Spring event allows students to explore new Environmental & Sustainability Sciences major

The Environment & Sustainability Program, home of the new cross-college undergraduate major in Environmental & Sustainability Sciences (ESS), is hosting a spring gathering of humanities faculty and current and prospective majors April 10 in Room 401 of the Physical Sciences Building from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

The major, a collaboration between the colleges of Arts & Sciences and Agriculture and Life Sciences, first became available to Arts & Sciences students in the fall of 2018. The collaboration builds on current environmental programs to offer students additional ways to combine the study of physical and biological sciences with social science and humanities fields that explore the social, ethical and public policy dimensions of environmental issues.

"All humans are storytellers. That includes environmental scientists, whose stories are grounded in analytical approaches,” said Cliff Kraft, director of the Environment & Sustainability Program and professor of natural resources. “This event will provide students with an opportunity to explore other ways environmental narratives are constructed by diverse cultures."

At “Learning Sustainability Through the Environmental Humanities," students can learn about the new environmental humanities concentration in the ESS major, as well as get acquainted with the courses and research of humanities faculty. Brief faculty presentations will begin at 4:45 pm. Refreshments will be served.

The presentations will be given by faculty from a range of humanities departments and programs: romance studies, comparative literature, classics, English, anthropology, Cornell’s Society for the Humanities and natural resources. Each member will present their work and courses through the lens of environmental humanities.

"This event highlights the courses and interests of humanities faculty whose work in subjects such as literature, art, ethics and cultural studies helps us appreciate the underlying values and belief systems that drive human behavior affecting our environment," Kraft said. 

The event is an opportunity for students to explore the kinds of research and learning that the program offers, and have the opportunity to meet the faculty offering a wide range of undergraduate courses in the coming years.

“I am eagerly anticipating presentations by some of the most prominent faculty in the humanities at the event,” said Anindita Banerjee, associate professor of comparative literature. “[I] cordially invite anyone curious about the environmental humanities to come for the refreshments and conversation.”

Read more about the event.

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