Environmental Science, B.S.

Environmental Science, B.S.

What Is a BS in Environmental Science?

Environmental Science BS

As an interdisciplinary academic field, environmental science includes the study and application of ecology, physics, chemistry, geology, atmospheric science, geography, oceanography, and natural resource management. Every scientific discipline you can think of has a direct relationship to environmental science, because the environment is all around us. Getting an environmental science degree provides a wealth of career opportunities that have global importance.

Students can specialize in coastal engineering, hydrographic engineering, marine vehicles (naval architecture), marine materials, and corrosion and underwater technology.

Whether you want to solve complex environmental problems, advocate for environmental protection, or become the leader of a nature center or school, an environmental science degree from Florida Tech develops a strong background in science with hands-on experience in environmental research and problem solving.

Gain Practical Experience

Many first-year students working toward an environmental science degree build experience by volunteering in faculty research labs, measuring water or soil quality, reviewing permit applications to determine the environmental impacts of new development projects, or studying the impacts of a contaminant on the environment. Working closely with professors in small classes makes classroom study, combined with research projects, a richer experience.

As an environmental science degree student, you’ll refine your practical skills in technical electives and specialized labs, completing a senior research project in a topic of your choosing. As a result, you get practical experience, an enhanced job search portfolio, and a stronger sense of yourself as a scholar—the perfect preparation for graduate school and employment.

Why Pursue a BS in Environmental Science at Florida Tech?

Florida Tech is considered one of the top environmental science schools for its curriculum and tight-knit educational community. The learning environment is personalized with small classes where first-year students are encouraged to volunteer in any of the research labs. Qualified students are encouraged to participate in relevant research.

Field trips to local waterways, water treatment facilities, air pollution monitoring sites, environmentally sensitive and protected lands, the Indian River Lagoon, and the Atlantic Ocean are part of our students’ overall experience and what makes Florida Tech one of the top environmental science schools.

Distinguished Faculty, Small Classes—Personalized Attention

Our environmental science professors are well-versed in current developments in their own areas of expertise and environmental issues of concern, conducting research in water, air, and soil environments. The faculty is made up of environmental scientists, oceanographers, ocean engineers, and meteorologists who genuinely care about the success of students. Florida Tech gives students local, regional, and global environmental issues to solve such as offshore oil spills, sea-level rise, and natural resource management.

Natural Laboratories for Hands-on Study

Perhaps the most important resources are the natural laboratories that surround Florida Tech’s campus. Other top environmental science schools can’t compete with marine laboratories and field research sites situated on the Atlantic Coast and the Indian River Lagoon. The four-acre Vero Beach Marine Laboratory contains a marine laboratory, classrooms, and conference room, while the Ralph S. Evinrude Marine Operations Center houses vessels for students and faculty to use for teaching and research, with direct access to the Indian River Lagoon.

Another reason Florida Tech is considered one of the top environmental science schools is the high-tech F.W. Olin Life Sciences Building, a teaching and research laboratory that includes an aquaculture facility, climate change institute and the offices and research labs of several science faculty.

Living in the Heart of a Diverse Ecosystem

Florida Tech is the perfect place for an Environmental Science degree. The 130-acre campus is located on the Space Coast (so named because of the presence of NASA and the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral just north of us), minutes away from the Indian River Lagoon, the most diverse estuary in North America. In addition, students have access by short car trip to the Everglades, the largest subtropical wilderness designated as a World Heritage Site.

The area has the fifth largest high-tech workforce in the country, with more than 5,000 high-tech corporations and government and military organizations located nearby. This workforce also provides an abundance of internship and employment opportunities.

Florida Tech is just over the causeway from the Atlantic Ocean with its 72 miles of beautiful beaches, and a short trip to the Florida Keys or the Orlando theme parks. We also have a rich campus life that includes a wide range of intramural and collegiate sports, clubs, and social activities.

Build Lasting Professional Relationships through Campus Organizations

Beyond the classroom, environmental science degree majors build leadership and professional experience through exciting internships and participation in academic organizations like Sigma Xi (a scientific research society), the Marine Technology Society, intramural sports, student government, and over 100 other campus-wide student organizations. Summer field projects and faculty-based research also enhances the Florida Tech experience.

The new Florida Tech Environmental Club is a group of students looking to better the campus and surrounding ecosystems by finding new ways to be environmentally friendly. They hold educational events and recycling drives to promote interest in “green” living.

How Will a BS in Environmental Science Prepare Me for the Future?

Peerless Study and Internship Opportunities

Florida Tech students have an opportunity to take part in specially designed environmental science internships at several organizations, including:

  • The Audubon Society
  • Marine Resources Council of East Central Florida
  • Save the Manatee
  • Center for Coastal Studies
  • Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute

Environmental science internships are real-world work opportunities, often provided by Florida Tech alumni through Career Management Services, in partnership with the degree program advisor.

Superb/Stunning Undergraduate Research Opportunities

In addition to environmental science internships, many students build experience by volunteering in faculty research labs. The department of ocean engineering and sciences is an integrated collaboration of environmental scientists, oceanographers, ocean engineers and meteorologists who share a keen interest in preserving, protecting, and enhancing natural resources. Current research studies focus on such topics as:

  • Offshore oil spills and Antarctic oil drilling
  • Drinking water resources in Florida
  • Sea-level rise
  • Managing natural resources

Students participating in environmental science internships and research have access to high-tech marine and environmental systems laboratories. These facilities have instrumentation that can be used for core-boring and sediment analysis, beach surveying, the measurement and analysis of water quality, the processes of fouling by marine organisms and saltwater corrosion and more.

Students also participate in field research projects at locations across Florida. Because of Florida Tech’s location near several important and complex ecosystems, students can obtain experience conducting research at nearby environmental hubs. Topics for these projects include:

  • Human impact on water quality
  • Human impact on air quality
  • Ecological surveys
  • Effects of local weather on ecosystems

Through these environmental science internships and studies focused on the Indian River Lagoon and Atlantic Ocean, students gain the experience to present a project at the Field Projects Symposium at the end of summer, as well as application of the theories taught in the classroom.

What Can You Do with a BS in Environmental Science?

Graduates of the environmental science program traditionally get their first jobs at environmental management organizations and often move on to careers in research, policy, law, and management.

Graduates with a Florida Tech environmental science degree are employed all over the world in a variety of exciting environmental science careers dedicated to making the world a better and more sustainable place. Florida Tech graduates are well positioned to compete in the labor market because of their strong background in biology, chemistry, and physics.

Get Recruited Upon Graduation

Employers that have recruited Florida Tech students for careers include:

  • EPCOT
  • IBM
  • National Science Foundation
  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection
  • Boeing
  • US Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • NASA
  • National Science Foundation

Career Outlook

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things.

Environmental science is expected to see an increase in demand for qualified candidates of 19% by the end of the decade. More than 16,500 new employees are expected to engage in environmental science careers. They will use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment, identifying problems and finding solutions which minimize threats to the health and well-being of both the environment and, by extension, the Earth’s population. Scientists use the principles of engineering, soil science, biology, and chemistry to develop environmental solutions. From recycling to public health, these individuals spearhead the effort to confront the environmental challenges created by climate change and the proliferation of new technology and processes.

Other Career Options

Environmental science careers include such jobs as:

  • Environmental scientist and specialist
  • Chemist and materials scientist
  • Environmental engineer
  • Environmental science and protection technician
  • Epidemiologist (requires master’s degree)
  • Geoscientist
  • Hydrologist
  • Microbiologist
  • Natural sciences manager
  • Occupational health and safety specialist
  • Educator

Graduate and Doctoral Programs

In addition to beginning environmental science careers, graduates of the environmental science program at Florida Tech are prepared to pursue advanced degrees in environmental science and related fields and have gone on to study at graduate schools at Florida Tech and such prestigious universities as:

  • City University of New York
  • Florida Atlantic University
  • University of Florida
  • University of Alaska
  • MIT
  • Johns Hopkins
  • Virginia Tech
  • Cambridge University (UK)

With an environmental science degree from Florida Tech, graduates are well-prepared for their career.

Get the Facts