Major and Minor Opportunities
Bachelor of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences
When you enroll in UNO’s Bachelor of Science in earth and environmental sciences program, you’ll deepen and expand your understanding of the past, present, and possible future of our planet and the environmental factors that shape it. Once you complete your degree, you’ll be prepared to enroll in the top graduate schools across the nation, or to find employment in the oil and gas industry, a state or federal science agency, or a private environmental firm.
The Bachelor of Science in earth and environmental science is a 120-credit-hour program requiring 44 EES credits, 37 additional science credits, and 39 general education credits. Full requirements for the B.S. program can be found here.
Honors in Earth and Environmental Sciences
The honors program is open to high-performing students pursuing a Bachelor of Science in earth and environmental sciences. To be admitted into the honors program, you must have a 3.5 GPA or better, both cumulatively and in EES courses. After being admitted, you must maintain a 3.25 GPA or better to remain in the program. In order to graduate
with honors, you’ll be required to complete at least six hours of EES 4098 (senior honors thesis), including an oral defense of your thesis in front of a faculty committee.
Minor in Earth and Environmental Sciences
Non-majors can earn a minor in earth and environmental sciences by completing 20 EES credit hours with a C or better in each. Required courses include EES 1000, EES 1001, and either EES 1002 and 1003 or EES 2004 and 2005. At least 10 of the remaining 12 credit hours must be taken at the 3000 level or above.
Earth and Environmental Sciences Concentrations
EES is a broad field, with plenty of branches you can explore as you shape your career path. That’s why UNO offers two concentrations within the Bachelor of Science in earth and environmental sciences degree, so your degree will be as closely related to your future career as possible. You can choose to focus your studies in either of these concentrations, supplementing the standard degree curriculum with tailored coursework to prepare you for success in either field. Both concentrations are 120-credit-hour programs, including 16 required credits in the concentration of your choice.
In essence, geosciences is the study of the earth itself: its surface, and interior, and how living things interact with it.
By concentrating in geosciences you can focus your studies in areas such as geomorphology, coastal geology, sedimentology, and stratigraphy, preparing you for a successful future in academia, the oil and gas industry, and many other paths.
See Course Requirements
Environmental and Coastal Science
Because our world’s environments are so complex and connected, environmental science is naturally an interdisciplinary practice. You’ll draw on all different areas of science to understand environmental problems and human impacts on the environment. And from our location in New Orleans, you’ll be ideally placed to study the complex issues facing costal habitats in our unique ecosystem in the Mississippi Delta.
You’ll take courses in areas including environmental science, coastal geomorphology, and oceanography, which will prepare you for a wide variety of careers in research, policy, industry, and beyond.
See Course Requirements
What You’ll Learn
A deep and nuanced understanding of earth and environmental sciences has arguably never been more important. As climate issues multiply and the balance of our ecosystems is at greater and greater risk, the world needs forward-thinking scientific minds to explore bold new solutions. A Bachelor of Science in earth and environmental sciences from UNO will help you develop a set of skills perfectly suited to the world we live in—and help us move toward the world we want.
In UNO’s Bachelor of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences program, you will:
- Construct and deliver oral presentations that present earth and environmental sciences information and concepts visually and verbally.
- Explain earth and environmental sciences concepts and present and interpret data in technical writing.
- Understand fundamental concepts in geomorphology.
- Understand fundamental concepts in paleontology, earth history, and evolution.
- Develop a deep understanding of environmental sciences.
By the time you complete your Bachelor of Science in earth and environmental sciences, you’ll be prepared to help solve some of the most pressing problems facing our world today.
Research Labs and Opportunities
EES department faculty are well known for their research—a huge variety of projects in both applied and theoretical fields. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to engage in these projects while you pursue a Bachelor of Science in earth and environmental sciences, and you’ll also have access to the research labs that form the framework of our department.
Coastal Research Lab
The primary focus of the Coastal Research Laboratory is to study the depositional environments in the coastal zone by examining the recent sediment column. There are a variety of approaches that we take in studying near-surface deposits, including shallow seismic, various types of coring and drilling.
Nekton Research Lab
The Nekton Research Laboratory examines long-term changes in fish assemblages, responses of aquatic communities to natural and anthropogenic disturbances, and ecological needs of organisms threatened by changing global conditions.
Dynamics of Sedimentation Lab
The Dynamics of Sedimentation lab focuses on developing an understanding of sediment transport and the surface processes on Earth and other planets in both modern and ancient depositional environments.
Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences
The UNO Pontchartrain Institute for Environmental Sciences is a multidisciplinary research institute focused on addressing coastal and environmental issues, especially those related to the Mississippi River Delta region.
Where Can You Work with a Bachelor of Science in Earth and Environmental Sciences?
Our graduates have gone on to find careers at:
- Louisiana Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority
- Louisiana Department of Health
- Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
- Loyola University New Orleans College of Law
- New Orleans Military and Maritime Academy
- University of Colorado Graduate School
- U.S. Army Corp of Engineers
- U.S. Geological Survey
- And more!
- Coastal Geomorphology
- Dynamic Earth
- Earth and Environment through Time
- Environmental Geology of Coastal Louisiana
- Environmental Science and Policy
- Estuarine Environmental Science
- Introduction to Environmental Science
- Methods in Earth and Environmental Sciences
- Principles of Stratigraphy
- Structural Geology
Kraig Derstler, Ph.D.
Ph.D. University of California, Davis ’85
M.S. University of Rochester ’78
B.A. Franklin and Marshall College ’75
Martin O’Connell, Ph.D.
Specialization: Fish and Aquatic Ecology
Ph.D. University of Southern Mississippi ’00
M.S. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ. ’91
B.S. Siena College, Loudonville, NY ’88
Robert Mahon, Ph.D.
Specialization: Stratigraphy and Surface Processes
Ph.D. University of Wyoming ’17
M.S. Idaho State University ’12
B.S. University of Montana ’09
Mark Kulp, Ph.D.
Specialization: Coastal Geology
Ph.D., University of Kentucky, ‘00
M.S., University of Kentucky, ‘95
B.S., Juniata College, ‘92
Gamma Omicron Chapter of Sigma Gamma Epsilon (SGE)
As the EES department’s honor society, Sigma Gamma Epsilon recognizes exceptional scholarship and professionalism in the earth sciences. Belonging to this honor society gives your resume an edge over other applicants’, and it also provides opportunities for publication, service, and community involvement. SGE members participate in events including judging local science fairs, Beach Sweep, the LA Children’s Museum’s Supersaurus Saturday, and other volunteer opportunities.
Society for Earth and Environmental Scientists (SEES)
SEES is a student-run organization designed to contribute to the earth and environmental sciences, and to the greater good of UNO. It is open to all UNO students who are interested in EES, not just majors. The society’s main events include an annual mineral auction, BBQs, crawfish boils, a year-end field trip, and more.
American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Student Chapter
Participating in UNO’s AAPG chapter gives you an excellent opportunity to get involved with the geosciences community while still working toward a Bachelor of Science in earth and environmental sciences. Membership is open to all EES students. Our AAPG student chapter will help you develop leadership skills, network with like-minded students, and meet with industry representatives to help chart your career path. The association also participates in the Gulf Coast Region Imperial Barrel Award competition, where it regularly earns top honors.