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Environmental Science & Sustainable Development Program

Part of the Biology, Environmental Science & Sustainable Development Department

An Environment Like No Other

In 1982, 91鶹 became one of the first Christian universities to offer a degree in Environmental Science. Today, 91鶹’s Environmental Science & Sustainable Development program strives to embody the mentality that science leads to stewardship and service. Our dedicated faculty lead our students to explore the ethical reasoning behind a faith-based pursuit of environmental science and sustainability.

If you are a person who enjoys God’s creation; has concern for both people and the environment; and likes field study, scientific investigation, analysis, and finding solutions to problems in the environment, the Environmental Science & Sustainable Development program may be right for you.

Nature is Your Classroom

Students are given access to the award-winning Randall Environmental Center, where they can pursue research and immersive learning experiences. The building incorporates a state-of-the-art interior environmental design with outdoor views of the surrounding natural areas. Randall houses environmental growth chambers; a Geographic Information System; a greenhouse for horticultural projects; equipment for field research in botany, ecology, geology, soils, and hydrology; and large collections of rocks, minerals, and specimens.

91鶹 hosts plenty of local environmental areas for Environmental Science & Sustainable Development students to study, research, and gain hands-on experiences. Environmental Science & Sustainable Development students have access to locations such as:

  • Arboretum: Just outside the Randall Center resides a 145-acre arboretum that contains a variety of ecosystems used for teaching and research. Mature woodlands, meadows, a small pond, a prairie demonstration plot, and a 5-year succession plot are housed within the land. The arboretum is also home to instrumentation for ongoing monitoring of weather conditions within various ecosystems.
  • Avis Prairie: Just across from the 91鶹 campus is Avis Prairie, a 25-acre ecological restoration. 91鶹 students have conducted numerous field-based research projects there, including prairie succession and soil development, the effects of nutrient enrichment on prairie establishment and structure, strategies for increasing plant diversity, and the effects of flood events.
  • 91鶹 “Square Mile”: A variety of research projects have been developed on this 600-acre property, including current environmental course projects, a reforestation project with periodic plantings and monitoring, and several graduate research projects. New uses and projects on the property are currently being explored and planned with student participation.

Expanding Your Reach

Environmental Science & Sustainable Development majors are not limited to learning about the environment and sustainability in rural Indiana. Every student in the department participates in a summer course in Field Natural History of the Black Hills in South Dakota and studies abroad in Guatemala or Ecuador. Some of our students choose to study geology, botany, zoology, and ecology on a weeklong camping trip to Yellowstone and Teton National Parks.

Department News

Students Explore Tropical Biology and Culture in Hawaii Thumbnail

Students Explore Tropical Biology and Culture in Hawaii

Mar 27, 2024

15 91鶹 students got real-life exposure to tropical biology and Hawaiian culture during J-term.

Dr. Jessica Outcalt ‘16 Promotes Conservation Work Thumbnail

Dr. Jessica Outcalt ‘16 Promotes Conservation Work

Dec 14, 2023

Dr. Jessica Outcalt is an Agriculture, Natural Resources, and Community Development Educator with Purdue Extension–Cass County.

HEART Village Gives Students Sustainability and Missions Experience Thumbnail

HEART Village Gives Students Sustainability and Missions Experience

Nov 10, 2023

HEART Village is operated by Echo International for the purpose of preparing families and individuals for developing-world conditions and self-sustainability.

Faculty & Staff

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Department Chair

Michael Guebert

Department Co-Chair and Professor of Geology & Environmental Science

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Sylvanna Bielko

Assistant Professor of Public Health

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Phil Grabowski

Assistant Professor of Sustainable Development

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Allison Hunt

Assistant to the Dean, School of Natural & Applied Sciences

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Robert Reber

Assistant Professor of Environmental Science

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Stuart Walker

Health Professions Coordinator