Environmental Studies is one of the most interesting, exciting and fastest growing fields. By combining cutting edge coursework in environmental science, policy, economics, and philosophy with real-world workshops and internships, Fairfield University's Environmental Studies program prepares students for the tremendous opportunities and challenges in the years ahead. At Fairfield, you can become part of the solution.
Today's complex environmental issues require understanding the diversity of ways we think about the environment. Fairfield's Environmental Studies program utilizes an interdisciplinary approach that combines the study of the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Such an understanding will complement and enhance careers in a great many fields, and give citizens the information they need to take an active and intelligent part in their own governance. Indeed, as concern for the environment and its links to economic prosperity and human health continues to grow, so too does the need for informed citizens to provide leadership on these issues. In response to this need, Fairfield's environmental program adds consideration of sustainability issues and helps students prepare for careers in science, policy, law, business, journalism, education, and medicine.
As a student in the program, you'll be offered a wide choice of courses and perspectives that will enable you to learn about both the problems and potential solutions. The University is located on the shores of Long Island Sound, in an area of keen environmental awareness and a sizable educated population. Internships and research projects are plentiful because of local and regional concerns about these issues. The program opens these opportunities to you and gives a special focus to your career or graduate study objectives.
Special opportunities to link an environmental concentration at Fairfield University with many other majors in the Schools of Arts and Sciences, Dolan School of Business and the School of Engineering. In addition, Fairfield's many international programs (in Australia, Brazil, Nicaragua and other locations) make the Environmental Studies program useful to students planning careers that may take them outside the borders of the United States.
Students complete 13 courses, including a capstone experience.
Environmental Studies Curriculum
(Biology majors may substitute BI 260, BI 364, or BI 366 for one of these courses.)
Environmental Studies Elective Courses:
Most courses in the environmental studies program are offered in collaboration with other departments, and count toward degree programs in other departments and programs, including Anthropology, Applied Ethics, Art History, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Economics, English, History, Philosophy, Politics, and Physics. Therefore, descriptions for many of the courses above appear in those sections of this catalog.
See the Environmental Studies course descriptions from our catalog for more information. Most courses in the environmental studies program are offered in collaboration with other departments, and count toward degree programs, including Anthropology, Applied Ethics, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Economics, English, History, Philosophy and Politics. Therefore, descriptions for many of those courses above appear in those sections of this catalog.
The College of Arts and Sciences at Fairfield University is home to a vibrant community of engaged faculty, dedicated staff and budding scholars devoted to the process of invention and discovery and excited by the prospect of producing knowledge in the service of others. Meet the innovative members of our Environmental Studies Program.
Students in the Environment Studies program enjoy a wide variety of internship opportunities. In recent years, Fairfield University students have worked with many different types of organizations involved in environmental science, policy, economics, and law, including (to name a few):
Students in the Environment Studies program also have opportunities to engage in internships through other academic departments or as part of certain study abroad programs. For example, students in the Environment Studies program that also pursue a major in political science or communications can take internships for credit with:
The Environment Studies program is also linked closely with Fairfield's international programs including a research program in Brazil, and developmental projects in Haiti and Nicaragua, all of which provide unique experiences.
The Environment Studies program Director maintains an extensive list of organizations and other resources to assist students seeking internships and contacts Connecticut companies and organizations about internship opportunities. Students also work with Fairfield's and Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network to build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.
Campus Sustainability Grants. Campus Sustainability Grants are awarded to students to support sustainability efforts on campus. Typically three grants are awarded each year. Recent winners have included undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, Dolan School of Business, Engineering and Nursing. Recent projects have involved water collection systems, recycling innovations, energy efficiency, transportation, and food.
The Outstanding Student in the Environment Studies program. Awarded annually, the prestigious Outstanding Student in the Environment Studies program award is given to a senior student enrolled in the Program who has achieved exemplary academic success and made very significant contributions to the Program and campus sustainability efforts. In addition to its announcement at an event during Earth Week, this Award is included in the annual College of Arts and Sciences Awards Ceremony. Established two decades ago, recent winners of this award include: Alexandra Gross (2008), Stacy Davis (2009), Alexandra Roem (2010), Dana August (2011), Zachary Gross (2012), Terry O’Brien (2012), Helen Nelson (2013), Alexandra Fylypovych (2014), Kayla Urbanowski (2017), Olivia Headen (2018), and Julia Noujeim (2019).
Leaders in Campus Sustainability Award. This award is given annually by a vote of the Environment Studies program faculty to an individual or group that have made a demonstrated difference in the quality of sustainability efforts on campus. Created in 2012, winners of this award include:
Student Research Award. The Student Research award is given annually to a students enrolled in the Program for outstanding research achievements in environment and sustainability issues. In addition to its announcement at an event during Earth Week, this Award is included in the annual College of Arts and Sciences Awards Ceremony. Given for the first time in 2013, recent winners include Joshua Robichaud (2013), Kirsten Yerger (2014), Ian Tesmond (2014), Coleman Macuch (2017) and Katherine Biardi (2019).
Campus Sustainability Grants. Campus Sustainability Grants are awarded to students to support sustainability efforts on campus. Typically three grants are awarded each year. Recent winners have included undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences, Dolan School of Business, and School of Engineering for projects focused on water collection systems, recycling innovations, energy efficiency, transportation, food and other important issues.
Name: Alexa Annunziata '16
Undergrad Degree: Biology major with a concentration in marine biology. Minor in environmental studies
Hometown: Eastchester, New York
Extracurricular Activities: Resident Assistant in the Service for Justice Residential College; Member of NRHH, Front Desk and Equipment Assistant at the RecPlex
Awards/Scholarships: Bellarmine Merit Scholarship
Why did you choose to study your major at Fairfield University?
I choose to major in biology because science is my true passion and after carful consideration I realized that Fairfield University had a strong biology program with a lot to offer including diverse classes, research opportunities, and internships.
How have you been inspired in pursuit of your academic interests?
After completing the general biology classes and being exposed to various topics I found I had a strong interest in marine biology. I sought out the academic advisor for the marine biology concentration Dr. Diane Brousseau and she guided me in terms of courses and other extracurricular activities. She introduced me to the BASE Camp program where I became an assistant counselor. All of these experiences have helped affirm my decision to pursue a career in marine science.
After living in the Service for Justice Residential College my sophomore year I learned about various walks of life and the impact the environment has on those lives. This inspired me to pursue a minor in Environmental studies.
How do you plan to use your degree upon graduation?
After graduation I plan on attending graduate school, my hope is that I’ll be able to use a master’s degree in marine biology to help find a solution to the environmental threats many marine animals face.
The Environment Studies program is one of the most interesting, exciting, and fastest-growing fields. By combining cutting edge coursework in environmental science, policy, economics, and ethics with real world workshops and internships, Fairfield University's Environment Studies program prepares students for the tremendous opportunities opening up in a variety of fields, including:
For example, majors in business fields find that the knowledge of environmental issues they acquire in the minor helps them better understand new issues facing the business community and how to succeed in our increasingly interconnected and complex world. As a result, the environmental field presents a rich array of choices for graduating seniors, including:
Learn more about how Fairfield's Career Planning Center can support your post-graduate goals, and how Fairfield's tight-knit alumni network can build career and mentoring opportunities that last a lifetime.
As a Jesuit university committed to the belief that all humans have a responsibility for all creation, Fairfield infuses sustainability throughout its departments, programs and infrastructure. Through innovative faculty research, student activism, academic programs, campus infrastructure and an array of eco-friendly events, we are moving toward a greener campus every day, and invite you to join us in our efforts.