Biology and Environmental Science

Designed for students pursuing careers as field and lab technicians in areas that need considerable knowledge of biological and environmental concepts.

Biology and Environmental Science

The program is interdisciplinary and stresses an understanding of environmental problems and issues, and provides a scientific perspective of humankind.

Students preparing for graduate study or who intend to pursue a career in the environmental sciences upon graduation should consider D&E’s Bachelor of Science program.


Recent graduates from the BA Biology and Environmental Science program are currently working with Trout Unlimited, the United States Postal Service, the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection, the National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and a variety of other state and federal agencies.


The professional climate surrounding Davis & Elkins College offers Biology and Environmental Science students a wide range of possible internships. Students intern at the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, and the U.S. Forest Service, in the main offices in Elkins. Also, at nearby Monongahela National Forest, Fernow Experimental Forest, Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge, and Blackwater Falls State Park. For students wanting an internship at home during the summer, internships have been pursued at Maryland State Park Service, Virginia Division of Conservation and Recreation, Parks Canada, Trout Unlimited, National Park Service, and various non-profits.

Leading the Way.


Students enrolled in the biology program attend classes in Eshleman Science Center and have access to abundant natural resource areas.

Eshleman Science Center houses five teaching laboratories, a computer laboratory equipped with GIS/remote sensing software and S. Benton Talbott Seminar Room, in addition to numerous classrooms and offices featuring:

  • scientific instrumentation includes microscopes, air pollution and water pollution monitoring equipment, laboratory instrumentation and field sampling equipment;
  • cell and molecular biology lab which includes a programmable thermocycler for PCR analysis, UV/Vis spectrophotometer, micro centrifuges and gel
  • electrophoresis equipment;
  • extensive collection of microscope slides;
  • special facilities including a weather station, a controlled environment chamber and Tolstead Greenhouse;
  • herbarium containing over 3,000 specimens of vascular plants and the repository of the West Virginia State Fungi collection; and
  • solar panels utilizing a data logger.

Field studies and student research projects are carried out at the nearby Pigeon Creek Watershed and within the Robert E. Urban Nature Area located on the campus, within a few minutes’ walk of Eshleman Science Center.

The nearby Monongahela National Forest and other natural areas constitute an immense and highly varied natural laboratory for biological and environmental investigations. The following areas are within an hour’s drive of the campus:

  • Spruce Knob – the highest point in West Virginia at 4,863 feet
  • Seneca Rocks Blackwater Canyon
  • Bear Heaven Natural Area
  • Blister Swamp
  • Big Run Bog Natural Area
  • Dolly Sods Wilderness
  • Otter Creek Wilderness
  • Laurel Fork Wilderness
  • Canaan Valley National Wildlife Refuge
D&E Environmental Science Students
D&E Biology & Environmental Science


Interested in the sciences? The Zeta Chapter of Chi Beta Phi and GreenWorks! may be for you.

Chi Beta Phi
Established at Davis & Elkins College in 1925, Chi Beta Phi is an interdisciplinary scientific honorary for undergraduates. An affiliate society of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), this organization promotes interest in science and gives recognition to scholarly attainment in science.

At D&E, Chi Beta Phi is active in bringing guest speakers to campus, providing additional learning opportunities for students and participating in community service projects.

To become a member, students must show an interest in science and meet GPA requirements. Once students are granted membership, they are a member for life. Participation is recognized by potential employers and graduate schools as an indication of leadership in science. Grants are available to members on a competitive basis to support research, and membership provides students with an opportunity to present the results of their research at the National Convention and publish their findings in The Chi Beta Phi Record.

For more information about becoming a Chi Beta Phi Zeta Chapter member, contact the organization advisers, Dr. Shawn Stover and Dr. Michelle Mabry.

Put your beliefs about the importance of sustainability to work in the community.

GreenWorks! is the student sustainability organization of D&E’s Center for Sustainability Studies. From changing out light bulbs in Halliehurst to planting red spruce in Canaan Valley, student volunteers are making a difference campus-wide and in the surrounding community.

Among the many opportunities allowing students to become active in sustainability research and community projects, the group has completed three solar panel installations on campus. The most recent solar installation, the largest on a residential college/university in West Virginia, was initiated by students who were inspired to start the project after attending Mother Earth News conferences the past several years. Students installed the system under the guidance of Matt Sherald, owner of Power in My Backyard (PIMBY), located in Thomas, W.Va.

For more information about getting involved, contact Dr. Crytsal Krause.

Lead the Way at D&E. Contact us today.