Create and inspire social change while at NAU
Whether your passion is addressing food sovereignty, plastic pollution, or other social and environmental challenges, our Sustainable Communities master’s degree and undergraduate minor in Community Engagement prepare you to make a difference—right now.
In contrast to other programs, you have the opportunity to identify the intersecting economic, social, and political processes that create problems. Our program enables students to address the root causes of those problems and contribute to positive social change in our communities. This program cultivates dynamic, well-rounded leaders in sustainability, civic engagement, interdisciplinary research, and social justice.
Recent projects include:
- Rachel Ellis worked with the Black Mesa Trust, the Grand Canyon Trust, and members of the Hopi Tribe on a project that sought to ensure the longevity of the biocultural resources in the confluence of the Little and main Colorado Rivers.
- Jorge Garza analyzed the social consequences of gentrification and development in a downtown neighborhood in Flagstaff, Arizona.
- Elizabeth Gallagher studied the adaptive capacity of farmers in the Verde Valley, Arizona, to respond to climate change. Her work with her advisor, Associate Professor Diana Stuart, was published in the journal Environmental Management.
Your faculty mentors will bring expertise from a variety of disciplines—sociology, anthropology, environmental sustainability, public health, and chemistry—to support your unique program of study based on issue(s) you are compelled to address.
I’m passionate about healthcare equality. This is an important issue to me because i feel its a way i can give back to the community. I’ve been blessed to not have to go to the hospital for anything extreme but have seen what loved ones have to experience. I believe everyone should have the right and opportunity to receive the care they need without having to worry about how they will pay for it and any other barriers related to receiving healthcare.
I’m passionate about the implementation of technologies towards achieving sustainable communities. I believe that we are at a point in history where economical constraints are no longer an excuse for the implementation of sustainable systems. With the continuous development and cheapening of these technologies, it is now a matter of priorities to implement them towards replacing our fossil fuel connected economy.
I’m passionate about ethobotany and environmental justice. I believe plants are an integral part of our community and relationship with the earth and ourselves. I believe that injustice for one is injustice for all, so I believe the fight for environmental justice is a fight for Mother Earth and oppressed identities. I believe we all have the right to clean air, water and environments, and that Mother Earth should also have rights and respect.
Explore our degrees