The Environment Program offers three majors:
- Environmental Science (B.S.)
- Environmental Studies with a concentration in the Humanities (B.A.)
- Environmental Studies with concentration in Social Sciences (B.A.)
Students majoring in Environmental Science acquire basic knowledge of the physical and biological aspects of ecological systems and apply this knowledge to solving problems arising from human activities. Required electives from the humanities and social science further enrich their understanding of environmental issues.
Students majoring in the Humanities or Social Science concentrations of Environmental Studies pursue an integrated approach to the study of human interactions with the environment; they take courses in policy, law, economics, literature, sociology, communications and other disciplines in the humanities or social sciences. Additional elective requirements in environmental biology strengthen their knowledge base.
Environmental Science and Environmental Studies majors are expected to complete a 4-course core curriculum that consists of an introductory foundations course, a course in statistics, an ecology and evolution course, and a senior capstone course (The Senior Experience).
Environment Core Courses:
- ENVA A105 Foundations in Environmental Studies
- BIOL A208 Ecology & Evolution
- MATH A260 Intro to Statistics or MATH A241 Intro to Probability & Statistics
- ENVA A497/498/499 Senior Experience (Capstone Course)
Senior Capstone Course
The culmination of the major and minor is the Senior Capstone, which consists of an internship, research project, independent study or thesis. Internships have included work with a variety of public agencies, private companies, and nonprofit organizations. Research and independent study projects have included work on such topics as public lands issues, global climate change impacts, international environmental agreements, solid waste issues, deforestation, interstate water use agreements, corporate ethics, wetland loss, and alternative transportation.
Environmental Science is one of the majors identified by the Louisiana Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (Page 4 of Bulletin 746) for which students can seek secondary grades certification in Science (grades 6-12). Students preparing for teacher education in Environmental Science complete the Biology concentration plus the focus-area courses for teacher education. See the degree plan here, and the list of teacher-education course descriptions here.
Students of Environmental Science will go directly into an environmental science career or on to graduate or professional school to further their study. Some careers involve working for federal or state agencies, such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or state park agencies. Other careers may involve working as a scientist, manager or analyst for non-governmental organizations, such as The Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, or World Watch Institute. Still other career opportunities exist in the private sector as environmental consultants, scientists, technicians and specialists with engineering firms, natural resource/energy corporations, or waste-management companies, such as CH2M Hill Ltd., Weyerhauser, Inc., Waste Management, Inc., and many others.
Students of Environmental Studies will go directly into an environmental studies career or on to graduate or professional school such as law with a focus on environmental law. As an environmental lawyer they may work to develop environmental legislation and policy in governmental agencies, like the US Environmental Protection Agency. They may also work as attorneys or legal aides for private firms. Others may work for businesses or corporations as consultants on issues like environmental ethics, sustainability plans/building, green investing and other areas. Some students may go into environmental research or education after completing graduate studies in their chosen field. Opportunities to teach exist not only in universities, but also in high schools and nature centers. Others may choose to communicate directly with the general public about environmental issues as writers, journalists or artists. Still other students may choose to get involved with community groups and volunteer organizations to work for solutions of environmental problems at the grassroots level.