Environmental Science Overview
Chair of the Department: Robert Sanford, 106 Bailey Hall, Gorham
Professors: Langley-Turnbaugh, Sanford; Associate Professor: Wagner; Assistant Research Professors: Wilson, Martinez; Lecturer: Staples; Adjunct Assistant Research Professor: Willis
The Department of Environmental Science offers two degrees: a B.A. in environmental planning and policy and a B.S. in environmental science. Each prepares students for a variety of professional roles in the environmental fields, and encourages students to pursue graduate academic and professional degrees and professional certifications. Our graduates find employment in many environmental settings, including federal, state, and local government, environmental consulting and engineering, environmental education and teaching, private industry ranging from health care to semi-conductor manufacturing, applied research, environmental advocacy, and community planning.
All students in the Department of Environmental Science complete a core set of courses and laboratory training in a broad range of perspectives and skills including field methods, environmental science, ecology, chemistry, communication, environmental regulations, impact assessment, and research methods. Additionally, the program requires students to specialize in an area of choice. Students choosing the environmental science option will study topics such as forest, wetland and plant ecology, energy management, or soil and water quality. Students choosing the environmental planning and policy option will study topics such as natural resource policy, pollution, solid waste, or energy policy. Most of our students also pursue a minor to complement their skill-set with such minors as environmental sustainability, applied energy, chemistry, economics, or biology. Near the end of their programs, all students apply their knowledge in a professional setting with a required internship.
A core interdisciplinary faculty representing all these areas is on hand to work with and guide students who are encouraged to participate in research with Departmental faculty. Faculty stress problem-based service learning by examining and solving local environmental problems.
Our location in greater Portland provides opportunities to examine a broad range of environmental problems and issues in both rural (agricultural or forested) and urban (industrial and commercial) settings.
Admission to the major is competitive, usually requiring grades equivalent to a B average or higher and completion of three high school laboratory science courses and advanced algebra. Transfer students and USM students wishing to change majors must meet the admission and coursework requirements for the major. The program committee may admit, on a conditional basis, students who do not meet the general admission requirements, subject to specific agreement with the student to complete a series of prerequisite science and math courses with a grade of C or better within a specified time period.