URI is known for its robust curriculum in the natural sciences, environmental and natural resource economics, oceanography, ocean engineering and marine affairs. However, ensuring that students outside of the “traditional” environmental science programs are equally prepared to address sustainability issues via cross-disciplinary or multidisciplinary collaboration across the curriculum, is a significant challenge.
Many programs have been developed to help infuse sustainability topics into the curriculum.
> Courses that include topics of sustainability
Additionally, the incorporation of sustainability learning outcomes for all academic disciplines is emphasized in the university’s current Academic Plan. The environment and sustainability are crucial teaching and research topics that help achieve URI’s goal to “Enhance Academic Quality and Value” through “Strategic Investments in Teaching and Research.”
Strategic Investments in Teaching and Research
C. Integrate teaching and research across the University that addresses challenges of
the environment and examines aspects of advancing a green economy.
1. Develop a new undergraduate major in “global change” and increase visibility of programs focused in environmental science, building on or establishing a mix of
disciplinary and interdisciplinary opportunities.
2. Build upon and market the recently established sustainability minor to advance the University reputation as a “green” university.
3. Leverage extant expertise and reputation to expand research and application to
advance Rhode Island’s green economy.
4. Build on teaching and research expertise in oceanography, marine sciences,
policy and social sciences, and coastal land and resource use to create and
promote a center of excellence that links environment, economy, and society
through disciplinary foundations with cross-disciplinary context.
5. Develop a crosscutting model of sustainability and stewardship in relation to campus operations, student and faculty learning and behavior, and innovative projects that contribute to the expansion of Rhode Island’s “green” economy.
6. In partnership with the Division of Administration, provide a comprehensive program promoting environmental stewardship, sustainability, and energy cost savings through the support of resources for a Campus Sustainability Officer.
7. Explore the establishment of “green” versions of business, engineering, humanities, and social sciences programs for undergraduate and graduate students.
8. Position the University within the state and nation to be a source of leadership
related to science policy and the green economy, and other related issues.
9. Expand coursework and research in the emerging area of environmental justice.
To view the entire URI Academic Plan,
visit the Office of the Provost’s page: