May 28, 2024

Susquehanna University’s School of Natural and Social Sciences is now offering a watershed studies minor through which students will explore the delicate balance between land, water and communities as being the key to a sustainable future.

“Susquehanna’s watershed studies minor will provide students with practical experience and professional connections in the field of watershed restoration, a critical employment need as we seek to improve the health of Pennsylvania’s waterways,” said Kathy Straub, dean of Susquehanna’s School of Natural and Social Sciences. “I’m delighted that this new program takes advantage of the university’s location along the Susquehanna River, complements our strong environmental and policy degree programs, and strengthens the university’s partnerships with conservation organizations.”

Watershed studies is an interdisciplinary minor. In addition to taking various courses in earth and environmental sciences and ecology, students will also take classes in environmental studies, political science, public policy and management.

Through their coursework, students in Susquehanna’s watershed studies minor will explore diverse topics, including water studies, restoration ecology and policy, and acquire practical field skills. They will gain a deep understanding of watersheds and their complex challenges while engaging in collaborative learning and hands-on experiences at Susquehanna’s Center for Environmental Education and Research, an 87-acre field station that is home to Susquehanna’s Freshwater Research Institute and includes restoration sites where students can translate theory into practice.

Siobhan Fathel ’11, assistant professor of earth & environmental sciences, will lead the minor. Fathel graduated from Susquehanna with dual bachelor’s degrees in earth & environmental sciences and political science. She went on to Vanderbilt University where she earned a master’s degree in earth & environmental sciences and a doctorate in environmental engineering.

Nestled within the Chesapeake Bay watershed, Susquehanna University offers exceptional access to experiential learning, creating a strong foundation for impactful careers in watershed conservation and restoration. The university has cultivated enduring partnerships with various organizations, including the Chesapeake Conservancy, the state Department of Environmental Protection, the Fish and Boat Commission, and nearby conservation districts. These collaborations provide students with valuable research, internship and professional opportunities.