The Environmental Studies and Sustainability (ENSS) major at NMU trains and educates students to observe, measure, and influence how people interact with Earth’s natural and cultural environments. This produces knowledge that is helpful in understanding our changing world and ensures its sustainability through the implementation of holistic solutions. Students will learn about sustainable food systems, energy, water resources, demographic changes, culture, and the built environment.
Our faculty train students to identify geographic concepts and patterns, and to use spatial, qualitative, and quantitative methods to understand and address environmental challenges.
What can you do with an Environmental Studies and Sustainability degree?
Our program prepares students for employment in many careers, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Ecotourism Guide
- Environmental Conservation Officer
- Environmental Consultant
- Environmental Educator
- Environmental Protection Specialist
- Organic Farmer
- Park Naturalist
- Park Ranger
- Environmental Policy Expert
- Recreational Consultant
- Resort Manager
- Sustainability Coordinator
- Sustainable Agriculture Practitioner
- Transportation Planner
- Urban Planner
- Water Conservationist
Skills and Competencies
The Environmental Studies and Sustainability 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.
By graduation, students will be able to:
- describe and explain the geographical foundations of Environmental Studies.
- explain and analyze interdisciplinary connections between physical, biological, and social systems.
- evaluate multicultural perspectives and policies.
- apply methods and tools to solve problems.
Students must complete all courses listed in Core Requirements and then select eight (8) credits of elective courses.
Core Requirements (50 cr.)
- GC 100 Physical Geography [SCII] (4 cr.)
- GC 101 Introduction to Environmental Science [INTT] (4 cr.)
- GC 164 Human Geography [SOCR] (4 cr.)
- GC 205 Introduction to Geographic Research (4 cr.)
- GC 220 Economic Geography (4 cr.)
- GC 225 Introduction to Maps (2 cr.)
- GC 235 Quantitative Methods (4 cr.)
- GC 269 Introduction to Sustainability (4 cr.)
- GC 310 Urban Geography (4 cr.)
- GC 320 Environmental Policy and Regulation (4 cr.)
- GC 335 Geographic Information Systems (4 cr.)
- GC 360 Population Geography (4 cr.)
- GC 489 Human-Environment Capstone (4 cr.)
Electives (8 cr.)
Choose 8 credits from the following:
- AN 210 Ecological Anthropology: People, Culture and Nature (4 cr.)
- AN 320 Native Peoples of North America (4 cr.)
- EC 345 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (4 cr.)
- EC 425 International Economics (4 cr.)
- EC 460 Economic Development (4 cr.)
- GC 202 Soils (4 cr.)
- GC 210 Earth Hazards (4 cr.) [SCII]
- GC 285 Earth’s Climate: Past, Present, and Future (4 cr.)
- GC 300 Regional Studies: World Cultures (4 cr.) [SOCR] or
Study Abroad (4 cr.)*
- GC 303 Practicing Geography (4 cr.)
- GC 316 Geography of Tourism (4 cr.)
- GC 317 Geography of Food Systems (4 cr.)
- GC 342 Energy and the Environment (4 cr.)
- GC 362 Wetlands (4 cr.)
- GC 424 Environmental Justice (4 cr.)
- GC 431 Landscape Dynamics and Analysis (4 cr.)
- GC 444/GN 444 Gender & Environment (4 cr.)
- GC 470 Environmental Ethics (4 cr.)
- GC 475 Environmental Impact Assessment (4 cr.)
- GC 491 Internship (2-6 cr.)
- NAS 340 Kinomaage: Earth Shows Us the Way (4 cr.)
- NAS 342 Indigenous Environmental Movements (4 cr.) [INTT]
- PS 206 International Relations (4 cr.)
- PS 415 Politics of American Foreign Policy (4 cr.)
- SO 351 Social Change (4 cr.) [PERS]
- SP 432 Environmental Communication (4 cr.)
*Study abroad may be substituted for GC 300 with advisor approval.
Where Have Our Students Interned?
The following is a partial listing of organizations and businesses where our have interned.
- Borden Dairy—sustainability intern
- Citizens' Climate Lobby
- Great Lakes Climate Corps—crew member; crew leader
- Eaton County Resource Recovery Department—resource recovery intern
- Isle Royale National Park—camping impacts monitoring intern
- Marquette Alternative High School—garden educator
- Marquette County Climate Adaptation Task Force
- Marquette County Planning Department—planning assistant
- Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority—various internship opportunities
- Michigan Energy Options
- Michigan Environmental Council
- Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation—wildland firefighting
- NMU EcoReps—various positions
- Partridge Creek Farm—various intern positions
- Seaside Sustainability
- Sierra Club
- Superior Watershed Partnership—various internships including for Energy Conservation Corps, technical writing, ecosystem restoration
Declare the ENSS Major
We strongly encourage you to meet with an academic advisor in EEGS before declaring the major. Kelsey Avey (firstname.lastname@example.org; schedule a meeting), Jose' Garcia (email@example.com, Schedule a meeting), and Lauren Anargyros (firstname.lastname@example.org, Schedule a meeting), are our Success Advisors, and they can provide valuable guidance and will work with you to develop a degree plan.
When you are ready to declare:
- You many submit your request to change a major or a minor on the web on the Change or Declare a Major page.
- Enter your name, NMU IN, email address, class standing, check the "change my major" box, and input any additional relevant comments.
- Submit the declare request.
You may also visit the Student Success Office in 3302 C.B. Hedgcock Building to make the change in person.