Research & Education
Through sustainability courses, internships and independent study, Princeton aspires to connect the undergraduate academic experience to the inner-workings of the campus and to ongoing sustainability research.
Goals & Progress
- Goal: Broaden interdisciplinary participation in graduate and undergraduate education.
- The number of students receiving environmental studies certificates has tripled since 2002 (see above).
- More than 60 unique courses among four academic areas address sustainability by exploring some aspect of the intersection between the environment, economics and society (see chart in sidebar).
- Since early 2009 the Environmental Affairs Forum has sponsored 16 dinner discussions between selected undergraduate students and leading scholars.
- The Princeton Energy and Climate Scholars program was composed of eight prominent faculty members and 12 nominated Ph.D. candidates in 2009-10 who met twice per month for conversation on energy and climate issues.
- The Princeton Environmental Institute (PEI)-Science, Technology and Environmental Policy program provides two-year graduate fellowship support (half tuition and stipend) to link science and engineering with studies in environmental policy.
- Goal: Increase research opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students on sustainability issues.
Progress: Since 2008 and supported by the High Meadows Foundation sustainability fund, 11 often multiyear faculty research projects have been initiated investigating sustainability solutions using the campus as a laboratory. Each of these projects has engaged undergraduate and graduate student research teams.
- Goal: Instill awareness in students regarding their responsibilities as global citizens, through international study, research and service.
- During the 2010 summer PEI/Grand Challenges season, 94 Princeton undergraduate students from 24 majors interned in 21 countries across the globe, researching and providing community service for a variety of environmental- and sustainability-related topics.
- At the Energy Table at Mathey College, students meet for dinner weekly to discuss current issues in sustainable energy. The table will convene nine times over the course of the fall 2010 semester.
- Goal: Increase outreach efforts that provide public educational opportunities to the campus and surrounding communities.
Progress: More than 50 sustainability-related public lectures and conferences were held during the 2009 and 2010 academic years.
- Work with faculty to define specifically what a sustainability-focused or -related course is.
- Investigate metrics to track the broad influence of Princeton faculty research on societal-scale sustainability progress.
- Define the role of sustainability in existing University curriculum, both graduate and undergraduate, and explore how to develop a more cohesive curriculum around environment and sustainability.