Environmental Studies  

AQ Difference

The environmental studies major at Aquinas is a second major which a student takes in conjunction with one of the traditional majors. The environmental studies curriculum is flexible enough so that it is not difficult for a student to acquire two majors in four years.



2015 Award Winner


Congratulations to Molly Robertson, winner of the Paul Bieneman Award in recognition of their enthusiasm for geography and environmental studies. Pictured here Dr. Mary Clinthorne, Molly Robertson, Dr. Paul Bieneman, and Dr. James Rasmussen.

Graduate School Destinations for AQ Geography & Environmental Studies Students (2006 - 2015)
Graduate School Destinations for AQ Geography & Environmental Studies Students














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Undergraduate Student Research

2012 Topic: Paleolimnology - Revealing the Natural History of the Landscape through the Lens of a West Michigan Pond.

(Dr. James Rasmussen and student Bradley Farley)

Bradley Farley We were interested in the bottom sediments of Brewster Lake in Barry County, specifically the size and composition of these sediments and what they could reveal about how the environment around the lake had changed over the past 4000 years.  To that end, we built a floating research platform, where we collected a number of sediment cores up to 2 meters in length.  What we found in these cores was that the lake had a long period of relatively slow change.  For most of the history recorded in the lake core, erosion into the lake was minor, with occasional sediments and snail shells being flushed in from the surrounding shore areas.  However, late in the core we found that the texture of the sediments changed and the erosion rates increased by an order of magnitude when compared to the background rate displayed in the rest of the core.  We attribute this change to land clearance with the arrival of European-style farming techniques.
Mission Statement

The mission of the Geography and Environmental Studies Department at Aquinas College is to provide students with knowledge of geography and environmental studies befitting their goals: for the general education students that they understand basic tenets of physical geography, human geography, and/or environmental studies; for the education certification students that they obtain the content knowledge necessary for their teaching careers; and for the geography and environmental studies majors that they possess the knowledge and skills necessary for them to succeed in their post-baccalaureate careers.