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

Environmental Studies Bachelor of Science


The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies program has a broadly interdisciplinary approach and has been carefully designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of environmental affairs. In the pursuit of these objectives, we bring together scientific, philosophical, theoretical, and practical perspectives on a range of environmental concerns.

Our program prepares students with the knowledge and experience to work towards an ecologically sustainable and socially just world. It provides opportunities for community engagement, valuable hands-on internship experiences, and multiple destinations for a semester of studying abroad.

Environmental Studies Program Learning Outcomes

  • Critical Thinking: demonstrate critical thinking skills in relation to environmental affairs.
  • Communication: demonstrate knowledge and application of communication skills and the ability to write effectively in a variety of contexts.
  • Interdisciplinary Synthesis: demonstrate an ability to integrate the many disciplines and fields that intersect with environmental concerns.
  • Ecological Literacy: demonstrate an awareness, knowledge, and appreciation of the intrinsic values of ecological processes and communities.
  • Sustainability: demonstrate an integrative approach to environmental issues with a focus on sustainability.

Graduates of this program have gone on to graduate programs in multiple disciplines, including law and medical school. They have also gone on to work in non-governmental organizations (NGOs), education, government, and the private sector; pursuing careers in such areas as policy, advocacy, conservation, consulting, administration, law, and education to name just a few.

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Environmental Education and Interpretation Bachelor of Science

Environmental Education teaches people of all ages about the natural environment, so that they can make informed decisions on how to care for it.

Interpretation is a communications process that reveals meanings and relationships about natural, cultural, historical, and recreational resources. Interpretation and environmental education work hand-in-hand to help make connections between the world of science and the public. Through the art of interpretation, students will learn how to help people make connections with the natural world and science through educational programs and materials.

One of the strengths of the Environmental Education & Interpretation program at ESF is its strong natural history component. Natural history is the description of nature and differs from ecology in placing less emphasis on quantification and more on careful observation. The overarching goal is to elucidate patterns and relationships in the natural world and assimilate this information into human affairs. It uses traditional and modern tools, often with an aesthetic component to differentiate the natural world, and focuses on identification, life history, distribution, abundance and interrelationships among and between individuals, populations and species. The field has a long and distinguished history including figures such as Darwin, Wallace, and E. O. Wilson who are recognized for their seminal contributions to biology and ecology. Following a meteoric rise in popularity during the 19th century, field of natural history declined as new experimental and quantitative approaches began to dominate biology. In recent years, however, both the recognition of the role of biology in a holistic view of the planet, and the increasing emphasis on the value of education as the key to a sustainable future have brought about a resurgence of interest in natural history and, crucially, its interpretation.

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