Focus on Environment or Natural Resources

If you are interested in the Environment or Natural Resources, you may want to consider these majors… Ecology Major Ecology is the interdisciplinary scientific study of the interactions among organisms and their environment so you will study the planet earth and the interactions of its inhabitants (plants, animals, and the physical environment).  As such, it is concerned with the network of relationships among small –scale biological systems such as organisms, complex interacting systems such as ecosystems, and the physical and other non-biological aspects of their environment. Entomology Major Entomology is the study of the most abundant creatures on Earth—insects—and their interactions with other wildlife, humans, and the environment.  Students in this major wonder how and why insects do what they do.  They use this curiosity to try and figure out how to reduce negative effects of insects on humans without negatively affecting other life forms.  Looking at insects’ structure, function and behavior, entomology majors spend much time in lab and in the field, which are both part of this challenging, biology-based curriculum. Environmental and Resource Economics Major More than your basic “supply and demand,” this field looks at the discipline of economics as it interacts with the world of agriculture, law, and the environment.  Consider commodities like corn, soybeans, wheat, and poultry…how are they priced, marketed and exported worldwide?  How do floods in the Midwest impact prices in China?  And even beyond food and fiber, the economics of our resources warrant concern.  How do we decide the value of keeping land in agricultural use or selling it to developers?  Which is worth more…and to whom?  What about sustainability, and the costs associated with “going green?”  These and other issues have great consequence for us all, and form the basis of resource economics. Environmental Soil Science Major (pdf) What we call “dirt” is actually one of our most valuable natural resources.  Soils are rich in history, as well as in nutrients, contaminants, and natural life.  Environmental Soil Science looks at our expansive soil system and its relationship to environmental quality and plant growth.  Everything we do—fertilizing lawns, growing food, producing trash—ultimately impacts our soil and water.  Soil scientists work to ensure our natural resources can sustain our lifestyle. Landscape Horticulture and Design Major (pdf) Fusing the creative aspects of art and design with the technical and scientific aspects of horticulture is what makes this major tick.  These two unique but equally rewarding fields encompass the analysis, planning, design, implementation and management of natural and built environments.  Technology plays an important role – allowing today’s professionals to use advanced tools to map out projects, perform detailed analyses, run businesses efficiently, and quickly revise and update designs and business plans. Natural Resource Management Major Water, air, wildlife, plants and the land…all require management of some kind to ensure their preservation.  Natural Resource Management blends economics, policy, and science in an effort to study and manage our natural resources.  If law and policy are your interest, you’re knowledge of science and economics will make you more effective.  If it’s the science you like, the reality of economic and political impact can’t be ignored.  This major allows students to see all angles of resource issues—and to find ways to manage them. Plant Science Major (pdf) Plants are often overlooked as living things, but their science is critical to our quality of life.  As food sources, oxygen providers, landscape brighteners, wildlife habitats, medicinal cures and more, plants are invaluable.  Plant Science delves into the complexities of plant life, to investigate plant diseases, to genetically design new plants, and to understand how and why plants do what they do. Statistics Major Statistics is the science of data – the collection, management, analysis and interpretation of data.  Statistics are used in virtually every professional field as a way to conduct research and make important decisions.  This includes the pure sciences, such as biology, chemistry and physics, as well as engineering, business, medicine, and the social sciences (economics, political science, psychology, and sociology).  Statistics is an essential tool in almost every field in undertaking research, testing and developing products, and assuring quality control.  The role of the statistician is to help others analyze their data in such a way as to have confidence in the results and to make good decisions based upon the analysis. Wildlife Conservation Major Students in this major are curious about how wild things work…and the role they play in our world.  From insects to birds, reptiles to mammals, algae to oaks, the Wildlife Conservation major examines all non-domesticated living things and the challenges they face sharing the planet with humans.   Conserving biodiversity is the underlying theme of our program, with its unique blend of lectures, labs and field trips.