University of Southern Indiana

Environmental Science

Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary approach to studying the interactions of humans with their natural and built environment. This degree program at USI provides student with a rigorous introduction to, and survey of, the hydrologic cycle as it pertains to human-environment interactions, connections of the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere, use and exploitation of natural resources, environmental impact of growing population and energy needs, and the ability to integrate important scientific principles across disciplines. The study of ecological interactions as well as threats to the quantity of water resources available and its quality are explored in this degree program. Lastly, students will study economics, ethics, public policy, sociology, and sustainability to better understand our evolving view of and response to the natural world.

Students enrolled in the Environmental Science degree program will develop analysis and decision making skills for assessment and management of the environment. These students will also be exposed to the state-of-the-art measurement and analytical techniques for measuring contaminants in water and biological materials in the environment.

The goals of the Environmental Science degree program at USI are consistent with the University’s mission to have an “engaged learning community advancing education and knowledge, enhancing civic and cultural awareness.” Not only will students in this program have a broad understanding of environmental science, but they will be involved in projects that will address cultural awareness to overcoming environmental problems.

Students earning an environmental science degree from USI are well prepared for graduate and professional schools, as well as exciting careers in natural resources; consulting firms and industries specializing in water resources; government agencies responsible for regulation and management of energy, land use planning, and not-for-profit organizations.

Environmental Science Degree Requirements 
The Environmental Science degree program is housed within the Department of Geology and Physics at USI. Students interested in this program are encouraged to visit with a faculty member in the geology program in the Science Center at USI (SC 2219). Students are required to complete 56 credit hours of environmental science coursework to earn a B.S. degree. Attached are guides for the coursework that you would need to complete for an environmental science degree at USI that includes major coursework, supporting natural and social science classes, and requirements for the University Core Curriculum (Fall 2013) or Core 39 (Fall 2014).

What can you do with an Environmental Science Degree from USI?

Environmental Consulting
Involved in water and soil testing, assessment of pollution and clean-up from contaminated water and/or soil, and finding new water and mineral resources. Repurposing of blighted urban lands (Brownfields). Land-use planning, greenway development, and recycling/beautification programs.

Government/Agency
A wide variety of research and development opportunities are available with a degree in environmental science. These jobs can be found in government or in the private sector offering very rewarding careers in a broad array of fields.

Natural Resource Management
Natural resource companies need personnel to direct and conduct operations in minimizing environmental impacts associated with the recovery of ore minerals, oil, natural gas, and coal, as well as mitigating responsible reclamation activities.

Graduate Studies
Students graduating from USI with an environmental science degree are well prepared for the pursuit of advanced degree in a variety of fields, including environmental health, resource management, land-use planning, engineering, law, and public policy. 


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