This fall, the College of the Canyons Math, Science & Engineering Division will offer students an opportunity to match their educational pathway with the ongoing worldwide environmental movement, with two new courses in the disciplines of Environmental Studies and Environmental Science.
“The development of these courses is a momentous achievement for the college and a tremendous opportunity for our students,” said Omar Torres, dean of the college’s Mathematics, Science and Engineering Division.
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“Having a set of courses focused on the science behind green technology, sustainability, alternative energies and other key environmental issues,” added Torres, “is pivotal to the success of our students in this emerging, and all important field — which is the future of our planet.”
The college’s Environmental Studies and Environmental Science programs will prepare students for transfer to four-year schools by providing a broad base of both natural science and social science course work, paired with a well-rounded selection of general education courses.
Both courses have been designed to provide students with the scientific background needed to obtain advanced degrees and eventually pursue careers in the solar technology, bio-fuel technology and environmental surveying industries — along with the multitude of environmentally inspired consultancy positions.
“Environmental Studies and Environmental Science are two emerging fields,” said Jeannie Chari, associate professor of the Earth, Space and Environmental Sciences department. “The completion of an advanced degree in either discipline can lead to a variety of environmental positions with firms and organizations, both commercial and governmental.”
In addition, the presence of a field studies component in the curriculum of both courses positions College of the Canyons as one of the only community colleges in the state to offer an Environmental Science program that includes both a lab and field studies component.
“The field studies component will be revolutionary in terms of the breadth of knowledge and well rounded approach it provides,” Chari said. “It will allow our students to apply what they've learned in both the lecture and lab setting, in a more natural environment.”
The course Environmental Studies (ENVRMT) 101: Introduction to Environmental Studies will introduce students to the use of earth’s natural resources by human civilizations and the roles that economics, ethics, law, history, politics, culture and gender inequity have continually played in resource use and distribution.
The course Environmental Science (ENVRMT) 103: Introduction to Environmental Science will familiarize students with the Earth’s natural processes, along with an understanding of the environmental processes associated with today’s society. The course will emphasize the scientific method though a series of semester-long research projects, experiments and field activities that will allow students to develop the skills needed to thrive in any environmentally related career field.
“Over the next decade jobs within the environmental sector will be among the fastest growing, not just in California but in the world,” said Vincent Devlahovich, chair and associate professor of the college’s Earth, Space and Environmental Sciences department. “It’s important that we present students at the community college level with the training needed to obtain a degree, start a career and eventually begin serving as leaders of the worldwide movement toward conservation and sustainability.”
During the fall 2011 semester ENVRMT 101 will be offered at the college’s Valencia campus, with a portion of the course hours conducted at the Camp Tahquitz Outdoor Education Center, located in the San Bernardino Mountains near Big Bear Lake.
The course ENVRMT 103 will also be offered during the fall 2011 semester, with classes and labs scheduled at the college’s Canyon Country campus, as well as the Camp Tahquitz Outdoor Education Center.
“These are two growing sectors of the environmental industry and companies and organizations will soon be looking to hire scientists who are content experts in the field,” Torres said. “I’m hopeful these courses will give our students more opportunities to investigate some of the environmental issues they’re interested in, while simultaneously completing the necessary credits to transfer and achieve their career goals.”
For more information about the College of the Canyons Environmental Science and Environmental Studies courses please visit www.canyons.edu/departments/ESES/  or contact Omar Torres at (661) 362-3135.