Our earth and environmental sciences program links the study of hydrology, geology, meteorology and soil science — water, rocks, air and soil — to explore how Earth’s systems work and how humans impact those systems.

You also can study related fields of ecology or environmental studies.

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Unearth valuable skills

We are in the perfect location to study the environment — just a stone’s throw from the Susquehanna River and surrounded by waterways, wetlands, fields and farmland.

You gain plenty of hands-on experience in the field and lab examining human impact on water, rocks, air and soil systems. We have

Interested in sustainable living? You have plenty of opportunities to make a difference — work at our campus garden, live in our Sustainability House, or join a sustainability working group or our Beekeepers Club.

Our interdisciplinary minors, like ecology, help you gain a better understanding of important topics in today’s world.

Competitive edge for careers

With a broad background and a solid knowledge of science fundamentals, graduates go on to successful careers as wetland scientists, mapping specialists and more. Many graduates secure immediate employment in environmental consulting — putting the field and lab skills they gained at Susquehanna directly to work.

Because our bold curriculum is rooted in the liberal arts, you will develop essential skills to help make you sought-after

  • writing
  • teamwork
  • presentation delivery
  • critical thinking
  • interpersonal relationships
  • leadership

Recent graduates also are earning master’s degrees in a range of subjects such as hydrology, environmental chemistry, environmental science, geophysics and more.


Earth and Environmental Sciences, Environmental Studies, Ecology … they sound remarkably similar. How do you decide which one is right for you? Here’s your cheat sheet on these three majors.

  • Earth and environmental sciences examines the nonliving components of our environment and how they impact living things. It’s the scientific study of water, rocks, air and soil and their dynamic interactions. You’ll take courses in hydrology, geology, weather, soil science and more, with lots of hands-on field and lab work, culminating in a research collaboration with faculty.
  • Ecology is a branch of biology that examines how organisms interact with each other and their environment. You’ll take courses in biology and environmental sciences. Field and lab projects are an integral part of this major and every student completes a research project with faculty.
  • Environmental studies is an interdisciplinary field that examines the complex interdependencies between human, nonhuman, and nonliving earth systems. By understanding how these systems interact, at local and global levels, you’ll learn how to redress human-caused environmental challenges from climate change to environmental injustice. You’ll take courses in natural and social sciences, literature, religion, politics and business, culminating in a semester-long community-based project.


Many of our students are involved with the Freshwater Research Institute, which includes a dedicated laboratory and state-of-the-art equipment for river research.


A group of earth & environmental sciences students took a spring break trip of a lifetime to Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas.

“Each student was lucky enough to bring home a sentimental mineral/rock or a souvenir,” says Zach Groce ’19, who helped organize the eight-day, 2,800-mile trip. “Unfortunately, none of us returned with a diamond, but we did receive a great learning experience and made some great friends.”

After camping their way to Arkansas, students rented sieves and pans at the state park. “Thanks to Dr. Elick, our trip advisor, each student was able to experience real Tennessee BBQ and gain a further understanding of geological, fossil and even some historical sites,” Groce adds.

Labs & Research

Contact Us

Earth & Environmental Sciences

514 University Ave.
Selinsgrove, Pa. 17870


Natural Sciences Center

Maps and Directions

Phone & Email

Wade Johnson, department head

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