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Environmental Science

The Environmental Studies Program is a two-year program designed to prepare you for your future career in environment technology.  The Environmental Studies Program will expose you to a wide range of science, environmental technology, and general education courses.  This course work will allow you to graduate with the knowledge, skills, and practical experience you will need for employment or advanced education.  You can choose to begin your career in environmental science immediately following graduation or transfer your credits to a bachelor’s degree program at a four-year college or university.

Career Options
Your success and employability in the environmental technology field will depend on a broad base of educational and practical experiences.  The Environmental Studies Program is designed to give you the type of experiences which you will need to pursue your career goals in air pollution control, hazardous materials management, public sanitation, industrial hygiene and safety, solid waste management, and water pollution control.  You will also be prepared to successfully transfer to a four-year college or university.  Possible majors include atmospheric studies, chemistry, environmental studies, microbiology, public health, science education, and toxicology.

Courses Offered
The Environmental Studies Program curriculum places a strong emphasis in science, mathematics, and computer technology.  An Advisory Committee, made up of environmental and conservation professionals, works with the program coordinator to ensure that you are adequately prepared to meet practical employment or college transfer needs.  Required course work includes a 25 credit core of required general education courses, 22 credits of environmental studies courses, and 21 credits of general education electives.  All environmental studies courses are taught in a modern well equipped laboratory which provides an ideal setting for academic growth and development.

Internships & Experience
As part of your Environmental Studies Program course work, you are required to complete a practicum for credit.  Placement is available through a variety of federal, state, and local agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, and county public health departments.  You can also complete your practicum by working for private businesses and industries.  Opportunities for summer employment include work as a air pollution inspector, environmental laboratory technician, hazardous materials technician, public sanitarian, safety officer, solid waste management specialist, wastewater treatment plant technician, and water distribution system operator.

Student Profile
Students who enroll in the Environmental Studies Program exhibit a strong interest in the plight of the environment.  To address this interest, hands-on experiences are an essential component of the program.  As a student in the Environmental Studies Program, you will be involved in ongoing projects for various environmental agencies and organizations.  These projects include environmental quality monitoring projects, solid and hazardous waste management proposals, and air and water pollution field research.  You will be involved in collecting data for actual research reports and publications instead of laboratory work on an academic level only.

Graduate Profile
Graduates of the Environmental Studies Program have traditionally found great success securing employment in various areas of environmental science.  Past graduates are currently employed at the federal, state, county, and municipal level.  Current employment of program graduates includes laboratory technicians at private environmental testing laboratories, municipal water and wastewater treatment plant operators, public sanitarians, and a variety of other environmental technology positions.  Many graduates of the Environmental Studies Program are currently employed with environmental agencies and private businesses in Iowa.  Many others have found employment throughout the rest of the United States. 

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