Message from the Chair

Dr. Rice Department ChairWelcome to Environmental Toxicology, a field addressing urgent challenges facing a rapidly changing world, arising from population growth, climate change, habitat loss, and stresses on food, water and energy supplies. Population growth and rapid development are unavoidably accompanied by pollution that is increasingly difficult for the environment to accommodate.

How will we meet these challenges?

A legacy of harmful chemical exposures and improper disposal has sensitized us to current damage from ongoing pollution and the challenges faced by living organisms. While we need to monitor ambient concentrations and fates of toxic chemicals in the air, water and land, we also need to find the levels of exposure that occur in our daily lives, from the use of consumer products and in occupational settings. We must assess the risks such exposures pose and find ways to keep them at tolerable levels. This information is critical to enabling global governmental toxic regulatory systems to work effectively.

As we gain better understanding of the complexity of the problems arising from exposure to natural and synthetic toxins, we need to develop appropriate scientific tools to address them. We wish to exploit recent advances in analytical chemical and molecular biological methods to elucidate toxic mechanisms as well as combining them to design high throughput screening assays.

Since environmental problems have multiple causes, we need a multi-disciplinary approach to training and cooperation among scientists with complementary expertise. To this end, the ETX major provides a solid foundation in science, especially biology and chemistry. Students are encouraged to choose a broad selection of elective courses that widen their scientific horizons.

Graduates from the ETX major are well prepared to find employment directly in industry and government regulatory agencies or to obtain further training in graduate or professional school. As a small major, we offer personal attention from faculty and staff to help you succeed in your chosen direction.

Come join us in helping to save the world!

With Best Wishes,
Robert Rice, Professor and Chair
Department of Environmental Toxicology