Environmental Science and Biology
Environmental problems are among the most urgent issues facing our civilization. To manage Earth’s environment well, we must understand the processes that shape its surface; control the chemistry of the air, water and soil; and produce and maintain the biological and other resources upon which humans depend. We must also understand the interaction of animals, plants and other living organisms with the physical and chemical environment. The environmental science curriculum includes both a common core and an individual course of study that allows students to develop conceptual knowledge and technical skills to use the disciplines of ecology, chemistry and the earth sciences to understand and solve environmental problems. Thus, fields of study such as “green” and water chemistry, watershed analysis, limnology, fisheries and wildlife science and management, conservation biology, ecosystem ecology and global change, GIS, aquaculture and wetlands are encompassed in this degree program. The curriculum ensures that students have scientific, analytical and technical skills essential to solving environmental problems. Field and laboratory work in facilities well equipped to support research; seminars to encourage critical thinking; courses with strong theoretical, applied and problem-solving content; and a research thesis are distinguishing characteristics of the program. Students design and conduct original thesis research projects, and develop strong communication skills through presentations at professional meetings and submission of manuscripts to peer-reviewed journals. Students study with faculty members who have balanced commitments to scholarship and teaching. The graduate program’s small classes and close working relationships with a major advisor and advisory committee are ideal for students seeking a rigorous graduate education in a small-college atmosphere. A small number of teaching and research assistantships may be available.
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