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To deepen our understanding of the science and policy of global issues as well as the impact of personal behavior change, we engage in research and provide a variety of learning and engagement opportunities to students and the larger SSU community.

The Biology Department’s Environmental Biology concentration provides an inter-disciplinary focus with a strong, general biology foundation.  The Geography Department offers both a concentration and a minor in Environmental Sustainability, providing a foundation for students to understand and create solutions to global environmental problems through an inter-disciplinary curriculum. The Geological Science Department’s concentrations in Earth Policy and Earth Resources give students a foundation in natural earth resources with a strong field component.

Ten departments offer more than two-dozen sustainability-related courses in addition to foundational courses, directed studies, internships and study abroad opportunities. Selected courses include:

•    BIO 208 Environmental Problems: An Ecological Approach 
•    BIO 301 Conservation Biology
•    BIO 420 Environmental Biology Internship 
•    CHE 112 Introduction to Green Chemistry
•    CHE 140 Introduction to Environmental Chemistry
•    ECO 319 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics 
•    GPH 115 Global Climate Change: Causes and Consequences 
•    GPH 115H Global Climate Change Honors 
•    GPH 171 Environmental Sustainability and Society 
•    GPH 180 Saving the World - Social Justice in an Era of Climate Change 
•    GPH 246 Parks and Protected Areas
•    GPH 248 Ecotourism 
•    GPH 282P Global Environmental Issues 
•    GPH 344 Remote Sensing: Studying the Earth from Space 
•    GPH 360 Globalization: Geographies of Global Changes 
•    GPH 375 Food, Drink and the Environment 
•    GPH 376P Conservation of Natural Resources 
•    GPH 377 Environmental Impact Assessment 
•    GPH 379 Environmental Justice 
Geological Science
•    GLS 295 Climate Change in the Geologic Record 
•    GLS 351 Energy and Natural Resources in the Earth   
•    GLS 357 Environmental Geology 
•    GLS 380 Applied Environmental Geophysics 
Interdisciplinary Studies
•    IDS 220 Water Resources Planning and Management 
•    IDS 366 Energy and the Environment 
•    MGT 375 Corporate Social Responsibility
•    PHL 224 Environmental Ethics 
•    PHL 311 Sustainable People, Sustainable Planet 
Political Science
•    POL 304 Environmental Politics 
Sport and Movement Science
•    SMS 471 Environmental Education and Interpretation


Vibrant Earth Week programming includes lectures, movies, art installations, and a poster competition highlighting independent student research.

Moving Forward, Giving Back: Salem State University’s First Year Day of Service provides opportunities for students, faculty, staff, and alumni to participate in community projects, many of which support open spaces and community gardens. 2017 Sustainability projects included:

  • At The Forest River Conservation in Salem students cleared vegetation on the trails.
  • Lifebridge (Salem) involved students in their community garden by weeding, harvesting crops, and engaging in other garden maintenance.
  • At Lynn Woods Reservation students picked up trash, engaged in invasive weed control, and erosion control work near the dam.
  • Students at The National Parks engaged in garden-related projects and maintenance of the ship and waterfront area across from the U.S Customs House.
  • The New England Aquarium had students measure, identify, and sample invasive species on Winter Island and document the data collected. They also sampled fish species.
  • Salem Greenspace had students build garden beds, harvest, compost, and engage in general garden maintenance.
  • The Trustees of Reservation at Long Hill Estate in Beverly involved students in garden maintenance, removing invasive plants, and constructing an outdoor patio area for visitors.
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