Environmental Science is the study of interrelationships between human activities and the environment. Environmental Science is an unusual academic discipline in that it requires scientific knowledge about the natural world as well as an understanding about ways in which humans interact with the natural world. We examine the effects of human actions on the environment and the means by which policies, regulations, and decisions influence human actions. We also examine human behavioral, cultural, and sociological interactions that affect the environment. Thus, the department is truly interdisciplinary and exemplifies the liberal arts approach to education. Courses offered within the Department of Environmental Science integrate various disciplines and thus reflect the interdisciplinary nature of environmental concerns and problem-solving. Departmental courses examine ecological systems; interactions of human perceptions, ideas, and technologies; and social, political, economic, and technological methods to preserve environmental quality. Faculty in the department believe that environmental specialists in the natural sciences must have a broad understanding of the social aspects of environmental problems. Likewise, a professional whose expertise is in environmental policy, management, or communications must also have a strong understanding of the scientific basis of decision-making in those fields.
Both Environmental Science and Environmental Studies majors must develop areas of concentration related to their major areas of interest in conjunction with a major advisor. Examples of concentrations include, but are not limited to, Environmental Philosophy; Environmental History; Communications and the Environment; Ecological Economics; Environmental Law; Environmental Policy; International Sustainable Development; Culture and the Environment; Art and the Environment; Environmental Education; Community Development; Conservation Biology; Terrestrial Ecosystems; Aquatic Ecosystems; Landscape Ecology; Environmental Toxicology; Environmental Geology; and Environmental Chemistry. All students are advised to consult an Environmental Science Department faculty member early in their careers for course planning.
- Enhanced understanding—from scientific, social, and humanities perspectives—of the environment and current environmental issues.
- Experience in solving actual environmental problems.
- Ability to use modern research methods to explain observations about the natural world and about societies.
- A network of alumni in government, industry, and the academic world linking students to jobs and graduate programs.
- One of the oldest environmental science departments in the country (established in 1972).
- Numerous opportunities for experiential learning in nearby natural environments: wetlands, lakes, streams, and forests, including a College-owned research reserve.
- Extensive internship opportunities with local, state, and federal agencies, nonprofit environmental organizations, and local industry.
- Vigorous off-campus study programs in Costa Rica, India, Kenya, Israel, Ecuador and elsewhere.
- Emphasis on independent research.
- Required Senior Project that demonstrates to employers and graduate schools the ability to complete a major independent research project.
- Faculty who involve students in local, state, national and international environmental issues and research.
- A NASA New Investigator Award supports the study of the influences of El Niño climatic events in Philippine farming systems and forest use.
- Awards from the National Science Foundation support student-faculty research on forest and aquatic ecosystems.
- Grants totaling $1.3 million from the Heinz Endowment, Mellon Foundation, Eden Hall Foundation, Luce Foundation, and others support the College’s commitment to sustainable community development and improved environmental quality in northwestern Pennsylvania.
- Faculty members have received prestigious Fulbright Scholar Awards.
- Students have received prestigious Udall Scholarships for environmental leadership.
Because this program is interdivisional, students who major in Environmental Science and Sustainability may complete any minor to satisfy the college requires that the major and minor be in different divisions. When appropriate, other courses – for example, new courses or those taken during study away – may be substituted for the section III requirement. All substitutions must be approved by the major advisor, and students are strongly encouraged to discuss any potential course substitutions prior to enrolling in the course.
The Environmental Science major requires 60 credits as follows:
I. Introductory Courses
Take the following two courses (8 credits):ENVSC 110 - Introduction to Environmental Science
FSENV 201 - Environmental Problem Analysis
II. Quantitative Skills:
Take one course from the following list (4 credits):BIO 385 - Biostatistics
CMPSC 301 - Data Analytics
ECON 202 - Economic Statistics
ENVSC 285 - Quantitative Sustainability
INTDS 325 - Learn to See: Lean Six Sigma
MATH 157 - Calculus I for Social/Life Sciences
MATH 158 - Calculus II for Social/Life Sciences
MATH 160 - Calculus I
MATH 170 - Calculus II
POLSC 489 - Statistics and Data Analysis
PSYCH 207 - Statistical Methods in Psychology
III. Human and Cultural Connections:
Take one course from the following list (4 credits):ART 156 - Introduction to Studio Art: Art and the Environment
COMRT 256 - Power, Politics, and Communication
COMRT 279 - Community-Based Media: Creative Citizenry Through the Use of Video
COMRT 360 - Rhetoric and Civic Engagement
COMRT 376 - Media Consumption
COMRT 460 - Media and Cultural Politics
COMJ 270 - Power, Society, and Social Change
COMJ 460 - Community Organizing and Civic Professionalism
ECON 231 - Environmental Economics and Policy
ECON 421 - Strategic Environmental Management
ENGL 209 - Literature About the Environment
ENVSC 250 - Environmental Education
ENVSC 352 - Environmental Justice
ENVSC 360 - Religion and Ecology OR
RELST 360 - Religion and Ecology
ENVSC 365 - How Green is Green? German Environmentalisms OR
GERMN 365 - How Green is Green? German Environmentalisms
ENVSC 372 - Judaism, Justice, and Food OR
RELST 372 - Judaism, Justice, and Food
ENVSC 380 - Climate and Energy Policy
GHS 324 - Environmental Health
GHS 425 - Global Health Transitions
HIST 341 - American Environmental History
INTDS 250 - Animals, Culture & Society
PSYCH 152 - Behavioral Psychology
PSYCH 162 - Human Social Behavior
PSYCH 375 - Community Psychology
RELST 341 - Jewish Ethics
IV. Collaborative and Capstone Projects:
Take the following four courses (16 credits):ENVSC 210 - Environmental Research Methods
ENVSC 585 - Junior Seminar: Sustainable Development
ENVSC 600 - Senior Project I
ENVSC 610 - Senior Project II
V. Systems Integration and Advanced Analysis Concentration:
Select seven additional courses (28 total credits) that are relevant to Environmental Science and Sustainability and that prepare students in a self-designed concentration. At least four of the seven courses must be advanced (300- or 400-level), and at least one of these courses must have an ENVSC course number. Courses must be selected in consultation with a faculty member in Environmental Science and Sustainability by the end of the sophomore year. For most students, this selection process will occur during enrollment in ENVSC 210. Students may change course selection during their tenure at Allegheny, however, the student's major advisor must approve all schedule changes.
VI. Learning Experience:
Students are strongly encouraged to complete at least one off-campus learning experience (e.g. EL seminar, semester away program, and research or internship experience) that relates to their Systems Integration and Advanced Analysis Concentration. Learning experiences may be credit bearing or non-credit bearing. Students should consult their major advisor when selecting and arranging learning experiences.
This school offers programs in:
Last updated September 30, 2018