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Environmental Studies

Jump into the fascinating microcosm of an environment’s interconnecting systems — and whole new worlds will open up to you.

Environmental Studies combines perspectives from the natural and social sciences with applied experiences in the laboratory, field sites and community settings. The major consists of required courses and projects that provide an interdisciplinary understanding of environmental concepts, issues and methods for resolving problems. Additional courses enable you to develop selected competencies in greater depth as preparation for graduate study and/or a professional career.

What Our Program Offers You

What our students learn/Skills you will acquire

This highly interdisciplinary field allows for diverse types of research by environmental scientists. Employment opportunities include jobs with governments, conservation organizations and private firms interested in environmental topics.

With our small size, location in the northern Shenandoah Valley, and academic strength in the College of Arts & Sciences, Shenandoah University provides a challenging, student-centered educational experience.

Environmental Studies Research Projects

At Shenandoah University, you’ll participate in ecological research as well as environmental education and community outreach.

  • Our Environmental Studies Program has joined a multi-year study of wood turtles (Glyptemys insculpta), a threatened species. Working with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, our students and faculty survey wood turtle hibernation sites and nesting locations.
  • A group of eight Shenandoah undergraduates recently conducted a botanical inventory at a local nature preserve established by another group of Shenandoah students in 1998. These students learned environmental techniques used by government agencies and private organizations such as The Nature Conservancy.
  • A few Shenandoah students are studying northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) populations in the Shenandoah Valley. White cedar forests are rare in Virginia and occur primarily on north-facing limestone slopes above creeks and rivers. Students assist with field and laboratory work using standard techniques in forest ecology and dendrochronology (tree-ring analysis).


Joshua A. Kincaid

Associate Professor of Environmental Studies and Geography
Full Biography »