Environmental Science Program
Boehm Science Center
Kutztown, PA 19530
The Environmental Science Program is an interdisciplinary program designed to prepare students to graduate as environmental scientists with the skills needed to assist society in understanding and addressing complex environmental challenges.
Students graduating with a B.S. in Environmental Science from Kutztown University are:
able to execute field and laboratory investigations based on sound scientific principles and techniques, with care and attention to detail.
able to choose appropriate techniques for the collection, analysis, and presentation of quantitative, spatial, and temporal data.
able to work as an integral member of a multidisciplinary team to apply knowledge of the complex interactions between physical and biological realms, draw conclusions, and develop action plans.
able to effectively communicate a position using data and logical reasoning in appropriate written and oral formats.
Are these skills that you have and want to polish? Are they skills you would like to acquire? There has never been a better time to pursue a degree, and a career, in the environmental sciences. Employment opportunities for trained environmental professionals are growing as fast as our need for innovative solutions to immediate and future environmental problems.
Students graduating from the KU Environmental Science Program apply their skills in a variety of settings. Graduates have been very successful in obtaining environmental positions working for a variety of public and private-sector organizations including the PA and NJ Departments of Environmental Protection, PA Dept of Agriculture, Ohio Public Interest Research Group, Suburban Testing Labs, Clean Harbors Environmental, and the U.S. Department of Labor-Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).
Starting salaries for all positions in the Earth and Environmental Science fields average $40,000/year and the median annual salary for all Earth and Environmental Scientists is ~$89,000.
Many of our students do not go immediately into the workforce, but
The Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science requires students to take introductory coursework in Biology, Chemistry, Geology and Geography and then pursue a track of interest.
Students enrolled in the biology-track focus on additional upper-division courses that develop field and laboratory skills as well as additional knowledge of plants, animals, and ecosystems. This prepares them for careers that focus on conservation, restoration, and preservation of natural environments.
Regenerative agriculture is one of the few “deployment-ready” techniques for removing and sequestering carbon from the atmosphere. Along the way, improvements in soil health promote the sustainability of agricultural systems and contribute to the health and well-being of humans and the ecosystems they live within. Students enrolled in the regenerative-agriculture track focus on additional upper-division courses that develop knowledge of agro-ecosystems and extensive hands-on skills in implementing, monitoring, and assessing the efficacy of developing regenerative agricultural practice. This prepares them well for careers in a range of environmental professions focused on planning, restoration, remediation, and monitoring as well as work in supporting global transitions in agricultural practice.
Students enrolled in the chemistry-track focus on additional upper-division courses that develop laboratory and instrumentation skills as well as additional knowledge of key chemical principles and their applications. This prepares them well for careers that focus on the analysis of environmental pollutants in a wide variety of matrices.
Students enrolled in the geology-track focus on additional upper-division courses that develop field and instrumentation skills as well as additional knowledge of physical earth systems. This prepares them well for careers focused on environmental health, contaminant remediation, and natural resource availability.
Students enrolled in the geography-track focus on additional upper-division courses that develop computational and spatial analysis skills as well as additional knowledge of planning, mapping, weather, and climate. This prepares them well for careers in planning, development, and data organization and management.
A team-taught introduction to environmental problems and their potential solutions. Lecture and laboratory work are supplemented by field trips.
A study of the relationship between humans and our planet. Problems that society faces in using the earth are examined, including case histories of natural disasters and human interactions with earth materials. Geo-chemical cycles, geological materials, and land use will be examined as they relate to environmental quality.
Qualitative and quantitative methods of analytical chemistry are explored by utilizing a "hands-on" approach applied to a variety of environmental samples. The course focuses on the basic components of each analytical technique or instrument, their range of environmental applications, their advantages and limitations, and the physical and chemical phenomena which form the basis of the analytical method. Basic sampling plans and designs are also discussed due to their complementary nature.
An introduction to the causes and symptoms of environmental deterioration. The effect of ecological perturbations on ecosystems especially the biota. Field experiences are an integral part of the course.
Geographic information systems (GIS) are a major tool for the analysis of spatial data. This course introduces the student to the theoretical, conceptual and practical aspects of the collection, storage, analysis and display of spatial data. The applications of GIS by geographers, educators, scientists, planners, and businessmen to real-world problems will be emphasized.
An interdisciplinary seminar devoted to the analysis of selected environmental problems.
"Environmental Science majors want to be in the experience, not just viewing it from a classroom."-Drew Labenberg, Geography Track
Students record the arrival of spring ephemeral flowers as evidence of undisturbed soils.
Students measure and key out plant specimens in the lab.
Students learn about different soil types, their components, and how healthy soils support our society.
Students learn sample preparation techniques and test fruits for pesticide residues.
Students learn about environmental pollutants, site remediation, and site restoration in the field.
Students find and identify aquatic macroinvertebrates to assess the health of a stream.
Students engage in environmental cleanups and learn about how society manages waste.
Students learn to use a variety of instruments in the analytical chemistry lab.
"People in this Program have a strong desire to make a positive change."-Dillion James, Chemistry Track
Student Learning Outcomes