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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, scientfic 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.
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., assistant professor of sustainability and the environment
Eden Hall Campus
Located 20 miles north of Pittsburgh and home to the Falk School of Sustainability & Environment, Chatham’s 388-acre Eden Hall Campus is a living and learning laboratory. Faculty and students collaborate on projects 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, hydrology, 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.
- Take electives through the Falk School of Sustainability & Environment.
- Study at a university renowned for its commitment to the environment.
This course provides an introduction to the science of hydrology, covering fundamental terminology, processes, and technologies from an environmental science perspective. The basics of the hydrologic cycle including details of spatial and temporal patterns of precipitation, evaporation, and runoff will be covered. Threats to surface and soil water processes at local, regional, and watershed scales will be introduced.
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.
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.
The Science Complex
The Science Complex is Chatham’s 10,000 square-foot laboratory building, which features a three-story glass atrium and a modern greenhouse in addition to individual, specialized research spaces; laboratories and classrooms; a range of modern analytical equipment including cell and tissue culture facilities, spectrometers (nuclear magnetic resonance, UV-VIS, IR); and one of the few drift tube mass spectrometers in the country.
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.Learn More
Integrated Degree Program
Qualified students can choose to enroll in an integrated degree program, combining their undergraduate degree in environmental science with a Master of Sustainability from Chatham’s Falk School of Sustainability & Environment, graduating with both in as few as five years.Learn More
Eden Hall Campus
From the very beginning, the design of Eden Hall Campus was intended to be revolutionary. Each venue, classroom building, outdoor area, and residential space ensures full-campus sustainability and functions so that students don't just learn about sustainability, but live it every day. Review that full plan for Chatham's sustainable campus in the North Hills of Pittburgh.