the natural and social sciences, engineering, and medicine — facilitating the design, implementation, and evaluation of practical interventions that promote sustainability in particular places and contexts. Because the definition of sustainability is elusive, a debate has emerged as to whether it is a stand-alone discipline or a concept to be introduced into traditional disciplines. The sustainability track in Global Environmental Science takes the latter view. As such the courses offered in this track are designed to provide a “tool box” or set of quantitative skills that enable the environmental scientist to execute sustainability analyses and to implement sustainable systems within their field. In particular courses on Life Cycle Analysis, environmental law, public health, and environmental management systems will be taken. The sustainability track graduate is prepared for opportunities in all fields that would hire environmental scientists, and to be especially competitive for those opportunities that target the design, analysis, implementation, maintenance, and/or monitoring of processes or systems that target increased sustainability.


Track Title Sustainability Science
Required Four Coupled System Courses

OCN 441 - Principles of Sustainability Analysis
OEST 442 - Principles of Environmental Management Systems
PEPS 451 - Environmental Law
PH 340 - Public Health and the Environment

Track Coordinator Michael Cooney (HNEI faculty)


Please contact Dr. Michael Guidry at to inquire more about this track.

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