Capitalizing on the unique and varied environmental settings in southern Oregon, the Environmental Science & Policy program effectively prepares its students for success in a broad range of environmental careers and fosters in them, by example, a commitment to serving the community. The program curriculum provides students with the interdisciplinary academic knowledge and the practical experiences necessary for them to successfully address complex environmental issues, both regional and global. The program serves as a resource to our community by providing student and faculty expertise for specific projects affecting the environmental health of our region.


By recognizing that environmental issues are becoming more complex as our population places demands on limited resources and capitalizing on the unique environmental setting in southern Oregon, the Environmental Sciences and Policy program will:

  • Continue to be recognized for our effective preparation of students for success in environmental careers and for our commitment to serving the community.
  • Grow into the premier environmental program in Oregon, as well as one of the premier environmental programs in the nation.


The Environmental Science and Policy program provides the opportunity to apply principles from various scientific fields to environmental issues within the social, political, and economic framework of our society. The degree program includes courses designed to provide students with the following:

  • the ability to understand and apply natural science concepts and methods in solving environmental problems,
  • the ability to understand and apply social science concepts and methods in solving environmental problems,
  • practical experience with addressing environmental issues, and experience working as a team in natural and social disciplines


The above goals lead to outcomes (what our majors will be learning at SOU). These outcomes can be listed under the categories of “knowledge” (what students will know and understand), “skills” (what students will be able to do), and “dispositions” (what values the students will develop about the environment and working relationships while at SOU). Examples of each outcome are listed below:

Knowledge Outcomes

  • Students will be able to define and describe the fundamental scientific processes and major national/international laws or protocols relevant to environmental problems in the natural sciences, physical sciences, and social sciences.

 Skill Outcomes

  • Students will communicate effectively about environmental issues in writing, speech and visual images.   

  • Students will be able to analyze hypotheses and environmental problems utilizing statistical and data analyses.

  • Students will be able to construct temporal and spatial models of complex environmental problems and be able to interpret maps and spatial data of natural resource issues. 

 Disposition Outcomes

  • Students will act as global citizens and engage in civic activities in their community addressing sustainability.