Sustainability Minor

Sustainability Minor

In Fall 2012 the George Washington University introduced a new 18-credit Minor in Sustainability, open to all undergraduate students.

The Undergraduate Minor in Sustainability allows students to explore the challenges of sustainability and to think about how to develop solutions to pressing issues at the local, regional, and global scale. It introduces students to the concepts, principles, and issues that inform the sustainability paradigm and also integrates classroom and community-based learning and research in a program that prepares students to apply the sustainability perspective to their future endeavors.

This unique pan-university Sustainability Minor includes several innovative features such as a groundbreaking team-taught introductory course (SUST 1001 Introduction to Sustainability), with faculty from several schools participating, and an experiential learning component that will serve as a culminating experience for junior or senior students.

For more information about the Sustainability Minor, please download this information guide updated for Fall 2014. 


To learn more about registering for the Sustainability Minor, check out our Frequently Asked Questions page or stop by our office for advising hours. In case you can't make any of our office hours, please contact us, and we will be happy to schedule some time to meet with you.

Dr. Lisa Benton-Short
Academic Director for Sustainability
Office Hours: 
Mondays 10-2 (Preliminary Sustainability advising only--come to learn about the minor)
Wed 10-11 and 12:30-2 pm  (preliminary advising and any advising for declared Minors, transfer credit )
Thursdays 1-3 pm  (preliminary advising and any advising for declared Minors, transfer credit )

Address: (see map)
"Old Main", 1922 F St, NW, Room 212,
Washington D.C. 20006.

Sustainability: A Minor With Major Impact -

Student Spotlght

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Eleanor Davis

"Throughout my academic career I have worked with different environmental programs, including an internship at The Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation. After studying abroad in Australia, I believe that the only way to create a sustainable environment is by working with the global community and I hope to acquire the knowledge to do this while at The George Washington University."
- Eleanor Davis

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Zohra Roy

"I grew up in NYC so urban sustainability is something I am really interested in. A lot of people do not realize that cities can in fact be very, and sometimes even more, sustainable than suburbs and rural areas. I have interned with non-profit organizations, like Friends of the High Line in downtown Manhattan, and governmental organizations, like the NYC Department of Environmental Protection. Currently, I am an intern at the GWU Office of Sustainability."
- Zohra Roy

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Leah Hersovici

"I have always had a passion for the environment and the desire to work with people who hope to change the way we take for granted every piece of plastic, paper, and manufactured material we use on a daily basis. I hope that with a sustainability background, I can funnel my desires into a career that emphasis the importance of renewing, redeveloping, and recycling."
- Leah Herscovici

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Justin Santopietro

"I am an aspiring progressive politician and policy maker who is excited about being part of the creation of a new, sustainable economy."
- Justin Santopietro

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Haley Burns

"I interned at the National Parks Conservation Association last semester, managed the GroW Garden on campus this summer, serves on the eboard of the Food Justice Alliance, works to bring food awareness and sustainability to GW with the Urban Food Task Force, and is a staff member of the GlobeMed GW chapter."
- Haley Burns

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Anthony Bucci

"I served on the Green GW eBoard as the Freshman Representative. I am a research fellow and beekeeper for the Department of Biological Sciences here at GW. Currently, I am in the process of founding Student Environmental Advocates U.S. (@SEA_US), a DC-wide environmental student coalition."
- Anthony Bucci

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Jacqueline Drayer

"I am interested in urban history, agriculture and architecture - and how these fields can be bettered through sustainable practices. Last spring I interned at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, helping organize the museum's annual Sustainable Seafood event."
- Jacqueline Drayer

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Leonel Senai

"While studying abroad in Jordan in the fall of 2010, I completed a 40-page independent study project which analyzed development projects being implemented in rural Jordan."
- Leonel Senai

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Julia Wagner

"My primary interest is how to make urban living have less of an impact on the the environment through sustainable development. Last summer, I worked as a garden manager in GW's community GroW Garden. I am currently working with my Senator in the environment, energy, and agriculture legislative department."
- Julia Wagner

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Corrine Haynes

"I have enjoyed being a Dance and Environmental Studies double major over the past 3 years and was excited to be able to add the Sustainability minor. I like to find ways to connect my two different majors. For me, dance is a tool to raise awareness about global issues, including environmental concerns and sustainability. I currently intern at the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable."
- Corrine Haynes

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Jeremy Iloulian

"As a double major in International Affairs and Environmental Studies I have looked to focus on climate change conflict, natural resource consumption, and international conservation. My previous experience includes the Institute for International Economic Policy, the National Parks Conservation Association, the Embassy of Iraq, and the City of Chicago."
- Jeremy Iloulian

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Peter Berini

"I am very interested in bridging the gap between economics and environmental studies to create more sustainable systems. I interned at Long Island Green last summer, a company who did energy audits for single family homes along Long Island."
- Peter Berini

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Jessica Glicker

"I recently returned from a year abroad, first in Australia where I worked at a reforestation organization called Rainforest Rescue, then in Italy. During the summers I teach environmental education and lead rock climbing and hiking trips for teens!"
- Jessica Glicker

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Katie O'Toole

"As the Vice President of Epsilon Sigma Alpha, GW's community service sorority, I've gotten to know many of DC's non-profit organizations. This spring, I plan on studying abroad in Copenhagen, Denmark, where I will be enrolled in the European Sustainability program."
- Katie O'Toole

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Michelle Stuhlmacher

"As an Eco-Rep, I helped launch the e-cycling system that makes it easy for students to recycle batteries, toner, cell phones and light bulbs. Last spring, I was an intern with Campaign GW, the student arm of the Division of Operations."
- Michelle Stuhlmacher

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Kelsey Taylor

"As a double major in Philosophy and Environmental Studies, I am interested in the ethics and implications of our relationship on the environment. I have always been interested in issues of sustainability and hope to make a difference in the field of environmental law."
- Kelsey Taylor

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Taylor Katz

I am on the George Washington University Women's Soccer team.
-Taylor Katz

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Jake Snyder

"I spent this past summer working as a social media intern for DupontGreenWeek, a startup in the DC area focused on promoting sustainability through increasing alternative energy, reducing restaurant waste through composting, carbon offset projects, and energy efficiency."
- Jake Snyder

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Maximilien Schweber

"I'm looking to involve myself in Green Business. I'm currently unsure of whether I want to improve current businesses through implementing more sustainable practices or whether I want to dive into the new eco-friendly product business segment. Either one of those seems fascinating to me and it's my belief that that is where the world is heading and where there are many profits to be made. I have an internship scheduled for the Spring where I'd be marketing for a distributor of eco-friendly iPhone, iPod, and iPad accessories."
- Maximilien Schweber

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Lauren Lantry

"I am very interested in connecting politics with sustainability to help influence public policy. In the past I have interned for my Congresswoman and State Assemblyman. Next semester I will be a legislative intern at the White House Council on Environmental Quality."
- Lauren Lantry

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Noah Hurth

I am a sophomore from Minnesota. I am currently interning as a field manager at Live Green a DC based Grass Roots Movement.
-Noah Hurth

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Sophia Lin

I am interested in sustainability in food and health, public policy, and both entrepreneurship and corporate business. I hope to learn more about decreasing society's carbon footprint on the environment by promoting sustainable solutions to better health, a cleaner environment, and higher standards of living.
-Sophia Lin

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: David Segan

My passion for the environment can be attributed to my love for the outdoor and activities like hiking and canoeing. I also enjoy playing all kinds of sports and I studied abroad in Barcelona, Spain. Academically, I am particularly interested in the economics of renewable energy.
-David Segan

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Sundal Ali

I'm more interested in global health, an area in which sustainability can thrive since developing countries can begin building services, goods, and systems that promote a sustainable future, rather than having to start over, like many developed western nations.
-Sundal Ali

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Taylor Knox

I am a Junior on the Women's Volleyball team here at GW from Eugene, Oregon. I am very interested in urban sustainability and how we can reduce the effects urban living has on the environment. I am hope to intern with the Oregon Department of Forestry this summer
-Taylor Knox

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Dor Hirsh Bar Gai

My two interests are sustainability infrastructure and urban design; where I aim to advance sustainable infrastructure systems and resource distribution, as well as care for the needs of communities and schools through advanced urban planning.
-Dor Hirsh Bar Gai

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Hannah Radner

My interest in sustainability was really sparked during my senior year of high school when I took AP Environmental Science. I hope to combine my disciplines to explore and encourage sustainability as a priority both in the United States and abroad, because I believe that sustainable development can only be accomplished through a global effort.
-Hannah Radner

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Emily Schamberger

My focus for my sustainability minor is in helping low-income countries implement development strategies in a sustainable manner. Outside of class I am a Guide for GW TRAiLS, the outdoor club on campus, and spend my weekends leading outdoor trips for GW students.
-Emily Schamberger

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors : Connor Slye

The reason I wanted to focus on sustainability in the first place is because I believe it is very important to our living conditions. With all these building being constructed and all these resources being used that the buildings should be able to operate in a sustainable manor.
-Connor Slye

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Ava Bossov

In the future, I hope to work with Planet Forward. Through this minor, I hope to learn how to best communicate environmental issues and disseminate information about sustainable living in future endeavors. I believe with conviction that we must all do our part to live more sustainably. Our national culture and federal government must be proactive - rather than reactive - in dealing with the climate crisis.
-Avra Bossov

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Kayla Pingel

I wanted to become a sustainability minor because as a civil engineer, it is important to incorporate sustainability into our future infrastructure. Engineering is a great field to encourage sustainability in, and I am excited to do so.
-Kayla Pingel

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Sharmista Sivaramakrishnan

Having grown up in 6 countries across the Middle East, Europe and Asia, I've been able to learn about diversity and global interaction through the variety of people I've been able to meet. I've always been fascinated with the mechanics of internationalism and the growing needs imposed on society due to an expanding world.
-Sharmishta Sivaramakrishnan

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Jodi Askew

I seek to apply the principles of sustainability, access, and affordability in a way that promotes a health system that provides equitable care to all persons, regardless of status or wealth. I have worked on research projects BHRR (B'More Healthy Retail Rewards) and BHCK (B'More Healthy Communities for Kids) with Dr. Joel Gittelsohn at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg Health School, Center for Human Nutrition.
-Jodi Askew

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Bryan Weissbach

My name is Bryan Weissbach and I'm currently a senior in the Elliott School of International Affairs, concentrating in International Development. Hailing from New Jersey, my interest was sparked in environmental studies and sustainability early on in my high school education.
-Bryan Weissbach

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Emma Chapman

Growing up preferring Animal Planet over Disney Channel, I have always had a love for nature and environmental conservation. Recently, I went on an alternative break to Puerto Rico, where other GW students and I worked on a permaculture farm that aims to implement, and teach the local community about, sustainable farming techniques.
-Emma Chapman

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Kiersten Washle

I am studying civil engineering as a foundation to study architecture. My hope is to design not only completely sustainable buildings but also cities that work as a system to create a sustainable future without inhibiting people's quality of life.
-Kiersten Washle

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minors: Jeremy Glassman

Throughout my life I have always been interested in creating, and exploring the invention of new ideas. This prompted me to enroll in the George Washington University School of Business with a probable concentration in Entrepreneurship.
-Jeremy Glassman

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minor: Mojolaoluwa Ladipo-Obasa

School: School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Graduation: May 2017
Majors: Civil and Environmental Engineering

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minor: Lauren Pollack

"Environmental concerns (or sometimes the lack thereof) have become the centerpiece of an increasingly prevalent, as well as pertinent debate in the political arena, both in our country, and around the world."

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minor: Christina Viscelli

I'm studying Economics to speak the language of big decision makers; to some day sway them towards sustainable options. I'm passionate about all things green, but am especially energized by biomimetics, organic agriculture, sustainable design, and space exploration.

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minor: Zach Komes

"Growing up in the city of Milwaukee, I have seen first-hand the impact of de-industrialization on urban life. As an Economics major at GW, I hope to better understand the community development field and how to create sustainable economic opportunities in low-income areas in the U.S. I currently intern at City First Enterprises, an innovative community development financial institution that provides capital with a mission-oriented focus in Washington, DC.

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minor: Brooke Kinney

"My first name is Catharine, but I go by my middle name; Brooke. I am most interested in learning about oceanography and conservation, as well as the food industry. I am currently interning with Ocean Conservancy, which perfectly combines two of my biggest interest. Sustainability is an important part of my major because it is, to me, the compromise between human and environmental needs."
-Brooke Kinney

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minor: Emma Spath

"I am a junior interested in pursuing law with specific focus on public policy and sustainability. I am currently studying abroad at King's College London and taking a class in the sustainability field. I intern in the Environment, Energy, and Natural Resources Practice Group at Sullivan & Worcester Law Firm on K St."
-Emma Spath

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minor: Ilana Creinin

"I lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania until I was 15 when I moved to Davis, California. I am currently a freshman majoring in Political Communication. During the summer before my freshman year, I interned at a lobbyist's office that focused on sustainability issues. I read bills and wrote summary reports for clients relating to renewable energy, sea level rise, fracking, and recycling. I really enjoyed my experience and plan to go back for a second summer.

Introducing GW's Sustainability Minor: Vanya Elbaar

"My name is Vanya Elbaar, an International Affairs major at the Elliott School concentrating in Comparative Political, Social, and Economic Systems. My hometowns are Roselle, NJ and Bandung, Indonesia. I declared this minor because I am interested in advocating for minority groups within sustainable development and policy."
-Vanya Elbaar

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