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Environmental and Field Biology

CONSERVATION BIOLOGY. WATER RESOURCES. CLIMATE CHANGE. DEFORESTATION. INVASIVE SPECIES. BECOME AN EXPERT ON THE MOST DEFINING ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES OF OUR TIMES. THE ENVIRONMENTAL AND FIELD BIOLOGY MAJOR IS TARGETED TOWARD STUDENTS INTERESTED IN THE ENVIRONMENT AND ESPECIALLY A FOCUS ON FRESHWATER ISSUES FACING OHIO AND THE WORLD. IT’S A FAST-GROWING FIELD WITH TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY.

BECOME AN ENVIRONMENTAL EXPERT

The natural sciences form the backbone of the environmental and field biology program. You’ll take courses in biology, natural history, chemistry, botany, geology and ecology. You’ll also explore other disciplines – like law and public policy – as they intersect with the environment. And you’ll learn how to lead, innovate, and find solutions to difficult problems. 

From the time you arrive on campus until you graduate, you’ll be guided by a faculty advisor. You’ll enjoy small class sizes and amazing friendships. Our dedicated professors will get to know you. They will support you in your coursework, research, internships, co-ops, and post-graduate or career preparations. They will become personally invested in your success – in college and beyond.

As a freshman, you’ll be in the lab or field working directly with your professors ( not graduate assistants ) investigating some of the most important environmental issues. Throughout your four years, you’ll design and conduct your own experiments, engage in mentored field research, and job-shadow environmental professionals. 

From interning at a government agency to spending a semester studying abroad, from presenting your research at a national conference to heading up a student organization – the opportunities open to you are truly incredible!

Upon graduation, you’ll be ready to help preserve our planet for future generations. Your knowledge and skills will be in demand – no matter where your path leads you.

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Curriculum

Major
Minor
Preprofessional Program
Concentration
Pathway

OPPORTUNITY ABOUNDS

TAKE A ROAD TRIP

We don’t hole up in the classroom and lab. We get out in the field and get our hands dirty at a number of off-campus ONU facilities. The Metzger Nature Center offers the ideal spot. This 70-acre property is nestled in the rolling hills of Tuscarawas County – 160 miles east of Ada. With forests, fields, natural streams and springs, and dissected sand stone gulleys, there’s plenty to uncover and study. Closer to campus, just 12 miles away, is the 400 acre Tidd-Oakes wetland restoration project where you’ll be able to study restored wetlands, prairies and wooded habitats.

SCIENTISTS IN THE HOUSE

Every year, we bring renowned life-science scholars to campus to share their discoveries – and their journeys – with students. Recent speakers for the Keiser Distinguished Lectureship in Life Sciences have included internationally acclaimed oceanographer and explorer, Dr. Sylvia Earle, former Science Advisor to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Dr. Paul Anasta, and former President and current member of the Board of Governors of the Society of Conservation Biology, Dr. Reed Noss.

BE STRATEGIC

We’ll help you be strategic about your future.  In your senior year, you’ll complete an internship, study abroad or conduct field research at leading research institutions.  Students in the past have interned at the National Forestry Service in Oregon; Alloway Labs in Lima, Ohio; Fisheries Research in Ann Arbor, Mich.; and Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia.



THINK SUCCESS

MAGGIE MOLNAR BS WITH A MAJOR IN ENVIRONMENTAL AND FIELD BIOLOGY ‘12

Environmental and field biology is a great major because, with the booming oil and gas industry in Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, there is a lot of opportunity in the environmental consulting sector. There also are opportunities to work at park systems and state and federal agencies.

Maggie Molnar majored in environmental and field biology because she’s always loved the outdoors. She wanted a career that would combine office and field work. At ONU, she played on the women’s softball team, and she spent an entire semester living and learning at ONU’s Metzger Nature Center. She also engaged in many other field experiences for her classes. After graduation, she became a scientist for Hull & Associates, an environmental consulting firm headquartered in Dublin, Ohio. She works on the ecology and wetlands team, assisting in a variety of ecological activities like wetland and stream delineations, vegetation and wildlife habitat assessments, and threatened and endangered species assessments. She is certified with the Society of Wetland Scientists as a WPIT (wetland professional in training) and is working toward becoming a PWS (professional wetland scientist).

OUTCOMES AND COURSES

SOLID OUTCOMES

  • Over the past four years, 100 percent of our graduates were employed full-time in their field or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.
  • Our students consistently obtain competitive and coveted National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs) for the summer. Recent students have completed REUs at University of Kentucky, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Bosie State University, and the New England Aquarium.
  • Our graduates get accepted into top-notch graduate schools with funded teaching and research assistantships, including Ohio State University, University of Florida, University of Michigan, University of North Carolina, University of Indiana, and Washington University.

 

COURSES

You’ll need 120 credit hours to earn a BS with a major in environmental and field biology.  These include a core set of courses including: Natural History, Ecology, Environmental Ethics, and Introduction to GIS that are supplemented with numerous courses (such as Entomology, Herpetology, Invertebrate Biology, Mammalogy, and Ornithology) that create an undergraduate education specialized to your specific interests.


In addition, you’ll participate in our unique Field Semester, five intensive courses providing hands-on exposure to field biology at sites around Ohio and in Florida.  These courses, along with a senior capstone experience, will prepare you for your career or graduate training: Environmental Research Methods, Field Botany, Ichthyology, Field Invertebrate Biology, and Marine Biology

WHERE WILL YOU END UP?

POSSIBLE JOBS

  • Conservation planner
  • Climate activist
  • Environmental policymaker – Environmental impact analyst
  • Environmental consultant
  • Environmental soil or water technician
  • Environmental scientist
  • Forest ranger
  • Fish and game officer or warden
  • Natural resource specialist – State park resource ecologist
  • Wildlife biologist

Check out where some of our recent environmental and field biology graduates have ended up: Hancock Park District, Allen County Health Dept, Hancock Soil & Water Conservation District in Findlay, Ohio, Hull and Associates, Dublin, Ohio, Ohio Department of Transportation, CH2M Foundation, Cincinnati, Ohio, Inland Fisheries Research Unit.

Department of Biological & Allied Health Sciences

Jane Brown

419-772-2325
j-brown@onu.edu
Meyer 118
525 South Main Street
Ada, Ohio 45810
Monday: 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Tuesday: 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Wednesday: 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Thursday: 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Friday: 8 a.m.-12 p.m., 1 p.m.-4:30 p.m.
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed