Concentration Areas

Environmental Biology

The Environmental Biology concentration is ecological in perspective. Students study the complex interactions of all living organisms in aquatic and terrestrial habitats, i.e. microorganisms, plants, animals, and humans. Emphasis is placed on the qualitative and quantitative definition of natural and managed ecosystems. Students learn about the structure and function of natural ecosystems and how environmental contaminants introduced to air, water and soil can damage natural ecosystems. Environmental biology students also learn the standard methods used to detect and monitor environmental contaminants and how to assess their biological effects and potential risks.

Environmental Policy

The Environmental Policy concentration is intended for students who wish to use their scientific background to address public policy questions including economic analysis, regulation, administration, enforcement and law. Society has a need for analysis and expert testimony from people qualified to discuss both the natural science of environmental problems and the complex social issues relevant to finding solutions. The Environmental Policy concentration is intended for students who are interested ultimately in bridging the science and policy of the environment. Analytical tools such as environmental impact analysis, risk assessment, and benefit-cost analysis are utilized to examine how society can best approach the resolution of environmental problems.

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

The Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry concentration prepares students to study the impacts of contaminants on ecosystem structure and function. The variety and quantity of toxic materials released to the environment by human activities present a constant challenge to environmental scientists. Students learn about the mechanisms of toxicity and the analytical methods required to detect and measure environmental contaminants at all levels of ecosystem structure and function. Industries that produce contaminants and the government agencies that are responsible for regulating contaminants value the environmental expertise provided by environmental toxicologists and chemists.

General Track

Students who do not select a concentration can complete their upper-level requirements in the General Track of study. Students must complete at least four upper-level courses. Students should consult their Faculty Advisors for course recommendations and approvals.

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