Environmental Science / Studies

Top Ten Reasons to Join the Environmental Stream

A list developed by students, for students, on the best aspects of the environmental sciences and studies streams at Augustana.

10. Expand your knowledge

The environmental streams bring together people with an interest in the environment. In addition to classroom and lab learning, interacting with people that share similar ecological values while bringing their own unique perspectives in other areas exposes environmental students to diverse views and new ways of thinking about themselves and the world around them.

9. Get outside

One of the best things about being an environmental student is actually being in the environment. Explore the outdoors while collecting invertebrate samples for a lab, designing a research project in a field course, or spending an evening paddling the Battle River with classmates just for fun.

8. Hands-on and practical application

Small class sizes allow for more of an interactive learning environment that means more hands-on work for students. Through class demonstrations, lab work, and technical applications, students learn how to truly apply their theoretical knowledge to real-world situations.

7. Opportunities for involvement

Environmental courses offer diverse Community Service-Learning (CSL) options that involve working with the university or local organizations, and can be credited towards an additional CSL Certificate at graduation. Environmental students are also frequently involved in campus clubs, local organizations, national conferences, and international travel related to environmental topics.

6. Interdisciplinary applications

Environmental knowledge is applicable in every field. From environmental psychology to eco-journalism, geotechnical engineering to biological surveys, everything outside and in-between, environmental perspectives can be incorporated to provide more holistic work in other courses and in future careers.

5. Meet people, build networks

From classmates and professors to campus clubs, local organizations, and off-campus programs and events, the opportunities to meet new people and expand networks are endless in the environmental streams. The sense of community developed during a degree will reach far outside the classroom and continue long after graduation.

4. Relevant and applicable

Today’s society is concerned with the environment. Being more knowledgeable about environmental processes, management options, the history of environmental movements and current environmental politics means environmental students can better contribute to important contemporary discussions and make informed decisions concerning their personal actions.

3. An urgent need and high demand for environmental graduates

Without informed and caring citizens, the deterioration of our natural environment will continue.

In addition, society has great demand for environmental graduates as employment in the environmental sector is growing faster than overall employment.

2. Career options

Having a degree in environmental sciences or studies opens the door to a vast array of career opportunities. Areas of potential employment include politics and policy development, research and education, management, planning, and so much more. As an Augustana bonus, environmental students are exposed to environmental organizations and employers through their university careers, giving them contacts and references for job hunting after graduation. Many environmental students can obtain a separate Certificate in Sustainability. 

1. The bigger picture

Taking environmental major is not just about building the foundation for a career. It’s about developing a way of thinking and gaining experience in a field that helps make the world a better place.