Environmental Studies integrates the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities to 1) transmit an understanding of environmental problems and their complexities; 2) motivate productive responses to those problems, both vocational and avocational, based on that understanding; and 3) foster the development of critical, inquiring minds. In 1992, the faculty approved the environmental studies major. Dr. Steven Hoffman, Political Science Department, served as its founding director. More than 180 students have majored or minored in environmental studies since then, and the major today ranks among our largest interdisciplinary programs. Dr. Elise Amel, Psychology Department, is the director of this dynamic program.
We are witnessing and experiencing growing ground- and surface-water contamination, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, global warming and alteration of the world's oceans. The solutions to these fundamentally complex problems require the skills of multiple disciplines including geoscience, bioscience, chemistry, mathematics, and physics. Building on the excellent faculty and strong tradition of environmental research in the sciences at UST, a new environmental science program (ESCI) was created to provide students with the rigorous scientific skills that they will need to help solve some of these problems. Dr. Tom Hickson, Geology Department, is the chair of this new, exciting program.