Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary major firmly based in the liberal arts tradition. The major involves faculty, courses, and student research in three of the College’s strongest departments, Earth and Environment, Biology and Chemistry. Earth and Environment provides an administrative home for the program, but students benefit from contacts with faculty and other students in all three departments. We offer small classes taught by professors who are experts in their fields.
Environmental Science uses an interdisciplinary approach to study critical science-based issues and human impacts (past, present, and future) such as land use; the conservation of endangered species; habitat degradation; the impacts of global change on animals, plants, and humans; water and energy resources; and pollution.
Students gain a diverse perspective in the core science areas, Earth and Environment, Biology and Chemistry, and in quantitative and field methods. They then progress to advanced study in one or more of the disciplines through intensive, research-based upper-level courses. A senior capstone course allows students with diverse interests and skills to work together in teams to conduct research on important topics.
A hands-on, project based teaching style is used in many courses. Our Environmental Science program provides exciting field opportunities in diverse natural settings, access to state of the art laboratory and field instruments and GIS software, and many opportunities for student research projects during both the academic year and the summer.
Off campus study, in the U.S. and internationally, is encouraged. Our students have studied recently at field stations and laboratories in Woods Hole MA, the Australian rain forest, and the savanna of Kenya. Contacts with local, state, and national scholars and professionals enhance the program and generate exciting possibilities for graduate work, internships, and employment.
Upon completing the program, Franklin & Marshall Environmental Science majors are thoroughly prepared for any of the expanding and emerging opportunities in this area.