Make the earth your classroom

When you choose an Environmental Science major at Franklin & Marshall College, you will learn how to evaluate and address key environmental problems facing local and global communities. 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.

Curriculum and Courses

Study of the Earth draws on all traditional disciplines. As we learn how the Earth works, we must develop the means and the political will to manage it appropriately.

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The Pulse

Story 9/14/2017

Naomi Klein: In an Age of Crises, We Move Together to...

 “We don’t live in a time when there is just one urgent crisis,” Klein told a large turnout for F&M's Sept. 14 Common Hour. “We live in a time of overlapping and intersecting crises.”

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Story 9/11/2017

Reception for Naomi Klein and screening of This Changes...

You are invited to attend a reception for Common Hour speaker Naomi Klein immediately following her talk in the Center for the Sustainable Environment's Community Outreach Room.

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Story 9/1/2017

Off-Campus Study: Shelby Sawyer '18

Environmental Science major spends her semester off campus on a research trek through Patagonia.

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Story 8/28/2017

Three-Mile Island Community Information Night Sept. 7

Exelon Generation will be hosting its annual “Three-Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station Community Information Night”  from 5 to 8 p.m. on Sept. 7 for the general public. 

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Story 8/10/2017

F&M Collaborates with Pennsylvania Colleges to Share Green...

Representatives from seven southeast Pennsylvania colleges came together at Franklin & Marshall on Aug. 4 to learn about the initiatives of the College’s Center for the Sustainable Environment.  

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Story 7/6/2017

F&M Researchers Find Ground Water Runs Deeper Than...

The Bubble, a spring that provides most of the water for a lake in the central Pennsylvania hamlet of Boiling Springs, is an old mystery to residents who speculate about the spring’s source.  

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Story 6/22/2017

Student Investigates Why Grocery Stores Leave Neighborhoods

It was the first Giant grocery in the city of Lancaster, located in a low- to moderate-income neighborhood, but after 40 years, the supermarket chain closed the store, leading to protests and...

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