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Undergraduate programs

Minors in Environmental Studies & Marine Studies

Environmental Studies

field groupThe environmental studies minor consists of an interdisciplinary program that explores the range of contemporary environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, chemical pollution, agricultural and food practices, water resources, energy, and natural resource depletion. Issues are explored from a scientific point of view as well as from policy, economic, and social perspectives. The program develops critical thinking and research skills. A final research project focuses on developing credible solutions to local or regional environmental problems.   The minor is often pursued by students majoring in biology, chemistry, earth science, and geography but is appropriate for majors in any field who have an interest in the environment.

Environmental Studies Coordinator

Contact: Vincent Breslin, Professor Science Education and Environmental Studies
Jennings Hall 340; 

Marine Studies

vince and studentThe marine studies minor may be taken as a planned and structured sequence of courses in addition to a chosen major or as one of the minor programs in fulfillment of the requirements for the B.A. degree in Liberal Studies. Any undergraduate interested in the scientific and environmental as well as policy and management aspects of the coasts and ocean can participate in the 18-credit minor.

The Marine Studies curriculum has a focus on coastal and marine environmental issues, understanding the coastal and marine environment from a multidisciplinary scientific point of view, and understanding the associated resource management and policy issues. In the broadest sense, we wish to provide students with an in-depth perspective on the coasts and the world ocean as physical, ecological and human systems.

The marine studies minor is well suited for science and non-science majors interested in learning more about the Connecticut coastline, Long Island Sound, coastal and marine processes and environmental issues. Courses provide students an opportunity to learn science and its application to environmental problems using a "hands on" approach at field sites including marshes, estuaries, beaches, rocky intertidal zones, urban harbors, and regional aquaria. Students are encouraged to become involved in research projects, internships, and independent studies in their areas of interest.

The minor could prepare students for graduate study in marine affairs, or for entry-level jobs in coastal zone management, environmental planning, or maritime recreation including careers in local, state, and federal agencies dealing with the coastal and marine environment. In combination with a science major, the minor would help to prepare students for graduate studies in marine science. The program is also well suited for non-science majors with an interest in the oceans who are pursuing degrees in education, journalism, and pre-law.

Marine Studies Coordinator
Contact: Vincent Breslin, Professor Science Education and Environmental Studies
Jennings Hall 340;

Liberal Studies Program: Marine Studies Option

Southern offers a B.A. degree in liberal studies for students whose objectives are not met by the university's established liberal arts majors. The difference between this program and the traditional B.A. in liberal arts is that it does not restrict students to a single major, but rather allows them to broaden their studies by selecting two minors of 18 credits each. Students majoring in elementary education may choose liberal studies as a subject matter major. Those interested should apply to the liberal studies program first by making an appointment with the liberal studies coordinator in the School of Arts and Sciences.