Environmental Studies

ENVR—Environmental Studies Program

  • Now: Fri Apr 17 09:53:17 EDT 2015
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  • Apr 17, 2015 9:53:17 AM
  • 4-17-2015 09:53 AM
  • April 17, 2015 9:53:17 AM EDT
.: Upcoming Events :.

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Songs of the Chesapeake:
Music and Stories of the Chesapeake Bay
Wednesday, April 22 Lawn of Seagull Square, 6:30 p.m. (rain location HS 243)
A special Earth Day treat! Musicians Teresa Whitaker and Frank Schwarz perform songs from and about the Chesapeake, hosted by Tom Horton.

ESA/ENVR GreenFest: food, music, t-shirts and tie dye!
Thur April 23, ENVR House, 4-7 pm
 Bring your pot luck food, hang out w/fellow ENVRsters, tie dye your t shirts and have a great time!

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“How will you walk this earth?” asks Wayne Gilchrest, former US Congressman and Environmental Studies adjunct professor. His question, posed to a group of ENVR students in a summer kayaking class, is central to our program—for whether you seek to become a professional environmental advocate or wish to enrich your own understanding of the world about you, we encourage you, in the words of Thoreau, to livedeliberately.

SU’s fast-growing and exciting Environmental Studies Program 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.

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 walk Shinto Buddhist pilgrimage routes in Japan.

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 study organic gardening with Jay Martin, the farmer who started Community Sponsored Agriculture on the Eastern Shore, 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. Three ENVR majors 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 SU’s first-ever permaculture garden, which 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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