Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Natural Resource Management and Policy Concentration

About Natural Resource Management and Policy

Develop expertise in a vital, interdisciplinary field to manage our environment.

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies at California University of Pennsylvania can help to prepare you to be an effective influencer in the dynamic environmental and energy industries. Cal U's undergraduate degree program in environmental studies offers a broad core of courses in biology and ecology, supplemented with courses in chemistry, physics and mathematics. And you'll have the opportunity to specialize in natural resource management and policy as your concentration, as well as choose from a wide range of electives to be career-ready.     

Natural resource management and policy is an interdisciplinary program that examines law and policy issues specific to the energy sector while drawing on the disciplines of geology, chemistry, biology and environmental studies. 

Gain a career advantage with Cal U's access to internships and research.

Through various methods such as gathering information and data, considering values, and exploring consequences, students gain the tools necessary to effectively evaluate information about environmental issues and make informed decisions. Almost all courses include a laboratory portion, where students study the practical application of the science and learn about scientific technology, instruments and various organisms. 

In addition to classroom studies, the undergraduate program offers opportunities for fieldwork, internships and other hands-on educational activities. The nearby SAI Farm allows students to gain valuable hands-on field experience. A growing energy industry, and heightened public interest in the hazards facing the environment, as well as the increasing demands placed on the environment by population growth, are expected to spur demand for well-trained environmental scientists and specialists.


Concentrations: The curriculum for the bachelor's degree in environmental studies aims to develop intellectual and analytical skills to understand and solve environmental problems. Cal U offers challenging and interdisciplinary programs that help develop expertise in environmental studies and provide in-depth study of natural resource management and policy as one of many available concentrations.  Others concentrations include:  

Solid foundation: An interdisciplinary field, environmental studies applies knowledge from many fields to the study and management of the environment. The curriculum focuses on developing an understanding of the physical sciences, chemistry and physics, and a working knowledge of mathematics and statistics. Students study such topics as ecology, ecosystems and human impacts upon them, biodiversity, pollution, energy, and sustainability. You'll be equipped to design, analyze and interpret environmental information and data.

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Student-to-faculty ratio at Cal U.
Credit hours for the bachelor's degree in environmental studies, which can be completed in eight semesters or four years.
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Degree Benefits

In the environmental studies degree program, the concentration in natural resource management and policy gives you the flexibility to focus on a specific content area in preparation for graduate work or entering the workforce. The concentration includes courses on historic geology, introduction

  • Examine natural resource administration and policy as it relates to fisheries and wildlife resources, including the history of land acquisition and disposition by the federal government.
  • Outline the history of current federal laws, policies and programs, and the roles of various resource management agencies.
  • Focus on natural resource administration and policies in the United States, along with aspects of international law and policy that affect North America's resources.
  • Promote critical thinking regarding the cost and benefit of U.S. natural resource policy and explore alternative conflict resolution.
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Graduate Outcomes

The concentration in natural resource management and policy addresses employers' needs by preparing students to work within the rapidly growing oil and gas industry and other resource extraction areas. Employment of environmental scientists and specialists is projected to grow 11% through 2024, faster than the average for all occupations. Graduates will be trained to provide assistance with environmental safety, environmental compliance, mitigation, wetland delineation and bio-monitoring activities. In addition, graduates learn to communicate effectively with industry representatives and compliance officers, as well as policymakers.  Potential jobs include: air, water or soil quality specialist; land manager; environmental health and safety manager; and geographic information systems (GIS) manager.

Environmental Studies (B.S.) Conservation Ecology Concentration
Cal U professor takes students outside for field work in environmental studies.

Vital Resources

The Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences is housed in a building equipped with a computer lab, animal rooms, greenhouse and plant growth facilities, herbarium, and vertebrate teaching museum. Cal U students also benefit from various academic societies and clubs: Beta Beta Beta is the national honor society for biological sciences. The student chapter of the Wildlife Society connects students with the professional community to study, manage and conserve wildlife and their habitats worldwide. Open to all interested students, the Biology Club explores career opportunities, offers behind-the-scenes tours of zoos and museums, and more. The Fisheries Club , a chapter of the American Fisheries Society, offers similar education and professional opportunities.

A student studies plant in environmental studies lab.

Professional Connections

Cal U graduates in environmental studies hold positions at a wide range of employers, including Greene County (Pa.) Soil and Water Conservation District, National Park Service, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, JRJ Energy Services, Pittsburgh City Parks, Murray American Energy and U.S. Forest Service. Program alumni also are engaged in graduate studies at locations such as the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in California and Ohio University.

The SAI Framhouse is home to ICES.

Interdisciplinary Center for Environmental Studies

Cal U's Interdisciplinary Center for Environmental Studies (ICES) creates, builds, and facilitates environmental programs that result in synergies in teaching, research and service related to the environment. Through ICES Cal U students are active in a number of community conservation outreach programs. At SAI Farm, not far from the main campus, ICES leads projects such as maintaining a food garden, fruit tree orchard and bee hives; using a well field for studies in geology and water quality; and creating a wetland and nature trail.

B.S., Environmental Studies Courses

Through your curriculum, you'll develop intellectual and analytical skills to help understand and solve environmental problems, while developing expertise in conservation ecology.

Course Examples
  • General Zoology
  • General Chemistry
  • General Botany
  • Introduction To Geology
  • Land Management
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Hydrology

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B.S., Environmental Studies - Concentrations and Minors

  • Environmental Studies (Minor)

Environmental Studies Faculty

Dr. David G. Argent


Dr. Summer Arrigo-Nelson
Associate Professor


Dr. Carol Bocetti


Dr. David Boehm


Dr. Paula Caffrey
Assistant Professor


Dr. Chadwick Hanna
Associate Professor


Dr. Sarah Meiss
Associate Professor


Dr. Louise Nicholson
Associate Professor


Dr. Brian Paulson


Dr. Mark Tebbitt
Associate Professor


Dr. Robert S. Whyte


Dr. Ed Zuchelkowski