Department of Environmental Science
With a global human population in excess of 7 billion and rising, and the influences of human activities on our environment increasingly evident at local, regional and global scales, issues of environmental health, justice, sustainability, and stewardship have become more pervasive and more pressing. Findings put forth in recent reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have galvanized all but a few to accept that an environmental crisis exists, and significant societal/political action is required to abate it. Given these circumstances, the need and demand for individuals with familiarity of environmental issues and processes has never been greater, in both science and non-science fields. This need spans a broad spectrum of vocations, including, among others, Law, Marketing, Environmental Management, Conservation, Ecology, Education, Economics, Politics, Public Health, Business Planning, Urban Planning, Architecture, and Public Administration, with potential employment opportunities in Advocacy/Lobbying Groups, Non-Governmental Organizations, Governmental Agencies, and Businesses of all types.
Our degree programs prepare graduates to effectively meet these challenges. Through a broad, interdisciplinary curriculum, drawing on courses in the social sciences, humanities and natural sciences, students who earn degrees in environmental studies/sciences gain valuable knowledge, professional competency, structured ethical reflection, service in the interest of social justice and dedication to solving environmental problems both regionally and globally.
The Department, in collaboration with Institute of Environmental Sustainability, brings together a diverse faculty with an array of academic expertise to help students explore the relationship of human beings to the natural environment, and to develop the mental acuity and technical skills needed to formulate solutions to complex environmental problems. Ample opportunities for ‘hands-on’ learning experiences are available in the curriculum through courses such as Environmental Internship, Undergraduate Environmental Research, and Solutions to Environmental Problems [STEP]. Students can also gain practical experience through involvement with the University Sustainability Initiative or the Student Environmental Alliance.
Students may choose from two majors to meet their academic or professional interests: B.A. in Environmental Studies and B.S. in Environmental Science, both with an option to complete a dual-degree MBA in 5 years. Minors are available in Environmental Action & Leadership and Environmental Science through the Department.
Dr. Christopher G. Peterson
Professor and Chair, Department of Environmental Science