Rapid growth in human population and development has led to complex environmental problems on local and global scales. The way in which we address these issues will have a profound effect on our society and planet in the coming century. Enlightened solutions require a strong component of scientific knowledge and an awareness of the relevant societal issues. A major in environmental studies will equip students with an understanding of earth systems and the environment, including the role of geologic processes on human activity and the impact of humans on the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and global climate. Courses in the natural and social sciences supplement a traditional liberal arts curriculum to provide a comprehensive, interdisciplinary background in the scientific, economic, political, and social aspects of human interaction with the environment.
The environmental studies major provides a strong background for students who seek careers in fields such as resource development and management, environmental policy and regulation, risk assessment, land use planning, public policy, and education. Potential employers include local, state, or federal government organizations; consulting firms; or companies that are affected by environmental issues or regulations. Graduates of the Environmental Studies Program can also pursue postgraduate study in fields such as business, law, medicine, public policy, education, international relations, urban and regional planning, environmental management, and public health.