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Explore the environmental geography bachelor's degree program at UW-Eau Claire

Study the bond between humankind and nature with an environmental geography bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Here you’ll find yourself surrounded by highly motivated and enthusiastic people just like you: curious about the earth and how humans connect to it.

Environmental geography is meant to be experienced — and UW-Eau Claire’s geography department helps you do just that. We offer students direct access to state-of-the-art technology typically not available to undergraduate students. You’ll also learn from engaged faculty, who know you by name and are excited to mentor you.

Through field experience, internships and collaborative research, your skillset and resume will grow quickly. And faculty-led immersion experiences, our National Student Exchange program and study abroad opportunities offer life-changing, experiential learning. Previous students have traveled to places like the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Ecuador, Hawaii and Turkey — exploring new environments, cultures and ways of living. 

No matter your passion, UW-Eau Claire will provide you with the tools, knowledge and resources needed to choose your direction and make an immediate, positive impact in today's world.

Connection and conservation: upbringing fuels career path

Tressa Lange’s heritage and childhood experiences have played a critical role in her interest in environmental conservation. And they are now fueling her desire to make the world a better place.

“Being Native American and growing up in a culture where we're surrounded by the environment, a lot of our ceremonies have to do with the environment and taking care of it,” she said. 

With encouragement and support from her professors, Tressa applied to be a part of the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program. She was one of just 20 individuals across the country who would be a part of the all-expenses-paid internship program in California, where underrepresented groups were provided with professional training and leadership opportunities in conservation.

“If I hadn't reached out to my environmental professor, I would not have had the chance to go to California. It was just an incredible experience that no words could ever explain.”

Why environmental geography at UW-Eau Claire?

Inspirational world travels. Whether it’s two weeks in Scotland researching modern tourism practices or a semester in France studying the impact of World Wars on soil, immersion and study abroad programs give you the opportunity to explore the world and all it has to offer.

Unique and insightful internships. The extensive education you receive at UWEC makes you a great candidate for exciting and career-building internships — some of which lead to full-time jobs. Environmental geography students have worked across the globe, with both nonprofits and large corporations, developing maps and using the latest equipment to explore interesting landmarks.

Rare undergraduate experiences. At UW-Eau Claire, you have the chance to work with the same technology professionals use out in the field today. You will learn how to operate equipment like unmanned aerial systems (UAS), global positioning system (GPS) and ground-penetrating radar (GPR). It’s experiences like these that set you apart from other candidates when applying for jobs.  

Unparalleled research opportunities. Our geography department offers you the chance to contribute to the field of geography in meaningful and lasting ways. Alongside faculty, you’ll have opportunities to participate in groundbreaking research, bringing your findings back to labs equipped with top-notch tools and industry-standard software. Many students go on to present their discoveries at both regional and national competitions. 

94% employed

or continuing education after graduation

2020-2021 Graduate Report

Time spent with coffee farmers was among the highlights of an immersion in Guatemala.

Immersion program bolsters Blugold’s passion for environmental justice

A cultural immersion program in Guatemala gave Molly Larson a whole new outlook on coffee, life and environmental justice. Along with 15 of her peers, Molly traveled over Winterim to assist Guatemalans with harvesting coffee — expanding a local coffee cooperative and gaining a better understanding of international environmental issues in the process. In particular, the Blugold group learned how climate change is affecting the coffee crop and the impact that it can — and is — having on farmers' livelihoods.

“This immersion was incredibly powerful for me,” she said. “It made me even more passionate about issues like social and environmental justice. It also reminded me why it’s important to seek out stories that are different from my own, because this is how we learn and become more empathetic people.”

With a new perspective on environmental protection, Molly is more confident than ever that environmental geography is the major for her.

Quick facts

Environmental geography program details
  • Program length: four years
  • Offered: in person
  • Campus: Eau Claire
  • This major does not require a minor.
  • Students majoring in this program may choose either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BS) degree.
Student organizations
  • Geography and Anthropology Club
  • Gamma Theta Upsilon

What can I do with an environmental geography degree from UWEC?

UW-Eau Claire environmental geography alumni have gone on to work for organizations like the DNR, Conservation Minnesota and American Conservation Experience, holding a variety of positions, including trail managers and runoff specialists. By applying the knowledge, skills and experiences gained through their well-rounded liberal arts education, they are able to find a career that both interests and inspires them.

Where are environmental geography alumni now?

Environmental geography careers

The geography department’s view that students are future colleagues provides a healthy and strong network of peers, which, combined with their drive to incorporate all of their students into real research, provides for a life-shaping experience.

Zach Hilgendorf Environmental Geography
Mattheus de Waard

Unique internships set Blugold apart

Mattheus de Waard’s internships have taken him around the world, from a large-scale contracting company in eastern Wisconsin to a nonprofit in West Africa. While working as a data processor and cartographer in Liberia, Mattheus helped create a protocol for the collection of locations and attributes of the country’s cocoa farms. He also made a series of maps that could be used in reports at the organization’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Mattheus credits his UWEC education for giving him the knowledge and tools needed to excel in these remarkable endeavors.

“Having a comprehensive understanding and technical background is what sets me and other UWEC geography students apart,” Mattheus said. “We’re fortunate to have a group of professors with very diverse backgrounds in geography. They do a great job of integrating their special fields of study with current real-world ideas, knowledge and technology. What we are learning is always fresh and relevant to today.”

Environmental geography bachelor's degree program curriculum

Our environmental geography major gives you the ability to understand connections between humankind and nature. Through coursework, field seminars and field trips, you'll explore a variety of topics including history, social issues, culture, race, gender, tourism and technologies. 

What classes do environmental geography majors take?

Your classes may cover topics like: 

Learn more about the comprehensive environmental geography major in the UWEC course catalog.

Related programs at UW-Eau Claire

Thinking about a bachelor’s degree in environmental geography? Here are other programs you might be interested in exploring.

Department information

Photo of a student on a Yosemite immersion experience

Geography and Anthropology

Phillips Science Hall 257
101 Roosevelt Avenue
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Visit the Geography and Anthropology department website

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