115: Meghann Jarchow - Defining Sustainable Education
Meghann Jarchow, Ph.D., chair of Sustainability and Environment, spoke with Credit Hour about recent changes in the sustainability program as well as how we can make the world a better place.
The sustainability undergraduate program started in 2012, and six years later, students can now receive a Master’s and doctorate degree in sustainability. This makes the University of South Dakota one of the few institutions in the country to offer an undergraduate and graduate education in sustainability.
“I think sustainability is the ultimate liberal art in that it is more of a way of thinking about the world or a different lens or worldview of understanding how we might think of topics,” Jarchow said.
Jarchow describes sustainability as a proactive way of thought to improve the environment, improve social well-being and to have financial systems that could continue over time. The end goal is to find solutions that make change.
“Sustainability is more than recycling,” Jarchow said. “It is trying to create a better world and actually taking steps to make it happen.”
There are several easy steps a person can take to make the world a more desirable place, Jarchow said, such as using a reusable water bottle or grocery bag. Additionally, with the free bike share program the sustainability department helped develop, Jarchow hopes it becomes normal for more people to bike around town all year around.