A Value-Added Education
The Center for the Environment at Catawba College sets us apart from other environmental programs. We offer value-added education that goes well beyond classroom teaching.
We recognize that environmental science is a complex field. It involves science, to be sure, but it also involves public policy and ethics.
We know that successful outcomes can turn on an ability to work with community leaders and garner grassroots support. That’s why we provide so many real-world opportunities for our students.
Our students do everything from teaching children about the causes of air pollution and ways of improving it to working as interns in municipal government or non-profit organizations that champion land conservation or offer environmental education or simply want to lessen their environmental footprint.
One of our former students called it “education for the real world.” It gives our graduates a real leg up when they interview for jobs because their education includes far more than what they learned from books.
About the Program
Catawba has become a major player in the area of environmental studies and issues. With a 189-acre ecological preserve, students of the program get unique, intense hands-on experience.
The Catawba College Environmental Science Program was initiated in 1993 and since that time has quickly become a signature program for Catawba College. The Catawba College Center for the Environment was created three years later, its mission to involve our college and its students in programs and activities that foster environmental stewardship not only on campus but in the region, state and beyond.
Catawba's ecological preserve is one of its greatest assets. Located on campus, the preserve contains diverse wetland habitats with over 150 species of birds found within its boundaries during various times of the year. Catawba is the first college in the state and possibly one of the first in the nation to place property on its campus — the Catawba College Ecological Preserve — in a permanent conservation easement with a land trust.
Through the Catawba College Center for the Environment, the College has taken a lead role in conservation efforts in this region. The Center has partnered with a number of organizations throughout the state and region in order to further its mission. These have included the LandTrust for Central North Carolina, the Pee Dee National Wildlife Refuge, the North Carolina Watershed Coalition, Horizons Unlimited Environmental Education Center and other programs that actively promote sustainability. The Center has also worked with the North Carolina Solar Center in efforts to promote usage of solar energy in this region.
The facility that houses the Catawba College Center for the Environment was one of the first "green" buildings constructed in the state. The structure reflects the spirit of the Environmental Science and Studies Program. The 21,000-square-foot building has emerged as a three-dimensional incarnation of the environmental curriculum — an exciting teaching tool as well as an environmentally sound project.