Environmental Science Major

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Description

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 its air, water and soil; and produce and maintain biological and other resources upon which humans depend. We must also understand the ecological interactions of animals, plants and other living organisms with their physical and chemical environments.

Through a curriculum with a common core in biology, ecology, chemistry and geology, and a track with a more specialized focus, Environmental Science majors develop the conceptual knowledge and technical skills necessary to address environmental problems.

Six tracks are offered in the Environmental Science major: aquatic ecology/biology, terrestrial ecology/biology, combined aquatic and terrestrial ecology/biology, wetland ecology, environmental chemical analysis, and earth science.

What can I do with an Environmental Science major?

Admission to the Program

Any undergraduate student can declare this major.

Program Requirements

General Education Requirements (36 credits)*

Students in the Environmental Science major pursue a Bachelor of Science degree, and must complete its requirements.

The major requires a minimum of 66-73 credits balanced between required courses in the core curriculum (38 credits) and required, elective, or co-requisite courses in the student's chosen track (28-35 credits).*

*Note: A grade of C- or better in ENV 202, ENV 204, and ENV 303 is required in order to take 400-level ENV courses with any of these courses as a prerequisite.

Major Departmental Requirements (38 credits)

  • ENV 202 Environmental Science (4 credits)*
  • ENV 204 Biology of Organisms (4 credits)*
  • ENV 303 Ecology (4 credits)*
  • ENV 452 Environmental Laws and Regulations (3 credits)
  • ENV 492 Global Environmental Issues (3 credits)
  • CHM 205 College Chemistry I (4 credits)
  • CHM 206 College Chemistry II (4 credits)
  • CHM 313 Quantitative Chemical Analysis (4 credits)
  • GEL 201 Introduction to Physical Geology (4 credits)
  • ENV 337 Biostatistics (3 credits)
  • ESC 371 Essentials of GIS (1 credit)

*These courses meet general education requirements.

Cognate or Additional Requirements (0-3 credits)

  • MTH 111 College Algebra (3 credits)

Students in the environmental science major pursue one of the following tracks:

Additional Requirements for the Aquatic Ecology/ Biology Track (16 credits)

  • ENV 419 Limnology (4 credits)
  • CHM 305 Organic Chemistry I (4 credits)
ONE of the following:
  • ENV 462 Aquatic Toxicology (4 credits)
  • ENV 436 Water Quality Analysis (4 credits)
ONE of the following:
  • ENV 483 Aquatic Invertebrates (4 credits)
  • ENV 484 Fish Biology Fisheries Science and Management (4 credits)

Electives from the following list: (12-29 credits)

  • ENV 404 Stream Ecology (4 credits)
  • ENV 407 Invasion Ecology (3 credits)
  • ENV 424 Movement and Migration Ecology (3 credits)
  • ENV 427 Animal Behavior (3 credits)
  • ENV 435 Northern Wetlands (3 credits)
  • ENV 436 Water Quality Analysis (4 credits)
  • ENV 438 Ecological Data Analysis in R (3 credits)
  • ENV 446 Wetland Ecology (4 credits)
  • ENV 457 Marine Biology-Bahamas (3 credits)
  • ENV 462 Aquatic Toxicology (4 credits)
  • ENV 464 Aquaculture (3 credits)
  • ENV 466 Great Lakes Issues (3 credits)
  • ENV 476 Animal Ecophysiology (3 credits)
  • ENV 483 Aquatic Invertebrates (4 credits)
  • ENV 484 Fisheries Science and Management (3 4 credits)
  • ENV 486 Fish Biology (3 credits)
  • ENV 484 Fisheries Science and Management (3 credits)
  • ENV 497 Undergraduate Internship (1 to 3 credits)
  • ENV 498 Collaborative Environmental Biology Research (1 to 3 credits)
  • ENV 499 Independent Study in Environmental Science (1 to 3 credits)
  • ESC 318 Watershed Science (3 credits)
  • ESC 412 Hydrology with lab (4 credits)
  • GEL 462 Groundwater (4 credits)
* Note: Additional courses may be chosen from these groups as electives.

Additional Requirements for the Terrestrial Ecology/Biology Track (12 credits)

  • ENV 400 Plant Diversity (4 credits)
  • CHM 305 Organic Chemistry I (4 credits)
ONE of the following
  • ENV 430 Ornithology (4 credits)
  • ENV 440 Herpetology (4 credits)
  • ENV 459 Mammalogy (4 credits)

Electives from the following list: (16-29 credits)

  • ENV 406 Wildlife Ecology (4 credits)
  • ENV 407 Invasion Ecology (3 credits)
  • ENV 424 Movements and Migration Ecology (3 credits)
  • ENV 427 Animal Behavior (3 credits)
  • ENV 430 Ornithology (4 credits)
  • ENV 435 Northern Wetlands (3 credits)
  • ENV 438 Ecological Data Analysis in R (3 credits)
  • ENV 439 Conservation Biology (3 credits)
  • ENV 440 Herpetology (4 credits)
  • ENV 444 Plant and Ecosystem Ecology(3 credits)
  • ENV 446 Wetland Ecology (4 credits)
  • ENV 448 Restoration Ecology (3 credits)
  • ENV 459 Mammalogy (4 credits)
  • ENV 476 Animal Ecophysiology (3 credits)
  • ENV 477 Field Biology (4 credits)
  • ENV 497 Undergraduate Internship (1 to3 credits)
  • ENV 498 Collaborative Environmental Biology Research (1 to 3 credits)
  • ENV 499 Independent Study in Environmental Science (1 to 3 credits)
  • ESC 313 Environmental Climatology (3 credits)
  • ESC 380 Remote Sensing (3 credits)
  • ESC 431 GIS Applications in Earth and Environmental Science (3 credits)
  • ESC 455 Introduction to Soils Science (3 credits)

*NOTE: Additional courses may be chosen from this group as electives.

Additional Requirements for the Combined Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecology/Biology Track: (24 credits)

  • ENV 419 Limnology (4 credits)
  • ENV 400 Plant Diversity (4 credits)
  • CHM 305 Organic Chemistry I (4 credits)

Electives from the following list: (10-25 credits)

  • ENV 404 Stream Ecology (4 credits)
  • ENV 406 Wildlife Ecology (4 credits)
  • ENV 407 Invasion Ecology (3 credits)
  • ENV 424 Movement and Migration Ecology (3 credits)
  • ENV 427 Animal Behavior (3 credits)
  • ENV 430 Ornithology (4 credits)
  • ENV 435 Northern Wetlands (3 credits)
  • ENV 436 Water Quality Analysis (4 credits)
  • ENV 438 Ecological Data Analysis in R (3 credits)
  • ENV 439 Conservation Biology (3 credits)
  • ENV 444 Plant and Ecosystem Ecology (3 credits)
  • ENV 446 Wetland Ecology (4 credits)
  • ENV 447 Wetland Delineation (3 credits)
  • ENV 448 Restoration Ecology (3 credits)
  • ENV 457 Marne Biology-Bahamas (3 credits)
  • ENV 459 Mammalogy (4 credits)
  • ENV 462 Aquatic Toxicology (4 credits)
  • ENV 464 Aquaculture (3 credits)
  • ENV 466 Great Lakes Issues (3 credits)
  • ENV 477 Field Biology (4 credits)
  • ENV 483 Aquatic Invertebrates (4 credits)
  • ENV 484 Fisheries Science and Management (4 credits)
  • ENV 486 Fish Biology - (3 credits)
  • ENV 497 Undergraduate Internship (1 to3 credits)
  • ENV 498 Collaborative Environmental Biology Research (1 to 3 credits)
  • ENV 499 Independent Study in Environmental Science (1 to 3 credits)
  • ESC 313 Environmental Climatology(3 credits)
  • ESC 318 Watershed Science (3 credits)
  • ESC 380 Remote Sensing (3 credits)
  • ESC 412 Hydrology with Lab (4 credits)
  • ESC 431 GIS Applications in Earth and Environmental Science (3 credits)
  • ESC 455 Introduction to Soils Science (3 credits)
  • GEL 462 Groundwater (4 credits)

*NOTE: Additional courses may be chosen from this group as electives.

Additional Requirements for the Wetland Ecology Track: (26 credits)

  • ENV 400 Plant Diversity (4 credits)
  • ENV 435 Northern Wetlands (3 credits)
  • ENV 446 Wetland Ecology (4 credits)
  • ESC 412 Hydrology with Lab (4 credits)
  • ESC 455 Introduction to Soils Science (3 credits)

Electives from the following list: (6-19 credits)

  • ENV 404 Stream Ecology (4 credits)
  • ENV 407 Invasion Ecology (3 credits)
  • ENV 419 Limnology (4 credits)
  • ENV 436 Water Quality Analysis (4 credits)
  • ENV 438 Ecological Data Analysis in R (3 credits)
  • ENV 439 Conservation Biology (3 credits)
  • ENV 440 Herpetology (4 credits)
  • ENV 444 Plant and Ecosystem Ecology (3 credits)
  • ENV 447 Wetland Delineation (3 credits)
  • ENV 448 Restoration Ecology (3 credits)
  • ENV 497 Undergraduate Internship (1 to 3 credits)
  • ENV 498 Collaborative Environmental Biology Research (1 to 3 credits)
  • ENV 499 Independent Study in Environmental Science (1 to 3 credits)
  • ESC 318 Watershed Science (3 credits)
  • ESC 380 Remote Sensing (3 credits)
  • ESC 431 GIS Applications in Earth and Environmental Science (3 credits)
  • GEL 462 Groundwater (4 credits)

*NOTE: Can apply up to 3 credits from these courses combined toward the 6 elective credits in the track.

Additional Requirements for the Environmental Chemical Analysis Track (21 credits)

  • CHM 301 Chemical Safety (1 credit)
  • CHM 305 Organic Chemistry I (4 credits)
  • CHM 306 Organic Chemistry II (4 credits)
  • CHM 457 Geochemistry (4 credits)
  • ENV 436 Water Quality Analysis (4 credits)
  • ENV 462 Aquatic Toxicology (4 credits)

Electives from the following list: (7-24 credits)

  • ENV 419 Limnology (4 credits)
  • ENV 438 Ecological Data Analysis in R (3 credits)
  • ENV 497 Undergraduate Internship (1 to 3 credits)
  • ENV 498 Collaborative Environmental Biology Research (1 to 3 credits)
  • ENV 499 Independent Study in Environmental Science (1 to 3 credits)
  • CHM 302 Inorganic Chemistry (4 credits)
  • CHM 467 Biochemistry I (3 credits)
  • ESC 322 Air and Water Pollution (3 credits)

Additional Requirements for the Track (4 credits)

  • ONE course from the following list:
    • PHS 205 Introduction to Physics I (4 credits)
    • PHS 235 Physics I (4 credits)
    • CHM 305 Organic Chemistry I (4 credits)

Electives from the following list: (24-41 credits)

  • ENV 419 Limnology (4 credits)
  • ENV 436 Water Quality Analysis (4 credits)
  • ENV 438 Ecological Data Analysis in R (3 credits)
  • ENV 497 Undergraduate Internship (1 to 3 credits)
  • ENV 498 Collaborative Environmental Biology Research (1 to 3 credits)
  • ENV 499 Independent Study in Environmental Science (1 to 3 credits)
  • ESC 300 Physical Oceanography (3 credits)
  • ESC 313 Environmental Climatology (3 credits)
  • ESC 314 Climatology Laboratory (1 credit)
  • ESC 318 Watershed Science (3 credits)
  • ESC 325 Wetland Systems (3 credits)
  • ESC 332 Air and Water Pollution (3 credits)
  • ESC 350 Computational Methods in the Field Sciences (3 credits)
  • ESC 380 Remote Sensing (3 credits)
  • ESC 412 Hydrology with Lab (4 credits)
  • ESC 420 Radar and Satellite Meteorology (4 credits)
  • ESC 431 GIS Applications in Earth and Environmental Science (3 credits)
  • ESC 455 Introduction to Soils Science (3 credits)
  • ESC 457 Marine Geology-Bahamas (3 credits)
  • ESC 464 Environmental Internship (1 to 3 credits)
  • GEL 415 Geomorphology (4 credits)
  • GEL 457 Geochemistry (4 credits)
  • GEL 462 Groundwater (4 credits)

Total Credits (120 credits)

Additional Degree Requirements, All Tracks:

  • Minimum grade of C- in ENV 202, ENV 204, and ENV 303

Student Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to:

  1. Explain basic environmental science topics and policies, biological processes, and ecological principles.
  2. Design scientific studies and quantify and characterize natural phenomena using laboratory and field equipment.
  3. Summarize, analyze, and interpret scientific data, using relevant quantitative skills and applying major environmental concepts.
  4. Summarize, organize, and communicate scientific data and analyses in oral/or written formats.
  5. Employ decision-making and problem-solving skills, such as evaluating competing explanations or applying scientific knowledge to environmental problems.
  6. Develop professional skills necessary to succeed in the environmental science and ecology fields.
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