Environmental Science and Policy

School of Science

Our Environmental Science and Policy students are ready to harness their passion for environmental consciousness into successful and meaningful career paths. With direct campus access to the Hudson River and the expansive resources of the Hudson River Valley, extensive connections in the field, and expert faculty invested in your success, you’ll be well-prepared to make your mark on the future of the global environment.    

Customize Your Academics to Support Your Career Goals

Whether you’re more interested in the science behind environmental systems or you intend to fight for environmentally conscious policies, Marist’s Environmental Science and Policy major allows you to customize your academic experience to best suit your career goals.

B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy, Policy Concentration

This concentration is directed toward the implementation of solutions, balancing policy-oriented approaches to environmental problems, as well as the science behind them. You’ll learn how to develop and evaluate cost-effective policy alternatives, generate public and political support for resource utilization practices that lower humanity's impact on the planet, enact legislation, and devise mechanisms that invite or ensure compliance.

B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy, Science Concentration

Learn how to detect potential environmental problems using physical, chemical, and biological techniques, how to identify the underlying causes, and how to advance scientifically valid solutions. You’ll be prepared to work for environmental labs, consulting firms, natural resources and regulatory agencies, as well as research organizations, providing the diversity necessary to thoroughly prepare you to pursue your desired career goals.

Environmental Studies Minor

The program offers three possible minors, ranging from 18-29 credits. The Environmental Policy Minor provides a look into the issues, policies, and laws regarding the environment. The Environmental Science Minor provides a foundation in the natural and physical sciences as they pertain to environmental studies. The minors are not only well-suited for students in the sciences, but also those outside the sciences, like business, international affairs, and law.

Environmental Science and Policy Minors

The Environmental Studies Minor combines a balance of both environmental science and policy. This minor is not only well-suited for students in the sciences, but also those outside the sciences, like business, international affairs, and law.

Megan Nickel: An Internship to Benefit the Local Community

Megan participated in the coveted Tarver Summer Internship Program, which gives undergraduates the opportunity to work on a community improvement project by interning at a local non-profit organization. Working with Scenic Hudson, an organization that preserves land and farms and creates parks that connect people with the Hudson River, Megan standardized more than 1,500 data points, transformed the raw data into maps, created a set of recommendations, and documented the data collection methods for future mapping efforts. The resulting report, Poughkeepsie Northside Pedestrian Needs Assessment, will help the City of Poughkeepsie prioritize sidewalk and crosswalk improvements in the near future.

Read More About the Tarver Summer Internship Program

Megan Nickel: An Internship to Benefit the Local Community

Megan participated in the coveted Tarver Summer Internship Program, which gives undergraduates the opportunity to work on a community improvement project by interning at a local non-profit organization. Working with Scenic Hudson, an organization that preserves land and farms and creates parks that connect people with the Hudson River, Megan standardized more than 1,500 data points, transformed the raw data into maps, created a set of recommendations, and documented the data collection methods for future mapping efforts. The resulting report, Poughkeepsie Northside Pedestrian Needs Assessment, will help the City of Poughkeepsie prioritize sidewalk and crosswalk improvements in the near future.

Read More About the Tarver Summer Internship Program

Expert Faculty: Zion Klos

Not only are our faculty at the top of their fields with active experience in the workforce, but they are also thoroughly invested in the success of their students, frequently engaging them in professional research and educational trips. Picture here, Dr. Zion Klos takes his students to Minnewaska State Park in the Shawangunk Mountains to study the geologic history of the region.

“In order for students to solve many of the major environmental problems influencing the region today, you need to also understand how the previous millions of years of geologic events control the look and function of our present-day landscapes,” says Klos. “We’re fortunate to be situated in the Hudson Valley, which has an abundance of open space for these kinds of explorations.”

Read The Full Story

Expert Faculty: Zion Klos

Not only are our faculty at the top of their fields with active experience in the workforce, but they are also thoroughly invested in the success of their students, frequently engaging them in professional research and educational trips. Picture here, Dr. Zion Klos takes his students to Minnewaska State Park in the Shawangunk Mountains to study the geologic history of the region.

“In order for students to solve many of the major environmental problems influencing the region today, you need to also understand how the previous millions of years of geologic events control the look and function of our present-day landscapes,” says Klos. “We’re fortunate to be situated in the Hudson Valley, which has an abundance of open space for these kinds of explorations.”

Read The Full Story

Chair of the Environmental Science and Policy Department, Dr. Feldman's research focuses on the Fern Tor Nature Preserve management plan and Japanese Knotweed control, as well as sustainable agriculture and freshwater ecology.

Pictured here, Dr. Feldman leads students and volunteers in a New York State-funded program called Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs in the Fern Tor Nature Preserve on the Marist campus.

Learn More About Dr. Feldman

Chair of the Environmental Science and Policy Department, Dr. Feldman's research focuses on the Fern Tor Nature Preserve management plan and Japanese Knotweed control, as well as sustainable agriculture and freshwater ecology.

Pictured here, Dr. Feldman leads students and volunteers in a New York State-funded program called Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs in the Fern Tor Nature Preserve on the Marist campus.

Learn More About Dr. Feldman

The Hudson River Valley is Your Classroom

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. The River Lab, run out of the Cornell Boathouse on the Marist riverfront, has a flow-through system which allows students to extract water and river wildlife to test for research experiments. Marist is only thirty minutes from the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, where our students can intern with two dozen scientists on cutting-edge ecological research.

 

 Marist students conduct hands-on research with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Hudson River Estuary Program and the Hudson River National Estuarine Research Reserve on migratory eels in the Hudson River and changes in eel pigmentation.

“Sometimes it’s a struggle to get people to care about climate change because it’s such a huge problem. I want to empower people to feel like they can actually contribute to the solution.” For her Honors Thesis, Environmental Science student Ellie Petraccione focuses on the Hudson River, in particular the harmful algal blooms and cyanobacteria that have been appearing there due to climate change. Through photos, infographics, and bullet points, the project helps laypeople easily understand the problem of algal blooms on the Hudson River watershed and how it can affect their everyday lives. “When you’re out on the river in waders, you really connect to the environment, and that’s why I want to protect it. I want people to care.”

Read Ellie's Story

“Sometimes it’s a struggle to get people to care about climate change because it’s such a huge problem. I want to empower people to feel like they can actually contribute to the solution.” For her Honors Thesis, Environmental Science student Ellie Petraccione focuses on the Hudson River, in particular the harmful algal blooms and cyanobacteria that have been appearing there due to climate change. Through photos, infographics, and bullet points, the project helps laypeople easily understand the problem of algal blooms on the Hudson River watershed and how it can affect their everyday lives. “When you’re out on the river in waders, you really connect to the environment, and that’s why I want to protect it. I want people to care.”

Read Ellie's Story

Fern Tor Nature Preserve, located at the north end of the campus, has a Hudson River view and is open to the campus community. Environmental Science and Policy students use it as an ecology lab and look out for the well-being of the preserve.

Students were given the opportunity to act on the state's recommendations for native plant species best suited for Fern Tor, and coordinate 18 volunteers to decide where each species should be planted.

Read The Full Story

Fern Tor Nature Preserve, located at the north end of the campus, has a Hudson River view and is open to the campus community. Environmental Science and Policy students use it as an ecology lab and look out for the well-being of the preserve.

Students were given the opportunity to act on the state's recommendations for native plant species best suited for Fern Tor, and coordinate 18 volunteers to decide where each species should be planted.

Read The Full Story

Apply Theory to Practice with Real-World Internships

Engaging in hands-on learning both inside and outside of the classroom is a staple of the Marist educational experience, and the Environmental Science and Policy program takes that to the next level. You’ll be encouraged to gain real-world acumen by completing internships at locations that match your future goals. Below are only a handful of locations at which Environmental Science and Policy students have completed internships.

 

Logos of Environmental Science and Policy internship locations: National Parks Service, Columbia Land Conservancy, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Scenic Hudson, International Paper, and Environmental Design & Research.
Logos of Environmental Science and Policy internship locations: Stonykill Environmental Education Center, Museum of the Hudson Highlands, Central Hudson, World Environment Center, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, and Lake Champlain Land Trust.

 

At Marist, we pride ourselves on our dedication to providing our students with a well-rounded liberal arts education that prepares them for practical experience and profound success in their field. But don't just take our word for it - the numbers speak for themselves.

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Of current students are satisfied with their Marist Experience

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Graduation rate, higher than the average for public and private colleges

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Employed or attending grad school 6 months after graduation

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Top 50 "Colleges That Create Futures"

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Top Regional Universities-North

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"Best Colleges"