CofC Graduate Program in Environmental Studies

CofC Graduate Program in Environmental Studies

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Hey y'all, this Sunday is going to be a blast and it's FREE! Things to look forward to: tasty local beer, goats, a bike ride before, live music, and a silent auction. Check out the event page for more details!
Remember the viral video of a sea turtle getting a straw extracted from its nostril? The lead researcher from that team will be speaking at the Fort Johnson Marine Science Seminar Series this Friday. If you have an interest in marine debris or plastics pollution, I encourage you to attend.
Hi all! The CofC MBGSA will be holding a fundraiser at The Barrel Charleston this Friday! We'd love to see some fellow grad students :)

Check out our event: MBGSA Percent Night at the Barrel
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As a part of my graduate school research for my thesis, I have developed a survey with Charleston Waterkeeper, a local nonprofit, to gauge public perception of pollution and flooding of waterways in the Charleston area as well as general views on nonprofits and specifics towards Charleston Waterkeeper. Please take about 10 minutes to complete this survey. If you're living in Charleston, interested in Charleston Waterkeeper or care for the condition of our planet, this is a great way to share your voice and make an impact!

www.charlestonwaterkeeper.org/survey

Please share with friends and family who may be interested or live in the area!! Thanks guys!
Lining up for graduation, look who else I found: Ginny McCown, Alex Miller, and Reed Rayborn! I look forward to seeing the other grads today...
KCB is looking for volunteers for our Green and Lean 5k! If interested, sign up at:

https://signup.com/client/invitation/6775657374/1796938/false#!1796938/false/false

Hope to see you there!

An interdisciplinary graduate program addressing environmental and sustainability issues from natural science, social science, and public policy perspectives.

As the field of environmental studies has expanded, so has our understanding of the complexity of environmental issues. Many different concerns, including those of the public, private industry, and the scientific community must be balanced to approach the environmental concerns facing our society today. In training students to handle the challenges posed by a career in the environmental field, exp

Operating as usual

04/30/2021

Heading out to the beach for this Field Friday on Nolan Schillerstrom! Nolan, a current student and Coastal Program Associate at Audubon South Carolina, is studying Rufa Red Knot shorebirds to evaluate existing conservation strategies on an island in South Carolina and to test social marketing as a new tool for changing human behaviors on the beach. Signage and education are the primary conservation strategies used to minimize human disturbance, but the species continues to decline. His project, titled “Social Marketing as a Tool to Reduce Human Disturbance to Federally Threatened Rufa Red Knot (Calidris canatus rufa)”, recognizes that community-based social marketing has potential to be a new and more effective tool for shorebird conservation. He is advised by Dr. Melissa Hughes. You can register to watch Nolan’s thesis defense on Tuesday, May 11th using the link in our bio!

#cofc #studentresearch #audubon #shorebirdconservation #redknot #socialmarketing #conservation #audubonsc #humandisturbance #shorebirds #charlestonsc #scbeaches #fieldfriday

Heading out to the beach for this Field Friday on Nolan Schillerstrom! Nolan, a current student and Coastal Program Associate at Audubon South Carolina, is studying Rufa Red Knot shorebirds to evaluate existing conservation strategies on an island in South Carolina and to test social marketing as a new tool for changing human behaviors on the beach. Signage and education are the primary conservation strategies used to minimize human disturbance, but the species continues to decline. His project, titled “Social Marketing as a Tool to Reduce Human Disturbance to Federally Threatened Rufa Red Knot (Calidris canatus rufa)”, recognizes that community-based social marketing has potential to be a new and more effective tool for shorebird conservation. He is advised by Dr. Melissa Hughes. You can register to watch Nolan’s thesis defense on Tuesday, May 11th using the link in our bio!

#cofc #studentresearch #audubon #shorebirdconservation #redknot #socialmarketing #conservation #audubonsc #humandisturbance #shorebirds #charlestonsc #scbeaches #fieldfriday

Photos from CofC Graduate Program in Environmental Studies's post 04/27/2021

Introducing Carly Burner, a first year student in the EVSS program, who also completed her undergraduate studies at College of Charleston! She studied biology and secondary education, and in her last semester at CofC she was a student teacher, which is how she found her passion for Environmental Education (EE). Her thesis research will work with the Green Heart Project to evaluate their Youth Internship Program (YIP). The YIP is for high school students and the three pillars of the program are career preparedness, healthy living, and citizenship. This aligns with her careers goals because she hopes to become an environmental educator with a non-profit or governmental organization after completing the EVSS program. We can’t wait to see what you do, Carly!

#environmentaleducation #greenheartproject #cofc #environmentalinternship #charlestonsc #healthyliving #sustainablecommunities #studentresearch #environmentalstudies

04/23/2021

Welcome back to another Field Friday! Today we spotlight Kelli Coleman, a concurrent EVSS/MPA student who is looking forward to a career in environmental education! She has been working as a marine educator at South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, where she has developed her thesis. For her project, she created and implemented a new multi-day educational program for K-12 students titled ‘King Tides: Flooding the Lowcountry with Plastic’. This program, which combined classroom lessons with a field trip to experience the estuary aboard the E/V Discovery, teaches students about king tides, coastal flooding, and marine debris. Her thesis worked with three high school groups both virtually and in person, despite challenges that arose from the pandemic. She will soon analyze her data to determine whether students connections between these topics and if that led to any changes in attitudes or behaviors. Here you can see Kelli teaching students on the E/V Discovery, SCDNR’s education vessel!

#fieldfriday #cofc #studentresearch #environmentaleducation #outdooreducation #fieldtrip #kingtides #flooding #lowcountry #scdnr #marineeducation #plasticpollution #discovery

Welcome back to another Field Friday! Today we spotlight Kelli Coleman, a concurrent EVSS/MPA student who is looking forward to a career in environmental education! She has been working as a marine educator at South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, where she has developed her thesis. For her project, she created and implemented a new multi-day educational program for K-12 students titled ‘King Tides: Flooding the Lowcountry with Plastic’. This program, which combined classroom lessons with a field trip to experience the estuary aboard the E/V Discovery, teaches students about king tides, coastal flooding, and marine debris. Her thesis worked with three high school groups both virtually and in person, despite challenges that arose from the pandemic. She will soon analyze her data to determine whether students connections between these topics and if that led to any changes in attitudes or behaviors. Here you can see Kelli teaching students on the E/V Discovery, SCDNR’s education vessel!

#fieldfriday #cofc #studentresearch #environmentaleducation #outdooreducation #fieldtrip #kingtides #flooding #lowcountry #scdnr #marineeducation #plasticpollution #discovery

Photos from CofC Graduate Program in Environmental Studies's post 04/21/2021

Dr. Annette Watson joined the College of Charleston's Political Science Department in 2008 and became the Program Director of the EVSS Program in 2016. Dr. Watson conducts research in the Lowcountry as well as in Alaska. Her research surrounds environmental management, community sustainability & resilience, and co-production of knowledge. She currently advises seven graduate students' research projects. Dr. Watson enjoys mentoring students that seek to investigate social systems through community engagement and social science methods. She pulls from her experience as a first-generation college student to guide students on how to address the social class barriers that rise from not growing up in households with white-collar professions. She recognizes that "higher education is part of a culture...need[s] to be made transparent and sometimes transformed."

#facultyhighlight #socialscientist #programdirector #politicalscience #sustainability #environmentalmanagement #indigenousknowledge #coproductionofknowledge #advisor #resilience

Photos from CofC Graduate Program in Environmental Studies's post 04/16/2021

On this Field Friday, we are spotlighting two current students, Kayli Paterson and Nick Smillie. Kayli and Nick are the 2020-2021 Merit Research Assistantship recipients, an annual opportunity open to all EVSS students! Learn more about Kayli’s and Nick’s projects below, and visit the link in bio for more information about the Merit RA application for 2021-2022!

Kayli Paterson is evaluating the effectiveness of stormsewer inlet devices in capturing road debris and pollutants specifically microplastics such as tire particles. Because of the chemical composition of industry tires, these particles are difficult to evaluate using spectrographic analysis such as GC-MS. However, finding the concentration of these particles is paramount to the success of this project. This study will also look to investigate the factors that influence the installation of advanced stormwater treatment technologies such as manufactured treatment devices by stormwater managers, and by extension, the effects that policy and stormsewer design have on preventing microplastics from entering aquatic environments.

Nick Smillie is examining sustainable management practices of aquatic ecosystems and the associated challenges. Citizen science self-report fishing applications utilize a participatory approach to cost effectively collect large quantities of real-time data. However, various challenges have hindered the efficacy of self-report apps including participant recruitment and retention. This study will utilize survey results, semi-structured interviews, and participant observations to examine participant perspectives of two self-report mobile apps developed by the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. Results are intended to build on identified methods to improve recruitment and retention, and develop new strategies for marketing the utility of these applications to the fishing community.

#fieldfriday #cofc #studentresearch #studentfunding #graduateresearch #researchassistant #microplastics #charlestonharbor #aquaticecosystem #citizenscience #fisheriesmanagement #southatlanticfisherymanagement

Photos from CofC Graduate Program in Environmental Studies's post 04/13/2021

Brittney, a 2019 graduate, recently started as the Policy Specialist for Resilient Coasts, Flooding, and Marine Conservation at National Wildlife Federation! In this position, she tracks legislation relating to the aforementioned topics, participates in broad coalitions of organizations to build support and engagement around the US, works with congressional staff to introduce and refine bills, and works to advance organizational policy priorities that support conservation and sustainable resource management for people and wildlife! Before her job at National Wildlife Foundation, Brittney was also a Knauss Fellow! In this experience, she learned about flooding and hazard mitigation at FEMA, giving her insight of how federal policy is written and implemented. Brittney is excited to see how the new administration will address climate change, resilience, and equity, and she looks forward to engaging with Congressional offices and general agencies on all these topics!

#cofc #charlestonharbor #microplastics #microplasticresearch #knaussfellow #FEMA #environmentalpolicy #policy #nationalwildlifefederation #cofcalumni #resilience #climatechangepolicy #environmentalequity

Photos from CofC Graduate Program in Environmental Studies's post 04/09/2021

It’s another #FieldFriday out at the Stono Preserve! This semester two of the bee hives were moved from the Stono Preserve to the Clemson Community Bee Garden in West Ashley. With the help of some local certified beekeepers, our garden managers are learning hands on how to maintain healthy bee hives and the important role bees play in agriculture. They bottled 512 ounces of honey from one of the hives and plan to sell the honey to raise funds for the program! Currently the garden team is in the process of using swarm traps to move a new colony of bees to one of our empty hives.

In addition to growing our crops and maintaining our garden spaces downtown and at the Stono Preserve, the garden team has also been busy building shelving in our sheds to store all of our supplies. They try to reuse and repurpose as much of the lumber and materials as they can for the various projects. Great job, everyone! The garden team is listed below!

Stono Garden Manager: Michael Cranford
Stono Garden Assistant Manager: Meadow Noonan
Stono Garden Garden Assistant: Sara Brunner
Stono Garden Garden Assistant: Jackson Barratt Heitmann
Student Garden Liaison and Content Manager: Sean Cannon

#fieldfriday #cofc #charlestonsc #stonopreserve #beekeeping #studentresearch #garden #studentgarden #gardenteam #beehive #beecolony #

Photos from CofC Graduate Program in Environmental Studies's post 04/06/2021

Finishing up his time as concurrent student, Charlton Brownell looks forward to pursuing a career in the public sector. Charlton graduated from Clemson University with a degree in Biology, but was inspired by the interdisciplinary curriculum of the EVSS/MPA concurrent program to blend his interests of History and politics. His thesis project, “Using GIS and Q Methodology to Describe Rural Gentrification and Analyze Associated Stakeholder Groups on Johns Island, SC”, focuses on local changes and how they are received by the public. He has also had experience in stewardship, police/community relations, strategic planning, stakeholder analysis via social science methods, and policy analysis, all of which he is interested in applying to his career on the local, state, or federal levels! He has also enjoyed diverse classes like the Environmental Biology course taught by Dr. Murren, which Charlton says was “tailored perfectly to the mission of the EVSS program and to our varying areas of expertise. The papers we read were within our zone of proximal technical, subject-area knowledge”.

#charlestonsc #cofc #studentspotlight #publicsector #environmentalassessment #ruralgentrification #GIS #johnsisland #stakeholderanalysis #environmentalstudies #socialsciencemethods #environmentalbiology

04/02/2021

Welcome to another #FieldFriday! Kayla Pehl, a second year student, has been collecting data both in the lab and in the field for her thesis project. She has always known that she wanted to work with animals, so she developed a project that allowed her to examine a native lizard species in the Charleston area. Her thesis is titled "The Relationship Between Locomotor Performance and Habitat Use in Six-Lined Racerunners (Aspidoscelis sexlineata) in Coastal South Carolina”. Her favorite aspect of her project is that she has been able to both collect all the data, analyze it, and work with an interesting species all at the same time!

#cofc #fieldfriday #researchproject #fieldresearch #lizards #charlestonsc #graduateresearch #racerunners #animalbehavior #animalhabitat

Welcome to another #FieldFriday! Kayla Pehl, a second year student, has been collecting data both in the lab and in the field for her thesis project. She has always known that she wanted to work with animals, so she developed a project that allowed her to examine a native lizard species in the Charleston area. Her thesis is titled "The Relationship Between Locomotor Performance and Habitat Use in Six-Lined Racerunners (Aspidoscelis sexlineata) in Coastal South Carolina”. Her favorite aspect of her project is that she has been able to both collect all the data, analyze it, and work with an interesting species all at the same time!

#cofc #fieldfriday #researchproject #fieldresearch #lizards #charlestonsc #graduateresearch #racerunners #animalbehavior #animalhabitat

Photos from CofC Graduate Program in Environmental Studies's post 03/30/2021

Biology professor Dr. Melissa Hughes has been at College of Charleston for nearly 20 years! She teaches two undergraduate courses, Animal Behavior and Ortnithology, but many graduate students also take them as independent study credits. Dr. Hughes enjoys helping graduate students develop projects in these courses that then enhance the class experience for the undergraduates. She also mentors graduate students on their projects or internships, and enjoys having them as colleagues and simultaneously learning with them. She loves to see students become more connected to the natural world as they progress through the semester and recognizing that birds really are everywhere!

#cofc #facultyspotlight #environmentalstudies #animalbehavior #ornithology #birdwatching #charlestonsc #animalcommunication

Photos from CofC Graduate Program in Environmental Studies's post 03/26/2021

Getting our hands dirty on this #FieldFriday with Dr. Heather Spalding’s Marine Botany course! This semester, the class has been collecting microalgae samples from all over the Charleston area and pressing and identifying them. The microalgae in the Charleston area has not been well documented since about 30 years ago, so they are trying to update records. In addition to collecting all over Charleston, the class also took a field trip to Huntington Beach State Park to collect off a jetty there. Julia Chrisco, a student in the course, said “It was such a fun time crawling on the rocks, being knee-deep in the cold water, and finding such a diverse collection of algae! My favorite part of the course has definitely been the field trips. Even when it’s cold and rainy, it’s still a great time being outside and exploring the coastal areas!”
#cofc #fieldfriday #fieldresearch #marinebotany #botanyresearch #coastalsouthcarolina #algae #microalgae #charlestonsc #fieldtrip #environmentalscience #classresearch

Photos from CofC Graduate Program in Environmental Studies's post 03/23/2021

One unique aspect of the EVSS program is that many of our alumni stay local to the Charleston area after graduating, which creates a large network in the lowcountry and beyond! One alumni, Lucas Hernandez, has served as the Resilience Specialist at the Kiawah Island Community Association (KICA) since graduating from the program in 2019. His thesis project creating flood maps caught the eye of KICA amidst an island-wide drainage project the organization was working on. In his current position, Lucas coordinates efforts between critical entities on the island and represents Kiawah in forums, workshops and advocacy groups off-island. He also assists with planning and prioritization of flood mitigation projects, emergency preparedness/management and the coordination data management of all environmental monitoring on Kiawah Island. Lucas emphasizes the importance of relationship building in this field: “Coastal resilience is a field with a very tight-knit group of professionals, so it was extremely important for me to learn through my thesis project what advocacy groups were important to become a part of and where I could go for questions later on”.

#cofc #graduateresearch #cofcalumni #charlestonsc #kiawahisland #kica #coastalresilience #floodmapping #naturaldisaster #emergencypreparedness #emergencymanagement #GIS #environmentalscience #sustainabilitystudies

Videos (show all)

Gullah/Geechee Freedom Celebration
EVSS Students Share Their Experience
Current Student Haley Schanne's Testimony of the Concurrent MPA/EVSS Program
Current Student Nick Smillie's Testimony of the EVSS Program

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202 Calhoun Street, School Of Sciences And Mathematics, Room 254
Charleston, SC
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Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
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Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
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