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Environmental Earth Science Major

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Why Study Environmental Earth Science?

Global concerns about resource availability, natural disaster impacts, environmental change and sustainable development have propelled Environmental Earth Science to the forefront in the 21st century. Employment in the field is projected to grow faster than average from 2016-26 — between 10-14 percent. Environmental Earth Science (EES) is an interdisciplinary field of study that combines pure and applied science with modern technologies and research methods.

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Why Study Environmental Earth Science at Eastern?

Environmental Earth Science (EES) students at Eastern receive a broad education in environmental earth science with a strong foundation in geoscience, using classroom, laboratory and field-based learning. The curriculum stresses the materials, processes, and features of the Earth, Earth history and the ways in which earth scientists address scientific, societal and environmental problems. Students pick from four concentrations in Environmental Earth Science, Environmental Science, General Earth Science or Sustainable Energy Science. A minor is also available to students in other majors.

Professor and students working in a swamp
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  • Environmental Earth Science (EES) students at Eastern receive a broad education in environmental earth science with a strong foundation in geoscience, using classroom, laboratory and field-based learning. The curriculum stresses the materials, processes, and features of the Earth, Earth history and the ways in which earth scientists address scientific, societal and environmental problems.

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    View Minor Details

    View Environmental Earth Science Concentration Details

  • Environmental Science allows students at Eastern to pursue an earth science degree, with additional coursework focused on ecology and environmental health science. Upper level required electives are selected from a number of different possibilities tailored to individual student interests and career goals.

    View Minor Details

    View Environmental Science Concentration Details

  • Students in the General Earth Science concentration in the Environmental Earth Science major perform formal coursework, independent studies and internships that integrate field, laboratory, technical writing and computer skills to investigate environmental problems. The concentration includes a broader science background geared towards a career in K-12 science education. Many students in this track enroll in the early-start option with the Education Department, working towards a Master of Science in Education degree in their senior year.

    View General Earth Science Concentration Details

  • The Sustainable Energy Science concentration in the Environmental Earth Science major teaches the impact of energy consumption on humans and the natural environment and the application of renewable energy to address these problems. Students integrate field, laboratory, technical writing and computer skills in the investigation of energy resources and the application of energy science.

    View Sustainable Energy Science Concentration Details

Salary Potential


Median salary, Environmental Scientist


Median salary, Geologist


salary range

* U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Hands-on Learning

Student presenting information to other students


Students have laboratory experiences in Sedimentology, Geomorphology, Petrology, Structural Geology, Field Methods, Hydrology, GIS and Sustainable Energy, and present their findings at local, regional and national research conferences.

Student explaining a chart


Eastern’s Institute for Sustainable Energy offers credit and paid internships for Environmental Earth Science students. Other internship opportunities are available through Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and regional geo-environmental firms.

Students posing for a photo in Iceland

Field Trips

The EES Department frequently offers field trips to locations such as Iceland, Arizona and Wyoming/Idaho.

Career Options

Students who pursue undergraduate degrees in Environmental Earth Science can have rewarding and successful careers in a variety of professional fields, including:

  • Energy Specialist
  • Environmental Scientist, Consultant, Technician
  • Geologist
  • Geo-Environmental Technician
  • Geological or Environmental Engineer
  • GIS Analyst
  • Hazardous Waste Scientist
  • Hydrogeologist
  • Land/Marine Surveyor
  • Physical Science Educator
  • Resources Exploration Geoscientist

Successful Alumni

Recent Eastern students who earned a bachelor’s degree or a minor in Environmental Earth Science are at the following companies and professional/graduate schools:

  • Geo-Environmental Firms (e.g. Fuss & O’Neill)
  • Energy and Consulting Firms (e.g. Eversource)
  • U.S. Geological Survey
  • Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection
  • University of Vermont
  • University of Wyoming
  • University of California at Santa Cruz
  • University of Kansas
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For more information
(860) 465-4321

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In the News

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Eastern inducts hundreds into honor societies in spring 2024

May 16, 2024

More than 20 academic programs and departments at Eastern Connecticut State University recognized student achievements this spring 2024 semester during honor society inductions and award ceremonies.

Kowalski (left) and Steinen

EES students present geology research at New Hampshire conference

April 16, 2024

Four environmental earth science (EES) students at Eastern Connecticut State University presented their research at the Northeast Section meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA) in Manchester, NH, on March 18.

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$500k grant aims to increase STEM diversity and retention

November 28, 2023

Minority students applying to Eastern Connecticut State University in 2024 who plan to major in the sciences or mathematics will be recruited for a new STEM mentoring program funded by a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant.

Alumni Testimonials

Laura Markley ’15
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Laura Markley ’15

Environmental Earth Science major Laura Markley ’15 earned her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering at Syracuse University and now works there in the Center for Sustainable Community Solutions. Her research focuses on the life cycle and environmental impact of plastics. “What I most appreciate about Eastern are the relationships I developed with professors. They allowed me to find my niche and learn what I really enjoy doing.”

Matthew Gonsalves ’14
Environmental Earth Science

Matthew Gonsalves ’14

“Taking a variety of different courses in the liberal arts, along with applied learning opportunities and independent studies, led me to becoming an environmental consultant today, conducting environmental assessments in conjunction with private, commercial and municipal clients. In my spare time, I design board games with my wife and former roommates. We hope to market the games to the public in the near future.”

Cody Lorentson ’14
Environmental Earth Science

Cody Lorentson ’14

Cody is a sustainability data manager at Mondelez International. “Two of the greatest strengths of Eastern’s EES department are the opportunity to complete independent studies and the faculty’s dedication to student growth. By the end of my four years, I developed personal and professional skills that have allowed me to excel in postgraduate endeavors.”

Melody Ochoa
MPA candidate

Melody Ochoa ’23

“I am currently pursuing a master’s degree in public affairs with a concentration in Environmental Policy. My experience in the Economics Department has given me a versatile background on topics ranging from environmental economics to human resource management. The liberal arts core taught me a lot about my interests and allowed me to explore career topics I didn’t even know were accessible to me.”

Alex Fazzino
Environmental Earth Science

Alex Fazzino ’18

Alex is a GIS analyst for Verdantas, an environmental consultant. After Eastern, he earned his MS in Spatial Data Science at Penn State. “Based on what I do at work, Eastern’s EES program did a great job of choosing our required courseload. What excites me about working in this field is the ability to clean up the environment and make our world a little greener.”

Jacklyn Olivieri
Environmental Earth Science

Jacklyn Olivieri ’17

Jackie is an environmental scientist for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. She is responsible for investigating complaints and suspected violations of environmental laws and regulations. “I realized that understanding how things work and how to put them to use to make a difference for the environment and the world is my passion and why I ended up with a STEM career.”

Jack Cerra
Environmental Earth Science

Jack Cerra ’21

An environmental technician at Atlas, Jack presented at the New England Estuarine Research Society as an Eastern student; his research evaluated bluff erosion along the shoreline of Block Island, RI. Speaking of his liberal arts education, he said, “Being exposed to a little bit of everything has helped me to become a more well-rounded person and enabled me to look at things from different perspectives.”

Timothy Bugden ’14
Hydrologic Modeling

Timothy Bugden ’14

Environmental Earth Science major Timothy Bugden earned his M.S. in hydrology at the University of Connecticut and works as a CAD draftsman at OneEarth Environmental. “Eastern was nothing short of extraordinary. I flourished under the instruction of exceptionally motivated professors and enjoyed the camaraderie of my fellow EES students. I shudder to think of the opportunities I would have missed had I not enrolled at Eastern.”

Nicholas Denegre ’14
Sustainable Development

Nicholas Denegre ’14

Environmental Earth Science Nicholas Denegre is studying sustainable development as a graduate student at the University of Graz in Austria. Upon graduating from Eastern, he worked as a system analyst at Greenskies Renewable Energy. “Eastern’s EES program prepared me for the environmental sciences field with a rigorous education and many undergraduate research opportunities. It without a doubt catapulted my career.”

Corey Pelletier ’12
Fisheries Biologist

Corey Pelletier ’12

Environmental Earth Science major Corey Pelletier is a fisheries biologist for the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management. “Eastern provided me not only with the knowledge base to understand our environment and natural processes, but also a working knowledge applicable to the natural resources field.”

Nick Jones ’12

Nick Jones ’12

Environmental Earth Science major Nick Jones works at Eversource Energy as the Energy Efficiency Program Lead of Residential New Construction. He works with builders, designers and governmental organizations to advance high-performance building practices and technologies. “The passion of the professors and administration at Eastern is something that students take with them long after they graduate.”

Melody Ochoa

Melody Ochoa ’23

Melody completed an internship on campus at Eastern’s Institute for Sustainability, focusing on composting. She worked on a number of initiatives, including creating a group of students on campus who were passionate about composting and food waste. “Every other Thursday we would collect compost and bring it to a location off campus. We are promoting town wellness and community.”

Jennifer Croteau ’19
Staff Scientist

Jennifer Croteau ’19

Environmental Earth Science major Jennifer Croteau ’19 is a staff scientist at INSPIRE Environmental, an environmental consulting company based in Newport, RI. “The EES program prepares students for the professional and academic worlds. I was provided with many opportunities to conduct independent research and present at conferences. These opportunities helped me get a jumpstart on building a professional network while still in school, learn and use field techniques outside of a classroom setting and build my resume.”