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Environmental Studies
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ENVR—Department of Environmental Studies

.: Upcoming Events :.

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Wednesday, September 20 • Conway Hall 153, 7 p.m.

Indigenous Landscapes of Delmarva  

Jeff Kirwan, emeritus professor and Virginia Tech Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation extension specialist, has spent his career conducting research on indigenous ecology and cultural landscapes, particularly on Delmarva. A member of the Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians on his native Eastern Shore of Maryland, he shares an overview of his findings on how indigenous peoples have managed the landscapes of Delmarva. Co-sponsored by the Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture

Wednesday, October 25 • Conway Hall 153, 7 p.m.

Lessons from the Forest

Conway Hall 153, 7 p.m.

An SU emeritus professor of biology and one of the founding members of SU’s Environmental Studies program, Joan Maloof is now the executive director of the Old Growth Forest Network, an NGO that she founded to promote old growth forest preservation throughout the U.S. She discusses our native forests: what is happening to them and what should be doneto preserve them. More information can be found at

 Wednesday, November 29 •  Guerrieri Academic Commons, Assembly Hall, 7 p.m.

Chesapeake Oysters: The Bay’s Foundation & Future

NABB CENTER LECTURE: Kate Livie, associate curator at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum in St. Michaels, discusses the history and future of oysters in the Chesapeake. Based on her book Chesapeake Oysters: The Bay’s Foundation and Future, winner of the Maryland Historical Society’s 2016 Brewington Book Prize. In this lecture, she will provide an overview of the history and prospects for the on-going attempts at restoring the Bay's once plentiful oyster population.

Co-sponsored with the Environmental Studies Colloquium Series and Fulton School.​

For more information on our spring offerings, click on News and Events.

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SU’s exciting Environmental Studies department integrates courses in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences to give students the tools they need to examine complex environmental issues in depth and assess them from a variety of perspectives. The program combines a solid academic foundation with extensive experiential learning opportunities: frequent opportunities for research and community engagement provide ENVR graduates with a substantial foundation for further graduate study or meaningful careers in environmental fields.

To see our 2016 newsletter with more information about specific projects, alumni and faculty updates, and volunteer events, click here.

A Dynamic Environment

For the outdoor adventurer who loves marshes, rivers, forests and barrier islands, there's no better-situated university on the east coast. With the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean next door, students can explore some of the mid-Atlantic’s most intact river systems, the Nanticoke and the Pocomoke; study coastal barrier islands such as Cedar and Assateague; visit major wildlife refuges at Blackwater and Chincoteague; observe working watermen’s communities on Smith and Tangier Islands; and investigate close to a hundred thousand acres of wetlands.

Getting Our Hands Dirty

ENVR majors gain valuable real-world experience through a wide variety of activities. Opportunities for study abroad abound: ENVR students can snorkel coral reefs in Honduras, investigate glacial landscapes in Iceland, or explore biodiversity in the Amazon. Some share meals with rural villagers in India; others study sea turtles in Trinidad.

Kayaking the Nanticoke river

Closer to home, they canoe remote Eastern Shore creeks, kayak to Smith Island (Maryland's only offshore inhabited island, with a three-century tradition of harvesting the bay) and witness the mass spawning of horseshoe crabs in Delaware Bay. They create pollinator gardens, build wildlife habitat sculptures, and investigate an ever-changing range of Chesapeake Bay Topics with award-winning author Tom Horton. Green Floor Living-Learning Community students share common ENVR classes, develop environmentally-oriented activities, and perform green service projects. ENVR students intern in organizations as diverse as the Maryland Coastal Bays, US Geological Survey, Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center, Nanticoke Watershed Alliance, Irvine Nature Center in Baltimore, and the Maryland Department of the Environment. Six ENVR major students have been awarded EPA Greater Research Opportunity Fellowships.


Susan Skirta and terapin

Stewardship and advocacy opportunities comprise an important part of our program. Environmental Studies students have worked to ban arsenic in chicken feed, helped political candidates push for storm water regulations, removed invasive privet from a local forests, and taught area middle school students how to monitor electricity use. They held a fundraiser to purchase an Environmental Studies greenhouse, built raised bed gardens at a nearby elementary school, and mapped out an interpretive trail at a local forest preserve. ENVR students are growing vegetables on campus, working to develop an on-campus sustainability tour for both students and visitors, and are developing plans for the ENVR House grounds in their Sustainable Landscape Design class, which we hope will serve as a learning laboratory for both SU and the community.

The Environmental Studies Program offers a flexible and relevant mix of coursework and field opportunities—and, above all, the chance to cultivate what Rachel Carson termed "a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life."

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