Environmental Science Steering Committee
Michael Delong, Neal Mundahl
215 Pasteur Hall (507.457.5165)
||Mark Engen, Jeanne Franz
312 Pasteur Hall (507.457.5290)
||Candace Kairies Beatty, Toby Dogwiler
120 Pasteur Hall (507.457.5260)
The Environmental Science Program is an interdisciplinary program sponsored by the Biology, Chemistry, and Geoscience Departments. This broadly based program is composed of introductory courses; an in-depth set of option courses in biology, chemistry, or geoscience; and a capstone experience, which involves an individual research problem and a group seminar course. Depending on the set of in-depth option courses chosen for their program, students graduate with one of following degrees:
Graduates of this program are broadly educated and prepared for graduate school or entry-level positions in a variety of environmental science fields. The Environmental Science Program is designed to provide students with a basic understanding of the environmental challenges that face modern society and to provide students with the skills necessary to address these challenges through a successful career in an environmental science field. The coursework provides students with the strong, interdisciplinary science background necessary to understand, critically evaluate, and mitigate environmental problems. Each of the majors in this program (biology, chemistry, and geoscience) allows students to develop an in-depth understanding of an area of environmental science of their choice.
The capstone research experience fosters independent thought and hones problem-solving skills while integrating the coursework with a real-life environmental problem. Field work is an integral part of the environmental science curriculum and the capstone research project in particular. Students participate in ongoing research projects, including nearby field stations and localities, often in cooperation with governmental agencies, private landowners, or environmental advocacy groups. The capstone seminar course sharpens communication skills and encourages interactions between students from different majors and faculty from different environmental science areas by providing a forum for discussing, analyzing, and debating environmental issues and topics related to any branch of environmental science.
Students are encouraged to maintain a broad perspective and to augment their in-depth study with an understanding of the connections among public policy, economics, law, and the adjustment to social needs, which can result in the destruction or the preservation of the environment.