Sustainability – the science of smarter survival
Sustainability is the key that will allow humans to survive and thrive here on Earth in the face of so many dire environmental problems. UMW’s environmental sustainability minor program explores strategies for making responsible decisions to reduce negative impacts and ensure the conservation of our natural resources through environmental, social, economic, and cultural lenses. Examine society’s relationship with nature. Analyze methods of resolving resource issues.
Areas of Study
UMW’s minor in environmental sustainability has relevancy to all majors in today’s world. Take core courses for a foundation in environmental science. Then choose from electives carefully selected from such disciplines as biology, environmental science, geology, economics, geography, philosophy, and more 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 the Sierra Club.
Up to three credits from internships available through UMW’s Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences can count towards the 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.