Environmental Science

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Environmental Science Overview

Alma mater of environmental pioneer Rachel Carson ’29, Chatham University is on the forefront of environmental studies. The environmental science major provides students with an interdisciplinary, scientific perspective to help them develop an evidence-based approach to environmental challenges. Employment for environmental scientists is projected to grow 15% from 2012 to 2022, which is faster than the average for all occupations partially due to energy, climate change, and infrastructure challenges.
Degrees Offered
  • BS
Program School

Environmental science and sustainability are natural partners. Scientists gather and analyze the data to assess how our natural systems are functioning, and sustainability specialists coordinate that information to generate sustainable, innovative, and equitable answers to today’s environmental, economic, and social justice challenges.

— LINDA MK JOHNSON, Ph.D., associate professor and chair of environmental science department

Aerial photo of Chatham University's Eden Hall Farm campus featuring the dairy barn, Eden Hall Commons, walking paths and fields.

Eden Hall Campus

Located 20 miles north of Pittsburgh, Chatham’s 388-acre Eden Hall Campus is a residential campus and living and learning laboratory, offering research and on-campus employment opportunities involving food and sustainable agriculture, water, energy and climate, and community health.

Explore the Environmental Science Degree:

  • Enroll in foundational courses in biology, chemistry, ecology, climate science, and geology, coupled with skills-based courses (statistics, GIS) and labs.
  • Benefit from ready access to the 388-acre Eden Hall Campus—the world’s first academic community built for the study of sustainability, with its woodlands, streams, and research labs.
  • Expand your options with a minor in areas such as botany, chemistry, data science, economics, or sustainability.
  • Study at a university renowned for its commitment to the environment.

Geographic Information Systems

Students will develop competence in geographic information systems (GIS) technology and its application to various spatial analysis problems in natural resources. Topics include data development and management, spatial analysis techniques, critical review of GIS applications, needs analysis, and institutional context.

Applied & Environmental Microbiology

This course focuses on the importance of microorganisms in environmental and industrial processes, and the role of scientific research in finding solutions to applied problems. Areas of microbiology that will be covered include basic microbiology, soil and water, agriculture and food, and public health.

View Full Curriculum

Our Faculty

If one word could best sum up Chatham's faculty, it would be engaged. Professors bring experiences to relate the course lessons to real-world situations.

Full Faculty
Logo: Chatham C
Associate Professor and Department Chair, Environmental Science and Interim Program Director, Sustainability
Photo of Robert Lettan
Chair of the Science Department and Associate Professor of Chemistry
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Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Science
Photo of Ryan Utz
Assistant Professor of Water Resources
Photo of Chatham University students working on laptops on couches and at tables in an academic building.

The Science Complex

Shadyside Campus's Science Complex is a 10,000 square-foot laboratory building, which features a range of modern analytical equipment. Majors in environmental science take chemistry and microbiology classes there with faculty member experts in those fields.

Photo of a Chatham University student wearing a red shirt and protective goggles in a lab, writing with a pencil.

Funding 

The Rachel Carson Healthy Planet Award is a national award that includes a $5,000 scholarship to Chatham University. It is awarded to one student nominated from each high school and community college across the United States who embodies the spirit of Rachel Carson in his or her dedication to sustainability and community development. Chatham offers many scholarships and grants to incoming first-year students, including the Rachel Carson Scholarship, a full-tuition scholarship renewable for a total of four years.

View Funding Opportunities : Checkerboard 2 - Funding 

Environmental Science & Sustainability: What’s the Difference?

Chatham offers both environmental science and sustainability majors for our students—two fields that are relatively new and sometimes conflated as the same thing. But, when you’re choosing between studying one or the other, it is important to know the key differences between these areas of study.