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Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences

Environmental Sustainability and Human Ecology

 

Want to add a minor to your major?
Learn more about our minors. (Note that not all minors are possible to combine with every major.)

Thinking about law school?
Learn more about our Automatic Admit option through the UB School of Law.

Learn about the Jones Falls Research Project at UB , an ecological assessment of the major waterway in UB's backyard. 

You have inherited a world facing the fallout of centuries of human expansion. And not unlike other urban centers, the greater Baltimore area faces significant ecological challenges.

Prepare yourself to help your community deal with them.

The U.S. Department of Labor has projected that during this decade, employment in the field of “environmental scientists and specialists” will increase by 25 percent, far greater than the national average for employment growth in general. The Washington, D.C., area is first in the nation for number of people employed in this field, while the Baltimore-Towson area ranks in the 97th percentile.

In this forward-thinking major, you'll choose to complete one of two tracks:

  • The Environmental Science Track immerses you in the pure science of the environment and humans' impact on it, providing opportunities to delve into chemistry, physics, molecular genetics and biotechnology, augmented by field work and special projects.
  • The Cultural Resource Management Track allows you to explore preservation of cultural heritage as part of sustainability, especially sustainable development, which is so critical in a culturally rich urban center like Baltimore. You'll provide critical assistance to the community through an internship with a city or state agency, nonprofit organization or local, private cultural resource management firm while focusing on courses surrounding archeology and anthropology.

When you graduate, you’ll have the skills and knowledge to work in a variety of field and office settings in such fields as:

  • environmental compliance
  • permitting
  • environmental hygiene
  • environmental interpretation
  • education
  • environmental consulting
  • local, regional and national government
  • local, regional and national nonprofit organizations.

What is environmental sustainability and human ecology? It’s the study of people’s interactions with their environment that employs a multifaceted, cross-disciplinary approach. Coursework involves:

  • chemistry
  • biology
  • ecology
  • environmental science
  • geography
  • anthropology
  • sociology
  • psychology
  • economics
  • government and public policy
  • philosophy.
  • The science element: In this major, you’ll gain a solid understanding of environmental science terminology, concepts and techniques. You’ll explore the diversity of life and ecosystems of the world, and you’ll participate in hands-on study of the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed. You’ll also study the effects of urban center growth on local ecosystems and focus on the concept of sustainable development. 
  • The sociology element: You’ll gain a cross-cultural perspective on how human populations adapt technologically, socially and psychologically to their environments and how people alter the living and nonliving worlds around them.
  • The policy element: You’ll learn how environmental public policy is formulated, how it affects the health of the environment and how it’s shaped by ecological considerations. You’ll also examine the ethical and legal implications of the use, treatment and potential destruction of the natural environment.