The Pathfinder Program in Environmental Sustainability

"The American experience stirred mankind from discovery to exploration, from the cautious quest for what they knew (or what they thought they knew) was out there, to an enthusiastic reaching for the unknown."  

-Daniel J. Boorstin  

The Pathfinder Program in Environmental Sustainability provides an association between small groups of highly motivated, talented undergraduate students and a senior faculty mentor. A clustered course work approach is used, augmented with case studies and field work that allow exploration of problems and solutions associated with selected challenges in environmental sustainability.

The Program begins during the freshman year with introductory during the fall semester with courses about the Earth (EPS 201, Earth and the Environment), environmental sustainability (Path 201, Land Dynamics), and a writing course coordinated with the environmental sustainability course (Writing 1). Second semester freshman year focuses on a case study of the Mojave Desert (Path 202, Case Study of the Mojave National Preserve). The fall semester sophomore year includes a case study of Hawaii and issues associated with volcanism, earthquakes, landslides, and tsunamis (Path 301, Case Study of Hawaii, the Big Island). Field work is done in the Mojave Desert in California over freshman spring break and on the Big Island over sophomore winter break.

The Program is consistent with a major within any department within the College of Arts and Sciences.  Further, the courses meet Arts and Sciences requirements for the freshman writing course, a science course, a social science course, and one of three required integrations within the Arts and Sciences Integrated Query.