Environmental Science

The University of Dubuque Environmental Science major is an interdisciplinary area of study concerned with biological, hydrological, and geochemical processes and interactions that shape the natural environment. Because of its interdisciplinary nature, the Environmental Science major is broader than most other science programs and is designed to provide a unique integration of chemistry, geology, and biology.

What You Will Learn

  • An appreciation of the breadth of environmental science and its importance in our daily lives.
  • The knowledge and skills needed for employment in a diverse array of environmental science-based careers.
  • Research skills that will enhance your ability to compete for opportunities in graduate school with a focus in natural resources conservation, education, and environmental sciences.
  • The program will also provide environmental science students with opportunities to conduct research in a laboratory or field setting.

Program of Study

The University of Dubuque environmental science degree grounds students with foundational courses in Ecology, Geology, and Chemistry. The program also offers the flexibility to focus a student's education into areas such as Geographic Information Science (GIS), Fish and Wildlife Management, and Environmental Toxicology.

What Our Students Do

The University of Dubuque Environmental Science Program is designed to allow students the opportunity to pursue their own research project under the supervision of a faculty member. Through the years, UD students have developed long-term data sets for the river, mussels, river turtles, and flying squirrels. Students obtain hands-on experience in the field, and in the lab, throughout every environmental science course.

Where Our Graduates Go

University of Dubuque environmental science graduates are enjoying success all across the United States and beyond. Some recent examples of where UD environmental science graduates have gone are: graduate schools in Florida, Kansas, Tennessee, and Texas; naturalist/technician positions with State Natural Resource Agencies in Iowa, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington; and an environmental consultant position in California. 

News from the Department

October 2016 - Congratulations to Environmental Science student Meagan Albon (C’ 18) on being elected to the post of Student Representative to the Central Plains Society of Mammalogists Board of Governors. There is only one student representative on the board and it has rarely gone to an undergraduate.

December 2 - Seminar: Brad Chamberlain - Luther College. Satan's Resin? Redeeming Plastic in a Disposable Age.

November 4 - Seminar: Tesla Monson - University of California-Berkeley. Chew On This: The Evolution of Mammalian Dentition.

October 7 - Seminar: Megan Livingston - University of Wisconsin-Madison. Development of a Robust 3D Organotypic Model of Human Mammary Ducts.

September 9 - Seminar: Nilda Rodriguez - University of Northern Iowa. Host-Pathogen Interactions between the Macrophage and the Parasitic Protozoan Leishmania chagasi.

Environmental Science - Program of Study

The courses below are a program sample of what students may encounter. Students will meet with their advisers to develop a personal educational program to plan their elective course choices, internships, undergraduate research, and other educational opportunities and experiences.

Year One

Fall Semester
EVS 105: Introduction to Environmental Sciences (4)
BIO 135: General Zoology (4)
UDMA 250: Calculus (4) or other Math Course
WVS 101: World View Seminar I (3)


Spring Semester
ESC 115: Basic Physical Geology (4)
EVS 230: Introduction to Statistics in the Environment (3)
WVS 201: World View Seminar II (3)
ENG 101: Composition and Rhetoric (3)
HWS 110:  Physical Activity (1)

Year Two

Fall Semester
EVS 248: Environmental Geology and Hydrology (4)
CHM 111: General Chemistry I (4)
Math (as needed) or other elective
RES 104: Research Writing (3)


Spring Semester
EVS 246: Ecology (4)
CHM 112: General Chemistry II (4)
COM 101: Speech Communication (3)
CIS 101/103: Introduction to Computers (3)
HWS 110: Physical Activity (1)

Year Three

Fall Semester
EVS 247: Environmental Chemistry (4)
EVS Elective (4)
REL 110: Judeo-Christian Journeys (3) or other REL Course
ENG 112/260: Literature (3)


Spring Semester
Science Elective
Science Elective
PSY 111/SOC 111: Introduction to Psychology (3)/Sociology (3) or other Social Development Course
UDHS 121: World Civilization (3) or other Global Awareness A Course

Year Four

Fall Semester
EVS 495: Senior Seminar
EVS Elective
ART 111: Survey of Western Art (3) or other Aesthetics B Course
BIO 125: Population, Resources, and Environment (3) or other Stewardship Course


Spring Semester
EVS Elective
EVS Elective
CCS 101/UDLS 111: Cross-Cultural Studies (1)/Elementary Spanish (3) or other Global Awareness B course

Adam Hoffman (2018)


Adam Hoffman

Department of Natural and Applied Sciences Head
Professor of Environmental Chemistry
PhD, University of Wisconsin - Madison
BA, University of Minnesota - Morris

Phone: 563.589.3746
E-mail: AHoffman@dbq.edu
Office: 104E University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Amandeep Arora (2018)


Amandeep Arora

Assistant Professor
PhD, Oklahoma State University
MS, Guru Nanak Dev University
BSed, Panjab University
BS, Panjab University

Phone: 563.589.3498
E-mail: AArora@dbq.edu
Office: 104E University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Bindu Balakrishnan (2018)


Bindu Balakrishnan

Assistant Professor of Neurophysiology
PhD, National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences - India
MSc, Kasturba Medical College

Phone: 563.589.3261
E-mail: BBalakrishnan@dbq.edu
Office: 104D University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Dale Easley (2018)


Dale Hampton Easley

Professor of Geology
PhD, University of Wyoming
MS, University of Wyoming
BS, Guilford College

Phone: 563.589.3639
E-mail: DEasley@dbq.edu
Office: 104B University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Kelly Grussendorf (2018)


Kelly Grussendorf

Associate Professor
PhD, University of Kansas
BA, Minnesota State University - Moorhead

Phone: 563.589.3149
E-mail: KGrussendorf@dbq.edu
Office: 230B University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Lalith Jayawickrama (2018)


Lalith Jayawickrama

Teaching Specialist, Department of Natural and Applied Sciences
MS, University of Delaware
BS, Ramapo College of New Jersey

Phone: 563.589.3148
E-mail: LalithJ@dbq.edu
Office: 317 University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

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Adam Kleinschmit

Associate Professor of Biology
PhD, University of Minnesota
BS, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Phone: 563.589.3142
E-mail: AKleinschmit@dbq.edu
Office: 204A University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

David Koch (2018)


David Koch

Associate Professor
PhD, Kansas State University
MS, Kansas State University
BS, University of Wisconsin - Madison

Phone: 563.589.3598
E-mail: DKoch@dbq.edu
Office: 204B University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Rasika Mudalige-Jayawickrama (2018)


Rasika Mudalige-Jayawickrama

Professor of Plant Biology
PhD, University of Hawaii
MS, Louisiana State University
BS, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka

Phone: 563.589.3144
E-mail: RMudalig@dbq.edu
Office: 104C University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Mark Sinton (2018)


Mark Sinton

Assistant Professor of Natural and Applied Sciences
PhD, Michigan State University
MS, University of Denver
BA, University of Denver

Phone: 563.589.3153
E-mail: MSinton@dbq.edu
Office: 204C University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Richard W. Smith (2018) DNAS


Richard W. Smith

Assistant Professor of Physics
MA, Mankato State University
BS, University of Dubuque

Phone: 563.589.3146
E-mail: RWSmith@dbq.edu
Office: 230C University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Ken Turner (2018)


Ken Turner, Jr.

Associate Professor of Science Education
EDD, National Louis University
MAT, DePauw University
BA, Valparaiso University

Phone: 563.589.3799
E-mail: KTurner@dbq.edu
Office: 104C University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Gerald Zuercher (2018)


Gerald L. Zuercher

Professor of Biology & Vertebrate Ecology
PhD, Kansas State University
MS, University of Alaska - Fairbanks
BS, Mississippi State University

Phone: 563.589.3147
E-mail: GZuerche@dbq.edu
Office: 309A University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Michele Zuercher (2018)


Michele Zuercher

Teaching Specialist, Department of Natural and Applied Sciences
MS, Mississippi State University
BS, Mississippi State University

Phone: 563.589.3151
E-mail: MZuercher@dbq.edu
Office: 230A University Science Center
Fax: 563.589.3688

Dan Duclos (Date Unknown)


Dan Duclos

Adjunct Instructor of Natural and Applied Sciences 


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Melissa Kleinschmit

Adjunct Instructor of Natural and Applied Sciences


James Prochaska (2018)


James Prochaska

Adjunct Instructor of Natural and Applied Sciences
MS, University of Wisconsin - Superior
BS, Loras College

Phone: 563.589.3149
104 University Science Center

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James Rolling

Adjunct Instructor of Natural and Applied Sciences



Careers in Environmental Science

The University of Dubuque Environmental Science (EVS) Program prepares students for a wide array of career options. Many EVS students spend a significant portion of their time outdoors, and EVS is a fine choice for their preparation. By choice of electives, and the addition of a minor, students can prepare for a variety of public and private jobs within the environmental science field.

BS Opportunities

Examples of specific careers that can be obtained with a bachelor of science in environmental science fall in four main categories:

  • Government: working at parks, wildlife management areas with GIS offices, and with the public. Employment is available at federal, state, and local levels.
  • Environmental Consulting: serving as the go-between for industry and regulators. Consultants do work such as environmental site assessment, soil and water sampling, and project management.
  • Education: teaching both in schools and as naturalists in parks. Many students decide to concurrently obtain an endorsement in science teaching, often at the high school level.
  • Non-profit Conservation: managing natural resources for non-profit organizations, such as the Nature Conservancy. To help prepare students, UD also offers a minor in natural resource management.

Post-graduate Opportunities

Examples of specific careers that can be obtained with a post-graduate degree in environmental science are all of those listed above plus university professor, scientific researcher, and project and resource manager. Additional education can further enhance opportunities for upward career mobility.


Successful Outcomes

BreAnn Nesteby BS, 2012 S Environmental Science, PBC Environmental GIS

After graduating from the University of Dubuque in 2012, I began graduate school at Western Illinois University under Dr. Susan Romano. Currently, I am finishing my final season of research and will be graduating in the fall with a master of science degree in biology - landscape ecology. I recently accepted a position working for the Army Corps of Engineers at the Mississippi River Project Office - Natural Resource Division, near Le Claire, Iowa. I strongly believe the UD Science Department and its faculty played a key role in helping me get on my current path by giving me opportunities in both the field and lab.