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 Letter from the Chair of Environmental Studies

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Letter from the Chair

Dear prospective Environmental Studies student,

Welcome to the Grenfell Environmental Studies program!

We are glad that you are interested in our program. Maybe you have always wondered how is Environmental Studies distinct from other environmental fields of enquiry such as Ecology, Environmental Science or Sustainable Resource Management? Environmental Studies is a relatively new academic field: the first Major in Environmental Studies was offered in 1965 at Middlebury College in the United States. It is unique and exciting because it systematically studies human interaction with the environment, both in its negative aspects (pollution, depletion of natural resources, or species extinction) and in its positive aspects (restoration, conservation, and stewardship). Environmental Studies encourages students to become engaged with big questions and real problems that span conventional disciplinary boundaries.

At Grenfell we offer a multidisciplinary Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies that is available both as a major and as a minor. The program includes courses from numerous disciplines such as geography, economics, political science, environmental science, resource management, history, ethics, physical education, religious studies, and more. These courses provide a solid theoretical foundation for understanding environmental issues and for developing the rigorous, critical and creative thinking that can inform both interpretation and policy decision-making. After taking these courses you will be able to make informed contributions to discussions on resource use, environmental policy and conservation decision-making. Our program also encourages the practical exploration of environmental issues during outdoor pursuits courses. These courses allow you to experience nature and at the same time to acquire valuable outdoor skills in a way that respects our treasured wilderness environment. The program also offers opportunities for study abroad exchanges. In 2010-2011 three Environmental Studies students traveled to Belize to do field courses. This fall one Environmental Studies student will benefit from an academic exchange with Van Hall Larenstein University in the Netherlands.

Our program benefits from its location in Western Newfoundland, where the economy is mostly resource-based and focused on protection of the environment. The place is quiet and beautiful. The wilderness terrain is unique in North America. Grenfell Campus is just a 90 minute drive from Gros Morne National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Undoubtedly, Grenfell Campus is a great place to join your fellow students or your professors in all year round outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, canoeing, camping, caving, rock climbing, ice climbing, cross country skiing, downhill skiing/snowboarding, backcountry skiing, bird-watching and snowshoeing.

Grenfell campus is a relatively small and close-knit academic community, where professors are accessible and friendly. The program is home to eleven permanent faculty members and five other cross-appointed faculty from other areas of study. They are all experts in their fields, with a passion for teaching, research and the environment. What can you do with a Bachelor in Environmental Studies? The multidisciplinary nature of our program is a solid stepping stone for a variety of careers. Our graduates are employed in a variety of jobs both in the province and in the rest of Canada. Some of the career options for our graduates are: Environmental education; Park interpretation; Journalism, Communication; Environmental consultant; Policy and planning; Environmental Impact Assessment; Outdoor recreation and Adventure tourism, among others. Another option after graduation is to proceed to graduate studies. You can consider our new Master of Arts in Environmental Policy program which is located right here on the Grenfell Campus.

I look forward to welcoming you to our Environmental Studies family. Please contact me if you have any questions about our program.

Yours sincerely,
Gabriela Sabau


Dr. Gabriela Sabau, Chair, Environmental Studies
Phone: (709) 637-6200 ext. 2552
Fax: (709) 639-8125
Email:gsabau@grenfell.mun.ca  

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