Environmental Studies

Chair: Professor Kingston

Professors: MacFall, Touchette, Weston

Associate Professors: Charest, DiRosa, Kirk, Redington, Spray, Vandermast, Xiao

Assistant Professor: Chunco

Lecturers: Moore, Strickland

Adjunct Professors: Deininger, Dorsett, Hoban, Thomas-Laemont, Moersdorf

It has become clear that environmental challenges are not isolated. The quality of our water, the integrity of our coasts and the health of our forests shape the world in which we live. Elon University guides students to meet the challenges of today and to become creative and visionary stewards who will lead us to the sustainable communities of tomorrow. In our degree programs, students take a balanced, interdisciplinary core of classes grounded in environmental understanding. The core is supported by advanced disciplinary and interdisciplinary courses in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences that focus on the environment. The strength of the curriculum emerges from its interdisciplinary perspective — for example, discussing water resource issues in geography, physics, biology, political science, ethics and environmental science classes. The course of study culminates in a capstone senior seminar, in which students develop a community-based project such as designing a river protection plan. Students are also required to complete an internship or independent research experience. They are also eligible to apply for the Elon College Fellows Program.

The Department of Environmental Studies offers a major in Environmental and Sustainability Studies (A.B. degree), a major in Environmental Studies (B.S. degree), a major in Environmental and Ecological Science degree (B.S. degree), and a minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies. Each of the degrees has been designed to meet the needs of students pursuing different career paths. The B.S. degree in Environmental Studies supports the education objectives of students whose primary interests lie in the areas of environmental planning, policy development, and sustainable resource management. This degree blends foundational studies in environmental science, economics, ethics and political science with advanced study in the social sciences to develop the skills necessary to address societal needs and concerns involving the environment. The A.B. degree provides a foundation in the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences, and advanced study in one of three applied focus areas (responsible design and building arts, sustainable food production, or human ecology) to support students interested in green design, corporate sustainability, environmental communications, journalism and environmental art. The overlap between the elective courses in the A.B. degree and the traditional Arts and Sciences disciplines facilitates the pursuit of a second major. The B.S. degree in Environmental and Ecological Science includes advanced study of ecological processes for those students who are specifically interested in environmental science careers in ecosystem management, wildlife ecology, conservation biology and environmental monitoring. The minor in Environmental and Sustainability Studies was developed for students with a major in another field of study who have an interest in developing their understanding of sustainability and the environment.

University Center for Environmental Studies

A center has been established with the mission of providing a regional focus for activities and interests that meet the environmental needs of the community in the Piedmont Region of North Carolina. The Center’s activities have focused on developing community partnerships with Elon students and faculty working on environmentally focused projects. Recent project partners have included the Piedmont Land Conservancy, the Natural Resource Conservation Service, the National Park Service, N.C. Parks and Recreation, local governments and industries. These partnerships have provided research and internship opportunities, providing real world opportunities to students and strengthening their personal and professional development.

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