As a society we face great challenges meeting the needs of our growing population while maintaining the health of our environment and working toward social and economic equality. The Center is founded in the belief that these challenges are actually opportunities for a college with strong academic departments, passionate students, in a progressive community rich with expertise, namely SBCC.
Our Mission is to initiate and support sustainability on our campus, in our curriculum, and in our community.
We take advantage of every opportunity to involve students in achieving our mission so that we simultaneously design better systems and train students for a rapidly evolving future.
The concept of sustainability “meeting our needs without hindering the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland Commission 1997) is truly interdisciplinary, requiring integration of the many academic disciplines, college departments, community organizations, and public offices. As such, the pursuit of sustainability education will enrich our many existing offerings and add new opportunities for students to gain value added skills in the many emerging fields that are incorporating environmental and social responsibility. One goal of this project is to incorporate ecological thinking into the many disciplines we offer on campus. In doing so, we will be working toward solutions to our many challenges and teaching students how a holistic, integrated approach can not only incorporate environmental and social responsibility, but create economic success through increased efficiency, preservation of necessary ecosystem functions, greater ease of regulatory compliance, and creation of niches in an evolving market place.
The Center for Sustainability is the continuation of a collaborative effort among Continuing Education led by Kris Power, several community organizations, The Environmental Studies program, the Student Sustainability Coalition, and several staff members of SBCC. Education in environmental and social responsibility has long been a focus of SBCC and the surrounding community. Several years ago the Student Sustainability Coalition was started by a few passionate students looking to make a positive change. These students provided support to those at SBCC that were already working in this regard and together we accomplished a number of successful projects. With the well documented challenges we face, growing student support, clear educational opportunities, and strong community foundation the college saw this as an opportunity to develop a distinctive program that would offer students a solutions based education by incorporating education in sustainable practices into existing curriculum, undertaking real world projects to make the campus more sustainable, and forging further ties with the surrounding community.
The Environmental Studies Program Coordinator at SBCC, Adam is an ecologist by training with bachelor’s degrees in chemistry and wildlife biology from University of California-Davis, and graduate degrees in wildlife ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Adam currently teaches courses in Humans and the Biological Environment, Environmental Field Studies, Projects in Sustainability, and Methods in Field Biology. Adam has a design certificate for permaculture (2007) from the Regenerative Design Institute with Penny Livingston, Brock Dolman, and Geoff Lawton.