Winthrop University: Office of Sustainability - Academics


"Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world."  -- Nelson Mandela

Winthrop offers the following degree programs that focus on understanding today's environmental issues and examining topics from diverse viewpoints in anticipation of finding meaningful contributions to their solutions.  For more information contact, Dr. Scott Werts.

  • Bachelor of Art in Environmental Studies - Introduces students to the scientific, social, political, cultural, economic, and policy aspects of environmental issues.
  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences - Introduces students to the scientific, social, political, cultural, economic, and policy aspects of environmental issues in preparation for scientific careers in industry, government, consulting, and for graduate programs in environmental sciences.
  • Minor of Sustainability - The minor in Sustainability provides students with a broad understanding of how we can meet the needs of today without compromising the needs of future generations. Students will be exposed to sustainability issues in human systems, e.g., economics, as well as in natural systems, e.g., environmental biology, and will be encouraged to apply principles of sustainability to real-world problems.

Contact the Office of Sustainability for information about possible internship opportunities to work on sustainability initiatives and program development on Winthrop's campus.

Consider using the library as a sustainable alternative to purchasing books individually. Doing so builds and strengthens the community while saving natural resources. Winthrop's Dacus Library has an excellent collection of resources (pdf - 90 KB) that focus on sustainability and the three dimensions of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental. 

The following resources are not specific to any initiative at Winthrop University and the Office of Sustainability does not endorse any individual NGO or organizations included. This information is only included here to provide general information about sustainability, sustainable practices, and/or assist research projects.

  • Architecture 2030 - As a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization, Architecture 2030 was established in response to the climate change crisis by architect Edward Mazria in 2002. 2030's mission is to rapidly transform the U.S. and global building sector from the major contributor of greenhouse gas emissions to a central part of the solution to climate change, energy consumption, and economic crises. The goal is straightforward: to achieve a dramatic reduction in the climate-change-causing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the building sector by changing the way buildings and developments are planned, designed, and constructed.
  • Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) - As an institutional member, Winthrop University is committed to sustainability and to serving as a positive example through sustainable practices. AASHE is helping to create a brighter future of opportunity for all by advancing sustainability in higher education. By creating a diverse community engaged in sharing ideas and promising practices, AASHE provides administrators, faculty, staff and, students, as well as the business that serve them, with thought leadership and essential knowledge resources; outstanding opportunities for professional development; and a unique framework for demonstrating the value and competitive edge created by sustainability initiatives. 
  • Builders of Hope - Their mission is to seek to increase the availability of high-quality, safe, affordable, and workforce housing options. Through innovative reuse and rehabilitation, they incorporate economic benefits, environmental stewardship, and social solutions.
  • Center for Biological Diversity - Provides information about the importance of diversity and how human society can "secure the future of all species ..."  The Web site offers links to programs supporting endangered species, climate, oceans, and urban wildlands.
  • Chimney Swifts (a project of the Driftwood Wildlife Association) - Chimney Swifts share our campus environment and serve many benefits.  Two parents and their offspring can consume over 12,000 flying insects every day! Chimney swifts typically arrive in the United States in late March and return to the Amazon Basin of Peru in early November where they winter. State wildlife codes and federal law under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1916 protect chimney swifts. However, the chimney swift population is declining because of habitat loss.
  • Climate Take Back - Interface, a commercial flooring company has adopted a mission to "overcome the biggest challenge facing humanity and reverse global warming. It is no longer enough to limit the damage we do but to think about reversing it. We want to restore our planet and leave a positive impact."  The Climate Take Back strategy is a plan that will "remove carbon from the atmosphere and protect natural carbon sinks" in four key areas: Live Zero, Love Carbon, Let Nature Cool, and Lead the Industrial Re-Revolution.  
  • Creation Justice Ministries -Works in cooperation with national bodies of Protestant denominations, Orthodox communions, regional faith groups, and congregants to protect and restore God's creation. A variety of resources is available.
  • The Environmental Magazine - Since its inception, the mission has remained the same: to provide information about environmental issues and to share ideas and resources so that readers can live more sustainable lives and connect with ongoing efforts for change.
  • Envision Charlotte - Believes environmental sustainability, when combined with a pro-business approach, benefits the regional economy and is achieved through perpetual, formal stewardship of defined resources in the environment in the areas of energy, water, air, and waste.
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) - Its mission is to protect human health and the environment. Online resources are available that provide information on a variety of environmental topics including air, climate change, green living, pesticides, chemicals, toxins, waste, and water.
  • Green America - Green America's mission is to "harness economic power the strength of consumers, investors, businesses, and the marketplace to create a socially just and environmentally sustainable society."  Green America's website provides information on several topics including climate, fair trade, social investing, and living green.
  • Inhabitat - A weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices, and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future. Other topics posted include insight into a variety of social and environmental issues.
  • Project Drawdown - Offers climate solutions that are ranked by their greenhouse gas reduction potential.  "Project Drawdown is a world-class research organization that reviews, analysis, and identifies the most viable global climate solutions, and shares these findings with the world." 
  • NASA Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet - Provides the public with accurate and timely news and information about Earth’s changing climate, along with current data and visualizations, presented from the unique perspective of NASA, one of the world’s leading climate research agencies.
  • Project Gigaton - A Walmart initiative, this program aims to avoid one billion metric tons (a gigaton) of greenhouse gases from the global value chain by 2030.
  • The Story of Stuff Project - Created by Annie Leonard and her friends at Free Range Studios in 2000, The Story of Stuff Project is an effort to bring awareness  to share "what she'd learned about the way we make, use, and throw away stuff." Consider how your buying habits contribute to sustainability, i.e., how what you buy can simultaneously advance economic vitality, ecological integrity, and social welfare.
  • Terraton Challenge - is a global effort to remove 1 trillion tons – or a terraton – of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and use it to enrich agricultural soils.
  • - 350 is building a future that is just, prosperous, equitable, and safe from the effects of climate change.  350 is an international movement of ordinary people working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all.   
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals - The Sustainable Development Goals are the blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate, environmental degradation, prosperity, and peace and justice. The Goals interconnect and to leave no one behind, we must achieve each Goal and target by 2030. Click on any specific Goal below to learn more about each issue.

Last Updated: 8/11/22