Talking environment majors

Philadelphia University’s Environmental and Conservation Biology major places equally strong emphasis on the sciences — especially biology and chemistry — and written or spoken communications skills.

“Our students do research, shadow professionals, intern and study abroad,” says Anne Bower, associate professor and director of the program, “then integrate these experiences into their classes.”

The program’s emphasis on active learning starts freshman year. “We want to help students figure out what to do with their passion for the environment, to explore what it means in terms of their interests and skills,” Bower says.

Students fulfill internships at the Philadelphia Zoo, the Academy of Natural Sciences, the Schuylkill Center and other local placements. They also do community outreach doing educational programs, tutoring high school students and getting involved in the Philadelphia Science Festival.

“It’s not just local, though,” Bower emphasizes. Some students spend a semester or a summer studying abroad. Others go for ten-day trips that involve research opportunities in Costa Rica and elsewhere.

Follow Judy Weightman on Twitter at @JudyWEdu.

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