Environmental Education & Leadership

Environmental Education & Leadership
Bachelor of Science

Division of Mathematics, Science, & Technology

The B.S. in Environmental Education and Leadership is an interdisciplinary degree program within the Biology and Outdoor Studies departments at YHC. This unique degree program educates students in the aspects of environmental education through a strong foundation in the liberal arts, that encourages inquiry, investigation, and the development of skills that enable responsible decisions and actions that impact the environment. Knowledgeable faculty help students to analyze the natural science components of environmental issues while also exploring facilitation and experiential teaching skills and techniques. Students receive training in field methods related to the environmental sciences, learn to work collaboratively with others, and develop technical competencies in both outdoor and environmental education.

The major has three core areas – leadership, environmental studies, and advance sciences. Because of the interdisciplinary design of the major, students have opportunities to participate in ongoing initiatives within the Biology and Outdoor Studies departments, such as the Hemlock Project, the YHC Beekeeping Institute, and the Appalachian Teaching Project, as well as engage with collaborative partners, such as the U.S. Forest Service, MountainTrue, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Mountain High Hikers Trail Club, and the Georgia Appalachian Trail Conservancy.

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What classes will you take?

  • A diverse set of classes in the liberal arts core
  • Science-focused courses at an introductory level including Introductory Biology I and II, Introduction to Environmental Science, and Introduction to Environmental Studies, and Statistics
  • Outdoor Studies-focused courses such as Group Development I, Introduction to Outdoor Education, and Environmental Stewardship and Interpretation.
  • The environmental education and leadership major offers a broad range of courses.  Examples of major classes in Environmental Education and Leadership include:
    • ENST 1102 Environmental Studies: This course surveys the social causes of human impacts on the natural and built environments, both locally and around the world. In addition, this course assesses social and public policy tools for solving environmental problems.
    • ODRS 3230 Environmental Stewardship & Interpretation: Exploration of the philosophical foundations of environmental stewardship and interpretation, as well as practical approaches for their application in outdoor contexts. Students will examine and develop ethical bases for land use and preservation, integrating environmental stewardship and interpretation into a personal and professional ethic. This course involves field based practice and learning.
    • ODRS 3220 Leadership in Wilderness Contexts: This course focuses on leadership and group dynamics pertinent to wilderness settings and outdoor programs. Experiences ground application of theoretical foundations in small group dynamics, communication, problem solving, decision-making, group roles, expeditionary management, leadership roles and styles. This course involves field-based practice and learning.
    • BIOL 3201 Conservation Biology:  Conversation biology is an interdisciplinary field that incorporates sciences (e.g., genetics, ecology, wildlife management) with the human dimension (e,g., politics, economics, ethics) with the goal of conserving biodiversity. This course explores both theoretical and applied aspects of conversation on the local, national, and international scales.

What can you do with a degree in environmental education and leadership?

Because of its diverse nature, the environmental education and leadership major prepares students to branch into numerous career paths related to environmental and outdoor studies. This can include a career as an interpretative educator at state or national parks, a program coordinator for non-profit groups focused on conservation, or as a leader and facilitator within the outdoor recreation economy promoting ethical, sustainable, and innovative experiences and opportunities. It also prepares students for advanced study in graduate programs in outdoor and environmental education, conservation biology, and environmental justice and sustainability. Questions about the Environmental Education and Leadership major can be directed to Dr. Johnathan G. Davis, Biology Department Chair at jgdavis@yhc.edu or Dr. Joseph Pate, Outdoor Studies Department Chair at japate@yhc.edu.