The Department of Community Sustainability engages with colleagues, students, stakeholders and communities to address social choices within specific environmental, economic and cultural contexts that advance or conflict with sustainability goals.

Sustainability is about choices made within specific environmental, economic, social, and cultural contexts.  Sustainability scholarship involves creating, integrating and harnessing new knowledge to protect and improve social and natural systems and their interactions.  The Department of Community Sustainability (CSUS) is an interdisciplinary department that addresses contemporary issues of sustainability in agriculture, recreation, natural resources, and the environment. The Department of Community Sustainability (CSUS) was formerly called the Department of Community, Agriculture, Recreation, and Resource Studies (CARRS).

Consistent with its mission to assist in the development of sustainable communities, the department offers three undergraduate majors linked by a common core in community sustainability. These three majors - Environmental Studies and Sustainability (ESS); Sustainable Parks, Recreation and Tourism (SPRT); and Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources Education (AFNRE) – share a set of courses centered on community sustainability. The CSUS graduate program offers two graduate majors: Community Sustainability (MS and PhD) and Sustainable Tourism and Protected Areas Management (MS and PhD). In both undergraduate and graduate programs, CSUS embraces international as well as domestic applications, engagement, and opportunities.


CSUS undergraduate programs are designed to educate scholars and practitioners who are able to create, integrate and harness new knowledge to protect and improve both social and natural systems.


CSUS offers three graduate degree programs to prepare scholar-activists interested in sustainability, recreation and tourism, food systems, agriculture education and international development for research, community engagement and knowledge production.

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  • Jan 29

    MS-B Project Proposal Defense: Ali Van Overbeke

    January 29, 2020 10:30AM - 11:30AM Natural Resources Building, 480 Wilson Road, Room 130, East Lansing, MI 48824

    Learn how Ali's project aims to develop a collective understanding of how the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan chooses to define and carry out girl-led learning in its Outreach programming.

  • Jan 31

    PhD Dissertation Proposal Defense: Patricia McKay

    January 31, 2020 10:00 AM Natural Resources Building, 480 Wilson Road, Room 130, East Lansing, MI 48823

    Patricia's dissertation research focuses on the development of a quality governance framework and a diagnostic capacity tool to diagnose and potentially treat decision-making capacities that align with improved socio-ecological system outcomes.

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