Sep 22, 2021  
2012-2014 Undergraduate Catalog 
    
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School of Environmental and Public Affairs


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Purpose and Focus

The School of Environmental and Public Affairs (SEPA) conducts interdisciplinary research and offers undergraduate degree programs in environmental studies and public administration. It also oversees the solar and renewable energy programs that are supportive of UNLV’s research agenda. SEPA prepares students for critical governance and problem solving challenges in the 21st century by helping them develop both the knowledge and skill sets required for analyzing, understanding and addressing critical public issues. This means that SEPA degrees prepare students for challenging and satisfying careers in the public, non-profit, and private sectors as managers and leaders. Among other things, students will gain a command of the policy process, acquire the skills to manage  successfully environmental and natural resource policy, develop the knowledge necessary to navigate the dynamic and ever changing relationship between government and society, and become an effective leader and participant in all sectors of society. The school uses both biophysical and social sciences to examine social and environmental issues.

Accreditation

Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities

Undergraduate Majors

Environmental Studies — Bachelor of Arts
Environmental Studies — Bachelor of Science
Public Administration — Bachelor of Science

Minors

Environmental Studies
Leadership and Civic Engagement
Solar and Renewable Energy

Areas of Concentration

Fire Safety Administration

Sixty-seven credit hours leading to an AAS in Fire Science Management from an accredited community college are required for admission to the fire safety concentration. A grade point average of 2.00 is required for admission.

The fire safety administration concentration is designed on a two-plus-two basis: Students take the first two years of course work at an accredited community college and receive an AAS degree in Fire Science management. In addition, students may take another 15 hours of specialized professional fire administration course work through distance education from an approved college representative for the National Fire Academy. Students must then complete remaining degree requirements at UNLV to earn a B.S. in Public Administration with a concentration in Fire Safety Administration.

Courses in Fire Science Management from the AAS degree may apply only toward the fire safety administration concentration.

Certification and Licensure Programs

Environmental Manager

Graduates of Environmental Studies, with the appropriate work experience, are eligible for certification by the state of Nevada Division of Environmental Protection as an Environmental Manager. See undergraduate coordinator for more information.

Department Policies

Internships (Environmental Studies Majors)

Because environmental education demands more than the study of the abstract, the School helps students find internship opportunities with government, business, or industry. Students are strongly encouraged to gain critical environmental and business experience while in undergraduate school. See undergraduate coordinator for more information.

Capstone (Environmental Studies Majors)

Each student in an Environmental Studies major will complete a research project on an environmental issue in

 . The senior project provides students research experience and opportunities to refine skills as an environmental professional. We recommend all students explore alternative topics with faculty members during their sophomore and junior years.

Transfer Policies

Transfer students are required to consult with an academic advisor from the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs’ Student Advising Center. This initial advising session will determine to what extent those credits accepted by the university will be accepted as part of the major.

Overall Degree Objectives (Environmental Studies)

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies is intended to provide students with a broad theoretical background in the natural sciences and social sciences, a practical understanding of environmental issues facing our world, and the skills necessary to apply this knowledge to environmental management.

Specific Degree Objectives (B.A.)

Upon completing a Bachelor of Arts degree in Environmental Studies, a student should be able to:

  1. Understand and apply fundamental theories from the natural and social sciences to environmental issues, and identify multiple dimensions of environmental issues.
  2. Use formal decision support methods to analyze environmental issues and contribute to management decisions.
  3. Identify technical and socioeconomic trade-offs associated with diverse approaches to environmental management.
  4. Identify and understand practical issues currently faced by environmental decision makers.
  5. Design and complete a professional report addressing a research question or problem related to the environment, through which the student will:
    1. Identify and utilize the scientific method to conduct research on an environmental issue.
    2. Demonstrate the ability to locate and access information on an environmental issue,
    3. Demonstrate technical skills required for basic fieldwork, laboratory experiments, and/or acquisition and analysis of other relevant data.
    4. Demonstrate proficiency in technical writing and oral presentation. 
  6. Have the skills and qualifications to compete for a career as an environmental professional.

Specific Degree Objectives (B.S.)

The Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies is intended to provide students with a broad theoretical background in the natural sciences and social sciences, a practical understanding of environmental issues facing our world, and quantitative skills necessary to apply this knowledge to environmental management.

Upon completing a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies, a student should be able to:

  1. Understand and apply fundamental theories from the natural sciences and social sciences to environmental issues and identify the multiple dimensions of environment issues.
  2. Use formal decision support methods to analyze environmental issues and contribute to management decisions.
  3. Identify technical and socioeconomic trade offs associated with diverse approaches to environmental management.
  4. Identify and understand practical issues currently faced by environmental decision makers.
  5. Design and complete a senior research project addressing a question or problem related to the environment and career goals,  through which the student will:
    1. Identify and utilize the scientific method to conduct research on an environmental issue.
    2. Demonstrate the ability to locate and access information on an environmental issue.
    3. Demonstrate technical skills required for basic fieldwork, laboratory experiments, and/or other data acquisition and analysis.
    4. Demonstrate proficiency in technical writing and oral presentation.
  6. Demonstrate proficiency in calculus (integration and differentiation) and physics.
  7. Have the skills and qualifications to compete for a career as an environmental professional, including positions requiring quantitative analytical skills

Meeting and Assessing Degree Objectives

Students will meet these degree objectives through required course work and a senior thesis project. Achievement of these objectives will be assessed in three ways: successful completion of required course work, faculty evaluation of senior projects, and an annual survey of available environmental career opportunities.

Advisement

Upon acceptance as a major, each student must meet with an advisor from the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs’ Student Advising Center. To ensure orderly progress toward the degree, the faculty of the School of Environmental and Public Affairs strongly suggest that majors see an advisor at least once each year, preferably every semester. Upon acceptance as a premajor or major and at least once a year thereafter, students should contact the Greenspun College of Urban Affairs’ Student Advising Center.

Curricular decisions must be made through consultation with an advisor. Decisions about the appropriate courses in related areas must be approved.

Transfer students are required to consult with an academic advisor within the first semester after admission to the department. This initial advising session will determine to what extent those credits accepted by the university will be accepted as part of the major.

The Advising Center can be reached at 702-895-1009 or urbanaffairs@unlv.nevada.edu or may be visited in person on the 4th Floor of Greenspun Hall.
 

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