The need for a scientific team to investigate environmental systems coupled with environmental laws requiring protocols has led to a growing public awareness of the need to address environmental issues, hence the expansion of the major. The interdisciplinary nature of environmental sciences means that many fields are studied within one broad and comprehensive subject.
One of the appealing aspects of environmental studies is how diverse the curriculum is, making it a perfect match for someone interested in the sciences but who does not want to focus as intensely in any one field of science. Many students pursue a degree in environmental studies concurrently with a degree in management, public policy, political science, economics, social sciences or landscape architecture.
Keep in mind that environmental sciences and ecology are separate fields of study, even if the two disciplines overlap. Ecology focuses on analyzing interrelated sets of populations or a population and its relationship to its environment, such as with endangered species, habitat integrity, the impact of land development and the effect of populations by contaminants.
Given the research-based applications of environmental studies, this degree is best earned at an established brick-and-mortar university instead of with an online degree.
Bachelor Of Arts
The Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies comprises several areas of environmental concentration. At the undergraduate level, environmental studies teach students to understand the nature of environmental issues in both the scientific and social sciences, analyze problems and solve them with basic and applied research.
Many degree programs integrate teaching and research with public service in the community. Some schools offer leadership programs that focus on collaborative environmental research and service projects with nonprofit organizations and government agencies, like the program at the University of Oregon and at Brown University.
Bachelor Of Science
A Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science requires a stronger emphasis on sciences, particularly by focusing on biology, chemistry, physics or earth sciences, rather than social sciences or humanities courses. This includes the completion of a higher level of courses in mathematics, statistics, ecology and physical geology.