What the New Chemistry Climate Major Means to a Current Sophmore

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Official announcement of new major.

HMC just launched a new joint Chemistry-Climate Major! What does this mean for students?

I am a Sophomore who has been undecided about my major, and a big interest of mine is Climate Science. Growing up, I watched a lot of PBS and I learned to recognize ways that human-planet interactions were negatively affecting my community. For example, the local river was full of trash and polluted, and weather patterns were becoming more extreme and erratic. As a student also passionate about STEM, I want to interact with these problems. In the past, students like me would have completed an Independent Program of Study (IPS) or the Emphasis in Environmental Analysis (EEA). However, I have always wanted a little more depth than the EEA offered, so I am really excited for the extra courses the new major offers. 

Visible effects of the new major

As a student, the hiring of new faculty with shared interests in climate solutions has been very eye opening. More professors interested in the environment means that there are more climate-focused lab opportunities on campus! This is a great opportunity for students year-round. There are also more professors in a greater number of disciplines available for students to talk to. Emailing or dropping into a professor’s office has been a great way for me to learn about different things I might be interested in. At a small college like HMC professors are happy to talk to students and will often “match” students and faculty with similar interests who can better answer student questions. This is great for students because it offers a kind of inhouse networking between students and faculty.

Being at such a small school, people are always stopping and asking me if I have heard about the new major. A great part of being at a small college is that lots of people on campus know your interests and are rooting for your success.