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Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences

Environmental Science Major

Environmental Science B.S. Degree

Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary major with foundational courses in chemistry and either biology, organic chemistry, or physics. Advanced courses  in applied ecology, water resources, climate, and renewable energy provide depth to this program. We encourage students in environmental science to study abroad, especially in research-oriented field programs, such as the School for Field Studies or the Organization for Tropical Studies.


Fall 2020 and after
Spring 2020 and before


The Applied Ecology concentration focuses on the interaction of natural and anthropogenic forces in shaping the ecosystems on which we all depend. Courses demand a strong foundation in the biological sciences, and many include a lab component. This track is especially suited for the student who enjoys spending class time outside and doing hands-on work. Among the possible career paths for students following the Applied Ecology track are: Wildlife biologist, agroecologist, environmental consultant, conservation biologist, park interpretive specialist, natural resources steward, land trust manager, outdoor educator, and restoration ecologist.

The Water, Energy & Technology concentration allows students to explore in depth two fundamental areas in environmental science: water and energy. Students investigate the interactions between human society, ecosystems, and the hydrosphere, learning concepts of water availability, flow, and management. Students also examine energy production from fossil fuels and alternative energy sources. Students gain an understanding of the vast array of societal and environmental impacts of our water and energy demands, while exploring opportunities for the future. This track is especially suited for students who are curious about natural processes, technologies, and figuring out how things work. Graduates of this track will have a strong foundation to pursue careers in watershed management and in water districts; at science and research centers; at environmental and energy consulting firms; and in city, county, and state government offices.