The mission of the Department of Environmental Science & Policy is to educate students to become the professionals who understand and solve environmental problems and, more broadly, to create a Marist College student body with a high level of environmental consciousness. The demands upon Earth's natural resources and life-support systems increase each year as human population and consumption levels increase. Our ability to cope with such demands requires that we educate more of the population about environmental resources, problems and solutions. Consequently, the Department educates majors to become knowledgeable, skilled professionals and educates non-majors to become highly responsible environmental citizens. Majors are also prepared for advanced courses and research in graduate programs.

The Department is an interactive community of faculty and students, committed to better understanding the environment and the problems confronting it, and to finding solutions to correct them. Students are actively engaged by faculty having diverse expertise in natural and social sciences related to study of the environment. We offer a stimulating and relevant curriculum that incorporates classroom, laboratory, field, research, internship and seminar experiences. Through this curriculum, we educate for fundamental understanding of the structure and function of natural, economic, and political systems as they relate to the environment. Students come to appreciate the details, complexity, and interrelatedness of systems and problems. We also examine the effects of society's activities upon environmental resources and their relevance to human well-being.

Given the College's location, the Department seeks to integrate the ecological features and environmental affairs of the Hudson River Valley, as well as its rich history and culture, into its instructional, scholarly, service, and outreach activities. Moreover, the Department is committed to promoting and contributing to environmentally sustainable practices on campus and beyond.

The Department is committed to the continued professional growth of its faculty, through teaching refinement, scholarly activities, and service to various communities.


You will find small classes with easy access to faculty both in and outside of class. Our location on the banks of the Hudson River provides ample opportunity for aquatic research and for use as a field site for class use. There are numerous streams and thousands of acres of accessible open space to support classroom teaching and provide sites for student research projects. Marist is only thirty minutes from the Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York, where two dozen scientists carry out cutting edge ecological research. You will also have the opportunity to learn how to use sophisticated laboratory instrumentation that is often available only to graduate students at larger institutions. Students get hands-on experience in the operation of these instruments and are encouraged to undertake independent studies involving their use.



All students in the program are required to gain practical skills through six credits of internships in professional work settings or through completion of a faculty-supervised research project.

Internship opportunities are abundant and diverse in the greater Poughkeepsie area. Marist students have served internships in the area at places listed at: http://www.marist.edu/science/environsci/intern.html.

Paige Jacob Undergraduate Research


This fall Paige Jacob ’18 will head to Cornell University to begin work toward a PhD in environmental engineering focused on water quality. Her journey actually began as a sophomore working with Associate Professor of Environmental Science Zofia Gagnon. Read more