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 Letter from the Chair of Environmental Studies

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Letter from the Chair of Environmental Studies

Dear prospective Environmental Studies student,

Welcome to the Grenfell Environmental Studies program!

We are glad that you are interested in our program. 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) and in its positive aspects (restoration, conservation, 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, which will allow you to make informed contributions to discussions on resource and environmental policy and decision-making. Our program also encourages the practical exploration of environmental issues during outdoor pursuits courses which allow you to experience nature and acquire valuable outdoor skills in a way that respects our treasured wilderness environment. The program also offers travel grants for overseas field courses. In 2010-2011 three Environmental Studies students traveled to Belize to do a field course there.

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. Within just 15 kilometers of Grenfell Campus you will find numerous opportunities for outdoor recreation. For example, Corner Brook is located at the mouth of the beautiful Humber River which is known across Canada as an excellent canoeing and salmon fishing location. Grenfell Campus is a 15 minute drive from the Marble Mountain downhill ski resort and less than 10 minutes from the trailhead of the Humber Valley Trail which is a particularly scenic section of the International Appalachian Trail network. The Grenfell Campus grounds are connected to the Corner Brook Stream Trail network which allows users to walk, jog, hike, and snowshoe throughout the city and also access waterfalls, gorges, and a network of limestone caves. In addition to these local adventures, 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 and snowshoeing.

You can explore it on your own or take advantage of the Grenfell Outdoors Club which provides guided outdoor adventures for the whole university community.

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. They are dedicated to their students, and practice an open door student relationship policy.

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 at the Grenfell Campus and will open in the fall 2012.

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

Dr. Gabriela Sabau, Chair, Environmental Studies
Phone: (709) 637-6200 ext. 6472
Fax: (709) 639-8125
Email:gsabau@grenfell.mun.ca

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Memorial University

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Canada

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