USC Wrigley Institute announces new name

catalina island

The USC Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies is now the Wrigley Institute for Environment and Sustainability. The name change represents a new era for the institute in response to its commitment to growing to address the world’s most pressing sustainability challenges. 

WIES Director Joe Árvai revealed the decision to change names during “An evening with Intersectional Environmentalist, Leah Thomas,” an event the institute hosted Thursday. 

“As of Monday, we are the Wrigley Institute for Environment and Sustainability, and no longer the Wrigley Institute for Environmental Studies,” Árvai said. “Although the environmental studies program lives on this part of the Wrigley Institute, we are really proud of this change … It’s super exciting for us because it is emblematic of our expanded mission.” 

WIES was best known for its marine research center, the Wrigley Marine Science Center, located on Santa Catalina Island, but has since diversified and changed its focus, addressing the complex sustainability challenges faced today. Since Árvai became its director in 2020, the center has been developing interdisciplinary and international research programs. 

In 2021, the institute added an environmental communications position, adding to its pre-existing array of social science research internships. WIES is also home to three unique research centers: Earth and Environmental Systems, Applied Environmental Solutions and Social Transformation.

Starting in 2024, the institute will offer the Wrigley Institute Master’s Degree in Sustainability for working professionals. The institute is also still the home for the USC Dornsife Environmental Studies Program, consisting of bachelor and master degree programs as well as minors and GE courses in sustainability. 

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