By Margaret Pepe
As of this year, Post is offering a new bachelor’s degree in environmental sustainability. Prior to adding the new major, Post added a master’s program in environmental sustainability about four years ago, along with a minor in environmental sustainability and global climate change. In a description provided by Dr. Margaret Boorstein, geography professor and chair, the new program “will allow students to understand how to advance societies and their cultural, economic, and technological activities in a sustainable manner concordant with Earth’s natural systems.”
This new 129-credit major requires students to take General Biology I and II, Earth Science I and II, Introduction to Environmental Sustainability, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, Applied Conservation, Introduction to Microeconomics, a math class, and four courses from either biology, geology or earth science, social science, or social science: arts and humanities.
“The faculty firmly believe that students should be well-rounded so that they can think broadly and deeply,” said Dr. Boorstein. “The relatively new M.S. in environmental sustainability provides courses in sciences and in the social sciences. Students then have a good background in environmental sustainability from both scientific and social science perspectives.”
Ashley Oliver, a junior transfer student, is currently the only student enrolled in the program. Oliver said she had chose Post because of this major. “I had never heard of the major as an option before, but soon realized that it fit well into my future.” Students in the major have the option of choosing a track in biology, earth science, or social sciences. Oliver is concentrating in earth science while completing her major requirements.
As for the success of the major, Oliver believes it has a large future. “As we all continue on in life it becomes more inevitable that we need to be able to balance our actions with the environment. The availability of the major allows people to learn about the ways we can change our current actions to ones more geared towards both people and earth,” said Oliver. Post graduation, Oliver hopes on joining the aquaculture field, which is the sustainable farming of aquatic animals. “The field is growing,” said Oliver. “Last year, most of the seafood ate came from aquaculture facilities, rather than being caught in the ocean,” she continued.
“The courses are exciting and designed to encourage students to think and think again. They can develop the skills to understand and try to develop new ways for people individually, and as societies, to operate in more sustainable ways,” said Dr. Boorstein.