In the Environmental Studies major, you’ll study the consequences of human actions on the natural landscape.

The interdisciplinary nature of our major will give you the extensive and broad preparation necessary to enter a career with governmental agencies, environmental organizations, the forestry service, or other professions dedicated to preserving our natural resources and protecting our environment.

The department’s expanding study abroad opportunities have offered experiences in Costa Rica, Jamaica, Bermuda and the Bahamas.

Course Information

All Environmental Studies majors take a specific set of courses: Biological Essentials (our introductory course), General Zoology, General Botany, Environmental Science, Environmental Issues, and Ecology. You’ll also take courses outside of biology and environmental studies including chemistry and statistics. Beyond these, you’re free to choose courses that fit your interests and career goals, and because environmental studies is such a broad discipline, you can fulfill major requirements by selecting courses ranging from business and communications to religion and history.

See Environmental Studies course descriptions below  

Engaged Learning in the Classroom

Because there’s no substitute for learning by doing, we design courses that engage you through lab and field experiences where you’ll put science to work. By using equipment, collecting and analyzing data, and communicating the results yourself, you’ll learn the basics of science firsthand. Then you’ll apply what you’ve learned in research courses where you’ll plan and execute an original research project.

In the classroom, you’ll participate in discussions, group projects and case studies designed to help you apply theories to real-life situations, analyze data, critique others’ work, and hone your critical thinking skills—all of which give you confidence in your abilities as scientists.

Departmental Clubs & Organizations

FSC’s Biology Department sponsors chapters of Beta Beta Beta, a national society for students in the biological sciences, and AMSA/Pre-Professional Society, the national organization for pre-medical and medical students, interns, residents and practicing physicians.

Duke University School of the Environment
3-2 Program

Florida Southern College has a Cooperative College 3-2 Program with Duke University in which students who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree in Environmental Studies can obtain a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in a total of five years.

Learn more  

Internship Sites

FSC’s environmental studies majors have interned with the following:

  • City of Lakeland
  • Florida Aquarium
  • Florida Department of Forestry, Ecology Unit
  • Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
  • Lowry Park Zoo
  • Mote Marine Lab
  • Nature Conservancy of Florida

Scholarships & Financial Aid

Scholarships for biology and environmental studies majors are available. These include:

Graduate & Professional Opportunities

FSC environmental studies majors have been accepted to graduate programs in everything from environmental recreation
to marine biology to ecology at top-tier institutions such as:

  • Columbia University
  • Duke University
  • Florida Institute of Technology
  • Fort Hayes University
  • North Carolina State University
  • Northeastern University
  • Southern Illinois University
  • University of South Florida

Special Features

Most of your environmental studies courses will have a strong outdoor component—you’ll experience environmental science by getting into the field to observe natural areas and collect data. You’ll also tour local municipal facilities dedicated to maintaining environmental quality.

Each year our majors attend and often present original research at the Association of Southeastern Biologists conference.

You’ll study and collaborate with faculty whose research interests include fire ecology, ecotoxicology, herpetology, science and religion, rose genetics, parasites, and paleoecology.



 

Program Requirements

Environmental Studies Major Requirements

A. General Education Requirements 40 hours
B. Major Requirements 68 hours
BIO 1500 Biological Essentials
BIO/ENV 2200 Environmental Issues
BIO/ENV 2201 Environmental Science
BIO 2230 General Zoology
BIO 2235 General Botany
BIO 2280 Applied Microbiology
or  
BIO 2320 Aquatic Microbial Diversity
or  
BIO 3400 Microbiology
BIO/ENV 3150 Ecology
CHE 1011 Chemical Foundations of the Biological Sciences I and
CHE 1015 Introduction to Organic and Biochemistry and
CHE 1017 Introduction to Chemical Analysis
or  
CHE 1111 Principles of Chemistry I and
CHE 1112 Principles of Chemistry II
MAT 2022 Elementary Statistics
or  
MAT 2032 Biostatistics

28 hours selected from the following (at least 16 hours must be outside of the natural sciences; at least 12 hours must be at the 3000 or 4000 level) or other courses approved by the instructor and advisor:

NATURAL SCIENCE

BIO 1520 Introduction to Marine Biology
BIO 1820 Oceanography
BIO 3100 Plant Taxonomy
BIO/ENV 2214 Disasters, Civilizations and the Environment
BIO/ENV 3316 Tropical Ecology
BIO 3700 Genetics
BIO 4461/4462 Research: Ecology
BIO 4960/4961 Internship
CHE 2221 Organic Chemistry I
CHE 2222 Organic Chemistry II
CHE 2335 Analytical Chemistry
CSC 3335 Database Analysis and Design
CSC 3336 Web Applications
HRT 2100 Introduction to Horticultural Science
HRT 3301 Soil Science
PHY 2010 General Physics I (Algebra Based)
or  
PHY 2110 General Physics I (Calculus Based)
PHY 2020 General Physics II (Algebra Based)
or  
PHY 2120 General Physics II (Calculus Based)

Special Requirements: Due to the similarities in the programs, students majoring in Environmental Studies are not allowed to double major or minor in Biology.

Program Requirements: All Environmental Studies majors must earn a grade of "C" or better in all BIO and ENV courses and courses cross-listed with BIO and ENV.

OUTSIDE NATURAL SCIENCE

BUS 2217 Principles of Management
BUS 3311 Legal Environment of Business
COM 2110 Media Writing
COM/SPC 2600 Principles of Advertising and Public Relations
ECO 2205 Principles of Microeconomics
ECO 3345 Economics and the Environment
ENG 3200 Writing for Business
ENG 3217 Creative Nonfiction Writing
ENG 3219 Persuasive Writing
ENG 3263 Rhetoric and Writing
ENG 4209 Special Topics in Nonfiction (with advisor approval)
HIS 3355 History of Florida
PHI 2204 Ethics
POS 1115 Introduction to American Political Science
POS 2290 Current Issues in American Politics
POS 2295 Elementary Public Policy Analysis
POS 3323 International Politics and Organizations
REL/PHI 2219 World Religions and Philosophies
SPC 3200 Persuasion
SPC 3450 Public Relations Writing
SPC 4350 Public Relations Strategies
C. Bachelor of Arts Degree Requirements 20 hours
or  
D. Bachelor of Science Degree Requirements 12 hours
E. Electives 0-4 hours
F. Total 124-128 hours
 

Course Descriptions

Biology

BIO 1500 BIOLOGICAL ESSENTIALS
Four hours. The first in a three-course sequence required for biology majors. A rigorous introduction to the principles that the lay the foundations for the biological sciences. Examines the relationships between metabolism, genetics, cell biology, and evolution. Students learn the mechanics and style of scientific reporting on laboratory exercises in cell and molecular biology utilizing techniques such as spectrophotometry and electrophoresis. Gen Ed: NW

BIO 1520 INTRODUCTION TO MARINE BIOLOGY
Four hours. Pre- or Corequisite: BIO 1500. This foundational course provides an introduction to the interrelated physical, chemical, geological, and biological processes of the oceans, atmosphere, and coasts, with a focus on Florida waters.

BIO 1820 OCEANOGRAPHY
Four hours. Prerequisites: BIO 1520. An overview of the sub disciplines of ocean sciences including the sea floor, waves, tides, currents, the physical and chemical properties of seawater and their distribution in the sea, and planktonic life and its relation to nutrient cycling. This course will focus on how we study and use the ocean as well as the impact of human activities on the oceans.

BIO/ENV 2200 ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Four hours. Same as ENV 2200. A study of public policy; environmental conservation and preservation; and current environmental issues, their origins, their consequences and possible solutions.

BIO/ENV 2201 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
Four hours. Same as ENV 2201. Prerequisite: BIO 1500. An introduction to the methods, technology, and equipment used to collect, analyze, and interpret environmental data. Students will apply the techniques they learn to an investigation of an environmental problem.

BIO 2230 GENERAL ZOOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisite: BIO 1500 or permission of the instructor. Adaptational biology of animals, with emphasis on the vertebrates; group relationships of major phyla; principles of development, ecology, and evolution.

BIO 2235 GENERAL BOTANY
Four hours. Prerequisites: BIO 1500 or HRT 2100 or permission of the instructor. The flowering plant, major plant groups, metabolism, genetics, ecology, and economic botany.

BIO 2280 APPLIED MICROBIOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisites: BIO 1000 or BIO 1500 and CHE 1011 or CHE 1111. Pre- or corequisite: CHE 1012 or CHE 1112. Does not count towards the Biology major. Morphology and physiology of microorganisms, particularly bacteria, with emphasis on clinical disease.

BIO 2320 AQUATIC MICROBIAL DIVERSITY
Four hours. Prerequisites: BIO1820 or BIO2201. An overview of aquatic microbial diversity, morphology, and physiology, particularly viruses, prokaryotes, and fungi, with a focus on marine systems.

BIO 3100 PLANT TAXONOMY
Four hours. Prerequisite: BIO 2235. Nomenclature, classification, and identification of flowering plants, especially those of Central Florida.

BIO 3400 MICROBIOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisites: BIO 1500 and CHE 2221. Morphology and physiology of microorganisms, with particular emphasis on bacteria.

BIO/ENV 2214 DISASTERS, CIVILIZATION, AND ENVIRONMENT
Four hours. An analysis of the inter-relationships between human societies and their environment. The course compares case studies of historical civilizations that have degraded their environment. Case material is then applied to current environmental problems. This course does not include a laboratory component.

BIO/ENV 3150 ECOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisites: BIO 2230 and BIO 2235, or permission of the instructor. Relationship of living organisms to their biological, physical, and chemical environments with emphasis on ecosystems.

BIO/ENV 3316 TROPICAL ECOLOGY
Four hours. Prerequisites: BIO 1500 or permission of the instructor. A field course studying the geology, history, vegetation, and ecology of a tropical region.

Business Administration

BUS 2217 PRINCIPLES OF MANAGEMENT
Four hours. Concepts, principles, and functions of management applicable to all types of organizations; different managerial styles.

BUS 3311 LEGAL ENVIRONMENT OF BUSINESS
Four hours. Introduction to commercial, property, administrative, constitutional and liability law, and the American court system, with special emphasis on how it affects people in business. Students will engage in evaluation, analysis, and application of legal doctrines to business and personal situations.

Chemistry

CHE 1011 CHEMICAL FOUNDATIONS FOR THE BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES I
Four hours. A review and study of chemical concepts that includes atomic structure, chemical reactions, chemical bonding, acidity and basicity and oxidation-reduction reactions. The laboratory portion will contain experiments that reinforce the principles introduced in the classroom. Gen Ed: NW

CHE 1015 INTRODUCTION TO ORGANIC AND BIOCHEMISTRY
Two hours. Prerequisite: CHE1011. A study of organic compounds that includes structure, properties, and reactions of functional groups followed by an examination of the role these molecules play in biological structures and processes. Concepts presented correlate areas such as environmental science, ecology, agricultural chemistry, marine chemistry and biochemistry. Coursework includes active learning exercises, collaborative problem solving, discovery based experiments, team projects and peer instruction.

CHE 1017 INTRODUCTION TO CHEMICAL ANALYSIS
Two hours. Prerequisite: CHE1011. Introductory principles of chemical analysis will be covered with an emphasis on quantitative measurements and data analysis. Topics may include acid-base and equilibrium chemistry, volumetric analyses, spectrophotometry, and electrochemical methods of chemical analysis with a particular emphasis on analyses relevant to environmental and agricultural systems. Theoretical aspects of these topics will be addressed in the classroom, and practical aspects of these topics will be explored in the laboratory.

CHE 1111 PRINCIPLES OF CHEMISTRY I
Four hours. Prerequisite: Prerequisite: High school chemistry, CHE 1000 or CHE 1011. Quantitative treatment of the principles of chemistry including stoichiometry, states of matter, energy, atomic structure, periodicity, ionic compounds, and molecular structure. Gen Ed: NW

CHE 1112 PRINCIPLES OF CHEMISTRY II
Four hours. Prerequisite: CHE 1111. The topics covered in this course will include: intermolecular forces, kinetics, equilibrium, acid, bases, buffers, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, nuclear chemistry, and introduction to basic organic chemistry. Gen Ed: NW

CHE 2221 ORGANIC CHEMISTRY I
Four hours. Prerequisite: CHE 1112. Detailed study of carbon compounds approached through the study of structure, functional groups, reactions, and mechanisms. In the laboratory, emphasis is placed upon illustrating chemical reactivity through experimentation and molecular characterization utilizing state-of-the-art instrumentation.

CHE 2222 ORGANIC CHEMISTRY II
Four hours. Prerequisite: CHE 2221. Continuation of the study of carbon compounds approached through the study of structure, functional groups, reactions, and mechanisms. In the laboratory, emphasis is placed upon synthesis illustrating chemical reactivity and molecular characterization utilizing state-of-the-art instrumentation.

CHE 3335 INSTRUMENTAL ANALYSIS
Three hours. Prerequisite: CHE 2335. The objective of this course is to apply the principles of quantitative chemical analysis to instrumental techniques. Electrochemical, chromatographic, and spectroscopic techniques will be covered in theory and in practice through a combination of lecture and hands-on experimentation. However, as there is no laboratory component to this course, lectures will, when appropriate, integrate use of instrumentation as engagement within the classroom.

Communication

COM 2110 MEDIA WRITING
Two hours. Effective writing for the mass media. Includes style and format and differences amongst the media. Mastery of spelling, punctuation, and grammar through in-class writing assignments. Students will also produce material for student media.

COM/SPC 2600 PRINCIPLES OF ADVERTISING AND PUBLIC RELATIONS
Four hours. SPC 1500 and COM 2500 and completion of Effective Communication SLO A for majors; completion of Effective Communication SLOs A & B for Integrated Marketing Communication or Advertising Design Minors; or permission of the instructor. Survey of advertising and public relations methods. Emphasis on preparation of advertisements, professional communication strategies and tactics, use of relevant research methodologies, and communication campaigns

Computer Science

CSC 3335 DATABASE ANALYSIS AND DESIGN
Two hours. Prerequisite: CSC 1010 or CSC 2231 or sophomore standing. Introduction to the theory and practice of database systems. Focus on analysis and design of relational databases, including distributed systems and large business and scientific databases.

CSC 3336 WEB APPLICATIONS
Two hours. Prerequisite: CSC 3335. Introduction to the theory and practice of web applications including how to design and develop web sites and web based applications. Topics will include web development tools, languages, and models.

Economics

ECO 2205 PRINCIPLES OF MICROECONOMICS
Four hours. Consumer behavior and aggregation to markets, Producer behavior, theory of the firm, and aggregation to markets analysis: production and pricing of goods, factors of production and their attendant input markets and distribution of output, elasticities and incidence of a tax.

ECO 3345 ECONOMICS AND THE ENVIRONMENT
Four hours. Prerequisite: ECO 2205. Topics include valuing environments, property rights, externalities, population problems, renewable and non-renewable resource, and pollution.

English

ENG 3200 WRITING FOR BUSINESS
Four hours. Study of all major forms of business communication, including letters, memoranda, formal reports, and oral presentations. Gen Ed: EC-B

ENG 3217 CREATIVE NONFICTION WRITING
Four hours. Prerequisite: Successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. Application of methods of effective writing as related to purpose within the broad genre of creative nonfiction writing. Focus on usage, structure, style, and rhetorical principles. Gen Ed: FA (Ex), EC-C

ENG 3219 PERSUASIVE WRITING
Four hours. Prerequisite: Successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. Study and practice of persuasive rhetorical techniques and the development of argumentative strategies. Gen Ed: Ql, EC-C

ENG 3263 RHETORIC AND WRITING
Four hours. Prerequisite:Successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. The study of rhetorical theories and their application to specific genres of writing. Enhances the students’ awareness of the connection between rhetorical theories and actual spoken or written discourse. In so doing, it hones their skill in using the most effective approaches to communicating orally and in writing. Gen Ed: Ql, EC-C

ENG 4209 SPECIAL TOPICS IN NONFICTION
Four hours. Prerequisite: Successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. This course will allow students to study a wide array of nonfiction styles and genres, as well as extend their knowledge of new media writing on the advanced level. Course topics may include, but are not limited to, biography writing, journal writing, technical writing, grant writing. Gen Ed: EC-C

Environmental Studies

ENV 2200 ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
Four hours. Same as BIO 2200. A study of public policy; environmental conservation and preservation; and current environmental issues, their origins, their consequences and possible solutions. Gen Ed: SW (Aw, An); NW

ENV 2201 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
Four hours. Same as BIO 2201. Prerequisite:BIO 1500. An introduction to the methods, technology, and equipment used to collect, analyze, and interpret environmental data. Students will apply the techniques they learn to an investigation of an environmental problem.

ENV 2214 DISASTERS, CIVILIZATION, AND ENVIRONMENT
Four hours. Same as SOC 2214. An analysis of the inter-relationships between human societies and their environment. The course compares case studies of historical civilizations that have degraded their environment. Case material is then applied to current environmental problems. This course does not include a laboratory component. Gen Ed: SW (Aw)

ENV 3150 ECOLOGY
Four hours. Same as BIO 3150. Prerequisites: BIO 2230 and BIO 2235, or permission of the instructor. Relationship of living organisms to their biological, physical, and chemical environments with emphasis on ecosystems.

ENV 3316 TROPICAL ECOLOGY
Four hours. Same as BIO 3316. Prerequisites: BIO 1500 or permission of the instructor. A field course studying the geology, history, vegetation, and ecology of a tropical region.

Mathematics

MAT 2022 ELEMENTARY STATISTICS
Four hours. Students use statistical methods to analyze data from real world situations and make inferences. These methods involve descriptive analysis, probability distributions, correlation, linear regression, the Central Limit Theorem, confidence intervals, and hypothesis testing. Credit cannot be earned for both MAT 2022 and MAT 2032. Gen Ed: Qn

MAT 2032 BIOSTATISTICS
Four hours. Applied statistical tools for analysis and decision making with applications for biology, environmental and agricultural sciences. Statistical terminology, collection and presentation of data, probability distributions, sampling, experimental design, parametric and nonparametric procedures, regression, correlation and analysis of variance. Class demonstrations of analysis using statistical software. Credit cannot be earned for both MAT 2022 and MAT 2032. Gen Ed: Qn

History

HIS 3355 HISTORY OF FLORIDA
Four hours. Same as LAS 3355. Prerequisites: One year of college-level coursework and successful completion of coursework that satisfies Effective Communication SLOs A and B. This course surveys the history of Florida from the Spanish Period to the present. The course examines the major events and personalities in Florida history from chronological and political perspectives. Attention is given to economic, social, and environmental issues that have shaped Florida’s history. Florida’s unique landscape, geography and natural features are also a subject of inquiry in the course. Gen Ed: SW (Glb, An), Ql, EC-C

Horticulture

HRT 2100 INTRODUCTION TO HORTICULTURAL SCIENCE
Four hours. This is the introductory course to all of the horticulture-related majors. It considers the fundamental principles and practices underlying the propagation and growing of horticultural crops. This course fulfills the Natural World student learning outcome and will empower students to develop an understanding of the scientific investigation of the natural world. Gen Ed: NW

HRT 3301 SOIL SCIENCE
Four hours. Prerequisite: CHE 1011 or 1111. This course considers the soil as a natural body including its chemical and physical properties, tillage, water management, organic matter, ecology, and principles of soil conservation. Florida soils and horticultural crops are emphasized.

Philosophy

PHI 2204 ETHICS
Four hours. Ethics involves the exploration of fundamental questions of meaning and value: What is the nature of the good life? How ought we to treat one another? Are there basic rights all people enjoy, and, if so, what are they? Are there universal standards of morality, or are right and wrong relative to culture, historical period, or individual opinion? The course explores these questions through various philosophical theories and their practical applications. Gen Ed: MV, Ql

Physics

PHY 2010 GENERAL PHYSICS I (Algebra Based)
Four hours. Prerequisite: High school mathematics through pre-calculus or permission of the instructor. Algebra-based physics. Topics include mechanics, fluids, vibrations, waves, and sound. Gen Ed: NW

PHY 2110 GENERAL PHYSICS I (Calculus Based)
Four hours. Prerequisite: MAT 2311. Calculus-based physics. Topics include introduction to Newtonian mechanics, fluids, harmonic oscillators, vibrations and sound. Gen Ed: NW

PHY 2020 GENERAL PHYSICS II (Algebra Based)
Four hours. Prerequisite: PHY 2010. Algebra-based physics. Topics include heat, kinetic theory of gases, electric fields, AC-DC circuits, magnetism and light.

PHY 2120 GENERAL PHYSICS II (Calculus Based)
Four hours. Prerequisite: PHY 2110. Calculus-based physics. Topics include temperature and heat, kinetic theory of gases, electromagnetism, AC-DC circuits, Maxwell’s equations and optics.

Political Science

POS 1115 INTRODUCTION TO AMERICAN POLITICAL SCIENCE
Four hours. This course is a survey of the methods, questions, and analytic protocols of political science, as practiced in the analysis of politics in the U.S. It is a survey of how political scientists select and ask questions, a discussion of what questions may be important and why, in political science, and begins the process of training students in approaches to answering them. Gen Ed: SW

POS 2290 CURRENT ISSUES IN AMERICAN POLITICS
Four hours. After briefly examining models of policy making, the course focuses on the major contemporary political issues. Topics include but are not limited to the economy, the environment, energy, poverty and health care. Students have an opportunity to select additional issues. Gen Ed: SW (Glb, Aw, An), Ql

POS 2295 ELEMENTARY PUBLIC POLICY ANALYSIS
Four hours. A systematic examination of the issues and methods associated with the analysis of the central issues of American public policy. A large proportion of the content of the course is focused on approaches to the creation of testable hypotheses, data gathering, and the quantitative methods of data-manipulation and analysis. Students engage in bath short-term problem sets and long-term projects associated with making critical decisions about policy creation, costs, equity, and efficacy as well as implementation, forecasting, and projections of policy outcomes.

POS 3323 INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
Four hours. Prerequisites: One year of college-level coursework or permission of the instructor. The course addresses the role of international organizations in global politics, examining the history and functioning of major organizations such as the United Nations and the European Union; we also examine the role of these IOs in addressing contemporary global issues. A significant portion of the class will involve UN and EU simulations, with each student researching and representing the position of a member country. Possible topics covered in the simulations include humanitarian interventions, post-conflict resolution, global financial stability, and immigration policy. Gen Ed: SW (An)

Religion

REL/PHI 2219 WORLD RELIGIONS AND PHILOSOPHIES
Four hours. Same as PHI 2219. Introduces students to the origins; founders; historical development; scriptures; fundamental concepts, such as views of ultimate reality, the meaning of life, and human hope; religious practices; personal and social ethics; culture context and impact; and contemporary relevance of the world’s living religions and their associated philosophies. Gen Ed: MV, SW (Glb), Ql

Speech

SPC 3200 PERSUASION
Four hours. Prerequisites: Successful completion of Effective Communication SLO A. An examination of the major theoretical perspectives and concepts related to persuasion. The course will familiarize students with major theories, areas of research, and ethical issues in the social scientific study and application of persuasion. Gen Ed: SW (Aw, Ap), EC-B

SPC 3450 PUBLIC RELATIONS WRITING
Four hours. Prerequisites: SPC 1500 and COM 2500. Students develop industry-appropriate writing skills and techniques including creation of press releases, backgrounders, pitch letters, and other relevant media products. This course focuses on using audience analysis, demographics, and pyschographics to tailor messages to specific audiences. Creation of a portfolio is required.

SPC 4350 PUBLIC RELATIONS STRATEGIES
Four hours. Prerequisites: SPC 3450. May be taken up to two times with permission of the instructor as topics change. The Public Relations Strategy course is a special topics course focusing on discussion of strategies and tactics within a variety of public relations fields such as crisis management, political communication, international communication, grass-roots / advocacy public relations, and/or non-profit public relations. Students will conduct original campaign research, analyze the results, and devise a research-driven public relations campaign appropriate to the class focus.