Environmental analysis is a rapidly growing field in the natural sciences. Federal regulations governing discharge of municipal and industrial wastes have created the need for large numbers of persons trained to collect and analyze environmental samples. Existing environmental analysis laboratories have significantly expanded their operations, and dozens of new labs have been created in response to the demand. Each year, requests to Ouachita Baptist University for graduates trained in the techniques of environmental analysis far exceed the number of Ouachita graduates entering the job market.
The Environmental Analysis Program is available with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry or with a major in chemistry and a minor in biology. Each course in the standard curriculum has selected laboratory exercises that emphasize environmental analysis. In addition, courses have been added to the curriculum with special emphasis on environmental analysis. A sophomore level Environmental Analysis Seminar introduces students to the rationale behind environmental policies. Guest speakers from state and regional agencies and laboratories participate. Students can also gain valuable experience by working with professors conducting environmental analysis projects by taking Laboratory Practicum. Upper level courses focusing on techniques of environmental analysis are Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry, High Performance Liquid Chromatography, Atomic Absorption/Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectroscopy, and Biological Monitoring. Upper level students are able to pursue research projects on topics in environmental analysis. A senior level Environmental Analysis Seminar allows students to present their own research and to hear research seminars from professional environmental researchers.
Recommended sequence with a major in Biology and a minor in Chemistry
The pattern is similar for a major in Chemistry and a minor in Biology
First Year’s Total = 34 hrs
Second Year’s Total = 30 hrs
Third Year’s Total = 30 hrs
Fourth Year’s Total = 29 hrs