What are the impacts of climate change and how will different intentions curb it?
Gain a foundation in biology, chemistry, mathematics and coding. Take courses that use the underlying science to inform and solve critical environmental issues. Learn code to conduct extensive research and apply geographic information systems to solving environmental problems.
You’ll explore expeditionary ecology, including those in central Texas but also the ecosystems of the Rocky Mountains and the Desert Southwest. When you graduate, you will be able to identify environmental problems analyze them and offer sustainable solutions.
What do our graduates do?
Students who earn this degree will be prepared for a variety of careers, as well as graduate school. Potential careers include those with public agencies that manage natural resources, publicly traded companies, non-profit organizations, land conservatives, and advisory roles with policymakers and academic institutions.
Beyond the Classroom
The major in Environmental 生物学 and Climate Change will prepare you to use science to tackle the world’s most pressing environmental problem. In addition to developing a solid foundation in biology, chemistry, mathematics and coding, you’ll study the impacts of climate change in the natural world. Austin is within 60 miles of half of Texas’ major ecosystems, and nearby parks and reserves offer opportunities to study the ecology of these areas on day trips. As part of your curriculum, you’ll also choose from among several classes that immerse you in different ecosystems through longer expeditions farther afield. And you can get involved on campus in clubs that focus on science research, conservation and caring for the earth.
In Ecology, you’ll take two or more extended-weekend field trips to different ecosystems such as the Wichita Mountains of southwestern Oklahoma, the Four Corners or the Texas coast.
Entomology, which focuses on the evolutionary adaptations and biodiversity found among insect groups, includes a field-based collection component. You’ll travel to different sites and learn how to collect, preserve, and identify insects.
Plant 生物学 includes several study trips over extended weekends to different ecosystems around Texas. You may study how the density of a particular grass changes between Austin and the border or examine the differences between the stands of loblolly pines in the “Lost Pines” region just east of Austin and the denser pine forests of East Texas.
A hallmark of the Environmental 生物学 and Climate Change major is the course in Expeditionary Ecosystem Studies, in which you’ll go on a two- or three-week expedition to a completely different ecosystem to public lands in the Intermountain West states of Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada and/or Utah.
All Environmental 生物学 and Climate Change students will complete at least a year of research individually mentored by a professor. You’ll have the opportunity to complete field work at Blunn Creek, right next to campus; at Wild Basin, an urban preserve in West Austin; or at the St. Edward’s ecolab in Spicewood, in the Hill Country. Along with fellow students, you’ll attend professional conferences to network with professionals in the field, learn about others’ research and present your own work.
Outstanding students complete 研究 Experiences for 大学本科s, in which they join the lab of a professor at a major research university over a summer. These competitive experiences, funded by the National Science Foundation, introduce you to research with different mentors and help you evaluate whether a research career is right for you.
As a student in the Environmental 生物学 and Climate Change program you are afforded access to the funding programs, including paid internships, offered exclusively to STEM students at St. Edward’s University by the Institute for Interdisciplinary Science (i4). For more information on these programs please visit the Institute for Interdisciplinary Science (i4).
Students for Sustainability educates the St. Edward’s community about eco-friendly practices and works with the St. Edward’s administration to implement environmental initiatives. Members help maintain the campus garden, learn about biking and public transportation, encourage fellow students to reduce their use of plastic water bottles, and have clothing swaps and upcycled craft nights.
The St. Edward’s chapter of the Texas Academy of Science supports student research, including presentation and publication opportunities. Members also tutor in the sciences and complete other service projects.
Students with strong academic achievement in the sciences are eligible to join the St. Edward’s chapter of Beta Beta Beta, the National Biological Honor Society.
You can contribute to the launch of new organizations like the St. Edward’s student chapters of the Ecological Society of America and The Wildlife Society.
You also can apply to join the Natural Sciences Living Learning Community your freshman year. Members of the LLC live together in the same residence hall and take a fall-semester science course together. They also arrive on campus before school begins to learn research tools and methodologies so they can join research projects early in their college career. LLC members participate in regular community dinners and recreational activities to relax and have fun together.
The Environmental 生物学 and Climate Change major requires 120 total hours.
- Total major hours, including General Education Ethics and Culminating Experience: 71 hours
- Other General Education requirements: 39 hours
- Other elective hours: 10 hours
Examples of major courses:
- General 生物学 I and II
- Enviornmental Conservation / Climate Change
- Terrestrial and Plant Ecology
- Expeditionary Ecosystem Studies
- General 化学 I and II
- Climate Change Science, Impacts & Responses
- Biological Programming
Examples of electives:
- Vertebrate 生物学
- Environmental Controversies in Austin
- Environmental Politics and Policy