Environmental Science — Marine Science Emphasis

Environmental Science — Marine Science Emphasis


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.

Sample coursework includes:

  • ESCI 321 - Oceanography
  • ENVS 326 - Climatology
  • ESCI 470 - Ecological Restoration

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

“Huxley College of the Environment is all encompassing. You get a grounding in basic science classes, but also have classes tailored toward Policy and Natural History. Whatever we learn in lecture is applied directly in the field. Every week we get to go out and sample from interesting habitats around Anacortes, this week we are headed out the San Juan Islands!” –Allegra LaFerr, Student

Beyond the Classroom

Student work is received and recognized from national and statewide organizations for exceptional problem-solving solutions that use geographic information systems and computer-aided design. 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.


Sample Jobs

  • Field Researcher
  • Restoration Ecologist
  • Natural Resource Scientist

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.