ENSP Launches Environmental Justice Specialization

Image Credit: Edwin Remsberg

April 23, 2024 Andrew Muir

The Environmental Science & Policy (ENSP) program at University of Maryland has launched a new specialization in Environmental Justice, available to students starting in fall 2024. Students will gain the necessary tools to work at the intersection of social justice, policy, environmental science, and public health. 

The ENSP program is sponsored by the College of Agriculture and National Resources, the College of Behavioral and Social Science, and the College of Computer, Mathematical and Natural Sciences. The specialization is a collaboration with the School of Public Health and their newly created Department of Global, Environmental, and Occupational Health (GEOH).

Overburdened and underserved communities in Maryland face significant environmental justice challenges including poor air quality, legacy pollution, inadequate stormwater management and lack of access to healthy and affordable food. Students within this specialization will be uniquely qualified to address these challenges upon graduation, not just here in Maryland, but across the United States. 

“With a public health and environmental science and policy lens, this program is unique among academic institutions and will serve as a highly desirable credential for our students, who will be prepared to be future changemakers in the field of environmental justice,” said ENSP Director Mark Carroll

An additional component of the new specialization will also include a one credit course offered next fall, "ENSP203 - Perspectives in Environmental Justice." The course will explore campus based environmental justice related course offerings, local environmental justice initiatives, and employment opportunities that exist for students having an interest in environmental justice.

The announcement of the specialization coincides with the 30th anniversary of the Environmental Justice Executive Order 12898, the first time the U.S. government acknowledged the disparity of pollution and other environmental hazards that affects underrepresented communities.