Environmental science students receive a broad range of environmental courses. They may choose to focus on water resources, energy, or applied ecology. Students are often involved in faculty research programs and present results of their research at local and national conferences.
Students studying water resources focus on the flow and quality of water in various environments including streams, lakes, aquifers, and soils, and students receive comprehensive training in the biology, chemistry, and ecology of soils and water bodies. The focus is on human-influenced and natural processes affecting soil quality and water quality. Courses emphasize watershed and groundwater hydrology and hydrogeology, water quality assessment and control, soil and water conservation, bioremediation and phytoremediation, and watershed management and planning.
Students who focus on energy take courses in energy efficiency, renewable energy, and energy systems, in addition to ecology and environmental courses.
Applied ecology is the study of interrelationships between organisms and their environment, within the context of seeking to understand and mitigate impacts of human activities on those systems. Students are provided with the core science background necessary to conduct environmental field and laboratory research. Students then gain familiarity with specific ecological systems, concepts, and methods through courses such as Water Quality Assessment, Forest Ecology, Wetlands Ecology, Field Methods, Environmental Entomology, and Limnology.
For students interested in becoming certified to teach science in Maine, a concentration in secondary teacher education is offered as part of the B.S. in environmental science.
Environmental Science and Policy courses tend to be laboratory-intensive and quantitative, with a major goal being the acquisition of advanced skills in utilizing analytical tools such as statistical software, mapping applications, and geographic information systems (GIS). This combination of a strong science core with applied environmental technologies allows a graduate in environmental science to pursue either graduate study in the sciences or immediate entry-level employment with an environmental engineering firm, government agency, or non-governmental organization.