Environmental Studies

If you're interested in studying the interactions between humans and the rest of nature, and are serious about making meaningful contributions to sustainability and conservation, Oakton's Environmental Studies Concentration (ESC) is for you.

This 16-semester-hour concentration brings together concepts and insights from numerous disciplines to promote a thorough understanding of complex environmental issues. As an ESC student at Oakton, you will:

  • Develop an understanding of humanity’s impact on the natural environment and how the natural environment impacts human development.
  • Cultivate a critical appreciation of sustainability.
  • Develop an understanding of the central importance of integrating the work of the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities for a holistic and meaningful understanding of any environmental issues and challenges.

The disciplinary approaches of the natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities, are all essential to a full appreciation of the relationships between humans and ecosystems. Any attempt to think critically and productively about how to best meet current environmental challenges will depend on this multifaceted approach.

Course Information

The ESC prepares students for transfer into a variety of majors dealing with the environment, such as sustainability; environmental philosophy, law and policy; environmental art and literature; environmental engineering and chemistry; conservation biology and natural resource management; environmental journalism; environmental studies; ecology; environmental restoration; natural areas management; urban agriculture; and urban planning and transportation systems.

Most courses in the concentration meet the general education requirements and have IAI transfer codes. However, students should consult with the environmental studies coordinator(s) to ensure that they are taking the necessary courses in each general education area and are not taking more than one course with the same IAI number.

Students meeting the requirements for the ESC will have a notation added to their transcript indicating successful completion. To receive this designation, students must complete an ESC completion form and meet with the environmental studies coordinator(s).

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What's Next?

We are glad you are considering attending Oakton College. No matter where you are in your decision-making process, we are here to help you with your next steps. Whether you're ready to apply now, need information on paying for college or have questions and want to contact someone, we're here to help.

Environmental science and protection technicians typically need an associate’s degree or 2 years of postsecondary education, although some positions require a bachelor’s degree.

Employment of environmental science and protection technicians is projected to grow 6 percent from 2021 to 2031, faster than the average for all occupations.

The median annual wage for environmental science and protection technicians was $47,370 in 2021.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Similar Occupations

  • Agricultural and Food Science Technicians
  • Environmental Engineering Technologists and Technicians
  • Environmental Scientists and Specialists
  • Geoscientists
  • Hydrologists

Enrolling at Oakton College can save you thousands of dollars and help you earn more over the course of your career. Our tuition is among the lowest in the region, and we offer many ways to bring your costs down even more.

99 percent of Oakton students graduate without debt.

To help you get there, you can apply for a scholarship, which you don’t have to pay back. We award $12 million in scholarships annually. Financial Aid includes grants, loans, and other forms of financial assistance that can reduce your costs of attending college.

We offer payment options that give you control over how you pay. Pay all at once or spread your payments over the course of the semester.

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Meet Your Faculty

Oakton's professors and lecturers are experts in their fields with advanced degrees and years of real-world experience. 

In addition to classroom learning, students receive support from our panel of expert advisors.

Tess Lesniak 
ESC Co-coordinator

Marian Staats 
ESC Co-coordinator

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