Environmental science majors at Valpo learn to approach problems with scientific rigor while simultaneously striving to be of meaningful service to society. During the four years of education at Valpo, students gain experience in fieldwork as well as laboratory and computational work. They are encouraged to read widely and think deeply on the value of environmental stewardship, justice, and public policy.
Valpo creates conditions for students to shape their own path towards achieving their goals. It also acts as a crucible for students to make meaningful connections with each other across disciplines to develop lasting professional relationships. Our students emerge as professionals who are prepared for careers in environmental assessment, management, and protection immediately after graduation, and have built a solid reputation for future Valpo graduates.
Valpo’s unique location near the Indiana Dunes National Park and association with the USGS Lake Michigan Research Station allows for rich learning and recreational opportunities in one the most ecologically interesting field sites in North America. In addition, this area’s long history of industrial production provides excellent case studies of environmental problems — and sustainable solutions.
In the environmental science program, students have considerable flexibility to choose courses that align most closely with their interests. Students can choose between a full major or a complementary environmental science major both of which build from core classes. Faculty members know each student, their developing interests, strengths, and trajectory. With guidance, students are strongly encouraged to customize their elective courses to suit their strengths and long term interests. In their senior year, students integrate these interdisciplinary studies through a capstone experience.
The core strength of Valpo’s environmental science program is participation of faculty from a variety of departments on campus. These include:
- A chemistry program fully accredited by the American Chemical Society
- A biology program which provides extensive laboratory and field experience,
- A geography program that integrates natural and social sciences, as well as practical training in geospatial technologies.
- Courses in economics, sociology, and philosophy
Graduates are pursuing successful careers in environmental consulting, state and local government agencies, not-for-profit organizations, environmental law, environmental analysis and modeling, environmental regulation agencies, arboretums, landscaping businesses. Several students go on to post-graduate studies at some point in their careers.