Environmental Studies

Travel in the Name of Science


B.S. Environmental Studies

Director: Dr. Lawrence Tanner

The “Green” movement is now touching almost every facet of our society – business, education, economics, government, religion – all are being reshaped before our eyes to conform to a new social/environmental paradigm. It is absolutely essential that the individuals who make the decisions that shape our society understand the implications of society on the environment, and vice versa, and these individuals should be Le Moyne graduates fulfilling the mission of the College.

Environmental issues and problems arise at the interface of complex human and natural systems, and addressing them requires a synergistic combination of scientific, social, and cultural knowledge. Addressing these issues and problems also requires scientific, social and cultural skills. The program described below has been designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms of society, as well as the scientific foundations of environmental science. The goal of the program is to train students to draw on their knowledge in one area to consider problems in another. Students need to understand the scientific basis of environmental issues just as much as the workings of the government agencies that have the power to address these issues. It is only through acquiring this interdisciplinary knowledge and skill-set that students can be prepared to work for a more ecologically sustainable and socially just world.

We expect students graduating with the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies to find opportunities for employment with:

  • local and regional planning boards
  • local and regional government,
  • nongovernmental organizations,
  • print or electronic media,
  • private sector business and industry

Alternatively, students may consider graduate study in environmental law, government policy, environmental marketing or environment studies. Potentially, this program could lead to the development of an articulation agreement with SUNY-ESF for graduate study in the Department of Environmental Studies, similar to that recently announced between Le Moyne and SU for graduate study in engineering.

Students whose interests are more focused on the scientific aspects of the environment, and who wish to conduct scientific research, should consider the major in Environmental Science Systems (Bachelor of Science). Information about the Environmental Science Systems major can be found by clicking here.

The director of the major is the director of Environmental Science Systems; however, because of the interdisciplinary nature of the program, curricular oversight is shared with the Department of Biological Sciences.


Travel in the Name of Science

Most of us know about deforestation from documentaries we watch at the local IMAX theatre, or maybe from the occasional magazine article about the clear-cutting of Amazonian rain forests. For many young Americans, “deforestation” is a long, ambiguous word and an issue affecting places far away. For two Le Moyne Environmental Studies majors, however, the ambiguity is about to be replaced by an understanding very tangible and direct.

Those students will be traveling with Dr. Lawrence Tanner to Costa Rica during the upcoming winter break. Their purpose: to observe the ecological succession that has been occurring in a place where deforestation is very local and all too real.

The students and Dr. Tanner will compare the soils and vegetation of Costa Rican pastures, young forests, and mature forests. They hope to find evidence that helps them better grasp how climates are changing because of the removal of carbon from the atmosphere.

These are not the first of Le Moyne’s Environmental Studies majors to travel in the name of science. In fact, all Environmental Studies majors are required to take a course in which they travel to an environment much different from that in central New York. Dr. Tanner has taken other students to Iceland.


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