Environmental Science

Environmental Science

A group of students research soil out in the field
This holistic, broad-based program combines physical, biological and social sciences with cross-interdisciplinary study. Human impact on the environment, climate change, access to water, conservation of resources and ecosystems and sustainability are critical concerns on both a local and global scale. After graduation, you’ll be ready to make a difference so that future generations have adequate resources and a healthy environment.

The Nebraska Difference


1-to-1 Personalized Advising


Hands-On Experiences Outside the Classroom


Undergraduate Research Opportunities

A group of students are near a stream to do research

Program Features

Emphasis Areas

Each environmental science student has the opportunity to choose at least one program option to focus on. These emphasis areas help you specialize your coursework based on your career goals.

Soil Science 

This option provides you with an understanding of soil as a natural resource and as a component of all terrestrial ecosystems. Learn how soils influence ecological processes taking place above and below ground.

Lake and Stream Restoration

This option is designed for students considering careers in water quality, aquatic ecology or limnology. Prepare to implement pollution abatement procedures or management practices associated with lake and stream restoration.

Students compare notes in the field

Notable Courses

Fundamentals of Environmental Sampling (NRES 319)

Development of sampling plans and quality assurance project plans. Stepwise procedures for correct sampling of soil-air-water environments and data quality assessment.

Soil Evaluation (NRES 279)

Apply fundamental knowledge to the description of soils in the field. Application of techniques employed in writing descriptions of soil morphology.

Toxins in the Environment (NRES 300)

Introduction to the principles of toxicology as they apply to environmental contaminants, agro-chemicals and industrial and naturally occurring chemicals.

Soils, Environment and Water Quality (WATS 361)

Chemical and physical processes that influence the fate and transport of contaminants in soil-water environments.

Lake and Reservoir Restoration (NRES 470)

Theory, processes and mechanisms underlying lake and reservoir water quality degradation. Pollution and remediation of eutrophication and its effects.

Principles of Soil Management (PLAS 269)

Learn the current state-of-knowledge of soil and water management, including impacts of erosion on soil, nutrient dynamics, conservation tillage, cover crops, irrigation and nutrient cycling.

Huskers Do Big Things


  • Sustainability intern, Lincoln Public Schools
  • Quality operation intern, Zoetis
  • Student environmental science intern, RE/SPEC Inc.
  • Environmental health intern, Children’s Mercy Kansas City


  • Technical sales, Li-COR Biosciences, Lincoln, Nebraska
  • Soil scientist, USDA-NRCS, Powell, Wyoming
  • Ecologist, Forest Preserve District, Springfield, Illinois
  • Soil conservationist, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Central City, Nebraska
  • Integrated water management planner, Nebraska Department of Natural Resources, Lincoln, Nebraska

Graduate Schools

  • M.S. and Ph.D. Soil Science, Pennsylvania State University
  • M.S. Environmental Management, Duke University
  • Ph.D. Environmental Science, Oregon State University
  • M.S. and Ph.D. Environmental Science, University of California Riverside

Outside the Classroom

Have Questions? We're Here to Help

If you have questions about the Environmental Science major or navigating the application process, contact us.

Bridget Gross portrait
Contact Name
Bridget Gross
Contact Title
Recruitment Specialist