Environmental Science

Pair with any bachelor’s degree

Environmental science integrates physical, biological and information sciences to find solutions to the environmental challenges of the 21st century. Graduates enter their careers or graduate school with technical research skills and an enhanced understanding of environmental issues.

Program Overview

Find solutions to the most pressing environmental issues of our time.

The Environmental Science minor is a great way to round out your degree with a stronger, more diverse scientific emphasis in biology, chemistry, geology, physics, math and environmental management. Through our connections to natural resource agencies, field trips and internship opportunities, you’ll develop a wide range of technical research skills and a comprehensive understanding of environmental issues. When you graduate, you’ll be well-prepared for a wide range of in-demand careers as an environmental scientist, lawyer, engineer or conservationist.

Field studies

Student Ma’alaea Lawrence records data for a research plot within the West Fork Complex fire. The West Fork Complex fires burned over 100,000 acres in the summer of 2013. Student and faculty research looks at the effects on forest regeneration after compounding disturbances of the spruce beetle and wildfire.


Code Title Credits Description
BIOL 130 Environmental Biology (GT-SC2) 3 View
BIOL 135 Environmental Biology Laboratory (GT-SC1) 1 View
BIOL 150 Biological Principles (with laboratory) (GT-SC1) 4 View
BIOL 151 Diversity and Patterns of Life (with laboratory) 4 View
BIOL 301 General Ecology 3 View
BIOL 302 Ecology Laboratory and Recitation 2 View
BIOL 440 Conservation Biology 3 View
CHEM 111 General Chemistry I (GT-SC2) 3 View
CHEM 112 General Chemistry Laboratory I (GT-SC1) 1 View
CHEM 113 General Chemistry II 3 View
CHEM 114 General Chemistry Laboratory II 1 View
CHEM 231 Introduction to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry 3 View
CHEM 234 Introductory Organic and Biochemistry Laboratory 1 View
CHEM 306 Analytical Chemistry (with laboratory) 4 View
ENVS 373 The Water Planet 3 View
ENVS 390 Environmental Monitoring 4 View
GEOL 101 Physical Geology (GT-SC2) 3 View
GEOL 105 Physical Geology Laboratory (GT-SC1) 1 View
GEOL 240 Introduction to Petroleum and Mining Geology 3 View
GEOL 320 Geomorphology (with laboratory) 4 View
MATH 151 Calculus I (GT-MA1) 4 View
MATH 213 Probability and Statistics 3 View
PHYS 120 Meteorology (GT-SC2) 3 View
PHYS 125 Energy and the Environment (GT-SC2) 3 View


Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.


Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant. For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

News & Research

Western professor publishes book focused on sustainability in business

Western professor publishes book focused on sustainability in business

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Western professors, grad students advocate for sustainability at UN Food and Agriculture Organization meeting

Western professors, grad students advocate for sustainability at UN Food and Agriculture Organization meeting

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Western Faculty Work to Preserve Nature with the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative

Western Faculty Work to Preserve Nature with the Gunnison Public Lands Initiative

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Western Professor and Students Publish Study on Fire Ecology

Western Professor and Students Publish Study on Fire Ecology

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Western’s MEM program helps start ecological restoration in Gunnison Valley

Western’s MEM program helps start ecological restoration in Gunnison Valley

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Make your education a life changing experience.

A college education is so much more than just taking classes. Expand your community and network, while gaining hands-on experience in your field.

  • Chemistry Club: Members share their love of chemistry with the community in an annual demonstration that draws hundreds.
  • Geology Club: The Geology Club is active in fundraising for student experiences, including field trips and attending professional conferences.
  • Gunnison Valley Observatory: Faculty and students use this sophisticated facility for research and teaching.
  • Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory: Western biologists and students collaborate with the world-renowned research station seven miles north of Crested Butte.
  • Thornton Biology Research Program: Students collaborate with faculty (and can receive funding) on original research.
  • Tri Beta and the Wildlife Society: Student-run clubs that provide professional development, training, networking, internships and field experiences.

Collecting samples

Students collect water samples for an analytical chemistry lab that involves studying the principles, techniques and calculations involved with quantitative analysis of substances.

Department Chairperson

Robin A. Bingham, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology

Administrative Assistant

Samantha Siegfried

Administrative Assistant for NES and MCS

Contact Information



Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Hurst Hall 128
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231