Environmental Science

Environmental Science @ RMC

Nature is our laboratory.

The Environmental Science program at Rocky Mountain College emphasizes interdisciplinary studies in the field and lab and a broad range of hands-on experiences. Classes are designed to include a wide variety of field-based, conservation-focused projects that allow our students to engage deeply in the theory and practice of environmental science and conservation biology. Students also gain extensive, hands-on experience with local flora and fauna and field survey techniques.

Rocky Mountain College’s proximity to abundant natural resources and open land make for an ideal outdoor laboratory to study human interactions and impacts on the environment. Students have the opportunity to study and work alongside the Yellowstone River, the longest free-flowing river in the U.S. Students and faculty also conduct ongoing research at multiple sites within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

The truth is that we have never conquered the world, never understood it; we only think we have control. We do not even know why we respond in a certain way to other organisms and need them in diverse ways so deeply.

Edward O. Wilson

Degree Options


Environmental Science


Environmental Science

 Explore the Course Catalog

Featured Courses

ESC 105 – Environmental Science: Sustainable Communities
An introductory course designed for students entering the environmental sciences and studies program and for other students who would like to take an ecology course. Topics address the central concepts of ecology including the physical environment in which life exists. Students will explore the properties and processes of populations and communities, ecosystem dynamics, biogeography and biodiversity, as well as issues in conservation and restoration ecology.
ESC 262 – Ethnobotany
Life on earth is sustained by plants and we are enriched daily by our interactions with them in the form of food, medicine, fuel, fibers, building materials, and other resources. Plants have significantly shaped the human societies growing in their midst, and this course will examine the relationship between plants and human culture. We will explore the role of plants in material culture, religion and ritual, nutrition, local and global economies, medicine and pharmaceuticals, and recreational drug culture. We will also discuss basic plant biology: what is a plant, how are they related to other organisms, how do we identify them, and why do plants look the way they do. Finally, we will use the primary literature to compare cultural and scientific evaluations of plants and their utility.
ESC 307 – Montana Wildflowers
Students receive an intensive introduction to the evolutionary relationships of vascular plants and their classification. The course emphasizes plant identification based on use of taxonomic keys and focuses on angiosperm species in the Yellowstone River watershed, particularly the prairie habitats, the Pryor Mountains, the riparian habitats of the Yellowstone, and the foothills of the Beartooth Mountains. Field trips are required. Students will collect, identify, and prepare a prescribed number of plants for the herbarium.
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Career Ready

RMC Environmental Science students are prepared for a wide range of careers. Some have become:

Wild Sky Specialist, American Prairie Reserve

Eastern Montana Aquatic Invasive Species Supervisor

Staff Environmental Scientist, Montana State University, Terracon Consultants, Inc.

PhD Student, Montana State University - Ecology Department



Associate Professor of Biology & Environmental Science


Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Botany