Office of Assessment

Environmental Science

Environmental Sciences Mission Statement

The Environmental Science major provides an affordable and rigorous program to address the increasing awareness and interest in environmental issues and to meet the increasing demand for environmental scientists in the Commonwealth and nationally. This is consistent with the Commonwealth’s Higher Education mission to “ to provide accessible, affordable, relevant, and rigorous academic programs that adapt to meet changing individual and societal needs for education and employment.”

The State University Segmental Mission statement calls for universities to provide “responsive, innovative and educational programs of high quality, that seek to develop each student’s critical thinking, quantitative, oral and written communication skills, and practical appreciation of the arts, sciences and humanities as they affect good citizenship and an improved quality of life.” The Environmental Science program developed in response to the interests of the students and needs of the Commonwealth. The emphasis on science and policy in this major will help students to develop critical thinking and communication skills. A scientific foundation for the management of natural resources, community planning, and environmental concerns will provide information critical for responsible citizenship and the potential to improve the quality of life in the Commonwealth.

This program provides training for students wishing to build a career as a professional scientist. The University has very strong science departments offering rigorous and diverse courses in biology, chemistry, and geology that provide the foundation for the program. The Geography department has a strong focus in environmental geography, geographic information systems, remote sensing, environmental law, resource management, and environmental policy and planning. Together these science and geography courses provide the necessary background for students to investigate and solve environmental problems.

Assessment Plan

Environmental Sciences Major Learning Objectives

Students will be able to:

  1. Evaluate and present scientific data.
  2. Apply the scientific method.
  3. Integrate information across disciplines.
  4. Demonstrate familiarity with the scientific information underlying environmental issues.
  5. Demonstrate an understanding of how environmental policy is developed.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the planning and review process.
  7. Communicate scientific and technical information to the public.
  8. Apply geographical methodologies and techniques.