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Environmental Studies

BS Geography emphasis
Explore physical systems and natural landscapes

Many of the natural sciences are better understood by incorporating a geographic perspective, such as geology, biology, and climate. Human activity is influenced by this natural landscape and, in turn, impacts that landscape. The Environmental Studies emphasis in Geography gives you a spatial understanding of our natural world and the skills to manage human activities that impact the natural environment effectively. This emphasis combines scientific principles with practical skills in collecting data in the field and analyzing it in the lab.

Career Opportunities

Graduates of this program work in various places, especially in education and academia, government land management agencies, conservation non-profit organizations, and planning consulting firms. Many of our alumni have pursued graduate degrees, especially in geography, life sciences, and environmental law.

Median Salary: $66,250/YR

Expected Learning Outcomes

Upon finishing the Environmental Studies Program Requirements, you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the biological, geological, climatic, and other physical processes that produce spatial patterns in the natural landscape.
  • Analyze the causes and potential impacts of global and local environmental change on ecological systems
  • Develop solutions to a given environmental issue that incorporates the relevant political, ethical, economic, legal, and cultural factors, in addition to the principles of physical geography
  • Gather data in the field, and analyze primary and secondary data sets (statistical, qualitative, GIS) to understand environmental issues and develop solutions, and communicate results in verbal, written, and cartographic forms.

Program Curriculum

The courses in this emphasis will teach you how to think spatially about the natural world and how humans interact with it. Specifically, the program includes courses in four main areas:
  1. Physical geography — the study of spatial patterns and processes of natural phenomena.
  2. Human-environmental interactions — the historical and contemporary two-way relationship between the natural environment and human activities.
  3. Environmental management — the practical application of the above principles to make policy and operational decisions.
  4. Geographic methods — tools for collecting, analyzing, and communicating spatial data for scientific and management tasks, especially GIS, remote sensing, and statistics.