Environmental Sciences


Program Director: Mary Ann Vinton
Program Office: Hixson-Lied Science Building, Room 438 and Creighton Hall 110

The Environmental Science Program approaches environmental issues from a strong natural science perspective yet transcends disciplinary boundaries and prepares students to analyze and solve complex problems with scientific, societal and ethical dimensions.  The program is interdepartmental, with 19 faculty from eight departments: Biology, Chemistry, Communication Studies, Cultural and Social Studies, History, Philosophy, Physics and Political Science.  

The major produces well-rounded scientists with the background and skills necessary to enter graduate degree programs or gain employment in diverse environmental careers such as conservation biology, natural resource management, environmental education,  urban planning, law, public health, and environmental health and medicine.  Students who major in Environmental Science take core courses in biology, chemistry, atmospheric science and sociology and then specialize in one of three tracks:

  1. Global Environmental Systems which explores ecological and climatological aspects of the integrated earth system
  2. Organismal/Population Ecology which emphasizes biological aspects of the environment and
  3. Environmental Policy and Society which addresses historical, political and sociological aspects of environmental issues.

How to Become an Environmental Science Major

Students may apply to become EVS majors after successful completion of EVS 113 (Introduction to Atmospheric Science) or BIO 201 (General Biology: Organismal and Population) or CHM 203 and 204 (General Chemistry I, Lecture and Lab).  The application is online through the College of Arts and Sciences web site.  Students may declare a preference for a particular faculty member as an academic advisor.  

Environmental Science Minors

The Environmental Science Program offers two minors.  Both minors are composed of 18 hours.  The Environmental Science minor contains a survey of courses in the atmospheric/physical sciences, biology and social sciences.  The Environmental Policy Minor is composed of one natural science course and several required courses in political science/policy, ethics and sociology.  For specific course requirements, click on the "Minors" tab above. 


Professors:  Theodore Burk, Erin Gross, John Schalles, Carol Fassbinder-Orth

Associate Professors:  Alistair Cullum, James (Jay) Leighter, Anne Ozar, Graham Ramsden, Samantha Senda-Cook, Mackenzie Taylor, Mary Ann Vinton

Assistant Professors:  Pierce Greenberg, Gabriel Rivera, Fr. John Shea, Adam Sundberg, William (Ryan) Wishart, Amy Worthington

Instructor: Richard Ritz

Emeriti Professors: Barbara Dilly, Arthur Douglas

Specific Requirements for Admission to the Environmental Science Major

  • Successful completion of EVS 123 Science for a Changing Planet: An Introduction to Earth Systems or BIO 201 General Biology: Organismal and Population or CHM 203 General Chemistry I and CHM 204 General Chemistry I Laboratory.

Majors in Environmental Sciences

Minors in Environmental Sciences