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ENVIRONMENT and SUSTAINABILITY.

B.S. Degree in
Environment and Sustainability
Minor in Environment and Sustainability

Environment and Sustainability Degree - Bachelor of Science (BS)

Learn to put your love for the environment to work.

Being conscious of the planet, its systems, and all life sustained by it is the responsibility of every human being, and studying the complex ways we impact the environment makes us aware of how we can make a difference.

In Catawba College’s Environment and Sustainability bachelor’s degree program, you will have the chance to use our campus as your first outdoor laboratory as you conduct field studies and roam our 189-acre ecological preserve located in Catawba’s back yard.


bachelor of science in environment and sustainability

The Environment and Sustainability Bachelor of Science degree program at Catawba College offers the choice of four concentrations: Environment and Outdoor Education, Environmental Science, Natural Resource Management, and Sustainable Planning and Leadership.

Learning in small classes from supportive faculty, you will first gain a special appreciation for air, land, and water resources, from the threats and issues associated with each to the science behind them, building your knowledge and confidence through discussions, hands-on labs, and research experiences.  Additionally, our Environmental Field & Skills course will prepare you to delve into your areas of interest within Environment and Sustainability, focusing your major in at least one of these four Environment and Sustainability concentrations:

Environmental and Outdoor Education Concentration
Choose the Environmental and Outdoor Education concentration if you want a career centered on outreach or nontraditional environmental education such as programming at museums, aquaria, or parks.  Students completing this concentration will take courses that enable the creation of a portfolio that can be used to pursue North Carolina Environmental Education (NCEE) certification.  The NCEE certification program is modeled after the national environmental education standards, making this certification portable in many instances. Learn more about NCEE certification.

Environmental Science Concentration
Select the Environmental Science concentration if you want to pursue a career as an environmental consultant, analyst, conservation scientist, or other environmentally focused career. You can also use your Bachelor of Science in Environment and Sustainability degree to pursue graduate school or law school.

Natural Resource Management Concentration
Choose the Natural Resource Management concentration if you are interested in influencing how we use and manage our open spaces and wildlands. This concentration blends science and policy to prepare students for the complexities of managing our natural resources.   Leverage this program into a natural resources career for the government or private agencies or as preparation for graduate study.

Sustainable Planning and Leadership Concentration
Focus your studies in Sustainable Planning and Leadership if you seek to become a sustainability leader in your community or workplace.  You will pair this concentration with a minor (or major) in another discipline for a truly interdisciplinary education. This concentration prepares you to manage corporate sustainability programs, conduct research and environmental audits, consult in the green economy, or pursue an advanced degree such as a green MBA.


Minor in Environment and Sustainability

Catawba offers a minor in Environment and Sustainability.


GIS, Remote Sensing, and Conservation Certification

One of the most valuable skills one can have in today’s scientific, business, and professional realms is first-hand experience with Geographic Information Systems.  Our rapidly-expanding GIS program, based in the Department of Environment & Sustainability, incorporates three step-wise courses in GIS, Remote Sensing, and their broad spectrum of applications, as well as several electives ranging from a Drones and UAVs course (including FAA licensure) to Programming to Field Skills.  With this particularly special set of tools in a graduate’s toolkit, the next steps in a Catawba ENV graduate’s career are even more promising.


Environment and Sustainability Program Highlights

This deeply experiential degree program facilitated by inspired and inspiring Catawba College faculty will also help you decide on how and in what ways you want to work for the health of our planet. From day one in the program, it is hands-on learning, and making an impact as you learn. 

As an Environment and Sustainability major, you will automatically qualify for an annual $5,000 scholarship above and beyond your regular Catawba scholarship and financial aid package. Once admitted to Catawba, students declaring their intention to Major or Minor in Environment & Sustainability will have the opportunity to compete for generously-supported ENV Merit Scholarships, including (multiple annual) awards for up to full tuition as well as full tuition plus room and board.

Environment and Sustainability Stewardships
Environment and Sustainability Stewardships.

Become a Catawba Environmental Steward and design and implement a campus sustainability service project.  Projects have included a recycled fashion show, a campus bike-share program, renovating the Catawba greenhouse, working on biogas digestors, helping install solar infrastructure on campus, sustainability-based educational programming, and more. Students accepted in to this program receive additional scholarship funds for their work , following a year-long “rush” period in which they participate in activities and apply for inclusion in the Stewards Program for their later years at Catawba.

Practicums for Environment and Sustainability Majors
Practicums for Environment and Sustainability Majors.

Dig into an environmental field experience under the supervision of a Catawba faculty member.

Internships in Environment and Sustainability
Internships in Environment and Sustainability.

Build your resume and acquire professional skills during an environmental internship with organizations such as the, Land Trust for Central North Carolina, the Natural Resources Conservation, Horizons Unlimited Education Center, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, and many others.

Study Abroad and Off-Campus Programs in Environment and Sustainability
Study Abroad and Off-Campus Programs in Environment and Sustainability.

Experience local and global environmental issues first hand through travel study experiences in places as diverse as Madagascar, mainland Africa, the Carribean, India, Costa Rica, the Florida Everglades, and the Duke University Marine Lab.

Undergraduate Research in Environment and Sustainability
Undergraduate Research in Environment and Sustainability.

Conduct and present your own environmental research by doing an Independent Study. Environment and Sustainability majors have presented their work at the State of North Carolina Undergraduate Research and Creativity Symposium in areas such as North Carolina water quality, public opinion on climate change, scavenger behavior in the Catawba ecological preserve and species identification practices in commercial fishing. Students have also presented at regional and national conferences (such as the North Carolina Academy of Science, Association of Southeastern Biologists, Carolinas Society of Toxicology & Chemistry, and American Chemical Society) in the fields of environment, biology, and chemistry.  The James M. Beard Student Science Travel Award can help you pay for travel expenses related to your research.

RELATED BACHELOR DEGREE PROGRAMS

Outcomes

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ENVIRONMENTAL JOBS.

Environment and Sustainability majors from Catawba College are making a difference in the following positions:

    • North Carolina Wildlife Officer
    • Compliance Analyst 
    • GIS Specialist 
    • Environmental Analyst
    • Aquarium Outreach Assistant 
    • Regional Director, Defenders of Wildlife
    • Director, NextGen Air Transportation Consortium at NC State University
    • Founder of Resiliency Lands
    • Park Ranger 
    • Peace Corps Volunteers
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GRADUATE SCHOOLS.

Catawba College Environment and Sustainability alumni have gone on to earn graduate degrees at the following schools:

    • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    • College of Charleston
    • Duke University
    • The College of William & Mary

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“Catawba's Environmental Education degree allowed me to put together my love for the outdoors and my passion for working with the public.

"The small student-to-faculty ratio, the Center for the Environment, the ecological preserve and a wonderful liberal arts institution allowed me to cultivate (pardon the agriculture pun) my education into my vocation."

Sarah Moore, ’12
Biologist for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Savannah, Georgia; Earned her master’s degree from Duke University

Environmental Facilities

CENTER FOR THE
ENVIRONMENT

SUSTAINABLE
FACILITY

 189-ACRE
ECOLOGICAL PRESERVE

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PARTICIPATE.

Put your passion for the environment to work and develop leadership skills as part of Environment Catawba Outreach (ECO), the college’s campus club dedicated to raising environmental awareness on campus.

Faculty

Luke Dollar, Ph.D.

Professor Luke Dollar, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized wildlife biologist and conservationist and a National Geographic Explorer who manages the National Geographic Society’s Big Cats Project. He is one of the world’s experts on the fosa, a rare carnivore found only in Madagascar.  

Sue Calcagni, Ph.D

Associate Professor Sue Calcagni, Ph.D., is an expert in toxicology &environmental health, watershed studies, environmental physiology, and biodiversity.  She was instrumental in shaping Catawba’s Environment and Sustainability bachelor’s degree program, works closely with students in planning their academic programs, and coordinates the ENV internship program.

John Wear, Ph.D

Associate Professor John Wear, Ph.D., is the director of the Center for the Environment at Catawba. He oversaw the design of Catawba’s Sustainable Facility, was involved in the creation of the South Yadkin Wildlife Refuge, and has served on numerous North Carolina boards and commissions. Among other distinctions, he was named a North Carolina Conservationist of the Year by the Governor's Conservation Achievement Awards Program.

Curriculum

Required Courses for B.S. in Environment & Sustainability
Required Courses for B.S. in Environment & Sustainability

CORE for all concentrations in the major:

 

ENV 1401 Water: Management & Ecology

3

ENV 1402 Land: Management & Ecology

3

ENV 1403 Air: Energy & Climate Change

3

ENV 1404 Environmental Field & Skills Lab

1

ENV 1405 Environmental Leadership Seminar

1

ENV 1406 Environmental Education & Communication

3

ENV 3590, or 3592, or 3594 Integrated Systems & Solutions Elective

3

ENV 4221 Internship in Environmental Science

1

ENV 4501 Capstone in Environmental Science

1

 

CORE Total:

19

 

In addition to the core, students must select one of the following concentrations: 

ENVIRONMENTAL & OUTDOOR EDUCATION Concentration

 

BIOL 1503 Ecology & Evolution

4

ENV 3598 Geographic Information Systems

3

ENV 3601 Outdoor Design & Leadership

3

ENV 3602 Environmental Professional Practice & Research

3

ENV 3603 Key Issues & Group Dynamics

3

ENV 3604 Methods of Teaching Environmental Education

3

Botany Elective (2000 level or above)

3-4

Ecology Elective (2000 level or above)

3-4

ENV/BIOL Approved Electives (2000 level or above)

6

Approved Elective

2-3

Concentration Total:

33-36

Total Hours (Concentration + Core):

52-55

 

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE Concentration

BIOL 1503 Ecology & Evolution

4

BIOL 2503 Biological Research Methods

2

CHEM 1501 General Chemistry I 

4

CHEM 1502 General Chemistry II

4

CHEM 2501 Analytical Chemistry

4

BIOL 3505 Conservation Biology (3)

- OR -

ENV 3506 Natural Resource Ecology & Mgmt (4)

3-4

Botany Elective (2000 level or above)

3-4

Lab Science Approved Elective (2000 level or above)

4

ENV/BIOL Approved Electives (2000 level or above)

7

Concentration Hours:

35-37

Total Hours (Concentration + Core):

54-56

 

NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT Concentration

BIOL 1503 Ecology & Evolution

4

BIOL 3505 Conservation Biology

3

CHEM 1125 Chemistry & the Environment

4

ENV 3506 Natural Resource Ecology & Management

4

ENV 3513 Wildlife Ecology

4

ENV 3596 Land Conservation & Environmental Policy

3

ENV 3598 Geographic Information Systems

3

Botany Elective (2000 level or above)

3-4

ENV/BIOL Approved Electives (2000 level or above)

7

Concentration Hours:

35-36

Total Hours (Concentration + Core):

54-55

 

SUSTAINABLE PLANNING & LEADERSHIP Concentration

ENV 3596 Land Conservation & Environmental Policy

3

ENV 3598 Geographic Information Systems

3

ENV 3650 Sustainable Planning & Design

3

ENV Electives (any course 2000 level or above)

6

Students earning a concentration in Sustainable Planning & Leadership must earn a minor in a different field of study approved by program faculty (if a student earns a double major, the second major will count in place of the requirement for a minor)

18-21

Concentration Hours:

33-36

Total Hours (Concentration + Core):

52-55

Required Courses for Minor
Required Courses for Minor

Choose TWO of the following:
- ENV 1401 Principles of Water Resources (3)
- ENV 1402 Principles of Land Resources (3)
- ENV 1403 Principles of Air Resources (3)

6

ENV 1404 Environmental Field & Skills Lab

1

ENV 1405 Environmental Leadership Seminar

1

Choose ONE of the following Integrated Systems & Solutions Electives:
- ENV 3590 Topics in Integrated Systems & Solutions (3)
- ENV 3594 Environmental Health & Toxicology (3)

3

Choose at least 7 hours from the following:
- BIOL 3505 Conservation Biology (3)
- ENV 1406 Environmental Education & Communication (3) 
- ENV 3506 Natural Resource Ecology & Management (4) 
- ENV 3510 Selected Topics in the Environmental Sciences (1-4) 
- ENV 3513 Wildlife Ecology (4) 
- ENV 3594 Environmental Health & Toxicology (3) 
- ENV 3596 Land Conservation & Environmental Policy (3) 
- ENV 3598 Geographic Information Systems (3) 
- ENV 3599 Intermediate GIS & Field GPS (3) 
- ENV 3601 Outdoor Design & Leadership (3) 
- ENV 3602 Environmental Professional Practice & Research (3) 
- ENV 3603 Key Issues & Group Dynamics (3) 
- ENV 3604 Methods of Teaching Env Education (3) 
- ENV 3650 Sustainable Planning & Design (3) 
- ENV 4105 Environmental Science Seminar (1) 
- ENV 4211 Practicum in Environmental Science (1-2) 
- ENV 4221 Internship in Environment & Sustainability (1-2) 
- ENV 4501 Capstone in Environment & Sustainability (1)

7

 

Total:

18

*Approved electives are maintained on file in the offices of the Registrar and Department/Program Chairs.

Course Descriptions
Course Descriptions

ENV 1110 TOPICS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (1-4 hours)
An introductory study of a topic selected from the environmental sciences.

ENV 1111 EARTH SCIENCE (4 hours)
An introduction to earth materials and land forms, the forces and processes shaping the earth’s surface, and the interrelationships between the atmosphere and the earth. Lecture and laboratory.

ENV 1112 ENVIRONMENTAL CONCEPTS AND ISSUES (3 hours)
A study of broad issues of environmental science and the interaction of humans and the environment. Students may not receive credit for both ENV 1112 and ENV 1411.

ENV 1125 CHEMISTRY AND THE ENVIRONMENT (4 hours)
Same as CHEM 1125. A study of environmental chemistry to include discussions of basic chemistry, toxins, meteorology, air pollution, ozone depletion, global warming, water supply, water pollution, solid waste management, and hazardous waste management. Lecture and laboratory.

ENV 1401 Water: Management & Ecology (3 hours)
A study of broad issues of environmental science and the interaction of humans and the environment through the lens of the sustainable use of water resources. Students may not receive credit for both ENV 1112 and ENV 1401.

ENV 1402 Land: Management & Ecology (3 hours)
A study of broad issues of environmental science and the interaction of humans and the environment through the lens of the sustainable use of land resources.

ENV 1403 Air: Energy & Climate Change (3 hours)
A study of broad issues of environmental science and the interaction of humans and the environment with a focus on atmosphere, climate change and sustainable use of energy resources.

ENV 1404 Environmental Field & Skills Lab (1 hour)
A laboratory experience that provides students with an introduction to field and lab methods commonly used in the environmental sciences.

ENV 1405 Environmental Leadership Seminar (1 hour)
An introduction to the theories and practices of leadership and organizational behaviors in the environmental field. Through a series of discussions as well as individual and collaborative activities, participants will begin to understand and appreciate the challenges faced by environmental leaders.

ENV 1406 Environmental Education & Communication (3 hours)
A practical introduction to the strategies, methods, and tools of environmental education and communication. Students will investigate concepts that are foundational to environmental literacy. Students will complete initial requirements for North Carolina Environmental Education Certification and explore national competencies for leadership development in the field. Social media platforms will be used to elevate opportunities for networking, education, and marketing.

ENV 1411 FUNDAMENTALS OF ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (4 hours)
A course designed for Environmental Science majors in their first year. Lectures will examine some of the major areas in environmental science and employment opportunities that might exist. Lecture and laboratory. Students may not receive credit for both ENV 1112 and ENV 1411.

ENV 1511 CONCEPTUAL INTEGRATED SCIENCE AND THE ENVIRONMENT (3 hours)
A study of basic principles and concepts of integrated science as seen through the lens of the environment.

ENV 2475 TROPICAL BIOLOGY (3 hours)
An introduction to the biology of tropical ecosystems. Content may vary but typically will include a history of tropical plants and animals, tropical ecology, and conservation and sustainable use of tropical resources. Includes a trip to the tropics. Same as BIO
2475.

ENV 3506 NATURAL RESOURCE ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT (3 hours)
A study of renewable natural resources from a holistic and management viewpoint, with a particular emphasis on the economic, policy and ethical dimensions. Topics include history of natural resource conservation and environmentalism in the US; conservation and management of soil, land, landscapes, forests, wildlife, biodiversity, and other resources; and public lands policy and management. Lecture and some field trips. Prerequisite: BIOL 1503 and either ENV 1112 or ENV 1401 or ENV 1402 or ENV 1403.

ENV 3510 SELECTED TOPICS IN THE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (1-4 hours)
An advanced study of an environmental science topic. Topic is announced at Registration. Prerequisite: ENV 1411 and permission of Instructor.

ENV 3513 Wildlife Ecology (4 hours)
A study of how ecologists manage wild animals for the benefit of humans. Managed species include species that are hunted as well as species that are the target of non-consumptive uses. Topics include population dynamics, biodiversity, social and economic issues, and ecosystem management. In addition, the lab will emphasize field techniques and the data used to monitor and manage populations. Prerequisites: BIOL 1503 and ENV 1112, 1401, 1402, or 1403.

ENV 3567 ENVIRONMENTAL EDUCATION FOR SCIENCE PROFESSIONALS (2 hours)
An overview of environmental education methods for science professionals including design of and participation in experiential learning programs that emphasize environmental and nature center education. Students receive credit toward state supported environmental education certification. Prerequisite: ENV 1411.

ENV 3590 Selected Topics in Integrated Systems & Solutions (3 hours)
An advanced study of an environmental topic with an emphasis on using an integrated systems approach to identifying solutions to environmental challenges. Topic is announced at Registration. Prerequisite: ENV 1112, 1401, 1402, or 1403 and permission of instructor.

ENV 3594 ECOLOGICAL CHANGE AND HUMAN HEALTH (3 hours)
A study of the principles and processes by which the environment affects human health, to include the examination of health consequences of alterations in global systems, regional ecosystem disruptions, the generation of toxic substances, and new infectious disease threats.

ENV 3596 FUNDAMENTALS OF LAND CONSERVATION (2 hours)
An introduction to the fundamentals of land conservation drawing on a real world approach to conservation, including legal strategies used by nonprofit land trust, governmental policies pursued in the interest of resource protection, and ongoing land management programs. Lectures and student project. Prerequisite: ENV 1112 or ENV 1411.

ENV 3597 PLANNING FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES (2 hours)
An introductory look at the emerging field of planning for environmentally sustainable communities focusing on traditional government land use and environmental regulations, but also on private sector initiatives to create ecologically sensitive new developments. Lectures and several field trips. Prerequisite: ENV 1112 or ENV 1411.

ENV 3598 GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (GIS) (3 hours)
An examination of the theory and practice in the use of GIS for the biological and environmental sciences as students learn how to create maps, analyze spatial data, and create their own data from field observations, with emphasis on conservation-related applications.

ENV 3599 FIELD GLOBAL POSITIONING SYSTEM (GPS) (3 hours)
This course provides instruction in both the theory and practice of using GPS instrumentation and the incorporation of positional data into geographic information systems, for navigation, surveying or tracking. Prerequisite: ENV 3598.

ENV 3601 Outdoor Design & Leadership (3 hours)
A study of diverse settings and integrated learning strategies for excellence in environmental education. Students will design and participate in a variety of environmental education learning experiences including expeditionary science, placed-based, and field immersion experiences. Successful completion of this course will partially satisfy requirements for North Carolina Environmental Education Certification. Prerequisite: ENV 1406.

ENV 3602 Environmental Professional Practice & Research (3 hours)
A study of the foundations and philosophical underpinnings of environmental education, as well as current trends and development of the field. Students will examine research methods in environmental education and evaluate professional resources using the national guidelines for environmental education materials. Successful completion of this course will partially satisfy requirements for North Carolina Environmental Education Certification. Prerequisite: ENV 1406.

ENV 3603 Key Issues & Group Dynamics (3 hours)
A study of experiential learning theory and effective outdoor facilitation strategies. Students will explore experiential education, learning styles, group dynamics and focused reflection to increase knowledge, develop skills, clarify values, and develop capacity to lead a community partnership project. This project will partially satisfy requirements for the North Carolina Environmental Education Certification Program. Prerequisite: ENV 1406

ENV 3604 Methods of Teaching Environmental Education (3 hours)
A study of instructional strategies and teaching methods used in the development of age-appropriate activities for environmental education. Students will gain experience in program design and basic assessment strategies. Successful completion of this course will partially satisfy requirements for North Carolina Environmental Education Certification. Prerequisite: ENV 1406

ENV 3650 Sustainable Planning and Design (3 hours)
A study of how we design and plan where we live and work and the communities in which we live in ways that lower our ecological footprint while creating healthier places to live. Prerequisite: ENV 1112, 1401, ENV 1402 or ENV 1403.

ENV 4105 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE SEMINAR (1 hour)
Reports and discussions on various topics in environmental science presented by students and faculty. Prerequisite ENV 1112 or 1411 and Junior/Senior standing.

ENV 4211 PRACTICUM IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (1-6 hours)
Field experience in some aspect of Environmental Science with the formal evaluation, supervision and direction determined by the supervisory professor and student. Prerequisites: Permission of coordinating professor and departmental approval. Application must be approved in the semester preceding the one in which the practicum is to be undertaken.

ENV 4221 INTERNSHIP IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (1-6 hours)
Field experience in some aspect of Environmental Science with the formal evaluation, supervision and direction provided by an outside agency in concert with the supervisory professor and student. Prerequisites: Permission of coordinating professor and departmental approval. Application must be approved in the semester preceding the one in which the internship is to be undertaken.

ENV 4301 INDEPENDENT STUDY IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (3 hours)
Self-directed study following a contractual plan initiated by the student and conducted under a faculty advisor. Prerequisites: Junior standing in Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Environmental Education, or Sustainable Business & Community Development, permission of coordinating professor and program head approval.

ENV 4501 CAPSTONE IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES (1 hour)
A senior level seminar course for majors or minors that draws upon the knowledge and training the students brings from their academic experience in the major. Each year the course will approach a theme of broad interdisciplinary scope central to the Environmental Sciences. Prerequisites: ENV 1112 or 1411 and Senior Standing.


FORESTRY AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES - In cooperation with the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies at Duke University, Catawba College offers programs leading to graduate study in natural resources and the environment. The cooperative program combines liberal and professional education for students with interests in these fields.

Duke University accepts students from this program after three years of undergraduate study or upon completion of the baccalaureate degree. However, experience indicates that the program is best suited to students who have earned the Bachelor’s degree. Prospective candidates should indicate to the Admissions Office that they wish to enroll in a Pre-Forestry/Environmental Studies program.