Department of Teaching and Learning

Environmental Conservation Education

Program Description

For more than 30 years, the 37-point MA program in Environmental Conservation Education has prepared graduates for environmental careers in the field of education.

Interdisciplinary Approach

Our interdisciplinary approach draws on both theory and practice. This approach integrates the natural and social sciences with education and field work to help you gain an understanding of the profound effects of human activity on the planet and the role of education in solving environmental problems.

The program draws on faculty from a wide variety of disciplines within the University including education, history, philosophy, law, journalism, science, health, and the arts.

Core courses include environmental thought, cities and their environment, and environmental politics.  These courses introduce you to the theories, policies, and ethics that have shaped public discourse and understanding of our environment.

An additional  core course in the theory and practice of environmental education examines national and local models of environmental education, analyzes their relationship to contemporary issues of environmental literacy, and develops students' competencies in planning environmental education programs.

Elective Choices

Electives within the program and across other departments allow you to tailor your program of study to fit your particular conservation education interests in areas such as environmental justice, curriculum design, teacher education, policy studies, ecology, youth education, non-formal education, and sustainability. Electives may be taken within Steinhardt, the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service, and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.

Our program also has a strong affiliation with the Science Education Program in Steinhardt's Department of Teaching and Learning, and the Wallerstein Collaborative for Urban Environmental Education, which provide you with numerous opportunities to study and work closely with science education faculty on research, curriculum projects, and other environmental initiatives.

Fieldwork and Internships

The integration of coursework with required fieldwork provides you with a unique urban experience in environmental education. We make ample use of the vast resources available in New York City through which our students study contemporary environmental issues and programs; evaluate, develop, or implement educational initiatives for children, youth, and adults; or undertake applied research in environmental education.

Our students complete internships which often lead directly to jobs upon graduation. Internships take place at a wide variety of organizations, including: 

The University's Sustainability Initiative provides additional opportunities for involvement and learning.

Mission Statement

The master of arts in Environmental Education is designed to help students gain an understanding of the profound effects of human activity on the planet and the role of education in solving environmental problems.

Through an interdisciplinary curriculum that covers topics such as environmental thought, environmental debates, and environmental politics, students are introduced to the theories, policies, and ethics that have shaped public discourse and understanding of our environment. The program also asks students to examine national and local models of environmental education, analyze their relationship to contemporary issues of environmental literacy, and develop competencies in planning environmental education programs.

Student Learning Objectives
NYU's Eco-Friendly Community

Our program is located on one of the most eco-friendly campuses in the country. Sierra Club's 2009 list of Cool Schools placed NYU, for the first time, in their top 20 list of eco-enlightened universities.

NYU has made tremendous strides in the last several years to reduce its energy consumption and improve energy efficiency in many areas, including food, academics, purchasing, transportation, waste management, and administration. Many residence hall dining rooms are trayless to save water, students use compact fluorescent light bulbs in their rooms, food waste is composted and used for our gardens, biking to school is encouraged and supported, recycling is widespread, and local produce and food products are common. NYU's co-generation plant reduces greenhouse gas emissions by 23% and air pollutants by 68% while providing electricity for 22 NYU buildings.

The University's Sustainability Task Force awards grants to student-led green projects around campus to advance the university's leadership in best environmental practices and technologies. Members of the Task Force include students, staff, and faculty from across NYU, including Environmental Conservation Education Program Director Dr. Mary Leou. Its initiatives offer many opportunities for students in our program to be engaged in local environmental education and sustainability initiatives. 

For more information about our MA program, please contact:
  Dr. Mary Leou
  Program Director
  212-998-5474
  mary.leou@nyu.edu
  Dr. Raul P Lejano
  lejano@nyu.edu