Do you enjoy exploring the outdoors? Are you concerned about issues of social justice and sustainability? If so, you may be on your way to an environmental studies degree.
At Central, environmental studies majors choose from two tracks: environmental science or environmental sustainability. Both tracks include fundamentals of science, economics and politics, plus hands-on laboratory and fieldwork.
Graduates of Central’s program have gone on to careers in the lab, in the field and in management for federal and state agencies, as well as industry and non-profit agencies.
of Central students take a sustainability course as part of their core classes
Central offers the first environmental studies major in Iowa
Environmental studies majors learn to use GIS, the decision support software used by most natural resource managers and businesses
Jennifer Daugherty ’11, local foods coordinator, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Iowa City
Ryan Schmidt ’12, land stewardship director, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, Des Moines
Andrew Jackson ’15, conservation laborer, Polk County Conservation, Des Moines
Owen Shawgo ’17, GIS technician, JCG Land Services, Leon, Iowa
Tyron Steere ’16, natural resource manager, Floyd County Conservation, Charles City, Iowa
Conservation officer, Jasper County Conservation Board
GIS engineer, Altoona
Environmental inspector, Williams LLC
Solar heat outreach specialist, Rural Renewable Energy Alliance/Conservation Corps
Naturalist, Emmet County Conservation
Fisheries research technician, Missouri Department of Conservation
Water resources technician, Meskwaki Nation
SCATE (Students Concerned About the Environment)
Sustainable agriculture, Iowa State University
Environmental science, The Ohio State University
Fishery biology, Southern Illinois University
Sustainable food systems, University of Montana
Urban and regional planning , University of Iowa
Conservation biology, Antioch University, New Hampshire
M.S. natural resources, University of Idaho McCall Outdoor Science School
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lake Red Rock
Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation
Iowa Department of Natural Resources
Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge
Courses & Faculty
The environmental studies major consists of a strong background in the sciences, social sciences and an emphasis on developing good research and communication skills. Students in the program examine the interrelationships of science, society and nature in a world with limited resources. Every environmental studies major also proposes and completes a senior project, gaining experience in grant writing and project management along the way.
Students also gain experience with GIS, the decision support software used by most natural resource managers and businesses.
Meet the faculty:
Russ Benedict, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Professor of Biology, interest areas include interest areas include prairie ecology and restoration, conservation biology, natural history and mammalogy
Anya Butt, B.A., M.S., Ph.D. Professor of Biology, interest areas include geospatial technologies and applications, water resources, geosciences, natural disaster resilience and global health
Paul Weihe, B.S., M.S., Ph.D. Associate Professor of Biology, interest areas include wetland ecosystems, ethnobotany, ecology and environmental science
Amy Young, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Associate Professor of German, interest areas include 20th century German and Austrian literature and culture, women's and gender studies, sustainability and translation
Jim Zaffiro, B.A., M.A., Ph.D. Professor of Political Science, interest areas include international relations, African studies and global sustainability
Want to find out more about Environmental Studies at Central? Contact us to learn more about this major and our other strong academic programs. Visit campus to observe classes and experience The Central Difference firsthand.