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Environmental Studies New Major at SUNY Plattsburgh

PLATTSBURGH, NY __ The State University of New York College at Plattsburgh has introduced a new major in the Center for Earth and Environmental Science.  The major, environmental studies, will let students explore the human dimensions of the environment in the context of a program that integrates the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities.

Dr. Ken Adams, distinguished teaching professor of earth and environmental science (far right), does research with two students. After completing general college requirements, students may take courses including human and physical geography, ecology, geology, history, ethics, environmental law, environment and society and environmental justice.

"This new major joins a vibrant 30-year Plattsburgh State tradition of environmental education and research," said Dr. Robert Fuller, director of the Center for Earth and Environmental Science. "This program will use the expertise found in the Center and combine it with several different disciplines across campus, tapping into the resources of a talented and diverse faculty."

Advanced course work will span such areas as policy, management, planning, culture, history, philosophy, geography and environmental science.

Students will also select from courses in technology skills and "adventure learning" courses set outdoors.

The environmental studies major is designed to foster ethical values and the stewardship of responsible citizenship within a global community.

The major also has a career focus: preparing students for a variety of in-demand jobs in the public, non-profit and private sectors.

"Graduates will find themselves on their way to the professional landscape of environmental consulting, advocacy, planning, policy, lobbying and law," said Dr. Gary Kroll, assistant professor of history who will be teaching a course for the new major. "These are all careers that demand a sophisticated understanding of the complex relationships between human culture and the natural environment in local, national and global contexts."

The environmental studies major will prepare students for further environmental study in graduate school; especially those who decide to pursue a master of arts, master of professional studies or a doctoral degree in environmental studies at other SUNY institutions.

According to New York State Department of Labor projections, several environment-related fields will enjoy substantial growth over the next six years at least.

Given the 1999 creation and continued growth of the Environmental Justice Advisory Group, there is a pressing need for specialists who can deal with the human elements of environmental reform.

The new environmental studies program is intended to meet the demand of this growing societal need and to begin preparing students for both state and local positions in the public sector as well as private sector jobs with environmental consulting and planning firms.

The program expands opportunities for students, adding an exciting dimension to the four environmental science majors currently offered in the Center for Earth and Environmental Science at SUNY Plattsburgh.

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