Environmental Management and Sustainability (BA)

On Campus; Faculty
Learn more
Paul Barresi

Download a summary of Environmental Management and Sustainability (BA)

EnvironmentalManagementBA

Go Green - Be Sustainable

In today’s world, it’s essential to go green, which means living and working sustainably. Public opinion, political pressure, emerging business opportunities, and ecological realities have created sustainability-focused career options in nearly every major job sector. The B.A. in Environmental Management and Sustainability at SNHU provides students with the knowledge, skills, and practical experience needed to succeed in these careers, and to transform how we do business, build communities, make and implement laws and policies, and live our daily lives throughout the 21st century and beyond. Our program blends insights from environmental science, the environmental social sciences, and other sustainability-focused fields into a uniquely practical learning experience that is more than merely interdisciplinary. Its many one-of-a-kind features are designed to meet the demand for sustainability-focused professionals in businesses, consulting firms, government agencies, public interest groups, and many other professional settings.

What Environmental Managers Do

Environmental managers are creative thinkers who welcome new challenges and like to solve problems. As sustainability-focused professionals, they

  • devise greenhouse gas reduction, energy conservation, and sustainable supply chain management strategies;
  • manage pollution prevention, environmental restoration, and environmental health and safety initiatives;
  • supervise environmental compliance, cleanup, and monitoring operations;
  • oversee related scientific studies; and more.

Their knowledge and skills also transfer easily to related sustainability-focused fields, such as environmental law- and policy-making and implementation; environmental public interest advocacy; and local community planning and development.

Personalizing Your Program

The sustainability job market is expanding rapidly and in many directions all at once. Students in our program work closely with their faculty advisors to design a course of study tailored to their personal career goals. Depending on those goals, students who seek an edge in the sustainability job market right away - or in pursuing a graduate degree before seeking a job at a more senior level - may combine the Environmental Management and Sustainability major with a minor in a complementary field such as business, international business, communication, organizational leadership, operations and supply chain management, project management, political science, or sociology, or with a Pre-Law Certificate.

Program Highlights

Students acquire the knowledge, skills, and practical experience needed to meet the demand for sustainability-focused professionals in a broad array of private-sector, public-sector, and nonprofit-sector fields.

  • Students gain hands-on, problem-solving experience in semester-long, sustainability internships with partner organizations near SNHU's main campus; in internships and other field experiences in SNHU's Semester in Washington, D.C.; or in computer-assisted and other role-playing simulation games in courses on campus. 
  • Students study on the first carbon-neutral college campus in New Hampshire at a university that is one of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's top national Green Power Challenge partners.
  • Students have the opportunity to participate in campus-wide initiatives led by SNHU's Office of Sustainability, or to become even more involved in sustainability on campus and beyond by joining SNHU's student environmental club.

Our Faculty

Our faculty includes distinguished teachers, scholars, and practitioners with many years of experience working in and with some of the most prominent private firms, public institutions, and nonprofit organizations worldwide. For example, Dr. Paul Barresi, an environmental lawyer and political scientist who also has a background in science-based natural resource management, has helped to advise Fortune 500 companies in complex environmental compliance matters at one of the biggest law firms in the United States. Dr. Michele Goldsmith, a behavioral ecologist, studies the impact of ecotourism on mountain gorillas in Uganda with the help of SNHU student research assistants and National Geographic Society grants. Adjunct professor Tim Brecheen, an environmental manager and civil engineer, remains active in the latest phase of a long and distinguished career managing pollution prevention, environmental restoration, and energy conservation projects; environmental compliance, cleanup, and monitoring operations; and related scientific studies throughout the United States, while also teaching at SNHU. More than one of the professors in our program has been nominated for an SNHU Excellence in Teaching Award.

Required Core Courses

General Education Program

School of Arts and Sciences Required Courses

POL-210: American Politics
This course offers a broad introduction to the structure and function of the American political system at the national level, including the roles played by the president, Congress, the courts, the bureaucracy, political parties, interest groups and the mass media in the policy- making and electoral processes. This course places special emphasis on how the efforts of the framers of the Constitution to solve what they saw as the political problems of their day continue to shape American national politics in ours.
PSY-108: Introduction to Psychology
This course provides students an introduction to the scientific study of behavior and mental processes. Students prepare for more advanced concepts in upper-level Psychology courses by learning the basics of how to evaluate research and exploring various areas of specialization within the discipline. Offered every semester.
SOC-112: Introduction to Sociology
Is one's identity individually or socially constructed? Are all stereotypes invalid or can there be value in generalizations? Is globalization widening the gaps or homogenizing the world? In this course, students will grapple with these essential questions in examining the world through the lens of a sociologist. Sociology offers an empirically-based methodology for critically evaluating society-from issues of individual agency to the roots of global institutions. Culture, norm stratification, systems, structure, social institutions, social change, the organization of social behavior and its relationship to society and social conditions are emphasized. Students will challenge their own preconceived notions and evaluate these constructs in terms of their relevancy to contemporary issues and problems.

Environmental Management and Sustainability Major Courses

ENV-100: Introduction to Sustainability
How sustainable are modern human lifestyles? What would the world be like if they were more sustainable? How could we create such a world through the choices that we make as citizens, professionals, and consumers? Students leave traditional academic disciplines behind as they seek answers to these questions in this more than merely interdisciplinary course. By exploring how human systems and environmental systems interact in the context of everyday human activities, students learn how they can make choices that support both stewardship of the natural environment and long-term improvement in the quality of life for human individuals and communities.
ENV-101: Environmental Science
This course provides an introduction to the scientific aspects of the environmental field. The first part of the course introduces students to the foundations of environmental science, while the second part concentrates on the application of these foundations to real life environmental problems. Therefore, the course not only engages the fundamentals of environmental science but also shows students how science informs sustainability, environmental policies, economics and personal choice.
ENV-445: Sustainability Capstone Experience
This course offers students an opportunity to build upon the themes of ENV 100 in contexts of relevance to their career goals using the insights into human systems and environmental systems acquired throughout their courses of study at SNHU. Students may fulfill the requirements of this course wholly on-campus in a traditional classroom setting or partly off-campus in an internship-like experience.
Prerequisites:
ENV 100, either ENV 101 or SCI 219, and two 300 level courses in any field
GEO-200: World Geography
This course examines the implications of global location and topography for the people of planet Earth. Students will explore how geography shapes the dynamics of human societies, with an emphasis on the geoenvironmental, geopolitical, and geosocial phenomena that help to define the modern world. Global marker.
MAT-240: Applied Statistics
This is a fundamental course in the application of statistics. In this course, students will learn to apply statistical techniques to a variety of applications in business and the social sciences. Students will learn how to solve statistical problems by hand and through the use of computer software. Topics include probability distribution functions, sampling distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing and linear regression.
PHL-363: Environmental Ethics
This course analyzes the application of ethical theory to moral questions about the environment. A number of different traditions in environmental ethics will be discussed and their strengths and weaknesses evaluated by applying them to practical moral problems.
SOC-318: Sustainable Communities
How do we build a society fit for living? This course looks to the field of environmentally sustainable community development (ESCD) for answers to this question. Students explore the principles and practices of ESCD using pattern-mapping of community needs, site visits, and other experiential learning tools that turn communities into classrooms, and bring the challenge of building environmentally sustainable communities to life. In the process, students identify assumptions that lead to unsustainable social practices, and develop the skills necessary to help create livable local landscapes and sustainable local futures through individual and community action.
Prerequisites:
ENV-219 or SCI-219 or SOC-112

Select one of the following:

BIO-315: Ecological Principles and Field Methods
This course introduces students to the principles of ecology and practical methods used in the field. Students will explore theoretical topics in the ecological systems including the level of the population, community and ecosystem; energy flow and biogeochemical cycles; and the concept of sustainability. Students will read literature and conduct research projects in the field and will use critical thinking to evaluate research, design studies, present findings and debate on the issues.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101, ENV-219 or SCI-219
BIO-340: Human Health and the Environment
This course examines major environmental health problems in industrialized and developing countries, and evaluates possible future approaches to control of these issues. Topics include dose and response to pollutants, agents and vectors of contamination (air, water, and soil), susceptible populations and risk analysis, the scientific basis of policy and decisions, and emerging global health problems.
Prerequisites:
BIO-101 and ENV-101

Select one of the following:

ENV-325: Industrial Ecology
How can industrialized societies, industrial economic sectors, and industrial firms maintain and enhance productivity without exceeding the capacity of the natural environment to serve as a source of raw materials and to absorb wastes? This interdisciplinary course looks to the field of industrial ecology for answers to these questions. Industrial ecology aims to minimize the environmental costs of industrial activities by applying lessons learned from ecosystems, in which all wastes are consumed as raw materials by other parts of the system. At scales ranging from whole societies to individual firms, students in this course learn how to stretch resources, manage risks, protect human health, and pursue environmental sustainability through strategies for preventing, reducing, reusing, and recycling the wastes that otherwise would be released to the environment as pollution.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101 or SCI-219
SCI-333: Waste: Sources, Reduction, & Remediation
Waste is a major issue in nearly all aspects of society and understanding it is essential when considering the environment and sustainability. This class will focus on how waste is produced, how to reduce this pollution and how to clean it up once it is released. In addition to the physical science, we will examine the impact of waste on the economy, society and public health.
Prerequisites:
SCI-211 or SCI-212 or SCI-213 or SCI-219

Select one of the following:

ENV-319: US Environmental Law and Politics
How can businesses, governments, and public interest groups achieve environmental sustainability goals in legal and political contexts that were designed with other goals in mind? This interdisciplinary course explores the options in the United States, and provides a comprehensive point of comparison for topics explored in ENV-329 and ENV-349. Students spend about half of the course learning how to spot facts that give rise to compliance issues for businesses and other private parties under a full spectrum of federal environmental laws, and to identify opportunities for achieving broader sustainability goals within the constraints imposed by the law. In the other half, students learn both how to predict environmental law and policy outcomes and how to shape them adaptively in pursuit of sustainability goals in a fragmented system of governance that was designed to privilege special interests and to favor the status quo.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101 or SCI-219 and POL-210 or at least junior standing
ENV-329: International Environmental Law and Negotiation
How can we resolve environmental disagreements without picking winners and losers or merely agreeing to disagree? This interdisciplinary course explores the most effective strategy for doing so in negotiating agreements of all kinds, using the multi-country agreements that are at the center of international environmental law as illustrative examples. Students spend most of the course building win-win negotiation skills in a series of increasingly complex computer-assisted and other role-playing simulation games. First, they explore some of the factors that give rise to international environmental dilemmas by assuming the roles of users of an international common pool resource that is not the subject of a negotiated management agreement. Then they assume the roles of member-states of the International Whaling Commission to negotiate the fate of a controversial proposal to end the international ban on commercial whaling. Finally, with the help of C-ROADS, an award-winning computer simulation used by governments, corporations, and nongovernmental organizations worldwide to model the long-term climate impacts of alternative greenhouse gas emission policy scenarios, and World Climate, a companion role-playing game, students assume the roles of state-parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to develop and to negotiate the fate of their own proposals for resolving the many environmental and development dilemmas associated with the climatic disruption being caused by human greenhouse gas emissions.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101 or SCI-219 and either POL-211 or at least junior standing
ENV-349: Comparative Environmental Law and Sustainable Development
How effective is environmental law as a strategy for achieving sustainable development? How does its diversity across countries and cultures constrain the ability of businesses, governments, and civil society organizations to achieve environmental sustainability goals in an increasingly globalized world? This interdisciplinary course examines the many legal, political, cultural, and other factors that shape the answer to these questions, using China, India, Russia, the European Union, and the United States as illustrative examples. Students explore the implications of these factors not only for businesses, governments, and civil society organizations pursuing sustainability goals within their own countries, but also for their counterparts in other countries to whom the former are linked through bilateral trade relationships and global supply chains.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101 or SCI-219 and POL-210 or at least junior standing

Select one of the following:

ENV-250: Environmental Research Methods
This course provides students with an understanding of how to evaluate, conduct, write and design research. Required for environmental science majors, it introduces the why, when and how quantitative and qualitative methods are used as investigative tools. The course follows the scientific method and focuses on how to search the literature, write a literature review, formulate research questions/hypotheses, and design experiments to test these hypotheses. We will also explore qualitative methods and discuss their use in the field with special attention to conducting interviews, case studies, and focus groups. Students will prepare a research proposal on a topic of interest. Formulation of this project begins early, forms the basis for a final project, and is presented in a mock scientific conference.
SCS-224: Social Science Research Methods
This course offers a broad introduction to research methods in the social sciences, including surveys, case studies, experiments, and quasi-experiments. Students learn to spot design flaws in research intended to generate scientifically sound conclusions about social phenomena, and to evaluate critically the interpretations of social science research results by third-party observers, such as reporters. Students also learn how to draft a research proposal that would satisfy the requirements of peer review within the community of professional social scientists.
Prerequisites:
MAT-240

Select Nine (9) Credits from the Following:

BIO-330: Conservation Biology
This course will focus on the importance of biodiversity. Currently, we are experiencing an unprecedented loss in species; losing, on average, two species a day. Unlike past mass extinctions humans are largely responsible. Following the Society of Conservation Biology's guidelines for conservation literacy, this course will investigate how we can apply biological principals to reverse trends in species loss. We will focus on case studies to develop our understanding of what maintains, reduces, and restores biodiversity. The course will be organized into three sections 1) history and value of conservation biology, 2) threats to biodiversity, and 3) approaches to solving conservation problems.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101, SCI-219, or SCI-220 or permission of instructor
ENV-305: Global Climate Change
This interdisciplinary course brings students up to date on what is known and not known about the causes and consequences of global climate change, and about viable response options. Topics include analysis of climate drivers such as greenhouse gas emissions, and land-use changes, and investigation of some climate system responses such as increased storm intensity and increased surface temperature. Students also explore some of the societal and economic impacts of global climate change. By reference to the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, paleoclimate studies, and other authoritative sources, students learn how to separate fact from fiction in the often publicized debate about the dynamics of global climate change and about how we should respond to it.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101 or SCI-219
ENV-322: Environment and Development
How can businesses, governments, and civil society organizations work together to build environmentally sustainable economies and livable local communities in an increasingly crowded and globalized world? Students in this interdisciplinary course use insights drawn from the social sciences to identify assumptions about human nature and nurture that lead to environmentally unsustainable economic and development practices, then apply those insights to the practical problems of building robust national economies and healthy local communities worldwide, with an emphasis on less developed countries. Students spend part of the course playing and critiquing their own performance in Stratagem, a computer-assisted simulation game, in which they assume the roles of government ministers in a less developed country and try to chart a course of environmentally sustainable development for that country over more than half a century.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101 or SCI-219
ENV-372: Sustainability Strategies for Business
This course introduces students to sustainability practices in business settings. After learning the fundamentals of earth system science and ecological economics, students will explore topics such as carbon management, ecosystem services, natural resource sustainability, and energy use options. Students will analyze regional, national, and international case studies that highlight sustainability practices in business settings to determine what works and what does not. Students will also read, write about, and discuss articles on sustainability in business.
Prerequisites:
ENV-101 or SCI-219
ENV-404: Environmental Sustainability Field Experience I
This course offers students an opportunity to undertake an experiential learning project that contributes to the environmental sustainability of human societies. Students work with a supervising faculty member to design a field experience appropriate to their educational and career goals.
Prerequisites:
ENV-319, ENV-329 or ENV-349
ENV-405: Environmental Sustainability Field Experience II
This course offers students the opportunity to undertake an experiential learning project that contributes to the environmental sustainability of human societies. Students work with a supervising faculty member to design a field experience appropriate to their educational and career goals.
Prerequisites:
ENV-319, ENV-329 or ENV-349
ENV-410A: Semester in Washington, D.C.: Environmental Policy Field Experience
This course is the vehicle through which students receive ENV course credit for participation in all but the seminar component of SNHU's Semester in Washington, D.C. The program promotes experiential learning through civic engagement and other activities. The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, which hosts the program, provides students with housing and places them in internships appropriate to their interests. Space in the program is limited, so students must notify the SNHU environmental management program coordinator of their intention to enroll a year in advance of SNHU course registration for the relevant semester. For more information about the program, see the Washington Center's web site (www.twc.edu) and the SNHU environmental management program coordinator. This course is taken concurrently with ENV 410B.
Prerequisites:
ENV-319, 329 or 349 and junior standing with permission of SNHU environmental management program coordinator
ENV-410B: Seminar in Washington, D.C.: Environmental Studies Seminar
This course is the vehicle through which students receive ENV course credit for the seminar component of SNHU's Semester in Washington, D.C. The Semester in Washington is hosted by the Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. Space in the program is limited, so students must notify the SNHU environmental management program coordinator of their intention to enroll a year in advance of SNHU course registration for the relevant semester. For more information about the program, see the Washington Center's web site (www.twc.edu) and the SNHU environmental management program coordinator. This course is taken concurrently with ENV 410A.
Prerequisites:
ENV-319, 329 or 349 and junior standing with permission of SNHU environmental management program coordinator

Any other 200-level or 300-level course listed as an option in the major but not used to satisfy another major requirement

GEO-200, MAT-240, and PHL-363 are taken as part of the General Education Program. Students who spend a semester in Washington, D.C., count nine of the fifteen credits awarded for ENV-410A and ENV-410B combined toward the requirements of the major, and the rest as free electives. 

University Accreditation

SNHU is a fully accredited university. Access our list of accreditations. More...