The Global Environmental Change and Sustainability (GECS) program provides a supportive yet challenging academic home for students who are passionate about the environment and who want to make a positive difference in the world.
The interdisciplinary GECS major and minor introduce students to the Earth’s living and nonliving systems and how humans interact with and affect those systems. The GECS curriculum is solution-focused, providing students with the tools they need to become the next generation of problem-solvers. Courses examine how the powerful tools of science and policy can be brought to bear on environmental problems and the challenge of developing a more sustainable and equitable society.
The GECS program prepares students for graduate study and careers in environmentally related fields. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for environmental scientists and specialists are expected to increase faster than the national average (11% versus 7%) between 2014 and 2024. There is an increasing need for well trained environmental problem solvers in the government, non-profit, and private sectors. Examples of employment opportunities for graduates of the program include government regulatory bodies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state environmental agencies. For those interested in policy, advocacy, lobbying, education, and related activities, jobs are available with a wide range of local, national, and international nongovernmental organizations such as the Nature Conservancy and the Rainforest Alliance. The private sector also provides many opportunities within environmental consulting firms, industries requiring environmental compliance, and environmentally minded companies.
Graduate study allows for further specialization in a particular field and additional job and advancement opportunities. One such option for GECS majors is accelerated entrance into JHU’s MS in Environmental Sciences and Policy.