Overview & Options

Understanding our environmental challenges and applying practical scientific solutions are at the heart of this major.

Our bachelor’s of science degree program focuses on restoring ecosystems, addressing energy and climate issues, and developing the skills to understand and manage the ever-changing relationship between humans and the natural world.

Learning Outcomes

This degree will teach you how to:

  • apply science to understanding ecosystems and natural resources.
  • understand the policy and social implications of environmental issues.
  • understand, analyze, address and manage the consequences of human actions on the physical, biological, and cultural world.
  • seek out the information and resources necessary to understand complex environmental issues.
  • write, speak, and communicate with the public and professionals concerning the environmental sciences.
  • apply critical thinking skills as the basis for decision making and sound value judgments.

 

Concentrations

In the Environmental Science & Management undergraduate program, you’ll choose one of six concentrations. Each area offers a broad range of classes, allowing you to discover the intricate balance between people and nature

Ecological Restoration

Ecological Restoration

Ecological Restoration helps foster an understanding of environmental problems and applying practical solutions in a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the interactions between the biological and physical world, human institutions and human behavior. This emphasis will train students in the principles and practices of ecological restoration and help students develop skills in communication, critical thinking and environmental decision-making.

The practice of ecological restoration includes a wide scope of projects including, but not limited to: erosion control, reforestation, removal of non-native species and weeds, revegetation of disturbed areas, daylighting streams, reintroduction of native species, and habitat and range improvement for targeted species.

Ecological Restoration graduates should find work with many of the same employers as students in the Policy option, including state, federal, and local governments, nonprofit environmental protection and advocacy organizations, and private consulting firms, particularly those dealing with environmental impact analysis, wetlands delineation, and of course environmental restoration and remediation projects; or go on to graduate programs in such fields as ecology, soils, watershed management, etc.

Faculty
Alison O’Dowd, Ph.D.
Kerry Byrne, Ph.D.

Energy & Climate

Energy & Climate

Global climate change is one of the most urgent environmental challenges of the coming century. Reducing the threat of this problem requires substantial changes in the way that modern societies produce and utilize energy resources. The Energy and Climate concentration helps foster an understanding of environmental problems by applying practical solutions in a multi-disciplinary approach to understanding the interactions between climate change, technology development, and human institutions. The Energy and Climate concentration is designed to provide students with a foundation in climate science, as well as the interdisciplinary understanding of energy technologies, economics, and policies necessary to effect change.

Work opportunities in areas related to carbon management and climate change mitigation are growing rapidly. As is true with the other options, students in the Energy and Climate option may find employment in government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector.

Experience at the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology (CCAT) is encouraged. Headquartered on campus at the Buck House, CCAT is a live-in, working demonstration home. Included among the technologies and demonstrations are photovoltaic and wind electric systems, a solar hot water system, a greenhouse passive heating system, a composting privy, a gray water system, and organic gardens. CCAT provides one of many living labs on campus for students in the Energy and Climate option.

Students may also participate in the Green Campus Program to design and implement energy efficient projects and help lead conservation campaigns.

Course requirementsCourse descriptions4-year plan

Faculty
Kevin Fingerman, Ph.D.

Environmental Education & Interpretation

Environmental Education & Interpretation

Environmental Education and Interpretation centers on the connection made between people and natural resources. Interpretation students focus on this connection through the art and science of communication in order to inspire understanding and appreciation of the natural and cultural world. It is through understanding and appreciation that public responsibility, stewardship, and tolerance are built.

Translating the language of the scientist, the voices of the past, and the significance of places to help create meanings and connections with the people of the present.

Hands-on experiences and course work combine to prepare students to excel in their careers. Course work is broad-based and encompasses a wide range of the sciences to enable students to interpret a wide range of topics. Learning through hands-on experiences, students lead walks, conduct an outdoor environmental education program, create brochures, and design and build exhibits. Our program is designed for students to learn in the field, in the classroom, and in the lab. Throughout the program, students explore various communication strategies to meet specific goals and objectives designed to manage natural resources more effectively.

Interpretation graduates find jobs as park rangers and naturalists, environmental educators, natural resource specialists, graphic designers, and communications experts. Whether your goal is to go to graduate school or to start a career, our faculty and facilities will help you find your niche in the interpretive world. If you want to make a difference in how people see and understand the world around them, the interpretation option is for you.

Course requirementsCourse descriptions4-year plan

Faculty
Jenn L. Tarlton, M.S.
Holly M. Harvey

Facilities
ESM Computer Lab

Environmental Planning & Policy

Environmental Planning & Policy

Balancing the needs of humans with environmental conservation

The Environmental Planning and Policy concentration focuses on how to best manage our use of natural resources today while sustaining the ecosystems they are drawn from for the future. This major offers study that centers on developing a harmonious relationship between people and the natural environment. Environmental policy-makers and planners find ways for people to live in harmony with the natural environment, satisfying our needs for space and resources while maintaining the quality of the environment.

The knowledge and skills you gain as an environmental planning major at Humboldt State place you in high demand from employers in the natural resources and planning fields, and the uniqueness of our program will give you a competitive edge against other job applicants. Careers include everything from rural or urban land-use planning with a city or county government or a non-profit advocacy group, to environmental consulting and analysis with a state and federal land management agency or a private firm. You will only find one undergraduate-level natural resource-focused policy and planning program in the country, and it is right here at Humboldt State University.

Course requirementsCourse descriptions4-year plan

Faculty
Yvonne Everett, Ph.D.
Laurie Richmond, Ph.D.

Geospatial Science

Geospatial Science

Geospatial Science allows environmental scientists and resource managers to better understand and manage challenges related to socio-environmental issues such as food, energy, public health, and natural resources, including management and conservation of wildlife, fisheries, oceans, forests, rangelands and soils, and wildland recreation resources. It does this by identifying and portraying the geographic location and various characteristics of physical and human environments, creating data layers that allow the geospatial scientist to analyze and understand the spatial relationships among those many variables. To learn more about the geospatial program at HSU visit gis.humboldt.edu.

Graduates will find work with many of the same employers as students in the other ESM options, including state, federal, and local governments, private environmental planning and consulting firms, and nonprofit environmental protection and advocacy organizations; or go on to graduate programs in such fields such as environmental planning, forestry, watershed management, etc.

Course requirementsCourse descriptions4-year plan

Faculty
Jim Graham, Ph.D.
David Gwenzi, Ph.D.
Buddhika Madurapperuma, Ph.D.
Nicholas Malloy, M.S.

Natural Resources Recreation

Natural Resources Recreation

Managing recreation opportunities today while protecting our natural resources for tomorrow.

Would you like to be a park or wilderness ranger in the soaring peaks of the Rocky Mountains or Sierra Nevada? How would it feel to live and work surrounded by the red and orange of the Utah canyonlands?

Natural Resources Recreation focuses on managing and providing satisfying outdoor recreation opportunities for today, while protecting our natural resources for tomorrow. Recreation students learn to balance the needs of complex ecosystems with the effects outdoor recreation has on these natural systems.

Recreation managers plan and implement programs on behalf of some of the country’s most scenic areas. For example, as a recreation planner at Yosemite National Park, you may develop a plan to balance the park’s intense recreational use with protection of resources, and help determine which recreation activities are appropriate in the park. As a recreation manager with the U.S. Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management, you might be responsible for managing recreational use of a Wild and Scenic River, including making decisions about how to minimize the impacts of river recreation.

Course requirementsCourse descriptions4-year plan

Faculty
Steve Martin, Ph.D.

Concentrations

Ecological Restoration
Environmental Education & Interpretation
Environmental Planning & Policy
Energy & Climate
Geospatial Science
Recreation

Concentration Descriptions »

 

Minors

Ecological Restoration
Environmental Education & Interpretation
Environmental Planning
Environmental Policy
Geospatial Analysis
Natural Resource Recreation
Natural Resources

Minor Requirements » 

 

 Certificates

Environmental Education & Interpretation

Natural Resource Policy & Administration

Environmental & Natural Resources Planning

Certificate Requirements »

 

Graduate Program

The Natural Resources graduate program includes options in Environmental Science & Management (ESM), Forestry, Watershed, and Wildland Sciences (FWWS), Wildlife, and Fisheries, and provides graduate training in traditional disciplines, as well as flexibility for training in the interdisciplinary aspects of natural resources.

Graduate Information »