Environmental Studies

Environmental issues, including climate change, represent many of, if not the most, serious challenges in the 21st century.

The sheer magnitude and complexity of these challenges, along with the critical need to address them, requires development of future leaders who represent the full diversity of all peoples and all the cognate fields encompassed within environmental studies. Historically, environmental organizations have not included many of the people who suffer most from environmental conditions. The Environmental Studies program will develop a cadre of professionals who can address these challenges and who are trained to:

  • recognize that both basic and applied research are necessary to develop solutions to pressing environmental issues;
  • identify ethical impediments and associated risks for populations of varying ethnic, social, cultural and economic backgrounds;
  • establish empowerment programs that improve the capacities of individuals and communities to meaningfully interact in political and scientific discussions as well as affect material outcomes;
  • increase knowledge of ecological and cultural relationships, particularly in understanding how human populations manage, impact, and develop local landscapes, habitats, natural resources, and environments and how those environments in turn impact their well-being, flourishing, and sustainability;
  • increase understanding of cultural impacts on the environment, thus providing an education focused specifically on the roles and responsibilities of communities in regard to environmental conservation and preservation;
  • address and ameliorate the rapidly deteriorating environmental conditions; and
  • increase representation of individuals from underrepresented groups in environmental decision-making processes.

Dr. Janelle Burke
Program Coordinator
Associate Professor
Department of Biology
Telephone: 202-806-4172
Email: Janelle.burke@howard.edu

Dr. George Middendorf
Program Coordinator
Professor, Department of Biology
Telehphone: 202-806-7289
Email: gmiddendorf@gmail.com

Environmental Studies at Howard

Howard University offers an interdisciplinary environmental studies program, with a focus on, and expertise in, environmental justice. Faculty have engaged in environmental research across many disciplines, including the arts, social sciences, humanities, natural sciences, engineering, law, and medicine. The program responds to the growing demand among students for training in the environmental arena, provides increased opportunities for research, and allows the university to respond to its historic mission to develop students who can represent and protect underserved communities around the world.

Program Structure

Mission

The mission of the interdisciplinary Environmental Studies (ES) program is to produce graduates prepared to take leadership positions in research, education, and outreach in the field of environmental studies—with emphasis on training students to be able to fully integrate the concepts of environmental justice into traditional environmental studies.

Academics

The academic program consists of four components:  

  1. Foundation courses in environmental studies,
  2. Research and methods course(s) to provide basic training in empirical research and statistical and data analysis,
  3. Advanced courses that expose students to the breadth of the field while allowing focus within the major, and
  4. A Capstone Experience in the form of an internship, field school, or a research experience.

Areas of Study

The interdisciplinary areas of study include foci in four broad areas:

  • Ecology & Environmental Science
  • Human Drivers & Human Impacts
  • Legal Aspects of Environmental Problems
  • Environmental Policy 

The interdisciplinary nature of the program requires engagement of faculty from several disciplines.

Outcomes

. The ES program will develop a cadre of professionals who address that issue and who are trained to:

  • recognize that both basic and applied research are necessary to develop solutions to pressing environmental issues;
  • identify environmental issues and associated risks for populations of varying ethnic, social, cultural and economic backgrounds;
  • establish empowerment programs that improve the capacities of individuals and communities to meaningfully interact in political and scientific discussions as well as affect material outcomes;
  • increase knowledge of ecological and cultural relationships, particularly in the vein of understanding how human populations manage, impact, and develop local landscapes, habitats, natural resources, and environments for certain animals and how those environments in turn impact their well-being, flourishing, and sustainability;
  • increase understanding of cultural impacts on the environment, thus providing an education focused specifically on the roles and responsibilities of communities in regard to environmental conservation and preservation;
  • address and ameliorate the rapidly deteriorating environmental conditions;
  • increase representation of individuals from underrepresented groups in environmental decision-making processes.
B.A. in Environmental Studies Course Requirements.pdf
B.S. in Environmental Studies Course Requirements.pdf
Minor in Environmental Studies Course Requirements.pdf
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