University of Hawaii at Hilo Catalog 2013–2014

Environmental Studies/Science

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Program Chair:
 
Kathryn Besio, Ph.D. (besio@hawaii.edu)

Mission

The mission of the interdisciplinary Environmental Studies/Science BA/BS Program is as follows:

  • to promote a multidisciplinary analysis of environmental issues
  • to enhance students’ awareness of the complexity and seriousness of regional and global environmental problems
  • to capitalize on UH Hilo’s unparalleled natural and cultural environment to foster an understanding vital for sustainability of natural systems, especially island ecosystems

Environmental Studies/Science is an overlap of many academic fields, such as biology, geology, chemistry, marine science, geography, anthropology, agriculture, political science, economics, and sociology. This degree provides an innovative multidisciplinary approach for undergraduate students interested in a broad span of environmental topics. At the same time, it provides a strong foundation in major concepts in a variety of fields. Although both majors share a significant common core of coursework, the Bachelor of Arts program (53 credits) offers a stronger social science background and approach to environmental policy perspectives, while the Bachelor of Science program (60 credits) offers a stronger focus on a natural science background and approach to human interaction with environmental processes. A certificate in Environmental Studies is also offered.

Program Goals

  • To educate students to become environmental professionals
  • To equip students with the tools to express themselves within both the scientific and larger society
  • To expose students to methods and techniques used by natural and social sciences to identify, analyze, and interpret environmental issues
  • To foster interdisciplinary approaches to environmental problem solving

The curriculum is designed to stimulate students’ thinking about interdisciplinary connections on contemporary environmental issues. Students will be encouraged to view themselves as major participants and to think critically about their own lives in the context of earth systems and environmental issues.

Curricula