Document Type


Date of Award

Fall 1-31-2001

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Science - (Ph.D.)


Chemical Engineering, Chemistry and Environmental Science

First Advisor

Robert Benedict Barat

Second Advisor

Norbert Elliot

Third Advisor

Gordon Lewandowski

Fourth Advisor

Richard B. Trattner

Fifth Advisor

Daniel Watts


This work proposes a template for successful interdisciplinary Environmental Science (EVSQ) programs at four-year American learning institutions. The first conclusion reached is that there is no one "perfect" program. Only by identifying clear goals for EVSC can programs improve. It was determined that a clear definition of EVSC and mission statements related to these definitions are necessary first steps to allow improvement to occur. One major outcome of the work is the educational model built to understand EVSC education. The model identifies methods by which the goals and objectives of EVSC can be identified and accomplished. The research found that several common objectives--content knowledge, problem-solving, communication, and interdisciplinary-have constant methods of being accomplished at institutions--curriculum, faculty, extracurricular activities, and external advisement- which provide a program the ways to transfer knowledge to students in order to achieve the specified outcomes listed in the mission statement. Each of these areas was explored and means for improving them are given. One major finding relates to using a management model for promoting faculty improvements.

A common thread identified in all programs was problem-solving and its related skills. In every program, at all levels, the need for students to master the skills related to problem-solving were highlighted as important. To this end, a student guide is included in the appendix to assist in the teaching and improvement of student problem-solving skills.