Make the earth your classroom

  • Core sampling in the field

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 7/16/2018

Building a Robot with Lasers, Flight-of-Time Cameras and...

In a quiet room in Franklin & Marshall College’s Hackman Physical Sciences Laboratories building, senior Gabriella Sallai stands at the intersection of physics and geoscience as she works on a...

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Story 7/12/2018

Summer Research: The Honeybee in Global Environmental...

Like bats, moths, and other pollinators, honeybees help to fertilize crops and allow humans to produce diverse foods. But because these pollinators are harmed by pesticides, fungicides and...

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Story 7/11/2018

‘Embattled River,’ Schuyler’s Latest Book on the Hudson...

In his latest book, F&M's David Schuyler examines the ongoing fight of more than half a century to protect and preserve the river's environment and the spectacularly scenic landscape that evokes the...

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Story 6/15/2018

Conservation Paleobiology: What’s Natural in the Ocean

Five Franklin & Marshall College students and Assistant Professor of Geosciences Paul Harnik boarded boats along the Louisiana and Alabama coasts and sailed hours into the Gulf of Mexico to collect...

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Story 5/21/2018

Experiencing Earth’s Geoscience History in America’s...

During spring semester, Professor of Geosciences Andrew de Wet and the department’s research lab manager and technician Emily Wilson took 16 students to New Mexico and Arizona to visit numerous...

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Story 5/2/2018

Ready to Launch: F&M Helps Develop Land Mine-Detection Robot

A major milestone has been passed with the construction of a working robot prototype, and testing is about to begin on the sophisticated imaging sensors that are F&M’s responsibility.  

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Story 4/20/2018

Sawyer '18, Schmid honored as Pennsylvania Campus...

Senior Shelby Sawyer and Ted Schmid, F&M's Director of Grounds, were honored as Pennsylvania Campus Sustainability Champions by the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium.

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