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Environmental Studies

The science and management of environmental processes



Environmental Studies gives you a spatial understanding of our natural landscape, and the skills to effectively manage human activities that impact the natural environment.

Your studies focus on three areas:

  • physical geography -- the study of spatial patterns and processes of natural phenomena.
  • human-environmental interactions -- the historical and contemporary two-way relationship between the natural environment and human activities.
  • environmental management -- the practical application of the above principles to make policy and operational decisions.

In each of these areas, you will gain conceptual knowledge, as well as practical skills in primary data collection in the field, and data analysis.

Career Paths

  • Preparation for graduate studies
  • Careers in basic research, land management, conservation, environmental protection and education.
  • Employers range from the federal government to consultants to nonprofit organizations
  • Job titles may include: Land Management Planner, Environmental Scientist, Park Ranger, Hazardous Waste Manager, Public Lands Manager, Forest/Environmental Technician, University Professor,

Median Salary: $66,250/yr

Expected Learning Outcomes



The Course Work within this emphaisis will teach you how to think spatially about the World, focus on the science of the spatial patterns of natural phenomena and how human activities interact with them and teach you to apply science to make policy and operational decisions that balance human and environmental goals.

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

  • Describe the geography of the earth's physical landscape (climate, landforms, flora and fauna, etc.)
  • Explain the dynamics, mechanisms, and interactions among physical processes that shape the Earth's landscape at multiple scales.
  • Examine the patterns and consequences of human-environmental interaction.
  • Develop solutions to environmental issues that incorporate political, ethical, economic, legal, and cultural factors in addition to environmental concerns.
  • 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.
  • Evaluate the causes and potential impacts on human systems of global and local environmental change.

All graduates of the FHSS Geography department will receive a Bachelor’s of Science in Geography with an emphasize a specific area of geography. Your emphasis may be in:


*also available as a minor as well as Geography Teaching

Geography at BYU strengthens the geographic awareness, knowledge, and skills of our students, the University, and the community through the following activities:

  1. Providing a solid introduction to core geographic concepts and ways of creating knowledge;
  2. Providing students with skills for generating and interpreting knowledge and to ensure that geography majors complete programs with adequate skills for competing successfully in the workplace or in graduate school;
  3. Advancing the discipline of geography, especially in those areas which benefit the university, local/regional community and the worldwide church;
  4. Developing research, education, and service relationships for students and faculty with others in the university, community and the discipline.


College of Family, Home and Social Science Mission Statement

The College of Family, Home, and Social Sciences is composed of departments that study patterns of human behavior from diverse disciplinary approaches. Teaching and scholarship rely on social scientific methodology to learn about human behavior and human societies, their histories, organization, governments, and economies. As the name implies, the college is particularly concerned with studying the family as the basic unit of society. The many institutes and centers within the college provide opportunities for faculty and students to further research and disseminate scholarship.

Students in the college gain a broad education that helps develop an appreciation of the values of modern civilization and prepares them to contribute effectively as citizens. The knowledge and skills gained in the varied disciplines prepare them well for graduate study and professional careers. Many of the departments and programs housed within the college provide opportunities for student learning outside the classroom through internships and faculty-mentored teaching and research experiences.