Director: Richard Bopp
Program Home Page: http://www.rpi.edu/dept/envsci
No place on the planet has escaped perturbation resulting from human activities. The challenge is to maintain those attributes of Earth that make it habitable while, at the same time providing for human needs. Science will play a critical role in enabling technological civilizations to move toward sustainable interactions with the natural world. The effective environmental scientists must be rigorously educated in one area of science and have a perspective far broader than any single science discipline affords. Rensselaer’s Environmental Science degree addresses these challenges with a multifaceted program.
The Environmental Seminar considers topical environmental issues from numerous perspectives. Through it, students receive a broad overview of environmental challenges.
A guided selection of courses in the humanities and social sciences broadens perspective and understanding of the human approach to and interactions with the natural world.
Two courses, IENV/ERTH 4500 and IENV 4700, taken in the final two years of study, enable the student to grasp the broadly varied, interdisciplinary dimensions of the natural environment and its human dimension.
The science core and student-elected concentration provide depth of scientific preparation.
With judicious use of the elective credit hours, a student can prepare to pursue a number of career options including graduate study in the concentration discipline.
Research Innovations and Initiatives
The School of Science offers numerous opportunities for advanced study. Some examples include trace metal and organic contaminant geochemistry in natural waters of the Hudson basin, the impact of acid rain on the Adirondacks, studies of aquatic biota in Lake George, and nitrogen cycling in local ecosystems. Students are encouraged to seek research opportunities in environmental science as described in each of the traditional scientific disciplines.