Now for a bit about environmental science at Duke! Academics
Duke has six options in the Nicholas School.
- BA Earth & Ocean Sciences
- BS Earth & Ocean Sciences
- BS Environmental Science
- BA Environmental Science & Policy
- Minor in Environmental Science
- Minor in Earth & Ocean Sciences
The different tracks allow you to pursue an academic path that is best suited to your interests and career goals. Earth & Ocean Sciences offers courses in geology, oceanography, paleontology, volcanology, etc. Environmental Science offers courses in energy policy, climate change, GIS, ecology, forestry, etc. Facilities
The EOS department is housed in Old Chem, next to Perkins/Bostock library on the main quad. It has labs, rock/fossil collections, and most equipment that you would need as an EOS major.
The Environmental Science department is housed in the Levine Science Research Center on Science Drive, next to the physics and engineering buildings. The LSRC is HUGE, fairly new, and has extremely nice labs and workspaces.
Duke has one of the largest collection of plant samples in the US in its herbarium
and has the largest collection of algae. For those interested in botany, the phytotron
(greenhouse with different microclimates) is also of interest.
Duke's primate center
contains several species that are otherwise found only in Madagascar, including the extremely rare aye aye, and roughly 25,000 fossils. Duke's evolutionary anthropology
program (formerly biological anthropology) is centered around this amazing resource.
The Duke Forest
, located right off campus near the Washington Duke, provides opportunities to do fieldwork in ecology and forestry. As far as I know, Duke is only one of only a few colleges to own over 8000 acres of forest (Berry College and Sewanee are a couple others). Thanks to the Duke Bikes
program, students can borrow bikes for free. The Outpost
also lends out camping equipment and other gear.
Duke's most valuable resource, in my opinion, is its Marine Lab
. It attracts about 30 students in the fall and spring semesters and about 80 in the summer. It has a great location, and students even have the opportunity to work with the conservation of wild horses on a nearby island. Beaufort is pretty unique in its animal populations because NC is often the boundary for animal ranges; the lab gets both sub-tropical and temperate fauna. The chef has been with the marine lab for ages, and the food is quite tasty. The dorms, library, and research and teaching facilities are very much up to date, both in quality and environmental impact. Research and Off-campus Study
Most courses require field research. The Biological Oceanography class culminates in a research cruise where you collect data for your project, for example. The other courses are equally fascinating. Where else could you study sea turtle conservation in Puerto Rico
or urban ecology in Singapore
? For more of a taste of life at the marine lab, read this article in Duke Magazine
Recently Duke implemented the Rachel Carson Scholars program
, named after the marine biologist who spent a lot of her time down at Beaufort and has a reserve named after her there. The program has resulted in the university bending over backwards in an effort to provide research opportunities and funding to interested students. In addition to faculty mentors and guided research, students are given money to present their research at conferences.
The Stanback Internships
are paid internships available specifically to Duke students in the field of earth/environmental science. I've had friends study turtle ecology in Florida, tornado chasing in Oklahoma, and water resources in Tanzania. Every year there are so many internships that most go unfilled.
The Dannenberg Award
is specifically intended for pre-major students (freshmen and first semester sophomores). This pairs you with a faculty mentor and provides grant money for a research project.
provides funded summer opportunities across the US and globe.
Although not research, Earth Day at Duke is quite fun for an EOS/ENV major and looks good on a CV. In addition to activities set up by Duke students, the event draws over 40 vendors displaying smart cars, alternate energy sources, sustainably grown food, etc. Environmental Science in Practice
Duke practices what it preaches. A lot of the food on campus is grown from sustainable practices, and students are provided free energy-efficient lightbulbs if requested. Duke annually ranks in the top 10 of the nationwide RecycleMania contest, and walking around campus you'll see solar-powered trash compactors.
Duke has been recognized for its Green efforts by many organizations. Green College Spotlight: Duke University 10 of the Greenest Colleges in America - Colleges Going Green - The Daily Green Sustainability : Duke Scores Big on Green College Reviews / August 14, 2008