Environmental issues are among the most urgent facing our society. These issues have broad implications for economics, politics, business, and social welfare. Our ability to affect the environment causes changes in the quality of life of people around the world and threatens the existence of many species.
The environmental studies degree is a liberal arts program that provides you with a broad background in science, math, social sciences, and the humanities. You will develop the ability to understand concepts related to the environment and our effect on it, and to solve practical problems and find better ways of meeting complex environmental issues. The environmental studies degree is designed to prepare you for transfer to a related bachelor’s degree program.
Field work is an integral part of this program. You may choose between studying at local or off-campus sites. Locally, the Tompkins Cortland Community College campus is situated in a geologically interesting mixed hardwood ecosystem. Within a short driving distance, you can study lakes, bogs, streams, and a variety of terrestrial systems. You may participate in the ongoing development of the nature study area on campus, visit important environmental areas maintained by Cornell University, or take advantage of courses offered in Costa Rica and the Adirondacks.
Careers on Career Coach
A degree in environmental studies prepares you for careers in environmental law, resource management, teaching, conservation, park management, environmental risk assessment, hazardous materials management, and for work as an environmental specialist, consultant, or policy analyst with government agencies and other organizations. Learn more about related jobs:
Kelly Wessell, Ph.D.
Kelly received his Ph.D. in aquatic entomology from Michigan State University. His research interests include bioassassment of large river ecosystems and non-point source pollution of streams, but his passion is teaching. Kelly is the Environmental Studies Chairperson and regularly teaches ecology, evolution, and biodiversity courses for science majors and non-majors.
The Environmental studies degree provides a foundation for transfer to a bachelor's degree program through general education, science, and environmental studies courses. Students may transfer to related bachelor's degree programs at many four-year institutions including:
- Binghamton University
- Cornell University
- SUNY College at Cortland
- SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
- Ithaca College
- University of Delaware
- University of New England
Grad of Note - Ariadne Vazenious
Why did you choose to attend Tompkins Cortland?
I chose to attend TC3 because it seemed like a friendly and local campus that would support me in gaining a better sense of direction, as well as an understanding of what I wanted to go toward in the future thereafter.
Who at TC3 had the greatest positive impact on your experience?
I think having passionate professors who genuinely enjoyed what they did made my experience positive. Notably Kelly Wessell, who always put special thought into his class curriculum(s) and made them unique and interesting.
What were your extracurricular involvements and how did they contribute to your college experience/future aspirations?
To better my understanding within the subjects I undertook, I always made sure to visit the Baker Center for extra help and study support. This ensured I could improve my assignment quality. Along with this, I participated in the Colombia Study Abroad Program, which gave me more hands-on field experience, and diverse academic training, and also strengthened my person qualities. Though, most importantly, I gained a memory I am not soon to forget.
What are your next steps after graduation (employment, transfer, etc.), and how did the College prepare you for that?
After graduating TC3, I plan to transfer elsewhere (TBD) and continue my degree in a field of environmental studies. Thanks to TC3, I have a better idea of what to expect from my future academics.