Environmental Science

    • Ninety-seven percent of Gannon's environmental science graduates are employed or enrolled in graduate programs.
    • Environmental science students are involved in research projects investigating ways to understand and control pollution and improve water quality in local streams, Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie. Research includes computer modeling of watersheds and the aquatic ecology of local streams.
    • Every student conducts a senior design project that brings together the elements of assessing engineering requirements for a new or modified system, and evaluating alternative solutions in terms of performance, efficiency and economic benefit.
    • Graduates of the Gannon environmental science program are working in a wide variety of jobs ranging from government environmental protection agencies to important roles with private industry.

    You Will Learn

    Environmental science is focused on understanding and solving environmental quality problems. Students acquire a comprehensive knowledge of the sciences to
    be able to apply scientific principles to situations where human activity has caused harm to human health and/or environmental quality. The department believes in hands- on application of the sciences and the curriculum includes a year-long research project during the senior year.

    For the research project, the student becomes familiar with the scientific method and reading scientific literature. Each student works with a faculty mentor on an individual or small-team basis during the senior year to design and conduct a scientific study culminating in the writing of a senior thesis based on the student's work.

    You Will Experience

    Students are encouraged to find a summer internship after their sophomore and junior years. Opportunities for internships are available at sites including:

    • government agencies
    • local and regional industries
    • non-profits
    • privately-owned environmental companies
    • research institutions

    You Will Achieve

    Graduates of the environmental science program at Gannon typically find jobs in one of three different career paths. They also are well prepared to go on to graduate school either at Gannon or at another university. Such opportunities include, but are not limited to, the following:

    • Many graduates go to work for government and non-profit agencies. The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection employes many Gannon graduates, both in northwestern Pennsylvania as well as all around the state. Other graduates have found jobs with federal and states agencies around the country.
    • A popular career path is to work for the many environmental consulting firms that provide services to companies, local governments, and individuals who have a specialized environmental challenge.
    • A third direction is to work for a large private manufacturing company. Many large companies have their own staff of environmental specialists who safeguard employees and the environment while working in-house. Gannon alumni are found working for many of these large companies.

    You will Study

    The environmental science curriculum encompasses a wide exposure to the natural sciences, and then leads students through a study of environmental quality topics. This culminates during the senior year in a yearlong senior thesis project organized into a two-course sequence. Environmental science majors take various core and elective courses including:

    ENV 312 & ENV 313: Environmental Hydrology & Environmental Hydrology Lab

    These courses can be taken simultaneously, and both involve the study of the hydrologic cycle and changes caused by human activity. In these courses, students focus on the study of the urbanizing effect on stream hydrology and stream restoration. This lab course includes field and lab exercises relating to stream hydrology and stream restoration.

    ENV 410: Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

    Geographic Information Systems (GIS) use computers to organize and interpret spatially identified data. GIS presents data in map form, and allows sophisticated analysis of data to aid in better understanding and interpretation.

    ENV 474: Environmental Microbiology

    This course covers the applied effects of microorganisms on both the environment and human health and activities. The topics covered during this course include: biogeochemical cycling, municipal water and wastewater treatment, bioremediation, detection and quantification techniques, and the control of human pathogens.

    Liberal Studies Core

    The Liberal Studies Core Curriculum is one reflection of Gannon University's commitment to its Catholic identity. The Core's design offers students a defined, integrated, shared experience as the foundation for their undergraduate program.

    You Will Earn

    Salaries in the industry vary depending on the location and type of organization.

    • Starting salary: $41,300
    • Mid-career salary: $71,500

    All salary information is compiled from data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (bls.gov) and/or PayScale (payscale.com).