Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies

What is Environmental Studies?
In this program, you will focus on environment-related issues
using scientific, social scientific, and humanistic approaches. This
includes the application of biological, chemical, and physical
principles to the physical environment, and subjects such as pollution
control, the interactions of human beings and nature, and natural
resources management. You will learn the basic principles of ecology
and environmental science and related subjects such as policy,
politics, law, economics, social aspects, planning, pollution control,
and natural resources. You will also study biology, chemistry, physics,
geosciences, climatology, statistics, and mathematical modeling.

The increase in human population coupled with increasing use
and misuse of natural resources has led to serious degradation of the
environment and now threatens natural ecosystems and human societies
which depend upon them. In order to understand these problems, their
root causes, contemporary driving forces, impacts and potential
solutions to move society toward sustainability, the environmental
studies core curriculum incorporates environmental science (both
natural and social) and perspectives from the humanities (e.g.
literature, philosophy).

Environmental studies gives students a broad understanding of the
complex nature of environmental problems. Students learn that study of
these problems cannot occur piecemeal. A careful examination of the
interrelationships and intricacies of both natural and social systems is
essential if we are to preserve environmental quality and achieve
sustainable integration of ecosystems and society. The overall aims of
the curriculum are to provide specific knowledge of the relationship
between traditional disciplines, such as biology, geology and
economics, and interdisciplinary environmental studies and to foster
integrated approaches for environmental problem-solving. Courses
recognize and explore the holistic nature of environmental issues by
making interdisciplinary analyses of environmental problems and their
solutions, for example health effects of pollution, climate change,
degradation of aquatic ecosystems, forest conservation and restoration,
land use, energy use and food production. The curriculum includes
courses listed with other departments as well as in particular areas of
environmental studies.

Working in Environmental Studies
Characteristics and Skills Necessary for Success

  • Interest in our environment and desire to improve it
  • Logical thinker who can collect, organize, analyze and interpret scientific data
  • Ability to use computers and the internet
  • Creative and enjoy experimenting

Click HERE for a table on Career Areas, Employers, and Strategies for Employment

Sample Job Titles
Environmental Activist
Environmental Engineer
Environmental Scientist
Geographic Information Systems Analyst
Laboratory Assistant
Meteorological Analyst
Soil Conservationist
Urban and Regional Planner
Water Quality Control

Learning More About Environmental Studies

  • Visit the Career Services office and check out our Career Resource Library which includes:
    • Great Jobs for Environmental Studies Majors
  • Visit the SLU Environmental Studies Department website
  • Check out Environmental Studies course descriptions in the Catalog
  • Talk with a professor in Environmental Studies about the major. Click here for a list of possible questions to ask.
  • Perform an informational interview with a professional in the field. Click here for information on how to find a professional, contacting them, and a list of possible questions.
  • Get connected with SLU alum in the field through SAINTSLink, participate in Shadow-a-Saint or complete an Internship.

Additional Resources

Related Majors and Minors at SLU
Conservation Biology
Geology-Physics interdisciplinary