Students interested in climate science, conservation, or environmental planning and policy can now major in environmental science at Curry College beginning in the fall of 2021. The new bachelor's degree program will produce professionals who can solve complex environmental challenges and sustainability issues at a time when the demand for experts in the field continues to grow.
“Adding the Environmental Science program is one more way we can serve our students interested in a science career,” says Dr. Elizabeth Wade, assistant professor, Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. “From learning from environmental science experts to experimenting in the state-of-the art science labs, the opportunity at Curry for relevant learning experiences is limitless. What’s exciting about this program is that we’re ideally located for environmental science fieldwork whether we’re working in Boston Harbor or the cranberry bogs or small-scale organic farms of the South Shore. Students will gain the knowledge and skills they need to be successful in this critical field.”
Though housed in the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, the new interdisciplinary program will bring together relevant courses across campus including economics, politics, and sociology among others from the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Students will learn from leading faculty researchers and experts in ecology, conservation, and animal behavior. High-level courses and electives will cover geospatial analysis, bioinformatics, climate science and environmental justice.
The new program's launch is well-primed following the recent opening of The Learning Commons. The new 36,500 square foot facility features the new Science and Research Center with state-of-the-art science labs and the latest laboratory technology and data analysis equipment. Moreover, Curry students will study in nearby urban, suburban and semi-rural environments, including the Blue Hills Reservation, a 7,000-acre reservation of forest and wetland.
The College's ideal location will allow environmental science students to act as scientists in the field, leading real-world research on biodiversity monitoring, wetland restoration, environmental engineering, landscaping, and suburban planning, among other subjects. The fieldwork complements a suite of experiential learning opportunities built into the new curriculum, including hands-on labs, independent research, practical internships, and opportunities for related study-abroad programs.
Graduates from the program will be ready to start careers in a growing field or continue onto graduate studies. In the next decade, environmental and climate science jobs are anticipated to grow throughout the Northeast by roughly 20 percent. National data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics also shows growing job opportunities for environmental scientists, researchers and specialists. Other potential professional roles may include work as an environmental planner, research associate, wildlife biologist, alternative energy manager, sustainability specialist or environmental engineering technician.
The new environmental science program is yet one more way Curry College continues to deliver on its vision to offer unique, relevant, and rigorous academic programs as part of its Strategic Plan – Vision in Action: A Focus on Student and Institutional Success. The College recently introduced other new academic programs, including Computer Science, Marketing, Graphic Design, White-Collar Crime, Sport and Recreation Management, and Forensic Science.