Why Study Environmental Science Systems at 精东影业?

The Bachelor of Science (BS) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) majors in Environmental Science Systems allow students who are passionate about all aspects of the environment to study the complex interactions between society, resources and the natural environment. This multidisciplinary program incorporates ecology, geology, chemistry and physics as it introduces students to the economic, social and political pressures on the environment. Students learn how physical aspects of the environment (climate, soils, geology) control ecological systems, and how they are impacted by human activity. Students have the opportunity to study biological communities and environmental systems far different from those of central New York by taking courses that travel to the deserts of Arizona, the tropical forests of Costa Rica or the near Arctic environment of Iceland. The BS degree provides more intensive training for professional careers and/or graduate study. The BA degree is similar in scope to the BS degree but requires fewer courses, allowing students to combine the environmental science systems major with another interest (such Communications or History).  Environmental science systems majors may choose to concentrate in pre-engineering if they wish to pursue a career in environmental engineering. Through internships at environmental and biotech companies, environmental science systems majors develop professional experiences and connections. In addition, students are encouraged to engage in scientific research projects with faculty mentors.

Program Highlights

Students have the opportunity to study exotic environments as early as their first year through introductory courses that travel to Arizona or Costa Rica. Students can conduct independent research projects on such topics as soil composition and structure, carbon cycling, the ecological effects of climate change, or forest succession. In laboratory courses and independent research, students can work in 精东影业’s laboratory facilities, which feature modern instruments, including advanced optical and scanning electron microscopes, an X-ray diffractometer and a carbon/nitrogen analyzer for soils and rocks. Faculty members in natural systems, biology, and chemistry serve as mentors for majors conducting their research projects. In addition, students are encouraged to seek internships with local environmental and biotech companies.

Many ESS majors are active in 精东影业's chapter of (Friends of Recreation, Conservation and Environmental Stewardship), a program of the NYS Parks Department that supports conservation and educational outreach activities through internships.

Our Stories
Photo Morgan Nivison

Larry Tanner

/ 2015

"I love research trips and traveling,鈥

View Story
Photo Amanda Klaben

Amanda Klaben

/ 2017

The name probably conjures up an image of Darwin.

View Story
Photo Kylee Wilson

Kylee Wilson

/ 2017

I was given the opportunity to fulfill a childhood dream.

View Story


Students majoring in environmental science systems receive a rigorous scientific training that prepares them for work in industry or graduate study.  Graduates in environmental science systems can seek employment in:
  • Environmental testing and remediation
  • Environmental engineering
  • Environmental compliance (in private industry)
  • Federal, state and local environmental agencies
  • Urban and regional planning 
  • Insurance and financial sectors
  • Science journalism 
  • Environmental law


B.S. in Environmental Science Systems
B.S. in Environmental Science Systems with a Concentration
in Pre-Engineering
B.A. in Environmental Science Systems
Dual Major Communications/Environmental Science Systems

Minor in Environmental Science Systems

Global Ecosystems: Costa Rica

Global Ecosystems: Costa Rica

Understanding the function of ecosystems around the world, particularly those that exist within a sensitive climatic balance, is important for all students. This introductory course offers students the opportunity to study the fundamentals of evolution, ecology and earth science culminating in a two-week field experience in Costa Rica. Students will explore floral and faunal diversity, high-altitude (cloud) and low-altitude (rain) forests, highland and lowland soils, the types and effects of volcanic activity in an active volcanic arc, and the operation of coastal processes on a geologically young coastline.

Global Ecosystems: North America

Global Ecosystems: North America

This intro-level field course offers students the opportunity to study the fundamentals of ecosystem and earth science, with specific reference to North America. This study involves comparison of the Adirondacks and low and high-altitude deserts of Arizona. Field-based learning activities examine the geological and ecological processes that determine the structure and function of these two systems.

Environmental Field Research: Iceland

Understanding Earth’s ecological environment requires study of the delicate balance between geological, biological, climatologic and anthropogenic processes. This advanced course offers students the opportunity to study these fundamental processes in Iceland, a country where the fragile nature of this environment, and the processes that shape it, are readily observed. The semester classroom work, during which students design their own research projects, is followed by two weeks of scientific field work in Iceland.

Ecology of the Galapagos

Earth's Global Environment: Galapagos

This advanced course offers students the opportunity to study the unique biodiversity of the Galapagos Islands, where the delicate balance between geological, biological, climatologic and anthropogenic processes in controlling the process of evolution is on display. The Galapagos are a unique locale where the fragile nature of the environment, the processes that shape it, and the unique nature of its inhabitants are readily observed. Additionally, the historic significance of this locale in the development of one of the most fundamental of all scientific theories will be explored fully.