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Southern Nazarene University - Character Culture Christ

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

We hire highly-qualified faculty who not only know the ins and outs of the profession you seek, but who truly wish to see you succeed individually. And we make sure you leave SNU prepared for a great job in Environmental Studies. That's why we can encourage you to not just dream, but to dream with confidence.

SNU's Environmental Studies Programs

As a student of SNU’s environmental studies program you will have the opportunity to learn from experts in various disciplines about tropical ecology and sustainability in the field. In addition to a science core, you will take courses that cover current topic items. Environmental sustainability. Environmental health. These courses focus on two pieces of environmental studies. Your role in the environment. How the environment physically affects us. Your knowledge and understanding of the concepts will grow throughout your time at SNU.

Learning Opportunities in Environmental Studies

At SNU we know you need more than just classroom lectures to learn. That’s why we create unique environments to take your education to the next level. Consider spending a semester abroad in Costa Rica where you can take several courses ranging from tropical ecology to global stewardship. You will be able to work at the Quetzal Education Research Center in the heart of Costa Rica. The QERC is in tropical montane cloud forest, high in the Talamanca Mountains. Students who attend the QERC spring program will enjoy time spent hiking on the over 20 miles of trails and exploring the nearly 1,000 acres of preserve. While at QERC, students will study ecology and gain hands-on experience in the field.

Also, students attending QERC will work alongside experts in field biology while conducting their own independent research. A rare opportunity to find at a private university. In addition to the QERC, SNU also offers majors the opportunity to participate in the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies. Au Sable offers summer and intersession field courses in the Great Lakes and Pacific Northwest regions that range from field botany to marine biology. While studying at Au Sable, students will work alongside experts in field science.

Learn from The Experts

Your professors here are more than just qualified to teach. They are experts in the field of environmental science. Imagine learning from a professor with years of experience working for and with the Environmental Protection Agency on various projects. Projects related to groundwater monitoring and drinking water quality. And on a project characterizing microbial communities present in soil samples taken from remediation sites. Our professors don’t just know environmental sciences, they have first hand work experience within the field.

Success after Graduation

Our number one goal at SNU is to set you up for success after graduation. With an environmental studies major you have a variety of options for your future career path. Some of our graduates go on to graduate school where they continue in various fields of study. Ecology. Sustainability. Environmental science. Public health. You may also chose to go right into a related career field. Environmental testing. Environmental monitoring. Private or government facility lab technician.

Meet Collin Whitesett, an SNU Environmental Studies graduate who is currently working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute assisting a PhD Student from Arizona State University on his research. “He is studying warning coloration in Heliconius butterflies and attempting to determine if certain warning colors are used by different species of butterflies depending on the micro-habitat within the forest those butterflies most often frequent. A ton of work has been done on Heliconius butterflies genetically; this research focuses more on the behavior of the butterflies but it complements the work of geneticists,” says Whitesett who has had the opportunity to travel to Florida, Michigan, Washington, and all over Costa Rica for College Credit. 

“I’m now working in Panama. I’ve made friends in all these different places, and I’ve had some absolutely unforgettable experiences. SNU has been great in two regards,” says Whitesett. “SNU has QERC, its very own field station in a truly exceptional part of Costa Rica, and  is affiliated with the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, a Christian institution that offers excellent summer courses in ecology and environmental stewardship. The semester I spent in Costa Rica and the classes I took at Au Sable have been the bread and butter of my academic (and experiential!) understanding of the natural world.”

Careers in Environmental Studies

When you graduate with your degree in environmental studies from SNU, you’ll have the preparation you need for a successful career in many professions such as:

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Management
  • Environmental Analysis
  • Tropical Biology
  • Conservation Biology

Download the Environmental Studies Brochure
Download the Environmental Studies Four Year Degree Plan

Study Environmental Studies at Southern Nazarene University in Bethany Oklahoma.

The Program

  • Focuses on both our role in the environment and how the environment physically affects us
  • Includes a science core and courses on current topic items effecting the environment
  • Semester abroad studies at the Quetzal Education Research Center in Costa Rica
  • Study with AuSable Institute of Environmental Studies at one of several global locations

The Professors

  • Experts the field of environmental science
  • Experience working with the Environmental Protection Agency on various projects
  • All science faculty hold Ph. D.s
  • One-on-one learning experiences with faculty to cultivate your knowledge and grow your education

The Preparation

  • SNU graduates are prepared to go continue to graduate school to study ecology, sustainability, environmental science, public health and more
  • Other graduates pursue careers immediately after graduation in environmental testing, environmental monitoring, private or government facility lab technicians


The program requirements are as follows:

Course NumberCourse Title Credit Hours
   
Biology Courses
  
BIOL 1314  
Organismal Biology
4
BIOL 1324
Cells and Systems
4
BIOL 2124Microbiology4
BIOL 3124Genetics4
Total Biology Core Course Credits
  16

* Field biology courses 16

Other Courses

CHEM 1124 and 1224 General Chemistry I and II 4/4
CHEM 3114 Organic Chemistry I 4
BIOL 3154 General Ecology 4
Environmental Studies Major Credit Hours 48

Other courses strongly recommended:

PHYS 1114 General Physics I 4
STAT 3143 Statistical Methods 3
CHEM 3024 Analytical Chemistry I 4
CHEM 3133 Biochemistry 4
CHEM 3263 Cell and Molecular 4

*The field biology courses requirement can be satisfied with one semester at the SNU Quetzal Educational Research Center (QERC) in Costa Rica (up to 8 credits) with two additional environmental field courses offered through AuSable or SNU. Alternatively, the field biology course requirement can be satisfied solely through courses offered by Au Sable and SNU.

Other SNU offered environmental course options:
BIOL 1013 Environmental Sustainability 3
BIOL 3182 Environmental Monitoring (QERC) 2
BIOL 3105 Tropical Ecology (QERC) 5
BIOL 4003 Tropical Field Research (QERC) 3
HP 4303 American Environmental History 3

Alumni Spotlight

Collin Whitsett

Environmental Studies alumni at Southern Nazarene University, Bethany, Oklahoma
Currently: Working at the Smithsonian tropical Research Institute

Responsibilities: Whitsett currently is assisting a PhD student from Arizona State University on his research studying warning coloration in Heliconius butterflies and attempting to determine if certain warning colors are used by different species of butterflies depending on the microhabitat within the forest those butterflies most often frequent. A ton of work has been done on Heliconius butterflies genetically; this research focuses more on the behavior of the butterflies but it complements the work of geneticists.

Accomplishments: Whitsett has had the opportunity to travel to Florida, Michigan, Washington and all over Costa Rica for College credit. He is currently working in Panama.

In His Words: “SNU has been great in two regards. One, SNU has QERC, its very own field station in a truly exceptional part of Costa Rica. Two, SNU is affiliated with the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, a Christian institution that offers excellent summer courses in ecology and environmental stewardship. The semester I spent in Costa Rica and the classes I took at Au Sable have been the bread and butter of my academic (and experiential!) understanding of the natural world.”



Our Nazarene Heritage
Founded in 1899, Southern Nazarene University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university - a service of the Church of the Nazarene. Located on a 40-acre campus just west of Oklahoma City, SNU grew out of several small colleges committed to training people for service to God and their fellow man. More than 32,000 alumni work and serve throughout the United States and the world. Read About Our Heritage