Hands-on experience is essential in tackling environmental challenges.
Humans live at the intersection of the natural and the built environments, and that’s why environmental studies is a necessary and fast-growing field. Your passion for the environment can turn into working on solutions for the environmental challenges of the 21st century.
As an Augustana environmental studies major, you’ll take biology, chemistry, geography, geology and environmental literature or policy, plus electives in computer science, math, physics, psychology and environmental ethics. The liberal arts is a rich environment for your multifaceted field, and your faculty mentors will help you focus your energies towards future goals.
Hands-on experience is essential in environmental studies and problem-solving, as is sharing what you find with others.
You’ll complete at least one internship and/or field experience with an agency or company involved directly with environmental management. As a capstone, you’ll design, develop and present a solution to a real-world sustainability challenge facing an urban or rural community in the region.
All of your Augustana experiences will give you the tools and skills to use professionally and/or in graduate school.
• Through Augustana’s own Upper Mississippi Centeron campus, students and faculty collaborate on projects to address sustainability challenges for local communities. Recently, students have partnered with Scott County, Iowa, to identify neighborhoods at high risk for lead poisoning and find innovative strategies to help solve the problem; helped develop a Sustainable Urban Forest Management Plan for the city of Clinton, Iowa; designed a water quality monitoring plan for a soil conservation district and assessed the health of urban watersheds of Rock Island and Moline.
• The Quad Cities (pop. 450,000) along the Mississippi River is an excellent learning laboratory for environmental studies. Our large network of regional partnerships provides research and field trip opportunities, internships, employment and other connections. A few examples include offices for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, Illinois Department of Natural Resources and River Action, Inc.
• The college’s three field stations — Green Wing Environmental Laboratory, Collinson Ecological Preserve and Beling Ecological Preserve — together provide access to the rich learning environments of open fields, upland hardwood forest, native loess hill prairies, a limestone cliff, streams and wetlands, and a flood plain forest along the Rock River.
• The Mississippi River itself is a source for study and research; students and professors take to the river with the geography department’s research boat, The Scholarship.
• The recently expanded Hanson Hall of Science includes new flexible teaching and learning labs, studios and faculty offices dedicated to environmental studies.
Troy Faley ‘21 is a stormwater specialist at ERM: Environmental Resources Management in Peoria, Ill.
Abbey Ward ‘20 is a conservation resource specialist at Illinois Natural History Survey in Peoria, Ill.
Hunter Ridley ’20 is completing a two-year honors-affiliated degree in geography at St. John's College at Cambridge University, England.
A $100,000 grant from Augustana College Trustee Christopher Coulter '94 and his wife, Melanie Berna Coulter '94, will mobilize Augustana students, faculty and staff as they partner with communities to solve the social, economic and environmental challenges facing the Quad-Cities region.