The mission of The Environmental Science Department is to create inclusive learning communities that focus on developing scholarship and research about our earth, natural environment, and the interaction between human and natural systems. We offer three unique programs of study--BS Environmental Science, BS Environmental Sustainability, and BA Earth Science—in which students are mentored so that they develop the skills needed to achieve academic excellence and inspire them to become life-long learners. Our students leave our programs understanding that the environmental issues we face, both now and in the future, are complex and often need to be approached from an interdisciplinary perspective. Students are encouraged to draw connections between disciplines and to place particular emphasis on the societal dimensions of environmental concerns.
Research experience for undergraduates is one of the most effective avenues for both attracting and retaining students in science, as well as preparing them for science careers. Our programs aim to integrate appropriate and valuable educational experiences through student participation in research with faculty, and through research integrated into upper-level and capstone classes. Students frequently have hands-on opportunities that include participating in fieldwork and analyzing earth and environmental parameters with state-of-the-art laboratory and field equipment. Further, they are encouraged to present their work at professional scientific conferences and contribute in publishing peer-reviewed scientific literature. These real-world experiences not only prepare them as the next generation of scientists, educators, informed citizens, and real-word problem solvers, but also readies them to enter the workforce or attend graduate school. The Environmental Science faculty have strong connections to graduate programs in New Jersey and across the country, and professors are available to discuss graduate school options with students.
The Environmental Science department aims to look beyond the campus community, and study global, national and especially local community issues. We actively seek to participate in the solution(s) of specific environment-related community problems and to aid those communities in assessing their resources and planning. Ideally, communities will be involved in the education of our students and vice versa. Community service, exemplified in our Senior Practicum and Field Experience courses, will remain the capstone of the Environmental Science and Environmental Sustainability majors. Earth Science majors are actively engaged with the community as part of their double major in Education. They are able to share their real world experiences with the K-12 audience. Additional professional development opportunities for students include a required community internship, resume building and networking workshops, and discussions with professionals (including Environmental Science alumni) to learn how to become stronger job applicants.
The Environmental Science department believes it has a mandate to challenge students to excellence in scholarship by providing programs of study which are current, relevant, and focused, and to assure that the students are provided with the means to meet that challenge. The programs aim to actively and continuously measure the success of that challenge through ongoing student and faculty assessments.
As an interdisciplinary program, Environmental Science does not seek to impose any single avenue of scholarship among its faculty. Rather, faculty are encouraged to pursue research and scholarship in an atmosphere of the greatest possible freedom both by contributing to their own disciplines and by the effective dissemination of those bodies of knowledge through sound and innovative teaching.
Faculty within the program will serve the University community through service in School and University-wide committees, within the Faculty Senate and Senate Councils, and by partnering with community organizations to provide meaningful real-world and networking opportunities for our students.