What is the Sustainability Studies Program?

Sustainability at UNM

The UNM Sustainability Studies Program offers an undergraduate minor degree to students in any department or college on campus. We provide interdisciplinary, hands-on, community-engaged learning that informs students' academic work, future careers, and personal lives.

During the 2014-2015 academic year, UNM Sustainability Studies will be supporting the Lobo Reading Experience with a series of events highlighting various topics from Edward Humes' book, Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash. Stay tuned for more information.

The Lobo Gardens are in full production mode, thanks to Dr. Warner Orozco and his hard-working students. Visit the garden at 2811 Campus Dr NE.

There are so many ways to get involved in sustainable initiatives at UNM. Check out Dr. Bruce Milne's recent presentation - The Odyssey of Creating a Sustainable Campus at UNM: Assets, Barriers, and Strategies - from the 2012 American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment Southwest Regional Collaborative Symposium. Sustainability is a core value of UNM, and it shows!

SSP Staff
Meet our team! From left to right: Eileen, Michael, Terry, Bruce, Warner & Jessica

What is Sustainability?

Sustainability, as defined by the Brundtland Commission, is a way of life that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." It is the capacity to endure. Sustainability encompasses the three pillars of environmental health, economic vitality and social equity.

Sustainability is a nationally and internationally recognized interdisciplinary field that seeks creative solutions to promote environmental health and restoration, social equity, and economic vitality. The goal is to meet the needs of the present (such as health, energy, food, shelter, and transportation) while ensuring the satisfaction of those same needs for future generations. In light of unprecedented environmental degradation, social instability, and economic uncertainties in today’s world, the sustainability minor cultivates the complex knowledge and skills needed to secure a healthy future for all.

Sustainability is linked to rapidly growing career opportunities in business, education, government, and the non-profit sector. The Sustainability Studies minor provides students from all disciplines the opportunity to acquire pertinent knowledge and skills that complement their major, thereby preparing them for the challenges and opportunities ahead.


The Sustainability Studies Program utilizes experiential learning, research, and service activities to implement practical solutions for a sustainable future on the UNM campus, in the state of New Mexico, and for the Earth as a whole. Sustainability Studies integrates knowledge and methodologies from the Sciences, Humanities, and Arts to provide a roadmap for students that can be applied to the design, selection, and implementation of sustainable policies, practices, technologies, and strategies. Sustainability Studies provides a dynamic feedback loop of information and practice.

Sustainability Studies Strategic Plan

Sustainability Studies Outcomes Assessment

Sustainability Studies Minor Degree Plan

Sustainability Studies

 Crystiana Baca-Bosiljevac
Crystiana (Tiana) Baca-Bosiljevac graduated Summer 2011 with a B.A. in Anthropology and a minor in Geography. Since then, she earned her Permaculture Design Certificate. She has volunteered on farms in Sacramento and San Diego, California; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. She recently completed an eight-month internship at Chispas Farms. Tiana will continue working on the farm for the 2013 season. She is currently a graduate student in the UNM Geography Department. Her research on "Resilience of Local Food Systems" is supported by the USDA Hispanic Serving Institutions Education Grant.

 Aaron Bridgers

Aaron Bridgers graduated December 2011 with a Bachelors of Fine Arts from the UNM School of Architecture and Planning and a minor in Sustainability Studies. During the Fall 2012 semester, Aaron is doing an internship with Engineering Ministries International (EMI), a non-profit group dedicated to bringing hope to the poorest of poor in countries across the globe through the power of design. Through his work with EMI in Costa Rica as an Architectural Intern, he will help to initiate and facilitate the design of a project somewhere in Latin America. Past projects for 2012 have included an orphanage/rescue center in Haiti, a medical clinic and a school in Honduras, and a church retreat center/training center in Panama. Keep up with Aaron through his blog.


 Jayne Franck

Sustainability Studies graduate Jayné Franck is moving to England to attend the Design Management Program in the Institute for Manufacturing at the University of Cambridge. Ms. Franck reports, “I’m the first person in my family to go to college, and I’m a nontraditional student. I want to encourage anyone to take this kind of a chance by applying to well-respected institutions rather than limiting yourself.” According to its web page, The Institute provides “a unique environment for the creation of new ideas and approaches to modernize industrial practice.”  Ms. Franck will take her seat among colleagues from around the world to study sustainable product and facilities design.  Her goal is to help create society’s adaptive response to climate change.  Bruce Milne, Director of Sustainability Studies, congratulated Ms. Franck for being, “on top of global trends that inform our options while understanding the tradeoffs involved with finding solutions.”  Today, solutions developed anywhere can be used everywhere, which makes it all the more compelling to consider Ms. Franck’s foray to a distant institution an opportunity that will ultimately benefit people and planet.