Bachelor of Science, Earth and Environmental Sciences
The Earth and Environmental Sciences major at UCA provides a broad scientifically focused curriculum grounded in relevant social and cultural issues important in mountain regions of Central Asia and beyond. It provides a rigorous foundation in the Earth and Environmental Sciences, while enabling students to have some flexibility to choose courses and undertake research in specialized areas of interest. The transdisciplinary curriculum covers geosciences, environmental sciences, and related social sciences. At its foundation are core courses in natural sciences together with requisite courses in the humanities and social sciences.
The strength of the programme lies in its breadth and cross-disciplinary nature with specific areas of study in hydrology, geodynamics, ecology, and environmental policy and abundant opportunities for field trips in the proximate mountains. An overarching theme of the EES Programme is understanding the environmental and earth science processes that shape mountain settings, as well as how these interact with mountain communities and livelihoods. Some of the practical topics covered include sustainable management of natural resources; natural hazard mitigation; sustainable mining practices; food security; climate change adaptation; water resources; sustainable energy alternatives; and agrobiodiversity. With an emphasis on developing problem solving skills, practical challenges are addressed through sound science, not opinions or popularly held notions. Students receive practical training outside of the classroom in laboratory exercises, summer internships, and in a senior project, which prepares them for career opportunities or graduate study in earth and environmental science fields.
Meet Earth & Environmental Sciences Faculty
- Explain physical and chemical processes that have shaped the earth and in particular mountainous regions, over time.
- Interpret a broad spectrum of environmental and geological data to develop hypotheses, formulate applied research, and propose solutions.
- Interpret geological and environmental data as well as local/indigenous knowledge to examine the state of the earth and trends related to geodynamics, pollution, climate change and other environmental hazards.
- Apply environmental technologies as they relate to using Earth resources, water quality; air pollution control; and alternative energy based on social, economic, and environmental factors.
- Analyze environmental management problems and evaluate the effectiveness of applicable governance models as well as global environmental governance, in providing solutions to the problems.
- Explore a range of indigenous ways of knowing and “western” scientific knowledge systems to investigate the contributions of diverse knowledge systems towards understanding and managing human-environment relations in the context of socio-cultural and ecological change.
- Communicate scientific concepts to various audiences, especially communities in isolated mountainous areas to make them familiar with environmental issues.
Graduate Studies and Careers
Students completing a UCA undergraduate degree in Earth and Environmental Sciences should be competitive for entry into international graduate studies programmes in the areas of Earth and Environmental Sciences. They should be able to teach in local schools, find jobs in NGOs and government agencies, or work in the private sector in areas including water technologies, renewable energy, mining, industrial pollution, and climate change impacts.