Environmental Science

This is an archived copy of the 2014-15 Catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit http://catalog.norwich.edu/.

Charles A. Dana Professor Westerman; Charles A. Dana Professor Dunn (Chair); Assistant Professor Koteas; Lecturer Grigg

Students in the Environmental Science degree program take full advantage of Norwich University’s location in the middle of the Green Mountain State, where we are ideally situated for field studies of our natural environment.

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary degree for students with environmental interests and career goals. Environmental Science majors start 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. Selection of an Option I Concentration leads to a heavier emphasis in science and engineering, whereas selection of an Option II Concentration results in a stronger emphasis in the social sciences, humanities and business.

The program emphasizes experiential learning through field studies and outdoor education. Courses include real projects and original research participation. The program is enriched through department field trips across New England, eastern Canada, and the western United States. 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 of Earth and Environmental Sciences is equipped for analysis of ground and surface water, soil, sediment, and rock. Equipment enables terrestrial and lake coring, collection of hydro-geochemical data, determination of sediment characteristics, subsurface studies, and more. In addition, majors have access to facilities in their departments of Concentration.

The ten selected Environmental Science Concentrations provide an education that is rigorous and makes graduates widely marketable within industry, graduate education, and the military.

B. S. in Environmental Science – Curriculum Map

For Those Pursuing Option I

Students electing Environmental Biology, Environmental Chemistry, Environmental Geology, Environmental Engineering, or Climate Science as the Concentration will share a common curriculum as upperclassmen that draws heavily from the sciences. Graduates in this Option will have broad interdisciplinary training with a strong science background. Their strength will be in this breadth as well as in the specific focus in which they concentrate their studies.

First Year
EN 101 Composition and Literature I3EN 102 Composition and Literature II3
MA 107 Precalculus Mathematics4MA 108 Applied Calculus24
BI 101 Principles of Biology I14BI 102 Principles of Biology II14
GL 110 Introduction to Geology4GL 111 Oceanography4
 15 15
Second Year
CH 103 General Chemistry I4CH 104 General Chemistry II4
PH 323 Environmental Ethics (or Arts & Humanities Elective)3MA 232 Elementary Statistics3
ES 251 Sophomores Seminar Environmental Science1Concentration Elective4
Concentration Elective4Literature Elective (or ES 130)3
ES 270 Fundamentals of Environmental Science (or Elective)34-3Elective33-4
 16-15 17-18
Third Year
PS 201 General Physics I4PS 202 General Physics II4
EC 201 Principles of Economics (Macro) or 202 Principles of Economics (Micro)3ES 130 Introduction to Environmental Law (or Literature Elective)3
Elective (or ES 270)33-4Concentration Elective3-4
Arts & Humanaties Elective (or PH 323)3Elective34-3
Concentration Elective3-4 
 16-18 14
Fourth Year
ES 450 Directed Study in Environmental Science4ES 451 Environmental Seminar3
BI 405 Ecology4History Elective43
GL 255 Hydrogeology3Concentration Elective3-4
Concentration Elective3-4Elective34-3
 14-15 13
Total Credits: 120-123

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


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


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


Except HI 209 Historical Methods

Available Concentrations – Option I

Environmental Biology

BI 275Environmental Biology4
BI 316Plant Taxonomy4
or BI 351 Dendrology and Silvics
BI 326Natural History of the Vertebrates4
or BI 424 Woodland Ecology and Management
BI 220Introductory Microbiology4
or BI 240 Environmental and Food Microbiology
GL 261Field Geology4
CH elective: CH204 or above, 3-4 cr. options only3-4
Total Credits23-24

Environmental Geology

GL 253Geomorphology4
GL 257Sedimentation4
GL 261Field Geology4
GL 263Mineralogy4
GL 2XX Elective or EG 203 Materials Science3-4
CH elective: CH204 or above, 3-4 cr. options only3-4
Total Credits22-24

Environmental Chemistry

CH 204Quantitative Analysis4
CH 205Survey of Organic Chemistry4
GL 263Mineralogy4
BI 240Environmental and Food Microbiology4
Two of the following:4-7
Field Geology4
Instrumental Methods3-1
Analysis Laboratory
Materials Science3
Total Credits20-23

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
Total Credits19-20

Climate Science

CH elective: (CH 204 Quant. Analysis recommended) (must be CH 204 or above, 3-4 cr. options only)3-4
GL 265Glacial Geology and Paleoclimate4
GL 253Geomorphology4
PS 207Meteorology and Climatology4
MA 241Mathematical Computation and Modeling3
One of the following:3
International Relations3
Geopolitics (recommended)3
International Law3
Total Credits21-22

For those pursuing Option II

Students pursuing Concentrations in Environmental Policy and Management, Environmental Law and Protection, Environmental Writing, Green Design, or Education share a curriculum during their last three years that has a strong emphasis on social sciences, business, and humanities with less emphasis in the pure sciences. These students will be prepared to enter careers in which social responsibility toward the environment is emphasized.

First Year
EN 101 Composition and Literature I3EN 102 Composition and Literature II3
MA 107 Precalculus Mathematics4MA 108 Applied Calculus4
BI 101 Principles of Biology I4BI 102 Principles of Biology II4
GL 110 Introduction to Geology4GL 111 Oceanography4
 15 15
Second Year
PH 323 Environmental Ethics or EN 203 Advanced Composition3PY 211 Introduction to Psychology3
ES 251 Sophomores Seminar Environmental Science1Literature Elective (or ES 130)3
PO Elective 113PO Elective 213
Concentration Elective4-3MA 232 Elementary Statistics3
ES 270 Fundamentals of Environmental Science (or EC 201 or EC 202)3-4Concentration Elective3-4
 14 15-16
Third Year
CH XXX Chemistry Elective4GL 253 Geomorphology (or Elective)24-3
EC 201 Principles of Economics (Macro), 202 Principles of Economics (Micro), or ES 270 Fundamentals of Environmental Science3-4ES 130 Introduction to Environmental Law (or Literature Elective)3
SO 201 Introduction to Sociology3Concentration Elective3
EN 203 Advanced Composition or PH 323 Environmental Ethics3History Elective33
Concentration Elective3Elective23-4
 16-17 16
Fourth Year
ES 450 Directed Study in Environmental Science4ES 451 Environmental Seminar3
BI 405 Ecology4Concentration Elective3
Concentration Elective3Elective (or GL 253)23-4
Arts & Humanities Elective3Elective23-4
 14 15-18
Total Credits: 120-125

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


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


Except HI 209 Historical Methods

Available Concentrations – Option II

Environmental Policy and Management

MG 101Introduction to Business3
IS 120Business Applications & Problem Solving Techniques3
PO 314The Legislative Process3
PO 321U.S. Constitutional Law3
MG 309Management of Organizations3
MG 341Business Law I3
Total Credits18

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 Credits18

Environmental Writing

EN Elective 13
EN 251Literature of the Sea3
EN 320Literature of the Developing World3
EN 274Introduction to Creative Writing3
CM 109Introduction to Mass Media3
CM 209Broadcast Writing3
Total Credits18

English elective approved by the Environmental Science Program. 

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 Credits20


PY 220Developmental Psychology3
ED 234Learning and Teaching Strategies4
ED 315Special Needs Child3
ED 351Methods of Teaching Science to Elementary Students3
ED 360Language Arts and Teaching Reading in the Elementary School4
MA 360Teaching Mathematics at the Elementary - Middle School Level3
Total Credits20

For Education concentration students seeking licensure, electives must be used to take PY 352 Learning and Memory and ED 425 Student Teaching, and ED 104 Foundations of Education  must be taken as an overload.



ES 115 Geographic Info. Systems 3 Credits

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 Credits

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 251 Sophomores Seminar Environmental Science 1 Credit

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 Credits

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 399 Junior Topics 4 Credits

ES 450 Directed Study in Environmental Science 4 Credits

A capstone project carried out under the direction of a faculty member and in coordination with others taking this course. A laboratory and/or field component of the project will generate new data on an expanding base, and an environmental science report will be prepared based in part on the results of that work. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Credit cannot be received both for this course and GL 450. Offered fall semesters.

ES 451 Environmental Seminar 3 Credits

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 499 Env Sci 4 Credits