Penn State University - Environmental Resource Management Program
201 Old Main
University Park, PA 16802
Environmental Resource Management (E R M) is an interdisciplinary, science-based major designed to prepare students to understand and critically analyze environmental problems ranging from local to global in scale, identify solutions, and communicate ideas related to environmental and natural resource issues. The E R M major also focuses on human interactions with the environment by emphasizing the management of environmental resources. The E R M curriculum begins with foundation course work in the biological, physical and social sciences. Later courses apply these principles to the management and sustainability of the environment, and include environmental problem-solving, ecosystem management and environmental law. The third tier, offered through three options, affords considerable flexibility and the opportunity to specialize.
The major prepares students for employment in a variety of environmental positions, including environmental consulting, public agencies, and nonprofit organizations. Students are also prepared for graduate school or law school upon graduation. Realizing the wide range of career possibilities requiring diverse types of academic preparation, three options of study are available: the Environmental Science Option, the Soil Science Option and the Water Science Option.
In the Environmental Science Option, students select a minor or choose a group of courses (totaling at least 18 credits) that focus on a particular aspect of the environment. Examples include watersheds and water resources, climate change impacts, geographic information systems, energy and air pollution, sustainability leadership, ecology, environmental engineering, wildlife and fisheries science, and others. Courses and minors from across the University can be selected to develop a student's area of specialization in the Environmental Sciences Option.
In the Soil Science Option, students take courses in soil composition and properties, conservation, nutrient management, soil ecology, GIS and mapping. This option also allows the student to choose courses that support their strengths and interests. The option prepares students for positions with private, public, and non-profit firms that evaluate soils for various uses, delineate wetlands, perform environmental assessments, and identify and remediate contaminated soils.
In the Water Science Option, students take courses in hydrologic measurements, wetland conservation, stream restoration, stream and lake ecology, watershed management, and land use practices to control runoff and erosion. The option also prepares students for positions with private, public, and non-profit firms that evaluate water quality and quantity issues, delineate wetlands, perform environmental and hydrological assessments, and identify and remediate contaminated aquatic resources.
For the B.S. degree in Environmental Resource Management, a minimum of 121 credits is required.