Published on February 25, 2014  

Samford’s Geography Department is hosting a flexible new minor that draws on courses from throughout Howard College of Arts and Sciences. Geography professor and minor coordinator Jennifer Rahn said the interdisciplinary Minor in Environmental Studies will develop concrete skills and analytical abilities for students in any major “who are passionate about the planet and interested in the growing human impact upon it.” 

“Our degree is flexible and you can tailor your courses to meet specific educational and career goals,” Rahn said. In addition to their classroom options, students in the new minor will get hands-on experience in their choice of field courses, including Island Ecology, Amazon Rain Forest, Landscapes of the American South, Coral Reef Ecology and a Caribbean Field Course.

Environmental Studies minor Kyle Duncan found that tailored experience attractive. “I personally enjoy the range and opportunities to increase and explore different fields within my major, while at the same time gaining a better knowledge of what norms and behaviors we use to approach the known world,” Duncan said.

Paige Van de Vuurst chose the minor as a complement to her biology major and thinks it will distinguish her from other graduate school applicants. “I hope to one day be a research zoologist, and having basic environmental studies knowledge can help you so much in that type of field,” she said. “Whether it be GIS or topography, having that kind of insight can totally change research methods and the speed at which you can draw a conclusion.”

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.