Environmental Science

Environmental Science

The Environmental Science program at Berry College offers our students a high-quality, interdisciplinary education that emphasizes the inherent interconnectedness between the natural sciences and human activities. 

We provide our students with a solid scientific foundation and help them develop a global perspective on contemporary environmental challenges. We encourage students to develop their own ethical frameworks from which to evaluate environmental issues. Environmental Science students explore and learn from Berry College’s unique natural setting, including the varied ecosystems of our enormous college campus, and the human context and ecological setting of the surrounding area.

This major provides an in-depth understanding of environmental issues. Many of our graduates pursue advanced degrees in fields related to environmental science, but this degree also prepares students for careers in environmental or related sciences. It can also 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.   

Required classes

The Environmental Science major offers a flexible combination of courses that allows you to pursue a broad curriculum covering key topics in environmental science, which is also highly personalized. 

  • All Environmental Science students take a range of courses that address environmental issues from natural science, sociocultural and economic perspectives. The core courses include five environmental science courses, plus courses in biology, ecology, inorganic and environmental chemistry, economics, geology, statistics and government.
  • In addition to the core Environmental Science courses, you choose an area of concentration: biology, chemistry, geoscience or public policy, or you can create a personally-tailored concentration that fits your long-term goals and interests, in consultation with your academic advisor.

Unmatched facilities

Berry’s state-of-the-art science building, with its spacious classrooms and laboratory facilities, serves as headquarters for the Environmental Science 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.    

Expansive opportunities

Students in the Environmental Science 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.  

Environmental activities

You might choose to become involved with conservation organizations, both on campus and within the local community. These include:

  • Students Against Violating the Earth (SAVE), which focuses on beautifying the Berry campus and keeping its environment clean.
  • Coosa River Basin Initiative (CRBI), a grassroots environmental organization aimed at creating a clean, healthy and economically viable Coosa River.
  • Trails for Recreation and Economic Development (TRED), a local nonprofit whose mission is to enhance the community’s quality of life and economic development through an accessible, multiuse trail system that promotes alternative, eco-friendly recreation and transportation opportunities.      

Student work experience and Environmental Science

You will have many opportunities to work on campus – there are more than 300 different types of jobs! Environmental Science 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.