Environmental & Sustainability Studies

Environmental & Sustainability Studies

Environmental & Sustainability Studies

Welcome to Environmental & Sustainability Studies at Rowan. Maybe you’re committed to our program already, or maybe you are just wanting to learn more. Either way, check out the information below. Feel free to send me an email if you have questions.

 -- Jordan P. Howell, Program Coordinator, Environmental & Sustainability Studies

What is Environmental & Sustainability Studies anyway?

Environmental & Sustainability Studies – let’s abbreviate it E&SS – explores our relationship with the natural world from perspectives in the social sciences and humanities. E&SS can complement your interest in sciences or engineering by helping you put environmental problems into the context of society. At the same time, E&SS is a big field of study that stands on its own, and offers the chance to examine environmental issues and relationships with nature from the perspectives of the social sciences, policy, humanities, education, communication, and the arts. If you’re curious about the environment at all, E&SS is probably for you, whether as a major, second major, or minor.

Check out the most recent Program Guide here.

Upcoming E&SS Core and Elective Courses (see the Rowan Catalogue or Rowan Section Tally for more info!)

 Fall 2018 (tentative):

  • CEE 08436: Sustainable Technologies for the Built Environment
  • ECON 04210: Environmental Economics
  • ENST 94102: Human Nature: Introduction to E&SS ("Environ. Studies: Social Persp.")
  • ENST 94321: Field Methods & Research Design for E&SS
  • GEOG 16100: Earth, People, and Environment
  • GEOG 16160: Intro. to Mapping & GIS
  • GEOG 16250: Sensing the Sustainable City (Special Topics course)
  • GEOG 16260: Fundamentals of GIS
  • GEOG 16390: Internship / Research Clinic
  • HES 00109: Adventure / Experiential Learning
  • HES 00209: Adventure Process / Facilitation
  • POSC 07370: Social Movements & Political Activism (Special Topics course)
  • PLAN 31280: Foundations of Planning & Environmental Design
  • PLAN 31384: Water Resources Planning
  • WA 01404: Writing for Nonprofits (Special Topics course)

Spring 2018:

  • CEE 08437: Sustainable Buildings
  • ENGL 02123: Experiencing Literature - Literature and the Environment
  • ENST 94101: Environmental Studies – Physical Perspectives
  • ENST 94301: Environmental Ethics
  • ENST 94401: E&SS Senior Seminar
  • GEOG 16250: Special Topics - Food Systems & Planning
  • HES 00109: Adventure and Experiential Learning
  • PLAN 31280: Foundations of Planning & Environmental Design
  • POSC 07385: Environmental Policy
  • WA 01404: Science Writing & Rhetoric

Why should YOU study E&SS?

Environmental problems are a priority: in your town, across the state of New Jersey, throughout the US, and around the world. Without a strong and resilient environment, humans live shorter lives, have less productive economies, and miss out on the majesty of nature. While science, technology, and engineering work has led to amazing tools for ‘fixing’ many of the environmental problems we currently face, the fact remains that these solutions are not always put into place. In other words, we already know how to solve many of the technical aspects of environmental problems we face; it is the human part that remains most challenging. You should study E&SS if you want to understand the human context of environmental problems, and want to help implement meaningful, lasting solutions.

By the way, professors affiliated with E&SS at Rowan are also active researchers working on environmental issues. That means, you’ll take classes from people leading the way on many E&SS topics – and work with them on their research, too.

E&SS sounds cool, but it says I get a ‘Bachelor of Arts’ at the end. Is this major for people who don’t like science and math?

E&SS is for people who are interested in all sorts of perspectives on environmental issues, including those drawn from the physical sciences. E&SS is for people who are interested in being well-rounded problem solvers: you’ll work with the science, but also the literature, history, economics, urban planning, philosophical, and political dimensions of environmental issues. In E&SS, our diversity of thought is our strength. And in fact, we designed the E&SS major to work well with pretty much every other program at Rowan. That means you could major in E&SS alongside your degree in (just for example) English, Communication, Physics, Theater, Radio/TV/Film, Sociology, Business, or anything else you’re interested in (really, anything).

 Though E&SS matches well with anything, the following programs in particular are popular for the technical depth and expertise they add to your E&SS education:

Of course we are happy to help you figure out the best path through all the classes and requirements – you don’t have to do it alone!

Is there a job at the end of this?

We can’t control the job market, and there’s no college degree out there that will guarantee you a high-paying job the minute after you graduate. But the E&SS programs will absolutely prepare you for career success. You will develop skills in environmental management, planning, policy, and economics as well as research design, project management, and communication. You will get very good at understanding how to answer complex questions and presenting what you find to others through speaking and writing. Additionally, our internship program gets you real-world experience dealing with E&SS issues.

Want to work at the US Environmental Protection Agency? National Park Service? Energy company? Be a fly fishing guide? Organic farm? Non-organic farm? Goldman Sachs? Electric car maker? The Sierra Club? Be a sustainability coordinator? A degree in E&SS could be suitable for any of these, and many more, career paths. Our majors have gone on to careers with state and local government; private companies working on environmental consulting, monitoring, and remediation; local and state park systems; waste management firms; water utilities; and a whole host of other areas, in addition to enrolling in some of the top graduate and professional programs in the country. Some have even gone on to become professors at Rowan University - bonus points if you can figure out who they are!