Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences

  • Man measuring water depth.
  • Highway over water.
  • Environmental and Sustainability Sciences students sitting on blocks in water.
  • Students kayaking.
  • Students working in water measuring.


 

The University of South Alabama offers a Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences designed to address the need for a broad understanding of the natural world and its interaction with the demands of human development. A fundamental component of environmental science is its interdisciplinary essence and how this integrative approach can be used to develop mutually beneficial solutions to some of society's most pressing challenges. 

The environmental and sustainability sciences undergraduate program provides a foundational knowledge base coupled with specialized skills so that graduates can address environmental issues in sustainable ways. Faculty consists of natural and social scientists that have extensive experience working on issues in coastal environments as well as working with communities to sustainably mitigate and manage interactions with them. Students in this program gain an understanding of the science methodologies and applied analyses, applying state-of-the-art field methods, instrumentation, and data analysis to study the natural and human environment from an interdisciplinary systems perspective.

Careers in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences

The environmental and sustainability sciences undergraduate program provides a workforce trained to address the inevitable environmental pressures that coastal communities are, and will be, facing as global warming continues to accelerate. Environmental and sustainability sciences graduates are prepared to conduct analysis and mitigation of environmental problems in a range of fields (e.g. sustainability, renewable energy, conservation, agriculture, urban planning and development, natural resource management, education, environmental toxicology, etc.) and for a variety of employers (e.g. environmental consulting firms, health and safety field, nonprofit agencies, research labs, education and outreach, and government agencies, including the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, EPA, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Forest Service, and more). 

Job titles in environmental and sustainability sciences may include environmental scientist, environmental technician, environmental consultant, natural resource manager, environmental health and safety officer, biologist, water quality scientist, nature conservation officer, environmental educator, conservation technician, ecologist, research assistant, invasive species specialist, and more.  

America’s Amazon

The University of South Alabama is located near the edge of Mobile Bay and the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, and students in the environmental and sustainability sciences undergraduate program are offered unique experiential learning opportunities in “America's Amazon,” our Nation's most biodiverse river system. This natural laboratory, in conjunction with traditional classroom learning, provides the needed understanding of environmental systems and their interaction with human societies for students to pursue a range of career paths in the private and public sectors of the economy.   

Community Engagement

Students have the opportunity to take part in community engagement, including working at a local oyster farm, volunteering for local beach clean-up efforts, helping remove invasive species, or feeding and caring for local wildlife at the Environmental Studies Center. Many students serve in various capacities with local conservation groups, including the Mobile Bay Keeper, Mobile Bay National Estuary Program, South Alabama Land Trust, Alabama Coastal Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, and more. Students can take day trips to tour local organizations, such as the Grand Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve to kayak the salt marsh, Weeks Bay Reserve to visit the pitcher plant bog, and 5 Rivers Delta to witness up close and personal the incredible biodiversity of the Mobile Tensaw Delta. South’s location and partnerships within the community allow students ample networking connections and opportunities to connect to the coast and create a pathway to postgraduate employment.

 

▼   Graduation Plan

Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences
Total Hours:  120     

The Graduation Plan is an example of course progression. Individual student plans may vary. Students should consult with an academic advisor to create a personalized plan.  *Note up to six (6) credits can be shared within the Major and Minor.

First Year – Fall Semester

Course ID Course Description Hours
CAS 100 (Gen Ed) First Year Experience- College Success 2
BLY 121/121L (Gen Ed) General Biology I with Lab 4
CH 131/CH 131L (Gen Ed) General Chemistry I with Lab 4
MA 125 Calculus I 4
EH 101 (Gen Ed) English Composition I 3
  Total Hours 17

First Year – Spring Semester

Course ID Course Description Hours
CA 110 (Gen Ed) Public Speaking 3
CH 132/ CH132L (Gen Ed) General Chemistry II with Lab 4
BLY 122/BLY 122L General Biology II with Lab 4
*ENV 100 Social/Behavioral Elective (Gen Ed) Environment and Society 3
  Total Hours 14

Second Year – Fall Semester

Course ID Course Description Hours
Fine Arts Elective (Gen Ed)   3
PH 114/PH114L Physics I with Lab 4
GEO 410 Biogeography 3
ENV 337/ENV337L Environmental Sciences I with Lab 4
  Total Hours 14

Second Year – Spring Semester

Course ID Course Description Hours
CA 110 (Gen Ed) Public Speaking 3
History (US or West. Civ.) (Gen Ed)   3
Humanities Elective *PHL 231 (Gen Ed) Social Ethics 3
Social/Behavioral Elective (Gen Ed)   3
ENV 338/ENV 338L Environmental Sciences II with Lab 4
  Total Hours 16

Third Year – Fall Semester

Course ID Course Description Hours
Foreign Language I (Gen Ed) Foreign Language 1 3
Minor   3
Social/Behavioral Elective (Gen Ed)   3
Minor   3
English Literature (Gen Ed)   3
  Total Hours 15

Third Year – Spring Semester

Course ID Course Description Hours
Minor   3
Foreign Language II (Gen Ed) Foreign Language II 3
ENV 340 Fundamentals of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry 3
GY 425 Hydrology  4
  Total Hours 13

Fourth Year – Fall Semester

Course ID Course Description Hours
ENV 339 Climate Change (Writing Course) 3
Minor   3
GIT 460 Intro to GIT 4
ENV 334/ ENV 334L Environmental Monitoring and Assessment with Lab 4
  Total Hours 14

Fourth Year – Spring Semester

Course ID Course Description Hours
Minor   3
Social/Behavioral Elective (Gen Ed)   3
Minor   3
Humanities Elective (Gen Ed)   3
ENV 335/ ENV 335L Environmental Conservation and Sustainability with Lab 4
  Total Hours 16
▼   Core Courses

Students will take the following course courses:  

  • ENV 337 and ENV 337L  
  • Environmental Science I
  • ENV 338 and ENV 338L 
  • Environmental Science II
  • ENV 339 Climate Change
  • ENV 340 Fundamentals of Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry 
  • ENV 334 and ENV 334L Environmental Monitoring and Assessment
  • ENV 335 and ENV 335L Environmental Conservation & Sustainability
  • GY 425 Hydrology
  • GIT 460 Intro to Geographic Information Technology
  • BEO 410 Biogeography.

Additional Courses Required by the Department:

  • BLY121/BLY121L General Biology I with lab 
  • BLY 122/BLY122/L General Biology II with lab
  • CH131/CH131L General Chemistry I with lab 
  • CH132/CH132L General Chemistry II with lab
  • GY 111/GY111L Physical Geology  
  • MA 125 Calculus I
  • PH114/PH114L Non-Calculus Based General Physics I OR  PH 201/PH201L
  • Calculus Based General Physics I

*PH 231 Social Ethics is suggested as one of the Area II general education requirements.

*ENV 100 Environment and Society is suggested as one of the Area IV general education requirements.