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Environmental Science Program

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Interested in protecting the environment? WCU’s Environmental Science Program gives you the opportunity to develop expertise in evaluating human effects on the environment and in promoting and implementing sustainable restoration of land and water ecosystems.

Environmental problems do not come neatly packaged according to academic discipline. Solving them requires thinking across those categories, integrating perspectives from biology, chemistry, public health, policy and more. Equipping our students to work on these complex environmental problems requires an interdisciplinary curriculum, full of hands-on experiences. And that is just what we deliver.

Curriculum

Many environmental science students enter the program knowing the aspect of the environment they wish to pursue while others discover their primary interests after being exposed to the different disciplines that contribute to the major, the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Environmental Sciences. Many students choose biology, geology, or natural resource management as a minor.

Flexibility and customization is the hallmark of WCU’s interdisciplinary B.S. in Environmental Science. The major includes a core, taken by all students, consisting of solid foundations in biology, chemistry, geology and geospatial analysis as well as a sequence of four courses just for Environmental Science majors, from the freshman introduction to the senior capstone. This core is complemented by a set of categories–such as "Environmental Health" and "Environmental Policy"–which allows for increasing course choice in how students build their major. But the full strength of the customization comes with the upper-level electives, where students may take any upper-level course in the university relevant to their intended environmental career path.

Careers in Environmental Science 

Our alumni include the sustainability manager at another regional university and the manager of the local community gardens. They include engineers and science writers. The versatility of the curriculum yields a wide breadth of career opportunities. While you will make your own path by hiking it, here are some possibilties to get you thinking.

Potential environmental science jobs include:

  • Environmental Conservation
  • Monitoring
  • Sustainability Planning
  • Environmental Regulation and Compliance
  • Consulting
  • “Green Program” Management
  • Education
  • Communications
  • Research
  • Environmental Protection
  • Energy Auditor/Planners
  • Policy

Potential environmental science employers include:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Environmental Consulting Firms
  • Manufacturing Businesses
  • Conservation Organizations
  • Energy Organizations
  • Watershed Associations and Conservancies
  • State and Federal Land Management Agencies
  • City, County and State Governments

 

 

Affiliated Faculty

The program’s faculty, one of its greatest strengths. The natural sciences are represented by the disciplines of Biology, Chemistry, Geosciences, and Natural Resource Management. The impact that the environment has on humans is represented by the discipline of Environmental Health while the important social components of Environmental Science are represented by the disciplines of Philosophy and Religion as well as Political Science and Public Affairs. In addition to each being an experienced researcher and expert in his or her field, the Environmental Science Program faculty are committed to environmental concerns. Click on a name and get to know our team.

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