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Pepperdine University

Curriculum

Pepperdine encourages open dialogue on the issues of sustainability and climate change. With academic coursework, conferences, and co-curricular activities, the greatest role that Pepperdine plays in the sustainability field is instilling in our students an eco-minded awareness. Pepperdine seeks to instill the ethic of sustainable living while also providing career opportunities in the "green" economy.


Seaver College

Sustainability Minor

In 2015, Pepperdine launched a Sustainability Minor, which exposes students to environmental issues, allowing them a critical understanding of theological, philosophical, scientific, political, communicative, literary, business, and economic dimensions of contemporary global sustainability challenges. This minor is ideal for students who may pursue careers in law, ministry, government, journalism, or business, and for students interested in graduate school. Requirements for the minor include courses like Christianity and Sustainability, Environmental Politics and Policy, and Environmental Literature. Learn more about the minor.

Undergraduate Research

Several faculty members involve students and partner with governmental agencies to actively conduct research in the fields of conservation biology and restoration ecology. The areas of focus include stream habitat restoration, post-fire ecology restoration and conservation, as well as coastal habitat monitoring and restoration. These sustainability research opportunities have been available to students for over fifteen years.

For more information on undergraduate research opportunities, visit the Community Involvement page.

Plastic Revolution

A group of chemistry majors conduct research with Pepperdine professor Joe Fritsch to develop biodegradable, environmentally-friendly plastics. The research group received a $70,000 "Waves of Innovation" grant in 2014. Read the research highlights in the Pepperdine Magazine.

Summer Undergraduate Research in Biology

The Pepperdine Biology Department hosts a research program every summer for undergraduates interested in pursuing a career in biological research, science education, environmental science, or biotechnology. Over the course of the summer, students pursue individual research projects under the direction of faculty, and visiting scientists hold special research seminars in each research area, ranging from genetics to ecology to plant biology.


Graziadio Business School

SEER Program

The Certificate in Socially, Environmentally and Ethically Responsible (SEER) Business Practice Program allows full-time MBA students at Graziadio School who are interested in eco-entrepreneurship to enhance their graduate business school experience and career opportunities. An emphasis on responsible business practice and doing what is right for both business and society has always been core to the Graziadio School’s mission.

The program has four macro values:

  1. Corporate Social Responsibility ("People")
  2. Environmental Stewardship ("Planet")
  3. Financial Strength ("Profits")
  4. Product/Service

Sustainability-Related Courses at Pepperdine

Undergraduate

At Seaver College, environmental stewardship, sustainability, and related topics are discussed in nearly every department, offering courses such as:

  • BIOL 328/POSC 428 Environmental Politics and Policy
  • BIOL 430 Population Biology and Conservation Genetics
  • COM 590 Environmental Communication and Sustainability OR Seminar in Communication: Risk and Crisis Communication
  • ENG 380 Topics in Literature: American Nature Writing (GE)
  • PHIL 315 Environmental Philosophy
  • REL 301 Christianity and Culture: Christianity and Sustainability (GE)
  • SUST 110 Colloquium for Sustainability Minors
  • BIOL 105 Introduction to Marine Biology
  • BIOL 107 Plants and the Environment
  • BIOL 311 Introduction to Biology
  • NASC 156 Earth Science: A Way of Knowing
  • SAAJ 324 Social Action and Justice Colloquium
  • POSC 518 Contemporary American Ideologies
  • CHEM 400 Environmental Chemistry

Graduate

  • OTMT 644 SEER Metrics: Defining and Communicating
  • OTMT 643 Acquiring Wealth, Power & Success, Morally and Ethically
  • STGY 640 Social Entrepreneurship
  • STGY 645 Responsible Business Practice Capstone
  • LEGL 630 Environmental Law & Business

Climate Calling Conference

Climate Calling is a conference dedicated to exploring climate change, its consequences, and our moral calling to respond to growing concerns about the future of our planet. The conference is led by a group of Pepperdine faculty members from diverse disciplines. The gathering draws students, faculty, and community members together in a mutual effort to address the subject of climate change and to foster a more sustainable future. Attendees learn about topics such as species extinction, drought, flooding, marine impacts, sustainable food practices, and environmental justice and activism through lectures, documentaries, and student presentations. Find more information about Climate Calling.