Otterbein Announces New Environmental Chemistry Major 

Posted Jul 01, 2022

Otterbein has started enrolling students in Environmental Chemistry — a new major designed as a pathway for students to combine their passion for chemistry with their concern for the environment. Students interested in majoring in Environmental Chemistry may qualify for the Choose Ohio First Cardinal STEMM Scholarship. 

“This major combines all elements of an Otterbein education – the intentional blending of the liberal arts and professional studies combined with a unique approach to integrating direct experience – into learning,” said Joan Esson, chair of the Department of Chemistry

Environmental chemists are needed as the world addresses major issues, such as climate change, water quality, and renewable energy sources to protect and conserve our environment for the future. These science specialists monitor and study chemicals in the environment to understand how these chemicals enter our ecosystems, the effects they have, and how to prevent or remedy areas of concern.  

This new major focuses on disciplinary learning in environmental chemistry enhanced with coursework from other programs, such as the Department of Sociology, Criminology, and Justice Studies, and the Department of Philosophy and Religion

“We believe that our new program is synergistic with our Environmental Science and Sustainability Studies majors, and together all three programs will help to elevate Otterbein as a school for sustainable, green, environmental learning,” said Esson.  

The career prospects for environmental chemists are strong. A study conducted by Hanover Research found that there is a high growth labor demand for environmental chemists in Ohio. People with environmental chemistry degrees find careers in atmospheric chemistry, environmental modeling, marine chemistry, geochemistry and pollution remediation. The job demand for these areas is expected to increase by six percent nationally over the next 10 years.  

The new Environmental Chemistry major at Otterbein gives students another way to make an impact in the world and do the most good. 

For more information contact Joan Esson at