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Environmental Science and Policy

Overview of the Program

Environmental science and policy at Hood is a hands-on interdisciplinary program that incorporates environmental biology, chemistry, economics and policy. The program prepares students for careers and graduate programs related to ecology and environmental issues, either as scientists or as policy- makers.

Students have excellent access to hotspots for environmental issues, as well as to faculty who know about and are involved in these topics. Hood's close proximity to Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and natural areas in Maryland enable students to take advantage of internships, work experiences and par- ticipation in the policy-making process.

Hands-on Learning Opportunities

The environmental science and policy major at Hood College offers hands-on learning opportunities through field-based programs. Most of the courses include laboratory explorations in which students experience environmental science first-hand. A number of travel-based electives in the program are offered, including:

  • Tropical Marine Ecology, a field-based course that features a 10-day field experience in the Bahamas.
  • The South Florida watershed, a travel-study course that explores terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems of South Florida.
  • Amphibian Ecology, a course that travels through Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia and North Carolina.
  • Tropical Biodiversity, offered in the rainforests of Nicaragua.

All students in the environmental science and policy major participate in the capstone experience, ENSP 470 Seminar: Environmental Impact Analysis. As a group, seniors complete an environmental assessment of a local project. The class prepares a written report of their findings and presents the report orally to stakeholders and the general public. In this course students learn about environmental science and policy by doing environmental science and policy.

Past projects in ENSP 470 include:

  • A baseline (pre-restoration) assessment of a stream that will under- go ecological restoration;
  • Site analysis for a regional park in Frederick County;
  • An environmental and biodiversity assessment of the Frederick Riparian Corridor;
  • The design of a stream monitoring program for the Monocacy River watershed; and
  • A post-construction assessment of a stream and wetland restoration project.

Coastal Studies Semester

Hood also offers the Coastal Studies Semester, a 16-week travel-based experiential learning program that provides a solid academic framework for the study of environmental science. Students explore the science, technology, history and culture of coastal ecosystems during a semester- long trip around the Chesapeake Bay.

The curriculum emphasizes hands-on environmental field studies, community-based research and interaction with experts in the field. Students earn 16 academic credits during the semester, and the science courses in this program can count as electives in the environmental sci- ence and policy major. Visit www.hood.edu/coastal for more details.

Learn more about the major.