Sustainability & Environmental Research

Earn an Experiential Certificate in: Sustainability & Environmental Research Experiential Certificate


The Sustainability and Environmental Research certificate attracts a wide variety of majors through individualized opportunities to engage in research and present in professional settings.  A student’s original research is strengthened with professional development that includes career exploration and interdisciplinary learning on the intersection of the natural world with social justice and ethics.  Note this certificate could be easily retooled for students completing original creative fine arts projects.  


Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to: 

  • Design and carry out a sustainability or environmental research project.
  • Present the results of a sustainability or environmental research project in a professional setting.
  • Construct an integrated picture of environmental issues by drawing connections between academic courses and hands-on experiences.
  • Appraise relevant career and graduate school opportunities.

The Sustainability & Environmental Research certificate includes the requirement that students complete 3 relevant academic courses, experiential learning hours, professional development hours, and community engagement hours.   Specific courses and activities will be customized to the certificate theme.  Students are required to consult with and get approval for courses and activities by CSE staff. 

Purpose Courses

Students will choose at least three academic courses through Albion College in consultation with the Faculty Director of CSE. Courses should introduce issues related to themes of approved advocacy/education projects. Examples include but are not limited to:

Honors courses and special topics courses that match the purpose of the certificate also may be approved. 


Professional Development

Professional development hours can be fulfilled through any relevant Albion College training including workshops and Innovation Badges offered through the School for Public Purpose and Professional Advancement and college programs. External certifications and professional training offered by third party providers may also be approved by CSE staff.  

Students will design or select the appropriate number of professional development hours for their catalog year. 

Recommended professional development opportunities include: 

  • Intersectional Environmentalism Innovation Badge 
  • Possibly other innovation badges depending on the direction of research, approval of other badges by CSE staff)
  • General research training workshops in research methods and ethics
    • We will collaborate with Earth & Environment, Honors, and FURSCA on these workshops (e.g., Research Methods, Research Ethics, Writing, DEI in undergraduate research)
  • Attendance at professional conferences
  • Job career prep workshops (provided by Career and Internship Center, Earth & Environment Department colloquium series)
    • Resumes, Giving talks, Writing cover letters
    • Career exploration workshop

Experiential Learning

Students will design or select the appropriate number of experiential learning hours, including community engaged experiential learning hours, for their catalog year.

It is anticipated that most students will complete at least half of their experiential learning hours by leading a single sustainability project on campus or in the community.  Students may lead or participate as a team member in other projects.  At least one of the completed projects should be community-based and include extensive engagement.   

Examples of possible opportunities include: 

  • Summer FURSCA Research
  • Directed Studies
  • Off-campus research opportunity (for example an NSF-supported REU experience)
  • Course- or student employment-based research projects.
  • Other proposed research opportunities will be considered for approval. 

Interested in earning this Experiential Certificate? Please contact Professor Thom Wilch by email at [email protected].