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Environmental Biology

   
Environmental biology is the interaction of the living portion of the environment with that of its non-living components, and how human activities alter these interactions. As a field of study, it is interdisciplinary in nature and requires broad training in such areas as earth science, geology, and chemistry in conjunction with biology.

What does Clarion University have to offer?

The Biology Department at Clarion University has a long tradition of excellence in environmental studies.  Our faculty and students in recent years have worked on the restoration of mine-acid impacted streams; in a variety of environmental and ecological studies in the Allegheny National Forest, including invasive plants and the impact of deer browsing; in assessment studies of fisheries; and in environmental microbiology. Nearly all of these studies are designed to include the active involvement of our undergraduate students.

Clarion University has developed cooperative arrangements with other institutions to enhance our student learning. This includes the Pymatuning Laboratory of Ecology, where Clarion students have the opportunity to take field-related classes in Ecology, terrestrial and marine environmental biology and natural history.

Clarion University has established a Center for Natural Resources and the Environment, which serves a focal point for regional environmental studies, coordinates environmental outreach activities, and promotes partnerships with various agencies interested in the environment.  As an additional plus, Clarion University is located in a region of Pennsylvania, which allows students to experience both pristine and impacted environments.

 

What constitutes the Bachelor's in Environmental Biology Degree?

Although the degree track involves coursework in biology, earth science, geology, chemistry, and mathematics, it is structured in such a way that hands-on, field-based learning is emphasized. Our philosophy in designing the degree was to insure that students be able to apply the knowledge gained in classes to "real world" situations.  This is enhanced by the requirement of a field experience competency in which the student completes field-based classes, conducts independent research, or completes an internship.

 

Can I specialize in a particular area of Environmental Biology at Clarion?

The environmental biology degree is designed to allow the student a number of concentration options.  A student can pursue a general environmental biology degree and simply select electives from these three areas of concentration.

 

What can I do with a degree in Environmental Biology?

The multidisciplinary nature of environmental biology prepares the student for a wide array of career opportunities.  Our graduates are working with a variety of state and federal agencies involved in environmental assessment and biomonitoring.  Some are working in parks, with zoos, or in botanical gardens.  A number have chosen to go into the private sector and are now employed with environmental consulting or engineering companies. Still others are working with cities and municipalities, in such areas as planning and conservation.  And a number of our former students have continued their education at the graduate level.

 

Are there other options in Environmental Science at Clarion?

We offer a degree in environmental geosciences through the Department of Anthropology, Geography, and Earth Science (AGES), we have an environmental certification program through the Department of Education, and we have a minor in environment and society, which is administered through the biology department. There is also a Master of Science degree available in environmental biology through the Biology Department.