B.S. Environmental Science

Are you interested in global environmental preservation, restoration and sustainable management?
Degree Type Bachelor of Science
Careers & Salaries Annual Employment Report
Delivery On Campus

Want to make a difference?

Our program prepares you for careers in environmental health and protection, and the sustainable management of our natural resources. Graduates of the Environmental Science program have practical skills in the field and lab, and real-life experience solving environmental problems. 

Learn practical skills through fieldwork, labs, research experiments, a capstone project and internships to solve real-life environmental problems. / UW-Stout

Our concentrations will help you specialize while still providing a strong foundation for success throughout your career. 

  • Aquatic Biology 
    Careers in aquatic and wetland ecosystem management and restoration, fishery science, limnological research, water quality testing 
  • Environmental Health 
    Careers in public health, environmental health risk assessment, environmental remediation, laboratory research 
  • Natural Resource Conservation 
    Careers in ecological restoration and natural resource management, wildlife and biological sciences, ecological monitoring, wetland delineation, agricultural management 
    • Natural Resources Conservation Concentration - Chemistry  
    • Natural Resources Conservation Concentration - Geographic Information Systems  

You can also easily earn minors that develop additional in-demand expertise in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Plant Science, and Sustainability.


Program Overview

View program plans, credit requirements and course descriptions.


Course Highlights 

You'll have the opportunity to take courses in: 

  • Organismal biology, such as Plant Biology, Zoology, Ichthyology, Wildlife Techniques, Natural History of the Neotropics (Belize), Vascular Plant Taxonomy, and Entomology 
  • Ecological systems, such as Ecology, Soil Science and Conservation, Restoration Ecology, and Intermediate and Advanced Geographic Information Systems 
  • Environmental health and chemistry, such as Epidemiology, Environmental Toxicology, Analytical Chemistry, and Environmental Chemistry 
  • Advanced aquatic studies, such as Aquatic Ecology and Management, Wetland Ecology and Delineation, and Applied Watershed Hydrology 

Study abroad programs to enhance your academic experience are available through faculty-led winterm and summer courses, university semester abroad experiences, and national student exchange opportunities.

Many of our graduates choose to continue their studies through UW-Stout’s Professional Science Masters (PSM) in Conservation Biology.

“The Environmental Science program at Stout literally gave me everything I could have wanted. Personable professors, a close-knit group of students that are all ambitious to learn something new, professional experience in class and in labs, and exploiting the passion that I have for the outdoors.” 

Austin Littman 
UW-Stout BS-ENSC Student 

Environmental scientists are in demand, with a job market growth rate of 11% (faster than average, US Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2017, the annual median wage for environmental scientists was $69,400. Graduates have the opportunity to work in: 

  • Governmental agencies 
  • Non-profit organizations 
  • Environmental consulting firms 
  • Water quality testing labs 
  • Agricultural industry 
  • Renewable energy industry 

Graduates also pursue advanced degrees in a wide variety of biology, chemistry and natural resource management fields. 

Use the Request Information form to receive a program summary and learn more about the Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science.

Request Information

Internships & Research

BS ENSC graduates are successful due to our strong emphasis on experiential learning in a resume-building internship. You’ll develop the qualities that employers are looking for – interpersonal communication, problem-solving skills, and good judgment. A sample of internships includes: 

  • Limnological Research Technician, Center for Limnological Research and Rehabilitation, UW-Stout 
  • Water Resources Intern, City of Eagan 
  • Environmental Health and Safety Intern, Integer, Minneapolis 
  • Environmental Health Intern, Pierce County Public Health Department 
  • Natural Resources Intern, Dunn County Land Conservation 
  • Restoration Crew, Applied Ecological Services 
  • Aquatic Plant Intern, Minnesota DNR 
  • Biological Science Technician, National Park Service, Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Network 
  • Conservation Intern, Wisconsin DNR 

As an Environmental Science student, you can engage directly in research with faculty and staff, studying topics such as 

  • Stream ecology and restoration 
  • Invasive plant species control and monitoring 
  • Small mammals in restored ecosystems 
  • Lake rehabilitation 
  • Fish inventories of local rivers 
  • Wetland vegetation dynamics 
  • GIS modeling of phosphorus pollution 


  • Outdoor Classroom Campus Natural Area: Students practice restoration techniques. 
  • Natural History Collections: Students study and process plant and animal specimens. 
  • Center for Limnological Research and Rehabilitation: Students study lake pollution and remediation. 
  • Greenhouse: Students care for plants and study bioremediation, restoration, and butterflies. 
  • Analytical Chemistry Laboratories: Students study water, air, and sediment pollution.
Student Testimonials

I learned a lot about how to be more professional in many aspects as well as how to write a good scientific paper. As well as the various components that make a good scientist and the amount of time and effort it takes to be successful in whatever career path you choose.  
-Jake Daugherty

The UW-Stout Environmental Science program helped me to stay on track to be able to graduate on time. I feel very prepared on my job searches thanks to all the knowledge I have gained from my classes.
-Sidney Cottew

I originally went to stout unsure of what I wanted to do.  I then changed majors and entered the environmental science program. From there on out I felt like I had found where I was supposed to be. I enjoyed the professors, the students in the program, and the material taught. It’s been a great four years. 
-Peter Kleinschmidt

The program prepared me to accomplish the tasks that employers is all different fields of science are looking for, from the lab to the field, I never felt unprepared.   
-Tyler Christensen

The UW-Stout Environmental Science program prepared me for the natural resource field by providing me with knowledge and an abundance of opportunities to obtain hands-on experience both in the classroom and outside of it.   
-Chandra Wiley

This program helped me realize what I wanted from my degree and career. I came in knowing that I wanted to be an active member within the environmental community, yet I had no real direction or focus and this program has helped remedy that. This program has positively affected not only my communication skills, but also given me the opportunity to break into the academic discourse surrounding the environmental community so that I feel more at home and centered then if I was an outsider looking in. Overall, this program has helped me become more communicative, social, hardworking and understanding, while also giving me the necessary tools to succeed in the environmental field.   
-Jeremy Eckert

The Environmental Science program at UW-Stout has offered so many opportunities that I would not have gotten elsewhere, allowed me hands-on learning which has benefited me as a student, a person, and as a future employee.   
-Kayla Christianson

Stout's broad spectrum of classes/minors allows you to tailor your diploma to what you like to do. Adding GIS, Plant Science, Chemistry, or other minors to your degree can open up pathways that you weren't even aware of.   
-Tim Jackson

The environmental science program helped me be successful because it allowed me to grow as a scientist and researcher. This program allowed me to experience different opportunities that led me to what career I would want to be working in the future.   
-Kat Cardinal

Preparing for Environmental Science

To succeed in this program, you should have an aptitude for science and an understanding of human relations. As a high school student, you should complete four years of math and one year each of biology, chemistry and physics. College preparatory English, basic computer, communication, and business courses will also be helpful in your preparation for college.

The program prepares you for a wide array of career choices. The program offers interdisciplinary courses to provide you with a background in many areas. 

Your coursework in the first year will be a combination of introductory courses in biology, chemistry, mathematics and general education. You’ll also take a one-credit Environmental Science Profession course to better identify possible career tracks. General education courses include English composition, ethics, and speech courses. Ecology, botany, zoology, geology, and geographic information systems (GIS) round-out your second year’s courses.

Career Opportunities

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 19% increase in demand for environmental scientists over the next 10 years and suggest that 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 environmental scientists and specialists. Further, the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists Environmental Scientist as the top job in science in terms of growth (21,000 new jobs by 2016).

The coursework, research experiences, service opportunities and internships that our students participate in provide them with a vast array of skills in various environmental fields. Graduates of the Environmental Science program have both practical skills in the field and lab, and real-life experience with solving environmental problems in independent and collaborative settings. Graduates have the opportunity to work at:

  • Governmental agencies 
  • Non-profit organizations 
  • Environmental consulting firms 
  • Water quality testing labs 
  • Ag industry
  • Biofuel industry

Graduates also pursue careers as GIS analysts, biological or water resource technicians, or pursue advanced degrees. 

Many students combine this major with minors in Geographic Information Systems, Plant Science, or Sustainability.

ES Advisory Committee

2020 ES Advisory Committee

Becky Anderson Director of Compliance WRR Environmental Services Co., Inc
Mike Bessert Professor Biology Department
Julie Beston Assistant professor Biology Department
Adam Cameron Wetland Ecologist and GIS Specialist Kjolhaug Environmental Services Company
Julia Chapman Lecturer Biology Department
Christina Dinauer Senior Lecturer Food and Nutrition Department
Kathryn Gallagher Director Dunn County Health Department
Keith Gilland Assistant Professor Biology Department
Kelly Gilliland Environmental Health and Safety Manager DiaSorin Inc.
Nicole Hayes Assistant professor Biology Department
Bill James Research Scientist Sustainability Sciences Institute
Jeanette Kelly Citizen Science Director Beaver Creek Department
Arthur Kneeland Senior Lecturer Biology Department
Matthew Kuchta Professor Physics Department
Jodi Lepsch Water Resources Management Specialist Wisconsin DNR- West Central Region
McKenzie Librande Alumnus, Currently pursuing PSM in Conservation Biology Current UW-Stout student- PSM in Conservation Biology
Mandy Little Professor Biology Department
Scott McGovern Senior Lecturer Biology Department
Innisfree McKinnon Assistant Professor Social Sciences Department
Shane Sanderson Director of Environmental Health & Laboratory Eau Claire City-County Health Department
Bill Schmidt Natural Resource Specialist Eau Galle Recreational Area
Greg Schneider-Bateman Assistant Professor English and Philosophy Department
John Sippl District Conservationist Dunn County Natural Resource Conservation Service
Missy Sparrow-Lien Wildlife Biologist Wisconsin DNR-Menomonie Field Station
Peter Strand GIS-Specialist Eau Claire County
Emi Stuemke Assistant Professor English and Philosophy Dept
Ana Vande Linde Professor Chemistry Department
Amanda Veith Environmental Health Inspector Hennepin County, Human Services and Public Health Department, Epidemiology and Environmental Health
John Weinand Environmental Health Supervisor City of  Minnetonka
Kasey Yallaly Fisheries Biologist Wisconsin DNR-Baldwin Field Station

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