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Undergraduate Course Catalog 2010-2011

College of Life Sciences and Agriculture


Environmental Sciences


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Professor: John D. Aber, Russell G. Congalton, William H. McDowell
Affiliate Professor: George C. Hurtt
Associate Professor: Mimi Larsen Becker, J. Matthew Davis, Serita D. Frey, Kevin H. Gardner, Jennifer M. Jacobs, Thomas D. Lee, Scott V. Ollinger
Research Associate Professor: Ruth K. Varner
Assistant Professor: Anne Lightbody

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 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 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 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 Resources 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:

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

PHYS 408, General Physics II
ESCI 561, Landscape Evolution
NR 501, Introduction to Soil Sciences, 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, Introduction to Soil Sciences
NR 703, Watershed Water Quality Management
NR 706, Soil Ecology, or NR 744, Biogeochemistry
four approved electives

For a list of approved elective courses and for further information about the major, students may consult with the program coordinator,  Ruth K. Varner, (603) 862-0853.

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