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Environmental Studies BA

(HEGIS: 04.20 ECOLOGY, CIP: 03.0103 Environmental Studies)

Department of Environment and Sustainability

602 Clemens Hall
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14260-4670

Dr. Nicholas Henshue
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Why study Environmental Studies BA at UB?

Designed for students who find the environmental perspective compelling, Environmental Studies is a field that studies how human society intersects with the natural environment. The major encompasses the study of the natural and social sciences in order to better understand environmental problems and processes. Fieldwork and internships are a required part of the curriculum. Specialty tracks in the areas of Environmental Policy, Sustainability, and Environmental Resources/Management provide a body of course work and experiences that prepare a student for a defined area within the field of environmental studies.

A BS degree can generally be distinguished from a BA degree in a variety of ways. Firstly, a BS degree requires more credits directly linked to a major. Secondly, this additional coursework is focused upon mastering various technical and practical skills of that major. As a result, a BS degree allows students to experience a field of study at a more in-depth level. The Environmental Studies BS degree mirrors this description by adding additional course requirements from the BA degree in the areas of Environmental Chemistry, Ecology Lab Fieldwork and Geographic Information Systems. Most students who pursue the Environmental Studies BS degree tend to choose the more science-based specialized Track in the areas of Environmental Resources and Management whereas those students that pursue the Environmental Studies BA degree most often pursue a specialized Track in the areas of Environmental Policy and Sustainability.

Learning Outcomes

Students who complete this concentration will:

  • Understand critical concepts in environmental studies in the areas of ecological analysis, conservation biology and general ecology
  • Understand the principles and processes of biological evolution; the interrelated physical processes; principles of ecology and ecological research; engage in and understand the processes and techniques of conducting environmental fieldwork
  • Understand the interaction of historical, social and political phenomena with environmental issues; identify ethical, spiritual and aesthetic considerations that affect environmental attitudes and behavior
  • Understand the foundational statistical methods and computing processes used to evaluate data in the environmental field
  • Understand the role of environmental law/regulation in environmental issues; understand the interdisciplinary nature of environmental understanding; practice environmental education techniques and strategies 
  • Understand the professional opportunities available through a well-defined series of Environmental Tracks in the areas of Environmental Policy, Education and Natural Resources
  • Gain practical experiences through a variety of field-based courses and diverse opportunities in a well-established Environmental Internship Program

The Learning Environment

The Environmental Studies major is designed to offer choice and flexibility in building the program most suitable for individual interests and career goals.
Courses are taught in both large lecture, small seminar and field course formats. Introductory courses for the major typically enroll 40-200 students per class. Core courses and upper level track courses enroll 25 to 100 students per class.

About Our Facilities

The Environmental Studies major is part of the Department of Environment and Sustainability, housed in Clemens Hall on UB’s North Campus. The department holds classes in centrally scheduled space throughout the campus, which includes traditional classrooms and lecture halls that can accommodate the program’s teaching philosophies.

About Our Faculty

Students take courses from faculty in the Department of Environment and Sustainability as well as faculty from across the College of Arts and Sciences allowing them to also interact with faculty from departments such as Geography, Geology, Biology, Anthropology, and Sociology. Instruction or grading responsibilities for some of these courses may be assigned to teaching assistants.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit the Faculty Directory at the Department of Environment and Sustainability website for additional information about our faculty.

Career Outlook

Students who graduate from the Environmental Studies major are prepared to work in government, non-profit organizations and private sector business. Students have reported obtaining employment with a wide range of environmental organizations that include the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Attorney General's Office, Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, New York State Parks, Buffalo Audubon Society, SPCA Wildlife Division and so many more.

The interdisciplinary structure of the major prepares students to go on to advanced study in Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, Conservation Biology, and Environmental Education.  Students have gone on to advanced studies at Bowling Green State University, Ohio University, University of Minnesota, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry and many others.

Academic Advising

Admission to the major and advisement for students are coordinated through the department office in 602 Clemens Hall. There is at least one advisor assigned to the major. We provide advisement for students on the specific requirements of the major as well as university requirements. Our advisors work closely with the general advising office, financial aid and student accounts to help students find answers to questions about all aspects of being an undergraduate at UB.

Advising is provided by the College of Arts and Sciences Student Advising Services and the Department of Environment and Sustainability.

Academic Advising Contact Information

Please call our office at 716-645-6777 or email our office to make an appointment with an advisor. The primary academic advisors for Environmental Studies are Mr. Sanford Geffner-who also oversees all internships and experiential work-or Dr. Craig Thomas.

Scholarships and Financial Support

Students in our program may qualify for scholarships and financial support from a number of other sources, including:

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Published: Nov 23, 2021 13:19:12