Welcome to the Environmental Biology (EVB) website!
What is the EVB degree? It is a biology degree that specifically focuses on environmental issues.
The interests of EVB majors cover a wide range of topics. Students in the program are interested in:
The keystone experience of an EVB degree is an internship that allows a student to follow their specific interests and to gain hands on, real world, experience. Our graduates have gone on to graduate school or to work at state and federal agencies, zoos, nature centers, consulting firms and many, many other places. This website should give you a good introduction to our program.
The EVB degree is first and foremost a biology degree with all of the basic requirements you will see in any biology program across the country. EVB is not an environmental studies program, which are often much more based in the humanities rather than the sciences. With an EVB degree, you are able to pursue graduate or professional school if that is the path you choose.
EIU is also unique in that it maintains a real focus on organismal biology. This means that our students may take classes covering all the major groups of organisms: Bryology, Dendrology, Entomology, Ichthyology, mammalogy and ornithology to name a few. We also have diverse course offerings in ecology, ecotoxicology, fisheries and wildlife management, behavior and many others. This diversity does not occur in many schools anymore and all of our classes are taught on a regular schedule. Please look at our course offerings for a full list to see which you may be interested in.
While EIU is large enough to provide diverse course offerings, we are decidedly different from the large schools. Our department prides itself in its close collaborations with students on various research and outreach projects. Students working with a faculty member conduct research, present their results at local, regional and national meetings, and publish their results in peer-reviewed journals. No matter what your interest, there are opportunities for you in EVB. Please check our faculty pages to explore the diverse research opportunities in the department.
Gain valuable hands-on experience and become engaged in your chosen field of study! Our best students work with one or more faculty members and generate knowledge, not just learn it. Research experiences are key for those interested in graduate or professional schools. You can also earn credit for your research and count it towards your degree.
Following the work of one of our previous interns, EVB has partnered with the EIU Office of Sustainability to work towards composting organic wastes from EIU’s food services. We are currently exploring vermicomposting as a way to speed up the process.
EIU offers pre-health-professions coursework to prepare students for admission to medical programs at other institutions. Click here for more information on this program.
For the last few semesters, we have been converting used cooking oil from dining services into diesel fuel. We now have a Biodiesel truck and will be doing outreach to local schools in the near future. This is just a part of EIU’s commitment to renewable energy as we are also exploring fuels from algae and biomass. These efforts should continue to expand as the Renewable Energy Center develops.
Geographic Information Systems, or GIS are an ever expanding tool used in mapping and developing management plans for species and landscapes. The GIS minor works well within the EVB degree with most classes counting towards your EVB electives.
As more and more interest is placed in renewable energy and in using our existing resources more wisely, issues of sustainability have become more important to companies and agencies. The new sustainability minor explores those issues and works well within the EVB degree, with most classes counting towards your EVB electives.