Environmental Chemistry Concentration | Saint Francis University
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Environmental Chemistry Concentration

At Saint Francis University, you won't just be learning facts from a textbook, or even just preforming experiments in a lab. Our Environmental Chemistry students go out into the community to take action on local environmental issues like lead contamination, acid mine drainage, and more!

    • Samantha Radford in lab
    • Env Chem Students RED Day
  • What is Environmental Chemistry?

    What's in my water? Are pesticides that were sprayed in the 1950's still lurking in my soil today? Does my food really have BPA in it (and how hazardous is BPA anyway?) Answering questions like these is what environmental chemistry is all about! When you study environmental chemistry, you'll focus on the presence and impact of chemicals in soil, surface water, and groundwater and how these chemicals affect the ecosystems, animals and human health. At SFU, we take environmental chemistry a step further by learning about ways to change our environment for the better.

  • Prepare for your Career

    In the SFU Chemistry department, you will use instrumentation that most college students don’t get to touch. Want to know how much pesticide is in an apple from your local grocery store? You can find out yourself using one of our three state-of-the-art chromatographs. Want to find out if there’s lead in the paint chip you found? Run the atomic absorption spectrometer and analyze your sample!

    The best part? Whether you’re wanting to go straight into industry or continue your studies in graduate school, these experiences are going to serve you well! It’s not often that companies get to work with new graduates with the kind of experience that you’ll get at SFU, so expect to be snatched off the job market soon after graduation (or even before, if you take advantage of one of our many chemical internship opportunities)!

    Many environmental chemists find jobs with remediation firms and environmental consulting companies. Other opportunities include working for government and regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control, and others. And some choose to do laboratory research in industrial or manufacturing settings.

    With around 1,000 new chemicals introduced into the marketplace every year, the American Chemical Society (ACS) predicts that the demand for environmental chemists will grow. And even if you decide halfway through your college career that you want to broaden your horizons from Environmental Chemistry, you’ll have the skill set to perform these analyses in any chemical sector, including industry. After all, anyone who makes a product has to be able to prove it is what they say it is, so they all need analytical chemists!