Environmental Biology, minor

Program Overview

Are you in love with nature and enjoy being outside as much as inside? Do you often rely on logic to solve complex problems or come up with original solutions? Could you see yourself leading local and global environmental change initiatives? If this sounds like you, then a minor in environmental biology could add unique value to your career goals.

PLNU's Department of Biology prepares you to address the very serious need in our world today for people trained to advocate for the healing and restoration of creation — both land and people. You will take classes that get you outside to investigate a variety of ecosystems and analyze how human activity impacts them. To prepare you for environmental science careers, we offer an interdepartmental program where you'll have the chance to take core science classes in biology, chemistry, and mathematics, alongside electives in political science, economics, philosophy, or sociology. This broad range of academic disciplines will empower you to understand the connections and interactions between the environment and people, and provide you with critical skills needed to tackle solutions to problems.

Mike Updated


Mike Mooring, Ph.D.

Since 2009, PLNU’s Department of Biology has led a biennial Neotropical Ecology field course in Costa Rica that has garnered rave reviews by students. In 2010, Dr. Mike Mooring, professor of biology, began leading his summer research students to Costa Rica to conduct field research.

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This minor requires you to complete 4 units within an off-campus environmental program, which can be completed as part of a summer program or semester abroad. Approved programs include Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies, QERC Program, Creation Care Study Program, and The School for Field Studies. The goal is to encourage you to expand your learning beyond PLNU and take advantage of many specialized and unique courses that cannot be offered at PLNU. 

Course List

For information about the courses required for the Environmental Biology, minor program, view the PLNU Catalog. 

Course Information

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Are you ready to take the next step to begin your PLNU journey? Whether you’re a high school senior, college transfer student, or international student, find out what we’re looking for in our applicants and how you can apply.

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Student Support

For most students, the transition into college life is one full of adjustments. There is the excitement of newfound freedoms, but also some uncertainty as you begin to make choices and take responsibility for your own future. 

At PLNU, we’re committed to supporting you — academically, professionally, spiritually, personally — so that you may be successful both in your time as a student and beyond. That’s why we offer a holistic support system that focuses on your unique experiences, particular needs, and personal and professional goals — resulting from our deep concern for you, our student.

With a focus on authentic relationships and personalized attention, our goal is to help transform you so you can follow your calling in your own career and life.

Student Support

After graduating from PLNU with a degree in biology, the university helped me find a job during the height of the 2009 recession. Two years later, I was accepted into a Ph.D. program at University of California, San Diego. My experiences at PLNU — the coursework, labs, hands-on research, personal connections, and spiritual guidance — have laid the groundwork for my success as a scientist and a researcher.

Lane Votapka, Ph.D., Class of 2009
Postdoctoral Researcher, SUNY Stony Brook

Career Opportunities

Industries are beginning to recognize their responsibility in helping create and maintain a sustainable planet. Because of this, there are many organizations interested in hiring people who understand how decision-making activities may impact the environment. A environmental biology minor from PLNU will provide you the fundamentals of natural science and be useful as you prepare for graduate programs or careers in fields like conservation, renewable energy, education, public health, sustainability, urban planning, and resource management. Alumni are also sought after for the ways they are able to confidently integrate and apply their faith, knowledge, and skill set into their work.

Caleb Bryce takes a photograph of an adult grey wolf

Student Profile

Caleb Bryce, Ph.D.

In graduate school, Caleb M. Bryce, Ph.D. trained dogs how to run on a treadmill. It was cute he says, but it was to study the effects of domestication and intensive artificial selection on the running performance of various breeds in comparison to their shared wild cousin, the wolf.

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A minor in environmental biology can help you pursue careers in the following areas:

  • Botany
  • Conservation Biology
  • Ecology
  • Environmental Analysis
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Education
  • Environmental Planning
  • Resource Management
  • Wildlife Biology
  • Environmental Consulting
  • Ecological Research
Man in Field

How Do We Live Like Every Day Is Earth Day?

How can we convert small actions like bringing a reusable water bottle to work or biking on our commute into a lifestyle change that makes a real difference?

Read More in the Viewpoint Online Magazine 

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