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Minor in Environmental Studies


inthefield crhsThe environmental studies minor consists of an interdisciplinary program that explores the range of contemporary environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss, chemical pollution, agricultural and food practices, water resources, energy, and natural resource depletion. Issues are explored from a scientific point of view as well as from policy, economic, and social perspectives. The program develops critical thinking and research skills. A final research project focuses on developing credible solutions to local or regional environmental problems. The minor is often pursued by students majoring in biology, chemistry, earth science, and geography but is appropriate for majors in any field who have an interest in the environment.


Many students have expressed a desire to relate their major program of study to their concern for the environment. In response to this interest, the Department of Science Education and Environmental Studies offers a minor in environmental studies, which students may pursue in consultation with the Environmental Studies Coordinator and their major adviser. Students also may elect a freestanding minor in environmental studies in conjunction with any major, including a liberal studies major, or they may concentrate in environmental studies as part of a major in biology, chemistry, earth science, or geography.

Core Courses in Environmental Studies:
The minor consists of 18 credits of course work including these five core courses:
ENV 100 — Environmental Studies I
ENV 200 — Environmental Studies II
ENV 350 — Environmental/Earth Systems Inquiry
ENV 400 — Social Sciences Perspectives on the Environment
ENV 491 — Seminar in Environmental and Marine Studies

In addition, at least three credits are selected from one or more of the following areas, other than those related to the student's major program: biology, chemistry, earth science, economics, geography, philosophy, physics, political science, psychology, and sociology. A list of appropriate elective courses is updated annually and is available from the Coordinator of Environmental Studies.

Environmental Studies Elective Courses:
ENV 401 - Pollution Prevention and Controls
ENV 298 – Special Topics in Environmental Studies
ENV 499 – Independent Study and Research

Liberal Studies Program: Environmental Studies Option
Southern offers a B.A. degree in liberal studies for students whose objectives are not met by the university's established liberal arts majors. The difference between this program and the traditional B.A. in liberal arts is that it does not restrict students to a single major, but rather allows them to broaden their studies by selecting two minors of 18 credits each. Students majoring in elementary education may choose liberal studies as a subject matter major. Those interested should apply to the liberal studies program first by making an appointment with the liberal studies coordinator in the School of Arts and Sciences.

Environmental Studies Coordinator
Contact: Vincent Breslin, Professor Science Education and Environmental Studies
Jennings Hall 340;

Vincent Breslin - Professor -
James Tait - Associate Professor -
Scott Graves - Associate PRofessor -