May 18, 2009    #071
Contact: Laura Byerley
(816) 235-1592

UMKC anticipates green job opportunities with new Sustainability Minor

Thirty-one faculty members from a variety academic programs contribute

With President Barack Obama planning to create 5 million green jobs and the Federal government funding a Kansas City Climate Sustainability Center, the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) is searching for additional ways to prepare students for green-collar jobs. Adding to UMKC’s green arsenal of sustainability-focused courses, 80-plus member Sustainability Team, Clean Commute bicycle program, LEED-certified construction projects and an energy savings plan that will save about $1.6 million each year – students from all areas of study can declare a Sustainability Minor as of May 26, 2009.

The 18-hour minor integrates a wide range of fields, including geosciences, engineering, ethics, urban planning and design, economics, history, philosophy, political science and public administration. Through in-class lectures and a local environmental sustainability internship, the minor will teach students about the planning and policies involved in creating sustainable changes in an urban setting.

“Sustainability is not just a buzz word,” said Molly Davies, Associate Professor of Geosciences and Director of UMKC’s Environmental Studies Program. “It is a perspective and academic area critical to our future, and it is an area that unifies the natural and social sciences. There is significant growth and demand for employment in this field worldwide.”

To complete the minor, a student must complete an applied project or internship and take one three-hour course in each of the following areas: Earth Systems and Resources, Sustainable Thinking, Sustainable Planning and Policy, Sustainable Design and Analytical Tools.

Thirty-one faculty members from the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Geosciences (which includes Geography, Geology and Environmental Studies); Department of Architecture, Urban Planning and Design; Department of History; Department of Philosophy; Department of Political Science; Department of Economics; the Henry W. Bloch School of Business and Public Administration; the School of Law; and the School of Biological Sciences are contributing to the minor.

“The world and the U.S. are increasingly urban, and these urban areas must be sustainable to address climate change, environmental impact and livable societies,” Davies said. “Cities and metropolitan areas are where the rubber meets the road for making financial commitments to addressing climate change. UMKC faculty members have been teaching and researching in this field for some time now and are deeply engaged with those in the Kansas City community leading the green changes.”

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

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This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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