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Southern Oregon University


Environmental Studies is the investigation and body of knowledge related to the dynamic interactions between people and natural systems.

The SOU Department of Environmental Studies provides the opportunity to develop an understanding of the complexity of natural systems, natural resource use and sustainability enabling students to appreciate and solve dynamic environmental issues.

The Department of Environmental Studies researches and addresses such global issues as climate change, water resource management, energy use, sustainable development, and the conservation of biodiversity.


See Summer Course Offerings here:

The Environmental Studies Degree

The SOU Department of Environmental Studies offers a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies that prepares students for a wide variety of employment in such organizations as governmental agencies, industry, non-profits and environmental consulting firms. The Department of Environmental Studies prepares students for graduate and professional schools in areas such as environmental policy and management, law, public policy, and environmental science.

A Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies integrates natural sciences and social sciences to address complex environmental issues.  The ES faculty has expertise in multiple disciplines including biology, geology, sociology, economics, geography, and anthropology.

ES Majors learn the fundamentals of those fields in a common ES Core of courses and acquire vital marketable skills including:

  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Global positioning Systems (GPS)
  • Remote Sensing
  • Statistics and Environmental Data Analysis

ES Majors choose 1 of the following concentrations of study in addition to the ES Core:

The ES Major prepares students for careers in:

  • Conservation and ecosystem management
  • Earth science
  • Land use planning
  • Environmental policy
  • Environmental consulting
  • Alternative energy
  • Water resource management

ES Majors have opportunities to participate in international exchange programs to environmentally significant areas, including:

  • New Zealand
  • Galapagos
  • China
  • Africa
  • Mexico
  • Costa Rica 

The SOU Department of Environmental Studies also offers or supports the following minors:

  • Environmental Studies
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • Land Use Planning 
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