Master of Science in Environmental Health & Engineering
Environmental studies are diverse and dynamic, focusing on challenges in research as well as site-specific problem solving. The Department of Environmental Science & Engineering draws upon the resources of the departments of Chemistry, Biology, and the School of Business to contribute to this program, making Gannon Unversity, a regional leader in their Environmental Sciences. Students interested in technical expertise choose one of two areas of concentration, depending on their area of preparation and interest: Environmental Science and Engineering or Industrial Hygiene (Occupational Health and Safety). In all cases, students benefit from Gannon's location in the city of Erie on the shores of Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie, with access to the Environaut, Gannon's research vessel, and utilizing the University's relationship with various local industries and evironmental agencies. Through this program, Gannon University has become the center of envrionmental research, exploration, education, and protection in the region.
Students are expected to have a Bachelor's degree in science or engineering from an accredited college or university, with courses in math (calculus preferred), biology (preferably including ecology and microbiology). chemistry, physics, and earth sciences. A course in statistics is required (if no course in statistics, it can be taken at Gannon). If the applicant's undergraduate grade point average is less than 3.0 (4 point scale), the Graduate Record Exam is required as a part of the application package.
- To encourage the development of decision-making skills in students and to promote the identification of both problems and potential solutions
- To teach new and current concepts in the science and technology of environmental protection, remediation, modeling, and natural resource conservation
- To train students to use scientific research methods to define problems, gather relevant information, and analyze research results
- To teach state-of-the-art computer applications that assist in managing information and solving problems in the area of environmental science
The application of environmental science is felt in essentially every walk of life today, including agriculture, manufacturing, mining, water and wastewater treatment, land reclamation, and recreation. Opportunities for employment include not only government and non-profit agencies, but private corporations needing professionals to manage their in-house programs.
Areas of Concentration
1. Concentration in Environmental Science and Engineering: For those who would like to gain greater competence and understanding in the areas of water quality, water/wastewater treatment, air pollution control, water quality modeling, and/or waste-mangement.
2. Concentration in Industrial Hygiene: This concentration prepares students in occupational health and safety and environmental issues in the workplace, particularly in a manufacturing setting. For full-time students, an internship and a literature-based research paper is required rather than a thesis program. The student and advisor will determine exactly if and how an intership, especially for part-time students who work full-time, will be incorporated into the individual student's program.
Option in Environmental Management: The role of the environmental manager has evolved rapidly over the past thirty years, since the enactment of sweeping environmental legislation of the early 1970s. The creation of the US EPA, and the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), better known as "Superfund," and the Toxic Substance Control Act, to name just a few, have created a highly regulated structure in which every business must operate. Each commericial entity must have a sophisticated understanding of its legal, moral, and ethical obligations to bring products and services to the market with minimal environmental harm. While this responsibility was initially viewed simply as a burden and additional cost of operation, it has more recently been realized that pollution prevention along with resource recovery and/or recycling contribute to a higher quality, higher productivity, and reduce costs of operation. Thus, proper environmental stewardship can lead to greater competitiveness and profitability. The need for individuals who understand business and mangement principles, and who also have a thorough understanding of environmental science and technology has thus grown. These individuals are in short supply, and thus command high salaries.