Environmental Science & Sustainability

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Environmental Sustainability is forged at the intersection of scientific and political systems. 

With an extensive focus on field experience, ENSS students emphasize “doing” over “knowing” as they learn to understand the connections between human beings and the Earth’s environment, and to engage in the crossroads of social and natural sciences that result in decision-making, policy formulation and implementation, adaptive management, and critical thinking.

Through hands-on experience, students learn the theory and application of environmental policies and practices, and its implications on socioeconomic justice. You will develop an understanding of organisms and their environments, the inner-workings of an ecosystem and the make-up and process of our atmosphere – all of which are fundamental to formulating policy that protects air, land, water, and biodiversity.

Our expert faculty, all of whom hold the highest degrees in their fields, are dedicated to teaching courses at every level of the curriculum and to helping you succeed. Their areas of expertise includes environmental justice, water resources, geology, animal behavior, conservation biology, prairie ecology, entomology, economic and environmental modeling, climate change, geographic information systems, and urban planning. Where appropriate, guest instructors teach courses in areas where they have more specialized experience, including urban sustainability, animal reintroduction, and environmental consulting.

Our goal is that all students majoring in Environmental Science and Sustainability at Drake will meet three general outcomes:

  1. Understand how scientific data informs the public policy to mitigate environmental risks.
  2. Develop problem-solving skills that will allow them to design, implement, and assess the results of their own projects.
  3. Develop an area of specialization within the ENSS program that allows them to realize their professional and personal goals.
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