Urban Ecology is a subfield of ecology that deals with the distribution, abundance and interactions of plants and animals (including humans) within urban and suburban environments. More than half of the world’s population lives in cities and suburbs, and they share these urban habitats with many other species. Thus, Urban Ecology is one of the fastest growing subfields in ecology, and most ecologists now work in human-influenced habitats.
Urban ecologists study vegetation, water flow, wildlife, and open spaces in cities to monitor the health of these resources and how they respond to pollution, development and other pressures. Specific endeavors of urban ecologists include monitoring nutrient flow from lawns and industry into oceans; helping design buildings and large developments to make them more sustainable and appealing; running nature and interpretive programs that range from very small to citywide; studying the impacts of invasive species; and exploring the positive impacts that green spaces have on biodiversity and human health.
Hofstra’s B.A. and B.S. in Urban Ecology programs are unique among universities on Long Island, and are designed to provide students with a strong foundation in the ecology of human-influenced habitats, from biological, political, social and cultural perspectives.
Students examine cities as ecosystems, combining ecological analyses with historical and sociopolitical studies of urban nature. The interdisciplinary programs include courses in biology, chemistry, math, engineering, global studies, geography, sociology, political science, and philosophy. Students may also benefit from collaborations with Hofstra’s Center for Civic Engagement, The National Center for Suburban Studies at Hofstra University, and agencies on Long Island and in New York City. The program includes an internship.
An undergraduate degree in Urban Ecology prepares students for careers in environmental education, state and local conservation agencies, and environmental consulting – at the local, regional and national levels. This field is growing as sustainability becomes increasingly important to society.
Students interested in declaring a major in Urban Ecology are encouraged to contact Hofstra’s Department of Biology to speak with a faculty adviser about the features and requirements of this program.
- BIO 11 Introductory Cell Biology and Genetics
- BIO 12 Animal Form and Function
- BIO 13 Prokaryotes, Protists, Fungi and Plants
- BIO 14 Evolution, Ecology and Behavior
- BIO 20 Urban Habitats
- BIO 100 Biostatistics
- BIO 108 Ornithology
- BIO 114 General Ecology
- BIO 115 Conservation Biology
- BIO 116 Terrestrial Vertebrate Natural History
- BIO 147 Invertebrate Zoology
- BIO 154 Entomology
- BIO 170 Urban Ecology
- BIO 175 Field Botany
- BIO 185, 186 Internships
Students may choose from a large selection of elective courses offered in other Hofstra departments, such as:
- GEOG 102 Population, Resources and Environment (BH)
- GEOG 106 Urbanization in the Developing World (CC)
- GEOG 161 Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
For the Natural Sciences:
- GEOL 5 Environmental Geology and Natural Hazards
- ENGG 110 Project Management
- TPP 1 Introduction to Environmental Systems
- TPP 110 Energy and Society
- TPP 112 Technology and Human Values
- PHI 133 Environmental Ethics and Ecophilosophy
- SOC 141 Urban and Community Studies (BH)
- CHEM 185 Environmental Chemistry