Environmental Science

Environmental Science

Campus Location: 
College of Arts and Sciences

Good Planets are Hard to Find

Doane's Environmental and Earth Science department provides students with the knowledge they need to succeed in environmental careers.

If you are interested in making a difference and excited about solving real-world environmental issues with hands-on experience, then the Environmental and Earth Sciences Department at Doane is the place for you!  Established in 1974, our curriculum nurtures students' perspectives on environmental issues and provides them with a thorough knowledge of environmental topics.  As environmental problem solvers students examine a range of subjects that arise from the interaction of humans with the environment.  Two Bachelor of Science degree majors are offered.

The Environmental Studies major addresses environmental topics by providing a broadly integrated understanding of the social, business, political, governmental, and policy facets of environmental challenges. 

The Environmental Science major addresses environmental challenges by applying scientific knowledge coupled with the required selection of one Emphasis Area.  The six Emphasis Areas are Agriculture and Natural Resources, Biology, Chemistry, Political Science and Policy, Computational Thinking, and Science Teaching.

What is the difference between Environmental Science and Environmental Studies?

As the nation's emphasis on the environment continues to grow, there is an ever-growing demand for environmental jobs. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics students seeking a career in this field can look forward to a far stronger job market than graduates of many other disciplines.

The majors prepare students for careers and graduate study in government, science, law, business, and non-profit organizations. 

Agriculture and Natural Resources and Environmental Studies minors are also available.

Courses include:

Senior Capstone Project

Both majors complete a senior capstone project, selecting from four options:

  1. Practice-Based Learning (PBL) - Provides internship and research opportunities to gain experience, a professional contact, and a potential future employer. Students work with the College to Career Center and Environmental and Earth Sciences faculty to arrange the internship.
  2. Service Learning Internship - Service learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities (National Service Learning Clearinghouse). Students work with the College to Career Center and Environmental and Earth Sciences faculty to arrange the internship.
  3. Research Option - Provides the opportunity to work with a Doane faculty member on a research project. Facilities include the Lied Science and Mathematics Building.
  4. Student Teaching - Environmental Science majors completing the Science Teaching emphasis apply student teaching as their capstone. Students begin this emphasis during their first semester as freshmen at Doane and satisfy Secondary Education requirements.

Students present their results at MindExpo, Doane’s own celebration of students' creative efforts. They may also participate in paid summer research projects.

University Affiliations

Doane is a University Affiliate of the National Council for Science and the Environment and the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors.  The university is a member of the EcoLeaders program and has signed the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment.


Three-Year Graduation Program

Focused on a major – and a career – in Environmental Science and motivated to move ahead at a faster pace? Doane offers a Three-Year Graduation Program backed with a three-year guarantee.

The three-year degree program isn't for everybody. Students must apply and eligibility and acceptance are based on GPA, ACT/SAT scores and credits earned prior to enrollment.

For those committed students who fit this option, faculty have created intensive academic plans with a three-year course schedule for emphases in Biology, Chemistry, Computational Thinking and Political Science and Policy

Learning Environment

Our $10.2 million Lied Science and Mathematics Building provides an exceptional environment for study, research and interaction:

  • Five chemistry labs featuring state-of-the-art equipment
  • Hands-on access to high-tech instruments
  • Extensive group work
  • Individualized experiments challenge students to think on their own and provide the opportunity to learn from others at the same time


Spring CreekFor students interested in field work there are locations close to campus, including the Audubon Spring Creek Prairie, wetlands, lakes and woodlands.  

Outdoor research opportunities also exist on the Doane campus. The campus is included in the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum and has been certified as wildlife habitat by the National Wildlife Federation

The signature curriculum of the Environmental Science major includes expected courses such as Environmental Science and Ecology. It also includes courses such as American Environmental Literature, Environmental History, Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, Environmental Economics, and Environmental Education and Agriculture. A two week marine science interterm to the Newfound Harbor Marine Institute in Key West, Florida will begin in January 2012 and be offered alternate years.

Specialized Program Opportunities

Doane Environmental and Earth Sciences Department graduates are sought-after by employers and graduate programs. In part this is because undergraduate research is emphasized in the program and encompasses alternative energy, agriculture, wildlife biology, water and air quality, and earth science. Included in the curriculum is a research opportunity which begins in the junior year with preparation of a research proposal and selection of a mentor. The project is then completed during the following two semesters of the senior year and culminates in presentation at meetings which include Doane MindExpo. Students participate in paid summer research experiences, which support students doing research with faculty.  

The Doane Environmental Science Department develop a model for a state-wide web-based stream monitoring and teaching system.  

All environmental science students complete a senior research project and present their results at MindExpo, Doane’s own celebration of students' creative efforts. Students may also participate in paid summer research projects and internships



Student Research in Action

Making an Impact with Low-flow Showerheads - Funded by the Midwest Consortium for Service-Learning in Higher Education

Student Organizations

View detailed course information

BIO 110 - Inquiry Laboratory: Introduction to Biological Investigation (3)
BIO 111 - Energy of Life: Cells to Ecosystems (3)
BIO 112 - Information of Life: Genetics to Evolution (3)
BIO 295 - Biostatistics (3)
EVS 325 - Soil Systems and Sustainability (3)
BIO 332 - Ecological Zoology (4)
BIO 333 - Ecological Botany (4)
CHM 125 - General Chemistry I (4)
CHM 126 - General Chemistry II (4)
ECO 203 - Macroeconomics and Literacy (3)
ECO 309 - Environmental Economics (3)
EVS 301 - Environmental Science (4)
EVS 392 - Environmental Policy and Sustainability (3)
EVS 351 - Environmental Research I (2)
BIO 351 - Biology Research I (2)
CHM 351 - Chemistry Research I (2)
EVS 495 - Environmental Research II (2)
BIO 495 - Biology Research II (4)
CHM 495 - Chemistry Research II (2)
RES 495 - Research II (1-4)
EVS 496 - Environmental Research III (2)
BIO 496 - Biology Research III (3)
CHM 496 - Chemistry Research III (2)
RES 496 - Research III (1-4)
GEO 101 - Environmental Geology (4)
ENG 318 - Environmental Literature (3)
HIS 320 - American Environmental History (3)
MTH 107 - Problem Solving (3)
MTH 108 - Modeling & Applications (3)
MTH 125 - Precalculus (4)
MTH 235 - Calculus I (4)
BIO 348 - Microbiology (4)
CHM 205 - Organic Chemistry I (4)
CHM 303 - Analytical Chemistry (4)
BIO 308 - Animal Behavior (3)
BIO 337 - Wetlands Biology (4)
BIO 349 - Infectious Diseases (3)
EVS 105 - Introduction to Natural Resources (3)
EVS 205 - Principles of Environmental Public Health (3)
EVS 320 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (3)
EVS 330 - Earth, Climate, and Energy (3)
EVS 485 - Agriculture and Natural Resources Seminar (0-3)
GEG 320 - Geography of Agriculture (3)
GEG 325 - Marine Science (3)
GEO 107 - Introduction to Meteorology (3)
HIS 352 - American West (3)
PSI 216 - Public Opinion and Citizen Action (3)
PSY 216 - Public Opinion and Citizen Action (3)
PSI 234 - Legislative and Executive Behavior (3)
PSI 313 - Political Parties and Interest Groups (3)
PHY 107 - Introductory Physics I (4)
PHY 108 - Introductory Physics II (4)
PHY 201 - General Physics I (4)
PHY 202 - General Physics II (4)
IST 145 - Introduction to Programming and Problem-Solving (3)
IST 146 - Programming and Problem-Solving II (3)
PHI 105 - Logic and Critical Thinking (3)
EVS 410 - Crop Production and Sustainability (3)
CHM 206 - Organic Chemistry II (4)
CHM 322 - Instrumental Analysis (4)
CHM 326 - Advanced Inorganic Chemistry (4)
INT 101 - Global Issues (3)
INT 325 - International Relations in the Modern Era (3)
PSI 325 - International Relations in the Modern Era (3)
PSI 105 - Comparative Governments (3)
PSI 215 - The Politics of the Developing World (3)
PSI 310 - Women and Power (3)
PSI 327 - Globalization and Transnationalism (3)
PSI 328 - Constitutional Law (3)
PSI 332 - Current Legal Issues (3)
BIO 316 - Introduction to Computational Biology (4)
BIO 345 - Conservation Biology (3)
BIO 335 - Molecular Biology (4)
BIO 352 - Genetics and Functional Genomics (4)
GEG 112 - Physical Geography (3)
GEO 107L - Introduction to Meteorology Laboratory (1)
SCI 322 - The Teaching of Laboratory Sciences I (0-1)
SCI 324 - The Teaching of Laboratory Sciences II (0-1)
SCI 326 - The Teaching of Laboratory Sciences III (0-1)
SCI 327 - The Teaching of Laboratory Sciences IV (4)
BIO 215 - Human Anatomy and Physiology I (4)
BIO 326 - Comparative Anatomy (4)
BIO 355 - Human Anatomy (4)
BIO 216 - Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4)
BIO 331 - Cell Biology (3)
BIO 356 - Human Physiology (4)
CMS 210 - Public Speaking (3)
ENG 101 - English Composition: The Writing Seminar (3)