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College of Arts & Sciences

College of Arts & Sciences
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Environmental Biology

Required core courses (11-14 hours):

ENSC 505 (Environmental Sciences Seminar I): One of the most important aspects of environmental studies is to communicate your findings of scientific research experiments or environmental analysis on current environmental issues. In this course we will discuss and practice different steps and approaches necessary for giving an effective oral or poster presentation. Guest speakers and Faculty in the Environmental Sciences Program will demonstrate how to formulate a scientific presentation, and registered students will each make an oral and a poster presentation.

ENSC 506 (Environmental Sciences Seminar II): One of the most critical aspects of environmental analysis is presentation / communication of the results. In this course we will discuss the steps and processes necessary for presenting the results of an environmental analysis or scientific experiment. Faculty in the Environmental Science Program will demonstrate how to formulate a scientific presentation and registered students will each make an ORAL presentation. Being able to effectively communicate the results of an environmental study is critical for evaluating environmental and ecological problems.

ENSC 510 (Advanced Environmental Sciences & Policy): One of the most interesting and important aspects of public and scientific debates on risk assessment and risk management is the difficulty of using scientific methods to provide firm knowledge about risk. Quite often it is not possible to fully test the potential hazardous consequences of a new chemical or a new technology under laboratory conditions. As a consequence, the risk of using new technologies and chemicals is assessed during use in everyday life. We will consider an in-depth view of current environmental issues with a scope that is both national and international in flavor. We will also consider the ambiguous nature of policy decisions regarding risk and the factors that drive risk assessment and management. In this ambiguity, politics often intersects with science to create environmental policy dilemmas.

ENSC 575 (Statistics for Environmental Sciences): One of the most critical aspects of scientific and statistical analysis is experimental design. In this course we will define the steps and processes necessary for a well-planned experiment. We will study analysis of variance (ANOVA) of standard experimental designs, ANOVA of unbalanced designs, ANOVA of fixed- and random-effects models, and experiments with repeated measures used in biological and environmental sciences. Understanding the appropriate experimental design and proper statistical analysis is critical for evaluating environmental and ecological problems.

ENSC 599: Thesis (6 hours)


ENSC 597: Final Research Paper (3 hours)

Required emphasis courses (9 hours)

ENSC 520 (Environmental Sampling): The major objective of the course is to provide students theoretical and practical information on environmental sampling techniques. This should help ensure consideration of the many variables and special techniques that are needed to plan and carry out sampling activities that will provide representative environmental samples for analysis. A number of field techniques will be covered for the sampling of soil, air, water, vegetation, and biota. Students will have the opportunity for "hands-on" experience with most of the sampling techniques.

ENSC 540 (Pollution Ecology): This course covers a wide range of topics in the environmental sciences, with particular emphasis on the transport and fate of pollutants in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The course examines the influence of physical, chemical, and biological processes on the transport of pollutants in the environment. Students will explore ecological effects of selected environmental pollution problems; particularly those related to chemical contaminants. This course will provide the base scientific knowledge that is essential for assessing the impact of pollution on the structure and function of ecosystems.

ENSC 550 (Applied Ecology): This graduate/senior-undergraduate course will explore the ways in which ecological science can be applied to solving some of the most important environmental problems facing our world today, such as the conservation of species, wetland restoration, and mitigation of environmental impacts. We will draw together, in a single course, major topics in environmental and resource management that traditionally have been presented amongst several different courses so that we will look at those difficult conflicts and choices in a balanced way. Students will be encouraged to explore current and emerging fields in applied ecology.

Note: ENSC 528/528L (Analysis of Environmental Contaminants) can be substituted for ENSC 520 and ENSC 531 (Toxicology) can be substituted for ENSC 550.

Electives: 9 hours minimum.

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