The curriculum is designed to emphasize the interdisciplinary nature of environmental science while building a solid foundation in the natural sciences to prepare students for a successful career or future graduate studies. The program allows students flexibility in choosing courses so they can customize their studies to meet their own educational goals.
Students majoring in environmental science will be able to:
- Demonstrate the ability to gather and analyze data that include biological, chemical, geological and sociological aspects of environmental conditions and processes.
- Make appropriate use of scientific information and data including assessing reliability, interpreting results, and drawing reasonable conclusions.
- Apply scientific findings to address current environmental issues and concerns.
- Evaluate environmental issues and needs of society.
- Effectively communicate scientific knowledge.
- Identify and explain the principles of responsible conduct within the scientific community.
- Demonstrate skills and aptitudes appropriate for securing employment or acceptance into graduate programs in environmental science or related fields of study.
Students who choose to major in environmental science at Mount Union have ample opportunities to get “real-world” experience outside of the classroom. By getting involved in extracurricular opportunities and student organizations, students strengthen your skills and knowledge in environmental science, both of which are critical to career success. These opportunities include:
- Independent research
- Research with faculty or student peers
- Laboratory experience
- Participation in regional environmental projects
- Exclusive access to Mount Union’s Nature Center
- Long-term monitoring of hydrology and water quality in the Upper Mahoning River Watershed
- Field trips to Ball Research Forest and the LiMRod Marsh
- Membership in student organizations
Internships provide students excellent opportunities to gain hands-on experience in the workforce and network with other professionals, which is critical to finding a job after graduation. Internships are a significant learning experience outside the traditional academic environment and it can be tailored to align with a student's career goals. Recent internships by Mount Union students have included:
- Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
- Alliance Water Treatment Facilities
- Mahoning County office of OSU Extension
Students for Environmental Awareness (SEA) is a student-led organization on Mount Union’s campus. SEA provides students, faculty, staff and community members with the opportunity to work together to promote the protection of the environment, educate the public regarding environmental concerns, and to encourage practices that benefit the earth. This organization is an active environmental group on campus and is open to any student interested.
Green Raiders (Sustainability Assistants) is a student who has an interest in practicing and promoting sustainable living. Sustainability assistants are members of the student body who are interested in things like recycling, energy and water conservation, and environmental issues. A Green Raider’s main purpose will be to educate his or her peers about the importance of living in a sustainable manner. This could take a variety of forms, such as conducting fun, informative residence hall programs, designing and installing educational bulletin boards, or organizing competition between residents on each floor to see who can reduce the amount of waste they generate.
Environmental science majors at Mount Union, learn to address environmental issues through an approach that emphasizes hands-on field and laboratory experiences that promote in-depth training in preparation for future careers or graduate study.
This is a field that is in demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of jobs for environmental scientists is expected to grow faster than the average throughout the course of this decade at a rate of 11 percent. According to the BLS, environmental scientists will see substantial employment growth in private consulting firms that assist clients with the monitoring and management of environmental concerns and compliance with regulations. The majority of jobs will continue to be concentrated within the various levels of government and closely related industries including universities, hospitals, and national research facilities.
The environment is a hot topic in today’s society, and more and more people are becoming involved in fixing the problems that are plaguing our planet. As the world’s population continues to grow, it will require more work to keep our environment clean. Stricter laws and increasing regulations demand businesses and governments to hire scientists to ensure they are in compliance.
Natural resources and conservation
Environmental monitoring and remediation
Industrial environmental management
Research and higher education
Facilities and Equipment
The Environmental Science program at Mount Union contains innovative facilities and state-of-the-art equipment in Bracy Hall and the Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center. These facilities provide a unique opportunity for detailed instruction of environmental science concepts in the classroom, while promoting faculty and student collaboration both in the lab and in the field.
Bracy Hall houses Mount Union’s natural science departments (Biology, Biochemistry and Chemistry, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Physics and Astronomy) and their associated classrooms and laboratories. Environmental Science Students have access to teaching and research labs for their studies. Some of the lab spaces used include:
- Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecology lab
- Greenhouse and herbarium,
- Physiology and Physiological Ecology lab,
- Geographic Information System lab,
- Chemical Instrumentation lab.
Examples of available analytical instruments available in Bracy Hall include:
- NMR, IR, gas chromatograph and atomic absorption spectrometers,
- Scanning electron microscope,
- Portable photosynthesis equipment,
- Flow injection analyzer,
- UV-Vis spectrophotometers,
- Fluorescence microscopes,
- X-ray diffractometer.
In addition, the program is well equipped with standard laboratory and field equipment for studying the environment.
The University of Mount Union’s Huston-Brumbaugh Nature Center, located six miles south of the main University campus, provides a convenient site for environmental science field work. The Nature Center sits on 162 acres and includes old and new growth forests and ponds. A visitor center houses two classrooms and a lab for student work. An additional field site, the Ball Research Forest, is located 45 minutes from campus and provides the opportunity for students to study an unglaciated environment in a different geological and ecological setting than the Nature Center.