Ever dreamed of working in a green collar job? Have a craving to work with insects, fungi, mammals? Do you like looking at complex current issues from a variety of perspectives: scientific, economic, ethical, political and historical? Do you long to lobby Congress for the clean fuels agenda or promote sustainability in your community? The Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences offers a wealth of opportunities for personal and career development.
Ithaca College is an exciting place, and the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences offers one of its most exciting and versatile majors.
Key strengths of the department:
Our actively cultivated sense of community:
We are proud of, and known for, our sense of community. Our majors are active and highly motivated students that are supported by an energetic faculty with an excellent working relationship. As we have grown, we have managed to maintain an intimate, highly interactive student-faculty and student-student experience. We do this in a number of ways: our curriculum contains a strong common core of shared experience; the first course in our major is a small, intense, experience; our weekly seminar provides an ongoing shared intellectual experience and allows for out-of-classroom interactions; we have a number of community-building events throughout the semester.
A core faculty that represents diverse disciplines:
Our content-area strengths are land conservation and management, sustainable alternative food systems, environmental health and pollution, sustainability science, environmental issues in developing nations, historical perspectives, place-based environmental education and analysis, and earth system science.
As evidence by our growing numbers of majors and minors, we are providing a program that attracts students to Ithaca College.
Applied place-based experiential education:
Applied place-based experiential education is our defining characteristic and hallmark. We have capitalized on our local and regional resources, and developed community partnerships to produce many unique and stand-out experiences for our students. Some of these include:
Management of Ithaca College Natural Lands
International immersion trips to Belize and Ecuador
Production and sale of non-timber forest products
Design and management of permaculture garden
Management of a community organic garden
Service learning through community partnerships
Local wilderness skills and awareness training
Investigation of local environmental problems (e.g., heavy metal pollution, invasive species)
Local history as it relates to the environment
Integrative interdisciplinary education:
In addition to our experiential approaches, we are innovators in truly integrative interdisciplinary education. Some of our representative courses include:
Interdisciplinary physical science
Environmental science and technology
Earth system science
Non-traditional sustainable food systems
Cultural immersion requirement:
To ensure that every student receives experience in new cultural perspectives as applied to human-environment interactions, we pioneered a non-credit bearing requirement in cultural immersion, which requires students to experience environmental perspectives that are different than their own. We have implemented this requirement with maximum flexibility to ensure that students of all economic backgrounds can participate. Our experience to date suggests that these experiences are always meaningful and often pivotal to our students' education and character development.