This is an exciting time to study the environment and all of the related issues! It is important to have well-educated citizens who can speak intelligently about environmental issues with politicians, reporters, scientists, government employees, and the public.
Our faculty are campus leaders who deliver integrated and interdisciplinary education, both in the classroom and as student research mentors. The faculty teach ENVS courses, plus courses in their own disciplines, such as BIOS, ANTH, LAW, and TECH to mention only a few. Their research is global, conducted at sites in places such as Mexico, Madagascar, Indonesia, and Antarctica.
The Environmental Studies Club is an organization that strives to provide a cleaner environment at Northern Illinois University, as well as, provide an opportunity for developing the professionalism of our members. Past activities include community service, job site visits, workshops, field trips, and cooperative events with other organizations on campus.
Environmental Studies students do not hesitate when given the chance to make an impact around campus and the community. Faculty, staff, and students worked together to break ground and plant native plants near Grant and Stevenson Residence Halls. The native plant garden is maintained by current and future ENVS students.
Internships are an enlightening and fulfilling opportunity for students that will soon be entering the workforce. They bridge the gap between the classroom and the workforce.
Students are encouraged to engage in research starting in their first year at NIU. The ENVS faculty provide opportunities to conduct research in the wide variety of areas associated with Environmental Studies.
Environmental issues are found in every kind of workplace. As awareness of these issues grows, the need for people with a blend of science and policy knowledge will also grow. Environmental Studies graduates can expect to find careers as environmental planners, analysts, and policy-makers. They can also manage corporate compliance with environmental regulations and conduct audits of internal environmental efficiency.
Graduates in environmental studies are not only knowledgeable in their program emphasis; as interdisciplinary students, they have also gained the critical and job-ready skills of flexibility and versatility. There is a growing need in all forms of media for eloquent voices to communicate environmental messages. Informing the public about environmental issues and what they can do about them is a driving force behind the movement. The diploma is also a good starting point for an advanced degree.
The challenge for Environmental Studies majors is not whether they will have jobs, but how to find the jobs and how to market themselves and their training.
— Christina Rauh, student
Students can earn a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies. Six emphases are available for study: Biodiversity and Environmental Restoration (B.S. degree required); Energy Studies (B.S. degree required); Human Experience; Environmental Policy; Non-Governmental Organizations; and Water (B.S. degree required). The B.S. can be used in conjunction with the Secondary Science Teacher Certification (http://www.niu.edu/sstc/index.shtml) to teach Environmental Studies and Science at the junior and senior high school level. The entire program is designed so that students transferring from community college should be able to finish their degree within two years.
Students interested in studying any subject can benefit from earning a minor in Environmental Studies. Students with ENVS minors would be able to bring knowledge of sustainable practices to their jobs.
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