School of Arts and Sciences

Graduate Students Present Environmental Research at Third Annual Seminar

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Pictured are the graduating seniors of the 2012 Master of Science in environmental studies class.
Graduate program director John Kudlac, Ph.D. (third from left) is pictured with MSES graduate students (left to right) Sam DeStephano, Stacey Falk, Jean Keene, Courtney Mahronich, Christine Soltis and Anne Stock.

From green chemistry to wetlands restoration, students at the Third Annual Graduate Student Seminar for the Master of Science in environmental studies program presented extensive research on a variety of topics.

“The MSES degree program is a good balance of the economic, political, and ethical components of environmental issues.  As a graduate of this program, I feel well-informed on past and present matters facing our environment,” said Stacey Falk, a local high school biology and environmental science teacher.

Point Park’s M.S. program in environmental studies provides students with an understanding of the complex nature of environmental problems and their solutions. Students can complete the program in as little as 11 months.

“Through its diverse offerings dealing with the environment, the MSES program prepares graduates to function in a variety of positions such as within government agencies, non-profit groups and corporate industries," explained John Kudlac, Ph.D., graduate program director and professor of earth sciences and engineering technology.

“As a single mother, it was important to me to be able to participate in a program that was conducive to my busy schedule.  I was particularly drawn to the accelerated nature of the program,” remarked Jean Keene, who just accepted an Americorps position with the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy's Watershed Conservation program.

While taking classes, Keene also completed an environmental education internship with the Audubon Society of Western Pennsylvania, where she developed curriculum and facilitated summer camps at the organization’s Succop Conservancy location. 

“Much of what I was learning in class allowed me to use my knowledge and tie it into environmental education programs,” remarked Keene. “I was very fortunate to join Point Park's program with other individuals who were as dedicated and passionate about the environmental field as I am. I hope to get additional opportunities to work with these talented folks in the future,” added Keene.

According to student Sam DeStephano, repack manager for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, everyone in the MSES program supported one another, particularly with final research projects. "We provided each other constructive critiques and support early on through the night of our final presentations,” he said.

Admission to the MSES program requires a bachelor’s degree in any discipline from an accredited institution and a minimum of nine credits of previous science course work, either as part of or in addition to the bachelor’s degree. 

For more information, visit the MSES program page or contact the Graduate and Adult Enrollment Office at (412) 392-3808 or ptenroll@pointpark.edu.

2012 Final Research Presentation Topics

  • “Environmental Education in State and/or Regional Parks Based on Incorporating Ethnobiological Concepts”

  • “Factors That Enable Successful Brownfields Development in a Local Community”

  • “Interaction of Green Chemistry and Environmental Chemistry to Strengthen Chemistry Curriculum”

  • “Mitigation Banking and Wetlands Restoration”

  • “Sustainability and the National Park System”

  • “Water and Its Future: Will it be Public or Privatized?”

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