In the Environmental & Resource Science program, we are committed to helping create a carbon-neutral, sustainable future where we do not consume resources any faster than they can be renewed. One of the ways we support this commitment is through our Environmental & Resource Science Major, a degree for students interested in making a positive change in the world while also learning skills necessary to help public and private organizations implement sound environmental practices. Ultimately, this program is dedicated to helping solve one of the greatest problems of our century: How can our culture thrive without harming the ability of later generations to do the same?
As an Environmental & Resource Sciences major, you will study the environment, the impact of industrialization and urbanization, and the ways we can utilize renewable energy. As you progress, you will learn the technical skills necessary for measuring changes in the environment and the critical skills necessary to analyze and develop environmental policies.
One important benefit of studying Environmental & Resource Sciences at NSC is the unique nature of the degree. Local experts and business leaders helped to design our program specifically for our college, with a special emphasis on the environmental issues facing Southern Nevada communities. This means that you will receive real-world experience, working on environmental problems that are unique to our area. For example, in the spring of 2008, Dr. Edwin Price led a class entitled “Is Las Vegas Sustainable?” Students in this class took several field trips to the Las Vegas Wash and participated in projects involving the water, air, and soil in the Las Vegas area. Rather than working in abstract terms or intangibles, our students have a say in an important and relevant debate in our community.
If contributing to the long-term success of both humans and the environment sounds interesting to you, we invite you to learn more.
A degree in environmental & resource science from NSC will prepare you for a wide variety of careers such as
Ed Price teaches Environmental and Resource Science courses at Nevada State College. While growing up with cows on a farm in the hills of north Georgia, Dr. Price learned to appreciate the outdoors. He has been studying nature ever since.
After earning B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. in Geology from Washington State University, he spent several years in petroleum resource exploration and technology in Alaska, China, and Colorado. Before coming to NSC, Dr. Price performed geologic studies of nuclear waste storage sites in Washington State and environmental restoration research of the nuclear bomb testing sites near Las Vegas.
Dr. Price's hobby is collecting photographs of environmental topics during his travels to show students. At NSC he teaches Introductory Environmental Science, Geology, Conservation Biology, Environmental Pollution, Hydrology, Soils, Geography, Regional and Global Issues, CBL 400, and Special Topics courses involving student field research.
Here are some of the places where NSC grads in Environmental & Resource Science work and study:
In Environmental Measurement & Analysis (ENV 260) you get out of the classroom and into the field to get experience with equipment like an X-ray Fluorescence sample analyzer Gun (or XRF analyzer gun). The hand-held device is commonly used in the field by environmental scientists surveying areas for heavy metal contamination. In previous semesters NSC students have visited the historic Nelson mining area, and Three Kids Mine near Lake Las Vegas to examine old mine tailings for select pollutants such as lead, arsenic and cadmium.
Scientists working on similar projects often collect samples in the field that must be sent to the lab for full analysis. However, utilizing the XRF analyzer gun, they are able to cover more ground and collect larger amounts of data.
The device works by sending x-ray radiation into soil samples drawn from mine tailings, exciting the atoms in the samples. The atoms in turn give off their own radiation which the barrel of the gun detects and separates into different elements, telling the user what contaminants are present.
The data stored in the analyzer gun can then be downloaded to a computer and populated into an Excel database for further examination.
“In conjunction with testing the XRF analyzer gun, our students learned procedures for its use defined by the US Environmental Protection Agency,” Ed Price, Assistant Professor of Environmental Science.
Data collected by students showed low traces of arsenic at both sites.
“This was the first time we’ve been able to offer this opportunity to our students and look forward to future experiences with advanced equipment and technology," Price concluded.