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Earth Systems Science Focus

Earth systems science is a multidisciplinary academic field that integrates physical, earth and biological sciences. 

Directed Electives (Select at least 15 credit hours)

BIOL 3321K - General Botany

A study of the morphology, anatomy, photosynthesis, respiration, water relations, and ecology of plants. With laboratory.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisite: BIOL 1108K with a grade of C or higher

Hours:
4



View BIOL 3321K in Catalog

BIOL 3324K - Freshwater Invertebrate Zoology

This course explores the evolution and ecology of invertebrate animals. It provides a background in the diversity, body plans and ecology of all major invertebrate phyla, including marine and terrestrial groups, however, the taxonomy and ecology of freshwater invertebrates will be emphasized. With laboratory, which includes intensive practical exercises in the collection and identification of freshwater macroinvertebrates designed to equip students with key skills for subsequent coursework. Outside field studies will be required.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisite: BIOL 1108K with a grade of C or higher

Hours:
4



View BIOL 3324K in Catalog

BIOL 3500K - Ecology

Study of the relationships between the biotic and abiotic at the individual, population, community, and ecosystem levels. Topics include species diversity, population dynamics, organization and classification of communities, and chemical and energy flows in ecosystems. The laboratory exercises will emphasize experimental design, sampling and collection procedures in field studies, and statistical analysis of data. Off-campus field studies may be required.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisite: BIOL 1108K

Hours:
4



View BIOL 3500K in Catalog

BIOL 4001K - Freshwater Ecology

This course covers chemical and physical processes, diversity and adaptations, and ecosystem dynamics in wetlands and streams. The interactions between aquatic systems and adjacent terrestrial ecosystems are emphasized, with a strong focus on watershed-scale analysis. Throughout the course, relatively pristine ecosystems are compared with those that have been heavily modified by human activities, in order to explore how human activities can influence the characteristics and biological integrity of wetlands and streams. With laboratory, which provides students with practical experience in watershed mapping, wetlands delineation and stream ecosystem management. Outside field studies will be required.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisite: BIOL 3325K

Hours:
4



View BIOL 4001K in Catalog

BIOL 4002K - Limnology

A study of the structure and function of lake and reservoir ecosystems including physical, chemical, geological and biological characteristics and processes. The interaction between lakes/reservoirs and their watersheds, and management strategies for these systems, are emphasized. With laboratory, which includes field sampling, laboratory analysis and data analysis of water quality parameters and aquatic communities. GIS and other computer programs will be used in the analysis of limnological data. Outside field studies will be required.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisite: BIOL 3500K

Hours:
4



View BIOL 4002K in Catalog

BIOL 4040K - Stream Ecology

A study of the structure and function of running waters including geomorphology, flow, species interactions and biotic communities with an emphasis on the influences of humans on stream ecosystems. Includes a laboratory component in which students learn field and laboratory techniques used by stream ecologists.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisite: BIOL 3500K

Hours:
4



View BIOL 4040K in Catalog

BIOL 4090 - Conservation Biology

An introduction to the ecological and genetic foundations and real-world application of conservation biology, including demographics, conservation genetics, habitat requirements, population dynamics, landscape ecology and global patterns of biodiversity.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisite: BIOL 3500K

Hours:
3



View BIOL 4090 in Catalog

BIOL 4460 - Marine Biology

This course provides students with an overview of marine biology, including physical, chemical and biological oceanography and marine ecology.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisite: BIOL 1108K

Hours:
3



View BIOL 4460 in Catalog

ESCI 3001K - Land Use and Conservation

The quality of our environment depends upon the development which is permitted to take place and the controls which direct that development. Therefore, the purpose of this course is to provide an understanding of how land use controls may be used to effectively shape development at the watershed scale. This course will introduce the student to land use with an emphasis on conservation of natural resources through the use of field descriptions, design, and analytical techniques with intent to optimize land use patterns. Extensive integration of GIS to landscape management principles will be emphasized.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisites: GEOL 1121K, GEOG 1111K, GISC 2011 and GISC 2011L, or GEOL 1250 and GEOL 1250L

Hours:
3



View ESCI 3001K in Catalog

ESCI 3003K - Soils

A detailed examination of soil formation and morphology, physical, biological, and chemical properties, soil-water interactions, wetlands and hydric soils, soil landscapes, field methods and protocols of soil sampling.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisites: CHEM 1211 and 1211L, GISC 2011 and GISC 2011L, and GEOL 1121K or GEOG 1111K

Hours:
3



View ESCI 3003K in Catalog

ESCI 4003K - Hydrology

A multidisciplinary examination of hydrology concepts essential for environmental and spatial analysis. Topics include hydrologic processes and water balances in the landscape, saturated and unsaturated flow in soils, drainage, basic aquifer mechanics, environmental monitoring techniques, stream flow and storm flow dynamics in response to rainfall and watershed characteristics.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisites: CHEM 1212 and CHEM 1212L, GISC 2011 and GISC 2011L, with grades of C or higher and MATH 1113 with a grade of D or higher, or permission of instructor

Hours:
4



View ESCI 4003K in Catalog

ESCI 4010K - Environmental Chemistry

Study of the principles of Environmental Chemistry including field techniques. Topics to be covered include the chemistry of water systems, organic and inorganic pollutants in natural water systems, its transport, degradation, retention and remedial methods including Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL). Emphasis will be placed upon field sampling for monitoring, sample handling, storage, instrumentation, data analysis, GLP and quality control.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisites: CHEM 1212, CHEM 1212L, GISC 2011, and GISC 2011L with grades of C or higher, and MATH 1113 with a grade of D or higher, or permission of instructor

Hours:
4



Notes:
Three lectures and one lab each week.

View ESCI 4010K in Catalog

GEOL 3010K - Introduction to Earth Materials

Fundamentals of crystallography and mineralogy; laboratory study of minerals using the polarizing microscope; classification, identification, and origin of common rock-forming minerals and rocks.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisite: GEOL 1121K with a grade of C or higher

Hours:
4



View GEOL 3010K in Catalog

GEOL 3300K - Process Geomorphology

This course will focus on the specific environmental and geologic processes that shape the Earth's landscape. Landform identification and distribution will be stressed in this class. Laboratory exercises will emphasize the identification and evaluation of geomorphic features utilizing maps (contour and DEMs) as well as aerial photography.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisite: GEOL 1121K, GEOG 1111K, or permission of the instructor

Hours:
4



Cross-listed
GEOG 3300K View GEOL 3300K in Catalog

GEOL 3500K - Environmental Geochemistry

The study and application of chemical principles as related to geological and environmental processes. Course emphasis is on understanding processes that influence the chemistry of water, air, and soil. Laboratory component of the course is field-based.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisites: CHEM 1211, CHEM 1211L, MATH 1111, and either GEOL 1121K or GEOG 1111K

Hours:
4



View GEOL 3500K in Catalog

GEOL 4110K - Principles of Sedimentology and Stratigraphy

This course will focus on sedimentary processes, petrology, stratigraphy, and analysis of depositional environments. It will introduce students to the concepts of physical and chemical weathering, transportation, deposition, lithification, rock classification, correlation, and sedimentary tectonics.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisite: GEOL 3010K or permission of the instructor

Hours:
4



View GEOL 4110K in Catalog

GEOG 3200K - Earth Systems

This course is an introduction to the systems approach and interdependence of Earth's systems. Topics covered include climate change, biodiversity, ocean circulation, ozone depletion, and global environmental change. The course uses lessons from Earth's history to guide decision-making for our future.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisites: GEOG 1111K, GEOG 1112, GEOG 1112L, GISC 2011, and GISC 2011L

Hours:
3



View GEOG 3200K in Catalog

GEOG 4000K - Environmental Geography

This course focuses on integrated physical, human, economic, and environmental issues. The course will include place and case studies from around the world. Topics covered include interactions with and impacts of humans on vegetation, soils, animals, water, and the atmosphere as well as future trends and scenarios for these resources. This course will encourage development of geographical knowledge and understanding of how humans interact with our environment.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisites: GEOG 3200K and GISC 3011K

Hours:
3



View GEOG 4000K in Catalog

GEOG 4200K - Biogeography

This course is an introduction to the growing field of biogeography. Topics covered include the arrival and differentiation of species, impacts of climate and plate tectonics on biodiversity, isolation, marine and island biogeography, and ecosystems. The course also analyzes interactions in nature and potential consequences of climatic and global environmental change on biodiversity.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisite: GEOG 4000K

Hours:
4



View GEOG 4200K in Catalog

GEOG 4500K - Environmental Impact Assessment

This course is an introduction to conducting environmental impact assessments. Topics covered include methods and approaches as well as important considerations such as noise, socioeconomic factors, heritage, landscape, soils, water, and ecology. The course uses case study examples and policies to guide students through the process.

Prerequisite/Corequisite:
Prerequisites: GEOG 3200K and BIOL 1108K

Hours:
3



View GEOG 4500K in Catalog

*Or other approved elective

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