Connection to Sustainability: Sub-fields of socio-cultural anthropology, archaeology & biological anthropology; Areas of focus include cultural preservation, sustainable livelihoods, conservation of primate habitat;

Appalachian Studies

Connection to Sustainability: Examining the Appalachian region's connection to the world, place identity and cultural heritage; The democratization of decision-making; Understanding cultural and environmental institutions and resource use.


Connection to Sustainability: Sustaining long term water quality and quantity; Sustaining wildlife biodiversity; Conservation of rare and endangered organisms; Investigating the human impact to ecosystem viability and ecosystem fragmentation;


Connection to Sustainability: Developing cleaner processes and minimizing waste; Areas of "green chemistry" such as reduction of solvent use; Developing technology for alternative energy.

Computer Science

Connection to Sustainability: Expertise to aid in the collection, storage, analysis, and reporting of data used in making sustainable decisions; Computing is about creating software solutions and facilitating/enabling goals;

Cultural, Gender and Global Studies

Connection to Sustainability: Fields of Global Studies, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Gender, Women's & Sexuality Studies address issues of social justice;


Connection to Sustainability: Topics of exploration include factory farming, product production, Appalachian's global connection, and exploring how post-apocalyptic narratives in American culture intersect with our understanding of government, human rights and history.

Environmental Science

Connection to Sustainability: The Environmental Science program is a foundational program for the College's sustainability portfolio. An interdisciplinary, science-intensive program that spans Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Geology, Geography/GIS and Planning, the Environmental Science program is designed to equip students with the knowledge and tools necessary to address complex, multi-variate problems and solutions from a wide variety of perspectives and approaches.

Fermentation Sciences

Connection to Sustainability: Fermentation as the cornerstone of sustainable food systems; Availability of meat, cheeses and fruit year-round;

Geography & Planning

Connection to Sustainability: Includes fields of Human Geography, Physical Geography, Geographic Information Science and Planning; Geography seeks to understand the spatial interactions between humans and the earth;

Geological and Environmental Sciences

Connection to Sustainability: Provides an examination of climate change, historical perspectives, physical processes and resources, environmental cycles and hazards.

Government & Justice

Connection to Sustainability: Understanding the role of government in addressing environmental issues; Focus on political institutions and policy arrangements for addressing environmental controversies and sustainability challenges (e.g. climate change, energy, natural resource use, air and water quality).


Connection to Sustainability: Examining the history of environmentalism and sustainable practices world wide; Focus on cultural sustainability, the history of the built environment, and cultural heritage;


Connection to Sustainability: Philosophy - Critically interrogates prevailing values, beliefs and habits of living; Philosophy incorporates environmental justice, economic justice and social justice;


Connection to Sustainability: Physics - Understanding the physics of energy, how things work and how to improve applied systems; Astronomy - understanding climate and its dependencies on planet-wide scales.


Connection to Sustainability: Sustaining human resources, relationships and health; Helping people thrive and overcome barriers; Building the infrastructure for psychological services in rural areas.


Connection to Sustainability: Sustaining the capacities of interaction and relationship building among humans; Examining non-sustainable practices such as resource depletion, pollution and energy consumption;

Watauga Residential College

Connection to Sustainability: Watauga Residential College has a focus on environmental sustainability and provides an opportunity for students to learn and practice sustainable living.