Environmental Science and Policy Department

Environmental Science and Policy Department

Department Mission

The mission of the Department of Environmental Science and Policy is to educate students to become the professionals who understand and solve environmental problems and, more broadly, to create a student body with a high level of environmental consciousness. The demands upon Earth's natural resources and life-support systems increase each year as human population and consumption levels increase.

Our ability to cope with such demands requires that we educate more of the population about environmental resources, problems, and solutions. Consequently, the Department educates majors to become knowledgeable, skilled professionals and educates non-majors to become highly responsible environmental citizens. Majors are also prepared for advanced courses and research in graduate programs.

The Department is an interactive community of faculty and students who are committed to better understanding the environment and the problems confronting it, as well as to finding solutions to correct them. Students are actively engaged by faculty with diverse expertise in natural and social sciences related to the study of the environment. We offer a stimulating and relevant curriculum that incorporates classroom, laboratory, field, research, internship, and seminar experiences. Through this curriculum, we educate for a fundamental understanding of the structure and function of natural, economic, and political systems as they relate to the environment. Students come to appreciate the details, complexity, and interrelatedness of systems and problems. We also examine the effects of society's activities upon environmental resources and their relevance to human well-being.

All students in the program are required to gain practical skills through six credits of internships in professional work settings or through completion of a faculty-supervised research project.

The Department is also committed to the continued professional growth of its faculty, through teaching refinement, scholarly activities, and service to various communities.