Why Study Environmental Science?
Environmental Science is the hub in a multidisciplinary approach to solve complex issues, such as soil remediation, air pollution reduction, household waste reduction and clean water. An environmental scientist seeks to determine how chemicals move through the environment and their impact on human health and the environment. This is done through outdoor monitoring and laboratory work, including generating data, interpretation of results and computer modeling. Skills most valued in this field are problem solving, data gathering and handling, and communication. Our concentration in Environmental Science provides an initial broad background in science (ocean studies, weather studies, environmental issues, ecology) which are applied in advanced courses, such as Environmental Chemistry and Analytical Chemistry. The concentration also requires research experience, either at PNW or with an outside agency or industry, which is vital in paving your career.
Over the next ten years the job growth in Environmental Science is expected to reach 25% making Environmental Science one of the fastest growing industries. These new jobs will need a large number of qualified and motivated scientists to fill them and deal with the environmental issues on the horizon.
Why choose Purdue Northwest?
Our program in Physical Sciences offers the student a variety of options in math and science classes allowing them to choose the best path to prepare for their desired career. As a student at PNW you will have the opportunity to study with faculty who are engaged in cutting edge research, including innovative problem solving. At PNW, smaller class sizes offer an opportunity for individual attention, undergraduate research opportunities, and hands-on access to modern instrumentation. Faculty in the Chemistry and Physics Department have a wide breadth of experience in a wide range of sub-disciplines within chemistry and physics, and many are actively engaged in research projects with students and collaborators at other universities. With ample classroom and laboratory experience and ability to perform research with experienced faculty, our Physical Sciences graduates have the knowledge and confidence to succeed in the workplace.
Professor Kathryn (Kay) Rowberg is an Associate Professor of chemistry at Purdue Northwest. She earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University, a PhD in chemistry from University of Illinois at Chicago and a JD from Valparaiso University. She is a member of the Indiana Bar Association. At PNW she teaches General Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry and Food Science. The students in her research group have worked on diverse environmental projects: monitoring residual herbicide in caves, identifying persistent organic pollutants in sediments, quantifying microplastics in regional waterways, modelling estrogenic activity in compounds, and predicting aquatic phototoxicity in emerging pollutants using computational methods. Recently students have worked in art conservation: authenticating an indenture parchment and using agarose gels to clean and preserve cultural artifacts.
Professor Rowberg was fortunate to have spent two years as a Fulbright Fellow in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, teaching and directing research for a master’s student and one semester as a Fulbright Fellow in Iceland teaching and working on environmental chemistry curriculum.
Professor Rowberg is the coordinator for the Environmental Science concentration for the Physical Sciences major. Her door is always open to talk about environmental careers.
- Climate Change Analyst
- Park Ranger
- Occupational Health and Safety Specialist
- Environmental Science Technician
Direct admission to the BS in Physical Sciences- Environmental Science program requires consideration of standardized test scores and performance in mathematics additional to general University admissions requirements. Interested students who are not directly admissible to Physical Sciences may be admitted to a general admission program in which they can prepare for acceptance into the Physical Sciences program in the College of Engineering and Science.
PNW Application for Admission