Environmental Earth and Ocean Sciences

Degree: B.S.

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Earth and Ocean Sciences (BS EEOS) is a 4-year course of study focusing on the physical mechanisms, interactions, and human activities that characterize and impact the Earth system. BS EEOS students will gain an understanding of the environmental issues with an emphasis on climate change. In addition to a common core curriculum students choose one of three concentrations: Environmental Geology for those interested in studying environmental problems related to the lithosphere and hydrosphere; Environmental Ocean Sciences for those attracted to environmental issues related to marine systems; and Environmental Earth Sciences, to encourage students with broader interests to create a more interdisciplinary curriculum. All three EEOS concentrations provide a great deal of flexibility so that students may pursue minors that augment their degree.

Why Study This Program

Careers in the environmental earth sciences have a strong potential for growth. The increased need for energy, environmental protection, and responsible land and water resource management is projected to increase demand for geoscientists in the coming decade. Our BS EEOS program is designed to meet this demand by providing solid foundational knowledge in the Earth Systems as well as technical expertise in investigative methods and field techniques. This degree will make graduates competitive to enter the geoscience workforce or to enter top graduate programs. Additionally, the new BS EEOS degree Environmental Geology concentration meets the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s educational requirements for certification as a professional geologist (P.G. licensure).

What Will You Learn?

The Environmental Geology concentration enables students to understand how Earth Materials (the rocks, minerals, and waters of the Earth) are formed and utilized by humans. Understanding how minerals and rocks are formed and how surface and groundwater systems function enables geologists to understand how and where water, energy, and mineral resources can be found. Studying the details of these resources through classes such as Groundwater Resources and Contamination, Sedimentation and Stratigraphy, and Earth Materials allows students to understand and evaluate critical environmental problems such as water resource supply and contamination, energy and mineral resource identification, and environmental assessment and remediation. Graduates of the environmental geology concentration meet all of the necessary curricular requirements for professional licensure.

The Environmental Ocean Sciences concentration will teach students the fundamentals of ocean circulation, geology of the seafloor, seawater chemistry, and the growth and maintenance of marine ecosystems, data analytics using R programming and other software, ocean color remote sensing techniques, science communication skills, how to read and understand the scientific peer-reviewed literature, critical thinking skills applied to environmental problems, marine policy and resource management, and field techniques for monitoring coastal and estuarine environments.

The Environmental Earth Sciences concentration is a more flexible and broad–based curriculum. Students in this concentration will learn a combination of the skills from the above two concentrations lists with additional knowledge from directed elective courses, creating a major with a high degree of flexibility and a broader, more interdisciplinary focus.