Hydropower

Earth Science and Policy

Build the economic, political, and social knowledge you need to make a difference in addressing environmental problems through the Earth Science and Policy program. This major focuses on teaching quantitative tools required for problem solving, and it is intended to bridge the gap between the physical, natural sciences (the earth sciences) and the social sciences, with the understanding that intelligent, effective solutions to environmental problems will require people who grasp the scientific and social dimensions of environmental problems. 

Options within the Major

This major contains four options: 

  • Water and Land Use Option
    This option is intended to develop a focus on the role of water and land in environmental issues, encompassing scientific, economic, and policy dimensions of groundwater and surface water resources and of land use. The Water and Land Use option is appropriate both for students who intend to pursue postgraduate degrees and for students who want to enter the work force.
  • Climate Change Option 
    This option is intended for students who want to focus on the science and policy related to climate change, including the scientific basis for identifying, understanding, and potentially mitigating climate change. The option also develops a basis for understanding the economic costs and risks related to climate change, as well as the political dimensions. This option is appropriate both for students who intend to pursue postgraduate degrees and for students who want to enter the work force.
  • Energy Option 
    This option is designed to provide a focus on aspects of Earth science and policy related to energy, including the origins of energy and mineral resources, the future of these resources, and the alternatives for meeting future needs. This option also provides a focus on the economics of energy systems and the political dimensions of the challenges related to our energy future. The Energy option is appropriate both for students who intend to pursue postgraduate degrees and for students who want to enter the work force.
  • General Option 
    This option is intended for students who desire a broad sampling of Earth science as it relates to policy or those who desire to design their own focus within Earth science in consultation with an academic adviser. The General option is appropriate both for students who intend to pursue postgraduate degrees and for students who want to enter the work force.

Careers

This major will provide an excellent preparation for careers in environmental law, environmental consulting, and non-profit organizations engaged in the science and policy of environmental issues. This major will also serve as a strong basis for postgraduate studies in environmental science and policy. 

Where Earth Science and Policy Graduates Find Jobs

  • Law firms
  • NGOs
  • Energy companies

Student Clubs and Organizations

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