environmental science program

Students have a tangible reminder of their energy consumption with monitors in every residence hall that display real-time energy use illustrated through an animated polar bear's behavior and a letter grade. read more…

Environmental Internships…

Environmental Science majors gain valuable professional experience through a required internship.

Career Opportunities…

Graduates who major in Environmental Science are prepared for careers anywhere in the world.

Environmental Science Faculty…

Environmental Science majors learn from experienced, expert faculty members.

B.S. in Environmental Science

The Environmental Science major is for those students whose interest in the environment has a more scientific focus. The program is designed to prepare students to enter the field with the skills environmental professionals use in the workplace through opportunities such as a community-based research project and a required internship.

There are six focus areas to select from in this major: aquatics, conservation biology, food and agriculture, sustainable systems, teaching outdoors, and writing for the environment. All six focus areas take full advantage of the environment surrounding Colby-Sawyer. The region's many lakes and rivers, forests and mountain ranges allow students to conduct field research where they live.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Students will locate, evaluate and share information effectively and responsibly.
  2. Students will demonstrate an understanding of group/team dynamics, the ability to assess teamwork, and work effectively in a team.
  3. Students will communicate effectively using quantitative information and technical language to convey findings.
  4. Students will critically analyze and engage with complex, interdependent natural systems (chemical, biological, geological) and develop both a functional and a working knowledge of interactions within and among natural systems with an emphasis on human interactions, impacts and mitigation.
  5. Students will use laboratory/field methodology and/or theoretical frameworks to obtain, organize & synthesize data for quantitative analysis, interpretation and communication.

Facilities and Resources…

The Environmental Studies Department offers stationary and mobile lab equipment for air, water and soil testing. The department is housed in the new Curtis L. Ivey Science Center, with extensive space for laboratories, classrooms and technology including GIS.

Community Based Projects…

The comunity based project is the defining characteristic of the Environmental Studies and Environmental Science majors. In addition to traditional classroom and laboratory exercises, students are immersed in an in-depth, year-long analysis of a local environmental problem or issue.

Field Studies…

Colby-Sawyer College offers field studies courses and has an affiliation agreement with the School for Field Studies for an international experience.

Capstone Project

Colby-Sawyer seniors complete a Capstone project, a culmination of work in their fields of study that allows them to demonstrate a deep understanding of a body of knowledge and perspectives informed by that knowledge.

Environmental Science majors complete an independent research project in an area relevant to the study of community and environment. Students learn to develop a research question, become familiar with quantitative and qualitative research methods, and write a literature review and a research proposal. Visit My Capstone Experience to learn more about student Capstones.

Additional Curricula Opportunities…

Students interested in law, medicine and veterinary practice can combine their major with a course of study to prepare for the next academic step.