2006 Philadelphia Annual Meeting (22–25 October 2006)

Paper No. 13
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM


HEISE, Elizabeth A. and BENAVIDES, Jude A., Department of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, University of Texas at Brownsville, 80 Fort Brown, Brownsville, TX 78520, elizabeth.heise@utb.edu

The University of Texas at Brownsville (UTB) is a young university, started in 1991. The newest bachelors of science degree program at UTB is in Environmental Sciences, and offers a choice of four concentrations: Geosciences, Biology, Chemistry and Interdisciplinary. The program started January 2006 and is growing quickly. The most popular concentrations are Geosciences and Interdisciplinary (combining Geosciences and Biology).

Students in the program have already succeeded in securing full-time employment offers upon graduation. They are also active in research projects with faculty throughout the program.

The degree program requires each student to complete a research project and present the results of the project at a regional or national conference. The student designs the research project with guidance from a faculty member in the program. Each student is encouraged to select a project that piques their interest in any field of environmental sciences. Many students have found future research opportunities while attending the conferences and interacting with fellow scientists.

Each student must also complete an internship while completing the degree. Many have found paid internships with government agencies. Others have found internships with local industries or non-government organizations. Some are participating in the Student Conservation Association internship program. Each student must identify and apply for the internships that interest them. Many of these internships have resulted in full-time employment for the students.

The success of our program is a result of the students seeing that they are being prepared for either graduate school or immediate employment upon graduation. Most UTB students are the first in their family to attend college, and they place a great value in the opportunities that a college degree offers.