Main Content

Environment, Geography & Marine Sciences Department

Woman using equipment


From the Chair

Welcome to the Department of the Environment, Geography, and Marine Sciences at Southern Connecticut State University. Our department prides itself on providing students with hands-on learning experiences both in and out of the classroom, especially in the form of student-faculty research collaborations or faculty-supervised research projects. The department is highly interdisciplinary, and faculty members have a diversity of academic backgrounds that has prepared them to engage students with cutting-edge research in environmental studies, geography, marine science and science education. I invite you to visit our website to get to know our amazing faculty members, explore current student-faculty research opportunities, and learn more about our innovative program offerings. I hope that browsing our website will provide you with a glimpse into what our department has to offer in terms of learning, research, and preparation for postgraduate success. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact either one of us via e-mail or phone or by stopping by the department office on the third floor in Jennings Hall.

If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me via email or phone or by stopping by the department office on the third floor in Jennings Hall (JE343).

Dr. C. Patrick Heidkamp
Environment, Geography, and Marine Sciences

Costal marine studies


The Department of the Environment, Geography, and Marine Sciences offers undergraduate major programs in geography (B.A. and B.S. degree options) and minor programs in environmental studies, geography, geographic information science and technology (GIS&T), and marine studies, as well a graduate program in environmental education. We also offer a number of internship and/or fellowship opportunities.

student using equipment


Students engage in a wide variety of environmental and geographic courses and activities in order to gain a comprehensive understanding of socioecological systems at a variety of geographic scales, from the local to the global. Students will gain hands-on experience in cutting-edge field data collection methods and technologies, lab-based data analysis procedures, and state-of-the-art data visualization processes and technologies.

Our department has particular strengths in coastal and marine research, sustainability science, applied geographic information science and technology, and science education. We aim to engage our students in collaborative research projects in a local as well as an international context. Recently our faculty and students have engaged in projects focused on coastal resilience and environmental hazards in Connecticut, sustainable food systems in Iceland, water resource management in Central America, urban change in Central Asia, and eco-labeling in South Africa’s wine industry.

Special Department Features

  • Strong ties to the Werth Center for Coastal and Marine Studies, with research in the fields of coastal pollution, storm impacts and coastal erosion, water quality, and plastics in the marine environment
  • Educational programs at Outer Island, one of the Thimble Islands in the town of Branford. The department has developed marine and environmental educational programs.
  • In cooperation with the Office of International Education, the department offers a semester-long undergraduate student exchange program with Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom, as well as short-term summer session study abroad programs to Bermuda and Iceland and a short-term winter session study abroad program to South Africa.
  • State-of-the-art GIS and Geospatial Technology Lab, featuring the latest GIS, spatial analysis and remote sensing software
  • An active academic club with field trips and participation at annual conferences in geography and marine and coastal sciences
  • Close research and community outreach in collaboration with CELSE (Center for Environmental Literacy and Sustainability Education)


Our students have received internal awards and fellowships such as SCSU undergraduate research awards and Werth Center Fellowships and have written departmental honors theses, supervised by our faculty members. Beyond Southern, students have participated in and won research competitions of the New England St. Lawrence Valley Geographical Association and the American Association of Geographers.

Many of our undergraduate majors have gone on to successfully complete graduate degrees in geography and have been competitive in obtaining funding for their graduate study.

Our students present research papers or posters at academic conferences such as the biannual Long Island Sound Research Conference or the annual Conference of the Association of American Geographers, and they work on community engagement projects such as the investigation of urban food deserts in New Haven.


Werth Center
American Association of Geographers
Liverpool John Moores University
Office of International Education

Contact Us

Dr. C. Patrick Heidkamp
(203) 392-5082