Environmental Sciences major approved by State Education Department

Marketing and Communications staff
Students working in the field.

Students working in the field.

A stand-alone Bachelor of Science major in Environmental Sciences is one of the newest programs approved by the New York State Education Department for Fredonia.

The program, administered by the Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences, incorporates the strengths of Fredonia’s outstanding programs in Biology, Chemistry, and Geosciences to understand the Earth ecosystem as a whole. Students will also be required to take at least one course in Geographic Information Systems, an extremely useful tool for visualizing data. Majors will take environmental perspective courses as well, in order to provide a more complete picture of the complexities of the problems society faces.

Many of the courses in the Fredonia major have field components where students collect environmental samples, analyze them, and produce comprehensive interpretations of the data. They will demonstrate their ability to conduct independent work in the environmental sciences through internships with local conservation departments, consulting firms or municipalities, or through research with a faculty member. Advantages of the Fredonia program include many opportunities for student research, a program that focuses on experiential learning, and a wide variety of career choices.

Department of Geology and Environmental Sciences Chair Justin Conroy noted, "There is a great need in our area for well-trained, passionate, and innovative problem solvers, so we are very excited to provide this new program. The interdisciplinary and multifaceted nature of this program will prepare our students to tackle some of the greatest environmental challenges of our region and the world."

Dr. Conroy added that there is a growing need for environmental scientists and noted that the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an 8 percent growth in the field in the next eight years.

Possible careers after completion of the degree include environmental consulting, resource management, conservation scientist, aquatic and fishery research/management, wildlife management, conservation officer, and environmental and community planning.

Fredonia also offers a minor in Environmental Studies, which provides students with a broad interdisciplinary perspective on the relationship between humans and the natural world. Drawing equally on insights from the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences, the program prepares students to address key environmental and social challenges of the 21st century.

The Environmental Studies minor is open to all students, and it is particularly useful for students who are thinking about environmentally focused careers in the areas of advocacy and public policy, communication, economics, history, journalism, law, or writing. The breadth and interdisciplinary nature of the program provides a solid foundation in a multitude of perspectives from which to view the natural world, and the variety of independent but interconnected paths from which to build a career focused on sustainability.

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