Environmental and Earth Science, BA/BS

Major
On Campus, Day
Earth & Geographic Sciences
Earth Systems Science students conducting a GPS exercise

In Short

The Environmental and Earth Science (EES) program takes a holistic view of our world, encompassing fields of study such as geology, oceanography, meteorology, climatology, hydrogeology, and planetary science.

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Program Overview

Rather than treat Earth as an isolated entity, the systems approach in EES examines the effect of human activity on Earth's systems (for example, global environmental change).

Students interested in environmental science are well served by our department. With the guidance of an advisor, they select a coherent plan of EES courses concerned with the environment, plus a foundation of relevant chemistry and biology courses.

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EES and You

The faculty of the Earth and Geographic Sciences Department is committed to excellent teaching in a challenging yet cooperative atmosphere.

Students utilize scientific methods and hypothesis testing as a way of understanding the natural world. They explore the distribution and interaction of natural and human systems on global, regional, and local scales.

A large part of the learning is experiential and steeped in investigation. This teaches essential content knowledge and skills in critical thinking and problem solving.

Hands-on experiences in the laboratory and the field bring together theory and application, contribute to scholarly development, and prepare students for a range of careers.

As members of the global scientific community we value leadership, a culture of sustainability, lifelong learning and promotion of science as a way of knowing.

Experiential Opportunities

Internships

Internships are a great opportunity to get valuable, real-world experiences before entering a competitive job market.
Read more about: Internships

Study Abroad

Faculty-led study abroad course opportunities also increase student life-transforming experiences, as do student/faculty cooperative research projects.
Read more about: Study Abroad

Curriculum and Other Information

Environmental and Earth Science objectives

Students who earn a major in Environmental and Earth Science will demonstrate a scientific understanding of how the Earth operates as a system and how humans interact with their environment, including natural hazards and use of Earth’s resources.  They will be able to distinguish between science and non-science, back up arguments with quantitative evidence, communicate their ideas effectively, and explain the necessity and characteristics of an interdisciplinary approach to solving environmental issues.

In particular, Environmental and Earth Science students will:

  • communicate scientific information through written, oral, and graphical expression with clarity, logical organization, and use of scientific evidence to support their ideas.
  • use the scientific process, including experimental design, analysis and critical evaluation of information, and integration of evidence from relevant sources, in the context of environmental investigations.
  • discuss the structure and composition of Earth's interior, surface, and atmosphere, and explain what it means to consider Earth as a system.
  • apply an interdisciplinary approach to analyze and propose solutions to environmental science problems.
  • describe the complex interactions between humans and their environment, including geological hazards, air and water pollution, global environmental issues, and use and conservation of Earth's resources.

Our majors have pursued employment in environmental and earth science-related fields, including (but not limited to):

  • Geologist
  • Seismologist
  • Hydrologist
  • Environmental Scientist/Consultant
  • Environmental health and safety coordinator
  • Forestry technician
  • Laboratory Technician
  • Atmospheric Scientist
  • Soil Scientist
  • Inventory Arborist
  • Earth Science or Geography Teacher

Many of our graduates are accepted to programs of advanced studies in graduate schools at colleges and universities throughout the country.