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Student Sustainability Research

School of Sustainability Student Research

Research is a key component of any sustainability degree. The nation’s first School of Sustainability offers students at every academic level the opportunity to work collaboratively across disciplines.

By applying classroom concepts to real-world scenarios, sustainability students find solutions to pressing environmental, economic and social challenges. Explore the resources and tips below, and align your passion with one of the many projects our faculty and graduate students lead.


Exploring Sustainability Research

Research opportunities exist with School of Sustainability Faculty and Sustainability Scientists and Scholars. Find what interests you. Popular research themes range from biodiversity to business, and can be found using the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability’s research browsing tool . Subscribe to the Sustainability Digest , attend sustainability lectures and events, and read the weekly newsletters emailed to sustainability undergraduate and graduate students for additional research opportunities.

The School of Sustainability Undergraduate and Graduate Community Blackboard sites and ASU News serve as sources of new and ongoing green research projects, as well. Join a student association or national association for your area of interest – whether it is environmental engineering, ecotourism or another green field – and attend a conference for further collaboration opportunities. Often, associations and conferences have special low rates for students.

Undergraduate Sustainability Students

Start early. It’s never too soon to get involved in research on campus – even as a freshman in the sustainability degree program. In fact, the earlier you start, the further you can go. Some School of Sustainability students have even co-authored published articles with faculty members! Here are some tips and resources to get you started.

  • Network early, network often. Contact sustainability scientists and faculty directly, explain why their project interests you and share that you are looking for opportunities to get involved. Get to know your professors, and help them get to know you. You will be glad you did when it comes time to ask for letters of recommendation for graduate school, or for an introduction to a potential mentor.
  • Talk with the School of Sustainability’s Internship and Experiential Education Specialist or your academic advisor. Let them know about your research interests and get personalized guidance and support.
    • You may be able to earn credit for participating in a research experience (advanced approval is required). Discuss an upcoming opportunity with the Internship & Experiential Education Specialist or your advisor as soon as possible to ensure you know how it will complement your green degree.
  • Get involved! See our Student Experience page for information on sustainability internships, study abroad possibilities, green student organizations and other activities. Getting involved will not only enrich your college experience, but will help form friendships that may lead to research partnerships.


Graduate Sustainability Students

The School of Sustainability is a unit of ASU’s Wrigley Institute, a highly productive environmental research enterprise. Sustainability professors lead several National Science Foundation grants, as well as many other interdisciplinary research grants on issues ranging from climate to alternative energy. Sustainability graduate students are actively engaged in all of our research efforts and resulting publications. If you are looking to get involved, here are some tips and resources to get you started.

  • Consult with your faculty mentor, chair or advisor. Visit ASU’s Wrigley Institute’s research browsing tool and explore the resources below. If you are trying to identify a faculty advisor or committee member, please read through the Graduate Handbook for your particular program carefully to identify who is approved to serve in this capacity.
  • You are also encouraged to discuss ideas or opportunities for research in the Community of Graduate Scholars course or with your School of Sustainability graduate representatives.
  • Contact faculty whose projects interest you, and express your desire to get involved. Most research assistantship opportunities come about through networking with faculty and are not advertised widely.
  • Read emails that come through the graduate student listserv – sometimes research opportunities are shared with sustainability students this way.
  • Get involved by visiting our Student Experience section, which includes information on sustainability internships, study abroad possibilities, green student organizations and other activities. By getting involved, you are more likely to form friendships that may lead to future research partnerships.


More Information

If you have specific questions about programming related to undergraduate sustainability research: