Thanks in part to a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Kentucky State University (KSU) is working to enhance environmental science education under the newly launched undergraduate program in Agriculture, Food, and Environment (AFE).

The overall objective of this program is to enhance and strengthen the environmental science curriculum by providing a wider scope of environmental science courses and experiential learning opportunities for students. We are working to review curricula and develop six new courses, offer a dual-credit course to high school students, launch a summer bridge program, create competitive stipends and enhance students mentoring/advising.

Students will receive opportunities to engage in various experiential learning opportunities, such as water quality monitoring; studies of the landscape and hydrology of the Kentucky River using GIS- and remote sensing-based tools; profiling of the Kentucky River ecosystem, soil quality, runoff, and flora and fauna in the Kentucky River watershed.

This project supports KSU’s goal of elevating programs to higher standards with competent faculty who will have enhanced teaching capabilities and who have created market-responsive curricula. It also supports our continuing efforts toward increases in our student recruitment, retention and graduation rates.

In addition, this project will strengthen and expand the institutional linkage with high schools, private companies, and government agencies for further collaboration for recruitment, internships, and cooperative education. The environmental science option in the AFE program will develop a pipeline of students for the Masters in Environmental Studies at KSU.

The major outcome of this project will be a strengthened Agriculture, Food and Environment undergraduate program with enhanced Environmental Science option, with innovative curricula and teaching pedagogy for producing young environmental scientists with knowledge and research exposure in environmental management, geospatial applications, and climate change studies.