Environmental Science

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Undergraduate Program

Bachelor of Science

Major and Minor


Students examining cow skull for indicators on it death.

Why This Program?

A different kind of "rock" star.

Bring your love of the outdoors to Briar Cliff's environmental science major! The environmental science major is the perfect way to study the balance of human needs and environmental impacts. Our program is ready to teach you the ins and outs of solving problems like pollution, habitat destruction, and loss of biological diversity. This program fits perfectly with Briar Cliff University's Franciscan heritage in emphasizing "care for all creation." 

  • Active learning approaches: Group-, project-, and team-based learning approaches are taken in the majority of courses offered in the environmental science program. This highly interactive approach in classes means students will apply fundamental concepts and develop skills required for successful careers in wildlife conservation, habitat restoration, habitat management, or sustainability.
  • Learn from research scientists: The environmental science curriculum design scaffolds courses and culminates in upper-level research-based courses taught by experts. This exposes students to cutting-edge approaches, such as the application of geographic information systems science to research the causes of avian population declines and to map a strategy for restoring natural areas in the Loess Hills.
  • Conduct original research: Develop invaluable research skills in mitigating nitrogen in wastewater, or applying vertebrate abundance data toward analyzing the viability of threatened, endangered, and returning species. You'll get hands on experience beyond Sioux City. Embark on an annual, week-long trip to South Dakota's Black Hills. Or join other travel opportunities that have included the Galapagos, Southern California chaparral, the Kansas prairies, Ozark forests, Hawaiian islands and Costa Rican jungle. 
  • Learn in your own backyard: The nation's largest urban tallgrass prairie sits literally at the corner of Briar Cliff's campus. What better place to study environmental science than a 150-acre classroom?

Learn and conserve by taking part in the annual prairie burn or study the biological diversity of the Missouri River. As a student, you can land an internship with one of the area's many professional environmental organizations, including the Iowa Nature Conservancy, Ponca State Park, Stone State Park and the Dorothy Pecaut Nature Center.