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Environmental Science

As an Environmental Science Technology student, you will be on your way to a meaningful career imparting a lasting change on the future of Florida's natural environment. A major trend in today's job market is to focus on the "greening" of business operations and supporting environmental sustainability initiatives. Seize this opportunity to be the first to catch this exciting career trend that is transforming the world around us.

Courses in the Environmental Science Technology program include a wide range of environmental areas, providing our students with a well rounded education that prepares them for positions in environmental assessment, restoration, research and public education.

Palm Beach State College educational options include completing a two-year associate in science (A.S.) degree as an Environmental Technician, or taking our courses as electives on your way to earning an A.A. degree and then pursuing a Bachelor's degree. Perhaps you already work in the field and want to advance your career or learn new skills. Regardless of your final educational goal, you will receive quality, hands-on experience that you can take with you and apply towards many critical initiatives for Florida’s environment.





Programs Offerings at PBSC

A.S. Degree

The A.S. (Associate in Science) is a terminal 2-year degree designed to lead you directly into the workforce. However, Palm Beach State A.S. degree directly transfers into Broward College's Environmental Science B.S. degree. Basically, you earn your first two years at Palm Beach State and then transfer to Broward College for the remaining two years. If you are interested in a different four year institution other than Broward College, you will need to pursue the A.A. (Associate in Arts) degree in Environmental Science from Palm Beach State.

  • The A.S. degree involves extensive training in the Environmental Sciences as well as General Education.
  • The A.S. degree can be completed in 2 years or less if you attend full-time & take summer courses.
  • College credit courses taken elsewhere usually count toward PBSC degrees. Evaluation is required. Credit is not given for life experience or non-college-credit certifications.

Contact the Environmental Science Program Dept. Chair, Dr. Jessica Miles and a Palm Beach State Advisor early in your A.S. degree program. This is critical.

Complete the Palm Beach State College Environmental Science Technology A.S. required courses (which include General Education credits). View the General Education requirements. A complete Environmental Science Technology A.S. degree, composed of required courses and electives, is a total of 64 credit hours.

Certificate Tracks

The Environmental Science Technology program offers two College Credit Certificates (CCC). Build your resume, get to work faster, and be rewarded as you pursue your A.S. degree with these certificates!

Both certificates can be completed while pursuing your A.S. degree program, but you must communicate with the Registrar and ask that the CCC’s be added to your active program code so the certificate(s) can be processed and added to your transcript. You will need to complete a Request to Change Program Objective Form to add the certificates to your objective list. Please continue to keep the Environmental Science A.S. degree (Code 2216) as your primary objective, but add the new program objective code(s).

*The 30 Credit Environmental Science Technician CCC(6561) is eligible for Title IV Financial Aid, visit Federal Student Aid, an Office of the U.S. Department of Education, or Palm Beach State College Financial Aid Application Workshops to learn more.

Transferring to a 4-year University?

Where can I go after earning my A.A. or A.S. degree in Environmental Science at Palm Beach State?

What you should know

  • Broward State College offers a Bachelor's Degree in Environmental Science.  They will accept Palm Beach State College's full A.S. Degree in Environmental Science for transfer into their program as a Junior.  Wildlife Ecology, EVS 2870c, can be used as your second biology course for entry into the program. They will also accept Palm Beach State College's A.A. Degree or 60 credits with the completion of the general education requirements.  You then must only complete 60 credits of upper-level coursework to graduate from Broward State College.  Their tuition costs are almost 50% less than most local universities.

  • The University of Florida (UF) has programs in their College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and their School of Natural Resources and Environment. Various degree programs are offered at locations throughout Florida including: Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Pierce, Homestead, Plant City, Apopka, Milton, and Gainesville. UF has unique transfer requirements for each of their 30 degree offerings, but the A.A. (Associate in Arts) Degree is the transfer degree. Students intending to transfer generally take most of their Gen Ed requirements at PBSC and take Environmental Science Technology courses as electives.

What you should do

  • Meet early in your program with Palm Beach State Advisors and the Environmental Science Technology Dept. Chair Dr. Jessica Miles.  The dept. chair, academic advisor, and you can meet simultaneously.
  • Contact the four year program where you want to transfer and discuss the transfer. This will ward off misunderstandings, inaccurate assumptions, and problems stemming from outdated information.

  • Earn your Palm Beach State A.A. degree. See requirements in current Palm Beach State Catalog. Remember, for the A.A. Degree you will be taking primarily General Education courses at Palm Beach State and Environmental Science Technology courses as your electives.

    Note: It is NOT necessary to begin the program during the fall semester in August. Most classes are taught in the evenings at the Garden’s campus location. It is recommended to take the General Education courses during summer, and focus on the environmental courses for fall and spring semesters.

1.  What is the purpose of the program?
The Environmental Science Technology program is intended to teach students real world skills that are necessary to obtain a position in the wide-ranging environmental field. This is not a theoretical program, but instead is one that is very practical and tailored to local needs and current desired skill sets.

Program highlights include:

  • State-of-the-art laboratories and newly built Bioscience Technology Complex, located on the PBG campus
  • Hands-on, skill based training

2.  What is the job outlook?
The job outlook is GOOD.  There are many opportunities for employment in our area, especially as we see a growing trend for businesses to "go green", for the need to work on restoration and environmental preservation as a foundation for strengthening our economy now and into the future, and for the necessity of dealing with global warming and the direct impact it will have on our low lying state.

Several occupations have been highlighted as potential career paths for our students.  Information specific to our county including job title, starting salary, and the average salary was provided from the Employ Florida Marketplace.

For additional information on strong job growth in "Florida's Clean Environmental Economy", please view the Brookings Institute report at the following link:  Sizing the Clean Economy

3.  What types of organizations employ graduates?
Below is a link to a spreadsheet outlining specific categories of environmental employment, followed by job titles associated with those areas and then public and private agencies that hire for those types of positions. In general, graduates may secure entry-level positions with environmental consulting firms, industry or nonprofit organizations, utilities, as well as federal, state, and local governmental agencies.

Green Occupation Comparison

4.  What can I expect as an entry level salary?
Salaries vary widely depending on skills, experience, environmental focus/area, and type of business. You can expect a salary range from $23,000 to $45,000.

5.  Can this program be completed on a part-time basis? In the evening?
Yes, you can complete the program on a full-time or part-time basis.  The majority of the classes are offered in the evening on the Palm Beach Gardens campus.  Assessments are currently being done to determine if additional daytime offerings will be scheduled.  Most classes are offered one night per week.  Lastly, you can begin taking courses during any semester.

6.  What special skills or qualifications are needed for this program?
Students entering the program should enjoy working outside, and feel comfortable with basic math, writing, and communication skills as these will be critical for most environmental positions.

7.  What are some suggestions to increase my success in this program and in my future career?
I encourage you to volunteer or hold an internship position throughout the program to expose you to the field, introduce you to the types of work you can expect, and to begin to get yourself networked in the environmental community. I am actively involved in forwarding environmental event information to my students including speaking engagements, beach/natural area cleanups, and special events and encourage my students to get familiar with local environmental agencies, employers, and sites. Depending on your final goal, it may be helpful to obtain additional certificates such as HazWoper (hazardous materials certification), prescribed burning certificate, asbestos certificate, etc. to make you more employable upon completion of the courses (note: these are usually offered through the Corporate & Continuing Education (CCE) department and are in addition to the 64 credit hours required for an A.S. degree. CCE welcomes course suggestions if you know of one needed for a desired position). Create a strong resume and have it prepared to present to employers or for job opportunities that become available. Also, meet with the Palm Beach State College Career Center so that all announcements can be forwarded to you and they can further assist you in writing your resume and preparing you for interviews.

8.  What are the trends in the field?
People working in this field often do so because they are passionate about the environment and/or perhaps want to make for a more sustainable future. Be prepared to enjoy what you do and to work with others who share your enthusiasm. You may also become aware that people do this work because they love it, thus there is greater competition and demand for open positions. That high level of demand for a limited selection of jobs means that initial salaries may not always be as high as you may want, but be aware that once your foot is in the door, advancement opportunities are usually plentiful.

9.  What do I say, when people ask me, "what does an environmental science technician do?"
Explain that environmental impact is an issue of critical concern today, and environmental scientists respond to issues ranging from pollution detection and abatement to the protection of endangered species.  Technicians can be found working in the field collecting water, soil, air, and biological samples for regulatory compliance activities or to assist in managing the health and quantity of important resources.  Technicians may also be found in a laboratory, processing samples and helping to analyze the habitat characteristics or sources of impact to the environment.  Graduates may also be involved in projects aiming to identify and quantify organisms, to maintain field equipment, establish and monitor sampling areas, and prepare reports such as Environmental Impact Statements.  Environmental technicians are a critical component of a growing workforce dedicated to the sustainability of our local resources.

Program Grants Received

1.  Math Science Institute Grant

Palm Beach State College has received a $545,471 grant from the National Science Foundation to launch a scholarship and mentoring program aimed at boosting the number of underrepresented minority students pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

As part of the Math & Science Institute: S-STEM Diversity Project, a cohort of 55 academically talented students with financial need will receive scholarships to cover the full cost of tuition, fees and books for their two-year associate degree at Palm Beach State College.  In addition, those who transfer to Florida Atlantic University to pursue a bachelor's degree in such disciplines will receive full scholarships for their junior year.  FAU, as part of a partnership with Palm Beach State College, will offer scholarships for the students' senior year and provide some of the mentoring and support.

The Institute offers world-class opportunities for high school and Palm Beach State College students with special aptitude in mathematics and science.  Learn from outstanding Palm Beach State College faculty, collaborating with local industry leaders in biotechnology, physics, aerospace engineering and environment and energy technology.  The state-of-the-art BioScience Technology Complex, on the Palm Beach Gardens campus, will be your learning laboratory.

2.  Non-native Vegetation Removal Grant - Visit our natural habitat

3.  Audubon Foundation for the Environment Grant

Palm Beach State's Environmental Science program was awarded a grant from the Audubon Foundation for the Environment in May 2005 to support student scholarships.

In particular the scholarships went toward students attending the program's Tropical Ecology course which includes a field study component to Costa Rica. Students learn in a hands-on fashion and participate in international projects in conjunction with the Audubon Society.

Program Awards Received
The Davis Award
The Florida Park Service has instituted an award winning "Parknership" program with the college allowing many of our students to excel in wildlife research and achieve publication in scientific journals along with the respect of experts in the field. We have been awarded the Davis Award for our part in this effort.

Get Involved!

The Community Earth Club usually meets 1-2 times per month including guest speakers and environmental field trips.
Contact Professor Miles for more information (561) 207-5220. 

Please come and join us!

Name Title Course

Dr. Jessica Miles
Faculty webpage

Environmental Science
Department Chair

Introduction to Environmental Science (EVR1001) 
Biology non-majors (BSC1005)
Wildlife Ecology (EVS 2870c)
Florida's Env. History (EVR 1007)
Cooperative Work Experience (EVR2940)

Prof. Donna Harwell
Faculty webpage

Adjunct Professor

Environmental Law (EVR 2858)

Prof. Michael Baranski
Faculty webpage

Adjunct Professor

Scientific Monitoring & Data Methods (EVS 2020)

Dr. John Zahina-Ramos
Faculty webpage

Adjunct Professor

Survey of Environmental Mapping/GIS/Remote
Sensing (EVR2266)
Environmental Geology (EVR2030c)
Introduction to Environmental Science (EVR1001)

Prof. Robert Shuford
Faculty webpage

Adjunct Professor

Environmental Sampling Techniques (EVS 2193c)
Florida's Environmental History (EVR 1007)
Tropical Ecology (PCB 2350c)

Prof. Donatto Surratt
Faculty webpage

Adjunct Professor

Writing for Science (EVS 2015)

Prof. David Cowan
Faculty webpage

Adjunct Professor

Hazardous Materials (EVS 2601)

Prof. Jose Guardario
Faculty webpage

Adjunct Professor

Environmental Geology (GLY 2030c)

Prof. Rebekah Gibble
Faculty webpage

Adjunct Professor

Wildlife Ecology (EVS 2870c)

Prof. David Levy
Faculty webpage

Adjunct Professor

Environmental Geology (GLY 2030c)

Dr. Felicia Survis
Faculty webpage

Adjunct Professor

Environmental Geology (GLY 2030c)

Prof. Phillip WatsonFaculty webpage

Adjunct Professor

Wildlife Ecology (EVS 2870c)
Introduction to Environmental Science (EVR1001)

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