e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Environmental HealthBachelor of Science


Curriculum Coordinator: Lee Newman

Environmental health focuses on the study of how people interact with their environment—the air and water around us, the plants and animals we encounter, and the workplaces and homes where we spend much of our lives. The field is broad, encompassing the direct effects of the environment on human health, and the factors that adversely affect the ecological balances essential to human health and environmental quality.

  • a monkey
  • a student looking at a pant
  • a lake
  • planting trees
  • a farm
  • students group photo
  • gathering data
  • a farm
  • planting saplings
  • gathering data
  • gathering samples
  • planting saplings
  • gathering data
  • students group phot
  • gathering data
  • gathering data
  • gathering data

The environmental health program educates students about the intersection of human health and the environment, specifically, the analysis, prevention and mitigation of potential environmental hazards that could be biological, chemical or physical. The program prepares students for employment in private industry, government agencies, and non-governmental agencies concerned with pollution abatement, protection of public health, and research in health science or advanced study in the science of environmental health or the allied health professions.

In addition to knowledge of the subject matter, graduates will have important skills in critical thinking and applied problem solving to help face current and future environmental threats. Graduates will be prepared for jobs in the currently understaffed national environmental health workforce.

The program is designed for accreditation by the National Environmental Health Science and Protection Accreditation Council.

Coursework for the Environmental Health major includes core courses in biology and both general and organic chemistry, with classwork and labs; environmental health; information literacy; calculus; physics; environmental microbiology; environmental sampling methods; food safety and quality assurance; atmospheric sciences; epidemiology; environmental risk assessment; and hazardous/solid waste management. A summer internship/professional experience and a senior synthesis are also required.

In addition, students will take general education electives covering biology, chemistry, calculus, writing, humanities, social science, the arts and world civilizations. Electives are also recommended in areas such as biochemistry, vertebrate anatomy, immunology, ecology, conservation biology and parasitology.

Students will also take credits in one of seven focus areas: built environment, geospatial technology, soils, water and wastewater, solid/hazardous materials and waste management, hydrogeology, and food production.

Students will earn 122 credit hours in obtaining the degree.

The outlook for students in the environmental health field is promising. Employment growth of nearly 30 percent is predicted by 2018, with 18 percent growth in New York, which is a leader in the field. Employment opportunities exist with public health departments, no-profit organizations, government agencies, private companies, environmental research corporations and state environmental health associations.

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Program Outcomes

Program outcomes for the undergraduate (B.S.) program in environmental science are to produce graduates who:

  1. Are knowledgeable of examples of global, regional and local environmental problems and issues,
  2. Are competent to perform in a graduate education or entry-level work environment,
  3. Have a sufficient knowledge base and tools to function effectively,
  4. Have the ability to conceptualize environmental problems in terms of unifying principles,
  5. Are capable of utilizing a systems approach to problem solving, and
  6. Can communicate their ideas and expectations effectively.

With a degree in Environmental Health, you can enter the field of:

  • Air Pollution Analysis and Control
  • Surface Water Monitoring and Regulation
  • Drinking Water and Ground Water Remediation and Testing
  • Hazardous Waste Reduction and Remediation
  • Solid Waste Control
  • Toxicology
  • Industrial Hygiene
  • Emergency Management
  • Epidemiology
  • Emergency Response
  • Environmental Remediation
  • Occupational Safety
  • Food Safety
  • Public Health

Or continue your education in:

Medical School or Graduate school in Environmental Health, Public Health, or any of the fields listed above

Participating Faculty

Name and Interests

Address / Email

Anagnost, Susan E.
Director, Tropical Timber Information Center; wood anatomy, wood decay, microscopy
101 Baker Laboratory
Boyer, Gregory L.
biochemistry and environmental chemistry, plant and algal biochemistry, chemical ecology and toxins produced by algae. environmental monitoring, including Buoy and ship-based monitoring systems for water quality
320 Jahn Laboratory
Briggs, Russell D.
forest ecology, watershed ecology, soils, ecosystem services, watershed management, forest soils, silviculture
202 Baker Laboratory
Bryant, M. Margaret
urban sustainability and resilience; landscape planning; urban environmental science; urban design; ecological design; ecosystem services, physical planning, and social equity in cities; landscape conservation; climate adaptation; design theory; interdisciplinary education and practice
Collins, Mary B.
socio-environmental systems; environmental health inequality; environmental justice; environmental sociology; environmental risk perception; computational quantitative methods; Bayesian modeling; disproportionality; industrial pollution policy and health
215 Baker Laboratory
Fierke, Melissa K.
forest entomology, forest ecology, invasive forest pests, insect-tree interactions, tree defenses
242 Illick Hall
Green, Hyatt
molecular microbial ecology, eDNA, microbial water quality, microbial source-tracking, SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater, forest soil nitrification, Hg-methylation
201 Illick Hall
Hassett, John P.
environmental chemistry, aquatic chemistry
321 Jahn Laboratory
Leopold, Donald J.
forest and freshwater wetland ecology, conservation, and restoration, peatland ecology and conservation, local and regional controls of species richness and rarity, dynamics of plant communities as affected by man and environment, management for unique communities and rare species, dendrology, native plants, restoration ecology, rare species conservation
333 Illick Hall
Leydet, Brian F.
infectious and vector-borne diseases, arthropods of veterinary and medical importance, vector biology, vector-pathogen-host interactions, disease ecology, molecular biology, epidemiology of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases
Illick Hall
Liu, Shijie
bioengineering, fermentation, kinetics, separation, pulping, bleaching, fiber properties, sustainability, biofuel, renewable chemicals, biomaterials
302 Walters Hall
Mao, Huiting
environmental chemistry, atmospheric chemistry, air quality, regional to global budgets of trace gases, long range transport, continental export, climate change
420 Jahn Laboratory
Mirowsky, Jaime
environmental health, exposure assessment, air pollution, cardiopulmonary health, in vitro models, environmental noise, epidemiology, public health
316 Jahn Laboratory
Moran, Sharon D.
environmental policy, human dimensions of water/wastewater issues, political ecology, environment-society relations, green and innovative technologies, environmental issues in post-communist countries, qualitative research methods, gender and nature, sustainability indicators, emergent technologies, environmental justice, ethical frameworks in public policy
224 Baker Laboratory
Newman, Lee
phytoremediation, molecular and cellular biology, horticultural therapy, food and health
248 Illick Hall
Razavi, Roxanne
ecotoxicology, limnology, environmental toxicology, mercury
207 Illick Hall
Whipps, Christopher
fish parasites and diseases, wildlife diseases, parasitology, microbiology, taxonomy, molecular systematics, diagnostics, parasites as biological tags and ecological indicators, epidemiology and control of pathogens of ecological and veterinary importance, evolution and biology of disease causing organisms in animal populations using molecular systematics
133 Illick Hall