Overview

Are you interested in animals and plants and how they interact with each other and the physical environment? Are you interested in sustainability and the conservation of natural resources? Are you concerned about pollution, loss of biodiversity, sustainability, and ways humans are harming the environment?

If you answered yes to these questions, SMWC’s environmental science major and minor will be of interest to you. This discipline helps students understand how various aspects of the natural world interconnect with each other and with human society, and prepares students for a variety of environmental science jobs.

Major

In addition to general studies courses and electives, the environmental science major requires 54-57  credit hours of coursework.

Required Science Core

BI 141/142 Principles of Biology I/II
Campus & Online | 4 each Credits
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A study of the major unifying concepts of biology at the molecular, cellular and organismic level, including a survey of the major groups of living organisms. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Fall (141) and Spring (142), every year. Course fee.

Campus & Online 4 each Credits
CH 115 General Chemistry I
Campus & Online | 4 Credits
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Introduces the basic chemical concepts of atomic structure, periodicity, and the chemical reactions of both gases and solutions, and the thermodynamics of these reactions. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Fall, every year. Course fee. Prerequisite: One year of high school chemistry or consent of instructor.

Campus & Online 4 Credits
CH 116 General Chemistry II
Campus & Online | 4 Credits
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A continuation of the concepts presented in CH 115 as they pertain to reaction kinetics, thermodynamics, and equilibrium and acid-base and precipitation, and redox reactions. The concepts behind solids and liquids are also presented. A brief introduction to organic chemistry is included in the course topics. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Spring, every year. Course fee. Prerequisite: CH 115.

Campus & Online 4 Credits
CH/EV 250 Environmental Chemistry
Campus | 4 Credits
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In this course students will use the fundamental principles of chemistry to gain an understanding of the source, fate, and reactivity of compounds in natural and polluted environments. Emphasis will be placed on the environmental implications of energy utilization and on the chemistry of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere. Environmental issues that will be discussed include climate change, air pollution, stratospheric ozone depletion, pollution and treatment of water sources, the utilization of insecticides and herbicides. The course will include a laboratory component in which students will perform indoor/outdoor experimental activities. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisite: CH 115 and CH 116.
This is a required course for the Environmental Sciences major. This will be an elective course for biology majors and pre-professional majors.

Campus 4 Credits
BI/EV 370 Applications of Environmental Science
Campus | 4 Credits
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This course uses an interdisciplinary approach to our world to emphasize the history of environmental concerns, biomes, species interactions with each other and their environment, air, water, soil and biological resources, population dynamics, toxicology, energy sources, land use management, and other related topics. Principles of physics, Environmental chemistry, and biology are incorporated throughout the course. Laboratory activities allow direct application of the concepts learned in lecture. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisite: BI 141 or BI 101.
This is a required course for the Environmental Sciences major and minor. This will be an elective course for biology majors and pre-professional majors.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 225 Science Communications I
Campus & Online | 0 Credits
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Critical study of current research issues in biology conducted in seminar fashion. Student research and the oral presentation of biological problems are major components of the course.

Campus & Online 0 Credits
BI 226 Science Communications II
Campus & Online | 0 Credits
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A continuation of BI 225.

Campus & Online 0 Credits
BI 325 Science Communications III
Campus & Online | 1 Credit
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Critical study of current research issues in biology conducted in seminar fashion. Student research and development of undergraduate research proposal are major components of the course.

Campus & Online 1 Credit
BI 326 Science Communications IV
Campus & Online | 1 Credit
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A continuation of BI 325. Finalization of undergraduate research proposal and oral presentation of proposed project are major components of this course.

Campus & Online 1 Credit
BI 426 Science Communications VI
Campus & Online | 1 Credit
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Critical study of current research issues in biology conducted in seminar fashion. Student research and the oral presentation of biological problem are major components of the course.

Campus & Online 1 Credit
BI 411/412 Undergraduate Research
Campus & Online | 2/1 Credits
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A two-stage course under the supervision of a research adviser concerning the basic principles of research and problem solving methods in the biological sciences. The first stage consists of the actual research/internship to be completed by end of the first semester of senior year. The second stage consists of completion of research, data analysis, and preparation for communication.

Campus & Online 2/1 Credits

Math Component

It is highly recommended that students in the environmental science major take MA 253 or BI 253 as the Woods Core math component

EV/MA 240 Ecological Math Modeling
Campus | 3 Credits
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This course is necessary to demonstrate to students the use of mathematics and modeling in the use and conservation of natural resources. It will help students understand the fundamentals of resource management and how to predict population sizes and age structures of wildlife. This course will help make students more marketable and better able to consult and predict the outcomes of resource use.

Campus 3 Credits

Chemistry Concentration

15 credits

CH 222 Organic Chemistry I
Campus | 4 Credits
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Studies the reactivity of functionalized hydrocarbons through the use of mechanism and orbital considerations. Unsaturated hydrocarbons as well as functional groups containing oxygen and sulfur are considered. Laboratory offers instruction in technique. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Fall, every year. Course fee. Prerequisite: CH 116.

Campus 4 Credits
CH 322 Organic Chemistry II
Campus | 4 Credits
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Continuation of CH 222 considering additional functional groups such as aromatics, carboxylic acids, esters, and amines. In addition to synthesis, the interpretation of organic spectra is used as a tool for critical thinking. Biochemistry topics that pertain to organic spectra are used as tools for critical thinking. Biochemistry topics that pertain to organic topics are introduced. Laboratory offers instruction in synthesis. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Spring, every year. Course fee. Prerequisite: CH 222.

Campus 4 Credits
CH 323 Biochemistry
Campus | 4 Credits
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One semester introductory course designed to give students an appreciation of the dynamic nature of life processes. Chemistry of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids and enzymes are studied and considered in their role in metabolism. Some modern biochemical reactions and isolation of compounds from natural sources are included. Three lectures and one three-hour lab. Course fee. Prerequisites: CH 222 and CH 322, or consent of instructor.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 240 Animal Nutrition
Campus | 3 Credits
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This course deals with the function of nutrients, digestive processes, characterization of feedstuffs and formulation of diets for domestic animals. Deficiency disorders will also be addressed. Three one-hour lectures per week. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus 3 Credits

Biology/Wildlife Concentration

Choose either BI 261, ID 460 or BI 335 as part of the concentration, the other two can be used as electives.

BI 341 Ecology
Campus & Online | 4 Credits
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Principles and concepts pertaining to the study of organisms and their biotic and abiotic environment. Includes consideration of interrelationships at the level of the individual, population, community and ecosystem. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus & Online 4 Credits
BI 340 Conservation
Campus & Online | 3-4 Credits
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Conservation and management of renewable resources such as soil, water, air, minerals, plants and animals in relation to the total environment. The 4-credit hour class consists of three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week (the 3- credit hour course has no lab). As needed.

Campus & Online 3-4 Credits
BI/EV 450 Wildlife and Natural Resource Management
Campus | 4 Credits
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This course examines wildlife as a natural resource, with emphasis on principles of conservation, ecology, and management. This course includes hands-on experiences, analysis of wildlife and natural resource problems and understanding basic ecological concepts associated with wildlife. It also includes habitat management practices, identification of wildlife species, analysis of policies, laws and regulations, and use and management of natural resources.
This is a required course for the Environmental Sciences major with a wildlife concentration and the environmental sciences minor. This will be an elective course for Environmental Science with a chemistry concentration, biology majors, and pre-professional majors. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisite: BI 141 or BI 101.

Campus 4 Credits
BI/EV 261 The Natural History of Indiana
Campus | 3 Credits
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Focuses on Indiana’s diversity of organisms and ecosystems, including the geological and biological history of the state. Field laboratories will introduce students to the major taxonomic groups of organisms and local Indiana habitats. Two one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course Fee.

Campus 3 Credits
BI 335 Animal Behavior
Campus & Online | 4 Credits
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Explores the development, causation, function, and evolution of animal behavior. Examines genetic, physiological, psychological, ecological and evolutionary influences. Investigates the behavior of organisms as individuals and in social groups. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus & Online 4 Credits
BI 460 Sustainable Foods
Campus | 3 Credits
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This course examines what humans eat from multiple disciplines: biology and evolution; agriculture and environmental science; politics, business and economics; history, anthropology and culture; ethics and religion. The course will cover the history of food systems, leading up to a focus on the role of government and business in modern food systems, and the environmental impacts and sustainability of food systems. Finally, the course looks at individual food choices, from several perspectives including: nutrition, ethics, and cultural diversity.

Campus 3 Credits

Electives

Choose two-must be a minimum of 6 hours.

BI 221 Plant Biology
Campus & Online | 4 Credits
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Study of major plant groups, their structure, function and ecological relationships. Three one-hour lectures and one two- hour lab per week. As needed. Course Fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus & Online 4 Credits
BI 240 Animal Nutrition
Campus | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

This course deals with the function of nutrients, digestive processes, characterization of feedstuffs and formulation of diets for domestic animals. Deficiency disorders will also be addressed. Three one-hour lectures per week. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus 3 Credits
BI/EV 260 Field Biology
Campus | 1-3 Credit
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Field experiences in environmentally important areas (e.g., desert, grasslands, marshes) of the natural world which introduce the student to the interrelation of nature. Class presentations about the different ecosystems prepare the student for observation and investigation of the habitat; field experience included. Course fee. As needed.

Campus 1-3 Credit
BI 331 Invertebrate Zoology
Campus | 3 Credits
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Application of biological principles to the study of the structure, function, origin and development of typical invertebrates. Field work may be required in addition to regular laboratory periods. Three lectures and one two-hour laboratory. As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Campus 3 Credits
EV/PL 350 Environmental Law
Campus | 3 Credits
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Provides an overview of environmental law that is relevant to the everyday lives of all citizens. As an overview, offers the curious student the resources needed to explore environmental subject areas or issues more fully. Revolves around the primary federal environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and National Environmental Policy Act. Interesting cases, such as does a cetacean have standing to sue, will be incorporated as learning tools.

Campus 3 Credits
BI 351 Microbiology
Campus & Online | 4 Credits
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Introduction to the nutrition, physiology and ecology of microorganisms (bacteria, yeasts, molds and viruses) including preparation of media, role of microorganisms in health and disease and methods of control. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Campus & Online 4 Credits
PL/EV 437 Environmental Ethics
Campus | 3 Credits
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Social, political, esthetic, scientific and religious perspectives will be used to investigate topics related to issues of health in a variety of countries. Mathematical skills will be reinforced utilizing statistical information and manipulations of data related to health issues. Emerging diseases will be discussed and students will be asked to create a model of a current emerging disease and its probable occurrence in the next ten years.

Campus 3 Credits
BI 410 Evolution
Campus & Online | 4 Credits
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Studies the history of life and the process that produces its diversity and unity. Content includes natural selection, speciation, macroevolution and microevolution. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus & Online 4 Credits
BI 480 Topics in Biology
Campus & Online | 1-4 Credit
Show Course Description

Research and discussion of one or more topics of current biological interest. For majors only. For those seeking secondary education certification, the topics will include drugs, human nutrition and social biology. As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Campus & Online 1-4 Credit
BI/EV 261 The Natural History of Indiana
Campus | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

Focuses on Indiana’s diversity of organisms and ecosystems, including the geological and biological history of the state. Field laboratories will introduce students to the major taxonomic groups of organisms and local Indiana habitats. Two one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course Fee.

Campus 3 Credits
BI 335 Animal Behavior
Campus & Online | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

Explores the development, causation, function, and evolution of animal behavior. Examines genetic, physiological, psychological, ecological and evolutionary influences. Investigates the behavior of organisms as individuals and in social groups. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus & Online 4 Credits
BI 341 Ecology
Campus & Online | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

Principles and concepts pertaining to the study of organisms and their biotic and abiotic environment. Includes consideration of interrelationships at the level of the individual, population, community and ecosystem. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus & Online 4 Credits
BI 340 Conservation
Campus & Online | 3-4 Credits
Show Course Description

Conservation and management of renewable resources such as soil, water, air, minerals, plants and animals in relation to the total environment. The 4-credit hour class consists of three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week (the 3- credit hour course has no lab). As needed.

Campus & Online 3-4 Credits
BI/EV 450 Wildlife and Natural Resource Management
Campus | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

This course examines wildlife as a natural resource, with emphasis on principles of conservation, ecology, and management. This course includes hands-on experiences, analysis of wildlife and natural resource problems and understanding basic ecological concepts associated with wildlife. It also includes habitat management practices, identification of wildlife species, analysis of policies, laws and regulations, and use and management of natural resources.
This is a required course for the Environmental Sciences major with a wildlife concentration and the environmental sciences minor. This will be an elective course for Environmental Science with a chemistry concentration, biology majors, and pre-professional majors. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisite: BI 141 or BI 101.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 460 Sustainable Foods
Campus | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

This course examines what humans eat from multiple disciplines: biology and evolution; agriculture and environmental science; politics, business and economics; history, anthropology and culture; ethics and religion. The course will cover the history of food systems, leading up to a focus on the role of government and business in modern food systems, and the environmental impacts and sustainability of food systems. Finally, the course looks at individual food choices, from several perspectives including: nutrition, ethics, and cultural diversity.

Campus 3 Credits

Information about Course Requirements

We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest undergraduate college catalog.  Always consult your academic advisor when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.

Minor

A minor in Environmental Science is advantageous to anyone interested in the interrelatedness of life and the universe. In addition, an individualized major may be developed in this area utilizing courses in the biology and chemistry areas. 24-25 credit hours are required.

Required Courses

22-23 credit hours required; All courses listed.

BI 141/142 Principles of Biology I/II
Campus & Online | 4 each Credits
Show Course Description

A study of the major unifying concepts of biology at the molecular, cellular and organismic level, including a survey of the major groups of living organisms. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Fall (141) and Spring (142), every year. Course fee.

Campus & Online 4 each Credits
BI 341 Ecology
Campus & Online | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

Principles and concepts pertaining to the study of organisms and their biotic and abiotic environment. Includes consideration of interrelationships at the level of the individual, population, community and ecosystem. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus & Online 4 Credits
BI/EV 260 Field Biology
Campus | 1-3 Credit
Show Course Description

Field experiences in environmentally important areas (e.g., desert, grasslands, marshes) of the natural world which introduce the student to the interrelation of nature. Class presentations about the different ecosystems prepare the student for observation and investigation of the habitat; field experience included. Course fee. As needed.

Campus 1-3 Credit
BI/EV 370 Applications of Environmental Science
Campus | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

This course uses an interdisciplinary approach to our world to emphasize the history of environmental concerns, biomes, species interactions with each other and their environment, air, water, soil and biological resources, population dynamics, toxicology, energy sources, land use management, and other related topics. Principles of physics, Environmental chemistry, and biology are incorporated throughout the course. Laboratory activities allow direct application of the concepts learned in lecture. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisite: BI 141 or BI 101.
This is a required course for the Environmental Sciences major and minor. This will be an elective course for biology majors and pre-professional majors.

Campus 4 Credits

Electives

Choose one of the following course options (at least 3 credit hours required).

BI 221 Plant Biology
Campus & Online | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

Study of major plant groups, their structure, function and ecological relationships. Three one-hour lectures and one two- hour lab per week. As needed. Course Fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus & Online 4 Credits
BI/EV 260 Field Biology
Campus | 1-3 Credit
Show Course Description

Field experiences in environmentally important areas (e.g., desert, grasslands, marshes) of the natural world which introduce the student to the interrelation of nature. Class presentations about the different ecosystems prepare the student for observation and investigation of the habitat; field experience included. Course fee. As needed.

Campus 1-3 Credit
EV/MA 240 Ecological Math Modeling
Campus | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

This course is necessary to demonstrate to students the use of mathematics and modeling in the use and conservation of natural resources. It will help students understand the fundamentals of resource management and how to predict population sizes and age structures of wildlife. This course will help make students more marketable and better able to consult and predict the outcomes of resource use.

Campus 3 Credits
BI 253 Biostatistics
Campus | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

Standard topics of elementary statistics: organization of data, normal distributions, estimation, hypothesis testing, correlation and regression, chi-square and analysis of variance. Additional emphasis on selection of methods and applications to biology, particularly genetics and for undergraduate research. Use of appropriate software. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor. Appropriate score on the mathematics placement exam or completion of
MA 117.

Campus 3 Credits
BI 335 Animal Behavior
Campus & Online | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

Explores the development, causation, function, and evolution of animal behavior. Examines genetic, physiological, psychological, ecological and evolutionary influences. Investigates the behavior of organisms as individuals and in social groups. Three one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus & Online 4 Credits
BI 340 Conservation
Campus & Online | 3-4 Credits
Show Course Description

Conservation and management of renewable resources such as soil, water, air, minerals, plants and animals in relation to the total environment. The 4-credit hour class consists of three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week (the 3- credit hour course has no lab). As needed.

Campus & Online 3-4 Credits
EV/PL 350 Environmental Law
Campus | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

Provides an overview of environmental law that is relevant to the everyday lives of all citizens. As an overview, offers the curious student the resources needed to explore environmental subject areas or issues more fully. Revolves around the primary federal environmental laws such as the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and National Environmental Policy Act. Interesting cases, such as does a cetacean have standing to sue, will be incorporated as learning tools.

Campus 3 Credits
BI 410 Evolution
Campus & Online | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

Studies the history of life and the process that produces its diversity and unity. Content includes natural selection, speciation, macroevolution and microevolution. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142, or consent of instructor.

Campus & Online 4 Credits
BI/EV 450 Wildlife and Natural Resource Management
Campus | 4 Credits
Show Course Description

This course examines wildlife as a natural resource, with emphasis on principles of conservation, ecology, and management. This course includes hands-on experiences, analysis of wildlife and natural resource problems and understanding basic ecological concepts associated with wildlife. It also includes habitat management practices, identification of wildlife species, analysis of policies, laws and regulations, and use and management of natural resources.
This is a required course for the Environmental Sciences major with a wildlife concentration and the environmental sciences minor. This will be an elective course for Environmental Science with a chemistry concentration, biology majors, and pre-professional majors. Three one-hour lectures and one two-hour lab per week. Course fee. Prerequisite: BI 141 or BI 101.

Campus 4 Credits
BI 460 Sustainable Foods
Campus | 3 Credits
Show Course Description

This course examines what humans eat from multiple disciplines: biology and evolution; agriculture and environmental science; politics, business and economics; history, anthropology and culture; ethics and religion. The course will cover the history of food systems, leading up to a focus on the role of government and business in modern food systems, and the environmental impacts and sustainability of food systems. Finally, the course looks at individual food choices, from several perspectives including: nutrition, ethics, and cultural diversity.

Campus 3 Credits
BI 480 Topics in Biology
Campus & Online | 1-4 Credit
Show Course Description

Research and discussion of one or more topics of current biological interest. For majors only. For those seeking secondary education certification, the topics will include drugs, human nutrition and social biology. As needed. Course fee. Prerequisites: BI 141 and BI 142.

Campus & Online 1-4 Credit

Information about Course Requirements

We do our best to keep this information updated, but you should always double-check to ensure you are meeting graduation requirements. For the most current course requirements please review the latest undergraduate college catalog.  Always consult your academic advisor when registering for courses or when you have questions about course requirements.

Career Paths

As an environmental scientist, you can expect to work in a variety of applied fields and interdisciplinary settings analyzing the effects that humans have on our environment. Possible careers include:

  • Agricultural Scientist
  • Ecologist
  • Conservationist
  • Forest Ranger
  • Air and Water Quality Manager
  • Environmental Analyst
  • Air Pollution Analyst
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Geographer
  • Environmental Educator
  • Natural Resource Manager