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What is Sustainability Studies?



The interdisciplinary field of Sustainability Studies was developed in response to the growing need for environmental literacy and awareness as a solution to unsustainable human behavior and environmental degradation. Sustainability means long-lasting health, integrity, diversity, and vitality for all living systems - including individual, community, ecosystem, and biome.

Stony Brook's Sustainability Studies' academic programs include interdisciplinary and trans-disciplinary instruction in sustainable development, urban and suburban planning, landscape architecture, environmental policy, law and political science, environmental justice, economics, ecology, systems thinking, green chemistry, geographic information systems and science, geography, geology, climate change and resiliency, coastal studies, environmental health, food studies, natural resources, eco-philosophy, anthropology, environmental history, eco-aesthetics, and environmental humanities (including literature, media, film and cultural studies). The program curriculum includes extensive collaborative and interactive learning, problem solving, and direct hands-on engagement.

Graduates from the Sustainability Studies Program are prepared to enter a variety of careers and graduate programs including education, law, politics, policy and planning, journalism, business, landscape and architectural design, renewable energy, conservation, marine sciences, forestry, environmental health, food studies, and the arts, among others. "Green Job" growth is steadily rising and is outpacing most other employment areas. The study of sustainability teaches students to be proactive, critical and creative thinkers who seek and find solutions to environmental problems.

Sustainability Studies at Stony Brook offers five majors, six minors and a graduate certificate in GIS, as well as a Fast-track BA-MBA.


Welcome from Dr. Donovan Finn

Welcome to the Sustainability Studies Program.

As part of the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, we are a growing academic program offering undergraduate degrees in: Coastal Environmental Studies (B.S.); Environmental Design, Policy and Planning (B.A.), and Sustainability Studies (B.A.). We offer minors in all these areas, as well as in Geospatial Science. We also offer a Graduate Certificate in Geospatial Science. Our academic programs prepare students to understand and meet today's interwoven environmental, social, political, economic and ethical challenges in such a manner as to maintain a safe, healthy and enduring ecosystem and society. Our program is rooted in systems thinking, which gives students a framework to connect the different domains (environment, society, economy) of their studies. Our faculty use research and teaching approaches that are problem driven and solution oriented. We focus on developing not only students’ content knowledge, but also the skills and competencies they will need to work towards a more resilient world.

If you have any questions about what we do and who we are, please don't hesitate to contact me at   We hope you will want to learn more about our programs, and join us in analyzing and working to address the world’s growing environmental challenges.


Contact Us

Sustainability Studies Program

E2361 Melville Library
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3352
Phone: 631.632.9404

Dr. Donovan Finn
Division Head