The B.A. degree in Environmental Studies exposes students to the broad range of issues that arise from the interaction of humans with the natural world, and to the tools required to understand and solve environmental problems. Climate change, water pollution, habitat loss, biodiversity decline, acid rain, and endocrine disruption are examples of recent environmental problems which require interdisciplinary thinking that crosses existing disciplinary boundaries. The tools required to address these problems are drawn from fields such as natural resource management, land use planning, cultural, historic, nature preservation, population, cultural and global studies, and ethics. Consequently, Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary program, taught by faculty from across the University.
The major consists of 47-49 credit hours, with courses drawn from fields such as biology, math, public policy, economics and cultural and historic preservation. These courses are followed by student-directed research leading to a thesis in the senior year. The Environmental Studies major encourages students to address real-world problems through research, internships and field study.
Salve Regina University is uniquely poised to offer the environmental studies major because of our mission to be stewards of the earth, the talents of our faculty, the obvious connection with its beautiful surroundings, its geographic proximity to fresh and saltwater bodies, forests and farmland, and collaborations with local and regional groups, such as the Atlantic Division of the EPA, the R.I. Department of Environmental Management, the Graduate School of Oceanography of the University of Rhode Island, and the Aquidneck Land Trust.