Major in Environmental Science

The major in Environmental Science leads to a Bachelor of Science and is designed to achieve a broad understanding of the social, ethical and scientific aspects of environmental problems, with a strong grounding in the natural sciences and an orientation in experi­ential learning.

Features of this major include:

  • A rigorous multidisciplinary education in the sciences.
  • An orientation towards service learning and experiential learning.
  • An internship (or study-abroad) experi­ence with coursework that is interdisci­plinary and project oriented.

Core courses provide a survey of environ­mental issues; grounding in basic principles of environmental science, ecology, chemistry and statistics; and field experience in both natural and human environments. In upper level work, students use science and technical skills they have acquired to examine commu­nity, regional and global issues. An intern­ship in the student’s selected area of focus is required so that the student has practical experience in her field of interest. Opportuni­ties are also provided for independent study in specialized areas of research.

Goals and objectives of the major are to:

  • Develop effective writing, speaking, reading, information-gathering and listening skills.
  • Develop skills in problem-solving and critical thinking (i.e. analysis, synthesis and evaluation of information and argument).
  • Develop creative thinking and expression.
  • Develop a basis for broad scientific literacy.
  • Develop the ability to formulate inde­pendent judgments that reflect aware­ness of environmental, ethical, social and interpersonal implications.
  • Promote a personal understanding of one’s connection with and responsibilities to serving the community and society.
  • Promote understanding of ways in which social forces influence the development of knowledge, ideas and experiences through the comparative exploration of beliefs and cultures.
  • Encourage students to connect theory to application and experience.

Course Requirements

  • BIO 101 General Biology
  • BIO 102 General Biology
  • BIO 230 Conservation Biology
  • BIO 314 Ecology
  • CHM 101, 102 General Chemistry I, II or CHM 103 Fundamentals of General Chemistry
  • CHM 201, 202 Organic Chemistry I, II or CHM 104 Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry in Biological Systems
  • ENV 110 Introduction to Environmental Science
  • ENV 204 Environmental Policy
  • ENV 215 Environmental Impact Assessment
  • MAT 115 Introductory Statistics or MAT 130 Calculus and Analytical Geometry
  • ENV 401 Ecological Perspectives in the Sciences and Humanities
  • RLS 220 Environmental Ethics

In addition, select three of the following, at least one of which is at the 300 level:

  • BIO 206 Invertebrate Zoology
  • BIO 210 Introductory Botany
  • BIO 270 Marine Ecology
  • BIO 309 Evolution
  • CHM 205 Analytical Chemistry
  • ENV 203 Science, Technology, and Society
  • ENV 216/316 Agroecology
  • ENV 217 Environmental Stewardship
  • ENV 270/370 Topics (with adviser approval)
  • ENV 305/505 Environmental Education
  • ENV 355 Internship

Recommended Courses

While not a requirement, students are encouraged to take ENG 185: Literature of the Natural World to fulfill their Literature TDS requirement.

Special topics courses are offered on a regular basis at the 170, 270, 370 and occasionally 570 (graduate) level. Some of these courses are: Stewardship of Watershed Ecosystems; Sustainable Architecture; Sustainable Energy; and Permaculture.

Environmental Education

In addition to the above, K-12 teacher certifi­cation in environmental education is offered. Since 2003, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has allowed individuals who already hold an Instructional I certificate to add a second certification (in most secondary areas) by passing the appropriate content area PRAXIS test. Students are no longer required to complete a full dual-certification program through a college or university. See the list of recommended courses in the section on Elementary Education and Other Education Programs under Dual Certification in Envi­ronmental Education.

The Richard Alsina Fulton Center for Sustainable Living (FCSL)

The curriculum in Environmental Studies works in conjunction with the Richard Alsina Fulton Center for Sustainable Living. A central aspect of the FCSL is the Fulton Farm. The farm is located adjacent to the campus on a 50+ acre historic farm and woodland. A variety of habitats provide a back­ground for restorative and sustainable land-use projects as well as for field studies in the natural sciences. Through classes, research opportuni­ties, workshops and conferences, the FCSL highlights a variety of models for environ­mentally sound practices in agriculture, home, ecology and spiritual and community life.

Minor in Environmental Studies

  • ENV 110 Introduction to Environmental Science
  • ENV 204 Environmental Policy
  • Three additional ENV courses at the 200 or 300 level

Contact Information

Dr. Edward Wells
Department Chair
717-264-4141  ext. 3413