Armstrong announces new environmental studies minor
(March 20, 2014) — Armstrong recently launched a new minor in environmental studies that spans across three colleges.
“It's a unique program and is kind of where everything is happening right now,” said associate provost of student engagement and success Dr. Delana Gajdosik-Nivens.
The interdisciplinary program in environmental studies gives students the opportunity to explore the history of the environment, environmental law, environmental sciences and even environmental policy.
“If you want to be involved in any environmental advocacy, you have to be well rounded,” said Gajdosik-Nivens. “The program itself does this by bringing together classes in biology, chemistry, geology, art, economics, English, philosophy, history, politics and health sciences.”
The minor is designed to appeal to students from multiple disciplines and allows any student in any major to explore environmental issues from disciplines outside of their own.
“This minor will expose students to not only environmental science concepts but also social and political issues and the implications of policy on our environment,” said Gajdosik-Nivens. “It's designed to be very broad-based.”
The idea for this collaborative minor came from the late Armstrong History professor Dr. Mark A. Finlay.
“He organized the committees, and he was the architect of the program,” explained Gajdosik-Nivens. “Mark was a historian, but he studied and researched at the interface of science and history, so he saw great benefit in branching out beyond your major.”
According to Gajdosik-Nivens, the minor in environmental studies will help pre-law students who want to know more about environmental policy as well as those students interested in working for health and human services or the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The program also appeals to biology or chemistry majors who need to know the politics and history of the environment to secure grant funds to develop new technology, and to English or communication majors who are interested in writing about the environment.
“There are many companies right now who are looking to hire environmental specialists, and ultimately, there are just so many ways this minor can benefit Armstrong students, both personally and professionally,” said Gajdosik-Nivens.