Environmental Studies Major Launched
September 03, 2013
Wheelock College furthered its commitment to innovation and leadership in environmental education through the launch of an undergraduate Environmental Studies Major, starting fall 2013. The new major underscores Wheelock's goal of preserving our environment for future generations.
"This new degree program fits perfectly with the college's mission of improving the lives of children and families through awareness and education of the environment in which we live," said Professor Ellen E. Faszewski, Chair of the Math/Science Department. "We will help our students to understand the need to protect the world's resources for generations to come."
Programs in environmental studies and sustainability are spreading as the growing population increases the demand for energy, water, and food. These needs, in addition to changes in climate promise to be defining issues of the century. For these reasons, careers in environmental studies are one of the top nine careers with a future, according to US News and World Report.
Interdisciplinary Major Provides Flexibility
An environmental study is an interdisciplinary degree, which provides students with flexibility to explore the social, cultural, and scientific issues behind these issues. In addition to core courses in the natural sciences, students also take courses in a variety of disciplines, e.g., math, health, food, energy, biodiversity, climate, history, culture, or policy. In this major, students are able to relate abstract concepts in the natural sciences to real-world examples. Today, students need new skills, including the ability to think and contribute outside their disciplinary boundaries and environmental studies is a perfect vehicle for doing so.
Sample work settings may include aquariums, schools and colleges, consulting firms, nature conservatories, ski resorts, farms, newspapers and magazines, utility companies, nonprofit organizations, national parks, grassroots organizations, or zoos.
Complements COF Sustainability Program
This major can be a standalone or combined with other Professional and Arts and Sciences majors and minors. This new Environmental Studies major will also complement Wheelock's current work with the Colleges of the Fenway Center for Sustainability and the Environment.
Students will have opportunities to participate in a variety of initiatives with other COF students, faculty, and staff, e.g., teach-ins, research symposia, community service, and service-learning. Through this program, Wheelock will also continue to enhance current partnerships with community groups, including the Boston Nature Center, Emerald Necklace, and Maintenance and Management Oversight Committee (MMOC) of the Muddy River Restoration Project, etc.).