Why Pursue a Degree in Earth and Environmental Science in Central Asia?

This article is part of the series “Choosing a University” which explores the questions and opportunities students encounter when applying to university. This series is produced by the University of Central Asia, now accepting applications for its inaugural cohort of students in September 2016. The application deadline is 18 March 2016.
How would you like to pursue a degree in Environmental Science from a campus set in the picturesque mountain landscape of Central Asia? The University of Central Asia’s campuses are purposefully set in these mountain regions to offer students the chance to engage with unique ecological, social and cultural learning landscapes.  We firmly believe that Central Asia’s future economic and ecological wellbeing lies in creating a highly skilled set of environmental professionals with exposure to mountain communities. 
Much of Central Asia’s wealth lies in its natural resources, and understanding and managing these resources is critical to the region’s development. The region is home to vast grasslands and unique forestry resources, and is rich in mineral stores including gold, oil and natural gas. Its mountain glaciers, rivers and lakes also serve as critical water sources for the entire region. 
Diverse habitats, ranging from mountains and steppes to deserts, forests and inland seas, are home to over 25,000 animal and plant species. These are largely untapped paradises for mountain tourism and ecotourism, and the diverse communities who inhabit them are the bearers of rich traditions and knowledge.  
But while the mountains of Central Asia are the region’s greatest asset, they also present the most significant challenge. They are particularly vulnerable to natural disasters and climate change, and water sources are exposed to both political and ecological threats. Mining and agriculture are important, but often mismanaged, sources of livelihood; tourism remains underdeveloped. 
UCA’s interdisciplinary Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES) programme is designed to prepare graduates to address complex regional and global problems such as climate change, poverty, environmental degradation, and regional insecurity, including ethnic tensions and disputes over resources. Students will leave the programme able to interpret environmental and geological data; use modern environmental technologies to monitor air and water quality; apply remote sensing and modelling techniques; and integrate scientific knowledge and economic and social realities in order to address environmental challenges.
A degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences is a smart choice for any university student who is both passionate about environmental and livelihood issues and eager to find a promising career upon graduation. Designed in partnership with top schools in the US and Canada, graduates of this programme will gain the core skills, experience and qualifications required by corporations working in areas such as renewable energy, mining, and fossil fuels.  Graduates will also find jobs with academic and public sector agencies working on environmental policy, risk assessment, natural disaster prevention, and water resource management.  
UCA’s Earth and Environmental Sciences curriculum also provides students research opportunities in specialised areas of interest.  Students will have access to the University’s Mountain Societies Research Institute (MSRI) and its broad range of resources, including an international network of researchers, and its geographic information systems (GIS) laboratory. 
There is no better environment to understand the challenges, assets and opportunities of Central Asia’s environment than a residential, mountain-based university. Apply to UCA and begin your education in a learning landscape unlike any other.
To learn more about how UCA’s Earth and Environmental Science degree can work for you, visit: www.ucentralasia.org/admissions, email us at admissions@ucentralasia.org, or call: +996 770 822 901 (Kyrgyz Republic) +992 93 999 99 64 (Tajikistan)  +7 777 822 3948 (Kazakhstan).
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