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Major in Environmental Science

Major in Environmental Science

Environmental science is a joint major offered by the Departments of Biology and Chemistry. This major recognizes the importance of environmental problems in the contemporary world and the expansion of career opportunities as well as graduate programs in this area.

Environmental science is a broad interdisciplinary field working to understand the interactions among physical, chemical, biological, and human factors. A comprehensive understanding of the how the environment functions and the influence of human actions has the potential for improved conservation, sustainable use, and restoration of natural resources. Concerns of environmental degradation are ever more pressing in the 21st century and have led to a growing demand for specialists in this field as well as programs to train these specialists. The joint major in environmental science allows students the flexibility to study a broader range of subfields incorporating the interdisciplinary approaches required.

Tracks

There are two tracks within the Environmental Science major: 1) the Environmental Biology Track which emphasizes both laboratory and field component as well as broad interdisciplinary alternatives and 2) the Environmental Chemistry Track which emphasizes an analytical laboratory approach to environmental problems.

Biology Track

Prerequisites:

  • BIOL 113 General Biology (M4)
  • MATH 118 Introductory Statistics
  • CHEM 111 Introductory Chemistry: Inorganic
       or CHEM 113 Principles of Chemistry
  • CHEM 112 Introductory Chemistry: Organic
       or CHEM 114 Organic Chemistry I

Requirements:

  • BIOL 104 Introduction to Environmental Science
  • BIOL 245 Principles of Ecology (prereq. BIOL 113)
  • BIOL 322 Seminar in Evolutionary Biology
  • ECON 100 Principles of Microeconomics (M5)
  • ENVI 201 Environmental Forum (2 credits)
  • PHIL 139 Environmental Ethics

Electives

In consultation with and with approval of the Environmental Biology concentration advisor, the student selects a total of six electives in addition to the required and prerequisite course requirements. With approval of the concentration advisor courses not included in this list can be selected as electives if consistent with the student's subfield concentration.

Three elective courses from the Science list (at least one at the 300-level):

  • BIOL 218 Principles of Zoology
  • BIOL 221 Microbiology
       or other relevant microbiology course
  • BIOL 222 Animal Physiology
  • BIOL 333 Marine Biology
  • BIOL 336 Genetics
  • BIOL 340 Plant Biology
       or BIOL 107 Plants and Society
  • BIOL 344 Environmental and Public Health in Costa Rica (Field study travel)
  • BIOL 344 Ecosystems of the West (Field study travel)
  • BIOL 345 Tropical Marine Biology (Field study travel)
  • BIOL 347 Human Genetics and Development
  • CHEM 226 Quantitative Analysis
  • CHEM 227 Energy and Global Warming
  • CHEM 342 Green Chemistry: Mechanistic Toxicology, Environment & Policy  
  • HON 308 Sustainabilty and Global Warming
  • SURV 150 Overview of Surveying Technology (Wentworth) — GIS Skills
  • MATH 120 Calculus I
  • MATH 227 Biostatistical Design and Analysis
  • NUTR 150 International Nutrition Issues
  • PHYS 110 Introduction to Physics I
  • PHYS 111 Introduction to Physics II

Three elective courses from the Arts and Humanities course list:

  • ART 245 American Art
  • ECON 239 Government Regulation of Industry
  • ECON 247 Environmental Economics
  • HIST 205 Global Environmental History
  • MGMT 224 Socially-Minded Leadership
  • POLS 101 Introduction to American Politics
  • POLS 102 Introduction to International Politics
  • POLS 217 American Public Policy
  • POLS 220 International Organization and Law
  • SOCI 241 Health Illness and Society
  • SOCI 245 International Health
  • SOCI 267 Globalization

Independent Learning

This all-College independent learning requirement (eight semester hours) is usually met in the senior year in either the biology department through BIOL 350 Independent Laboratory Research, BIOL 355 Thesis or BIOL 370 Internship or in the chemistry department through CHEM 350 Independent Study in Chemistry.

Chemistry Track

Prerequisite Courses (24 credits):

  • BIOL 113 General Biology
  • CHEM 113 Principles of Chemistry
       or CHEM 111 Introductory Chemistry: Inorganic
  • MATH 120 Calculus I
  • MATH 121 Calculus II
  • PHYS 112 Fundamentals of Physics I
  • PHYS 113 Fundamentals of Physics II

Requirements:

  • BIOL 104 Introduction to Environmental Science
       or BIOL 245 Ecology
  • CHEM 114 Organic Chemistry I
  • CHEM 226 Qualitative Analysis
  • CHEM 223 Introduction to Biochemistry
      or CHEM 345 Biochemistry
  • CHEM 227 Energy and Global Warming
       or CHEM 331 Thermodynamics
  • CHEM 390 Chemistry Seminar (2 credits)
  • ENVIR 201 Environmental Forum I (2 credits)
  • MATH 118 Statistics
  • PHIL 139 Environmental Ethics

Independent Study/Internship

Electives (8 credits)

Choose two:

  • CHEM 225 Organic Chemistry II
  • CHEM 341 Advanced Analytical Chemistry
       or CHEM 344 Toxicology
  • HON 308 Modeling Climate Change

Independent Learning

This all-College independent learning requirement (eight semester hours) is usually met in the senior year in either the biology department through BIOL 350 Independent Laboratory Research, BIOL 355 Thesis or BIOL 370 Internship or in the chemistry department through CHEM 350 Independent Study in Chemistry.