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Environmental Studies

What is Environmental Studies?

During an era when the world is facing a wide range of environmental problems that are in the news virtually every day, environmental studies has become a particularly timely and important discipline. The environmental studies program provides an opportunity for the systematic investigation of the natural world and the interaction of humans with their own environment. Environmental issues and conflicts of this century are highly complex and transcend traditional academic disciplines.The goal of the environmental studies program at UC is to provide the interdisciplinary training and conceptual framework required to analyze and respond to the complex and dynamic environmental problems of the modern world.

The solutions to environmental issues and conflicts will continue to require expertise from the natural and social sciences such as biology, economics, engineering and political sciences, but the real-world solutions will also require a more interdisciplinary perspective. They require professionals who take a systems approach: an approach that addresses the complex interrelationships within and among components of natural, built and social environments.

The goal of our environmental studies curriculum is to produce professionals with a strong foundation in the key sciences who also "speak the languages" of the multiple disciplines involved in environmental problem solving and who have learned to interact in interdisciplinary teams. The curriculum includes courses that examine the biological environment (e.g., biology and ecology), the physical environment (e.g., chemistry, geology and geography) and the social-human environment (e.g., policy, ethics and economics). The curriculum also emphasizes the acquisition of "tools of the trade," such as field and lab skills, data analysis, the identification of plants and animals, and computer-based approaches such as satellite remote sensing and geographic information systems.

Success Factors

The keys to success in environmental studies are both a curiosity about and a passion for the natural world. The complex nature of environmental issues and solutions also requires creativity in problem-solving, flexibility, imagination and a talent for both written and oral communication. Successful students have strong analytical and critical thinking skills and an interest in the sciences that form the foundation of UC’s approach to environmental studies.

Curriculum Guides

Advising

All EVST and EVAP minors are required to attend a group advising meeting early in their program to develop an elective plan. Normally this would be during the freshman year, while taking Introduction to Environmental Studies II (EVST1012). Those considering the minor after transferring into the university or transitioning from a branch campus should make an individual appointment as soon as possible.
 

Paula Breslin
EVST Academic Adviser/Internship Coordinator
613A Rieveschl Hall
556-9707
paula.breslin@uc.edu


Jodi R. Shann, PhD
Director of  Environmental Studies
Professor, Biological Sciences
Rieveschl Hall
513-556-8265
jodi.shannr@uc.edu

UC Advantages and Special Opportunities

Students in the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) enjoy many benefits afforded through study at a research-intensive institution ranked among the nation's top 25 public research universities. UC's urban, Tristate location offers exciting opportunities for global education, research and service learning, while its student-centered focus includes an 11:1 student-faculty ratio, a nationally recognized Center for Exploratory Studies and a highly successful First Year Experience program that teaches critical skills for first-year students and provides connections with important campus resources.

Special Programs

The University of Cincinnati and its Center for Environmental Studies present an ideal physical and intellectual location in which to study, producing broadly trained, interdisciplinary environmental professionals. Cincinnati is an urban area surrounded by rural communities; this urban-to-wild land gradient provides an array of diverse ecosystems for academic study and research. As such, the local environment is challenged by both the municipal and industrial needs of a city, and the broad impact of activities such as farming and land management.

UC is home to a diverse faculty and a rich curriculum that actively address environmental issues and problems. Faculty in the center have many interests and are drawn from several departments of the UC McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (e.g., biological sciences, geography, geology, economics and communication), the College of Engineering and Applied Science and the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning, as well as from professional scientists of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The expertise within the university is supplemented by the presence of three major research divisions of the EPA: the National Center for Environmental Assessment, the National Environmental Research Laboratory and the National Risk Management Research Laboratory. The close proximity (across the street!) of the EPA facility markedly expands the resources available to environmental research and education, and many UC students have held positions and internships at the EPA. Additional opportunities include affiliated student environmental groups such as LEAP (Leaders for Environmental Awareness and Protection), undergraduate research opportunities, and internships with local or national agencies and organizations.

Freshman Admission Requirements

Students already pursuing a degree in any college at UC can add the minor to their program. Be sure to submit a declaration of the minor using our online form.

In addition, you must meet with the program director so that the department is aware that you are pursuing the minor and can advise you appropriately. Do this early enough to avoid delay in obtaining your minor.

Graduation Requirements

If you have declared the minor, then it will appear on your application for graduation. Apply for graduation as you normally would for your bachelor’s degree.

Accreditation

The University of Cincinnati and all regional campuses are accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.

Quick Facts

Completion of Academic Minor Degree in Environmental Studies

Full-Time Program Duration

1.5 Years

Location

Uptown Campus West

Admission Criteria

Open

Contact

612 Rieveschl Hall
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0006
Phone: (513) 556-9707
Paula Breslin
Paula.Breslin@uc.edu