Program Overview

Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science
Earth, Environmental and Sustainability Sciences
Department Chair Name
Suresh Muthukrishnan
Nina Anthony

What is an earth and environmental sciences degree?

How do we achieve an environmentally safe and socially just space for life in a world of increasingly limited natural resources? That quintessential challenge lies at the heart of Furman’s Department of Earth, Environmental, and Sustainability Sciences. The Earth and environmental sciences major is a course of study that takes a holistic, systems-based approach to studying the physical, chemical and biological natural and human processes, in both time and space, that have shaped the planet. Courses are designed to help teach the complexity, interconnectedness and dynamic nature of the Earth system and to seek solutions to address geological, environmental and natural resource sustainability issues, culminating in a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree.

Why study Earth and environmental sciences at Furman?

Furman’s location at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and proximity to the Atlantic Coast provide easy access to a geologically, ecologically and socially diverse region with ample opportunity to integrate field experiences into your education. Our philosophy of teaching through research provides every student the opportunity to conduct collaborative field research with our faculty. As a private liberal arts and sciences university, Furman provides an exceptional environment for multidisciplinary studies, allowing students to find connections between multiple areas of interest. Small class sizes give students increased access to professors who are among the best in their fields. Our focus on engaged learning leverages Furman’s strong undergraduate research, internship and study away opportunities. Plan a visit to our beautiful campus or request information to learn more.

How will you learn?

All of the courses, including the introductory classes, involve a field component. Student experiences include extensive use of the campus living and learning laboratories, as well as field trips to places like the Okefenokee Swamp, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Mammoth Cave National Park and the South Carolina coast including the Cape Romaine Wildlife Refuge and the many barrier Islands along the coast. The highlight of the B.S. degree is an original research project completed in collaboration with a faculty member, the results of which are presented by the students as lead authors at a local or national professional conference. You’ll be involved in a first-rate, in-depth focused research program and have access to our Engaged Living programs. Visit our campus or request information to learn more.

Featured Earth and environmental courses

  • 94.6%
    percentage of full-time Furman faculty with the highest degree in their fields
  • 9 to 1
    student to faculty ratio throughout the university
  • No. 2
    Forbes’ Top Colleges in S.C.

What our students say

“To be an EES major is to understand how the other STEM fields and humans affect the environment around us. The professors strive for student independence and ownership. We were taught to use our knowledge to ask and answer questions, and how to properly use our findings to allow us to pursue our end goals.”
– JohnPaul Sleiman ’21

Our faculty

Karen Allen

Associate Professor, Sustainability Science, Anthropology

Brannon Andersen

Rose J. Forgione Professor of Earth, Environmental, and Sustainability Sciences

Ruth Aronoff

Associate Professor of Earth Sciences

Gustavo Coelho

Assistant Professor of Water Resources

Matthew Cohen

Associate Professor, Sustainability Science

Geoffrey Habron

Professor of Sustainability Sciences

Emma Hunt

Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences

Valeska Minkowski

Adjunct Professor

Suresh Muthukrishnan

Professor and Chair of Earth, Environmental, and Sustainability Sciences Department; Director of GIS and Remote Sensing Center

Courtney Quinn

Adjunct Professor; Earth, Environmental and Sustainability Sciences

Melissa Ranhofer

Lecturer, Department of Earth, Environmental, and Sustainability Sciences
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Earth and Environmental Sciences Major F.A.Q.