With businesses blamed for damaging rain forests and overfishing oceans, sustainability is a hot topic. UMW’s minor program explores environmental sustainability – making responsible decisions to reduce negative impact and ensure support of future human life – through environmental, social, economic, and cultural lenses. Examine society’s relationship with nature. Analyze methods of resolving resource issues. Typically attracting students from the natural and social sciences, philosophy, economics, and business, the environmental sustainability minor is open to all students and adaptable to individual interests and career goals.
Areas of Study
UMW’s minor in environmental sustainability typically attracts students from the natural and social sciences, philosophy, economics, and business, but the program is open to all majors. Take core courses in Earth and environmental sciences. Then choose from electives carefully selected from such disciplines as biology, environmental science, economics, geography, and philosophy to adapt the program to your own strengths, interests, and career goals.
There is steady demand in industry, government, education, and advocacy organizations for people trained in the environmental sciences. Many people who study environmental sustainability work in conservation, education and communication, environmental consulting, environmental management and planning, and parks and recreation. Many find work with government organizations like the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S Forest Service, private sector businesses like Seventh Generation and Whole Foods, and nonprofits like the Wilderness Society and Greenpeace.
Internships are available through UMW’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, which hosts the environmental sustainability minor. The department has helped students land recent internships with the City of Fredericksburg, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, National Resources Conservation Services, Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries, Friends of the Rappahannock, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Marstel-Day LLC, U.S. Geological Survey, Greenpeace, and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.
Departmental honors are available in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, which hosts the environmental sustainability minor. Students who have completed Special Problems in Environmental Science or an individual study in geology may pursue an honors research project, including field or laboratory work, and resulting in a written thesis and oral defense.
The environmental sustainability minor at UMW requires 18 to 21 credits, including Introduction to Environmental Science, Global Environmental Problems, and either Pollution Prevention Planning or Environmental Regulations Compliance, and three or more elective courses from selected disciplines, including anthropology, biology, communications, economics, geography, philosophy, sociology, history, geology, and Spanish.