Why should students explore courses in Environmental Sciences? What do gateway courses offer students?

We are connected to the environment in multiple ways and every activity a human engages in has some sort of influence on the environment.  Environmental science courses help students understand and explore the interconnected nature of services the environment provides, such as agricultural production, water purification, timber, climate regulation, and spiritual and leisure activities, among many others.  Our gateway courses provide a foundation for understanding both the scientific aspects of environmental systems as well as the complex or “wicked” nature of developing policies, incentives, and other interventions meant to help preserve the essential services nature provides. 

William Pan talks to student

William Pan talks to Jwalin Patel T'22, an environmental sciences major, during his Graduation with Distinction presentation

What skills do students gain from Environmental Sciences courses that will benefit them moving forward?

As you know, the Nicholas School offers three majors:  Earth & Climate Sciences (ECS), Marine Science & Conservation (MSC), and Environmental Sciences & Policy (ENV). ENV is the largest of these programs and offers students three options: a BS in Environmental Studies; an AB in Environmental Sciences & Policy; and a minor in ENV. Depending on the pathway chosen, students will gain a strong foundation in natural sciences (the BS), science-informed decision-making (the AB), science communication, and have opportunities to conduct field-based environmental experiments.

What are some of the advantages of majoring in Environmental Sciences?

The world economy is transitioning toward a new environmental awareness.  It is very hard to imagine an existing area of the economy that will not become more closely aligned with principles of environmental stewardship and sustainability. Healthcare, industrial manufacturing, utilities, communication and information technology, etc., all sectors of the economy will need expertise and knowledge in environmental sciences to navigate the ongoing changes needed to be competitive and achieve a more sustainable future.