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Undergraduate Course Catalog 2015-2016

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences


Earth Sciences (ESCI)


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Chairperson: Julia G. Bryce
Professor: William C. Clyde, Matthew Huber, Larry A. Mayer, Samuel B. Mukasa
Research Professor: Stephen E. Frolking
Affiliate Professor: Andrew Armstrong, Christopher E. Parrish
Associate Professor: Julia G. Bryce, J. Matthew Davis, Joel E. Johnson, Jo Laird, Joseph M. Licciardi, Thomas C. Lippmann, James M. Pringle, Ruth K. Varner
Research Associate Professor: Jack E. Dibb, Cameron P. Wake, Larry G. Ward
Affiliate Associate Professor: Mary D. Stampone, Douglas C. Vandemark
Assistant Professor: Margaret S. Boettcher, Rosemarie E. Came, Linda Kalnejais, Anne Lightbody
Affiliate Assistant Professor: Joseph Salisbury
Affiliate Research Associate Professor: Erik A. Hobbie, Michael W. Palace

The courses offered in the Department of Earth Sciences cover the broad spectrum of geosciences, with emphases on climate, geology, geochemistry, geophysics, hydrology, and oceanography. The curriculum encompasses a group of related studies concerned with an understanding of Earth and its environment. Study of the processes that shape the continents and oceans, drive the hydrologic cycle and ocean circulation, and affect climate change and the evolution of life is based on a foundation of basic mathematics, physics, and chemistry.

The need for people trained in the Earth and environmental sciences has been increasing in response to growing societal demands for sound environmental and resource management. Issues of particular concern include global climate change impacts, management of water resources, development of energy and mineral resources, waste disposal, and the assessment of natural hazards. In addition, the demand for well-trained secondary school teachers of Earth sciences has been steadily increasing.

The Department of Earth Sciences offers four majors: B.S. Earth sciences, B.S. environmental sciences (interdisciplinary with the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture), B.A. Earth sciences, and B.A. Earth sciences teaching. These programs prepare students for advanced study in the geosciences; for entry-level professional employment in public or private institutions concerned with environmental and resource management, including consulting firms, government agencies, energy- and resource-extraction firms, utilities, and nonprofit organizations; and for secondary-school teaching of Earth sciences.

The Department of Earth Sciences also offers a minor in Earth sciences, as well as an interdisciplinary minor in oceanography.

Descriptions and requirements for the majors and minors are arranged alphabetically.

Bachelor of Arts in Earth Sciences
The bachelor of arts in Earth sciences is offered through the Department of Earth Sciences. This program provides students an opportunity to obtain a broad education and a general background in the Earth sciences with a greater degree of freedom in choosing electives than in the bachelor of science programs. By careful choice of electives, students can prepare for graduate school, business, or industry.

1. Satisfy the Discovery Program requirements. ESCI 401, 402, 405, 409, 420, 501 cannot be taken to fulfill Discovery Program requirements.
2. Satisfy the bachelor of arts degree requirements.
3. Complete (with a C- or better in each course) a minimum of eight courses in the department, including ESCI 401, The Dynamic Earth, or ESCI 409, Geology and the Environment; ESCI 402, Earth History; ESCI 512, Principles of Mineralogy; and five upper-level courses, two of which must be 700-level or above.
4. Math requirements: 425, Calculus I, and 426, Calculus II.

It is strongly advised that students complete, as early as possible, a year each of college chemistry and physics.

Bachelor of Arts in Earth Sciences Teaching
The bachelor of arts in Earth sciences teaching program is offered by the Department of Earth Sciences in coordination with the Department of Education. The program is specifically designed to prepare students to teach Earth sciences in secondary school. With careful planning, upon graduation from this program, qualified students are prepared to complete a M.A.T./M.Ed. degree in education with an additional year of graduate study, which includes a year-long internship (EDUC 900/901). After completing this typically five-year program, students receive full teacher certification for New Hampshire, which is recognized in many other states.

1. Satisfy the Discovery Program requirements.
2. Satisfy the bachelor of arts degree requirements.
3. Complete the following: ESCI 401, The Dynamic Earth, or ESCI 409, Geology and the Environment; ESCI 402, Earth History; ESCI 501, Introduction to Oceanography; GEOG 473, The Weather; CHEM 403 and 404 (or CHEM 405 if applicable), General Chemistry; PHYS 401 and 402 or PHYS 407 and 408; PHYS 406, Introduction to Modern Astronomy; plus 12 approved elective credits from intermediate and/or advanced Earth sciences courses.
4. Math requirements: 425, Calculus I, and 426, Calculus II.
5. Satisfy the secondary-school teacher education program.

General Science Certification
Students majoring in animal sciences, biochemistry, biology, Earth sciences, environmental conservation studies, environmental sciences, forestry, microbiology, plant biology, wildlife management, or zoology may seek certification to teach science at the middle, junior, or high school level.

For further information, contact the coordinator of teacher education in the Department of Education.

Bachelor of Science in Earth Sciences
The bachelor of science in Earth sciences is offered through the Department of Earth Sciences. The program represents a strong concentration in the Earth sciences and is especially well suited for students who plan to continue their studies in graduate school. Beyond a central core of courses, there are several possible specializations (geology, geophysics, oceanography, climate) from which students must chose in order to develop depth in a particular area of Earth sciences. Students are encouraged to attend a summer off-campus field experience, for which scholarship funds may be available.

1. Satisfy the Discovery Program requirements and the bachelor of science degree requirements.
2. Satisfactorily complete MATH 425 and 426, CHEM 403 and 404 (or CHEM 405 if applicable), PHYS 407 and 408. Some of these courses may also satisfy Discovery Program requirements.
3. Complete the core curriculum that includes a ESCI 401, The Dynamic Earth, or ESCI 409, Geology and the Environment; ESCI 402, Earth History; ESCI 501, Introduction to Oceanography; ESCI 512, Principles of Mineralogy; ESCI 530, Geological Field Methods or ESCI 534, Techniques in Environmental Sciences; and ESCI 654, Fate and Transport in the Environment, ESCI 701, Quantitative Methods in the Earth Sciences or ESCI 731, Geodynamics.
4. Complete one of the approved concentrations:

Oceanography: BIO 411 (satisfies BS Discovery requirement); ESCI 514; at least three of the following four courses: ESCI 750, ESCI 752, ESCI 758, ESCI 759; and three upper-level approved electives.

Geology: ESCI 561, ESCI 614, ESCI 631, ESCI 652, and two approved 700-level electives.

Geophysics: MATH 527, MATH 528, ESCI 561 or ESCI 614, ESCI 631, ESCI 731, ESCI 734 or ESCI 735.

Climate: ESCI 514; ESCI 561; at least two of the following three courses: ESCI 760, ESCI 762, ESCI 765; and three upper-level approved electives.

5. Complete three additional approved science/math electives. The following should be considered: additional 700-level Earth sciences courses; additional chemistry, mathematics, and physics courses; courses in computer science, engineering, and the biological sciences; and an off-campus field camp.

Capstone Experience
A capstone experience is required of all undergraduate Earth sciences majors during their senior year.  All capstone experiences at UNH must meet one or more of the following criteria:

1. The capstone synthesizes and applies disciplinary knowledge and skills.
2. The capstone fosters reflection on undergraduate learning and experience.
3. The capstone demonstrates emerging professional competencies.
4. The capstone applies, analyzes, and/or interprets research or data or artistic expression.
5. The capstone explores areas of interest based on the integration of prior learning.

Examples of Department of Earth Sciences capstone experiences include Senior Thesis (ESCI 799), UROP/SURF projects, environmental or geologic field camps, or Earth sciences education and outreach activities. Additional experiences may qualify (e.g., ESCI 795/796 field courses, INCO 590, INCO 790, internships) if they are designed according to the above criteria. Students should work closely with their advisers to define the most appropriate capstone experience for the Earth sciences degree option and all capstone experiences must be approved by the Department of Earth Sciences undergraduate coordinator. Presentation of projects or experiences developed for the capstone is encouraged at the annual UNH Undergraduate Research Conference or other appropriate venue.

Earth Sciences Minor
The Department of Earth Sciences offers a minor in Earth sciences available to all University students. The Earth sciences minor provides an opportunity for students to complement their major field of study with foundational knowledge and essential skills in the geosciences.  As with all minors offered at UNH, the Earth sciences minor adheres to the following University requirements:

Courses in the Earth sciences minor must include both introductory and more advanced ESCI courses. Strongly recommended introductory courses include ESCI 401, The Dynamic Earth, or ESCI 409, Geology and the Environment, (students may not receive credit for both ESCI 401 and ESCI 409) and ESCI 402, Earth History. More advanced courses must include at least one at the 600 or 700 level. Specific courses in the program are selected in consultation with a minor adviser in the Department of Earth Sciences, with flexibility in approved courses to accommodate interests in different aspects of the geosciences.  Interested students should see the Earth sciences undergraduate program coordinator, Joe Licciardi, (603) 862-3135;, and complete an Intent to Minor form no later than their junior year. Forms can be picked up in the Earth sciences main office, 214 James Hall.

Oceanography Minor
See the Special University Programs, Interdisciplinary Programs, and Marine Sciences sections of the catalog.

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Sciences
The College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS) and the College of Life Science and Agriculture (COLSA) jointly offer a bachelor of science degree in environmental sciences. Environmental sciences is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the interaction of biological, chemical, and physical processes that shape our natural environment. Students graduating with a degree in environmental sciences will have an understanding of these interacting processes, the ability to effectively communicate with both scientific and lay audiences, competency in field methods appropriate for entry-level environmental science positions, competency in the use and application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a basic understanding of environmental policy, and the ability to contribute to multidisciplinary teams.  The University of New Hampshire is a recognized leader in environmental sciences research, and the environmental sciences program capitalizes on faculty expertise in this area.  The program has 12 full-time faculty members, with major teaching and research emphases in the areas of biogeochemical cycling, environmental chemistry, ecosystem science, global change, hydrology, plant ecology, soil science, and water resource management. 

Employment opportunities include: environmental consulting firms, educational facilities (e.g., science centers), environmental monitoring laboratories (e.g., water treatment plants; the Environmental Protection Agency), government agencies (e.g., the U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Land Management, Natural Resource Conservation Service), university and government research laboratories, and nongovernment environmental organizations. The environmental sciences program also constitutes an excellent preparation for graduate programs in several areas relating to the environment. Students should consult with their adviser early if their goals include further study.

In addition to Discovery Program and University writing requirements, all students will take Introduction to Environmental Science (NR 403) and Professional Perspectives in Natural Resources (NR 400), plus one other elective introductory environmental science course. Foundation courses include two semesters of chemistry (CHEM 403, 404) and calculus (MATH 425, 426), one semester of geology (ESCI 401, 402, or 409), one semester of statistics (MATH 644 or BIOL 528), one semester of physics (PHYS 407), and one approved biology course. Core courses include Techniques in Environmental Sciences (ESCI 534), Introduction to GIS (NR 658), Fate and Transport in the Environment (ESCI 654), Natural Resource and Environmental Policy (NR 602), and a capstone experience (NR 791 and an independent study or capstone course approved by the program coordinator).

Students must complete an additional eight courses in one of the following options:

PHYS 408, General Physics II
ESCI 561, Landscape Evolution
NR 501, Studio Soils, or ESCI 512, Principles of Mineralogy
ESCI 705, Principles of Hydrology
ESCI 710, Groundwater Hydrology
A course in quantitative analysis
Two approved electives

Soil and Watershed Management
PHYS 408, General Physics II, or NR 527, Forest Ecology, or BIOL 541, General Ecology
NR 501, Studio Soils
NR 703, Watershed Water Quality Management
NR 706, Soil Ecology, or NR 744, Biogeochemistry
Four approved electives

NR 527, Forest Ecology, or BIOL 541, General Ecology
NR 730, Terrestrial Ecosystems
NR 765, Community Ecology
NR 751, Aquatic Ecosystems
Four approved electives

For a list of approved elective courses and for further information about the major, contact the program coordinator, Michael W. Palace, Morse Hall, (603) 862-4193;

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