Environmental Science and Studies

Environmental Science: Naturalist Track, Environmental Science: Natural Resources Track, Environmental Studies Major, Environmental Studies Minor

Degree Overview

Gain a deep understanding of environmental issues. Apply your knowledge and skills to solve real-world problems in fields like environmental consulting, conservation science, and land management.

Choose from two tracks that will prepare you for your unique career goals. Interested in an environmental career, tackling issues like soil erosion and water pollution? Consider the Natural Resources track. Drawn to a career as a park ranger or field technician? The Naturalist track will prepare you to thrive as an environmental interpreter.

And your studies won't take place only in the classroom. As an environmental science student, you'll be part of a program where you’ll get outside and put your learning to work. You might work to restore local waterways, study the ecology of the Great Lakes dunes firsthand, or take an intensive course on field techniques in land management.

Program Distinctives

Professional-grade facilities - You'll have access to a huge collection of minerals, rocks, and fossils, as well as a vast collection of maps, a dedicated geo-spatial analysis lab, drones, an on-campus research sand dune, a seismograph, a weather station, and more.
Real-world research opportunities - As a GEO student, you'll have the chance to do research with your professors during the academic year and summer. Calvin GEO students have done research into Lake Michigan coastal dunes, a Pleistocene mastadon, the Plaster Creek watershed, and more.
Practical job experience - The GEO department hires more students than any other department. Students are hired yearly for a wide variety of positions, from managing a map library to maintaining the university weather station.
Study off-campus - Calvin GEO students study off-campus in places as diverse as Montana, Hawaii, Kenya, Scotland, the Netherlands, Ethiopia, and Yosemite National Park.

Degree Information

Environmental Science: Naturalist Track
Environmental Science: Natural Resources Track
Environmental Studies Major
  • Courses
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  • Learning Outcomes

    Students graduating from this program will:

    • Understand the relations among God, humanity, and the nonhuman creation as revealed in the scriptures, in theology in general, and Reformed theology in particular
    • Differentiate various schools of environmental philosophy and ethics and articulate a differentiated Christian environmental ethic
    • Understand the interdependent structure and functioning of physical-ecological systems at a variety of scales and their dynamic character even apart from human influence
    • Understand the interdependence and interconnectedness of environmental and societal change as well as the history of domestic and international responses to environmental degradation
    • Know the interplay of factors that result in human-induced environmental change, including human population, poverty, affluence, and resource consumption
    • Understand the spatial patterns of human-environmental interactions
    • Know the basic structures of environmental policy and law that pertain to specific environmental issues (water quality, climate change, biodiversity protection, etc.)
    • Be able to prioritize environmental issues in terms of their threats/impacts on social and environmental sustainability.
  • Advising

    Dr. Jamie Skillen (jrs39@calvin.edu) is the program advisor and will be responsible for the student’s overall academic progress, with particular attention to core requirements and various electives.

    Majors will also have an advisor from the department of the chosen discipline. The disciplinary advisor will be responsible for work that the student does in their disciplinary track.

Environmental Studies Minor

Beyond the classroom

Off-campus study is an important part of the GEO program. You could study in places like Hawaii, Montana, and beyond. Learn more »

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Graduate studies in GIS

The Master in Geographic Information Science (MScGIS) is a graduate degree that can be completed in just 3-5 semesters. Learn more

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