In order to develop solutions for human-caused environmental change, we must first understand the principles of the natural environment. Students in the Environmental Science (ES) program engage in an integrated science curriculum, designed to give students a broad perspective on the environment, its components and processes, and ways to manage and restore the ecosystems within it. This major investigates the mechanisms behind climate change, develops approaches to sustainably manage Earth’s resources, and works to support and preserve biodiversity.
Within the Environmental Science major, students may choose 1 of the following 5 specializations in which to focus:
Ecosystem Restoration - Students will study how ecosystems (both land and water) function at the physical, biological, and chemical level. This specialization is aimed at giving students the knowledge needed to preserve, create and restore our fragile ecosystems.
Environmental Molecular Science- Environmental Molecular Science looks for answers to environmental challenges by studying their smallest components, analyzing chemical and biological processes on the scale of a single atom, molecule, and cell. It is particularly suited for students wishing to pursue an advanced degree from graduate school (M.S. or Ph.D.) in the fields of environmental microbiology, geobiology, or biogeochemistry. A more detailed description of the specialization and job opportunities can be found here. Additional information for students considering career paths in this field can be found here.
Environmental Science Education - This specialization couples scientific coursework with interpretation and communication skills. It is particularly suited for those who want to pursue a Master of Education to become an environmental science teacher.
Soil Resources and Environmental Sustainability - Land and water systems depend heavily on the soil to maintain their functions and stability. This specialization focuses on sustaining and improving soil quality to ensure a healthy environment.
Water Science - One of the biggest environmental issues we are facing is the quality and quantity of our water. This specialization addresses the role that freshwater plays in our human and natural systems, competing and growing demands for water, and the influences of changes in climate and land-use on our water resources.
View Environmental Science major requirements here.