Environmental Science

Imagine a classroom without walls, complete with animals, trees, lakes, streams, and rivers. Now picture yourself in an environmental science class at Wells College.

Areas of Study

Environmental Science

A Look Inside the Environmental Science Bachelor’s Degree Program at Wells

As an environmental science major, you’ll study the earth, its ecosystems, environmental challenges and environmental problem-solving. You’ll work closely with top professors who bring extensive environmental research experience to the classroom while having a variety of opportunities to explore your own interests and conduct field work on Cayuga Lake and the myriad natural areas surrounding Wells’ campus. Field experience and research opportunities are also highly career-focused, providing you with knowledge and skills you can apply directly to your job after college or to further study in graduate school.

The Environmental Science program is available as a major and a minor. Off-campus study courses may substitute for some of the undergraduate program requirements. If you’re interested in environmental studies, you might also want to learn more about our minor in sustainability.

What You’ll Learn as an Environmental Science Major

  • How humans interact with the environment and methods to address current environmental challenges
  • How science and technology help us to be better stewards of earth, its ecosystems, and its natural resources
  • How scientific findings are used in our decision-making about environmental resources

Environmental Science Clubs and Other Aurora Campus Programs

Use your understanding of ethics and responsible environmental policy to make a change for the better – either on campus or in the world at large. Below are just a few clubs and activities that might catch your interest:

  • FORCES (Friends of Recreation, Conservation, and Environmental Stewardship)
  • Collegiate (student government)
  • Amnesty International
  • Community Court
  • Student Committee on Inclusion and Intercultural Excellence
  • Wells Campus Greens


Ready to find out more?

Ready to learn more about Wells College and our Environmental Science program?

Ready to Apply?

Take the first step toward earning your bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science at Wells College.

Beyond the Classroom: Experiential Learning in the Environmental Science

Cruise Cayuga Lake on a Floating Classroom, studying water chemistry and lake biology. Or journey into the local fields, farms, and woodlands guided by your professors as part of lab class experiences. One of the unique aspects of our Environmental Science BA program is the wealth of opportunities you have to take your undergraduate education outside of the classroom and around the world.

Internship and Study Abroad Opportunities

We offer internships with direct environmental contact as well as government and private sector positions involving policy, values, and environmental scientific research. Wells alumnae who are established leaders in their fields often provide internship opportunities for current students as well. The following is a sample of internships recently held by environmental science students at Wells:

  • Cayuga Lake Watershed Network, Ithaca, New York
  • Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, New York
  • Upstate Freshwater Institute, Syracuse, New York
  • Rogers Environmental Interpretation Institute, Sherburne, New York
  • US Forest Service, Gorham, New Hampshire

You can also take your environmental studies overseas. Explore complex ecosystems in Cork, Ireland, while you discover how other countries grapple with environmental phenomena. Focus on tropical biodiversity in Panama or wildlife in Tanzania. Take a summer to explore sustainable development in Costa Rica or explore marine resources on South Caicos Island in the Caribbean. Environmental Science majors can pursue fascinating programs across the country and around the world.

Career Options for Environmental Science Graduates

Environmental scientists are problem solvers who research environmental and health problems to determine causes and recommend solutions. A bachelor’s degree in environmental science from Wells College will open doors to careers in diverse fields, from healthcare to agriculture to industry. Many environmental scientists also work for federal, state, or local governments, conducting research and advising on policy.

Current Research in Environmental Science

Professor Schnurr’s research investigates responses of plants to differing environmental conditions – from the fates of seeds, to growth and reproduction of adults, and finally to uses of the plants by people, both in disturbed and undisturbed areas. Professor O’ Leary’s major interests include sustainable agriculture, water quality, and watershed pollution.

Explore Other Programs at Wells


Calvin Prothro

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Marjolein Schat

Jackie Schnurr outside of Stratton 08/22/2023

Jaclyn Schnurr

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Paul Simonin

Similar Programs

If you’re interested in studying Environmental Science, you might also consider programs such as: