What is Environmental Science at Florida Atlantic University?
At FAU, Environmental Science is an applied interdisciplinary field that focuses on human-caused problems, mostly in aquatic systems. In the Environmental Science Program (ES), we focus on aquatic systems because this is where a great strength of our faculty lies and because of FAU’s proximity to the Everglades and coral reef ecosystems.
Faculty in the ES Program reside in many participating colleges and departments, including Biological Sciences, Geosciences, Chemistry, Philosophy, Economics, Urban and Regional Planning, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, and the Center for Environmental Studies.
In recognition of the breadth of the Environmental Science field, the ES Program is based on a broad curriculum that gives students the flexibility to select courses, in consultation with their advisor, that are optimum for their particular subdiscipline. This flexible approach allows students to master the specialized skills needed for competitive jobs and advanced graduate degree programs.
Graduate student in the Environmental Science Program can receive, through the College of Science,
a Master of Science Degree in Environmental Science with either a thesis or non-thesis option. Most jobs in the environmental sciences are related to permitting, regulation, monitoring, policy formulation or other duties that do not require experience in scientific research. Students who do not plan to pursue a career in reseach may be best-served by choosing the non-thesis option.
Undergraduate students can
receive a Certificate in Environmental Studies through the Environmental Science Program, in conjunction with an Bachelor's degree from any College within FAU.
The Everglades is the focus of an unprecedented restoration effort and much of the research done in FAU's Environmental Science Program is linked to that effort, focusing primarily on aquatic animals, like sea turtles, wading birds, fish, and crayfish, or on aquatic systems, like freshwater marshes, mangroves, sea grass, and coral reefs.
The Greater Everglades Research Initiative (GERI) developed by ES faculty is based on a conceptual model organized around four major human-caused environmental stressors: destruction of wetlands, altered wetland hydrology, increased contaminants, and increase in
invasive species." The research interests of specific faculty can be traced through the GERI conceptual model by scrolling over the questions of interest.
A Career in Environmental Science
FAU's Environmental Science Program prepares students for advanced graduate studies or a career at research, management, regulatory, or non-governmental organizations. Since most of our research opportunities are tied to ongoing restoration or management activities, students can be assured that the results of their research will not languish on a book shelf but will be eagerly read by resource managers. If prospective students want to conduct research that will guide the management and restoration of some of our nation’s most sensitive aquatic systems and species, then they should strongly consider
FAU’s Environmental Science Program.
What are recent graduate students doing now?
Environmental Science Facilities
Students and faculty in the Environmental Science Program can draw on a several research and educational facilities. These include a new state of the art green house at our Davie campus, the Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution at FAU, Gumbo Limbo Environmental Complex, Riverwoods Field Laboratory, the Pine Jog Environmental Education Center. Our faculty also enjoy close collaborations and associations with staff at Everglades National Park, the A.R.M. Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, the South Florida Water Management District, U.S. Geological Survey in Davie, Florida, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.