YSU STEM students now have the opportunity to pursue a new and relevant academic minor in Natural Gas and Water Resources, a program that provides a focus on the emerging oil and gas industry. The STEM College’s Department of Geological and Environmental Science heads this minor.
With the rapid emergence of the regional natural gas industry, the Natural Gas and Water Resources Minor at YSU was first proposed in November 2011 and was quickly approved by the Board of Trustees in April 2012.
The broad based curriculum includes coursework that supports emerging requirements for safe and efficient production of natural gas and water resource management. In only it’s first full year, approximately fifteen students have already declared Natural Gas and Water Resources as their minor.
“I chose the Natural Gas and Water Resources minor not only because of the growing field, but because the subject itself is very interesting.” Marcy Angelo, junior says.
The Natural Gas and Water Resources minor has a base curriculum of three courses:
- Introduction to Natural Gas and Water Systems;
- Foundations of Environmental Studies and Lab;
- and Natural Gas and Water Resources Seminar.
Students select additional classes from Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, or Geological and Environmental Science for a total of twenty credit hours.
Core courses include discussions on the variety and effectiveness of various well-drilling techniques, as well as the impact of science, technology, and engineering on the safe and efficient practices. Students also perform environmental studies and research as part of their field experience, thereby expanding their knowledge beyond the classroom to include both the oil and gas fields and the subsequent oil and gas downstream processing.
“The class time goes very fast because everything is new for us to learn, and all of us have many questions. It’s a class that I look forward to attending. The seminar is geared toward listening to a representative from a company speak about the oil and gas field, and I am excited for our first speaker to learn even more about the subject,” Angelo also said.
The new minor pairs well with a major in Geological and Environmental Science, and it makes graduates more marketable in this exciting new area.
“I chose to minor in Natural Gas and Water Resources because it is a great opportunity to get involved with what is happening in our area. I want to be well educated on anything happening with the earth. Geology is my passion and I want to know as much as I can about it,” said Lauren Talda, a junior majoring in Geological and Environmental Science.