Environmental Science

Charles A. Dana Professor Richard K. Dunn (Chair);  Associate Professor G. Christopher Koteas; Assistant Professor Laurie D. Grigg; Lecturer John Gartner; 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, 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
  • 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

Environmental Science (B.S.) Scientific Foundations Conc. – Curriculum Map 2020-2021 Catalog 

New PlanGrids
Freshman
Fall Cr. Comp. Spring Cr. Comp.
GL 110 Introduction to Geology (General Education Lab Science)4GL 111 Oceanography (General Education Lab Science)4
BI 101 Principles of Biology I4BI 102 Principles of Biology II4
MA 107 Precalculus Mathematics (General Education Math)4MA 108 Applied Calculus (General Education Math)4
EN 101 Composition and Literature I3EN 102 Composition and Literature II3
      
Fall Semester Total Cr.: 15Spring Semester Total Cr.: 15
Sophomore
Fall Cr. Comp. Spring Cr. Comp.
ES 251 Sophomore Seminar in Environmental Science1ES 115 Geographic Information Systems3
CH 103 General Chemistry I4CH 104 General Chemistry II4
PH 323 Environmental Ethics (General Education Ethics )
or ES 130 Introduction to Environmental Law
3MA 232 Elementary Statistics3
ES/GL/CE Elective 1,33-4 Technical Elective 2,33-4 
Free Elective 33 General Education Arts & Humanities3 
      
Fall Semester Total Cr.: 14-15Spring Semester Total Cr.: 16-17
Junior
Fall Cr. Comp. Spring Cr. Comp.
ES 130 Introduction to Environmental Law
or PH 323 Environmental Ethics
3ES 340 Project Development in Environmental Science1
GL Elective 44 ES 2XX 33-4 
PS 201 General Physics I4ES/GL/CE Elective or GL 255 1,34 
EC 201 Principles of Economics (Macro) (General Education Social Science)
or 202 Principles of Economics (Micro)
3PS 202 General Physics II4
General Education Literature3 Free Elective 33 
      
Fall Semester Total Cr.: 17Spring Semester Total Cr.: 15-16
Senior
Fall Cr. Comp. Spring Cr. Comp.
ES 440 Research Project in Environmental Science (Capstone)3ES 451 Environmental Science Seminar3
BI 205 Ecology4ES 460 Project Completion in Environmental Science1
Technical Elective 2,33-4 GL 255 Hydrogeology3
General Education Leadership1-3 General Education History3 
Free Elective 34 Free Elective 33 
      
Fall Semester Total Cr.: 15-18Spring Semester Total Cr.: 13
TOTAL CREDITS FOR THIS MAJOR: 120-126

Environmental Science (B.S.) Social/Cultural Conc. – Curriculum Map 2020-2021 Catalog

New PlanGrids
Freshman
Fall Cr. Comp. Spring Cr. Comp.
GL 110 Introduction to Geology (General Education Lab Science)4GL 111 Oceanography (General Education Lab Science)4
BI 101 Principles of Biology I4BI 102 Principles of Biology II4
MA 107 Precalculus Mathematics (General Education Math)4MA 108 Applied Calculus (General Education Math)4
EN 101 Composition and Literature I3EN 102 Composition and Literature II3
      
Fall Semester Total Cr.: 15Spring Semester Total Cr.: 15
Sophomore
Fall Cr. Comp. Spring Cr. Comp.
ES 251 Sophomore Seminar in Environmental Science1ES 115 Geographic Information Systems3
GL 253 Geomorphology (or Technical Elective) 14MA 232 Elementary Statistics3
EN 276 Environmental Writing3Social Science 100-200 Level 23 
PH 323 Environmental Ethics (General Education Ethics)3Social Science 100-200 Level 23 
Social Science 100-200 Level 23 Free Elective3 
Free Elective 43    
      
Fall Semester Total Cr.: 17Spring Semester Total Cr.: 15
Junior
Fall Cr. Comp. Spring Cr. Comp.
ES 130 Introduction to Environmental Law3ES 340 Project Development in Environmental Science1
Technical Elective 13-4 ES Elective3 
General Education Literature3 Social Science 300-400 Level 33 
Social Science 100-200 Level 23 General Education History3 
Social Science 300-400 Level 33 Chemistry (CH) Elective4 
   Free Elective 43-4 
      
Fall Semester Total Cr.: 15-16Spring Semester Total Cr.: 17-18
Senior
Fall Cr. Comp. Spring Cr. Comp.
ES 440 Research Project in Environmental Science (Capstone)3ES 451 Environmental Science Seminar3
BI 205 Ecology4ES 460 Project Completion in Environmental Science1
ES Elective3 Social Science 300-400 Level 33 
General Education Arts & Humanities OR PH 3233 General Education Leadership1-3 
Social Science 300-400 Level 33 Free Elective3 
   Free Elective3 
      
Fall Semester Total Cr.: 16Spring Semester Total Cr.: 14-16
TOTAL CREDITS FOR THIS MAJOR: 124-128

Courses

ES 115 Geographic Information Systems 3 Cr.

Introduction through geographic information systems (GIS) to spatial analysis, addressing a range of applications across disciplines. Students use GIS to analyze spatial data and problem solve real-world issues. During the final four weeks students design, implement, and present a GIS project. 3 lecture hours. (Spring, even 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 environmental law 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. 3 lecture hours. (Fall) 202140.

ES 188 No Norwich Equivalent 6 Cr.

ES 199 Environmental Science Pilot Course 6 Cr.

A course is permitted to run as a pilot without seeking faculty approval for one academic year. The section will include the title of the course. A student will not earn credit for a pilot course and the course when approved as its own course.

ES 1XL Enviromental Lab Sci. Transfer Elec 4 Cr.

This course is used for transfer when no equivalent Norwich course exists.

ES 1XX Enviromental Science Transfer Elec. 4 Cr.

This course is used for transfer when no equivalent Norwich course exists.

ES 251 Sophomore Seminar in Environmental Science 1 Cr.

Introduces the fundamentals of scientific investigation and communication. An experimental project introduces the Scientific Method, while scientific literature is introduced and coupled with instruction in and application of technical writing. Students learn to communicate scientific information in poster and oral presentations and they initiate development of their professional portfolio. 1 lecture hour. May not earn credit for both ES 251 and GL 251. (Fall).

ES 260 Project in Environmental Science 1-4 Cr.

Students conduct an independent study on an environmental science field or laboratory project. Topic chosen by mutual consent of the student and instructor. A written report is required. May be repeated one time for credit. Prerequisite: GL 110, GL 111, or GL 156, and Department Chair permission. (Occasionally).

ES 268 Freshwater Ecosystems 4 Cr.

This course investigates physical, chemical, biological processes of lakes, wetlands and streams through an ecosystem based approach. Focus is on interactions between abiotic and biotic components and the transfer of energy between different trophic levels. Students learn important aquatic plant and animal taxa, nutrient cycles, and the physical and chemical characteristics of aquatic settings. This foundational knowledge is applied to understanding environmental stresses currently impacting freshwater ecosystems, including excess nutrients, climate change and invasive species. Course work includes classroom based lectures and discussions and a field based lab which visits a range of freshwater environments. 3 Lecture hours. 3 Laboratory hours. Prerequisites: GL 111, GL 110 or BI 102 (Fall, odd years).

ES 288 No Norwich Equivalent 6 Cr.

ES 290 Internship in Environmental Science 1-4 Cr.

A course for environmental science internships on a topic chosen by mutual consent of the student and instructor. A written report is required. May be repeated one time for credit. Prerequisite: GL 110, GL111, or GL 156, 2.0 cumulative GPA and Department Chair permission. (Occasionally).

ES 299 Pilot course 4 Cr.

An course this is offered as a pilot course. May be repeated under four different topics, when different.

ES 2XX Environmental Science Transfer Elective 1-6 Cr.

ES 340 Project Development in Environmental Science 1 Cr.

Develops 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. 1 lecture hour. Prerequisite: Environmental Science major, Junior standing or higher and instructor permission. (Spring).

ES 388 No Norwich Equivalent 6 Cr.

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. 3 lecture hours. Prerequisite: ES 340. May not receive credit for this course and GL 440. (Fall).

ES 451 Environmental Science Seminar 3 Cr.

A capstone seminar experience integrating reading, writing, and group participation focused on Earth and environmental issues. Discussions explore links between society and global systems. 3 lecture hours. Credit cannot be received for this course and GL 451. Prerequisite: Senior standing; Environmental Science major. (Spring).

ES 460 Project Completion in Environmental Science 1 Cr.

Follows work in ES 440. Students integrate the body of scientific knowledge into a professional and technical report. Students work collaboratively with their research advisor. 1 lecture hour. Prerequisite: ES 440. (Spring).

ES 488 No Norwich Equivalent 6 Cr.