Environmental Science (BA/BS)
Environmental science majors investigate the physical, biological, geographical and policy aspects of the natural environment to gain insight into ways that life on earth can continue to thrive. Students confront related issues like environmental justice and ethics, food security, species diversity and extinction, water availability, sustainable consumption and climate change.
Environmental science majors choose one track to pursue in depth:
Earth system science: This track examines the structure, function and interaction of the parts of the earth's lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere. Earth system science is some of the most pressing physical science and nature-societal issues, including global climate change, water availability and the loss of biological diversity.
Environmental and conservation biology: This track explores the ways in which organisms evolve and interact with one another and their environments. Levels of exploration can range from molecular evolution and genomics to ecosystem level function. Conservation biology makes up one component of this field, focusing on the biological knowledge necessary to preserve biodiversity. Because the loss of biodiversity has reached crisis levels, this program offers focused curriculum that allows students to bring appropriate biological tools and knowledge to efforts to develop conservation strategies and policies.
Environmental science and policy: This track prepares students to deal with the complexities of environmental issues in a societal context. Students gain an in-depth understanding of how human activity is impacting the natural environment, along with scientific, social science, and policy perspectives on how these impacts can be managed and mitigated. The track’s strong emphasis on the natural sciences ensures that students understand the technical as well as the social aspects of the world’s environmental issues.