Mission: The Sustainability Academy’s mission is to provide a center for student interest in understanding, developing, and maintaining sustainability. Sustainability is often defined in one of two ways. On the one hand, we say something is sustainable if its use does not reduce future opportunities of its use. On the other hand, sustainability has historically been taken to involve a balance between ecological integrity, economic development, and social equity. Balancing these often competing pressures across time provides the challenge and hope for living well in the modern era. Reflecting on and improving our efforts at negotiating this difficult balancing act is the focal point of the sustainability academy.
Definition of Sustainability: Academies students learn about sustainable practices by examining the subject academically, and by pursuing sustainability initiatives in their own lives, in the university, in the greater Buffalo community, and in the broader world. The sustainability academy facilitates student involvement in collaborative problem solving, addressing some of the most vexing problems of our day. Under the guidance of Academic Director, Kenneth Shockley, Associate Professor of Philosophy, students will:
- Learn about efforts at sustainability at the personal, local, national, and global levels.
- Develop an awareness of the interdependence of the ecological, the economic, and the social, and communicate this awareness to the broader academic and nonacademic community.
- Develop a personal philosophy of sustainability through examination of our own attitudes and behaviors.
- Enhance their ability to creatively solve problems in a collaborative setting
- Examine sustainability efforts on campus and in the surrounding community, and use those efforts to develop new sustainability initiatives
- Recognize the relationship between the university and its surrounding social and ecological environment
Links and Resources:
- The UB Office of Sustainability will be a close partner of the Undergraduate Academies, providing students with the opportunity to become sustainably literate through learning about locally and globally sustainable challenges.
- Students looking to connect their sustainable passions with an academic program have a diverse array of courses and programs to choose from.
- The Sustainability Academy connections extend beyond campus as well. Previous excursions to the Massachusetts Avenue Project and PUSH Buffalo have positioned the Academies to continue and strengthen partnerships with the Western New York and Buffalo community.