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Environmental Science

The environmental science program is beginning to grow at the Alexandria campus. We started offering General Environmental Science I (ENV 121) in the spring 2012 semester. We now offer General Environmental Science II (ENV 122) as well. ENV 121 and 122 are each 4 credit courses that can be used to satisfy the "Physical or Life Science with Lab" requirements of all non-science majors (General Studies, Business, Liberal Arts, etc.). We hope to offer more environmental science courses in the future. Help us build the program, meet your degree requirements and learn about our environment! See more info on Dr. Christine Bozarth's blog.

Spring 2018 Courses

We offer several options for ENV 121 and ENV 122 in Spring 2018.

ENV 121 16-week session: Monday/Wednesday 7:30 p.m. - 10:10 p.m.; Tuesday/Thursday 12:30 - 3:10 p.m.; Tuesday/Thursday 4:30 - 7:10 p.m.

ENV 121 1st 8-week session: Monday/Wednesday 9:30 a.m. - 3:10 p.m.

ENV 122 16-week session: Monday/Wednesday 4:30 p.m. - 7:10 p.m.

ENV 122 2nd 8-week session: Monday/Wednesday 9:30 a.m. - 3:10 p.m.

Search for classes at: Schedule of Classes - Spring 2018

Registration for current students begins Nov 6. Registration for new students begins Nov 13.


Students tour an apiary at George Mason University (http://bees.gmu.edu) to learn about honeybees and their importance to healthy ecosystems.

Honeybees do more for us than make honey. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, honeybees pollinate 80 percent of our flowering crops, which constitute one-third of everything we eat. In addition to benefiting agriculture, honeybees pollinate many wildflowers. Pollination allows the sperm of one plant to reach the eggs of another. Without pollination, many flowering plants simply could not reproduce!


Oil Spills

Students simulate an oil spill to investigate its effect on wildlife and test cleanup methods.

Spilled oil has disastrous consequences for the environment and its inhabitants. In a global economy that is largely dependent on oil as its primary source of energy, we have witnessed many spills during extraction and transportation of this fuel. Being coated in oil compromises the ability of birds and aquatic mammals to insulate their bodies. Oil clogs fish gills and the gills of other aquatic organisms. Aquatic oil spills are cleaned using methods such as booms, skimmers, and chemical dispersants to various degrees of success.

Oil Spill


Students tour a local wastewater treatment plant.

Municipal wastewater includes all of the water that goes down our sink, shower, and toilet drains. In Alexandria, and most urban and suburban areas, that wastewater makes its way through underground pipes to a wastewater treatment plant. Here, solids, nutrients, and pathogens are removed using a variety of methods to produce clean water that goes back in to our waterways. At AlexRenew, solids are sterilized and used as soil amendment on local farms and methane emissions are used to heat the facility. Student learn about the wastewater treatment process and the importance of cleaning our wastewater.

Easte Water

Water Quality

Students test local waterways for nutrients and bacteria.

Waterways can be polluted from a variety of sources. Fertilizers add excess nutrients, animal waste adds pathogens, and pesticides add toxins. It is important to regularly test water bodies for pH, dissolved oxygen, nitrates, phosphates, and E. coli. In an urban area, like Alexandria, we expect to see elevated levels of nutrients and bacteria.

Water Quality