Sustainability in COLA

student researching on river

At the College of Liberal Arts, you'll join a community committed to protecting peoples, cultures, institutions, ecosystems and the environment to ensure our world flourishes now and for future generations.

You'll find students and faculty in nearly every department in COLA busily engaged with sustainability through coursework, research, public engagement or art. Whether you are a student in COLA or not, you can take advantage of COLA's offerings, which will prepare you to address both the challenges and opportunities of sustainability through the powerful perspectives and methodologies of the social sciences, humanities and arts.

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Featured programs


The geography major links local to global perspectives, and environmental and social sciences. The program offers a critical mass of courses that address sustainability, such as Society, Environment and Justice, and Climate and Society.


The anthropology major provides students with a broad overview of diverse peoples and cultures. Courses and fieldwork address sustainability around culture, cultural artifacts and resources in a rapidly changing world.

Other COLA programs that engage with sustainability include:

students in class


Selected list by program


  • ANTH 645 - Cultural Sustainability and the Role of Public Archaeology
  • ARTH 440A - From Digging to Digital: Preserving and Displaying the Past
  • CLAS 540A-C - Environment, Technology and Ancient Society
  • CMN 656 - Environmental Communication and Rhetoric
  • ENGL 626 - Literature and the Environment
  • GEOG 565 - Designing Sustainable Places
  • HIST 618 - American Environmental History
  • HUMA 514A-D - Space, Place & the Environment
  • IA 501 - Global Issues in International Affairs
  • MUSI 444 - Music and Social Change
  • PHIL 450 - Environmental Ethics
  • POLT 751 - Comparative Environmental Politics and Policy
  • SOC 565 - Environment and Society
  • WS 444C - On the Roads to Equality


Explore courses across COLA departments in the course catalog.


Ken Johnson in office

Faculty across the college work on issues of sustainability. Here's a sampling:

  • Brigitte Bailey, English scholar, researches urban and landscape literature and visual culture.
  • Jennifer Brewer, geographer, focuses on human-environment relations and environmental governance.
  • Susan Curry, classicist, studies sustainability in Greek and Roman times.
  • Kurk Dorsey, historian, researches environmental history and has published on whaling.
  • Cristina Faiver-Serna, geographer and women’s studies scholar, studies environmental justice and human-environment geography.
  • Lawrence Hamilton, sociologist, researches human-environment interactions.
  • Kenneth Johnson, sociologist and demographer, researches the social, economic and environmental causes and consequences of demographic change in rural America.
  • Meghan Howey, anthropological archaeologist, specializes in landscape archaeology and deep-time coupled human natural systems.
  • Thomas Safford, sociologist, focuses on understanding the social bases of environmental attitudes and beliefs.
  • Siobhan Senier,  English scholar, researches Native American literature and how it intersects with sustainability and environmental studies.
  • Ethel Sara Wolper, cultural historian, focuses on the politics of heritage conservation in destroyed cities of the Islamic world.

Research Snapshot

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Recent News

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Homes in the Wake

Homes in the Wake

UNH collaborates on NOAA grant to study climate change resilience of mobile homes

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Baking and Quaking

Baking and Quaking

UNH receives $1.7 million from NSF to study warming Arctic and earthquake vulnerability

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The Solastalgic Archive and the Deep Time Lab

The Solastalgic Archive and the Deep Time Lab

Museum of Art opens participatory exhibition by artist Nina Elder that reflects on time, memory and environmental transformation

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Earth Day

Celebrate with COLA in our annual program, held in late April on UNH's Great Lawn.

Check out this video playlist of our recent programs to learn how not-in-my-backyard activism may have unintended consequences, how a new design lab at UNH is recycling plastic into art, how integrating the beliefs of ancient cultures can be helpful for engaging with ecology today, and more.

To learn about sustainability programs and initiatives across the University, visit UNH's sustainability website.

Sustainability at UNH