If you are interested in the earth’s environment and the role we humans play on this planet you might want to major in environmental science. As an environmental science major you will acquire a firm grasp of the basic science needed to describe and understand the behavior of natural systems. After several introductory courses in environmental science, biology, chemistry, geology and sometimes physics or climate change, our students have a solid background in the relevant natural sciences.
They then take several upper-level courses in the earth sciences, biology or physics to deepen their understanding of environmental issues. Courses here include ecology, environmental or organic chemistry, earth systems science, a course on soils, or several biology courses such as botany, conservation biology or a course on invasive species.
Student Research Opportunities
Many of our students are also involved in research. They have investigated the effects of clear-cutting on soil chemistry, determined the home ranges of urban hawk populations, investigated the ecotoxicology of urban amphibian and reptile populations, and studied seed dispersal by horses or the impact of prescribed wildfires on soils. The possibilities are numerous, and we highly recommend them to our students.
Environmental Science Within a Liberal Arts Education
Environmental science, however, does not occur in a vacuum, far removed from interests and actions of humans. Our students also take at least two courses in the social sciences or the humanities. The choices here include coursework on environmental policy, nature writing, economics or anthropology.
The ENVS Community
Majoring in environmental science is not just about classwork, however. We are a small, close-knit program and know our students well. During the warmer months we often have barbecues, the famous McCookouts, behind our building (McCook Hall), and field trips to places with varied landscapes to expand the learning opportunities.
Trinity students enrolled in January Term courses this winter engaged in diverse topics in computer labs, in the outdoors, and even in a galaxy far, far away. J-Term courses appealed to a broad range of interests, and allowed for an intensity of focus not often possible during a busy semester.
The research on the red-eared slider turtle was based on a senior thesis that Eleanor Tate ’21 wrote during her time at Trinity under the mentorship of Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Biology Amber L. Pitt.
An experiential learning trip through the parks, canyons, and waterways of Utah this summer gave Trinity students a memorable new perspective on environmental science. Eleven students and three faculty members spent 10 days paddling, hiking, camping in the desert and on riverbanks, and learning about the natural world all around them.
GET IN TOUCH
Dr. Christoph Geiss105 McCook Hall
300 Summit St.
Hartford, CT 06106