Environmental Sciences (B.S.)
Trained to tackle such hot-button issues as our energy future, climate change, natural resource management, and global biodiversity conservation, our environmental science graduates are prepared to succeed. This interdisciplinary program pairs the social and policy strengths of our environmental studies major with a rigorous science curriculum to give you the broad knowledge and the scientific and technical skills necessary to address global environmental problems successfully.
During your first two years, you’ll acquire a broad science foundation in biology, chemistry, physics, and earth systems science. You’ll participate in a seminar that will connect you to a diverse group of environmental professionals, including many graduates from this program, and you’ll undertake a cultural immersion experience that exposes you to new perspectives on environmentalism. By your junior year you'll begin designing a concentration that expresses your individual interdisciplinary interests in science. As a senior, you’ll join a research team of faculty and students tackling an applied project and take part in a capstone discussion group designed to help prepare you for graduate school or entering an environmental profession. This combination of critical- and systems-thinking skills and hands-on science will prepare you to work effectively with environmental policy makers, educators, and scientists alike.
Real-world experience is a hallmark of the program. Our faculty members have received numerous external grants in the last five years, and they often ask their students to join in their research. Locally our students have conducted wildlife movement and population studies, researched the reintroduction of a blight-resistant strain of the American chestnut tree, initiated a myco-remediation project using fungi to clean up contaminated parking lot run-off, and studied sperm morphology in fish exposed to herbicides. They've also studied plant-insect coevolution in Ecuador, and the impacts of ecotourism in Belize. As one of the country’s most ecofriendly cities, Ithaca brims with environmental internship opportunities. Partnerships with EcoVillage at Ithaca, Sustainable Tompkins, New Roots Charter School, and the History Center in Tompkins County expand your options even further.
Graduates pursue careers in areas such as environmental consulting and management, aquatic toxicology, wildlife conservation, environmental science outreach and education, solar technology, and renewable energy implementation. Whether you're passionate about preserving the world's natural resources or using a scientific approach to solve ecological challenges, an environmental science degree from Ithaca College will set you on the path to making a positive difference.