Environmental Science and Policy Overview
Chair of the Department: Robert Sanford
Professors: Sanford, Wagner; Assistant Professor: Staples; Associate Research Professor: Wilson; Assistant Research Professor: Martinez; Adjunct Professor: Masi; Adjunct Assistant Research Professor: Willis
The Department of Environmental Science and Policy offers two degrees: a B.A. in environmental planning and policy and a B.S. in environmental science. Each degree 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. 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 healthcare to semiconductor manufacturing, applied research, environmental advocacy, and community planning.
All students in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy 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 students also pursue a minor to complement their skill-set, such as environmental sustainability, applied energy, chemistry, economics, or biology. Near the end of their program, all students apply their knowledge in a professional setting with a required internship.
A core interdisciplinary faculty representing all of 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.
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.