Earth & Environmental Science

Degree Requirements

Earth and Environmental Sciences Studies

Career and Graduate Study Options and Outcomes. The interdisciplinary nature of the earth and environmental sciences curriculum prepares students for a variety of careers, graduate schools and professional schools, such as law school. Many graduates enter employment immediately after graduation with government environmental regulatory agencies or the private sector as environmental consultants and consulting geologists. Others choose graduate school in environmental science, hydrogeology, soil science, geology and atmospheric science. Earth and environmental sciences graduates have also pursued careers in education and environmental law.

Capstone Experience. The department members recognize the variety of ways that students learn and thus offer several different ways that students can demonstrate their learning through four forms of the capstone experience. Students may choose among Environmental Internship, Environmental Internship Seminar, Research in Earth and Environmental Sciences, Research Seminar in Earth and Environmental Sciences, or Field Program. The department recommends on-the-job, practical experiences for majors, particularly those interested in immediate employment in the private consulting or governmental sectors. Approved internships may include work in private industry, planning commissions, consulting firms, environmental law firms, or state and federal environmental departments.

For students who are interested in advanced training in graduate school, Research in Earth and Environmental Sciences represents a way for them to demonstrate their skills through an individual investigation in collaboration with a member of the department faculty. Students extend learning through exploration of an original problem and demonstrate their progress through a thesis and public presentation. Students have presented at regional and national scientific meetings sponsored by geology, meteorology, soil science and ecology societies.

All students are encouraged to enroll in an approved geologic or environmental field camp, which provides a field experience in which students are trained in current mapping and exploration methods. The Field Program option allows students who elect these opportunities to apply the experiences to the capstone experience requirement. Graduate schools often require these courses before enrollment, and the field-based training is extremely valuable to those seeking a professional career immediately following graduation. After the off-campus experience, students complete on-campus presentations and reflections on their learning.

Teaching Certification. The department offers certification in earth and space science (7-12) and environmental education (K–12) when either the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree is earned in combination with specific requirements from the Education Department. Additional information regarding certification in education is available in the education requirements section. Majors in this program must complete student teaching during their senior year, so the student teaching capstone experience is accepted as an alternate to the department’s capstone experience requirement.

Earth and Environmental Sciences Degree Programs

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science Degree Programs in Earth and Environmental Sciences. The department offers both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degree programs. The Bachelor of Science program is recommended for students who have made an early decision to enter the earth science and environmental science professions or to attend graduate school in geology, geophysics, geochemistry, environmental science, hydrology, atmospheric science or oceanography. The Bachelor of Arts program is recommended for students who are less certain of their career objectives or who seek greater flexibility in their undergraduate tenure so they can pursue preparation for a career in education or prepare for a professional school or environmental law.

Learning goals:

  • Understand the scientific method and how it is applied in the context of a discipline.
  • Understand the earth system, the connections between abiotic and biotic systems, and the effect of the human society on the natural system. Understand the historical context of environmental awareness.
  • Application of classification systems: vocabulary, observation and categorization.
  • Scale interaction within space and time on earth science processes and outcomes.
  • Geographic relationships of Earth, science processes, landforms and materials and comprehension of methods to relate these relationships.
  • Data, plot and map interpretation and construction.
  • Discipline-appropriate methods for observation, classification, characterization and description using relevant technologies and telemetries.
  • Development of discipline-appropriate synthesis of readings, laboratory work and course material to produce original scientific understanding.

Requirements for the Major in Earth and Environmental Sciences. All majors must complete the department foundation courses, a choice of distribution courses, and the corollary science and mathematics courses listed below. To satisfy degree requirements, courses in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences must be completed with grades of C- or higher. Students who change majors after completing EENV:102, EENV:103, EENV:104 or EENV:213 may substitute that course in place of EENV:101 in the introductory sequence.

semester hours

16

Department Introductory Sequence

 

4

EENV:101 Environmental Science

 

4

EENV:113 Geology and the Environment

 

4

EENV:220 Water Resources

 

4

EENV:240 Introduction to Meteorology

12

Distribution Requirements (4 semester hours from each category)

 

4

Geology Distribution:

 

4

EENV:260 Mineralogy/Petrology

 

4

EENV:283 Sedimentology/Stratigraphy

 

4

EENV:370 Environmental Geophysics

 

4

EENV:491 Geological Mapping

 

4

Hydrology Distribution:

 

4

EENV:270 Chemistry of Natural Waters

 

4

EENV:380 Wetlands Analysis

 

4

EENV:383 Soil Science

 

4

EENV:420 Groundwater Hydrology

 

4

EENV:440 Groundwater Pollution and Monitoring

 

4

Meteorology Distribution:

 

4

EENV:242 Climate and Global Change

 

4

EENV:332 Sustainable Energy Resources

 

4

EENV:373 Air Quality

 

4

EENV:443 Tropical Meteorology

For Bachelor of Arts candidates, a minimum of 28 semester hours, including the following:

semester hours

8

Electives

 

One EENV course at the 400 level. Remaining credits are chosen from either the distribution list or the department elective list.

16

Corollary Courses

 

4

MATH:111 Calculus I

 

4

CHEM:101 General Chemistry I, CHEM:103 General Chemistry I Teams or CHEM:111 General Chemistry Teams WS

 

4

CHEM:102 General Chemistry II, CHEM:104 General Chemistry II Teams or CHEM:112 General Chemistry II Teams WS

 

4

PHYS:204 Introductory Physics I

4

Capstone Experience

 

Students must select 4 semester hours from:

 

2

EENV:590 Environmental Internship and EENV:591

 

2

EENV:591 Environmental Internship Seminar (must be completed in the fall following EENV:590)

 

2

EENV:595 Research in Earth and Environmental Sciences (fall) and EENV:596

 

2

EENV:596 Research Seminar in Earth and Environmental Sciences (spring)

 

4

EENV:597 Field Program and EENV:591

 

4

4 semester hours from an approved capstone experience in another department

For Bachelor of Science candidates, a minimum of 36 semester hours, including the following:

12

Electives

 

One EENV course at the 400 level. Remaining credits are chosen from either the distribution list or the following elective courses:

 

4

ECOL:201 Ecosystems

 

4

EENV:213 Oceanography

 

4

EENV:250 Topics

 

4

EENV:335 Environmental Laws and Regulations

 

4

EENV:360 Geographic Information Systems

 

4

BIOL:408-409 Aquatic Ecology

20

Corollary Courses

 

4

MATH:112 Calculus II

 

4

CHEM:101 General Chemistry I, CHEM:103 General Chemistry I Teams or CHEM:111 General Chemistry I Teams WS

 

4

CHEM:102 General Chemistry II, CHEM:104 General Chemistry II Teams or CHEM:112 General Chemistry II Teams WS

 

4

PHYS:204 Introductory Physics I

 

4

One option from the following:

 

4

MATH:201 Linear Algebra

 

4

MATH:211 Multivariate Calculus

 

4

MATH:353 Differential Equations

 

4

CHEM:221 Organic Chemistry I

 

4

CHEM:300 Topics (Green Chemistry)

 

4

CSCI:181 Principles of Computer Science

 

4

PHYS:205 Introductory Physics II

4

Capstone Experience

 

Students must select 4 semester hours from:

 

2

EENV:590 Environmental Internship and EENV:591

 

2

EENV:591 Environmental Internship Seminar (must be completed in the fall following EENV:590)

 

2

EENV:595 Research in Earth and Environmental Sciences (fall) and EENV:596

 

2

EENV:596 Research Seminar in Earth and Environmental Sciences (spring)

 

4

EENV:597 Field Program and EENV:591

 

4

4 semester hours from an approved capstone experience in another department

For the purposes of calculating the required 2.0 minimum GPA in the major, the Earth and Environmental Sciences Department uses all of the major courses with the EENV prefix.

Minor in Earth and Environmental Sciences. The minor requires 20 semester hours, with grades of C- or better, from among the courses in the major. Only one of EENV:101, EENV:102, EENV:103 or EENV:104 may be used toward the minor.

Honors in Earth and Environmental Sciences. The departmental honors program encourages and recognizes superior academic performance in earth and environmental sciences. To graduate with departmental honors, earth and environmental sciences majors do the following:

Candidates for academic honors must:

  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.25 and a GPA of 3.5 in major courses to qualify for academic honors.
  • Take the department comprehensive exam and score 75 percent or better during their senior year.

Candidates for research honors must:

  • Be nominated by a member of the earth and environmental sciences faculty by Feb. 15 of their senior year.
  • Submit an acceptable research thesis based upon two semesters of student research (EENV:595 and EENV:596) and earn a grade of B or better in these courses.
  • Pass an oral comprehensive examination of their thesis in their final semester.


Course Catalog

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