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College of Natural Sciences

BS in Environmental Science

Overview

Environmental Sciences encompasses a broad field of study that looks at the complex interactions of water, air, soil and life, and how those interactions both affect and are affected by human activity. The BS in Environmental Sciences prepares students for careers or graduate education in fields such as wildlife management, air and water protection, energy grid analysis, and soil conservation. The program at CSU, Chico strongly emphasizes the scientific background needed to address pressing environmental and sustainability challenges. To best prepare for future careers, students conduct applied and basic research to understand natural and human influences that affect the environment.

Mission

The Environmental Science Program strives to provide our students with an understanding of the form, function, and interactions of physical and biological systems. We integrate theory and practice to instill the scientific knowledge and critical analysis skills students will need to develop and apply sustainable solutions to environmental problems.

Goals & Objectives

The Environmental Sciences program strives to best prepare students to be engaged in solving environmental and sustainability problems with a strong scientific foundation.  This is accomplished through a broad curriculum that covers the fundamentals of biology, geology, chemistry, and physics and then moves students through key principles of environmental sciences.  At the upper division level, students choose an option to further hone their skills.

As a program, the BS in Environmental Sciences strives to reach these goals and objectives:

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in the application of the scientific method
  2. Describe the cycling of matter and energy on Earth
  3. Explain the impact of human activity on natural ecosystems
  4. Integrate natural resource management and policy to address environmental issues
  5. Improve skills in communicating scientific results

Learning Outcomes

The goals of the Environmental Science degree are assessed based on the following learning outcomes:

  1. Demonstrate proficiency in the application of the scientific method.

    1. Using the scientific method to formulate or test hypotheses;
    2. Demonstrate computer skills for gathering, organizing and/or analyzing data;
    3. Apply quantitative skills toward understanding a model.

  2. Describe the cycling of matter and energy on Earth.

    1. Describe physical processes involved in the transfer of matter and energy at multiple scales;
    2. Demonstrate an understanding of ecological processes and patterns;
    3. Demonstrate in-depth knowledge of physical or ecological processes in a specialized focus.

  3. Explain the impact of human activity on natural ecosystems.

    1. Qualify human alterations of Earth’s natural processes and their consequences.
    2. Understand the scientific basis of natural and anthropogenic climate change.

  4. Integrate natural resource management and policy to address environmental issues.

    1. Describe the effects of management practices and policies on natural resources and ecosystem processes.
    2. Demonstrate knowledge of regulations related to resource management.
    3. Explain the scientific basis of sustainable development.

  5. Improve skills in communicating scientific results.

    1. Access and reference published scientific information;
    2. Apply computer skills in communication (e.g., presentation, graphs, etc.);
    3. Communicate technical information clearly.