Department of Environmental Science

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The Environmental Science Department creates 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—the BS in environmental science, the environmental science minor, BS in environmental sustainability, and the BA in earth science. In these programs, students are mentored so that they develop the skills needed to achieve academic excellence and become the next generation of scientists, educators, informed citizens, and real-world problem solvers. 

Learn more about each of our programs:

  • BS in Environmental Science
  • BA in Earth Science
  • BS in Environmental Sustainability
  • BA in Integrated Math & Science - Environmental Science
  • Minor in Environmental Science
  • Minor in Sustainability and Climate

BA in Environmental Science

With a bachelor's degree in environmental science, a student is prepared for entry-level positions in research, manufacturing, sales, and management. Potential employers include governmental agencies, private consulting firms, and industries dealing with environmental problems. Students are prepared to continue their education at the post-baccalaureate level.

BS in Environmental Sustainability

Upon completion of the environmental sustainability program, students will be prepared with the interdisciplinary skill sets of communication, management, systems analysis, and compliance needed for a career in environmental sustainability. Graduates will be able to meet the growing demands in academic, business, and governmental sectors concentrating on sustainable economic development. The BS in environmental sustainability degree allows students to be well versed in the roles of politics, law, economics, and culture that influence decisions and practices in all sectors.

Environmental Science BS - Mission Statement 

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. 

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  

Environmental Science - BS Student Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will be able to integrate critical thinking skills and foundation knowledge from the fundamental sciences to the solution of environmental problems. 
  2. Be able to locate and use information, methods, and techniques related to physical environment and apply it to the solution of environmental problems 
  3. Understand the whole of the Earth/environment complex of processes and how humans can not only fit in harmony in the complex, but also can manage the Earth’s environmental resources in a proper and sustainable manner. 
  4. The application of knowledge, research skills, laboratory methods and field techniques to environmental studies and related fields. 
  5. Students will have the ability to handle field data using the tools of the digital age. 
  6. Students will have the ability to collect, input, process, and analyze environmental data using research skills and laboratory and field techniques. 
  7. Students entering the program can complete all degree requirements in a reasonable period of time. 
  8. Students will work effectively with others in Environmental Science laboratories and other assignments. 
  9. Students will acquire the oral and written communication skills required for entry into the profession. 

 Environmental Science - BS Goals 

  1. To provide Environmental Science majors with fundamental interdisciplinary science skills applied to scholarship and research in our natural environment, with particular emphasis on the development a holistic view of the environment.

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Department Spotlight

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The dedication of my professors has not only cultivated a deep passion in me for environmental science, but has also led me to look at the world as a scientist – to question and think critically. This has allowed me to participate in Drs Griffiths’ and Becker’s project on the extinction of Otodus megalodon. It has been an honor to work so closely with such talented scientists, and to be featured by Eos. I know my involvement on the project and the related opportunities I’ve been granted will open many doors in my future. By Allison Neumann

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Department Spotlight

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My name is Ashanae Gordon, in Summer 2018, I did my observational research “Spider Biodiversity of High Mountain Reservation” with entomologist, Dr. Spagna. I quantified the different species of arachnids present in that region. Being a part of this research reinforced my goals that this is something I would love to do as a career. I aspire to become a Zoologist, which includes working with insects and arachnids. This experience also allowed me to hone my skills in both the lab and the field.

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Department Spotlight

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Sirena Adessa, Sustainability major, worked with the Hackensack Riverkeepers this summer for her Field Experience requirement. In her internship she worked as a paddling tour guide, and contributed to corporate and school river cleanups.

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Department Spotlight

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Randall Sanders '16 participated in a project to use Great Falls National Historical Park as a resource to develop science curriculum for Paterson public schools. This project helped him secure a job as a science teacher at Passaic Valley Regional High School.

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Department Spotlight

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Plant sampling at the gravity sludge thickener tanks on site at Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission. Sludge is pulled from water allowing water to be treated and released back into the environment, whereas the sludge is heated until biologically inactive and then used as covering for a landfill.

Kevin Ciesla

B.S. of Environmental Sustainability

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Department Spotlight

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My name is Eric Howard and last summer I completed my 125hr internship with New Logic Marine Science Camp. This was a great opportunity to get students interested in marine science by observing the local wildlife. I taught a lesson on fossils and plate tectonics to show how life on Earth has changed over time. I would recommend this internship for any future teachers pursuing a career in education.

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Department Spotlight

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Aimee Aquino worked with the Student Conservation Association this past summer helping to protect sea turtles at Cape Lookout National Seashore in North Carolina.

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Department Spotlight

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Jess Geary is currently working under Dr. Davi at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory; finishing tree-ring research from Mongolia that she had worked on as an undergraduate. "The opportunities that I continue to have with the National Park Service, and at Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory have given me a variety of important soft and hard skills. These unique abilities have been beneficial for myself, and hopefully they will entice my next future employer."