Meghann Morrissey Jarchow ’03 is educating future environmentalists

Sustainability is becoming a leading force in a world of increasingly complex environmental and social issues. Yet only 12 universities across the country offer an undergraduate general sustainability degree.

Meghann Morrissey Jarchow ’03 of Vermillion, South Dakota, coordinates one such program at the University of South Dakota where she is an assistant professor of sustainability in the department of biology.

“It is an emerging field, and with environmental and social justice challenges looming with issues where there are no right answers, training students is important,” Jarchow says. “Skills that are needed to deal with complex problems are not always addressed in more traditional majors. Sustainability is an exciting new field that trains students to troubleshoot real-world issues.”

Careers that could benefit from sustainability majors include natural resources, nonprofits, social justice, community planning, promotion of businesses with environmentally conscious practices, and consultation with businesses wanting to incorporate them, Jarchow says.

Originally from Brandon, South Dakota, Jarchow and her twin sister, Kate Morrissey Stahl ’03, both graduated from Ripon College. Starting with her work at the Ceresco Prairie Conservancy at Ripon College and continuing with her post-graduate studies, Jarchow’s training is in environmental conservation. She currently studies tall grass prairie conservation and using prairies for bioenergy.

“The world has a lot of pressing challenges, including climate change, extreme poverty, loss of biodiversity and loss of environment,” Jarchow says. “Sustainability is one field looking to address those issues. It’s a process for thinking about how we might leave the world as a more desirable place.”


Related Posts

Frankie Reynolds ’14 with wife, Liz, and son, Hank.

A student leader at Ripon, Reynolds ’14 remains active in LGTBQ+ advocacy

Frankie Reynolds ’14, more commonly known as Rosette Reynolds during her time as a student at Ripon College, “came out” as a high school freshman […]

Photo of Ripon College alumna Lois Van Leer, Class of 1978

“I was terrified” — Van Leer ’78 describes being gay in the 1970s

The Rev. Lois Van Leer attended Ripon at a time when gay students had very few outlets to discuss their sexuality. She realized as a […]

Zachary Morris '02

Zachary Morris ’02 named chair of the UW Department of Human Oncology

Zachary Morris ’02 has been named chair of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Department of Human Oncology. A leading expert […]

Rally Days 2024

Rally Days 2024 supports Forever Ripon campaign

Rally Days 2024 is LIVE! Our goal is to secure 1,000 gifts to support the Forever Ripon campaign between Wednesday, April 3, and Friday, April 5. Celebrate […]