Scientists who seek intensely interdisciplinary study could be the beneficiaries of increasing interest in the emerging field of sustainability research, with new university programmes offering novel opportunities. Portland State University in Oregon and Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, are the most recent entrants to the field. They follow the example set by institutions such as the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University in Tempe.
Broadly defined, sustainability bridges disciplines to determine how to meet the resource needs of the present without adversely affecting future generations. In practice, that means assembling teams of ecologists, economists, biologists and social scientists to find solutions and strategies for big problems, such as meeting future energy needs.