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

Requirements for the Environmental Science Major:

Environmental Science majors must select a biology, chemistry, computational thinking, political science and policy, agriculture and natural resources, or science teaching emphasis.


(Students interested in employment or further study in air quality should take MTH 235.) CMS 210 and ENG 101 are strongly recommended.RES 495 and RES 496 for two credits each may be substituted for BIO/CHM/EVS 495 and BIO/CHM/EVS 496.

Complete A, B, C, D, E or F:

A. Biology Emphasis

Complete a minimum of seven credits from the following groups:

(at least one three or four credit course must be from each group)

B. Computational Thinking Emphasis

C. Chemistry Emphasis


CMS 210 and ENG 101 are strongly recommended.  If GEO 107 is selected, GEO 107L is strongly recommended.

F. Agribusiness Emphasis

Complete one course chosen from

Requirements for Science Teaching Emphasis

Environmental Science majors completing this emphasis are qualified to teach earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics in grades 7-12.

Select a or b:

Select a or b:

All requirements listed under the catalog section Secondary Education.