Jacobs UniversityBy Asian Correspondent Feb 16, 2012 4:49PM UTC
Asia is developing rapidly, and with this comes an increased burden on natural resources, potable water systems and food supply chains. Analysts are predicting massive surges in demand over the next decade, coupled with a shrinking base of natural resources. With that in mind, there is a pronounced need for experts and consultants with a background in earth sciences and natural resources.
Jacobs University is an ideal place to pursue an earth sciences degree. It’s located in Germany, at the crossroads of Europe and roughly halfway between major cities in East Asia and North America. The school itself is relatively small, yet the student body is a composite of more than 100 nationalities. Instruction is in English and combines with field- and lab-based research to deliver one of the most holistic environmental studies programs on the market.
By enrolling now and earning a degree, students in Asia can get a head start on resolving the growing environmental challenges that we face today. Industry leaders will emerge over the next years, and these people will undoubtedly introduce strategies, policies and technologies that will fundamentally change the world. Ambitious graduates will thrive in this environment.
Studying at Jacobs University prepares students for careers on the international stage. This is crucial, as challenges related to management of natural resources necessarily involve cooperation between disparate nations and diverse groups of people.
There are currently students from more than 110 countries enrolled at Jacobs. Classrooms are diverse, and students quickly learn how to carry out effective cross-cultural communication and work in groups with students from very different backgrounds. This preps students for exactly the sort of challenges they’ll face in their future careers.
There are two earth science related programs on offer at Jacobs University: Earth and Space Sciences (ESS) and Integrated Environmental Studies IES. Global challenges related to resources and their management are not going to diminish. With that in mind, growing demand for metals, oil and water around the world spell career success for professionals in the earth sciences sector.
In both of the programs, the emphasis is on hands-on research. Classes take excursion field camps in Germany, France, Iceland, Ireland and South Africa. For those who know they want to seek a degree in this sector, but aren’t sure which program they want to settle on, it is possible to study for about three semesters before making a decision.
Earth and Space Sciences
This three-year Bachelor’s Degree course equips students to address a host of natural questions and earth-related problems. This is a far-reaching course, covering everything from marine and environmental sciences to astrophysics and astrobiology. In the process, students study everything from microscopic crystals to sprawling galaxies.
The program covers topics including climate study, fossil fuel and water management, the origin of the planet and the relationship between Earth and the Sun. The first year is essentially a broad survey of the natural sciences. From the second year, students have to choose a specialization, such as oceanography, astrophysics or natural resources.
With a Bachelor’s Degree in earth and space sciences, you’ll be qualified to take on a diverse range of careers. Graduates have gone on to place satellite missions for space agencies, develop methods of obtaining renewable energy, collect geographical data for maps and databases, work with an observatory or write for science periodicals.
Integrated Environmental Studies
This program is also called ERDE, an acronym for Earth, Resources, Development and Environment. Erde is also the German word for earth. It takes a more holistic approach to earth sciences than the ESS program, as it prepares students for careers in policy and development rather than in directly applied sciences. That being said, there is still a great deal of science in IES.
Instructors emphasize mitigating crises of earth systems, seeking solutions to problems related to finite resources, high food and water demands and shortages of healthcare and education. Each student will choose one of the following specializations: sustainable development, environment and resources or energy policy and technology.
The issues surrounding energy production and consumption require a multidisciplinary approach, which is what the IES program offers students: economics, policy, politics, geosciences and physics.
Above all, this is an interdisciplinary program that caters to ambitious, multitalented students. Students benefit from Jacobs’ multicultural atmosphere, which prepares them for international careers liaising with government bodies and NGOs.
Jacobs University is a small place, and students have as much opportunity to learn and develop personal skills outside of class as they do in the lecture hall. On campus, multiculturalism prevails, as is evident the clubs and student activities offered at Jacobs. These are organized by the Campus Activities and Intercultural Affairs department and include student government, community events, the university’s host family program and arts and sports organizations.
There is a great deal going on off campus as well. Bremen is a small but historic town, famous for its brick-red buildings and walk-able city center. During their free time, students explore the medieval alleyways, visit traditional markets and relax in local cafés and pubs.