Studying Earth’s Past, Solving Today’s Problems, and Building a Sustainable Tomorrow
Our Department’s Mission
Climate change, energy resources, environmental degradation, natural disasters; these topics dominate today’s headlines and are among the most important issues facing humankind in the 21st century. The ability to address such issues makes Earth and Environmental Science one of the most promising and important job markets in the near future. As such, the need for Earth and Environmental Science education has never been greater. The goal of Furman’s Earth and Environmental Sciences program is to help students understand how our planet functions, the limits of earth’s resources, how humans affect global processes, and how we can build a sustainable civilization for future generations. After all, Earth is the only home we have.
Our faculty and staff are strongly dedicated to providing outstanding undergraduate education. As a small department (7 faculty with roughly 55 majors), our students and personnel develop a strong sense of camaraderie. Our low faculty ratio (about 8:1) and small class sizes (5-25 students) ensure that students and faculty can interact on a regular (even daily) basis. Degree requirements are very flexible, allowing majors to tailor their program of study to their own specific career goals and interests. Faculty research ranges from studying the geologic past and landscape evolution to dealing with current environmental issues including urbanization, climate change, and aquatic ecosystem degradation. Furman has a strong commitment to promoting Sustainability, and our department is central to that endeavor.
The Liberal Arts Connection
Many Earth and Environmental Science careers require more than just a scientific background. Issues such as resource management, landscape development, pollution regulation, and implementing sustainable practices require a diverse academic background in fields such as political science, economics, and sociology. As a small, private, liberal arts university, Furman is ideal for providing its students with such a well-rounded and diverse background. Being able to bridge the gap between scientific data and policy making is a crucial skill desired by employers in sectors as diverse as urban planning, international relations, and environmental law.
Outstanding Student Opportunities
Students receive many opportunities to apply classroom learning to laboratory and field settings while gaining valuable hands-on experience. EES majors’ projects are linked to faculty research programs. This strengthens the student-faculty relationship, as the student’s work is integral to their mentor’s research. Many majors publish their research and present their results at professional conferences. Such opportunities bolster a student’s resume and help prepare them for their future career path, whether that includes graduate study, working with government agencies, or employment in the private sector. Summer opportunities include independent research projects, May Experience travel programs, and internships with various research institutions, government agencies, and consulting firms.