Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies

Converse BotanyDo you love science? Are you fascinated by complex and interconnected systems? Do you enjoy looking for patterns in the world around you? Does learning about creatures
and plants excite you?

Consider a career in the field of Environmental Studies, the study of the connection between living things and their place in this world.

Degree Offered

  • Environmental Studies minor

Related Program

About Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies is the science of the interaction between humans and the environment. An interdisciplinary field, environmental studies involves interconnections between ecology, economics, geography, geology, meteorology, politics and sociology. As an environmental studies student, you will explore the structure and function of the world and our connection to it.


As an Environmental Studies minor, you can participate in study-travel programs to explore the diversity and complexity of organisms and their natural habitat both abroad and in the country.  Our study-travel students have been to:

Students visited the Arenal Volcano rainforest in Costa Rica
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Spain
  • The American Southwest

Students experienced the rainforests of Costa Rica while studying the biological diversity, ecology, and environmental science of Costa Rica with Dr. Doug Jensen. Activities included hiking in the rainforests, zip lining through the forest canopy, sea kayaking, and watching howler monkeys. Students also volunteered at a local school and learned to prepare Costa Rican foods.

Class Excursions

As part of the Environmental Studies curriculum, you will journey to local and regional habitats to examine plants, animals and ecosystems. You will learn to identify and observe organisms and their functions in their natural habitats. At right, Ecology students led by Dr. Jensen, observe plants at Cove Creek, a tributary of the Green River in Saluda, North Carolina. Students on this trip had a field quiz that included plant identifications and a botanical scavenger hunt.


Participation in scientific research is an invaluable way for you to experience first-hand how scientists learn about the world. Working independently or side-by-side with faculty mentors, our students perform research, much of which is presented at state, regional, and national conferences, often winning awards.

In fact, Converse is a leader in the state in the number of student/faculty research proposals funded by the South Carolina Independent Colleges and Universities (SCICU) consortium. Some of our recent student research topics include:

  • Methods of controlling an invasive plant species
  • Upper Cretaceous Plant diversity of South Carolina (70 million years ago)
  • Cellular and molecular responses of plants to stress
  • Evaluation of genetic damage caused by pesticides in mammalian systems
  • Evaluation of the prevalence of liver flukes in South Carolina deer populations
  • Effectiveness of food additives at reducing cancerous growth

Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary field and the courses taught at Converse reflect its diversity. Through the Environmental Studies minor, you will learn information and take courses that span biology, chemistry, economics, politics and sociology. As an environmental studies student, you will learn how the choices you make affect your own health and that of the environment around you. Additionally, our coursework will provide you practical experience through an internship or research program.

The Environmental Studies minor complements any major at Converse, from Economics, to Biology, to Creative Writing. Knowledge and perspective about issues and concepts of our natural world will be helpful to you in the career of your choice!

Sample Courses

  • Ecology
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • World Geography
  • Hazardous Waste and Public Policy
  • Environmental History

Environmental Studies Minor Worksheet

Environmental Studies Stories

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