Environmental Science, B.A.

Division II Chair: S. Hall


Department Chair: N. Gift


Faculty:  S. Birner, D. Feinberg, N. Gift, & M. Parr






Course Sequencing Table: 


Major/Minor Requirements: Environmental Science, B.A.


The BA in Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary major that prepares students for work and graduate study in solving an array of environmental challenges including pollution, biodiversity loss, climate change, and environmental health. 


Environmental Studies Learning Goals and Outcomes 


Learning Goal 1. Identify, explain, and propose solutions to complex social-ecological problems


Learning Outcome 1.1: Analyze environmental justice issues, such as water pollution, and understand the basic science as well as identify possible policy solutions.


Learning Outcome 1.2: Contribute to calculations of economic valuation of environmental quality.


Learning Outcome 1.3: Map environmental resources alongside human development and identify and predict places where and what types of human developments will cause the most damage.


Learning Goal 2: Demonstrate facility with the scientific process 


Learning Outcome 2.1: Formulate testable hypotheses.


Learning Outcome 2.2: Design and complete experiments.


Learning Outcome 2.3: Draw rational conclusions from experimental data.


Learning Goal 3: Plan and predict impacts of human activity on physical earth processes.


Learning Outcome 3.1: Put timescales into perspective; demonstrate understanding of how long geologic time is and how short humanity’s time on Earth has been in comparison.


Learning Outcome 3.2: Describe, plan to prevent, and predict how changing one aspect of the planet (e.g., mining coal) has far-reaching consequences across various systems (e.g., increased CO2 in the atmosphere, landslides due to slope destabilization, acid-mine drainage due to exposure of sulfide minerals).


Learning Outcome 3.3: Demonstrate systems thinking about the Earth and its various realms. For instance, students should be able to describe ways in which the geosphere (solid rock) affects the hydrosphere and vice-versa. 


Learning Goal 3: Describe and analyze ecosystems and biological processes as they relate to Earth resources


Learning Outcome 4.1: Interpret the geology and ecology of a region to the region’s past, present, and future.


Learning Outcome 4.2: Apply the geological and ecological knowledge in the context of economy, ecology, and equity. (For instance, students should be able to first identify that a region consists primarily of limestone and then interpret that the soil in the region might be particularly Ca-rich and/or that the region might be at risk for sinkholes and/or that concrete production might be an important industry in the region.