Significant gifts from the Mitchells to the National Academy of Sciences in 1996 and 2001 to study the scientific merit of sustainability helped launch a new field of academic endeavor: Sustainability Science.
The sustainability science approach to solving complex environmental and social problems aims to bring together scholarship and practice, global and local perspectives, and disciplines across natural and social sciences.
An initial step in expanding the use of sustainability science is to educate a new generation of future leaders about the concept and its application.
With the stresses on its uniquely diverse natural systems—from expanding development, industrial and agricultural activities, rural and urban demographic mix, and associated increases in demand for resources, goods, and services—Texas provides an ideal “laboratory” for studying sustainability science and using its approach to solve real problems.
The Sustainability Education program utilizes the link between the foundation, the National Academy of Sciences, and the university community in Texas as the basis for supporting the creation of a statewide, state-of-the-art, university-based network of academic sustainability science programs.