The solutions to the current environmental problems are complex and require teamwork and understanding between specialists and generalists in many disciplines.

The Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies degree program focuses on the interdisciplinary nature of environmental problem solving at the local, regional and international levels. Students can choose from among four (4) focus areas. Throughout their academic studies, students in this program interact with students in the Environmental Science program.

Program Advisor: Dr. Orin Gelderloos

Career Opportunities

Upon completion of this program, the graduates have a great variety of career opportunities available in both the public and private sectors. For example, recent graduates hold positions such as teacher, national park naturalis, resource policy planner, air quality analyst, regional land use planner, public health officer and director of a public interest group.

All students who qualify for graduate school should seriously consider working toward an advanced degree, which is required for most leadership positions. Information about the UM-Dearborn Master of Science in Environmental Science is available.

Degree Requirements

Learn more about CASL Degree Requirements.

Program Goals

  • (1) To acquire conceptual and factual knowledge about the structure and function of Earth.

    (2) To read and reflect on scholarly materials written by distinguished scholars.

    (3) To identify values, world views, and cultural factors, such as economic, political, social, and behavioral factors, which support and which are contrary to a sustainable biosphere.

  • (4) To identify the multiple factors, interactions, interconnections, and complexities involved in environmental issues.

    (5) To synthesize knowledge from a variety of disciplines as it comes to bear on environmental issues and problems and thus recognize the interdisciplinary nature of environmental issues.

    (6) To recognize different world views associated with various disciplinary paradigms and which present obstacles to solutions of environmental issues.

    (7) To learn to solve environmental problems through cooperative and collaborative efforts because of the interdisciplinary nature of environmental issues.

    (8) To learn to solve environmental problems in a culturally diverse global society.

    (9) To develop analytical skills suitable for environmental problem solving.

  • (10) To produce scholarly/professional products.

    (11) To develop oral communication skills.

    (12) To develop written communication skills.

    (13) To develop electronic communication skills.

    (14) To have an experience in the world of work related to environmental problem-solving before graduation so that students can compare perceptions of their chosen field with the reality in the work place and to make personal connections with environmental professionals.

    (15) To learn the value of mentors and mentoring others in building a successful career and sustainable society.

Internships & Co-ops

  • Gerard Heath spent the summer of 2010 living in a canvas-walled tent in the middle of a remote section of the Nez Perce reservation in Winchester, Idaho as an intern at the Wolf Education and Research Center.  Over the four month duration of the program, Gerard worked as an interpreter, both on-site and at the local state park, monitored the health of the rescued wolves through daily, recorded observations, and occasionally could be found on any number of the state highways picking up road-killed game for extra wolf food.   The opportunity to work for an organization seeking to protect such a famed species in the American west, where they remain a political controversy, taught Gerard many valuable lessons about the multifaceted nature of environmental issues. 

  • Jennifer McCue arranged her internship with Earthworks Urban Farm on Detroit’s near eastside.  In the process she learned the fundamentals of food security in an urban area, which included the basic processes of “how the world works,” soil preparation, seedling transplantation, preventing competition, enjoying the fruits of her labors, and recycling garden materials while sliding down compost piles.  Equally, if not more important, were the interactions she had with the volunteers and co-workers of the farm as they discussed the 1967 “uprising” in Detroit and the significance of the 19th Constitutional Amendment.  Of special interest to Jennifer was that the “bottom line” of Earthworks was on building community relationships, and that food production was the means to do that.  In addition to interacting with her co-workers, she met visitors from all parts of the USA and from dozens of foreign countries due to the international reputation of Earthworks Urban Farm.  Her report is a masterpiece of insightful writing.

  • Emily Mirowski (Env. Science) Allison Standafer (Env. Science) and Stephanie Vrabel  (Env. Studies) completed their internships at the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge under the supervision of UM-Dearborn graduate Greg Norwood.  During spring, summer and fall of 2012, they assisted and accomplished a variety of field activities, which included the following.

    • Staked out locations for marsh bird surveys and photo points.
    • Collecting plant monitoring data in Humbug Marsh.
    • Collected coordinates for oak tree plantings.
    • Removed invasive species using a variety of techniques.
    • Banded three Osprey chicks from a nest on a 30-foot platform on the Refuge (an incredible, once-in-a-lifetime experience they said).
    • Collected seeds of local plants for restoration of the Humbug Marsh when invasive species are removed.
    • Served as interpreters for the public Pointe Mouille Waterfowl Festival and the Lake Erie Metropark Hawk Festival.
    • Made GPS readings for marsh bird and frog and toad surveys and entered data into the GIS system.