About the Program
We recognize that human beings and the world we share with all creation presently face unprecedented environmental challenges. The coming century will confront all of humanity to devise a sustainable destiny for Earth and all its inhabitants. Citizens who want a voice in determining the fate of the planet require knowledge and experience in a wide variety of disciplines, since this quest raises fundamental questions about human values, lifestyles, and our place in nature. Environmental studies takes a multidisciplinary approach to the study of human interactions with the natural environment. It integrates the different perspectives of the humanities, social sciences, biological sciences, and physical sciences and applies these perspectives to pressing environmental concerns.
The CSB/SJU major in environmental studies is rooted in the principals of a liberal arts, Benedictine education. As a major in the liberal arts tradition, it strives for a broad, interdisciplinary understanding. As a program rooted in Christian institutions, it affirms the goodness of the natural world and encourages respect and care for God's creation in all its diversity. As a reflection of our Benedictine heritage, it prepares students to take an active part in contemporary life and to exert leadership in response to one of the greatest social and moral challenges of our time.
Student Learning Goals
- Graduates will meet an established standard for environmental literacy.
- Graduates will demonstrate the ability to analyze environmental issues from an interdisciplinary perspective.
- Graduates will participate in experiential learning (service learning, internships, volunteer work) as a means of exploring the practical application of their knowledge, gaining jobs skills, and broadening the positive environmental impacts of their academic work.
- Graduates will be able to analyze a variety of ethical standards toward the environment, including those of the Catholic and Benedictine traditions.
- Graduates will possess the appropriate knowledge, skills, and abilities to succeed in entry-level positions with public natural resource agencies and similar private environmental organizations.
- Graduates will be prepared to begin advanced study in appropriate cognate fields.
- Graduates will be equipped with the tools necessary to establish patterns of life-long appreciation of and stewardship for the environment.
- Graduates will possess the analytical, research, and communication skills necessary to educate themselves about and to take action on important future environmental issues within their communities.
Faculty & Staff
The environmental studies department hosts four faculty members and draws on faculty in several other departments to offer a breadth of interdisciplinary coursework. Shared staff and office space with the Saint John's Arboretum brings many opportunities for collaboration.
Environmental studies students bring a variety of experiences and perspectives to environmental programs on both campuses. Some may be interested in environmental policy, others in environmental education or scientific research. What binds our majors together is a common passion for the environment.
Graduates of the CSB/SJU environmental studies program can be found around the world, being involved in a variety of fascinating jobs and activities. Their further education, careers, service, and nearly every other aspect of their life reflect the influence of a valuable background in environmental studies.