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B.S. Earth Sciences, Environmental Emphasis


The UNC Environmental Earth Science emphasis is a comprehensive environmental degree that prepares students in the sciences of biology, chemistry, ecology, geology, groundwater, mathematics, meteorology, oceanography, and statistics.  Since 1998 the major has produced hundreds of students who either work for the environmental monitoring industry (environmental consulting firms or government agencies responsible for doing site surveys) or go on to graduate school for advanced training.  Graduates are highly capable to undertake rigorous and comprehensive environmental work.

In addition to the natural sciences training, courses in scientific writing, microeconomics, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and a variety of specialty courses are required.  Many students elect to do practical internships with companies or government agencies for credit outside the university, and quite a number elect to take a minor in environmental studies, mathematics, economics, geography, foreign language, or another science field.

Active student clubs in environment, meteorology, geography, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and other fields are available, and extra-curricular activities for student enrichment abound.  Individual advising from one of our Ph.D. faculty ensures that students move efficiently through the course sequence and are prepared for the rigors of the workplace.

A Comprehensive Undergraduate Environmental Earth and Atmospheric Sciences program emphasizing:

  • Small Class sizes for individualized instruction
  • Rigorous coursework blending theory with applications
  • Comprehensive Science training in many fields
  • Extensive Laboratory and field experiences
  • Preparation for graduate school and the job market
  • Undergraduate research projects available
  • Collaborations throughout the CO Front Range and Northeastern Plains

Activities and Resources:

  • Cartography lab with 16 GIS work stations and large format plotter
  • Internship placement programs, some paid
  • Real time weather station, weather cam, and seismograph
  • Nearby state and federal science laboratories for internships

Courses and Requirements:

Students will study sciences including chemistry, physics, mathematics, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and others. Lectures/discussions, laboratory exercise, field trips, internships and research efforts form a well–rounded educational experience as preparation for either postgraduate education or beginning a career related to Environmental Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

Degrees Offered


Dr. Steve Anderson, Professor of Geology: Volcanology, Environmental Geology

Dr. Graham Baird, Professor of Geology: Mineralogy, Scientific Writing, Physical Geology

Dr. Sharon Bywater-Reyes, Assistant Professor of Environmental Geosciences: Hydrology, Geomorphology, Soils

Dr. Joe Elkins, Associate Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences: Introductory Geology, Physical Geology, Field Studies

Dr. Emmett Evanoff, Associate Professor of Geology: Historical Geology, Scientific Writing, Colorado Geology

Dr. Bill Hoyt, Professor of Geology: Oceanography, Aquatic Studies, Science Education

Dr. Cindy Shellito, Professor of Meteorology: Paleoclimatology, Climatology, Gen. Circulation Modeling, Mesoscale Meteorology, Gen. Meteorology