Guccione outside in the snow

Sustainability Science (minor)

SJC's Sustainability Science minor is designed to introduce students to the earth's natural phenomena, broaden their appreciation and understanding of environmental systems, and help students attain an understanding and appreciation of the fundamental laws of nature and how they apply in everyday life. SJC's Sustainability Science minor is an excellent option for those who are interested in teaching science classes at the secondary level.



Only available as a minor

Why Sustainability Science?

  • 1Sustainability Science is more than just the study of our planet; it is also about looking past our own existence and into what lies beyond our world. Studying our solar system, the planets, and other celestial bodies contained within, and even the universe can help piece together our own way of life.
  • 2A student with a major in the natural sciences, such as Biology or Chemistry, and a minor in Sustainability Science can work in environment-related careers or pursue graduate studies in environmental topics.
  • 3Private sector or government jobs that place a high value on problem solving, field studies, sustainability, and technology consider a Sustainability Science minor a valuable addition to a resume.

Careers in Sustainability Science

  • Conservation Officer
  • Environmental Chemist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Geologist
  • Urban Planner

Alumni Graduate Schools

  • Northwestern University
  • University of Washington
  • William & Mary
  • Indiana State University

Why Study Sustainability Science at Saint Joseph's College?


While studying Sustainability Science at SJC, you will take courses in geology, sustainability, physics, astronomy, and environmental research methods. Many of the courses include a component of field work or observation, where substantial learning occurs outside of the classroom.

Hands-on Experience

With a Sustainability Science minor at SJC, you will have the liberty of working with professors on individualized research projects, with the possible outcome of co-authoring scientific papers published in important journals. Professors also conduct field studies, where you will have the opportunity to get your hands dirty and see how the Sustainability Science concepts apply in the outside world.

Dedication to Excellence

SJC recently received three large grants that have allowed the Department of Sustainability Studies to make significant additions to the technological tools used in their courses, as well as develop exciting learning areas, such as the new hoophouse. The grants have also funded visits by students in certain courses to local environmental sites, including the Meadow Lake Wind Farm, Algaewheel, and the Rensselaer wastewater treatment center.

Faculty and Class Size

Sustainability Science students at SJC are provided with small classes and individualized attention. We have several professors teaching in the department, each with a wide variety of experience that brings unique and interdisciplinary perspectives to the Sustainability Science minor.

Student Research

Field courses and undergraduate research are important components for the academic development of our Sustainability Science minor. These activities provide real-world experience and are components that help develop students into formal operational thinkers who are capable of critical evaluation and abstraction. The Sustainability Studies Department has taken steps to preserve some of the representative habitats on the College campus by establishing an Environmental and Biological Field Station.

Having field sites on campus is a valuable resource because the alternatives include added time and travel costs to visit sites off-campus. A preserve on-campus also permits uninterrupted long-term studies and short-term experiments on manipulated plots. Students are currently involved in on-going studies on college lands that range from five to eight years since inception.

Three tracts of land on campus have been designated as nature preserves for the Environmental and Biological Field Station. These lands contain a variety of habitat types (forest, prairie, oak savanna, old-field, wetland) that are in a natural state and are sufficiently large enough (16-23 acre parcels) to provide habitat for populations of plants and animals. Some native habitats (wetlands, prairie) will be restored and constructed so that long-term studies with experimental manipulations can be conducted on replicated field plots. Biology and Sustainability Science students were involved in the planning stages and will be involved in the restoration process, as well as the research.

The mission of the Environmental and Biological Field Station is to promote the survival of native Indiana plants and animals and for the long-term study of plants and animals in their natural habitats. The goals are to promote conservation, education, and research.

Kris Krouse ’02

Kris Krouse '02

Kris majored in Biology and Geology (Group Major) and minored in Chemistry. He is Executive Director of Shirley Heinze Land Trust, a not-for-profit dedicated to the preservation and restoration of natural areas.


Kris says: "Faculty gave me a firm appreciation for what it means to have a passion for your profession. At SJC, I had a once-in-a-lifetime experience."

Explore the Core
  • SJC Education Students in the field

    Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Like Elementary Education major Brittany Cooper ’12, you start your major as soon as you walk in the door, so you will have four years of knowledge and experience in your field.You can even change your mind about your major and still graduate on time with lots of experience.

    Core and the major work in harmony to develop the cognitive skills requisite for success in a competitive, global society. Students better understand the forces that shape the future by exploring the past. They discuss contemporary events; analyze the impact of science on our understanding of humanity and the universe; and investigate diverse cultures and world civilizations. 

  • Professor Fred and Sally Berger at Graduation


    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors, such as Communication Professors Fred and Sally Berger, do more for you—they serve as mentors. Studies show that having a mentor leads to success in your field. Alumni often tell us how their professors not only played a major role in their success, but also became lifelong friends.  If you are undecided about what to major in, we help you decide.

  • High Quality Academics

    In the Core Program, you will be inspired to debate, analyze, and solve problems. Discussion of culture and society, the modern world, and Christian Humanism are just a few highlights of the Program. New perspectives will be gained, your worldview will expand, and you will graduate from SJC as a well rounded, highly marketable person.

  • Visiting Chinese Students


    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life. LaMichelle Sanders ’14, for example, has spent two summers helping Chinese study abroad students adapt to life in the U.S. and at SJC. If you want to start a club or activity that doesn’t exist, we encourage you to start one. At SJC, prepare yourself for what you want to do in life.

  • Hoop House student workers

    Real-life Skills

    Because of the skills you develop by having the Core Program interact with your major for four years in addition to internships, job shadowing, and service learning, you get hands-on experience in preparation for your career or graduate school. Students Hanna Kane ’14, Emily Baird ’15, and Alyssa Guarnaccia ’14 collect food in the SJC hoophouse to be distributed on campus. You will also get four years of analytical, writing, and speaking skills that will serve you well for the rest of your life.

  • Images of Students

    Start Your Major Freshman Year

    Get a jump start on your career and have your resume ready to go at graduation.  

  • Images of Students


    Small colleges offer you personal attention; SJC professors do more for you—they serve as mentors.

  • Images of Students

    High Quality Academics

    The Core Program is all about you and your role in the world.


  • Images of Students


    You get more deeply involved at SJC, so you get more meaningful experiences that prepare you for career and life.

  • Images of Students

    Real-life Skills

    Get real-life experience and become an excellent communicator.