Environmental science is an interdisciplinary major focused on the application of scientific principles to the study of human interactions with the natural environment. As a science major, it provides a solid background in chemistry, biology, and earth sciences, including many courses with a strong environmental emphasis.
The environmental science major is offered within the tradition of a liberal arts education, with its emphasis on broadly based explorations of diverse disciplines. Students will have opportunities, both through the major and through additional elective courses, to explore environmental issues from a variety of perspectives. The environmental science major will prepare students for careers as practicing scientists in industrial or governmental laboratories or in private consulting firms, where they might work to better understand and solve specific environmental problems. It provides a strong foundation for graduate study in environmental science, toxicology, ecology, or related fields. It is also excellent preparation for students interested in science writing or in teaching science at various levels.
Environmental science majors have access to excellent laboratory facilities located in the Chemistry, Physics, and Biology Departments. Notable equipment includes the Scheffler Bio-Imaging Center, an atomic absorption spectrophotometer, a Fourier transform infrared spectrometer, ultraviolet-visible spectrophotometers, high-performance liquid chromatographs, gas chromatographs, a photosynthesis system, a marine culture system, environmental chambers, and a greenhouse. Students interested in graduate studies are urged to obtain laboratory research experience, which is available both on campus and off. Funding is available for on-campus research. The Environmental Science Committee, composed of biology and chemistry faculty members, administers the program and advises majors.