Dear Purdue Undergraduates,

Here we are in week 7, navigating our daily lives through a wave of changes and learning to keep ourselves and others safe - surely a praise-worthy commitment.

This month, we bring you a new batch of environmentally-focused resources. We feature the College of Liberal Arts’ Environmental and Sustainability Studies Certificate program, an interdisciplinary certificate that employs a humanities perspective toward environmental and sustainability issues. We also highlight the course “Introduction to Environmental and Sustainability Studies,” the cornerstone of the undergraduate certificate. In this issue, we also highlight the Purdue Student Chapter of the Wildlife Society, a student club devoted to wildlife management, science, and conservation. 

If you are exploring majors or academic programs in the sphere of the environment, you will find our undergraduate environmental expo useful. Several opportunities to pursue your research ideas this month as well; the Center for the Environment and Purdue’s Office of Undergraduate Research will be hosting research expos. We also bring you an array of local and virtual events for when you want to step back and take a break from schoolwork.

As always, we appreciate your support and will keep bringing you further resources and information in future issues. If you would like to suggest a feature on an event, student club, story, or any changes to the newsletter, please contact Siddharth Sinha, our Research and Communication Intern at

Environmental programs offered at Purdue University aren't restricted to the fields of agriculture, science, or engineering, but also include other disciplines like political science, anthropology, and philosophy. Programs offered within these areas present a distinct perspective on the discourse of environment and sustainability. One such program is the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Certificate.
The Environmental and Sustainability Studies Certificate
This interdisciplinary program welcomes students pursuing all majors who foster an interest in addressing environmental and sustainability challenges. The certificate program extends students the opportunity to gain a broad exposure on how issues revolving around the environment and sustainability are conceived, represented, and researched, especially, from a humanities perspective. The program encourages holistic comprehension and critical evaluation of contemporary environmental and sustainability concerns. Students must complete 15 credit hours, including one of the program's four requisite courses, three electives, and a capstone project. 

ANTH 39300 – Introduction to Environmental and Sustainability Studies

Credit Hours: 3.00. Offered Spring 2021.
Cross listed with the environmental courses POL 42900, ENGL 39300, and EEE 39500

A foundational class for the undergraduate Environmental and Sustainability Studies certificate program, this course welcomes all students interested in analyzing the environmental and sustainability challenges that concern our global society from an interdisciplinary perspective. The course focuses on two broad schools of interdisciplinary approaches to analyzing and tackling environmental issues - 1.Humanities and social sciences 2.STEM disciplines. This course is taught by professors Jennifer Johnson (Anthropology), Leigh Raymond (Political Science), and Larry Nies (Environmental and Ecological Engineering), who represent the disciplines covered in the course. You will learn to identify, relate, and describe the diverse causes and effects of environmental challenges. You will cross boundaries between several disciplines as you distinguish and compare different approaches and solutions to key environmental issues. Lastly, you will illustrate your diversity of knowledge by applying your work in multidisciplinary teams on sustainability challenges. 

The Wildlife Society is an international organization made up of nearly 10,000 students and professionals dedicated to wildlife science, management, and conservation. Its Purdue University student chapter (Purdue TWS) focuses on building a community for students who share these interests. The club creates opportunities for students to network with professionals and to gain hands-on field experience working with wildlife, with the overarching goal to educate future professionals to prepare them for a career in the field. Further, the club hosts an array of activities including bird walks, movie nights, quiz bowls, and much more to foster a richer consciousness about wildlife.
This year, the Purdue TWS celebrates its 60th anniversary. As a part of their celebration, the club will be inviting several Purdue Wildlife alumni to speak to their members.
To talk about her experience as a leader and member of the club, we reached out to Amanda Heltzel, the president of the Purdue TWS. Amanda is a senior studying Wildlife with a minor in Aquatic Sciences, and she is currently working on a research project at Dr. John Dunning's Lab. She says, “Becoming a member of thePurdue Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society is one of the best things I've done in college. Through Purdue TWS I have had the opportunity to gain hands-on wildlife experience that helped me to land summer positions, and I've been able to network with wildlife professionals from across the United States. Through Purdue TWS I have gotten to help with urban deer and coyote research in Chicago, attend The Wildlife Society annual conference in Reno, and learn how to sample for chronic wasting disease with the Indiana DNR, among many other experiences. I've made amazing memories and lifelong friendships through Purdue TWS, all while developing professional skills for the wildlife field. Serving as the president of this awesome organization has been great because I get to help create similar experiences for our members.”
Visit the club’s Boilerlink to learn more, as well as its Facebook and Instagram accounts (@twspurdue), where they post information related to events and meetings. 

October 8, 3:30 - 5:00 PM and October 9, 2:30 - 4:00 PM | Virtual

The Center for the Environment and NRES are holding the 2020 Undergraduate Environmental Programs Virtual Expo on October 8th and 9th this year. The expo will provide you the opportunity to discuss your academic interests with advisors and current students in a variety of environmental majors, minors, and programs at Purdue. Each info session will include virtual breakout rooms for different programs.

The Expo will take place via Zoom. Register to attend here.

Virtual Lunch & Learn: Environmental Justice and Public Health

Wednesday, October 7, 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM | Webex

Continuing the Center for the Environment’s year-long program of conversations about intersections between environmental and social justice, Dr. Ellen Wells, Center affiliate and Associate Professor of Environmental and Occupational Health, will speak on some of the history and scope of environmental justice as a critical environmental and public health concern. She will also discuss in detail her experience in interacting with a community facing environmental justice issues in East Chicago, Indiana.
Register here to attend.

The Discovery Park Undergraduate Student Research Internships program offers undergraduate students the opportunity to work directly with Purdue researchers on groundbreaking interdisciplinary research projects. Students can be an integral part of innovation and discovery, garnering themselves the poise, experience, and challenge of working in a cutting-edge setting. For the semester Spring 2021, research avenues for the program include global security, global health, and global sustainability. Faculty submissions for projects will be chosen by October 23, and students can apply for one project of their choice between October 30 and November 13. Learn more about the internship program here and how you can win DURI’s $1000 spring fellowship.

Join us in celebrating Water Year 2021, which commenced on October 1. Throughout the month, we will share videos, posts, and podcasts showcasing the diversity of expertise in research and engagement from C4E's Water Community Signature Research Area. We begin with professors Laura Bowling and Keith Cherkauer sharing their assessment of Indiana's water resources - watch the video here. Follow along for a month full of celebrations, which culminates with a panel event of experts from state and local agencies and nonprofit groups to highlight successes and challenges for Indiana's sustainable water future on October 28th at 3:30 PM. Mark your calendars!
Research conducted in our globalized society transcends not only disciplinary boundaries but also cultures. Ally Jacoby, an undergraduate student majoring in Natural Resources and Environmental Science, participated in a cross-cultural research study that took her to the arid and mountainous terrains of Arequipa, Peru, last summer. Talking about her research experience, Ally said, "Being part of the Arequipa Nexus Institute's Soil Health Research Team was an extremely rewarding experience. I had the opportunity to collaborate with students and researchers from both Purdue and Universidad Nacional de San Agustin to advance research on desert agriculture, which has implications for global food security as drylands continuously expand due to climate change."

Ally was one of the twelve undergraduates who participated in the research internship jointly established by the Center for the Environment's Arequipa Nexus Institute for Food, Energy, Water, and the Environment (a research collaboration between Universidad de San Augustin, Arequipa, Peru, and Purdue University) and the Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship. Her research project focused on investigating the accumulation of heavy metals in the soil of Arequipa's desert agricultural system. To extract some agricultural output from Arequipa's dry terrain, the Peruvian government implemented the Majes-Siguas Irrigation Project, which converted 15,000 hectares of arid soil into arable fields. However, the government's initiative of irrigating a region not naturally suited for agriculture leaves the chance of unexplored consequences concerning sustainability, food security, and economic growth. Follow this link to read more on Ally's evaluation of soil health in Arequipa, Peru. 

C4E Fall 2020 Hybrid Research Expo

Begins October 12 | In-person and virtual

Join the 2020 edition of C4E’s annual environmental fall research expo, which looks slightly different this year. At our annual fall research expo we showcase some of the pioneering research conducted by Purdue undergraduates and faculties. Keep an eye on this page for the posters and abstracts being presented at this year's expo.

Purdue Forestry and Natural Resources Wildlife Field Day

October 8, 5:00 - 7:00 PM | 3595 Holtsclaw Road, Milton, IN

Learn about wildlife habitat and management including food plots, CRP renovation for wildlife, invasive species management and more. Light, pre-packaged refreshments will be provided and social distancing regulations will be in place. RSVP by October 7 at 765-966-0191 or

Indigenous Peoples Day Celebration - Red Alert: Revisiting Inigenous Realism featuring Dr. Daniel Wildcat

October 12, 2:00 - 3:30 pm | Virtual

Dr. Daniel Wildcat will revisit his call to action on the environmental crisis affecting mother earth, from his book, “Red Alert!: Saving the Planet with Indigenous Knowledge,” and discuss progress in climate and indigenous activism. Register here for the Zoom link.

Office of Undergraduate Research - Fall Undergraduate Research Expo

November 16 | Virtual

Purdue’s Office of Undergraduate Research serves to promote and expand experiential learning for students through research experiences. The Purdue OUR offers an array of resources, guidance, and access to mentors and faculty to help undergraduate students realize their research ideas; gaining invaluable out-of-class knowledge and skills while participating in discovery and contributing to the augment of human knowledge. 

Purdue OUR’s Undergraduate Research Expo is an exquisite opportunity for students to showcase their research studies and milestones through oral or poster presentations. Apply
here by November 2, 2020.

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