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eegs courses fall 2023

Program Overview

The Environmental Science (ENV) major provides students with a comprehensive and interdisciplinary educational experience that prepares them for careers in natural and physical science. This program equips students with the skills to examine, analyze, and understand the complex dynamic interaction of physical, chemical, biological, and social systems, and collaborate to resolve complex environmental problems.

By emphasizing professional skills training, including field, laboratory, and computer based methods, our faculty help students gain applied science knowledge. Experiential hands-on learning prepares graduates for environmental careers in natural resource management, environmental assessment, pollution control, remediation of contaminated sites, and renewable energy technologies.

View the Bulletin.

What can you do with an ENV degree?

Our program prepares students for employment in many careers, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Air Quality Manager
  • Conservation Officer
  • Environmental Chemist
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Educator
  • Environmental Impact Analyst
  • Environmental Interpreter
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Environmental Manager
  • Environmental Planner
  • Environmental Policy Specialist
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Environmental Technician
  • GIS Analyst
  • Hazardous Materials Specialist
  • Natural Resources Manager
  • Organic Farmer
  • Pollution Control Technician
  • Public Health Officer
  • Recycling Coordinator
  • Renewable Energy Specialist
  • Risk Assessment Specialist
  • Soil Conservation Scientist
  • Sustainable Forestry Consultant
  • Water Resources Specialist
  • Water Quality Manager
  • Wildland Firefighter

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Students sampling soil in a wetland.

Skills and Competencies

The Environmental Science major’s course work will develop critical thinking, problem solving, and decision-making abilities. Strong communication skills, including writing and speaking, are essential for a career in this field. Leadership skills are also beneficial. Environmental Scientists must be proficient in technical skills including Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and other computer skills, quantitative data analysis, ecological principles, and analytical chemical procedures. Students also become familiar with environmental policy and regulations. Many of these skills will be developed by hands-on experiences in the field (outdoors) and in the laboratory. Internships and study abroad can enhance the learning.

Our Geographic Information Systems Certificate Program allows students to integrate Environmental Science with the latest computer-based mapping technologies. Earn credits for this certificate program while working toward your degree.

Affiliated Faculty

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Dr. Norma Froelich

Norma Froelich

Associate Professor

nfroelic@nmu.edu 906-227-1891
Office Location:

3117 Weston Hall

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dr. adam naito

Adam Naito

Assistant Professor

anaito@nmu.edu 906-227-1174
Office Location:

3007 Weston

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Photo of Dr. Matthew Van Grinsven

Matthew Van Grinsven

Associate Professor

mvangrin@nmu.edu 906-227-1161
Office Location:

3612 The Science Building

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Richard Ziegler

Richard Ziegler

Contingent Senior Instructor

rziegler@nmu.edu 906-227-1364
Office Location:

3011 Weston

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Dr. Susy Ziegler

Susy Ziegler

Professor, Department Head, Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences

suziegle@nmu.edu 906-227-1104
Office Location:

3001A Weston

Major Requirements

Students must complete all courses listed in Core Requirements and Other Required Courses, as well as courses in one of the following four (4) concentrations. GC 100 or GC 101 should be taken during the first year of the program. Within a concentration, no more than 12 credits of coursework must come from one prefix without prior approval.

In a time of rapid ecological change, we must have environmental scientists with training in natural resources to apply practical and scientific solutions to current and emerging human–environmental challenges. Our students pursuing a Natural Resources concentration prepare for various jobs related to resource and land management, conservation, restoration, GIS, environmental planning and protection, and recreation through hands-on, experiential learning in indoor and field-based classes and service-learning opportunities with local businesses and non-profit organizations. Graduates can pursue careers in invasive species control, ecological restoration, endangered species conservation, and resource management in non-profit organizations, government agencies, and private industry.

At least two courses, from two different prefixes, must be 300 level or higher. (12 cr.)

Noise, air, water, and soil pollution negatively impact the environment. Mitigating these problems improves overall human and ecosystem health. Our environmental science students pursuing the Pollution Control and Remediation concentration gain comprehensive knowledge of environmental pollution, remediation technology, environmental analysis, environmental impact assessments, and local/state/federal laws and regulations. In addition, these students gain experience analyzing the fate of environmental pollutants, quantifying these pollutants, and identifying strategies for their remediation. Our graduates may be prepared for careers in which they collaborate with fellow scientists and stakeholders to develop policies to minimize pollution and procedures to clean up the environment.

At least two courses, from two different prefixes, must be 300 level or higher. (8-11 cr.)

With ongoing challenges related to the extraction and distribution of resources to support our energy needs, harnessing sustainable and renewable resources like wind, sunlight, biofuels, geothermal heat, and rivers is increasingly vital. An environmental scientist trained in renewable energy technologies can address real-world social, economic, and technical sustainability issues, and work with relevant stakeholders to develop and implement renewable energy facilities in communities. Our graduates are prepared to collaborate with engineers, planners, and public policy experts in the public and private sectors.

Choose 12 credits from the following:

Water scarcity is currently one of the most challenging issues facing societies worldwide. Competition for access to clean water is expected to intensify in the 21st century. An environmental scientist in water resources can apply knowledge of biology, chemistry, geoscience, hydrology, limnology, meteorology, and soil science to manage water for habitat and human use. Career activities may span inventory, data collection, and analysis of water use, quality, and pollution. Solutions are developed with various organizations and stakeholders (e.g., tribal governments, municipalities, private landowners, and non-profit organizations) that often have different interests in lands, resources, and programs.

At least two courses, from two different prefixes, must be 300 level or higher. (12 cr.)

Testimonial by Connor O'Loughlin, ENV alumnus

“I think the Environmental Science program is perfect for any student who wants to be exposed to many disciplines and learn to synthesize ideas from different sciences. It was very easy to get involved with faculty research. The opportunities I was given at Northern, including presenting my scholarship at a regional and a national conference, helped me decide that I really want to go to graduate school after I work for a conservation corps and intern at a national lab.”

Connor O'Loughlin

BS Environmental Science, May 2023

Where Have Our Students Interned?

The following is a partial listing of organizations and businesses where our have interned.

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Kathleen Henry on a ship.
Testimonial by Maykaylee Kuhn, Environmental Science alumna

"I am incredibly grateful for all the opportunities and support that I have been given by the EEGS Department over my years at NMU, and I look forward to applying the skills I have gained in my future career."

Maykaylee Kuhn

BS Environmental Science, May 2023

Testimonial of Katy Robinson, ENV alumna

“I have learned countless professional techniques from EEGS faculty that aided me during my internship with the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service last summer, and I can say without a doubt, without the exceptional teaching and hands-on learning experiences, I would not currently be working for the USDA as a Soils Conservationist.”

Katy Robinson

BS Environmental Science, Fall 2020

Declaring the ENV Major

We strongly encourage you to meet with one of our Senior Success Advisors in EEGS before declaring the major, as they can provide valuable guidance and will work with you to develop a degree plan. Our Success Advisors are:

When you are ready to declare:

  1. You many submit your request to change a major or a minor on the web on the Change or Declare a Major page.
  2. Enter your name, NMU IN, email address, class standing, check the "change my major" box, and input any additional relevant comments. For Earth Science be sure to select a concentration if you are under the Fall 2023 (or more recent) Bulletin.
  3. Submit the declare request.

You may also visit the Student Success Office in 3302 C.B. Hedgcock Building to make the change in person.