Greetings from the Director

Dale Gawlik

Welcome to FAU's Environmental Science Program. As you explore our web site you will find a vibrant program that has undergone major changes in the last several years. We have retooled our curriculum, added a nonthesis option for students whose primary career goals are not research-oriented, and created one of the country’s few Environmental Restoration Certificates. To improve student services we established an annual faculty-student retreat, created avenues for better communication between students and program staff, and increased availability of scholarships, fellowships, and internships. The Program also took over responsibility for FAU’s undergraduate certificate in Environmental Science, allowing us to better integrate experienced graduate student mentors with motivated undergraduates who want to engage in meaningful research.

Another key innovation was the creation of the Greater Everglades Research Initiative (GERI), with support from the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. GERI encompasses scientific research, student education, workforce training, scientific facilitation, and public outreach. The research framework of GERI, which draws on the expertise of faculty from 7 colleges, is based on a paradigm of ecosystem services and anthropogenic stressors. It focuses on the human-wetland interface and on four of the most important anthropogenic stressors of wetland ecosystems: wetland loss, hydrologic/climate changes, contaminants, and invasive species. Research in this area is already an FAU strength, with faculty receiving over $26 million in external awards and publishing 400 peer-reviewed articles between 2005 and 2015. Building on this existing strength is one path that FAU is taking to achieve excellence in research and education.

Students are convinced. We have seen strong growth in the number of students applying to the Program, an increase in the accomplishments of applicants, and increased competitiveness for assistantships. Graduates of the Program enjoy a high rate of employment in many fields of environmental science and acceptance in advanced graduate programs. If you are a prospective student who wants to dedicate yourself to a profession that will help solve some of the world's most complex environmental problems, then I hope you will consider FAU's Environmental Science Program.

Dale Gawlik, Director