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.
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.
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.
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
"Majoring in Earth Science and Policy has presented me with the opportunity of studying an array of earth science courses that I love, while also challenging me with economics and policy courses. The program has prepared me for a multitude of opportunities that I may encounter outside of the classroom and throughout my career, whether it be in the field or in an office setting. The degree has a unique way of preparing students with applicable tools to make a difference in the environmental field in the most effective and knowledgeable way possible." --Maura Aherne, 2017 Graduate, Earth Science and Policy