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Environmental science will join Hesston College’s list of more than 50 programs of study for transfer beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.

Environmental science programs have seen an upswing nationwide over the last few years due to increased interest in sustainability and green initiatives. Career opportunities are growing quickly in areas such as biology, public health, public policy, conservation and international relations.

“This field of study has grown out of developments in the world and changes in understanding how humans affect the environment,” said faculty member Marelby Mosquera.

The Environmental Science Occupational Outlook Handbook released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics each year, projects job growth for environmental science careers at 15 percent over the next eight years – a faster than average growth rate compared to other careers.

Hesston’s program will be designed to meet requirements for the first two years of a four-year degree within the field and more specific areas of study. Courses are designed to provide students with a foundation in population, whole organism, environmental science, chemistry and mathematics.

Students will have opportunities to incorporate classroom and lab work with field work through research projects, field experience and cross-cultural sustainability research.

“The blend of field-based and laboratory based skills is designed to maximize the range of employment possibilities,” said Mosquera.

The program is designed to meet requirements in four-year programs with a broad range of specific foci at both private and public institutions across the country.