Mercyhurst University

Environmental Science Bachelor of Arts • Bachelor of Science

Environmental Science explores the intersection between humans and the natural world. It is a complex field that touches upon aspects of the biological and physical sciences, governmental policies, economics, and social issues; success at addressing environmental issues therefore requires an interdisciplinary approach. Consequently, the Mercyhurst University Environmental Science major educates and trains students in the physical and social sciences so that they are reflectively aware of the natural environment in which they live, are globally responsible of the Earth and its resources, and are prepared to successfully address environmental issues on any number of fronts. Students choose a specific track in Biology Field Studies or Geology Field Studies to help emphasize their particular interest in environmental science.

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This is a close-knit program with small class sizes that uses modern equipment, labs and classrooms.

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You will learn from faculty who live what they teach and are vested in meeting your needs as a student.

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Students gain hands-on experiences through original research and internship opportunities.

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Students work closely with the biology and geology departments to create an educational plan that fits their interests.

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Students gain a strong background in the physical sciences while also learning about the social science aspect of environmental issues.

Why Environmental Science?

Image for Katie Reisinger '19
The growing complexity of environmental problems
Katie Reisinger '19
Image for Katie Reisinger '19
The growing complexity of environmental problems
Katie Reisinger '19

GEOL 306/307 Soils and Lab

The study of the processes and environmental conditions that result in the formation of soils; the relationships among climate, rock type, and time duration that cause soils to possess different chemical and physical properties; and the various schemes and the nomenclature by which soils are classified. Most lab periods involve field work describing and collecting soil samples as well as the preparation and analysis of those samples in the lab. 



GEOL 370 Dendrochronology

Dendrochronology deals with time as recorded by tree rings. Information extracted from tree rings can subsequently be used to make predictions about past climate and paleo-environmental conditions, geologic and anthropological events, and even fire cycles. This class presents the fundamental principles of how to conduct dendrochronologic studies and emphasizes the techniques of collecting and interpreting tree ring data. 



BIO 272/273 Forest Ecology and Lab

he study of how trees and other organisms of the forest interact, how forests are managed, and what their value is to human society and Earth. Topics include forest food webs, forest structure, nutrient cycling, forests of the world, logging and resource extraction, disturbance and fire ecology, tree physiology and anatomy, and how climate shapes forest structure, composition, and tree distributions. Most lab periods are outside and may include a weekend field trip to a National Forest. 



EXPERIENCE & OUTCOMES

Getting Jobs

Jobs for environmental scientists range from working for federal and state governmental agencies, to work related to environmental remediation, to academia.

Experience

Major courses are designed to get you hands-on experiences in the field and in the lab so you are prepared for a future addressing environmental concerns.

Make A Difference

Environmental Science students make positive and immediate impacts addressing local and regional environmental issues.

Meet the Faculty

Nick Lang
Nicholas Lang, Ph.D.
Associate Professor Chair, Department of Geology Co-Director, Environmental Science Program
Christopher Dolanc, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
J. Michael Campbell, Ph.D.
Professor of Biology
Sara Turner Cooper, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Sarah Bennett, M.S.
Chair of Biology Department, Lecturer of Biology