Environmental Science

Charles A. Dana Professor Richard K. Dunn (Chair); Charles A. Dana Professor David S. Westerman; Assistant Professor G. Christopher Koteas; Lecturer Laurie D. Grigg; Research Associate George E. Springston

This major is interdisciplinary, designed for those with environmental interests and career goals. The program emphasizes experiential learning, commonly through field studies and outdoor education. Courses include real projects and original research participation. Students begin their curriculum with the development of a firm base in the sciences and mathematics. Each student develops an area of specialization by selecting a Concentration from one of two Options. Option I Concentrations lead to a heavier emphasis in science and engineering, and include Environmental Biology, Environmental Geology, Environmental Engineering, Environmental Chemistry, and Climate Science. Option II Concentrations result in a stronger emphasis in the social sciences, humanities and business, and include Environmental Policy & Management, Environmental Law & Protection, Environmental Writing, Green Design, and Environmental Education.

All Environmental Science majors take a pair of capstone courses involving an original research project and a seminar designed to synthesize their education and tie scientific thought to issues in society. The Department houses a number of instruments for environmental monitoring and analysis, and students also have access to resources in their area of Concentration.

Goals:
  • To provide an interdisciplinary Liberal Arts degree program in Environmental Science having a strong foundation in the physical and life sciences with a focus on relationships connecting society and nature.
  • To provide two options, one with a concentration in the sciences and engineering, and the other with a concentration in the social sciences and humanities.
  • To provide instruction and experiences with emphasis on field studies, solution of active problems, and communication in a professional format.

Outcomes:
  • Understand the physical laws of nature that control the formation and evolution of Earth materials and biological organisms.
  • Understand what controls the behavior of the chemical compounds that make up the inorganic and organic materials of the Earth.
  • Know how to define a problem, design a study to acquire data, critically analyze and interpret data, and discuss the implications of results and
  • Be able to think critically about published work, synthesize the content of such work, and present findings at a professional level both in writing and orally
  • Meet the University's General Education Goals.
     
Careers for this Major:
  • Graduate education
  • Industry and consulting
  • Military
  • Environmental agencies
  • Non-profit organizations

B.S. in Environmental Science – Curriculum Map 2016-2017 Catalog 

Option I

Print PDF Curriculum Map

Concentrations for Option 1 are: Environmental Biology, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Geology, Environmental Engineering, or Climate Science.

Freshman
FallCr.SpringCr.
BI 101 Principles of Biology I14BI 102 Principles of Biology II14
EN 101 Composition and Literature I3EN 102 Composition and Literature II3
GL 110 Introduction to Geology (General Education Lab Science)4GL 111 Oceanography (General Education Lab Science)4
MA 107 Precalculus Mathematics (General Education Math)4MA 108 Applied Calculus (General Education Math)24
Semester Total Credits15Semester Total Credits15
Sophomore
FallCr.SpringCr.
CH 103 General Chemistry I4CH 104 General Chemistry II4
Concentration Elective3-4Concentration Elective3-4
ES 270 Fundamentals of Environmental Science (or Free Elective)33-4General Education Literature (or ES 130)3
ES 251 Sophomore Seminar in Environmental Science1MA 232 Elementary Statistics3
PH 323 Environmental Ethics (General Education Ethics) OR General Education Arts & Humanities3Free Elective33-4
Semester Total Credits14-16Semester Total Credits16-18
Junior
FallCr.SpringCr.
Concentration Elective3-4ES 130 Introduction to Environmental Law (or General Education Literature)3
EC 201 Principles of Economics (Macro) or 202 Principles of Economics (Micro) (General Education Social Science)3Concentration Elective3-4
General Education Arts & Humanities (or PH 323)3ES 340 Project Development in Environmental Science1
PS 201 General Physics I4PS 202 General Physics II4
Free Elective (or ES 270)33-4Free Elective33-4
Semester Total Credits16-18Semester Total Credits14-16
Senior
FallCr.SpringCr.
BI 405 Ecology4Concentration Elective3-4
Concentration Elective3-4ES 451 Environmental Science Seminar3
ES 440 Research Project in Environmental Science (General Education Capstone)3ES 460 Project Completion in Environmental Science1
GL 255 Hydrogeology3General Education History3
 Free Elective33-4
Semester Total Credits13-14Semester Total Credits13-15
Total Credits For This Major: 116-127
1

EnvCH and EnvEG concentrations students take CH 103 and CH 104 as freshmen, and BI 101 and BI 102 in the second year. 

2

Or equivalent, especially if needed as a prerequisite for Concentration courses. 

3

Can be used out of sequence and to take more than one concentration elective concurrently. 


Available Concentrations – Option I

Environmental Biology

GL 261Field Geology4
CH 205Survey of Organic Chemistry4
Two of the following:8
Environmental Biology4
Plant Taxonomy4
Dendrology and Silvics4
Woodland Ecology and Management4
Two of the following:8
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy4
Introductory Microbiology4
Invertebrate Zoology4
Natural History of the Vertebrates4
Total Cr.24

Environmental Geology

GL 253Geomorphology4
GL 257Sedimentation4
GL 261Field Geology4
GL 263Mineralogy4
GL 200 level Elective or EG 203 Materials Science3-4
CH elective: CH204 or above, 3-4 cr. options only3-4
Total Cr.22-24

Environmental Chemistry

CH 204Quantitative Analysis4
CH 205Survey of Organic Chemistry4
GL 263Mineralogy4
Three of the following:10-12
Field Geology4
Instrumental Methods (+/- CH 315 Lab)3/4
Materials Science3
Introductory Microbiology4
Total Cr.22-24

Environmental Engineering

EG 109Introduction to Engineering I3
CE 211Surveying3
EG 203Materials Science3
AP 221Site Development and Design3
GL 253Geomorphology4
One of the following:3-4
Field Geology4
Environmental Biology4
Mathematical Computation and Modeling3
CH elective: CH 204 or above, 3-4 cr. options only
3-4
Total Cr.19-20

Climate Science

GL 265Glacial Geology and Paleoclimate4
CH 204Quantitative Analysis4
GL 253Geomorphology4
MA 241Mathematical Computation and Modeling3
Two of the following:6-8
Instrumental Methods (+/- CH 315 Lab)3/4
Evolution4
Geopolitics (recommended)3
International Law3
Total Cr.21-23

B. S. in Environmental Science – Curriculum Map 2016-2017 Catalog

Option II

Print PDF Curriculum Map

Concentrations for Option 2 are: Environmental Policy and Management, Environmental Law and Protection, Environmental Writing, Green Design, or Education

Freshman
FallCr.SpringCr.
BI 101 Principles of Biology I4BI 102 Principles of Biology II4
EN 101 Composition and Literature I3EN 102 Composition and Literature II3
GL 110 Introduction to Geology (General Eduction Lab Science)4GL 111 Oceanography (General Education Lab Science)4
MA 107 Precalculus Mathematics (General Education Math)4MA 108 Applied Calculus (General Education Math)4
Semester Total Credits15Semester Total Credits15
Sophomore
FallCr.SpringCr.
Concentration Elective3-4Concentration Elective3-4
ES 270 Fundamentals of Environmental Science (or EC 201 or EC 202)4General Education Literature (or ES 130)3
ES 251 Sophomore Seminar in Environmental Science1MA 232 Elementary Statistics3
PH 323 Environmental Ethics or EN 276 Environmental Writing (General Education Ethics, or General Education Arts & Humanities)3PO Elective 213
PO Elective13PY 211 Introduction to Psychology (General Education Social Science)3
Semester Total Credits14-15Semester Total Credits15-16
Junior
FallCr.SpringCr.
CH Chemistry Elective4Concentration Elective3
Concentration Elective3-4ES 130 Introduction to Environmental Law (or General Education Literature)3
EC 201 Principles of Economics (Macro) or 202 Principles of Economics (Micro) (or ES 270)3-4ES 340 Project Development in Environmental Science1
EN 276 Environmental Writing (or PH 323)3General Education History3
SO 201 Introduction to Sociology3GL 253 Geomorphology (or Free Elective)23-4
 Free Elective23-4
Semester Total Credits16-18Semester Total Credits16-18
Senior
FallCr.SpringCr.
BI 405 Ecology4ES 451 Environmental Science Seminar3
Concentration Elective3-4ES 460 Project Completion in Environmental Science1
ES 440 Research Project in Environmental Science (General Education Capstone)3Concentration Elective3-4
General Education Arts & Humanities OR PH 3233Free Elective23-4
 Free Elective (or GL 253)23-4
 Free Elective23-4
Semester Total Credits13-14Semester Total Credits16-20
Total Credits For This Major: 120-131
1

Selected from PO 105 American PoliticsPO 215 International Relations and PO 305 Geopolitics; Green Design concentration students take EG 109 Introduction to Engineering I and EG 110 Introduction to Engineering II

2

Can be used out of sequence and to take more than on concentration elective concurrently. 

Available Concentrations – Option II

 Environmental Policy and Management

MG 101Introduction to Business3
CS 120Business Applications & Problem Solving Techniques3
SO 202Problems of Modern Society3
PO 321U.S. Constitutional Law3
MG 309Management of Organizations3
MG 341Business Law I3
Total Cr.18


 Environmental Law and Protection

CJ 101Introduction to Criminal Justice3
CJ 102Substantive Criminal Law3
CJ 402Law and Society3
Two of the following three:6
U.S. Constitutional Law3
The Legislative Process3
State and Local Politics3
SO 202Problems of Modern Society3
Total Cr.18


 Environmental Writing

EN 274Introduction to Creative Writing3
EN 364Intermediate Creative Writing3
Four of the following:12
Advanced Composition3
Survey of American Literature I3
Survey of American Literature II3
Literature of the Sea3
Literary Methods3
American Ethnic Literature & Cultural Literature3
Literature of the Developing World3
Introduction to Mass Media3
Total Cr.18

Green Design

AP 111Fundamentals of Architecture4
AP 118Fundamentals of Architecture II4
AP 221Site Development and Design3
AP 225Introduction to Passive Environmental Systems3
AP 325Materials, Construction, and Design3
One of the following three:3
History/Theory of Architecture I3
History/Theory of Architecture II3
History/Theory of Artchitectural III3
Total Cr.20

Environmental Education1

ED 104Foundations of Education3
Five of the following:16-19
Learning and Teaching Strategies4
Special Needs Child3
Methods of Teaching Science to Elementary Students3
Reading and Writing in the Content Area4
Developmental Psychology3
Adolescent Psychology3-4
Learning and Memory4
Total Cr.19-22
1

For Environmental Education concentration students seeking licensure, a double major in Education, Elementary Teacher Licensure is required, and may require an additional semester for student teaching.

Courses

ES 115 Geographic Info. Systems 3 Cr.

Open to all majors; an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS is a powerful computer mapping tool essential in: the natural, health, and social sciences; engineering; architecture; and the military. It is used for a wide-range of spatial analyses and data management. Students learn basic GIS and cartographic concepts, ArcGIS software, and application of GIS to their own discipline. During the final 4 weeks of the semester students design, implement, and present a GIS project. Offered Fall of odd numbered years.

ES 130 Introduction to Environmental Law 3 Cr.

Major Federal pollution regulation schemes, environmental economics, risk analysis, relevant common law, and constitutional and procedural issues are introduced. Vermont Environmental Law is addressed, as is a survey of the extensive and often novel regulatory approaches of the state of Vermont. The course introduces the law pertaining to environmental issues such as population, economic growth, energy, and pollution. Environmental problems are defined and alternative approaches for dealing with them are examined. Existing statutory efforts such as the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act are analyzed. Does not fulfill a science requirement. Three lecture hours per week. Offered Spring of even numbered years.

ES 1XL Enviromental Lab Sci. Elec 4 Cr.

ES 1XX Enviromental Science Elec. 4 Cr.

ES 251 Sophomore Seminar in Environmental Science 1 Cr.

This course introduces the fundamentals of scientific investigation and communication. A research project introduces the Sceinctific Method, while reading and comprehension of scientific literature is coupled with instruction in and application of technical and scientific writing. Other forms of scientific communication, including poster and oral presentations, are addressed. Students learn the appropriate techniques for displaying and interpreting scientific data. Students may not earn credit for both ES 251 and GL 251. Offered Fall semester.

ES 270 Fundamentals of Environmental Science 4 Cr.

This lab science course investigates the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and pedosphere and their interrelations as well as the affect they have on humans and the role that humans play in large-scale change within these spheres. Subjects include modern climate principles and global climate change, water as a natural resource, natural hazards such as landslides, earthquakes and volcanoes, soil nutrient loss and erosion, sustainable agriculture, and other topics related to natural-human interactions. Prerequisite, one introductory Geology lab science. Offered Fall semester of even numbered years.

ES 340 Project Development in Environmental Science 1 Cr.

A course for students majoring in Environmental Science aimed to develop the skills for designing and executing an original scientific research project. Topics include research plan development, literature research to inform methodology, generation of site maps and protocols for collecting field and laboratory data, and generation of a properly formatted research proposal. Prerequisite: Junior-year status and permission of instructor. Offered spring semesters.

ES 440 Research Project in Environmental Science 3 Cr.

A capstone original research project under the direction of a faculty member in coordination with others taking this course. Field and laboratory work will generate new data on an expanding base; after analysis and interpretation, data will be presented in a technical format. All aspects of the project will be interpreted in the context of the literature. Prerequisite: ES 340/GL 340 or permission of the instructor. Students cannot receive credit for both ES 440 and GL 440. Offered fall semester.

ES 451 Environmental Science Seminar 3 Cr.

A capstone course offered in a seminar format with required reading, writing, and group participation. Designed to provide an integrating experience with sufficient flexibility to pursue individual interests. This course also includes oral and poster presentations of senior research projects and examination of codes of ethics in the environmental sciences. Classroom 3 hours. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing and permission of the instructor. Credit cannot be received both for this course and GL 451. Offered spring semesters.

ES 460 Project Completion in Environmental Science 1 Cr.

Designed to follow senior research work in ES 440, this course provides the support for students to turn their technical product into a professional technical paper in which the research is integrated into the peer-reviewed knowledge base for the subject. The course is writing intensive and self-driven directed, with a student working collaboratively with their research advisor. Prerequisite: ES 440 and permission of the instructor. Offered spring semesters.