New UB Major Will Help Meet Growing Demand for Environmental Scientists

Release Date: June 4, 2010


BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo will add a major in environmental geosciences to its undergraduate offerings this fall, giving students another opportunity to study and research topics tied to the ever-changing environment of Western New York and the world.

The Bachelor of Science degree program in environmental geosciences is an interdisciplinary program in UB's College of Arts and Sciences.

Classes and research projects will prepare students for graduate school or jobs in environmental consulting firms, non-governmental organizations and governmental environmental agencies working on problems including sustainable resource management, restoration, monitoring and mitigation.

Students in the program will receive specialized training necessary for integrated analysis of environmental systems. Undergraduates who choose this new major will work with faculty studying everything from the movement of pollutants in Western New York aquifers to the ability of reef corals to respond to climate change.

The environmental geosciences curriculum integrates coursework from the departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Geography, Geology and Philosophy in the College of Arts and Sciences as well as Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Majors can choose between three specializations: Ecology and the Environment, Water and the Environment, and Environmental Monitoring and Analysis.

Graduates will have a solid foundation in biological, physical and natural sciences; mathematics and statistics; and analytic and geospatial techniques.

"The program helps fulfill an increasing regional and global demand for scientists with quantitative, interdisciplinary training in environmental geosciences in an age in which stewardship of natural resources has taken on heightened importance," says Mary Alice Coffroth, PhD, UB professor of geology and director of undergraduate studies for the new program.

For more information on the program and how to apply, go to or email Dr. Coffroth at

The new major underscores UB's commitment to green initiatives and campus sustainability, a primary institutional priority that was formalized when UB President John B. Simpson in March 2007 signed the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). That commitment pledges the university to achieving "climate-neutrality," reducing or offsetting all of its greenhouse gas emissions.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

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