Environmental Science—Freshwater Ecology

Environmental Science draws on basic knowledge of the physical, chemical, biological, and quantitative aspects of natural systems. The knowledge of how natural systems work is applied to solving problems largely created by human activities. Often these problems are represented by disturbances in the functioning of natural systems as humans alter their own life-support systems — the air, the water and soil. The scale of disturbance ranges between molecular and cellular to individuals, populations, ecosystems, and regional and global levels.

In addition to the Environmental Science, BS degree, Freshwater Ecology is one of four possible areas of Environmental Science emphasis. The others are Marine Ecology, Terrestrial Ecology and Toxicology.

Sample coursework includes:

  • ESCI 325 - Fundamentals of Ecology
  • ESCI 435 - Landscape Ecology
  • ESCI 491 - Oceanography of Puget Sound

Western’s Environmental Science Department is part of  Huxley College of the Environment.

Beyond the Classroom

Some students are published in The Planet, a student-run publication that combines the environmental focus of Huxley College with the writing and reporting skills of journalism to produce an environmental magazine.  

Huxley hosts the Huxley College Speaker Series, which brings guest lecturers to Western’s campus to address topics of contemporary environmental concern in the region and beyond. The speaker series is intended to bring together environmentally-minded members of the Western and Bellingham communities. Students and Bellingham community members also volunteer for LEAD (Learning Environment Action Discovery), a program designed to help restore native environments and increase biodiversity.

Bringing together even broader communities, Huxley College students have the opportunity to take environmental studies classes in Europe and other parts of the world through a number of faculty-led study abroad summer programs.


Careers and Graduate Studies

With an education in environmental science, you can take a number of different career paths. The Environmental Science major will acquire the scientific and problem solving skills needed to conserve and restore the natural environment. Students of Environmental Science can go directly into an environmental science career or on to graduate school to further their study.


Requirements and Course Details

To learn more about this program, including grade requirements, a course listing, how to declare the major, and more, see the Program of Study Details.


Sample Careers

  • Field Researcher
  • Restoration Ecologist
  • Natural Resource Scientist

Department of Environmental Science

Environmental Science—Freshwater Ecology, BS

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