A Diversified Foundation and a Focus on Sustainability
Dedicated to producing environmental problem solvers, The Department of
Environmental Studies and Planning offers a distinctive program of interdisciplinary
study. To achieve this goal, students and faculty work together across
disciplines to develop an understanding of environmental “sustainability”
in all its dimensions.
Specifically, the program focuses on current environmental concerns that have far-reaching implications for the fate of human society, ecological systems, and biological diversity. This involves an integration of knowledge from a variety of disciplines to understand the functioning of ecological systems and the nature of human impact upon these systems at local, regional, and global scales. The department’s two goals are: to prepare students for careers in the environmental professions, for graduate studies, and for positive action in their own lives; and to promote ecological literacy in order to help maintain and enhance the quality of the human and natural environments.
All students receive fundamental instruction related to ecology and the environment based on knowledge from the biological, physical, and social sciences and the humanities. This broad understanding is applied in a particular area of environmental concern through one of six ENSP study plans. Career-oriented study plans are offered in
- conservation and restoration
- energy management and design
- education and the environment
- outdoor leadership
- water quality technology and hazardous materials management.
Many students pursue a double major, or a major and minor, in conjunction with traditional disciplines to prepare for specific careers related to the environment. All students must complete a senior project or internship.
Each student has an advisor who specializes in an area of interest. They work together, designing a course of study that will provide the best possible preparation for personal and professional fulfillment. Students enjoy the small class sizes and personalized teaching by distinguished and dedicated professors. ENSP faculty are committed to enhancing both the quality of education and the environment.
The SSU campus has many unique learning resources, such as: Fairfield Osborn Preserve and the Galbreath Wildlands Preserve; a world-class "green" recreation center (with climbing wall, a ropes course, and adventure programs center); the Kenneth M. Stocking Native Plant Garden (where there are several plant propagation projects underway); Copeland Creek (the focus of a student-faculty lead restoration effort); and the Environmental Technology Center (our high tech "green" center and classroom). Not far beyond the campus there are rugged beaches, Oak and Redwood forests, the vine country, and a world-class city just over the Golden Gate Bridge.