Environmental and Sustainability Sciences Major


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About the Major

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental and Sustainability Sciences conveys a broad understanding of the natural world and its interaction with human development. Students apply state-of-the-art field methods, instrumentation and data analysis to study the natural and human environment.

Jobs in the field of Environmental and Sustainability Sciences

  • Environmental scientist
  • Natural resource manager
  • Environmental consultant
  • Environmental educator
  • Ecologist

Related Majors, Minors and Programs

New Major Offers Comprehensive Understanding to Timely Issues

Christian Berrien

As a child in Huntsville, Alabama, Christian Berrien had no interest in TV cartoons. “I always watched the History channel and National Geographic,” he said.

So it’s no surprise that, during his freshman year at the University of South Alabama, he switched to the environmental and sustainability sciences major as soon as South created it.

“Everything about the environment has always interested me, from the ocean all the way to space,” he said. “I’ve always tried to learn as much as I can about it.”

He liked the breadth of his major field. “It’s not specifically the biology of it,” Berrien said. “It’s not specifically the chemistry or the physics. It’s everything all together, a comprehensive understanding of what you’re studying.”

Another thing that intrigued him was the urgency of the subject. Climate change and other environmental issues directly impact people’s lives.


“The more educated that people are as a whole, that’s how you change things.”


“The planet’s always going to be fine, barring something hitting it and making it explode,” Berrien said. “It’s the life on the planet that’s threatened. As the dominating species on the planet, it’s our responsibility to make sure that everything is taken care of.”

Such inspiring teachers as Dr. Amy Sprinkle, instructor of marine and environmental sciences, nudged him toward a career path that surprised him: high school science teacher. After finishing his undergraduate studies, he hoped to pursue a master’s degree in secondary education.

“I come from a family of educators,” Berrien said. However, “I never thought I would see myself in education until I got to South, honestly.

“I’m really not one of the people that just complain about an issue. I’d rather learn more about it and try to fix it. Environmental problems are not something that one person can fix. But the more educated that people are as a whole, that’s how you change things.”

Did You Know?

  • Students have multiple learning opportunities in Mobile Bay and the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, known as “America's Amazon.” It’s our nation's most biodiverse river system.
  • Community engagement opportunities include working at an oyster farm, volunteering for beach cleanups, removing invasive species and caring for local wildlife at the Environmental Studies Center. 
  • South’s location and community partnerships offer students ample networking connections and pathways to postgraduate employment.



Email Marine Sciences
Stokes School of Marine and Environmental Sciences
(251) 460-7136

Curriculum and Degree Requirements