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Undergraduate Course Catalog 2008-2009

College of Engineering and Physical Sciences


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.

In addition to general education requirements, two introductory environmental science courses are required. 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 course (e.g., Senior Thesis).

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

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

PHYS 408, General Physics II
ESCI 561, Landscape Evolution
NR 501, Introduction to Soil Sciences or ESCI 512, Principles of Mineralogy
NR 604, Watershed Hydrology
ESCI 705, Principles of Hydrology
ESCI 710, Groundwater Hydrology
Two approved electives

Soil and Watershed Management
PHYS 408, General Physics II
NR 501, Introduction to Soil Sciences
NR 604, Watershed Hydrology
NR 703, Watershed Water Quality Management
NR 706, Soil Ecology
Three approved electives

For a list of approved elective courses and for further information about the major, contact the program coordinator, John D. Aber, Department of Natural Resources, (603) 862-3045; e-mail

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