Environmental and marine science

A major in environmental and marine science and a minor in environmental studies are available. See also majors in sustainability studies and sustainable food systems and minors in agroecology and sustainability.

Major in environmental and marine science

54-58 credit hours (Core courses and one track)

Core courses (34-37 credit hours):

  • Biol 115, Ecology and Evolution4
  • Biol 120, Cell Biology and Genetics4
  • Biol 130, Organismal Biology4
  • Biol 207, Roots of Environmental Crisis3
  • Biol 324, Restoration Ecology4
  • Biol 331, Junior Research Seminar2
  • Biol 335, Natural Resources Policy Seminar1
  • Biol 409, Internship0-3
  • Biol 410, Biology Senior Seminar1
  • Chem 111-112, General Chemistry8
  • Psyc 380, Statistics in Research3

Ecology track (20 credit hours)

  • Plant course (one of the following)4
    • Biol 201, Botany
    • Biol 345, Forest Resources
  • Animal course (one of the following)4
    • Biol 200, Zoology
    • Biol 304, Marine Biology
    • Biol 308, General Entomology
    • Biol 350, Ornithology
  • Chem 303, Intro to Organic Chemistry4
  • Math 211, Calculus I4
  • Phys 203, General Physics I4

Earth and climate science track (21 credit hours)

  • Biol 208, Geology, Meteorology, & Climate Science4
  • Biol 222, Soil Science4
  • Biol 232, Oceanography3
  • Biol 235, Geographic Information Systems (GIS)4
  • Two of the following6
    • Econ 309, Environmental Economics
    • Phys 215 NW, Climate Change
    • Soc 320, Environmental Sociology

Marine biology track (21 credit hours)

  • Biol 304, Marine Biology4
  • Biol 232, Oceanography3

Taken at the J.N. Roth Marine Biology station in FL Keys in the fall semester as one set of courses.

  • Biol 334, Marine Ecology5
  • Biol 343, Invertebrate Zoology5
  • Biol 409, Biology Internship3
  • Biol 400, Biology Research1

Student learning outcomes

Graduates in environmental & marine science will:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of core biological principles spanning all levels of hierarchy (cells to ecosystems).
  2. Provide examples of the fundamental role that evolutionary principles have in structuring biological
    systems from the cell to ecosystems.
  3. Design and implement experiments through developing research questions, designing research methods, and
    interpreting and analyzing data using statistical techniques.
  4. Use strong oral and writing skills to communicate scientific concepts.
  5. Articulate how faith and/or worldview informs personal bioethical attitudes and behaviors.
  6. Discuss core ecological principles spanning levels of inquiry, including global ecology, ecosystem science, population ecology, community ecology, and physiological ecology.
  7. Identify the biosphere’s most pressing environmental challenges and analyze the root causes of specific case studies using systems thinking.
  8. Demonstrate safe field and laboratory skills: taxonomy and identification of species, plant and animal monitoring techniques, habitat and soil surveys, GPS and GIS mapping.

Planning and advising notes

Students choosing the ecology track may elect to take General Chemistry, Chem 111-112, in the first year. A double major in biology, environmental science, or molecular biology/biochemistry is not allowed. 

Planning guide

First year
Goshen Core
Ecology & Evolution (fall)
Cell Biology & Genetics (spring)
Organismal Biology (spring)
Second & Third years
Goshen Core
General Chemistry
Roots of Environmental Crisis (spring)
Statistics course
Natural Resources Policy Seminar
Restoration Ecology
Junior Research
Seminar Courses in specified track
Fourth year
Courses in specified track
Balance of Goshen Core
Senior Seminar

Minor in environmental studies

18 credit hours

  • Biol 115, Ecology & Evolution4
  • Biol 207, Roots of Environmental Crisis3
  • Biol 335, Natural Resource Policy Seminar1
  • One of the following field electives:4
    • Biol 200, Zoology
    • Biol 201, Botany
    • Biol 304, Marine Biology
    • Biol 308, General Entomology
    • Biol 345, Forest Resources
    • Biol 350, Ornithology
  • Two courses selected from the following:6
    • Econ 309, Environmental Economics
    • Hist 345, Environmental History
    • PoSc 210, Introduction to Public Policy
    • Soc 351, Sociology of the Environment
    • Sust 340, Field Experience in Environmental Education
    • Other courses approved by the director of the environmental science program