Environmental Sciences Beyond the Classroom…into the Field
“We are studying how the use of biomass fuels may affect forest quality and wildlife habitat.” –Dr. Todd Fredericksen
The focus of the Environmental Sciences program, and what has been successful at Ferrum, is the practice of getting students out of the classroom,” says Dr. David Johnson, Coordinator of the Center for Sustainable Development and longtime professor of chemistry and environmental science. “We test theories in real life and our students use the experiential learning opportunities we provide as the foundation for a successful career,” continues Johnson. Whether talking to Johnson or one of the many prominent Environmental Sciences professors at Ferrum College, everyone points back to this as the cornerstone of the College philosophy. The creation of the Center for Sustainable Development, research projects in agriculture, water quality, forestry management and energy efficiency combined with professors who are willing to engage students and make professional connections while building these skills form an impressive array of opportunities for any student currently involved in the program or one who is interested in becoming involved. Says Dr. Glen Stevens, Assistant Professor of Biology and Environmental Science, “Students considering Ferrum College should know that this place is far more than just classroom learning. We involve students and they complete more than simple lab exercises.” This is echoed throughout the program and the campus as a whole and is what often sets Ferrum students apart from other college graduates in similar programs. “Even our students who do not participate in a research project must complete an internship—you just cannot get away from working outside a lab and classroom at Ferrum,” says Dr. Todd Fredericksen, Associate Professor of Forestry and Wildlife.