An Associate in Science (AS) degree in Environmental Sciences prepares students for transfer to a university and is intended for students pursuing a career in fields such as environmental consulting, natural resource management, science education, or graduate school in the sciences. Students may choose an Applied Geology Emphasis or a Biology Emphasis. Students may complete a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree with a Biology Emphasis entirely at Northern Arizona University-Yuma. The Applied Geology Emphasis requires transfer to NAU in Flagstaff or elsewhere for the BS degree.

Graduates of the Environmental Sciences – Applied Geology Emphasis program will successfully complete the following learning outcomes:

  • Prepare and interpret graphs, maps, and diagrams of geologic data
  • Identify and explain the origins of minerals and rocks
  • Describe the inter-relationships between geology and the other areas of science
  • Become informed of the one-world concept of geological processes affecting humanity
  • Be familiar with the various technical tools used by environmental scientists including GIS, GPS, remote sensing and other mapping tools and describe how these various tools work together to assist environmental biologists
  • Describe the nature of scientific inquiry and be able to identify when research, monitoring, or taxonomy is appropriate to apply to environmental issues
  • Describe pollution and the processes of Earth's atmosphere

Graduates of the Environmental Sciences – Biology Emphasis program will successfully complete the following learning outcomes:

  • Explain the interdependence of all species and the importance of biological diversity in the functioning of the biosphere
  • Explain why microbes are vital to life on Earth
  • Be familiar with the various technical tools used by environmental scientists including GIS, GPS, remote sensing and other mapping tools and describe how these various tools work together to assist environmental biologists
  • Describe the nature of scientific inquiry and be able to identify when research, monitoring, or taxonomy is appropriate to apply to environmental issues
  • Discuss the role of biological diversity in the functioning of ecosystems

Programs

Click on a program to get more information.

Environmental Sciences (Applied Geology Emphasis)

To get started on your personalized Academic Plan, visit the Academic Planning page or schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor.

Environmental Sciences (Biology Emphasis) – Degree

To get started on your personalized Academic Plan, visit the Academic Planning page or schedule an appointment to meet with an advisor.

Career Overview & Job Outlook

Successful completion of this program may lead to a variety of employment opportunities, most of which require continued higher education at the university level. Below are examples of related occupations and annual mean wages in Arizona according to a May 2020 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates Report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Forest and Conservation Technicians 
Provide technical assistance regarding the conservation of soil, water, forests, or related natural resources. May compile data pertaining to size, content, condition, and other characteristics of forest tracts under the direction of foresters, or train and lead forest workers in forest propagation and fire prevention and suppression. May assist conservation scientists in managing, improving, and protecting rangelands and wildlife habitats. 
$40,630
Biological Technicians 
Assist biological and medical scientists. Set up, operate, and maintain laboratory instruments and equipment, monitor experiments, collect data and samples, make observations, and calculate and record results. May analyze organic substances, such as blood, food, and drugs.
$41,930
Fish and Game Wardens
Patrol assigned area to prevent fish and game law violations. Investigate reports of damage to crops or property by wildlife. Compile biological data.
$42,260
Geological Technicians
Assist scientists or engineers in the use of electronic, sonic, or nuclear measuring instruments in laboratory, exploration, and production activities to obtain data indicating resources such as metallic ore, minerals, gas, coal, or petroleum. Analyze mud and drill cuttings. Chart pressure, temperature, and other characteristics of wells or bore holes.
$44,690
Hydrologic Technicians
Collect and organize data concerning the distribution and circulation of ground and surface water, and data on its physical, chemical, and biological properties. Measure and report on flow rates and ground water levels, maintain field equipment, collect water samples, install and collect sampling equipment, and process samples for shipment to testing laboratories. May collect data on behalf of hydrologists, engineers, developers, government agencies, or agriculture.
$44,690
Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians
Apply theory and principles of environmental engineering to modify, test, and operate equipment and devices used in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental problems, including waste treatment and site remediation, under the direction of engineering staff or scientists. May assist in the development of environmental remediation devices.
$52,330
Zoologists and Wildlife Biologists
Study the origins, behavior, diseases, genetics, and life processes of animals and wildlife. May specialize in wildlife research and management. May collect and analyze biological data to determine the environmental effects of present and potential use of land and water habitats.
$63,710
Conservation Scientists
Manage, improve, and protect natural resources to maximize their use without damaging the environment. May conduct soil surveys and develop plans to eliminate soil erosion or to protect rangelands. May instruct farmers, agricultural production managers, or ranchers in best ways to use crop rotation, contour plowing, or terracing to conserve soil and water; in the number and kind of livestock and forage plants best suited to particular ranges; and in range and farm improvements, such as fencing and reservoirs for stock watering.
$66,530
Geographers
Study the nature and use of areas of the Earth's surface, relating and interpreting interactions of physical and cultural phenomena. Conduct research on physical aspects of a region, including land forms, climates, soils, plants, and animals, and conduct research on the spatial implications of human activities within a given area, including social characteristics, economic activities, and political organization, as well as researching interdependence between regions at scales ranging from local to global.
$72,750
Hydrologists
Research the distribution, circulation, and physical properties of underground and surface waters; and study the form and intensity of precipitation and its rate of infiltration into the soil, movement through the earth, and return to the ocean and atmosphere.
$78,440
Geoscientists
Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the Earth. May use geological, physics, and mathematics knowledge in exploration for oil, gas, minerals, or underground water; or in waste disposal, land reclamation, or other environmental problems. May study the Earth's internal composition, atmospheres, and oceans, and its magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces. Includes mineralogists, paleontologists, stratigraphers, geodesists, and seismologists.
$83,900
Environmental Engineers
Research, design, plan, or perform engineering duties in the prevention, control, and remediation of environmental hazards using various engineering disciplines. Work may include waste treatment, site remediation, or pollution control technology.
$92,640
Biochemists and Biophysicists
Study the chemical composition or physical principles of living cells and organisms, their electrical and mechanical energy, and related phenomena. May conduct research to further understanding of the complex chemical combinations and reactions involved in metabolism, reproduction, growth, and heredity. May determine the effects of foods, drugs, serums, hormones, and other substances on tissues and vital processes of living organisms.
$101,940
Natural Sciences Managers
Plan, direct, or coordinate activities in such fields as life sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, statistics, and research and development in these fields.
$121,900

Contact Information

Robert Killin
Division Chair, Science
(928) 317-7685
Office: AS 117
Laura Alexander
Professor of Environmental Science
(928) 317-6302
Office: BA 218
Jacob Gibson
Professor of Environmental Science
(928) 317-7610
Office: AS 124