Environmental Studies

Understanding the natural environment, human impacts on environmental systems, and human perspectives on these relationships is more important than ever. The environmental studies program takes an interdisciplinary approach that combines cutting edge coursework in the natural sciences, policy, economics, and the humanities; adds an emphasis on critical thinking and problem solving skills; and provides plentiful opportunities for in-depth investigative research and applied experiential activities.

Students completing the major in Environmental Studies will be able to:

  • Identify and describe fundamental physical, chemical and biological processes impacting environmental issues.
  • Identify and describe fundamental concepts from the social sciences and humanities impacting environmental thought and policy.
  • Analyze environmental issues using tools appropriate to the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
  • Communicate effectively about complex environmental issues for expert and general audiences.
  • Critically evaluate the ramifications of human interaction with the environment from a scientific, social, and economic perspective.
  • Formulate and revise solutions as part of an interdisciplinary team that may contain multiple stakeholders with divergent goals.
  • Recognize and incorporate social and environmental justice as important components of sustainable solutions.

Students in the program will be offered a wide choice of courses and perspectives that will enable you to learn about both the problems and potential solutions. Internships and research projects are plentiful because of local and regional concerns about these issues. The program opens these opportunities to you and gives a special focus to your career or graduate study objectives.

EV 0298 Internship1-3 Credits

Attributes: EVCA Environmental Studies: Capstone, EVPE Environmental Studies Elective

Prerequisites: Completion of three environmental studies courses; program approval.

Environmental studies minors gain firsthand experience working off campus in fields related to environment science, policy, economics, education, and other issues. Typically, an internship requires 8 to 12 hours per week on site and a journal or summary report for credit. An on-site supervisor and an environmental studies professor evaluate student work. Students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

EV 0299 Independent Study1-3 Credits

Attributes: EVCA Environmental Studies: Capstone, EVPE Environmental Studies Elective

Prerequisites: junior or senior standing, three environmental studies program courses, and program approval.

A student may conduct a one-semester independent study on a defined research topic or field of study under the supervision of a professor in the Environmental Studies Program. Credit requires prior approval by the Professor which whom the student will work as well as the Director of the Environmental Studies Program. Students must have a GPA of 3.0 or higher.

EV 0301 Environment Workshop3 Credits

Attributes: EVCA Environmental Studies: Capstone, EVPE Environmental Studies Elective

The Environment Workshop is a capstone course for students in the Environmental Studies Program but is also open to all juniors and seniors at the University. This course centers on a semester long, interdisciplinary project that examines a particular environment-related issue and proposes practical solutions.

EV 0303 Campus Sustainability3 Credits

Attributes: EVME Environmental Studies Major Elective, EVPE Environmental Studies Elective, EVSS Environmental Studies: Social Science

Sustainability has become a nearly unassailable catchphrase for the 21st century. But what does it really mean? Not in a book but in practice? This course uses the Fairfield University campus and the expanding literature on best practices to explore key sustainability issues facing colleges, corporations, small towns, cities, and private citizens. The class will include off-campus site visits, guest speakers, and free ranging discussions of cutting edge readings. Students will also conduct semester-long individual or group interdisciplinary projects that analyze specific sustainability issues.

Director

J. Biardi (Biology)

Steering Committee

Bayers (English)
Brousseau (Biology)
Downie (Politics)
Franceschi (Economics)
Kelley (English)
Klug (Biology)
Lacy (Sociology and Anthropology)
McEvoy (Management)
Osier (Biology)
Petrino (English)
Steffen (Chemistry)
Svoboda (Philosophy)
Walker (Biology)

Additional Faculty

Byun (Biology)
Gerry (Biology)
Etemad (Mechanical Engineering)
Strauss (Business Law)
Vasquez-Mazariegos (Economics)
Winn (Physics)

Lecturers

Moran (Biology)
Ortman (Biology)