Environmental scientists analyze environmental issues and develop practical solutions. They look to repair and prevent damage caused by climate change, overpopulation, loss of biodiversity and other crises. They're protectors of the planet, champions of clean energy and self-admitted tree huggers.
At Southern New Hampshire University, you can gain the education and experience you need to pursue your passion with an online environmental science degree. This BS degree program gives you a strong foundation in natural and physical sciences. Choose the BS in Environmental Science degree program alone or elect a concentration in Natural Resources and Conservation or Geospatial Technologies.
In the natural resources and conservation concentration, you’ll focus on the conservation and management of natural resources and remediation of natural and human hazards. You’ll develop a broad-based interdisciplinary skill set that companies and organizations are looking for to solve complex environmental problems like climate change, alternative energy, and sustainability.
The geospatial technologies concentration will give you practical, real-world experience in geographic information systems (GIS) technology, including spatial awareness, remote sensing and imagery analysis. These technologies are an essential planning, analytic and management tool used in the field of environmental sciences to help GIS professionals visualize data in a geographic model. In SNHU’s online geospatial technologies degree, you’ll explore the acquisition, integration and analysis of geospatial data that’s applicable to a wide array of environmental issues.
Watch the two-minute video to learn more about this online degree, including how you'll get hands-on experience in courses and labs.
Not available for students outside the continental U.S.
The unique interdisciplinary BS in Environmental Studies online program gives you a foundation in essential environmental concepts with courses such as Ecological Principles and Field Methods, Environmental Ethics and Environmental Science Research Methods. Coursework features instructor-led labs using custom lab kits that are mailed to students to provide hands-on learning.
Upon completion of the online environmental science degree, you'll have the knowledge and skill set to:
As a private, nonprofit university, SNHU has one mission – to help you see yourself succeed. The benefits of earning your bachelor’s in environmental science online at SNHU include:
Our online environmental science programs equip you with the skills you need to pursue or advance your career in a wide array of roles, including environmental scientist, geospatial analyst, geographic information systems specialist, protection specialist and hazardous substance scientist. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics sees 15 percent growth for environmental scientists and specialists through 2022.
Geospatial technology is an emerging green industry that’s worth an estimated $270 billion a year. According to O*NET, the employment of geospatial scientists, GIS technicians and remote sensing technologists will increase 7 percent through 2022. Earning an online geospatial technologies degree at SNHU will help you compete in this growing field.
The online environmental science degree program gives you a strong foundation in natural and physical sciences, like biology, chemistry and physics. Choose the environmental conservation concentration, and you’ll study the implications of climate change, loss of biodiversity and other environmental issues. In the geospatial technologies concentration, you’ll tackle spatial awareness, geospatial programming, remote sensing and imagery analysis.
General biology course that includes mammalian cell structure and function, cellular reproduction and physiology, and Mendelian genetics. Laboratory exercises (BIO 120L) to follow lecture topics.
Laboratory course to follow topics presented in BIO 120.
This course introduces students to the principles of ecology and practical methods used in the field. Students will explore theoretical topics in the ecological systems including the level of the population, community and ecosystem; energy flow and biogeochemical cycles; and the concept of sustainability. Students will read literature and conduct research projects in the field and will use critical thinking to evaluate research, design studies, present findings and debate on the issues.
This course surveys the major themes of chemistry. Topics include chemical reactions, acids and bases, bonding, phases of matter, nuclear chemistry, and basic organic chemistry.
This course will use laboratory techniques to study the fundamental principles of chemistry. Topics such as the mole, chemical equilibria, chemical and physical properties, solutions, kinetics, etc., will all be covered along with other topics important to chemistry.
This course provides an introduction to the scientific aspects of the environmental field. The first part of the course introduces students to the foundations of environmental science, while the second part concentrates on the application of these foundations to real life environmental problems. Therefore, the course not only engages the fundamentals of environmental science but also shows students how science informs sustainability, environmental policies, economics and personal choice.
This course provides students with an understanding of how to evaluate, conduct, write and design research. Required for environmental science majors, it introduces the why, when and how quantitative and qualitative methods are used as investigative tools. The course follows the scientific method and focuses on how to search the literature, write a literature review, formulate research questions/hypotheses, and design experiments to test these hypotheses. We will also explore qualitative methods and discuss their use in the field with special attention to conducting interviews, case studies, and focus groups. Students will prepare a research proposal on a topic of interest. Formulation of this project begins early, forms the basis for a final project, and is presented in a mock scientific conference.
This is an issue and methods based course that will introduce environmental science majors to the tools and technology used in the field. Students will read and discuss primary literature that use these techniques and will participate in hands-on activities. A main focus of the course will be on the use and application of geographic information systems (GIS).
This is an issue-based discussion course aimed to define and explore multifaceted topics in environmental science. Designed like a senior seminar, students are expected to conduct extensive research on varied topics and then communicate their knowledge in both oral and written assignments.
Principles of Physics is an algebra based course that explores the major topics in physics, such as motion and forces, gravity and projectiles, energy and work, thermodynamics, vibrations and waves, electricity and magnetism, solids and fluids, light and optics, and atomic and nuclear physics.
This course surveys the major themes in geology. Students will examine topics such as plate tectonics, the rock cycle, surface processes, and concept of geologic time.
This course analyzes the application of ethical theory to moral questions about the environment. A number of different traditions in environmental ethics will be discussed and their strengths and weaknesses evaluated by applying them to practical moral problems.
Elective Courses: Students select 12 credit hours of ENV, GEO, or SCI courses with minimum 6 credits at the 300 to 400- level
Choose two from the following:
How can businesses, governments, and public interest groups achieve environmental sustainability goals in legal and political contexts that were designed with other goals in mind? Students spend about half of the course learning how to spot facts that give rise to compliance issues for businesses and other private parties under a full spectrum of federal environmental laws, and to identify opportunities for achieving broader sustainability goals within the constraints imposed by the law. In the other half, students learn both how to predict environmental law and policy outcomes and how to shape them adaptively in pursuit of sustainability goals in a fragmented system of governance that was designed to privilege special interests and to favor the status quo.
This course examines the implications of global location and topography for the people of planet Earth. Students will explore how geography shapes the dynamics of human societies, with an emphasis on the geoenvironmental, geopolitical, and geosocial phenomena that help to define the modern world. Global marker.
The course examines the history of the American environment, paying particular attention to the impact of European settlement on the landscape and the subsequent commodification of resources that defined the American experience in the modern age. it will pay close attention to such phenomena as industrialization, pollution, population trends, urbanization, chemically-dependent food production, and energy consumption, to name only a few. Particularly important, the course will delve into the process of political responses to environmental and ecological challenges as they have evolved over time.
Natural Resources and Conservation Concentration
Select four of the following:
Natural Resources and Conservation Concentration
This course will focus on the importance of biodiversity. Currently, we are experiencing an unprecedented loss in species; losing, on average, two species a day. Unlike past mass extinctions humans are largely responsible. Following the Society of Conservation Biology's guidelines for conservation literacy, this course will investigate how we can apply biological principals to reverse trends in species loss. We will focus on case studies to develop our understanding of what maintains, reduces, and restores biodiversity. The course will be organized into three sections 1) history and value of conservation biology, 2) threats to biodiversity, and 3) approaches to solving conservation problems.
This interdisciplinary course brings students up to date on what is known and not known about the causes and consequences of global climate change, and about viable response options. Topics include analysis of climate drivers such as greenhouse gas emissions, and land-use changes, and investigation of some climate system responses such as increased storm intensity and increased surface temperature. Students also explore some of the societal and economic impacts of global climate change. By reference to the most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, paleoclimate studies, and other authoritative sources, students learn how to separate fact from fiction in the often publicized debate about the dynamics of global climate change and about how we should respond to it.
This class will introduce the concept of natural resources by studying topics such as land, soil, rangeland, forest, water, atmosphere, minerals, and energy. The management, use, and environmental impacts associated with these resources will also be studied. Emphasis will be placed on the United States within the context of the global environment.
This course surveys the various forms of energy available to our industrial society. The environmental impact and depletion of each energy form is discussed with emphasis on the development of clean and inexhaustible alternative sources for the home and business. Topics include traditional and renewable energy sources, greenhouse effects, transpiration, nuclear power, and economies.
Waste is a major issue in nearly all aspects of society and understanding it is essential when considering the environment and sustainability. This class will focus on how waste is produced, how to reduce this pollution and how to clean it up once it is released. In addition to the physical science, we will examine the impact of waste on the economy, society and public health.
Geospatial Technologies Concentration
Geospatial Technologies Concentration
This course will examine the study, use, and design of map formats and specialized products such as fence-diagrams and cross-sections, as well as symbology, coordinate systems, and how maps record the historical patterns of human behavior. The course will also review maps as a tool to analyze human activity and societal development, and include important aspects of map data collection, processing, the Global Positioning System (GPS), quantitative mapping, and GIS-based mapmaking techniques. Additionally, students will review how humans process the concept of space.
This course is designed to introduce the student into the exciting new world of mapping software. Mapping software has found many uses throughout government, universities, business, as well as in the public policy arena. Students will learn how to use mapping tools that are available with data driven web sites, as well as learn how to create their own maps with mapping software. Students will learn how to work with different kinds of data sets and how to incorporate them into customized maps for analysis and presentation.
This course will provide the fundamental skills necessary for geospatial programming. Topics will include calling geographic processing tools, batch processing, performing file input/output in an external computing language and building, graphical user interfaces, and displays. To support these tasks, students will learn basic object-oriented programming concepts.
This course will provide an overview of the technology by which aircraft and satellite images of the Earth are produced as well as hands on experience manipulating and interpreting remote sensing data. Students will gain practical experience in environmental analysis using satellite imagery and commonly used sensors and analytical methods for the Earth sciences.
Free Elective Credits: 29
Total Credits: 120
Tuition rates for SNHU's online degree programs are among the lowest in the nation. We offer financial aid packages to those who qualify, plus a 30 percent tuition discount for active-duty service members and their spouses.
*Tuition rates are subject to change. Changes are generally implemented in June each year.
Additional Costs Books (course by course).
Students are responsible for providing their own internet access.
Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit institution accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges as well as several other accrediting bodies. More...