New Environmental Science Degree Offered Fall 2019
Published: Sunday April 21, 2019
Beginning Fall 2019, Elmira College will offer students a new major and minor in environmental science. The degree, offered as a B.A. or B.S., is for students who are interested in the natural world and have a desire to protect it.
Environmental science majors can be employed in the government, industry, and non-government organizations doing natural resource conservation and promoting sustainability, or they can undertake specialized graduate study in environmental science.
"We are very excited about starting our environmental science program at Elmira College," said Dr. Corey Stilts, associate professor of chemistry and mathematics & natural sciences chair. "It is our sixth major in the division and the new program provides EC students the opportunity to perform research with faculty who have research interests in the environmental science field. These immersive experiences are key in helping our students secure a post-graduation job or to pursue graduate studies in an environmental field."
Students in the major will take courses in environmental science, hydrogeology, climatology, geographic information systems, and environmental toxicology, in addition to social science electives, including microeconomics and global environmental issues. The environmental science curriculum culminates in an internship, in which students are immersed in an experience relevant to the foundational coursework and potential jobs graduates may obtain.
The College currently offers some courses designed to assist students looking at a career related to environmental science. These include Term III courses focused on environmental issues for different ecosystems, including Environmental Issues and Choices, offered by Dr. Krista Barzen-Hanson, assistant professor of chemistry, which is focused on the Elmira area.
"This six-week immersive course is designed to enable students to see and appreciate the interconnectedness and human impacts of local, national, and global environmental problems," said Barzen-Hanson. "Students will investigate air and water pollution, renewable and nonrenewable energy sources, waste, and food choices to investigate their role in the changing climate."
Throughout the Spring 2019 course, the energy, food, and resource choices of the Elmira College community will be investigated, culminating with a student presentation to College administration on the College's environmental footprint.
"Elmira College has the potential to become a leader in promoting environmental awareness and sustainability here in the Southern Tier," said Barzen-Hanson. "It is my hope that this Term III course project will be the spark and stepping stone towards campus-wide environmentally conscious decisions."