Drake University - Environmental Science Program
2507 University Ave.
Des Moines, IA 50311
• Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) with a major in Environmental Science
• Bachelor of Science (B.S.) with a major in Environmental Science
• Environmental Science minor
This interdisciplinary science degree prepares students in a liberal arts tradition to understand connections between human beings and their effects on the Earth's environment. Drake environmental science students are grounded in the natural sciences disciplines while also acquiring the ability to synthesize information across disciplines. Students develop technical and quantitative skills including laboratory and field methods, statistical analysis and the implementation of geographic information systems (GIS). Courses in the social sciences such as economics, politics, policy and ethics provide an important link to the human element associated with environmental issues. Graduates of the program will be well prepared to undertake graduate study in diverse fields of environmental sciences, as well as to work in governmental and nongovernmental capacities on environmental issues.
Field work is a key component of this degree, featured in biology, geology and environmental classes. Iowa's central location in the nation allows students to experience a diversity of ecosystems and human communities during frequently offered weekend and summer field trips. The program also connects students with ongoing environmental projects (for example an 8,000-acre prairie restoration project including bison and elk at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, 20 miles east of campus), with offerings at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory in Milford, Iowa (a biological field station), and with semester-long marine science experiences at the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.
Drake’s environmental science major is distinguished by its strong focus on interdisciplinary study, emphasis on field experiences, opportunities for research and independent study, and service learning approach in the Senior Capstone experience.