Environmental Sciences Course Descriptions

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Number sequencing next to course name means the following: first digit designates the number of lecture hours for the course; the second digit designates the number of lab, clinic or practicum hours; and the third digit designates the credit hours for the course.

ENVS 101C Fundamentals of Environmental Science 3-2-4
This course will provide an introduction to the structure, function and interactions of atmospheric, terrestrial and aquatic systems, as well as the impact of the human population on such systems. Topics will include basic scientific concepts and methods for understanding human population growth and their impact on the environment, including cycles of carbon, water and other materials, weather and climate, and sustainability of natural resources, in particular water and energy. The course will evaluate natural environmental processes, as well as human impacts to these processes, using case studies and real data to demonstrate the role of science in solving pressing environmental problems. (Prerequisite: high school biology and chemistry recommended)

ENVS 220C Introduction to Soil Science 3-2-4
Students in this course will be introduced to the study, management and conservation of soils as natural bodies, both as a media for plant growth and as a part of a larger ecosystem.  Students will learn to identify soil types in natural and disturbed communities.  This course will present the concept of soil science such as: composition, chemical, physical and biological properties, classification and mapping, soil water, soil conservation, management practices as well as soil fertility and productivity.   The world’s soils are being greatly impacted by environmental impacts such as climate change, water pollution, deforestation and development.  The quality of the soil determines the capacity of land to support natural ecosystems and human society.  This course will provide an introduction to the soil types found in Northern New England and how those soil types will determine our capacity to grow food.

ENVS 250C Agroecology 3-2-4
This course introduces the discipline of agroecology from an ecological perspective. An emphasis will be placed on relevant ecological theory within the context of production agriculture. Students will examine and measure the interactions between plants, animals, soil and climate as well as the impact that human engagement has on these components. Students will research and present the history and consequences of modern industrial agricultural systems and the need for more sustainable management practices that consider ecological interactions.  (Prerequisite: BIOL 111C with a grade of C or higher)

ENVS 290C Senior Capstone Project and Seminar 3-2-4
This course serves as the capstone course for the Environmental Sciences program, in which the student will demonstrate the application of the knowledge gained throughout the program. This will be achieved either by independent study investigating all sides of a current environmental issue selected by the student with guidance from his/her program advisor or through participation in a field internship with an approved industry partner. In either case, the student will submit a written paper and make an oral presentation of his/her project to all interested students, faculty, and industry partners in a seminar format. (Prerequisites: A grade of "C" or higher in all major field and other required science courses taken prior to the semester in which the student registers for this course and permission of the Department Head of Environmental Sciences. Prerequisites OR Co-requisites: ARET 160C, GEOL 101C, PHIL 242C, BIOL 215C)

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