The Department of Environmental Science at Monmouth College
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About the Major

"Our body is not limited to what is inside the boundary of our skin. It is much more immense. . . There is no phenomenon in the universe that does not intimately concern us, from a pebble resting at the bottom of the ocean, to the movement of a galaxy millions of light-years away." -- Thich Nhat Hanh

FlowersThe Environmental Science major gives students a solid foundation in the natural sciences (including mathematics) and social sciences that pertain to environmental issues and problems. The program is interdisciplinary, requiring students to take courses in several different departments. Although, the student at Monmouth will choose one of two concentrations in the major, science or policy, all Environmental Science graduates will have a firm grounding in both science and policy. 

Students choosing the policy concentration will take upper-level courses in economics, politics, sociology and communication, but will also have a firm foundation in the sciences that pertain to environmental concerns. They can thus be more effective lawyers, politicians, or advocates (if those are careers to which they aspire) than if they lacked training in the sciences. And they will be able to converse with biologists, chemists, and geologists more effectively than those who do not have a firm grounding in these areas.

Students pursuing the science concentration will take upper-level courses such as analytical chemistry, hydrogeology, calculus, and statistics for the sciences.  But these students also need the perspective and context provided by introductory social science and humanities courses. The social implications of environmental issues cannot be ignored, and the solutions to environmental problems are increasingly economically and politically charged.

Finally, all participants in the program conduct independent research in a department of their choice.  Past projects include: detecting contaminants in municipal water supplies, evaluating the science behind global warming, using bullrush to extract heavy metals from contaminated soils, and studying the behavior of tapirs in Costa Rica.

 
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