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100% Online: B.S. Environmental Studies
Are you concerned about environmental issues at home and around the world? Unity College’s B.S. in Environmental Studies gives students the knowledge and skills to address the most pressing environmental issues. Since solutions to environmental challenges cannot come from one type of thinking or knowledge, students will draw skills and knowledge from a variety of fields to become some of the world’s leading environmental innovators, leaders, and thinkers. There’s no requirement to come to campus because the Environmental Studies degree is 100% online.
Online Environmental Studies Degree Program Highlights:
- One-on-one academic and professional advising Our world-class faculty and trained staff strive to make your professional and academic goals a reality.
- Unity College is an accredited institution by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE).
- Learn about solutions to environmental issues from a transdisciplinary perspective.
- Study when and where you want and finish your degree while still working full-time.
- Get professional skills training by doing a concentration in Environmental GIS, Sustainable Business, or Wildlife Ecology.
- Make professional connections with leaders in your field.
- Get job placement assistance through our career development department.
- Eight start dates per year
- The degree can be done in as little as one year depending on the number of college credits you transfer in. Our registrar is waiting to assist you in transferring in your credits!
Job Outcomes of the Online B.S. in Environmental Studies Degree
According to O-Net, the nation’s primary source for occupational information, the green economy is changing the world of work and is creating a high demand for green occupations. Graduates of the B.S. in Environmental Studies will be prepared for numerous careers in sustainability and the environment:
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Environmental Compliance Specialist
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Environmental Studies Degree requirements:
A minimum of 120 earned credit hours, 24 credits at the 200 level, 30 credits at the 300 level or above, a minimum of 30 credits earned at Unity, and an overall cumulative GPA of 2.0 or above.
Environmental Professional Core
EVPC 201 Environmental Issues: Deforestation, Biodiversity Loss, and Overpopulation
This course is part of a two-course sequence that provides students with an understanding of the interconnectedness of the looming environmental issues that the world faces. This class will provide students with a basic scientific understanding of deforestation, biodiversity, and overpopulation and address what societies can do that they aren’t currently doing. Upon completion, students will be able to critically assess these issues and provide models for making more sustainable choices.
EVPC 202 Environmental Issues: Energy, Water Scarcity, and Waste
This course is part of a two-course sequence that provides students with an understanding of the interconnectedness of looming environmental issues that the world faces. This class will provide students with a basic scientific understanding of energy, water scarcity, and waste, and overpopulation and address what societies can do that they aren’t currently doing. Upon completion, students will be able to critically assess these issues and provide models for making more sustainable choices.
EVPC 301 Environmental Justice
This course examines issues of environmental quality and social justice. The course begins by examining the philosophical foundations and history of the environmental justice movement and foundational concepts such as justice, race, gender, and class. Students will explore these concepts through a series of case studies of urban and rural environmental (in)justice in the United States and move on to environmental justice’s role on globalization.
EVPC 305 Building a Better World: Ethical Decision-Making
Ethical decision making is essential for leadership, and since most decisions leaders make have an ethical dimension, the ability to discern the ethical implications requires a set of skills that are informed by ethical philosophy. This course provides students with strategies, tools, and techniques to make ethical decisions by considering the ethical issue and the people involved, develop a strategy, and implement the most ethical action possible. Through the use of case studies, students will develop their ethical awareness, learn to distinguish difficult decisions from real ethical dilemmas, and practice deliberating effectively about a variety of ethical issues drawn from social and professional contexts.
EVPC 401 Transformational Leadership
In this course, students explore strategies needed to become effective instruments of change. Students will examine themselves as leaders, learn how to create meaningful relationships as a leader, and understand the role of leadership within complex systems. By using case studies from a variety of organizational contexts such as business, government, non-profit, community, and education, students explore concepts of organization behavior and culture, consensus building, and project management to lead effective change towards environmental sustainability. This course is designed to empower and prepare students to become leaders in any profession.
Environmental Studies Core – Required
COMM 303 Communicating to Stakeholders
This course teaches students how to communicate real-world issues and problems for a just end. Students will learn how different modes of communication such as storytelling can be used as an effective way to communicate an organization’s mission and builds empathy for its cause. Students will learn how to craft values-based communications to persuade stakeholders to support for social justice issues such as sustainability, environmental law, and wildlife conservation. Students will learn concepts and skills to build public support for their organization’s mission, strategic initiatives, and fund-raising activities. This course will develop skills in written, visual, and oral communication.
ENVS 101 Sustainable Solutions to Globalization
This course is designed to enhance literacy skills needed to understand major environmental issues facing the world in the 21st century. This and other core courses at Unity are designed to address prominent issues during your education at Unity Online. These are issues that will affect your chosen career, your future lifestyle, and the lives of your family and future generations. What are the most pressing environmental issues of our time? What do we need to know to address them? The course tackles these questions from variety of disciplines to provide the bigger picture and put our environmental challenges in a global context.
ENVS 201 The Warming Planet: Understanding Climate Change
Climate change is one of the most urgent and complicated issues we face today. This course explores the science of climate change by teaching students how the climate system works, what factors cause climate to change, how climate has changed in the past, how scientists use models, observations, technology, and theory to make predictions about future climate; and the possible consequences of climate change for our planet. Finally, students will explore the connection between human activity and the current warming trend and consider some of the potential social, economic, political, and environmental consequences of climate change.
ENVS 301 Building Sustainable Communities
This course explores the range of planning and development processes associated with creating sustainable communities including issues around land use, transportation, ecological planning, green design in the built environment, resource utilization in the critical areas of water and energy consumption, climatic factors that influence sustainable community planning, and how sustainable community planning contributes to livability and economic resilience.
EVPC 490 Transdisciplinary Environmental Studies Capstone
The Capstone course is the culminating course for students in Unity College bachelor’s degrees. In this course, students will develop a project that deals with a real issue and produce a final artifact reporting the project’s findings. During this process, students will demonstrate and apply learning from their degree program and their ability to communicate to a broad audience. The course will also cover other important topics that support a student’s career development and goals. All projects will be workforce-related products that students can use for their current or pitch to a future employer.
Please work with your advisor to select 30 credits (10 courses from the following list)
BIOL 201 Organisms that Sustain the Earth: Understanding Plants
Plants, as the most prominent primary producers in terrestrial systems due to photosynthesis, are the base source of energy in the most ecosystems. This course will introduce students to the factors that influence the growth, distribution, and abundance of plants, the influence of plants on energy and nutrient flow, and key features of plant biology. Students will experience the diversity of plants and how major taxa differ in form and function. Case studies will illustrate the role of plants in ecosystem function, human culture, and animal ecology.
BIOL 203 Ecological Principles: Applications to Conservation and Wildlife
In this course students will explore key concepts of ecology. The course emphasizes concepts applicable to understanding and mitigating impacts of climate change, human activities, and invasive species on ecological systems, as well as other concepts underlying conservation ecology and management of wildlife species. Through course activities focused around practical application of concepts, students will gain a basic understanding of evolution, autecology, population ecology, community ecology, and ecosystem ecology.
BIOL 305 Conservation Biology
There’s a popular axiom in science that “all biology is now conservation biology.” This statement is telling in two ways: First, in the modern era it is hard to find a biological system that is untouched by humankind. Second, perhaps more than any other discipline conservation biology is highly integrative, bringing together such disparate fields as ecology, evolutionary biology, public policy, and sociology. In this course, we will lay the foundation for any field within the natural sciences or environmental studies. Specific topics that we will cover include the status of biodiversity, the threats facing biodiversity, the importance of ecosystem services, conservation policy, design and management of protected areas, and habitat restoration.
BIOL 301 Animal Behavior: The Evolution, Ecology, and Social Behavior of Animals
Animal Behavior is an exciting and fascinating scientific discipline. In this course, students will study why animals behave as they do. Students will also have to discard many of your former ideas about animal behavior. Students will discover that most species do not see, hear, smell, or experience the world as we do. Animal behavior is the scientific study of everything animals do, whether the animals are single-celled organisms, invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, or mammals. In this course, you will investigate the relationships between animals and their physical environment as well as between other organisms, and you will study how animals find and defend resources, avoid predators, choose mates and reproduce, and care for their young.
COMM 401 Using Social Media in a Global World
Not only do marketers use social media to communicate with their customers but also as a way to better understand their customers. This course teaches students how to use social media as a global branding and marketing tool, exposes learners to the analytic methods that can be used to convert social media data to marketing insights, and shows learners how social media data can be used to provide insights into market structure and consumers’ perceptions of the brand.
ENCJ 305 Natural Resource Law and Policy
This survey course addresses not only the creation and management of our natural and wildlife resources on federal public lands, with a focus on the National Parks, National Forests, and the National Resource Lands (Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regulated lands), but also including the National Wildlife Refuge System and the National Wilderness Preservation System. Students will learn how interest groups, citizens, and the courts influence the management of natural resources on these lands. After taking the class, students should be familiar with the major public land legislation such as the National Forest and National Park “Organic Acts” and the Wilderness Act; as well as laws that affect our public lands, but apply more broadly, including the Endangered Species Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. Through class work and their papers, students will also be familiar with different perspectives on some of the most important current issues facing our public lands.
ENCJ 203 Diversity and Law Enforcement
This course examines the dynamics of class, race, and gender as they intersect with the social realities of crime and justice in the United States. The impact of immigration and criminality will be introduced. The course explores the role that contemporary issues of diversity affect offenders, victims, society, and the criminal justice system. Topics will include domestic and international human rights, social justice, and environmental justice issues.
CJ 201 Criminal Justice in the Age of Globalization
This course introduces students to the United States criminal justice system in the age of globalization. Students will develop a general understanding of the criminal justice system’s response to crime and how the processes of globalization is changing it. It is an introductory overview of local, state, and federal law enforcement, judicial and corrections agencies, and the criminal justice system processes. Special attention will be paid to the role criminal justice agents play in environmental issues and problems. The course prepares students to take more advanced courses that address the specific components of environmental criminal justice.
ENVS 303 Social Science for Environmental Professionals
Every environmental professional needs to understand how to interpret and use research data because they use data to procure stakeholder buy-in and inform the public about important environmental issues. In this course, students will learn an overview of social science research methodology and how to apply those concepts and tools to current environmental issues. Upon completion, students will gain skills in research, data analysis, data implementation, and communication.
FINC 301 Environmental Accounting
Environmental accounting is increasingly being used in business and government to support the development of sustainable global solutions and government policy. Students in this course will learn how environmental accounting can show how different sectors of the economy affect the environment and how environmental policy affects the economy. The course will cover what environmental accounting is and why is it useful to business, how can environmental accounting help decision-making, what are key policy questions in relation to accounting, and what are the practical considerations professionals need to address to make environmental accounting an enduring reality for business and governments around the world.
GISC 101 Introduction to GIS for Environmental Solutions
This course is designed for students from any discipline who are interested in applying GIS as a tool to help answer important and timely questions about our environment. This course presents the concepts upon which Geographic Information System technology is based including the fundamentals of cartography, geodesy, coordinate systems, and projections. Conceptual overview and hands-on experience of vector data analyses and table queries are introduced. Students will use ArcGIS to classify data, query tables and maps, analyze spatial relationships, set map projections, build spatial databases, edit data, and create map layouts.
MGMT 201 Understanding the Sustainable Business Landscape
This course introduces students to business with a focus on an organization’s environmental and social impact. Students will learn about the basics in corporate social responsibility, supply-change management, finance, and non-financial reporting and accounting. Students will obtain knowledge about how small businesses and corporations integrate corporate social responsibility models in order to identify new markets and opportunities, communicate with their stakeholders, compete in a global marketplace, and address social and environmental sustainability expectations and requirements.
MGMT 301 Starting Your Small Non-Profit
The course covers the processes of starting a small business from ideation to implementation, with an emphasis on designing a sustainable business model, writing a business plan, learning forms of ownership, and exploring funding opportunities. Students learn how to meet high standards for social and environmental impacts for small businesses. Upon completion, students will be able to bring all the tools and lessons discussed to launch their own business.
MGMT 303 Strategic Management for Social Change
This course introduces students to strategic management through case analyses and provides students with the tools to consider the basic direction and goals of an organization, the environment (social, political, technological, economic, and global factors), industry and market structure, and organizational strengths and weaknesses. The course emphasizes the development and successful implementation of strategy in different types of organizations across industries. With a focus on non-profit, students will put themselves in the shoes of top management and make important, “Big Picture,” decisions. Students will learn skills to analyze complex business situations and present findings both orally and in writing. Finally, students will learn how to develop strategies to promote social change and the sustainability movement.
MKGT 301 Environmental Marketing and Branding
As businesses become more aware of the need to be sustainable, being green will be the future, and professionals need to help companies with marketing sustainable business practices. This course covers an overview of concepts and techniques related to marketing opportunities, strategies, communication, and effective marketing campaigns within the context of sustainability. Through case studies, students will analyze marketing strategies, plans, and decisions. Students will also explore why environmental marketing is a key aspect in business today.
PSYC 301 Environmental Psychology
This course explores critical issues in environmental psychology. Starting with foundational theories on place attachment and place identity, students will learn about the interrelationships between ourselves and the environment. Students will develop the ability to analyze environment-and-behavior issues, think more critically about the world around you, and understand the ways that we wield influence on the environment. Some topics the course will address include the history of environmental psychology, theories of environment and human behavior, environmental stress, natural environments, built environments, and changes in behavior as a result of global environmental shifts and sustainability.
WCON 201 Wildlife Plant Identification: Wildlands and Wildlife Habitat
This course centers around the identification and life history of groups of plants important as habitat components of wildlife species. Students will learn major plant groups and species in forest, rangeland, grassland, agricultural, and desert environments that influence wildlife species. Students will explore life history of these plants with the goal of understanding how habitat management activities, human land use, and other activities influence populations of wildlife through changes in food and cover.
WCON 303 Life History and Identification of Birds and Mammals
During this course students will learn to identify avian and mammalian species with a focus on species at which management is often directed. These species include game bird and mammals, common agricultural or urban ‘pest’ species, and threatened or endangered species. Students will also learn basic life history of these species with a focus on characteristics useful for management. Students will be expected to conduct field activities directed at learning the species prominent in their region.
WCON 305 Wildlife Conservation Genetics
Genetics form a key component of modern wildlife management, providing tools aiding our understanding of taxonomy, conservation of small populations, and hybridization, as well as enabling non-invasive population monitoring and enhancing wildlife forensics. During this course, students will encounter the basic concepts of genetics, with an emphasis on population genetics and genetic techniques useful in wildlife management. Prominent topics covered include genetic variation, the role of gene flow and genetic drift on population viability, and key genetic markers used by wildlife biologists. Students will explore case studies illustrating the applicability of concepts in genetics to wildlife management.
WCON 307 Humans, Parasites, and Wildlife: Understanding the Impact of Insects on Wildlife
Insects, as the largest class of animals, have an extraordinarily large influence on ecosystem function. For humans they as vectors for important zoonotic diseases and pollinators of key food crops. For wildlife species they pollinate and feed on key plant species, vector prominent diseases, create large scale habitat change through plant disease outbreaks, and provide the primary source of animal matter for predators. During this class students will learn basic taxonomy and life history of insects, as well as explore case studies involving the role of insects in plant and animal disease, pollination, biological control, and other influences on ecosystem functioning.