Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences (NRES)
Major to Career
College of Arts and Sciences
Degree Type: Undergraduate
As the nation's emphasis on the environment, agriculture, and natural resources continues to grow, there is an increasing demand for employees in these areas. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, students seeking a career in these fields can look forward to a far stronger job market than graduates of many other disciplines.
Established in 1974, our department 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. The curriculum includes studies in earth system science, climate change, natural resources, agriculture, geography, and geology.
The Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences major includes three career-ready emphasis area choices:
Environmental Systems: Students selecting the environmental systems emphasis will focus on the interactions between physical, biological, and chemical earth processes. Assessing environmental science topics such as water quality, air quality, soil quality, and ecosystem health, among other areas, will inform natural resource and ecosystem management and protection. Students who select this emphasis will be prepared for science-based careers in environmental management, research, consulting, and protection.
Human Dimensions: Students selecting the human dimensions emphasis will focus on the interactions between humans and the environment. Applying an understanding of human dimensions in environmental protection, environmental management, and natural resource use will inform environmental policy, influence positive public and private behavior changes related to the environment, and lead to more sustainable food and natural resource systems. Students who select this emphasis will be prepared for careers in environmental policy, environmental community education and engagement, and environmental advocacy and communication.
Agricultural Systems: Students selecting the agricultural systems emphasis will focus on sustainable agriculture production and its role in food security and environmental health. Improved practices in the production of food, feed, fiber, and fuel will be essential to provide the resources required of a growing global population, while combating the grand environmental challenges of the 21st century. Students who select this emphasis will be prepared for the variety of applied science-based careers in agriculture and food production.
A grades 7-12 Science Teaching option is also available.
A video with Dr. Souchek and Dr. Colclasure discussing program opportunities is here.
The signature curriculum of the department also includes courses and capstone research opportunities in:
Natural Resources and Environmental Science
Soil Science, Crop Production, and Animal Production and Sustainability
Environmental Policy and Sustainability
Environmental Literature, History, and Economics
Doane is a University Affiliate of the Global Council for Science and the Environment and the Council of Environmental Deans and Directors. Doane is also a member of the EcoLeaders program and has signed the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment.
Environmental Science and Protection Technicians
2018 Median Pay: $46,170 per year
Job Outlook: +9% from 2018-2028
Environmental science and protection technicians monitor the environment and investigate sources of pollution and contamination. Environmental science and protection technicians work in offices, laboratories, and the field.
Environmental Scientists and Specialists
2018 Median Pay: $71,130 per year
Job Outlook: +8% from 2018-2028
Environmental scientists and specialists use their knowledge of the natural sciences to protect the environment and human health. Environmental scientists and specialists work in offices and laboratories. Some may spend time in the field gathering data and monitoring environmental conditions firsthand.
2018 Median Pay: $61,340 per year
Job Outlook: +3% from 2018-2028
Conservation scientists manage the overall land quality of parks, rangelands, and other natural resources. Conservation scientists work for governments (federal, state, and local), on privately owned lands, or in social advocacy organizations.
Included in the curriculum is a research opportunity that begins in the junior year with the 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 a presentation at Doane MindExpo. Students participate in paid summer research experiences, which support students researching with faculty.
Senior Capstone Project
Seniors may choose from one of the following options for their capstone project.
- Practice-Based Learning (PBL) - Provides internship and research opportunities to gain experience, 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.
- 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.
- Research Option - Provides the opportunity to work with a Doane faculty member on a research project. Facilities include the Lied Science and Mathematics Building.
- Environmental Systems
- Human Dimensions
- Agricultural Systems
- Science Teaching
The Doane Difference
Environmental Science provides an understanding of how science affects our environment. The focus is on the interactions between the solid Eath, its air, its water and its living organisms, and on the interdependent, dynamic relationships between these four components.
Understand Your Impact
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.
A Promising Career
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.