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Students discuss biology lab work

Environmental Science Major

The Environmental Science major is designed to prepare students for work in environmental fields by providing a solid foundation in the natural sciences, expertise in physical environment, and the interdisciplinary scope needed by environmental professionals today. This major is recommended for students preparing for graduate studies and positions with government agencies and private environmental firms. The major includes a core of courses in life and earth sciences as well as courses in other fields such as chemistry, statistics and economics.

This exciting program provides you with a strong foundation in the Environmental Sciences and prepares them for a wide variety of endeavors after graduation. Recent graduates have taken jobs as biological and geological environmental professionals, worked for governmental agencies, and have gone on for further studies in graduate and professional schools.

As an Environmental Science major at Otterbein, you will have a broad training in the foundations of the geological and biological sciences, and then you will have the chance to take specialized courses in more advanced fields. You will take classes from dedicated, enthusiastic professors that are gifted teachers, and you will use equipment funded by grants from the National Science Foundation to support our innovative teaching initiatives. You will work closely with your professors in small classes and have access to state of the art equipment in our new laboratories inside our newly opened Science Center. There is no doubt you will come to love our new modern science facility.

Otterbein's location also allows us to teach using the local nature as our lab. The Otterbein campus is adjacent to Alum Creek and it won't be long before you will be in the creek with Dr. Hoggarth calculating an index of stream health based on the fish and invertebrates that you identify. Otterbein has also drilled an array of groundwater wells adjacent to the stream and Otterbein Lake, and here you will learn from Dr. Svitana how to monitor ground water flow and how it is possible to model and track the movement of underground pollutants. See Dr. Svitana's latest research in the video below:

Otterbein's location near Columbus also allows us to have close relationships with governmental agencies located in the capital. You are often able to get internships with agencies like the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio EPA, the Metropolitan Park System, and the Ohio Geological Survey, as well as several private sector companies.

Our department believes undergraduate research is a cornerstone to our Environmental Science Program. Many of our students do independent research projects of their own choosing or as part of ongoing faculty directed research. Recent student projects in Environmental Science at Otterbein include: The effect of lamprey poison on native freshwater mussels, Mangrove deforestation rates in Belize, Arsenic bioaccumulation by ferns, and Trace element concentration in Alum Creek sediments. We also encourage you to take a field courses such as the trips that the we regularly lead to Belize, Costa Rica, Africa, and Death Valley, or to participate during the summer at the Stone Lab in the western basin of Lake Erie.

Biology & Earth Science