The Environmental Science Policy & Engineering Program at Union provides a solid grounding in modern environmental issues, including science, technology, public policy, and economics. It is designed for students with an interest in understanding and solving environmental problems, and the program provides students the opportunity to explore areas of environmental policy, environmental science, and environmental engineering. The Program gives students an excellent foundation from which to enter such diverse fields as environmental science or environmental management in the public and private sectors, education, business, politics, and law.
One of the unique aspects of our program is that the curriculum is designed around the intersection of Engineering with the Sciences and Social Sciences. This means that some of the courses taken by Environmental Science students are taught by engineers, so these students learn about Engineering Solutions. This is unique in a Liberal Arts setting.
The faculty in the program are dedicated to teaching, learning, and exploring issues related to the environment. Faculty are in different academic departments, but they share the common goal of providing students with an excellent classroom, field, or lab experience. There are currently two main tracks in the program: Environmental Policy and Environmental Science. Both tracks begin with a series of foundation courses in science, social science, mathematics, and technology. Once this series of core courses is completed, students select a specialty concentration that will enable them to understand in depth one particular aspect of environmental science or policy.
Environmental Science at Union is focussed on issues related to Global Climate change, Water, and Energy, which reflects the focus of faculty who reside in Biology, Geology, Physics, and Chemistry. Environmental Sciences at Union has five main tracks in Ecology, Water studies, Energy, and Engineering technology. The Environmental Policy major offers four different areas of concentration tied to some of our most pressing environmental issues: Environmental Law and Management, Environmental Problems and Response, Marine Studies, and Energy and Sustainability.
One of the other distinctive aspects of the program is a wonderful mix of FIELD PROGRAMS, many of which have themes in Science, Policy, or Engineering.. These programs include some amazing things like examining the science and engineering behind the Alaskan Pipeline, analyzing hurricane frequency through sediment layers in lakes of the Bahamas, investigating the economics behind power generation and energy consumption in New Zealand, understanding geothermal power in Iceland, evaluating Atlantic fisheries, or studying biodiversity on the Great Barrier Reef or the rainforests of Panama.
The Senior Capstone is one the exciting aspects of the program. The goal of this Senior project is to explore the integration of policy, science, and engineering in a real-world environmental issue. These topics are discussed, debated, researched, and documented in a lively, sometimes heated, atmosphere.
Finally, the culmination of the BSc in Environmental Science and Policy is the Senior thesis where students work on original research with a faculty member or a research team. Some recent thesis titles give you an idea of the breadth of issues that we tackle. But a better representation of all ES work done at Union is highlighted in the ANNUAL STEINMETZ presentations, which include ESP studies and those from allied disciplines.