Environmental Science

OVERVIEW

Ongoing changes to our environment are cause for concern among scientists, environmental workers and activists, people living in environmentally sensitive areas and, for the most part, the general population.

While most people agree that sustaining the environment for future generations is of the upmost importance, how to accomplish that task is not as clear. Fortunately, many highly regarded scientists are endeavoring to answer questions associated with climate change and working to assure environmental sustainability.

If you are interested in Chemistry and the Biology of the earth’s natural systems, Alvernia’s new Environmental Science program can help you prepare for a career in which you can make a difference for the future of the planet.

With a degree in Environmental Science from Alvernia University, you will be a scientifically prepared professional who is equipped to address scientific concerns relating to the environment, human life and sustainability. You will graduate having completed traditional biology, chemistry, physics and math courses along with environmentally-related courses while also gaining a strong background in sustainability.

We are extremely proud of our science programs and facilities at Alvernia. Environmental Science courses are taught in the O’Pake Science Center, a state-of-the-art facility with two floors of laboratory and classroom space, all offering the latest in educational technology.

As an Environmental Science major at Alvernia, you’ll learn more than what is contained in textbooks. You’ll experience “real-world learning” that will enable you to link your classroom experiences to the larger community and, indeed, the world.

WHY AU

Why should you study Environmental Science at Alvernia University?

Because at Alvernia you get all the benefits of an outstanding university education in a setting that includes personal attention and unique opportunities that can benefit you as you move toward your career.

Small Class Size
Alvernia has an average 12:1 student-faculty ratio, with fewer than 20 students in most classes. This type of setting facilitates valuable, professional relationships among faculty members and students and assures that you get individual attention to help you excel.

Faculty Who Care
Alvernia’s faculty members aren’t just teachers. They’re experts in their fields who are committed to passing along their knowledge and expertise to their students. In small class settings faculty members become mentors and advisors, intent on helping you learn, grow and succeed.

Research Opportunities
Alvernia offers opportunities for Environmental Science students to work with faculty mentors on research projects relating to their areas of concentration. These collaborations prepare students for professions and/or graduate school.

Honors Program
Alvernia’s Honors Program for students who are academically gifted and highly motivated is designed to allow students to work at their own pace and to recognize and encourage academic excellence. Honors students interact with one another to exchange ideas and information across a wide range of disciplines and interests.

The Honors Program offers co-curricular activities, service opportunities and intellectual and social support to encourage students to exceed their own expectations.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Honors Programs at www.alvernia.edu/academics/honors.

Get Real
Classroom learning is valuable and necessary, but out-of-the-classroom, experiential learning provides biology students with hands-on, real world learning opportunities that enrich your educational experience and are highly valued by employers.

Environmental Science majors have the opportunity to participate in an internship in a setting that relates to their area of interest. An internship sponsor will supervise your work.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Get Real program at www.alvernia.edu/getreal.

Study Abroad
Living and studying outside of the United States can change you in ways you can’t begin to envision. Students who study abroad typically gain immeasurable confidence and experiences they could not have imagined.

Many students have benefitted from participation in a Study Abroad program. Programs are available in countries including New Zealand, Italy, Spain, England, Ireland, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Morocco, Palestine, China and Mexico.

Learn more about Alvernia’s Study Abroad program at www.alvernia.edu/studyabroad.

YOUR CAREER

A degree in Environmental Science from Alvernia University can prepare you for a number of varied careers. While you might work in a traditional laboratory or research setting, you also may consider seeking employment as an environmental restoration planner, or an environmental coordinator.

You might be interested in a career as an environmental scientist, environmental chemist or environmental biologist. You may pursue a job as an environmental review officer, environmental technician or an environmental protection specialist.

Or, you might choose to enter graduate school after earning your Environmental Science degree. Many Alvernia graduates have furthered their studies at prestigious universities. Alvernia’s Career Development staff can provide assistance with résumé preparation, interview skills and job and graduate school searches

The need for highly educated and skilled workers in jobs relating to the environment will continue to grow as the need to address environmental issues becomes increasingly urgent. Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected grow 15 percent between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Department of Labor Statistics. That is a rate higher than the average for all occupations.

For more information about Alvernia’s Environmental Science Program contact the Admissions Office at 1-888-ALVERNIA or 610-796-8269 or admissions@alvernia.edu.

YOUR CURRICULUM

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree.

Core courses required for Environmental Science majors are:

BIO103 Principles of Biology w/lab
BIO104 Zoology w/lab
BIO221 General Microbiology w/lab
BIO320 Ecology w/lab
BIO440 Biodiversity
CHE104/110 General Chemistry I w/lab
CHE105/111 General Chemistry II w/lab
CHE107 Laboratory Safety
CHE201/210 Organic Chemistry I w/lab
CHE202/211 Organic Chemistry II w/lab
CHE212 Analytical Chemistry w/lab
CHE221 Instrumental Analysis w/lab
CHE320 Environmental Toxicology
CHE430 Environmental Chemistry
SCI402 Senior Seminar
SCI406 Research I and SCI407 Research II -- or -- SCI480 Science Internship

Related courses that also are required are:

PHY103 Earth Science
PHY110 General Physics I w/lab
PHY111 General Physics II w/lab
MAT131 Pre-calculus (recommended)
MAT208 Introduction to Statistics
MAT230 Calculus I
BIO 203 Biosphere
BIO230 Sustainability Principles and Practices
BIO205 Botany w/lab
BIO325 Environmental Law & Policy
CES330 Sustainability Field Experience

Successfully completing these courses: BIO 203, BIO 230, CES 330, BIO 205, BIO 320, and PHY103, qualifies you for a minor in Sustainability.

You also may choose to minor in Environmental Science by completing the following courses – a total of 19 credits:

BIO103 Principles of Biology
BIO 440 Biodiversity
CHE 104 General Chemistry I
CHE 110 General Chemistry I lab
CHE 430 Environmental Chemistry

And, choose one from the following:

CHE 212 Analytical Chemistry
CHE 221 Instrumental Analysis
BIO 221 General Microbiology
BIO 320 Ecology

You can learn more about all courses offered by Alvernia University by viewing the 2016-2017 Academic Course Catalogue at http://www.alvernia.edu/academics/catalogs/Catalog_2016-17/index.html.

Internships
Alvernia believes that real world experience is extremely important, as it can improve your confidence and introduce you to professionals in your intended field of employment. You can find out more about real world learning at www.alvernia.edu/academics/experiential_learning.

As an Environmental Science major, you’ll have the opportunity to participate in an internship with an organization that is applicable to your interests and skill sets. Internships may be completed at any business, academic, government or non-profit agency willing to engage interns in meaningful work or research activities.

If you're looking to gain laboratory and research experience through your internship, you're encouraged to apply for available positions available through the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates program and its participating institutions.

Science Department faculty members can assist you in identifying opportunities for internships and help to assure you find an internship that will be rewarding and beneficial.

Research Opportunities
If you choose to take the research route instead of completing an internship, you’ll conduct a preliminary investigation and then identify a project that focuses on a selected problem. Your research project may be extended over two or more semesters, and you will work under the direction of a faculty member.

The Honors Program
If you’re academically gifted and highly motivated, you may want to learn more about Alverania’s Undergraduate Honors Program. Honors students have opportunities to take courses dealing with unusual topics and participate in a variety of activities. You can learn more about the Honors Program and how to apply at www.alvernia.edu/academics/honors/index.html.

The Eight-Semester Plan
You can do it! It’s easy to stay on track to graduate in four years if you pay close attention to what classes you need and make sure to take them in a timely manner. Advisors are available to assist in planning academic programs, course selection and registration, but it’s your job to make sure that you meet all academic requirements and comply with University policies.

Academic programs vary among students, so work with your academic advisor to assure that you complete applicable courses and meet the requirements necessary to assure that you graduate on time.

Study Opportunities beyond Campus
Your college years are the perfect time to broaden your horizons and participate in experiences that will change your life. Alvernia offers some great opportunities for students who want to spend some time studying beyond its campus.

The Washington Center
The University’s O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Public Service manages a relationship with The Washington Center, an organization that offers residential academic programs and internships in the nation’s capital.

If you participate in The Washington Center program, you might be placed in an internship in a science-based organization, government agency or non-profit organization. You can learn more about the Washington Center and opportunities there at www.alvernia.edu/about/ethics-and-leadership/washington.html.

Study Abroad Programs
Alvernia’s Study Abroad Office works closely with students who want to spend one or more semesters in a different country. Students have studied and traveled in Italy, Spain, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, England, Germany, Greece, Belgium, Austria, Morocco, Palestine and China.

You pay the regular Alvernia tuition while studying abroad, and continue to receive financial aid, if applicable. Credits earned count toward your Alvernia undergraduate degree.

If you’re interested in studying in another country you should start planning early, as you’ll need to start the application process about a year in advance.

You can get more information about these programs from the Study Abroad Office at www.alvernia.edu/studyabroad or by contacting studyabroad@alvernia.edu.


Year-by-Year Major Map

FRESHMAN YEAR

Think Globally

  • Explore opportunities for study abroad, alternative break trips, pilgrimage to Assisi, the Washington Center and service trips
  • Start at the Study Abroad Office or studyabroad@alvernia.edu

Take the Right Classes

  • Review general education, University and major requirements
  • Be aware of which semester required courses are offered
  • Focus on getting good grades

Get Good Advice

  • Get to know Science Department faculty and your advisor
  • Visit the Educational Planning Center on the first floor of Bernardine Hall

Real Life Learning

  • Explore opportunities for upcoming internships
  • Utilize skills acquired in First Year Experience

Make the Right Connections

  • Identify peers that support your academic goals
  • Get involved with the Environmental Club, the Science Association and/or other student clubs, along with community organizations

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Develop a working resume
  • Assess your strengths, weaknesses and interests
  • Begin the process of obtaining all required background checks and clearances


SOPHOMORE YEAR

Think Globally

  • Review opportunities for extended learning and, if interested, start planning with the Study Abroad Office

Take the Right Classes

  • Focus on getting good grades
  • Work with your advisor to make sure you’re taking the classes you need in the semester they’re offered

Get Good Advice

  • Talk to Science faculty and your advisor about your area(s) of interest within the field of Environmental Science
  • Stay in touch with the Educational Planning Center
  • Work with your advisor on selecting an internship (if applicable) for your junior year

Real Life Learning

  • Look into the Alternative Break program
  • Shadow in jobs that relate to your specific interests
  • Look for part-time or summer jobs that relate to your interests
  • Get familiar with the Educational Planning Center’s Internship data base

Make the Right Connections

  • Volunteer for community service
  • Stay involved in clubs and organizations
  • Observe the roles of those in leadership positions
  • Form study groups

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Update your working resume
  • Assess your strengths, weaknesses and interests
  • Complete the process of obtaining all required background checks and clearances


JUNIOR YEAR

Think Globally

  • Participate in Study Abroad program, if feasible
  • Participate in service trips or “May”mester

Take the Right Classes

  • Finalize your plans for your internship, if applicable
  • Begin your individual research project, if applicable
  • Focus on getting good grades and improving GPA
  • Work with advisor to make sure you’re on track to graduate on time

Get Good Advice

  • Talk to faculty members about career opportunities
  • Stay in touch with the Educational Planning Center
  • Get familiar with Vault.com, a career services library available on Educational Planning Center’s website

Real Life Learning

  • Look into the Alternative Break program
  • Shadow in jobs that relate to your specific interests
  • Look for part-time or summer jobs that relate to your interests\
  • Get familiar with the Educational Planning Center’s Internship data base

Make the Right Connections

  • Assume leadership roles on campus
  • Connect with alumni in your field
  • Attend Science Department events

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Get feedback on working resume from Educational Planning Center
  • Get resume ready for practicum applications and job fair
  • Work on getting recommendations
  • Attend Career Planning opportunities such as job fairs and practice interviews
  • Look for coaching opportunities


SENIOR YEAR

Think Globally

  • Look for service opportunities

Take the Right Classes

  • Complete individual research project, if applicable
  • Complete internship, if applicable

Get Good Advice

  • Work closely with advisor to make sure you’re on track to graduate on time
  • Stay in touch with the Educational Planning Center.
  • Talk to faculty members about career opportunities
  • Ask for advice from professionals in your area of interest

Real Life Learning

  • Look for opportunities to gain additional experience in your areas of interest within the field of Environmental Science

Make the Right Connections

  • Continue in leadership roles on campus
  • Connect with alumni in my field – attend Alumni Mixer
  • Meet professionals in the community who work in your area of interest

Get Ready to Graduate

  • Fine tune your resume
  • Search for jobs through Vault.com
  • Finalize recommendations
  • Attend Career Planning opportunities such as job fairs and practice interviews
  • Attend the Alvernia Job Fair
YOUR SERVICES

Alvernia is committed to serving the needs of its students. Whether you have questions or problems related to academics, life on campus, student activities, social activities or any other issue, there is someone available to help you. You can learn more about all student services at www.alvernia.edu/student-life/student-services.

Educational Planning Center
The Educational Planning Center offers advice and support to help you with any problems or issues related to your Alvernia education. It also assists with career exploration and preparation. The office is open every day and can be contacted at 610-796-8266.

Career Services
Staff members at the Career Development office will help you with any questions you have about exploring or planning careers. They also will guide you about how to look for and apply to jobs as you get closer to graduation. The office also has a career resources library. You can learn more about career services at www.alvernia.edu/student-life/career-services, or by emailing career.services@alvernia.edu.

Financial Aid
The Financial Aid office is the place to contact with any questions you have about the cost of an Alvernia education and options for paying for it. Nearly all undergraduates at Alvernia get some type of financial aid, and everyone is encouraged to apply for it. You can learn more at www.alvernia.edu/financialaid/index.html or by emailing financialaid@alvernia.edu.

Admissions Office
If you’re interested in applying to the Environmental Science program at Alvernia, contact the Admissions Office at 1-800-ALVERNIA or at admissions@alvernia.edu. An admissions counselor who specializes in helping biology students and can answer any questions you might have.

Faculty Members
Alvernia’s Environmental Science program is staffed by dedicated, highly qualified professionals who are leaders in their fields and committed to sharing their expertise and knowledge with students. Faculty members often work one-on-one with students to enhance the student’s learning experience.

Many faculty members in the Environmental Science program are actively engaged in research, and some encourage students to work with them on research projects. All enjoy working with students on students’ individual research projects.

In addition, Alvernia faculty members have written articles that have appeared in prestigious publications, and have presented nationally and internationally at conferences.

You can learn much more about Alvernia’s Science Department faculty members at http://alvernia.edu/academics/arts-and-sciences/science-math/faculty/index.html.

GET INVOLVED

There is so much more to college than classes. Students who get involved and engaged in extra-curricular activities benefit both academically and socially, and open themselves to integral life lessons from beyond the classroom.

You’ll be encouraged to participate in a range of activities, including some rewarding and inspiring service projects. Some organizations and activities you might enjoy include:

  • Beta Kappa Chi is the Science Honor Society, with more than 66,000 members in 67 chapters at colleges and university across the United States. You’ll meet like-minded people who are interested in advancing scientific education and high scholarship in pure and applied science. Acceptance into an honor society can be very advantageous, so it’s something you might consider. You can learn more about Beta Kappa Chi at www.betakappachi.org.
  • The Environmental Club is committed to maintaining the temperate deciduous forest, riparian and freshwater ecosystem that surround Alvernia. The club works to recruit new members, educate the public and sponsor events that call attention to environmental issues. Events include trail clean-up days, Eco-Fun day and public speaker seminars. Learn more about the Environmental Club at www.alvernia.edu/student-life/activities/clubs/environmental-club.html.
  • The Science Association will enable you to experience the advantages of interacting with others who share your scientific interests. It provides opportunities to prepare and present technical materials before science-oriented audiences, and is intended to foster a professional spirit among members. You can learn more about this club www.alvernia.edu/student-life/activities/clubs/science-assoc.html.
  • The Holleran Center for Community Engagement serves as a bridge between the University and the community. It partners with a variety of organizations to provide opportunities for service for students. Activities have included helping in an after-school program for city children, spreading stone in Nolde State Forest and counting brown bats at Blue Marsh Lake. Learn more at http://alvernia.edu/about/holleran-center.
  • While these are organizations that may be of particular interest to Environmental Science majors, there are many other ways to become involved, both on and off campus. You can learn more about Alvernia’s Student Government Association, becoming a Student Ambassador, student trips and other activities at www.alvernia.edu/student-life/activities.
AFTER AU

The Environmental Science program strives to prepare graduates with a competitive degree that includes interdisciplinary training to allow them to widen their job search and appeal to a wide range of employers. As scientifically prepared professionals, graduates will be prepared to address scientific concerns relating to the environment, human life, and sustainability using sound moral and ethical judgments. Graduates will commit to continually improve themselves to better service the profession and environment.





environmental science

1.888.alvernia
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