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Jackie Fahrenholz in the Bahamas for student research.

Environmental Studies - Environmental Policy and Management

How do decisions get made about what happens to the health of our planet? Who gets to make them? How do these decisions affect the economy and other aspects of our society? And, most importantly, how can you get involved and make a difference?

Degree Types
Complementary Programs
Distinctive Requirements
Research Facilities
Singleton-Mathews Farm

In the Environmental Policy and Management track of the Environmental Studies major, you’ll get the chance to ask big questions like this—about how human activity and intervention can shape policies that will affect Earth, our economy, and our environment for years, decades, and generations to come.

Our Resources, Your Passions

Environmental Studies at McDaniel College prepare you to become a leader, entrepreneur, and environmental professional. You’ll graduate with the knowledge and skills needed to solve environmental challenges and create a better world. Students in Environmental Studies explore contemporary environmental issues and develop professional competencies through innovative courses based on experiential learning, the scientific method, and understanding different perspectives.

Future Career Paths

Environmental Studies students will be well prepared for graduate study and to pursue careers as:

  • Policy analysts
  • Science researchers
  • Environmental consultants
  • Environmental health specialists
  • Urban or regional planners
  • Science educators
  • Naturalists

Environmental Studies and Biology major Beth Lang talks about her senior capstone — her study on restoring the ecosystem on the Singleton Matthews Farm as the culmination of her Environmental Studies and Biology training at McDaniel.

Distinctive Courses

ENV 1131 - Environmental Problem Solving

This course is the introductory course for environmental science. An interdisciplinary study of environmental problems that considers world populations, energy, air and water pollution, sustainable agriculture, biodiversity and environmental health. Class discussion will center on solutions including technical and human behavioral modifications that can lead to the sustainable use of our environment.

ENV 2204 - Society and Natural Resources

This course will introduce students to the human dimensions of natural resource problems, including a variety of theories and concepts used in the multidisciplinary field of environmental studies to better understand the intersections of biophysical processes and socio-political systems. After taking this course, students should be further prepared to engage in debates with other academics, politicians, and citizens regarding environmental issues and to take effective action towards addressing the multiple drivers and outcomes of complex natural resource problems.

PHI 3323 - Environmental Philosophy

This course offers a critical introduction into issues and debates in environmental cultural studies, environmental ethics, and environmental political philosophy. The fact of a global ecological crisis, e.g. overpopulation, destruction and transformation of ecosystems, bioaccumulation of toxins, climate changes, etc. are intertwined with cultural and religious values systems as well as political trends and agendas. In this course we will study a) a selective genealogy of the perception of environment in various cultural traditions b) philosophical concepts which analyze and interpret global ecological shifts and crisis and c) cultural concepts of future environments.

The McDaniel Commitment in Action

The McDaniel Commitment—a series of opportunities guaranteed to all students—provides enhanced mentoring and coaching, and ensures every undergraduate student completes at least two meaningful experiential learning opportunities.

Ellen Larsen '10 in front of a bonfire

Alumni Spotlight Ellen Larson ’10

Ellen Larson ’10 always envisioned herself working for a land management agency someday. She just didn’t know what job it would be, nor what she should study to get there. “Majoring in Environmental Policy and minoring in Sociology, I was very interested in how humans interact with the environment, our behaviors, and how land management agencies play a part in those behaviors,” Larson says. In 2013, Larson got a job with the U.S. Forest Service as a wildland firefighter. She has worked for two different national forests in Arizona and traveled to most of the western states for work.

Students at Singleton Matthews Farm.

Faculty Spotlight Jason Scullion Assistant Professor and Department Chair

Professor Scullion is a conservation scientist focused on the conservation of wilderness landscapes, particularly intact forests. His current research is focused on improving forest governance in protected areas and frontier landscapes and developing tools to improve landscape management.