Environmental Science Minor

784f97e8-c08f-41a4-8958-c33c47094009 | 129823

Overview

The environmental science minor introduces students to the interdisciplinary nature of environmental issues and concepts and provides opportunities to further investigate these issues through advanced course work. Central to this minor is the development of field, analytical, and problem-solving skills and an understanding of the multiple stakeholder perspectives often involved with environmental issues.

Notes about this minor:

  • This minor is closed to students majoring in environmental science.
  • Posting of the minor on the student's academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.

Curriculum

Notes about this minor:

  • This minor is closed to students majoring in environmental science.
  • Posting of the minor on the student's academic transcript requires a minimum GPA of 2.0 in the minor.
Course
Prerequisites
BIOL-121
Introduction to Biology I
This course serves as an introduction to molecular biology, cellular biology, genetics, developmental biology, and evolutionary biology. Topics will include: a study of the basic principles of modern cellular biology, including cell structure and function; the chemical basis and functions of life, including enzyme systems and gene expression; and both the processes and patterns of the organismal development (ontogeny) and the evolution of life on Earth (phylogeny). Laboratory experiments are designed to illustrate concepts of basic cellular, molecular, developmental, and evolutionary biology, develop laboratory skills and techniques for microscopy and biotechnology, and improve ability to make, record and interpret observations.
BIOL-122
Introduction to Biology II
BIOL-240
General Ecology
This course is an introduction to population, community and ecosystem ecology, stressing the dynamic interrelationships of plant and animal communities with their environments. The course includes such ecological concepts as energy flow and trophic levels in natural communities, population and community dynamics, biogeography and ecosystem ecology.
Required Courses
ENVS-101
Concepts of Environmental Science
This course is the foundation course for the Environmental Science major and presents an integrated approach to the interrelated, interdisciplinary principles of environmental science through lecture, case studies and active participation. In this course, the focus will be on sustainability as the foundation for problem solving while investigating a number of environmental issues and establishing environmental literacy. Topics may include biodiversity, ecosystems, pollution, energy, and global climate change. To demonstrate the interdisciplinary methodology of environmental science, elements of government/political science/policy, ethics, economics, sociology, history and engineering are embedded in the scientific matrix used to present this course.
ENVS-201
Environmental Workshop
This workshop serves as the second core course for the Environmental Science major. Through in-class exercises, outside labs, and field trips, students will begin to learn problem solving and analytical skills needed to investigate and address environmental issues. Topics may include assessing campus biodiversity and ecosystems, calculating personal and campus ecological footprints and sustainability indexes, environmental modeling, and campus sustainability projects. To demonstrate the interdisciplinary methodology of environmental science, elements of government/political science/policy, ethics, economics, sociology, and history are embedded in the scientific matrix used to present this course.
STSO-220
Environment and Society
This course introduces the interdisciplinary foundations of environmental science via an analysis of sustainability within a socio-cultural context. This is a required course for the environmental science degree program.
Sample Electives
Students must choose two electives at the 300- or 400-level. A sampling of electives is presented, with a full list available from an adviser.
   BIOL-343
   Tropical Ecology
   BIOL-371
   Freshwater Ecology
This course will explore the ecology of freshwater ecosystems, including rivers, lakes, and wetlands; with an emphasis on ecosystems in Western New York. The chemical and physical environment of each system and the resulting biological communities will be explored. Threats to the ecosystem services supplied by freshwater resources will also be investigated.
   BIOL-373
   Marine Biology
  BIOL-475
   Conservation Biology
This course focuses on the application of ecological principles to conservation issues. Human impact on species diversity is emphasized as it relates to agricultural, forest, coastal and wetland ecosystems. Case studies of management practices used to manage and restore disturbed ecosystems are included.
  ENVS-301
   Environmental Science Field Skills
Environmental Science Field Skills presents an integrated approach to the interrelated, interdisciplinary principles of environmental science through case studies, site visits and field work. In this course, the focus will be on learning methods for environmental analysis, including experimental design, water and soil quality, primary production and biodiversity, land use/land cover change and ecosystem restoration. The course will culminate in a stressed stream analysis of a local watershed. Additional topics may include geographic information systems, wetlands, environmental education and sustainable food production. The interdisciplinary nature of environmental science will be illustrated through elements of government/political science/policy, ethics, economics, sociology, history and engineering.