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 New Department at Santa Clara University to Prepare Students for Studies and Careers in Environmental Fields

Tuesday, Jun. 21, 2011

SANTA CLARA, Calif. June 21, 2011—Santa Clara University will welcome a new department this fall to strengthen the training students receive in environmental studies and sciences. SCU approved the creation of the Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences (ESS) in response to the growing need and interest in understanding and solving environmental problems.
 
“The establishment of a new Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences demonstrates and deepens Santa Clara University’s commitment to fashioning a world that is just, humane, and sustainable,” says Michelle Marvier, the new chair for ESS.
 
When the university first offered environmental science and environmental studies as majors in 1999, only one student studied it. Today, 122 students are majoring in either environmental science or environmental studies and 20 more are minoring in environmental studies.
 
As a part of creating ESS, the university will also transform the environmental studies companion major into a stand-alone major, giving the university depth to offer a robust coursework that focuses on societal responses to environmental problems.
 
“In the past, students could major in environmental studies only in addition to some other primary major. Environmental studies is now recognized as a coherent and rigorous curriculum that includes environmental law, policy, and economics, as well as sustainable development,” says Marvier.
 
Students who study environmental studies can pursue careers that are involved in the social, political and economic dimensions of sustainability, and environmental change.
 
 “The changes will help attract new students to the university who are interested in majoring in environmental studies and sciences, which are fields that are rapidly growing,” says Leslie Gray, executive director of Environmental Studies Institute.
 
Santa Clara University’s Environmental Studies Institute will continue to operate as a separate entity and focus on outreach programs in the community such as AmeriCorps, sustainability across the curriculum, campus sustainability, healthy food systems, and urban gardening.
 
About Santa Clara University
Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley, offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities, California’s oldest operating higher-education institution demonstrates faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more information, see www.scu.edu.
 
Media Contact:
Connie Kim Coutain | ccoutain@scu.edu | 408-554-5126 O | 408-829-4836 C


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