About the Center

The Center for Sustainability was established at CSUF in 2009 and is a campus focal point for sustainability-centered activities. These include facilitating the development and inclusion of sustainability-centered topics in the university's curriculum, supporting external grant-getting by faculty members and other members of the university community, encouraging interaction among faculty members from different disciplines, reaching out to members of the greater community interested in sustainability, providing leadership in efforts to make the campus more sustainable, and coordinating sustainability-related activities on campus.

The 2002 U.N. World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), held in Johannesburg, stated that sustainability is built on three "interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars" — economic development, social development and environmental protection — "at local, national, regional and global levels." The participants recognized linkages among poverty alleviation, human rights, biodiversity, clean water and sanitation, health, renewable energy, and the sustainable use of natural resources.

The Center has seven interrelated main functions:

  • Raising awareness and building capacity regarding sustainability on campus through the Center web portal, organizing town halls and other interactive events
  • Supporting sustainability-related educational activities by faculty and students through developing curriculum and providing a base for student organizations
  • Enhancing faculty capacity by promoting collegial interaction through symposia, workshops, webinars, and a virtual community
  • Providing educational resources to the community regarding sustainability through a community advisory board, and interface with area businesses, policy agencies, and community organizations
  • Acting as a resource center for developing research related to sustainability, including logistic support; and facilitating extramural grant acquisition
  • Coordinating sustainability-related activities across campus
  • Leading efforts to make the campus environment more sustainable

In addition to these core functions, the Center of Sustainability is a key element in a transdisciplinary sustainability-centered virtual community of practice with in-person and virtual (online) components, focused on the recruitment, retention, and success of students in the Environmental Studies graduate program. Studying, indentifying, and solving problems related to sustainability is, by definition, transdisciplinary and lends itself to a community of practice (Kleef and deMoor 2004). This community of practice requires a local focal point for research, curriculum development and collegial interaction surrounding the topic of sustainability. California State University, Fullerton by virtue of its Environmental Studies graduate program, its transdisciplinary approach to sustainability and active student body is a prime location for a local center to meet this need.

The center will establish a transdisciplinary virtual community of practice (TVCoP) that will enhance graduate education for Hispanic Americans in a sustainability-centered Environmental Studies curriculum. Our TVCoP will serve as a recruitment and retention tool for Hispanic American graduate students, a forum for sharing of expertise and as a repository of best practices pertaining to sustainability topics that will be incorporated in the graduate Environmental Studies curriculum, a professional networking resource for our students and community, and a source for research and professional expertise.