NEW Dual Major brings Sustainability to the Forefront

NEW Dual Major brings Sustainability to the Forefront

As a graduating senior, I have begun the dreaded job search. has a permanent place on my “most visited website” list on Google Chrome. I have spent many afternoons searching for jobs, using different key words in key locations, to some avail. As an intern at the UNH Sustainability Institute, I was curious to see what jobs in sustainability exist in the mystical “real world.” Much to my surprise, the list was expansive. Sustainability is continuing to expand in the job sector. On top of sustainability-specific jobs, many different companies are growing to be more sustainable-focused to keep up with a changing world standard.

If you are looking to gain a sustainable edge but don’t want to completely switch majors, consider adding the Sustainability Dual major. A dual major is different from a second major. A dual major is meant to be paired with any other major on campus (yes, even engineering!). The Sustainability Dual major is composed of three core classes (SUST 401, SUST 501 and SUST 750) along with 5 elective courses meeting certain category requirements (Natural Biological Systems and Social Systems & Humanities). Many electives can double count as Discovery courses. Additionally, two elective courses can be from your primary major, so you’re already almost half way there!

For those students already enrolled in the Environmental Conservation and Sustainability major, this is still a great program to pursue! The major explores all sectors of sustainability, (political, economic, and social) not just the scientific aspects behind it. The curriculum is based off an ideology of living alongside our environment, rather than overpowering it. According to the sustainability dual major website, “The new undergraduate Sustainability Dual Major provides an innovative pathway for emerging leaders to gain the skills and knowledge needed to be agents of change in a complex, ever-changing global environment”

Vanessa Levesque and Stacy VanDeveer are the heads of the sustainability dual major. VanDeveer is a professor of
Political Science at UNH, and an environmental policy guru. Levesque is enjoying her first semester here at the University, as she was pulled on specifically to manage the new dual major program. In an interview with Levesque, she stated that a sustainable education is important for both practical and philosophical reasons. Practically, sustainability is a “hot topic” right now. It is vital that one is able to speak intelligently about the issues relating to sustainability. Being able to put the dual major on a resume looks great to prospective employers. Philosophically, it is vital that we know how to properly care for our environment. The Earth is experiencing vast pressures from unsustainable living. It is our duty to become informed citizens of the world and protect the planet.

As a senior graduating in May, it is too late for me to take advantage of this opportunity. But for most of you, there is still plenty of time! As you go through the tedious process of organizing your schedule for next semester, why not consider some sustainable options? For more information about the sustainability dual major, please visit the dual major website. As proud UNH wildcats, it is our duty to bleed blue and live green.