St. Mary’s University will offer a new bachelor’s degree option with the introduction of an environmental science degree in fall 2011.

The environmental science program was designed address the urbanization issues and depletion of natural resources connected to an ever-increasing global population. Students will receive a strong foundation of scientific knowledge and professional skills which will enable them to assess a variety of environmental issues and develop and implement solutions. The degree plan will allow students to gain experience in a specific area of interest such as geosciences, chemistry, or ecology, with both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts options.

The need for the program is validated by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts an increased demand of almost 30 percent for environmental scientists and specialists between 2008 and 2018. That rate of increase is much higher than the average increase expected for all other occupations during the same time frame.

“St. Mary’s seeks to identify emerging career trends and provide the best academic foundation for our students to pursue those fields of study, and environmental science is an important professional field,” said Winston Erevelles, Ph.D., dean of the School of Science, Engineering and Technology. “St. Mary’s offers rigorous degree programs in a range of fundamental STEM disciplines. The development of our new environmental science degree draws on the strengths of our school and prepares students to work in a range of environmental fields or continue their education at the graduate level.”

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