Environmental Science


More than ever before, the world is in need of environmental scientists.

We need managers who know the importance of an old growth forest, a brook trout running a mountain stream, or an elk roaming a fog-filled meadow. Yet, the world also needs sustainable buildings, cities, and resources for humanity. Montreat College’s Environmental Science program is preparing the next generation of Christian environmental professionals to do just that. Our program utilizes a biblical, liberal arts approach and combines coursework in biology, ecology, chemistry, geography, and natural resources.

We teach you to critically examine environmental issues while studying in the most biologically diverse region in North America.

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Montreat’s Environmental Science program offers field-based courses that investigate life from the Mountains to the Sea.

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Study and travel to over 20 national parks in our bi-annual American Ecosystems course.

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Internship opportunities with state and federal agencies, conservation groups, and private organizations.

Sample Courses

ES 301 Physical and Environmental Geography

This course will take an in-depth look at the geographic regions of the world known as biomes. The geological, topographical, and climatic dynamics of each area will be related to ecological integrations. The study of each biome will emphasize representative plant and animal species, as well as rates of successional change. Three hours lecture and three hours lab per week.

ES 305 American Ecosystems

Ecological analysis of field study sites and public education facilities in selected biomes and life zones. Ecosystem comparisons will be developed with particular attention given to the survey of flora and fauna. This course will also study land management and public utilization of ecological regions. Special emphasis will be placed on environmental education programs that educate the public about each biome or life zone. Course location will vary with each offering.

ES 360 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

This course introduces students to the fundamental concepts of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with an emphasis on natural resource management applications. Topics covered include: GIS hardware and software components, data capture methods, analysis of spatial information, and map creation and analysis.

Career Opportunities

  • Ecologist / Conservation Biologist
  • Environmental Positions with State and Federal  Agencies
  • Environmental Consultant
  • Environmental Lawyer / Lobbyist
  • Environmental Engineer
  • Research Scientist
  • Wildlife Manager
  • Game Warden
  • Geologist
  • Sustainable Development Scientist
  • Soil Scientists / Natural Resources Manager


Joshua Holbrook

Joshua Holbrook
Instructor of Environmental Science

Mark Lassiter
Jared Spencer

Dr. Jared Spencer
Assistant Professor of Chemistry



Our pre-professional track offers a wide range of courses that prepare you for graduate studies in the health and science professions, including:

  • applied technology (environmental consulting)
  • biochemistry
  • ecological research
  • genetics
  • environmental science
  • medicine or medical research
  • nursing
  • ecophysiology
  • toxicology
  • veterinary science

Students in the pre-professional concentration are required to enter into a professional experience through an internship, cooperative, research arrangement, or employment. Environmental Studies faculty serve as mentors, and each project must be approved and debriefed with the faculty member for the completion of this requirement.

Conservation Biology and Natural Resource Management

The Conservation Biology and Natural Resource Management concentration is designed to prepare students for graduate studies or for employment in government, industry, consulting, education, and non-profit organizations. This concentration integrates academic coursework with extensive field experience, and provides students with the unique opportunity to study the biologically diverse Southern Appalachian ecoregion. Students learn how to connect scientific principles with conservation and resource management issues and how to develop practical solutions to contemporary environmental issues from an interdisciplinary perspective.

Special Emphasis

If you want to design your own program of study based on an area of interest outside the core environmental studies curriculum, then this concentration is for you. Working with an environmental studies faculty member, you’ll select courses from other institutions or other departments at Montreat College that can be integrated into an environmental discipline. Examples might include:

  • pre-approved special emphasis programs with Au Sable Institute
  • Certified Naturalist
  • Certified Land Resources Analyst
  • Certified Water Resources Analyst
  • Certified Environmental Analyst
  • sustainable agriculture
  • watershed studies
  • environmental economics
  • wildlife science
  • fisheries science
  • geology
  • study abroad

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