Skip to Content Find it Fast

This browser does not support Cascading Style Sheets.

Undergraduate Course Catalog 2016-2017

College of Life Sciences and Agriculture


Environmental Sciences


» Click to view course offerings

University Professor: John D. Aber
Professor: Russell G. Congalton, Serita D. Frey, Kevin H. Gardner, Jennifer M. Jacobs, William H. McDowell, Scott V. Ollinger
Associate Professor: J. Matthew Davis, A. Stuart Grandy, Thomas D. Lee, Mary D. Stampone, Ruth K. Varner, Wilfred M. Wollheim
Assistant Professor: Anne Lightbody, Michael W. Palace

The College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA) and the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS) 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 communicate effectively 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.

The program has three options: ecosystems, soils and watersheds, and hydrology. Choices for meeting foundation requirements for the major vary by option.

In addition to the 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 introductions to biology, physics, chemistry, geology, calculus, and statistics.



Soil and Watersheds



BIOL 412

BIOL 411 or 412


CHEM 403 or 405 or 411

CHEM 403 & 404, or 405


PHYS 401 or 407

PHYS 407 and 408


MATH 424B or 425

MATH 425 and 426


BIOL 528 or MATH 644 or EREC 525

MATH 644 or BIOL 528


- - - - - - - - - - - - - ESCI 401 or 402 or 409- - - - - - - - - - - - -


Core courses include Techniques in Environmental Sciences (ESCI 534), Introduction to GIS (NR 658), Fate and Transport in the Environment (ESCI 654), Natural Resources and Environmental Policy (NR 602 or GEOG 673), and a capstone experience (NR 791 and an independent study or capstone course approved by their adviser and the program coordinator). Many students enroll in the EcoQuest program (a study abroad opportunity in New Zealand), which satisfies the policy requirement and capstone requirement if taken senior year.

Students must complete additional courses, depending on option:

Biology: NR 439, Environmental Biology, or BIOL 411, Introductory Biology: Molecular and Cellular
General Ecology: NR 527, Forest Ecology, or BIOL 541, General Ecology
Community/Population Ecology: NR 765, Community Ecology, or NR 734, Tropical Ecology, or NR 640, Wildlife Population Ecology
Spatial Ecology: NR 603, Landscape Ecology, or NR 642, Intro to Biogeography
Ecosystems: NR 751, Aquatic Ecosystems, or NR 730, Terrestrial Ecosystems, or NR 711, Wetland Ecology and Management
Environmental Chemistry: NR 761, Env. Soil Chemistry, or NR 744, Biogeochemistry, or ESCI 747, Aqueous Geochemistry, or ESCI 741, Geochemistry
CHEM 404 General Chemistry II (if student took CHEM 403), or approved elective
Three Approved Electives

Landscape Evolution: ESCI 561
Soils/Mineralogy: NR 501 or ESCI 512
Surface Water Hydrology: ESCI 705 or CIE 745
Groundwater Hydrology: ESCI 710
A course in quantitative analysis
Two or three approved electives

Soil and Watershed Management
Biology/Physics: NR 439, Environmental Biology, or BIOL 411, Cellular and Molecular, or PHYS 402 or PHYS 408
General Ecology: NR 527, Forest Ecology, or BIOL 541, General Ecology
Soils: NR 501, Studio Soils
Watersheds: NR 703, Watershed Water Quality Management
Ecosystems: NR 751, Aquatic Ecosystems, or NR 730, Terrestrial Ecosystems
Soils II: NR 761, Env. Soil Chemistry, or NR 744, Biogeochemistry, or NR 706, Soil Ecology
CHEM 404, General Chemistry II (if student took CHEM 403), or approved elective
Three approved electives

For a list of approved elective courses and for further information about the major, students may consult with the program coordinator: John Aber,, (603) 862-3405

» Click to view course offerings

^ back to top