Environmental Science and Sustainability
The Department of Environmental Science and Sustainability encompasses teaching the scientific skills to study and learn about our environment as well as being firmly rooted in the principles of sustainability. Aligning seamlessly with the teachings of Laudato Si’, Pope Francis’ encyclical on ecology and care for our common home, our focus is on creating a sustainable world for all. Sustainability is a
multidisciplinary field, and thus the department will collaborate with other departments across St. Mary’s University to provide students with education in multiple emerging fields.
Our curriculum includes hands on opportunities for students to engage in meaningful research, both in the classroom setting and through independent research projects. Students also gain training in scientific communication, applying for internships, job skills and preparing for graduate school.
Outdoor Classroom Experience
The Environmental Science program at St. Mary’s emphasizes an active student-learning experience. Our curriculum encourages students to investigate the complexity of natural systems, and most courses include field trips to area environmental landmarks such as Government Canyon State Natural Area, the Blue Wing Solar Project, Camp Tecaboca, Enchanted Rock and Natural Bridge Caverns (discovered by St. Mary’s students in 1960).
Our students gain research experience in the classroom and get support to apply to internships all over the world. Places and
organizations our students have gained real world experience with include:
- Biosphere 2
- National Park Service
- Bracken Bat Cave Preserve
- National Science Foundation
- City of San Antonio
- Confluence Park
- Geological Society of America
- San Antonio River Authority
- Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance
- San Antonio River Foundation
- Government Canyon State Natural Area
- San Antonio Water Systems
- Edwards Aquifer Authority
- US Department of Veteran Affairs
- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Department Internships and Applied Projects
Rainwater Harvesting System
St. Mary’s University believes that the hands-on experiences
of students in both internships and research is an important
part of developing prepared and well-rounded graduates.
The Rainwater Harvesting System on Garni Science Hall is a
student project that was realized to help provide water for
landscaping around the building. Student research opportunities to help transform our campus support our commitment to the Laudato Si Action Plan.