Environmental Science

Bachelor of Sciences in Environmental Science

The Environmental Science program is part of the Natural Sciences Department that is housed in the Jeffords Science Center. This program integrates the scientific disciplines of geology, chemistry, and biology to provide you with a strong framework from which to analyze environmental problems and develop effective, sustainable solutions.  


Core courses in the Environmental Science program include Biostatistics, Analytical Chemistry, and Geographical Information Systems (GIS), which gives you training in areas that are directly relevant to jobs available in the environmental sector. Our four year plan in Environmental Science allows for the building of concepts while at Castleton. During your second and third semesters you will have the opportunity to participate in Pathways to Science and Science Colloquium, which introduces students to guest scientists in academia and industry in order to expose students to the numerous opportunities available beyond Castleton. As a small institution all students have access to our state-of-the-art instrumentation in both our teaching and research labs.


Castleton science students in Costa RicaThe nature of the Environmental Science major allows our faculty to take advantage of the outside, natural laboratory as much as possible in both their lab and travel courses. Labs may bring students to the array of natural ecosystems across Vermont, while in our numerous travel courses students may travel to places like the Mojave Desert, Belize, Iceland, or St. John's, among other locations.


Many environmental science majors elect to participate in either internships or independent research in their field of study during their time at Castleton. Our faculty have diverse research interests. Some of this research is funded externally through grants awarded to our faculty where students have the opportunity to work intensively with faculty over the summer months and get paid a stipend. Students wishing to pursue graduate school are strongly encouraged to work with faculty on independent projects. Some of the recent student research related to environmental science include: establishing a discharge gauge in the Castleton River, monitoring nutrient export in the Castleton River, characterizing dissolved organic matter via fluorescence, determination of the indirect photochemical decay of BPA, measurement of primary productivity in-situ, survey of salamanders in various habitats, and effects of household cleaners on aquatic organism mortality. Nearly all of our students that participate in research present their work at the Annual Castleton Scholars Celebration and at various regional and national conferences.


With a B.S. in Environmental Science you will have the ability to pursue both laboratory and field careers in government, industry and the non-profit sector. This program prepares you for a career or graduate degree programs in related environmental fields such as toxicology, hydrology, systems ecology, plant ecology, water chemistry, and numerous other possible options. Students who are interested in pursuing graduate training in environmental engineering should also consider a major in mathematics. Recently, our students have moved on to Master's programs, Law School, and to various state park agencies on the east coast.

All graduates in this program that earn a GPA of 2.75 or higher (and meet all minimum requirements of the agreement) are guaranteed admission and discounted tuition to the Norwich University Master of Civil Engineering program (including Environmental/Water Resources Engineering).