Environmental Science Program
Contact Information
Address: 3005 New Science Facility
Phone: 906-227-1359
Fax: 906-227-1621
Professor: Ronald Sundell
Environmental Science at NMU
The environmental science program is an interdisciplinary approach offered jointly by the departments of biology, chemistry, economics, geography, mathematics and computer science, political science and public administration, and physics.

The program provides students an opportunity to gain an understanding of how the physical, biological and social sciences interact with each other in this field of study. It is designed to prepare students for a variety of professions dealing with both natural and human-made environments as well as graduate study. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the environmental field, it is important for students to be proficient in a range of technical skills such as ecological assessment, chemical analysis and geographic information systems. Students should also be familiar with a broad array of environmental policies and regulations, and possess effective communication skills.

Environmental scientists are often required to interact with professionals from a diverse number of disciplines or specialties. Therefore, every environmental science major will take a 36 credit-hour core of courses that provides a basic understanding of several environmentally related disciplines. Each student also must complete 25 to 30 credit hours in one of three areas of program emphasis: (1) biological science, (2) physical science or (3) environmental policy. The track selected by the student will appear on the student's transcript.

Student Organization
  • Student Environmental Science Organization
  • Environmental Chemistry Laboratory
  • Lake Superior Research Boat
  • Longyear Forest
  • Native Plants Study Area


Students also can use a large range of laboratory facilities and field equipment associated with the seven departments involved in the program. See each department’s facility list for details.

Environmental Science Program Policies
Environmental science majors must select an area of emphasis (biological sciences, physical sciences or environmental policy) upon entering the program. Students also must select a faculty adviser. The adviser must be either the program director or a faculty member from one of the associated departments (Biology Department faculty for the biological sciences track, Chemistry Department faculty for the physical sciences track, and Geography Department faculty or Political Science and Public Administration Department faculty for the environmental policy track).

As a requirement for graduation, environmental science majors must maintain the minimum grades and cumulative grade point average as set forth by each of the participating departments. For example, a student in the biology track must maintain the same academic standards as biology majors. Likewise, students in the physical track must maintain academic standards as set forth by the Chemistry Department, and those in the environmental policy track must maintain the academic standards as determined by the department of their adviser in either the Geography or Political Science and Public Administration Departments.

Bachelor Degree Program

Liberal Studies: Complete information on the liberal studies requirements and additional graduation requirements, including the health promotion requirement, is in the “Liberal Studies Program and Graduation Requirements” section of this bulletin.

Courses within each major that can be used to satisfy liberal studies requirements are listed with the Roman numeral (in brackets) that coincides with the liberal studies division the course falls under.