Division of Environmental Studies and Sustainable Systems

picture of a field with pepper plants

The Division of Environmental Studies & Sustainable Systems offers a wide variety of learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students to address our society’s most compelling needs to understand what the environment is and how it works in terms of basic principles of biology, chemistry and physics, including the relationships between humans and the environment.

Division Program Units include:

Environmental Science
and Water Quality:

Picture of two girls testing water - Environmental Science and Water Quality

Water quality, soil amendments, and development of natural pesticides for crops. George Antonious, PhD – Professor (Research, Teaching).

Contact: George Antonious, PhD


Geospatial Science:

Forestry Picture

Examine methods of information transfer to enhance communication of scientific data with farmers and consumers.

Contact: Buddhi Gyawali, Ph.D.


Soil Science/Biometry:

Professor and students evaluating soul

Fluxes of carbon, water and methane gases from pasture and forest soil ecosystems in Kentucky. Maheteme Gebremedhin, PhD – Assistant Professor (Research, Extension, Teaching).

Contact: Maheteme Gebremedhin, PhD


Environmental Education:

Child looking through a microscope at grass - Environmental Education

Focus areas include: sustainability and environmental education in outdoor and classroom settings; Project Learning Tree, Project WET, Leopold Education Project and other curriculum trainings for agents, teachers and natural resource professionals; environmental issues impacting land, air, food and energy systems, and water.

Contact: Louis Ross

Today’s environmental professionals work in multidisciplinary teams that include biologists, microbiologists, geologists, toxicologists, and chemists. Students will have a better understanding of a wide range of subjects of which today’s environmental professionals must have knowledge to build their career and sustainable future. Students should be able to use appropriate critical thinking skills to solve problems, demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental concepts of mathematics and science, and use analytical ability and the scientific method in problem solving.

Come and visit us and tour the Environmental Toxicology labs and learn how you learn about major environmental concerns, causes and consequences, sustainable agriculture, and alternative methods and approaches to protect environmental quality.

Students will learn:

  • The principles of science
  • Problems associated with environmental hazardous waste
  • Analyze soil and water samples collected from agricultural fields
  • Describe conventional and sustainable practices
  • Monitor contaminants in environmental samples
  • Learn recent analytical techniques of extraction, clean-up of soil and water samples
  • Learn chromatographic separation and quantification of environmental contaminants.