If you have a strong interest in the environmental problems faced by humans and the social and political aspects of their solutions, you’ll want to look into the environmental sciences major at Berry College. The major is an interdisciplinary program for the study of the earth’s environment and human interactions with it. Because it provides an in-depth understanding of environmental issues, the curriculum most frequently prepares students for graduate study in environmental or related sciences. It also can prepare you to enter careers in environmental consulting, public health, hazardous waste handling, parks and recreation, environmental planning, land assessment, industrial hygiene, corporate environmental management, federal and state environmental protection, federal and state fish and wildlife service, waste management, toxicology, and urban planning.
The environmental sciences major offers a flexible combination of courses that allows you to have both a broad curriculum and one that is highly personalized.
- All environmental sciences students take courses that address environmental issues from natural science, sociocultural and economic perspectives. There are 10 core courses, among them three environmental science courses, biology, inorganic chemistry, economics, geology, statistics and government.
- You choose an area of concentration: biology, chemistry, geoscience or public policy.
- In consultation with your advisor, you select additional courses that will help you delve deeper into a specific area of interest or career objective.
Berry’s state-of-the-art science building, with its spacious classrooms and laboratory facilities, serves as headquarters for the environmental sciences major. But learning doesn’t end in the classroom! Located in the Southern Appalachian foothills of Northwest Georgia, the Berry College campus comprises 27,000 acres, making it the largest contiguous college campus in the world. There are vast tracts of forest as well as meadows, lakes and streams. The wide variety of habitats on campus enables students to study many diverse ecosystems with ease. In addition, the Chattahoochee National Forest borders the campus, and wild natural areas, such as Marshall Forest and Blacks Bluff, are in close proximity. The Oostanaula River flows through the campus, and its confluence with the Etowah River to form the Coosa River is only three miles downstream. These rivers support ample opportunities for studies of aquatic systems. Other on-campus facilities include horticulture, beef and dairy cattle operations; an equine center; and a protected wildlife area.
Students in the environmental sciences program have opportunities for internships, directed or independent studies, and cooperative research with faculty. Summer studies at the Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, Miss., or the Highlands Field Station in Highlands, N.C., are available.
You might choose to become involved with conservation organizations, both on campus and within the local community. These include Students Against Violating the Earth, which focuses on beautifying the Berry campus and keeping its environment clean, and the Coosa River Basin Initiative, a grassroots environmental organization aimed at creating a clean, healthy and economically viable Coosa River.
Financial aid for environmental sciences studies
In addition to the many scholarships made available to Berry College students in general, two scholarships are specifically designated for students who demonstrate strong interest in or concern for the environment. The Robert F. Maddox and Mary French Rockefeller scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis each year to a number of students. You will have many opportunities to work on campus – there are more than 300 different types of jobs! Environmental sciences students can learn while they earn by gaining on campus employment in water treatment, agriculture, horticulture, recycling or animal husbandry – or by working as a research assistant. All students are eligible to participate in Berry’s voluntary student Work Experience Program.