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Environmental Science at St. Mary’s

StMU Faculty Melissa Karlin

What is Environmental Science?

Environmental Science addresses urbanization and the depletion of natural resources connected to an ever-increasing global population.

Environmental Scientists are constantly identifying and looking for solutions to environmental problems that directly affect our quality of life.

Today’s environmental problems call for scientists who are educated in more than one discipline, highly trained in technical skills, and aware of the political and social dimensions of environmental problems and how to make decisions with regard to these situations.

Students gain a strong foundation of scientific knowledge and professional skills which will enable them to assess a variety of environmental issues and develop and implement solutions.

When I think about studying here, I think about how comfortable I am. I feel connected with my professors and classmates.
– Peyton Williams, Environmental Science major, Class of 2020

Degree Plans and Courses

The Environmental Science degree plans allow students experience in a specific area of interest such as Geosciences, Chemistry, or Ecology with both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts options.

See the catalog for a complete list of course descriptions:

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Our students are actively engaged in undergraduate research, working with our faculty in the field and in the laboratory to explore topics such as wildlife activity in the Texas Hill Country, the habitat of 25 million-year old fossil fish, the potential effects of fireworks on an urban lake, and the atmosphere in caves around San Antonio.

Students can spend a semester abroad or at our sister university in Oahu to learn about the environment in different parts of the world.

Student Activities

Environmental Science students are engaged in a full range of extracurricular activities, including service in the community; fraternities and sororities; the Environment, Conservation and Outreach (ECO) Club; and St. Mary’s athletics like soccer, golf and tennis.

The ECO Club provides students with opportunities to participate in a variety of outdoor activities, including camping, hiking, trail maintenance activities at local parks, and clean-up events on campus and in the surrounding community.

As part of our Environmental Science Extravaganza, students also work with local public and private schools to bring the excitement of environmental science to students from preschool to high school.

Rainwater Harvesting System

A 5,050-gallon tank collects some of nearly 240,000 gallons of rain that fall onto Garni Science Hall’s roof each year. The captured rainwater irrigates landscaping in that section of campus, and our students help initiate projects like this to make St. Mary’s greener.

Careers in Environmental Science

Environmental scientists explore Earth’s systems of energy and matter to characterize our planet and understand how it responds to different and perhaps changing conditions.

By studying the Earth and its resources, we recognize that certain substances and conditions must be monitored on a regular basis to ensure a clean and safe environment. Using this information, Environmental Scientists help to develop environmental policy to govern the use of technology and more effectively steward the resources of nature.

Environmental science is a growing field, and one with many career possibilities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2028.

Learn more about the Environmental Science Programs

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