It’s been more than a decade since Marist College’s Department of Environmental Science and Policy updated its curriculum. Academic climate change awaits for current and future students.
contained within Faculty of Science, the department trains students to become the next generation of environmental professionals. From research and consulting to nonprofit management and politics, undergraduates are prepared for success with the transferable skills that come with her 21st century curriculum.
Our most recent academic offering is the Bachelor of Environmental Geoscience. This is a dual degree that allows students to combine coursework in science and education with an additional master’s degree in adolescent education. In her five years, a student can fulfill both undergraduate and graduate requirements in her current class of choice.
Zion Klos, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science, was thrilled to spearhead the launch of the program. “I am the first faculty member at Marist to specialize in Earth Sciences. [it] It’s one of the main areas of study taught in high school and middle school,” he said.
Anastasia Fournaris ’25, the first and only student currently enrolled in the degree, is a great opportunity to reconnect with her passion for environmental education. Transferring from her medical studies at Stony Brook University, she found her experience with her new major to be a positive one.
“It took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do about my future and now that I’m finally there I’m relieved. I’m excited to learn. I’m excited to get there.” finish line,” she said.
Paying attention to the interdisciplinary nature of this field, the department also plans to restructure its academic structure to increase its flexibility and attract more students. According to Richard Feldman, it currently represents only about 50 majors, and that number has remained unchanged for years. Enrollment growth is a constant and ongoing problem, especially due to competition from equally professional programs in other schools.
Many undergraduates are exposed to environmental science by attending introductory classes on environmental issues. Marito Academic Core requirement. However, not all go on to majors that include credit requirements for both biology and chemistry. “We were able to reach more [students] Within the majors if they weren’t as restrictive as they are now,” Cross said.
Currently, students can major only in environmental science and policy and choose a scientific or social science concentration as indicated in the degree title. Therefore, the future goal is to offer students her two paths of Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science or Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies.
With the new Bachelor’s Option, students will have enough space in their schedule to access higher-level courses and even focus on their studies by integrating coursework with other academic disciplines such as fashion and business. I can do it.
“There are very complex problems in our world, and from what we teach, they are newer areas…you are really adept at doing integrative thinking. We need to work in teams, tackle these complex issues, and communicate with people,” Cross said.
Currently, environmental students are diverse course At your disposal, including environmental politics and policy, advanced GIS and ecology. Recent offerings include Hudson Valley natural history, biodiversity and conservation, and indigenous knowledge. With sufficient student demand, more elective classes may be added to the roster, including those focused on oceanography, fisheries, and wildlife ecology.
However, climate change remains a universal focus of all environmental coursework, including its causes and impacts, adaptation efforts, and mitigation strategies. So why should all faculty who teach introductory environmental science courses include environmental science as a topic of instruction? “For the most part, the content is up to you, but it should include environmental justice, including the Hudson River, and climate destruction,” Feldman said.
The Hudson Valley is the perfect backyard for studying environmental science and an ideal place for students to take advantage of the diverse ecosystems that the region boasts. Hands-on learning takes place both on campus. donnelly greenhouse and the Fern Toe Nature Reserveand excursions to the Catskills Minnewaska State Park.
Faculty-led semester attachments provided through marist broad Allow students to combine traditional coursework with travel to further enhance their learning opportunities. For an additional fee, students can register to study environmental issues in Ghana or Iceland at the end of the next semester.
Last spring, Natalie Kelchner ’24 was one of the lucky participants in the program. Two days after she earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental science, she boarded a plane to Alaska, where she spent two weeks in a cabin in the middle of the island. She and her other group of 13 students, the majority of whom she has never met, forgo the luxury of taking regular showers in favor of catching and harvesting food themselves. I worked independently.
However, she discovered that the forces of nature have the power to magically bring people together. It was unique,” she said.
Outside of the classroom, students at all Marist schools have opportunities to engage in environmental stewardship. To collaborate with your peers, you can join SEED (Students Encouraging Environmental Dedication) or join the student union’s sustainability committee.
Students can also take advantage of the Campus Sustainability Advisory Board’s open membership policy to access the behind-the-scenes work of green campus initiatives. “[CSAC] provides students with direct links to faculty and staff, allowing students to participate in committees with specific interests. They’ve helped drive the agenda in the past,” Feldman said.
Despite all the changes in movement, one thing has remained constant through all these years: student engagement and achievement in this field. Whether conducting summer studies, attending international conferences, or attending graduate school, undergraduates receive financial support from the College itself and receive personalized attention from faculty.
non-profit organizations such as Sustainable Hudson Valley When Hudson River Sloop Clearwater There are many in the area, giving students the opportunity to stay involved in local environmental issues. “Results are very important to people, and students give presentation work back to the community,” he says Klos.
For example, Kelchner received a grant from the Faculty of Science in the summer of 2020 to do research on spring pools with fellow students. She then presented her research at a global conference. American Geophysical Union.
Such opportunities arise because of the close-knit nature of the program, which includes an individual relationship with faculty. “They are all wonderful and work hard to keep the program going. If not, it wouldn’t exist without them,” she said.
Now in his 28th year at Marist, Feldman knows first-hand the positive impact the department has on students, but there was one aspect that struck him above all else. “I think it’s the level of appreciation that students have,” he said. “Let’s just leave it at that.”