Required core courses (11-14 hours):
ENSC 505 (Environmental Sciences Seminar I) - 1 hour: 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) -1 hour: 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) - 3 hours: 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)- 3 hours: 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 511 (Environmental Policy): The purpose of this course is to provide students with a theoretical understanding of the policymaking processes through which modern societies attempt to cope with environmental and natural resource problems. The primary focus is on the American system, but a limited number of topics relating to international environmental issues are also explored. General themes include the relationship between political processes and policy outcomes, the correlation of environmental politics and science, and the need to balance trade-offs between legal, economic, political, social and environmental goals. This course also examines several major substantive areas in environmental policy to provide real world examples of environmental theory at work. As such, throughout the semester the theoretical writings of environmental thinkers will be explained and compared to the political practice of environmental planners. In accomplishing these core objectives students will learn how to think analytically about issues fundamental to the enduring environmental movement.
ENSC 512 (Environmental Law): The subject of this class is the legal and regulatory framework that has developed around the protection of various aspects of the environment over the past thirty years in the United States. Subjects to be covered include some of the following: the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, Superfund (CERCLA), the Resource Conservation Recovery and Control Act (RCRA), Toxic Substance Control Act, Federal Insecticide Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), and the Endangered Species Act. In the process of looking at these subjects, this course will address the underlying kinds of consumption problems that have resulted in environmental pollution or deterioration, the political context in which ecological policies have been formulated, the resulting case work which has emerged from the statutory law, the administrative procedures required by recent judicial decisions, and the dynamic interests at play in the regulatory arenas where these policies are implemented. Finally, the regulations that have developed and been implemented in various settings to protect natural resources or remedy environmental degradation will address the following areas of law: constitutional, statutory, common, international and administrative.
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.
Electives: 9 hours minimum.