Environmental Science

Would you like to prevent the next Flint water crisis? Reduce smog over our city? Turn a blighted brownfield green again?
If you love nature and want to use science to protect it, then consider a major in Environmental Science. You’ll learn how to make a difference in the clean-up of our land, water and air. And you’ll learn how to fight for environmental justice — not just for the Earth, but for the people who live here.

The Alverno edge
Alverno is internationally known for its unique abilities-based curriculum. Instead of competing against classmates, you’ll strive to achieve your personal best, practicing the hands-on skills you need to be a strong communicator, leader, critical thinker and problem-solver. All of these skills will be an asset in a field that requires teamwork and communication to make a case for change.

The broader view
This field demands a multidisciplinary approach. Every environmental problem needs to be explored from multiple perspectives: science, the stakeholders, economic factors and the political environment. At Alverno, you’ll not only get a solid foundation in the liberal arts, but you’ll learn how to draw on the interconnections between all your classes.

The support you need to succeed
Forget about giant lecture halls or vying for face time with professors in crowded classes. Alverno’s 10-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio and small class sizes — almost always under 25 students — ensure you’ll really get to know our faculty, and that personal connection allows professors to guide you toward meaningful electives and internships that will help you reach your goals.

Get involved
Looking for more experiences outside of the classroom? Join one of Alverno’s student organizations — including the Team Green environmental club — to practice your leadership skills and connect with other students. You might also work with faculty on research projects: our students recently traveled to an island near Savannah, Georgia, to study how the microbes in the sediment of a salt marsh participate in nutrient cycling and global warming. Another student did a three-week field experience at Yellowstone National Park. Past students also have presented their work at professional conferences.

Internships for the Environmental Science major
Every Environmental Science major takes at least one internship. Our students have interned at Milwaukee County Parks, Urban Ecology Center, Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, Wehr Nature Center, Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, Eco-Justice Center of Racine and Great Lakes Water Institute. Our students have also interned in locales as far away as Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico and New Zealand.

How you can use your degree
Our graduates work in government, private industry and nonprofit organizations, focusing on energy, water, soils, forests, animals, land development and air quality. Many are hired by their internship sites. This major is also excellent preparation for graduate studies in environmental sciences, freshwater sciences, chemistry or biology.


Have questions about studying Environmental Science at Alverno? We invite you to connect with faculty to learn more.

Jenny JohansonJenny Johanson, Ph.D.
Program director of Environmental Science