New Nutrition Science and Environmental Health Sciences Programs, Coaching Minor

Images made in Analytical Toxicology Lab in Farber Hall in May 2021. The research lab is associated with James Olson, of the School of Public Health and Health Professions.

The School of Public Health and Health Professions recently added two new programs and a minor. All received required New York State Education Department approvals and are ready to welcome students.

The bachelor’s degree program in nutrition science prepares students for various career pathways, including dietetics and food science, and for entry into dietetics and other health profession programs. It builds on the nutrition minor, a popular area of study at UB for years. Nutrition science is a growing field encompassing the role that food and diet plays in promoting and maintaining health and preventing disease, said Heather Kearns, MPH, MCHES, director for the undergraduate Exercise Science program.

The four-year curriculum includes foundational sciences like chemistry, and nutrition courses in human health and disease. The program was designed so students can apply to Future Education Model (FEM) programs in dietetics, accredited by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics. FEM programs are the new model for completing the required education to sit for the Registered Dietitian exam.

The MS in environmental health sciences is a two-year, research-based program offering specialized training in environmental health, environmental toxicology, exposure science and environmental epidemiology. This program will prepare students for careers as environmental health research scientists, professionals or specialists, or continuing graduate study.

Environmental health is the science and practice of preventing human injury and illness and promoting well-being by identifying and evaluating hazardous agents in the environment and their sources, and limiting exposures to hazardous physical, chemical and biological agents in air, water, soil or food that may adversely affect health.

The coaching minor in the Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences is open to all UB undergraduates interested in careers related to coaching in various sports programs, or school or intercollegiate athletics. (It does not lead to New York State coaching credentials, however.)

The minor builds on the idea that coaches are educators and leaders. It focuses on competencies and skills, such as CPR and first aid, sports nutrition, sports science, performance psychology, injury prevention and organizational issues specific to coaching in different sports programs.