The Collateral Major in Environmental Science

  | Biology Home Page | Coe Home Page|

The Faculty: Advisors in the Environmental Sciences Collateral Major

Dr. Paula Sanchini, Administrative Coordinator

Dr. Marty St. Clair

Environmental science is the study of processes that occur at the earth's surface. Since these processes exist at the intersection of the atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere, they require interdisciplinary preparation. A student who plans a career in this field, either as a researcher or a practitioner, must have a solid background in more than one science. 

Coe's Environmental Science program is designed to provide significant depth in theoretical and applied aspects of biology and chemistry. Students in the program take advantage of experimentally driven laboratory work that is built into required biology and chemistry courses.  These laboratories build technical competence through the use of professional quality instrumentation and EPA accepted methods and quality standards. 


Requirements for a Collateral Major in Environmental Sciences

The completion of a major in Biology which includes

Calculus MTH-135
Bacteriology and Laboratory BIO-515/-510
Environmental Microbiology BIO-535/-530

And completion of --

Environmental Analysis and Laboratory BIO-195/-190
Organic Chemistry CHM-185
Analytical Chemistry CHM-215

And completion of two of the following courses--

Advanced Analytical Chemistry CHM-535
Independent Study CHM-805
Marine Biology BIO-117
Intro to Ornithology and Laboratory BIO-165/-160
Field Botany and Laboratory BIO-175/-170
Entomology BIO-185
Spatial Ecology BIO-295/-290
Natural History of Animals and Laboratory BIO-385/-380
Ecology and Laboratory BIO-505/-500
Wilderness Field Station WFS-XXX


Introduction to Environmental Studies BIO-105
Statistical Reasoning I STA-100
Statistical Reasoning IIA or IIB STA-11X
Calculus II MTH-145


The key element of the Environmental Science success is a unique, challenging field course that students take in their junior or senior year. The Environmental Analysis course is team research experience directed by Dr. Sanchini and Dr. St. Clair. This is the only course we know about where undergraduates form a research team that designs, carries out and reports on innovative studies under the supervision of both an analytical chemist and an ecologist. Here's what past students said about the course.

"I enjoyed putting chemistry to work with environmental topics that were of interest to me." 

"This really brought biology and chemistry together for me. I never saw the inter-relatedness, now I do."

"I liked the team atmosphere that was created because as a group we were able to discuss various viewpoints and ideas freely. The work was more carefully done because we all had a chance to voice our ideas." 

"Why not try something new? If we are simply repeating someone else's work, read their paper and save time and money." 

"The 'let's try this' attitude scared me at first, but it turned out to be a great aspect of the course." 

"I liked the chance to learn how to deal with lots of data and relationships that you don't get in a single lab." 

"I liked the course because we got a more realistic research experience. We set up the protocol, did some preliminary work and then the experiment." 

"This is the type of work that will be expected of us in graduate school. When you have your own project, things like the study design are important and I think the class focused on that." 

"This was a good class to take as a senior because it incorporated everything, pre-experiment, experiment and analysis. This is the final step before real world research on my own. "

This collateral major is designed for science majors who plan to work in an environmental field after graduation. It is intended to give them both breadth and depth in sciences other than their major field. Students who complete this concentration will be well-prepared for graduate work in this area, or entry-level jobs working with environmental consulting firms, government agencies, advocacy groups, or analytical laboratories. 


All rights reserved.
Coe College 2003

-Top -