Skip Navigation

Environmental Science and Biology

105 Lennon Hall
(585) 395-5975
E-mail: jhaynes@brockport.edu

Bar

Bar

Chairperson and Professor: James M. Haynes; Distinguished Service Professor: Joseph C. Makarewicz; Professor: Christopher J. Norment; Assistant Professor: Mark D. Norris; Instructional Support Associate: Hilary L. Richardson; Environmental Science Program Faculty: Whitney J. Autin, Jose A Maliekal, Judy A. Massare, Mark R. Noll, Paul L. Richards, Stephen W. Weinbeck, James A. Zollweg (Earth Sciences); Mark P. Heitz, Markus M. Hoffmann, Thomas W. Kallen, Margaret E. Logan, J. Emory Morris, Kenneth D. Schlecht (Chemistry); James M. Valenti (Criminal Justice); Adjunct Faculty: Theodore W. Lewis, Research Associate and Charles P. O’Neill (New York Sea Grant Institute).

Environmental problems are among the most urgent issues facing our civilization. In order to manage Earth’s environment well, we must understand the processes that shape its surface, control the chemistry of our air, water, and soil, and produce the biological and other resources upon which humans depend. Ecology is the study of animals, plants and other living organisms and their interactions with the physical and chemical environment. Through a curriculum with a common core and a focused track, environmental science majors develop conceptual and technical knowledge and skills for using the disciplines of ecology, chemistry and the earth sciences to understand and solve environmental problems. Four concentrations are offered in the environmental science major: aquatic ecology/biology, terrestrial ecology/biology, environmental chemistry, and the earth sciences. After declaring a major in environmental science with the department secretary located in 105 Lennon Hall, (585)395-5975 , a faculty advisor in the selected track will be assigned.

Minors in Environmental Science and in Environmental Studies are offered for non-majors (see below). Contact the department secretary in 105 Lennon Hall, (585)395-5975, for information and for an appointment with the department chairperson to set up an individual course of study.

Major Requirements
The major requires a minimum of 62-73 credits balanced between required courses in the core curriculum (38 credits) and required, elective, or co-requisite courses in the area of concentration (24-36 credits).

Core Courses (required of all majors)

Fall Semester
Credits
ENV 202 Environmental Science
4
ENV 111 Principles of Biology
4
ENV 303 Ecology
4
CRJ 440 Environmental Law
3
ESC 211 Meteorology
4
CHM 205 College Chemistry
4
GEL 201 Physical Geology
4
^*MTH 201 Calculus I
3
*ESC 350 Computational Methods
3
Spring Semester
ENV 202 Environmental Science
4
ENV 111 Principles of Biology
4
ENV 303 Ecology
4
CRJ 440 Environmental Law
3
ESC 211 Meteorology
4
CHM 206 College Chemistry II
4
CHM 303 Analytical Chemistry
4
^*MTH 201 Calculus 1
3
*ESC 350 Computational Methods
3
*ENV 437 Biological Investigation and Data Interpretation
3
Total Core Credits:
38

^Required for environmental chemistry track
*Other tracks: choose one

Concentrations (Required or elective courses) Credits Corequisite
  Aquatic Ecology/Biology
20
4
  Terrestrial Ecology/Biology
20
4
  Environmental Chemistry
21
14
  Earth Sciences
20
4
   
  Total Concentration Credits:
20-21
4-14

Concentration in Aquatic Ecology/Biology
Fall Semester
Credits
ENV 419 Limnology
3
ENV 421 Limnology Laboratory
2
ENV 319 Biol. Oceanography
3
ENV 457 Marine Biology Bahamas
3
ENV 488 Environmental Impact Analysis
4-6
ENV 490 Fishery Techniques and Fish Identification
2
ENV 498 Collaborative Research
1-3
ESC 425 Wetland Systems
3
ESC 412 Hydrology
4
Co-requisite course:
CHM 305 Organic Chemistry I
4
 
Spring Semester
Credits
ENV 422 Population Biology
3
ENV 423 Pollution Biology
3
ENV 436 Water Quality Analysis
4
ENV 437 Biological Investigation and Data Interpretation
3
ENV 498 Collaborative Research
1-3
ENV 439 Conservation Biology
3
ENV 483 Aquatic Invertebrates
4
ENV 484 Fish Ecology
3
GEL 462 Groundwater
4
 

Concentration in Terrestrial Ecology
   
Fall Semester
Credits
ENV 400 Plant Diversity
4
ENV 405 Plant Ecology
4
ENV 406 Wildlife Ecology
4
ENV 427 Animal Behavior
3
ENV 459 Mammalogy
4
ENV 488 Environmental Impact Analysis (summer)
4-6
ENV 498 Collaborative Research
1-3
ENV 325 Wetland Systems
3
ESC 455 Soil Science
4
   
   
Spring Semester Credits
ENV 422 Population Biology
3
ENV 423 Pollution Biology
3
ENV 437 Biological Investigation and Data Interpretation
3
ENV 439 Conservation Biology
3
ENV 440 Herpetology
4
ENV 477 Field Biology (summer)
4
ENV 498 Collaborative Research
1-3
ESC 313 Environmental Climatology
3
ESC 431 Environmental Applications of Geographic Information Systems
4
 
Corequisite Course Summer
CHM 305 Organic Chemistry
4

Concentration in Environmental Chemistry
 
Fall Semester
Credits
CHM 301 Chemical Safety
1
CHM 305 Organic Chemistry I
4
CHM 400 Chemistry Seminar
1
CHM 405 Physical Chemistry I
3
 
Spring Semester
Credits
CHM 306 Organic Chemistry II
4
CHM 401 Chemistry Seminar
1
CHM 406 Physical Chemistry II
3
CHM 457 Environmental Chemistry
3
 
Elective courses (one required)
CHM 408 Physical Chemistry Lab I
1
ENV 488 Environmental Impact Analysis
4-6
ENV 498 Collaborative Research
1-3
CHM 409 Physical Chemistry Lab II
1
ENV 436 Water Quality Analysis
4
 
Corequisite Courses (14 credits)
MTH 202 Calculus II
3
MTH 203 Calculus III
3
PHS 201 College Physics I
4
PHS 202 College Physics II
4

Concentration in Earth Sciences
 
Fall Semester
Credits
ENV 419 Limnology
3
ENV 421 Limnology Laboratory
2
ENV 488 Environmental Impact Analysis (summer)
4-6
ENV 498 Collaborative Research
1-3
ESC 325 Wetland Systems
3
ESC 350 Computational Methods
3
ESC 412 Hydrology
4
ESC 455 Soil Sciences
3
ESC 464 Environmental Internship
1-3
GEL 415 Geomorphology
4
 
Spring Semester
Credits
ENV 436 Water Quality Analysis
4
ENV 498 Collaborative Research
1-3
ESC 313 Environmental Climatology
3
ESC 314 Climate Laboratory
1
ESC 350 Computational Methods
3
ESC 418 Watershed Sciences
3
ESC 421 Air Pollution Meteorology
3
ESC 420 Atmospheric Sensing Methods
3
ESC 431 Environmental Applications of Geographic Information Systems
4
GEL 457 Environmental Geochemistry
3
GEL 462 Groundwater
3
CoRequisite courses(Choose one)  
PHS 115 General Physics with lab
4
PHS 201 College Physics with lab
4
CHM 305 Organic Chemistry
4

Environmental Minors-Environmental Science/Environmental Studies
The environmental science minor(18 credits) prepares students for postgraduate education or employment in environmentally related fields. To ensure maximum breadth and depth of training, the schedule of elective courses for the minor in environmental science must be in disciplines other than the student's own major and be formally developed with the dpartment chairperson.

Required courses:
Credits
ENV 202 Environmental Science
4
ENV 303 Ecology
4
CRJ 440 Environmental Law

3

300 and 400-level electives by advisement (7 credits minimum)*

*Biological sciences majors are required to take CHM 303 Analytical Chemistry as one elective course.

The environmental studies minor (18 credits) offers students a variety of scientific, social, economic, political, and literary perspectives on environmental issues. Gaining these perspectives will help students become environmentally literate citizens and employees.

Required courses:
Credits
ENV 202 Environmental Science
4
ENV 303 Ecology
4
CRJ 440 Environmental Law

3

300 and 400-level electives by advisement (7 credits minimum)*

 

Elective courses by advisement (7 credits minimum):
CHM 372 Environmental Issues
3
GEL 362 Energy and Mineral Resources Issus
3
HST 407 American Environmental History
3
PLS 466 Envronmental Politics
3

Environmental Science and Biology Courses

ENV 111 Principles of Biology (A,L). Cross-listed as BIO 111. Open to non-majors. Required for environmental science majors. Through lectures and laboratory activities, examines the structure and function of living systems from cells to the biosphere as a whole. 4 Cr. Every Semester

ENV 201 Environmental Science (A,N). Non-majors only. Environmental science is an interdisciplinary study combining ideas and information from the natural and social sciences. The eight integrated themes of lecture and discussion are biodiversity, sustainability, connections in nature, pollution and its prevention, population growth, energy consumption and efficiency, solutions to environmental problems, and the importance of individuals changing their lifestyles and working with others to bring about environmental change. 3 Cr. Every Semester

ENV 202 Environmental Science (A,L). Required for majors. Open to non-majors. Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary study combining ideas and information from the natural and social sciences. The eight integrated themes of lecture and discussion are biodiversity, sustainability, connections in nature, pollution and its prevention, population growth, energy consumption and efficiency, solutions to environmental problems, and the importance of individuals changing their lifestyles and working with others to bring about environmental change. Laboratory and field activities emphasize hands-on applications of environmental science methods, problem solving, and proper writing of laboratory reports. 4 Cr. Every Semester

ENV 303 Ecology (A). Cross-listed as BIO 303. Prerequisites: ENV 111 or ENV 202. Ecology addresses interrelationships among organisms and the physical environment. Considers energy flow, nutrient cycling, population and community dynamics, principles of animal behavior, and natural history in lecture, laboratory and field studies. 4 Cr. Every Semester

ENV 316 Eco-citizenship (A,I). Prerequisite: Junior or senior status. Addresses questions such as: What scientific principles determine how humans can and cannot use the environment? What are the critical environmental problems in the US and the world? How can people act individually and collectively to solve environmental problems? Includes an environmental action project. 3 Cr.

ENV 319 Biological Oceanography (A). Cross-listed as ESC 319. Review of the oceanŐs physical, geological and chemical properties followed by study of the classification, biology and life history of marine animals and plants. Concludes with ecology of selected marine ecosystems such as intertidal, deep sea and coral reef. 3 Cr.

ENV 400 Plant Diversity (A). Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduction to the scientific study of plant taxonomy. Lecture topics include plant morphology and ecological adaptions, reproductive biology, evolutionary history, and principles of plant classification. Laboratories and field work survey the diversity of plants and teach the use of technical keys for plant identifications. 4 Cr. Even Fall

ENV 405 Plant Ecology (A). Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduction to the scientific study of plant ecology. Topics include population and community dynamics, evolution of life history traits, physiological responses to environmental stresses, plant-animal interactions, and the role of vegetation in ecosystem processes. Field and laboratory studies explore experimental and analytical techniques used in plant ecology. 4 Cr. Odd Fall

ENV 406 Wildlife Ecology (A). Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduction to the scientific study of wildlife biology. Lecture topics include population ecology, behavior, nutrition, disease, habitat management, predator prey systems, economics, and the human dimensions of wildlife management. Laboratories and field work include radio telemetry, census methods, aging white-tailed deer, and computer modeling. 4 Cr. Even Fall

ENV 413 Topics in Plant Biology (A). Prerequisite: ENV 400 or 405. Reviews recent scientific literature while addressing selected topics in plant biology, ecology or systematics. 3 Cr.

ENV 419 Limnology (A). Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduces students to the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of lakes and streams. Topics include top-down: bottom-up control of food webs, eutrophication, nutrient cycling, acid precipitation effects on lakes, paleolimnology, etc. Recommended for students interested in oceanography and marine biology. Required for students in the aquatic ecology track of the environmental science major. ENV 421 is the complementary laboratory. 3 Cr. Fall

ENV 421 Limnology Laboratory (A). Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduces students to the laboratory and field methods of limnology. Topics include sampling and identification of selected aquatic organisms, chemical analysis of water, and operation of physical and chemical sampling gear. Includes field exercises on lakes, using department vessels, and streams. Recommended for students interested in oceanography and marine biology. Required for students in the aquatic ecology track of the environmental science major. ENV 419 is the complementary lecture course. 2 Cr. Fall

ENV 422 Population Biology (A). Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduction to the scientific study of populations. Explores the evolution and functioning of populations, including genetics, growth and regulations, life tables, the exclusion principle, predator-prey theory, species equilibrium theory, and human population growth. 3 Cr.

ENV 423 Biology of Pollution (A). Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduction to the chemistry and biology of pollution. Primary focus on water pollution problems and effects of pollutants on organisms at the molecular, cellular, physiological and behavioral levels, plus effects on populations, communities and ecosystems. Toxicity testing techniques and data analysis are explored. 3 Cr. Odd Spring

ENV 425 Practical Field Biology and Laboratory Pedagogy (B). Cross-listed as BIO 425. Prerequisite: Junior or senior status. Required for students working toward teacher certification in secondary biology and general science. Students develop preparation notes and materials for laboratory and field exercises, and gain hand-on experience in the practical aspects of laboratory and field instruction. Does not satisfy major requirements. Enrollment is with the department chairperson. Students work with a selected faculty member. 3 Cr. Every Semester

ENV 427 Animal Behavior (A). Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduction to the science of animal behavior. Explores the behavior of animals in relation to adaptions and phylogenetic history. Topics include methods of studying behavior, the effects of genes and environment on behavior, relationships between neural and endocrine function and behavior, foraging strategies, mating strategies and systems, and social systems. 3 Cr. Fall

ENV 430 Ornithology (A). Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduction to the scientific study of birds. Explores their form, function, ecology, and evolution. Topics includes anatomy, physiology, origins and biophysics of flight, migration and annual cycle, mating systems, and population and community ecology of birds. Includes lab and field study of anatomy and flight, identification techniques, census methods, and trapping and banding. 4 Cr. Even Spring

ENV 436 Water Quality Analysis (A). Prerequisite: CHM 206. Introduces standard methods and analytical techniques associated with environmental chemistry. Students gain experience, including set up and trouble shooting, with UV-V spectrophotometry, wet chemical techniques by autoanlyser, fluorometry, gas chromatography and atomic absorption spectrophotometry, by analyzing unknowns. Although the medium for analysis is water, methods are applicable to air samples, tissues and soils. 4 Cr. Spring

ENV 437 Biological Investigation and Data Interpretation (A). Cross-listed as BIO 437. Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduction to descriptive statistics, data interpretation, parametric and non-parametric two- and multi-sample tests, linear regression, and hypothesis formulation and testing. 3 Cr. Spring

ENV 439 Conservation Biology (A). Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduction to the scientific study of conservation biology. Examines current theories and data from evolutionary biology, ecology, and genetics as they relate to the conservation of biological diversity. Topics include causes of extinction, habitat loss and fragmentation, design of nature reserves, landscape ecology, application of basic principles of population biology to species conservation, and restoration ecology. 3 Cr. Spring

ENV 440 Herpetology (A). Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduction to the scientific study of reptiles and amphibians. Explores their form, function, ecology, and evolution. Topics include anatomy, physiology, mating systems, population and community ecology of herpefauna, and their conservation biology. Includes lab and field study of identification techniques and capture and census methods. 4 Cr. Odd Spring

ENV 457 Marine Biology-Bahamas (A). Cross-listed as ESC 457. Prerequisite: One laboratory science course. Prepare in the fall semester for a two-week January intersession field experience in coral reef biology and geology on San Salvador island in the Bahamas. Study identification, behavior, and ecology of marine organisms in five habitats associated with coral reefs. Learn how to prepare a scientific field notebook and to design, conduct, and report on a personal research project. 3 Cr. Fall

ENV 459 Mammalogy (A). Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduction to the scientific study of mammals. Explores their form, function, ecology, and evolution. Topics include origins, anatomy, physiology, diet and feeding strategies, population and community ecology, and social systems. Laboratory and field activities emphasize mammalian classification, habitat selection, and population biology. 4 Cr. Odd Fall

ENV 477 Field Biology (A). Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduction to the flora and fauna of various habitats in Western New York. Topics include structure and function of communities, species identification, qualitative and quantitative assessment of communities and ecosystems, and general conservation theory and practice. 4 Cr. Odd Summer

ENV 483 Aquatic Invertebrates (A). Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduction to the scientific study of aquatic invertebrates and their importance in stream and lake ecosystems. Topics include invertebrate biology and ecology, classification and identification (insects, crustaceans, mites, annelids, mollusks, etc.), use of dichotomous keys and sampling equipment, and preparation techniques. Prepares students to predict habitat or water quality conditions based on the invertebrate fauna present. 4 Cr. Odd Spring

ENV 484 Fish Ecology (A). Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduction to the scientific study of fish and fisheries. Topics include fish anatomy and physiology in relation to fish behavior and ecology, classification to the ordinal level, population dynamics (recruitment, growth, mortality, environment) and fishery management. ENV 490 is the complementary laboratory. 3 Cr. Even Spring

ENV 488 Environmental Impact Analysis (A). Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduction to the process of preparing an environmental impact statement (EIS) for a realistic local development project. Topics include the National Environmental Policy Act, the NY State Environmental Quality Review Act, relevant regulations and permit requirements (federal, state, local), and analysis of environmental impacts and alternatives. Depen-ding on the number of credits and session offered, may include field work. 4-6 Cr. Even Summer

ENV 490 Fishery Techniques and Fish Identification (A). Prerequisite: ENV 303. Introduction to laboratory and field techniques used by fisheries scientists. Hands-on activities include fish collection methods (electrofishing, nets) fish anatomy, fish identification, and quantitative analysis of fisheries data. ENV 484 is the complementary lecture course. 2 Cr. Fall