Major in Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies – bird watching

The Environmental Studies major brings together dedicated faculty and staff from multiple disciplines to engage and prepare students to enter the workplace as environmentally literate citizens. Through courses, laboratory and fieldwork, as well as an internship and a capstone course, the major provides students with the skills, insights, and knowledge to address current environmental challenges.

  • Be part of a close-knit cohort gaining critical skills, knowledge, and contacts important to becoming an environmental professional.
  • Work with community members to solve environmental problems—as part of your coursework!
  • Gain work and/or research experience as an intern—we’ll even help you find the right match!

The major in Environmental Studies is designed for students preparing for careers in government, non-profit, and private agencies involved in environmental conservation, policy making, and consulting, as well as graduate study in fields such as environmental studies, environmental science, environmental policy-making, or environmental management.


Sustainability in (and out of) the Classroom

Botany

The Spring 2014 Botany class did research to help decide which species of native plants would be most appropriate for the landscaping around the new science building, Sanders Hall. The main objectives in choosing the plants were that they be native, aesthetically pleasing, and would help to absorb and retain any storm water that runs off the building. The basin behind the building was designed to serve as a vegetated wetland — allowing water to soak into the ground and be taken up by plants, thus replenishing the ground instead of adding to the burdens of the towns storm sewer system. The building received LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver certification, thanks in part to the native plants!

The Fall 2015 Botany students are further researching each of the native plant species and participating in outreach events to get the word out about the benefits of native plants.

Ecology and Conservation Biology

The Ecology and Conservation Biology classes have been participating in an ongoing frog survey at The Nature Conservancy’s constructed wetlands on Franklin Farm near Bloomington-Normal.

Research Methods of Environmental Studies and Environmental Studies Capstone

Students learn how to do research with a focus on helping others in the community. A recent Research Methods class decided to research a topic important to everyone: recycling within the community. The result of this project was getting a sign posted on Rt. 117 in Eureka to point to the direction of the local recycling center.

Microbial Ecology

Although not focused solely on sustainability, students have taken part in the American Gut Project, which takes waste samples from people across the country to sequence the DNA of the microbes that inhabit their guts.


Requirements for a Major in Environmental Studies

A minimum of 47 hours of coursework consisting of the following:

All of the following:

EVS151 Introduction to Environmental Science and Policy 4

One of the following:

EVS120 Environmental Biology 4
or BIO141W Principles of Biology I 4
BIO142 Principles of Biology II 4

One of the following:

BIO300W Ecology 4
EVS305W Biodiversity Conservation 4

All of the following:

EVS286 Research Methods in Environmental Studies 3
EVS385 Environmental Studies Seminar 3
EVS426 Senior Capstone 3
EVS495 Internship or Research Project 1-3
MAT265 Quantitative Methods I 3
PHS111 Earth Science 4

One of the following:

CHM121 Survey of Chemistry 4
or CHM131 General Chemistry I 4
CHM132 General Chemistry II 4

One of the following:

PSC150 American Government (National) 3
PSC250 American Government (State and Local) 3
ECO112 Principles of Microeconomics 3

One of the following:

ECO340W Environmental Economics 3
HIS220 History of Environmental Policy 3

One of the following:

ART270 Environmentally-Based Art 3
ENG264 Nature Writing: A Field Course 3
ENG274 American Nature Writers 3

At least 4 credits from the following:

BIO241 Introduction to Botany 4
BIO242 Introduction to Zoology 4
BIO300W Ecology 4
BIO/EVS380 Contemporary Laboratory Science 4
ECO340W Environmental Economics 4
EVS260 Sustainability: Explorations and Opportunities 3
EVS305W Biodiversity Conservation 4
HIS220 History of Environmental Policy 3
TOTAL:   46+

Requirements for a Minor in Environmental Studies

A minimum of 20 hours of coursework consisting of the following:
EVS151 Introduction to Environmental Science and Policy 4

One of the following:

EVS120 Environmental Biology 4
BIO141W Principles of Biology I 4
BIO142 Principles of Biology II 4

One of the following:

BIO300W Ecology 4
EVS305W Biodiversity Conservation 4

Plus 8-9 hours from the following including at least 3 hours at the 300-level:

ART270 Environmentally-Based Art 3
BIO241 Introduction to Botany 4
BIO242 Introduction to Zoology 4
BIO300W Ecology 4
BIO380 Contemporary Laboratory Science 4
ECO340W Environmental Economics 3
ENG264 Nature Writing: A Field Course 3
ENG274 American Nature Writers 3
EVS305W Biodiversity Conservation 4
HIS220 History of Environmental Policy 3
TOTAL:   20