Westfield State University has the largest Environmental Science Program in Massachusetts. Our classes and program emphasize hands-on learning and field work in neighboring rivers, forests, and wetlands, as well as in nearby urban areas and our graduates get meaningful careers where they make a difference in the world.
The Environmental Science Program at Westfield State University is truly an interdisciplinary program. While the program requirements are rigorous, there is a lot of flexibility in the curriculum to allow students to tailor the major to fit their life and career goals. Students select from such courses as Environmental Biology, Ecology, Aquatic Biology, Marine Biology, Environmental Impact Analysis, Land Resource Analysis, Green Cities, Water Resource Management, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
An important aspect of our program is the emphasis on fieldwork and hands-on activities, such as Water Resource Management’s Canoe Trips on the Westfield River and nearby lakes, and Marine Biology’s 3-day field trip to the Maine coast each spring to collect marine samples. Classes are small with much one-on-one contact with faculty.
The program culminates in a capstone experience in a Senior Seminar, where students do independent research on an environmental topic that is relevant to our community.
The flexibility of the Environmental Science Curriculum allows interested students to add a second major to help prepare them for their own unique future. Some common double majors include: Regional Planning, Biology, Political Science, English, and Criminal Justice. This helps them develop interdisciplinary skills, with goals of becoming Environmental Planners, Environmental Policy Makers, Environmental Lawyers, Environmental Writers, Environmental Police, etc.
Many Environmental Science students take the Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Minor. GIS is a powerful spatial data analysis tool that allows students to study environmental problems using spatial analysis.
We also offer an 18-hour Environmental Science Minor designed for students who have an interest in environmental issues and sustainability as well as Minors in Wildlife Conservation and Wetlands Planning and Management.