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Environment and Sustainability

Environment and Sustainability

Students who major in sustainability have a voice in shaping and changing the world for the better. Do you care about God’s creation, enjoy examining connections and relationships and want to be on the frontlines of policy change to help preserve the planet? Are you concerned about the impact of human activities on the environment? If you are interested in environmental issues like climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, and want to develop the skills and knowledge to address these issues, an environmental science and sustainability major is an excellent choice for you. 

Why study environment and sustainability at Gordon?

At Gordon you will be taught and mentored by leaders in the fields of ecology and green chemistry whose commitments to creation care stem from their Christian faith. Our 485-acre wooded campus and the nearby Atlantic Ocean offer outdoor classrooms for research. Through Gordon’s relationship with the Au Sable Institute, you can take courses in Michigan, India and Costa Rica and earn a certificate as a naturalist or a land, water or environmental resources analyst. Outside of the classroom you can be active in biology club or find like-minded peers in Restore Creation and Advocates for a Sustainable Future (ASF):

What careers can I pursue with an environmental science and sustainability major?

Now more than ever students who major in sustainability have a voice in shaping and changing the world for the better. You may consider a career in:

  • Sustainability coordination 
  • Environmental science 
  • Renewable energy  
  • Environmental engineering 
  • Conservation biology 
  • Environmental policy 
  • Sustainable agriculture 

You can also pursue research professionally or educationally. Whether in a research lab or on the policy frontlines, tailor your studies within the environmental science concentration and related programs to achieve your goals.

Learn more about jobs and internships →

Environmental science and sustainability B.S. courses   

Required ESS courses (23-25 credits):   

  • First-Year Seminar (BIO/ESS 100)   
  • Environmental Science (for majors, with lab) (BIO/ESS 222) 
  • Introduction to Sustainability (ESS 2XX)  
  • Biological Sciences and Faith (BIO/ESS 255)  
  • Environmental Ethics (PHI 233) OR environmental justice course (AuSable)   
  • Environmental Economics (ECB 307)   
  • Internship (2-4 credits; ESS 425)

Required Support Courses (40-42 credits):   

  • General Biology (BIO 107 and BIO 108)   
  • Introduction to Research (BIO 260)   
  • Landscape Ecology and GIS (BIO 440 and BIO 441 or GIS at AuSable or SSU)   
  • General Chemistry I, II (CHE 111 & 112)   
  • Organic Chemistry I (CHE 211)   
  • General Physics I (PHY 111)   
  • Geology of the Environment (GLS 120, Salem State University) or general geology (Acadeum) OR earth science (Acadeum)   
  • Biostatistics (MAT 220)   
  • Survey of Calculus (MAT 134) OR Introduction to Programming (CPS 121)   

ESS Electives (12 credits):   

  • Research in Environmental Science (ESS 471)   
  • Marine Science (BIO 230)   
  • Crops and Society (BIO 302)   
  • Conservation Biology (BIO 304)   
  • Medicinal Botany (BIO 309) or other plant science course   
  • Ecology (BIO 310)   
  • Mammalogy (BIO 335)   
  • Field Ornithology (BIO 340)   
  • Introduction to Public Health (BIO 345)   
  • Marine Biology Institute (BIO 331)   
  • Environmental Instrumental Analysis (CHE 312) OR Environmental Chemistry (AuSable or Acadeum)   
  • Environmental Law (AuSable)   
  • Additional relevant courses at AuSable or CCSP   
  • Any additional geology or chemistry course approved by the Chair   

Environmental science and sustainability B.A. major available on the course catalog. 

Go the extra mile!

Gordon’s emphasis on creation care is part of a longstanding commitment to sustainability, maintained by our campuswide effort called Restore Creation. Our student-led green group, Advocates for a Sustainable Future, involves fellow students in environmental efforts—like an organic garden—and education. Biology Club hosts regular gatherings to maintain the close-knit community within one of Gordon’s largest majors. 

Off-campus, students complete internships at a range of environmental institutions including:

  • Parker River National Wildlife Refuge 
  • Massachusetts Audubon Society 
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 
  • Ocean Genome Legacy 
  • Trustees of Reservations 
  • Sustainable farms  

Global Opportunities 

Expand your global perspective on the environment through short-term and semester-long programs: 


For more information contact:

Dr. Greg Keller 
Professor of Biology 
P 978 867 4852 

Department Chair of Life, Health and Physical Sciences


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