Center for Sustainability Studies

Welcome to the Center for Sustainability Studies

The Center for Sustainability Studies works at the intersection of people, cultures, and systems of social organization within the context of the physical world

The Center recognizes and honors that indigenous peoples are the physical and spiritual caretakers of the Earth. We work collaboratively with diverse individualscommunities, and organizations to address complex sustainability challenges utilizing multiple approaches.

We take an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approach to critically analyze the geographical, historical, and physical consequences of social processes and change

With undergraduate and graduate coursework in the natural sciences, social sciences, statistics, and GIS, students receive a rich, holistic, education  – moving beyond disciplinary borders while honing marketable skills.  Through our programming, students become empowered agents of change that will inspire and create a more sustainable future.

Academic Programs


Economics is the social science that explores the problem of relative scarcity and its implications for problems of resource allocation, economic stability, growth and distribution. Applied fields, including labor relations, financial economics, international economics and environmental economics, focus on specific aspects of these broad concerns. In the applied areas, students become cognizant of the interaction between economics and related disciplines.

Learn more about our Economics Major and Minor.

Environmental Studies

Environmental scientists work toward defining and solving environmental problems caused by the actions of human beings. Their training is broad-based and encompasses the natural sciences, mathematics and the social sciences. Their primary ethical concern is human stewardship of the earth. The Environmental Studies Program is one of the most comprehensive, high quality, longest-running programs in the Midwest.


We offer a BA or a BS in Geography as well as a BAS in Wilderness Management for transfer students from Vermilion Community College (this degree is not available to non-Vermilion transfer students).

Double Majors in Geography with other fields of study offers a nice complement of skills when entering the workforce or graduate school. We also offer Minors in both Geography and Geographical Information Systems.


The minor in geology can be coupled with a strong science major as valuable preparation for graduate study in geology and related areas. A graduate degree is usually required for career advancement beyond entry-level positions.

Indigenous Sustainability Studies

The indigenous sustainability studies major and minor are designed to recruit students who want to learn how to solve environmental problems by pairing western science and indigenous knowledge. All Bemidji State University students, American Indian and non-American Indian alike, will begin to appreciate and use the multiple worldviews provided by understanding both western and indigenous knowledge perspectives to help bring about creative problem solving and long-term, sustainable changes in the world.