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 12/1/2017

​Seismic Station

F&M's seismic station gets a new home 

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Story 11/30/2017

National Monuments Need Protection, Environmental Studies...

Efforts by the current administration to reduce the number and size of U.S. national monuments are misguided, said Elizabeth De Santo, Franklin & Marshall assistant professor of environmental studies...

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Unraveling Teddy Rosevelt's Legacy
Story 11/30/2017

Unravelling Teddy Roosevelt's Legacy: America's National...

Elizabeth De Santo Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies Since its inception in 1906, the Antiquities Act has been used over 100 times to protect America's natural and cultural heritage...

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Story 11/29/2017

Thomas Named Fellow to National Science Association

The American Association for the Advancement of Science has named Franklin & Marshall’s Roger D. K. Thomas as one of its Fellows.

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Story 11/9/2017

Captive Whales and Dolphins: Life Beyond Concrete Tanks

​Lori Marino, Ph.D. President of the Whale Sanctuary Project Since the release of the popular documentary Blackfish, of which Dr. Marino was featured, the public has become more aware of the...

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Story 10/12/2017

Astonishing Energy Futures and the Future of Global Change

Amory Lovins,  2017 Mueller Fellow, physicist, environmental scientist, energy advisor, author, and co-founder and chief scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute Physicist Amory Lovins is cofounder...

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Story 10/4/2017

Campus farmer's market

The Center for the Sustainable Environment is starting a small farmer's market on campus to allow students, faculty and staff to purchase organic, local produce and pantry items each week. The first...

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