The SESS Environmental Biology faculty integrate their scientific research into the training, education and mentoring of students who are destined for science research careers in local, state, and federal government agencies, regional biotechnology, health care, pharmaceutical industries and other private sector areas, and academia.
Students in the department share concerns about our global environment and an interest in how the earth behaves and are interested in the appropriate conservation and management of the earth's resources. A Kean SESS graduate will be uniquely qualified to address a diverse range of Environmental Science issues facing the world today. Our graduates have been successful in exciting careers including governmental agencies, private companies, environmental consulting firms, radio and TV broadcasting, teaching and studies for advanced graduate degrees at major universities.
In Environmental Biology, students will be trained in the fields of conservation and restoration ecology, field biology, sustainability, and environmental science. They will be able to apply risk analysis and assessment to environmental issues that span the local, regional, and global scales. Environmental Biology graduates are able to understand/use the Earth Science tools of hydrology, geology, meteorology, GIS and remote sensing to augment their use of ecosystem assessment and molecular biological tools to help address environmental issues at the ecosystem and habitat levels.
While not all students in Environmental Biology are interested in the medical profession, those SESS students that are pursuing a career in human and/or environmental health will be able to apply risk analysis and assessment methodologies to individual, population, or community health issues, and also develop practices or pathways to remedy the condition/syndrome, and enhance the health of these groups. As a result of their SESS experiences, graduates will have a very different perspective on the connections between human, animal and ecosystem health. They will connect health and the planet together, and be the future epidemiologists, epizootiologist, infectious disease hunters, and doctors or veterinarians who have a deep understanding of how the environment and human/animal health affect each other. The W.H.O., CDC, World Bank, Peace Corps, United Nations, etc. will be seeking out these types of medical practitioners as they are beyond the norm, and are working from the heart, with an understanding of the connections between the health of individuals, communities, ecosystems, and the planet.
Many of our courses are field-based and incorporate excursions to parks and reservations, zoos, and conservation sites throughout New Jersey and New York, including the Kean University Highlands Campus. Students in Environmental Biology must work with a faculty member on a research project so that they gain the ability to effectively use scientific method to design and implement a research project. Research may also be conducted through an internship at the Staten Island Zoo, Union County Parks, with the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, and with various other local agencies to gain experience in the field while simultaneously pursuing their undergraduate careers. Our goal is to ensure that when a student graduates from our program, he/she has acquired a number of skills that provide experience needed to acquire a job or get into a competitive science Master's or Ph.D., or medical program. These skills include integrating a strong knowledge of biology, chemistry, and environmental sciences with the ability to identify plant and animal species, measure and assess biodiversity, collect and analyze water, air, and soil samples, and develop restoration or conservation strategies.