Emergent Studies Institute

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Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Re-purpose!

“We cannot hope to create a sustainable culture with any but sustainable souls.”

Derrick Jensen, Endgame, Vol. 1: The Problem of Civilization


Emergent Studies Institute is deeply committed to creating from its foundation a sustainable school for its staff, faculty, students, and greater community. Sustainability has become a hot topic of discussion and global awareness. During these uncertain times Emergent believes that people need not only to become more self-sufficient but also to develop our connection to each other and our planet. ESI offers a way to live in harmony with our environment and become proactive stewards of Mother Earth. The Sustainability department will focus on experiential research in organic and inorganic sustainability for both urban and rural environments. Students have the opportunity to complete a two-year certification in either specialization or complete a three-year certificate with specialization in both Organic and Inorganic Sustainability. These certifications will be offered to the general public and continuing education professionals/students.

Organic Sustainability – Our Sustainability Certificate with a specialization in Organic Sustainability focuses on conscientious production, processing, and preparation of nutritious and healthy foods for individuals and communities. Methods such as urban husbandry and gardening, vermiculture, backyard chickens, permaculture, and organic gardening are among the topics offered to our students who want to work with the earth and develop a deeper spiritual connection with themselves and the planet. We embrace the needed movement of “food not lawns,” FEED (Food-based Ecological Education Design) and the belief that everyone has the right to produce and eat their own food or foods produced locally.

Inorganic Sustainability –  Our Sustainability Certificate with a specialization in Inorganic Sustainability allows students to work on their own with materials such as cob, straw bale, adobe, and other natural as well as recycled and re-purposed materials, while engaging online with instructors and mentors in supportive academic studies. In the spirit of experiential learning, students can complete challenging mini- projects during their two-year certificate program, such as building a cob oven, rocket stove, food dehydrator, or other small sustainable construction or creating an art piece with re-purposed materials. They may also participate in larger collaborative projects, such as earthship construction, with local nonprofit groups or green construction companies. Through participation in such projects, the Inorganic Sustainability Certificate provides opportunities for mindful research and academic studies that are not always available in a practicum or internship with many like-minded organizations.

Emergent Studies Institute is a member of the National Wildlife Federation Campus Ecology Network, a program with 25 years of experience working with schools including higher education. “Student outreach programs, campus consulting, natural resource reduction competition, and educational events and resources reach about 1,000 campuses each year” (NWFCE, 2014). 

NWF Ecology Campus Banner


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