As efforts to manage natural resources grow increasingly reliant on computer-based approaches, the need for professionals trained in data gathering and knowledge integration has skyrocketed. The college has responded by introducing a new undergraduate major in environmental informatics.

“Today’s problems are increasingly complex and involve vast amounts of data,” said Professor Randolph Wynne. “As a result, the need for professionals trained in technical and analytical approaches to environmental problems is rising dramatically.”

Bringing together information technology, data analysis, natural resources, geospatial science, and ecological modeling, the environmental informatics major, based in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, enables students to explore and apply information science to the sustainable management of the natural world.

“Young people are more globally aware and care deeply about the world around them,” said Assistant Professor Valerie Thomas. “We want to give students the cutting-edge skills they need to make a difference and prepare them for exciting and rewarding careers.”

Students will develop skills in remote sensing, ecosystem management, spatial data analysis, statistics, Web and database management, and sustainability analytics that can be applied in fields ranging from forestry and landscape mapping to pollution modeling and watershed ecology.