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Environmental Science and Studies (ESS)
- Professor Dennis Johnson (Chair) - ext. 5335
- Associate Professor Neil Pelkey - ext. 3589
- Assistant Professor Uma Ramakrishnan - ext. 3436
- Lecturer Chuck Yohn (Co-Director, Raystown Field Station) - ext. 3572
The mission of the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is to prepare students for a successful post-graduate career in one or more earth and environmental science fields, and instill values of responsible environmental citizenship in all students who interact with our programs. We do this in accordance with the overall mission of Juniata College.
The Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES) Department strives to train Juniata College students to solve problems related to the Earth system and to understand how these problems influence aesthetic, economic, natural resource, environmental, intellectual, and ethical issues facing society. EES students have the opportunity to choose from curricula offered by the department including: (1) environmental economics, (2) environmental science, (3) environmental studies, (4) geology, (5) wildlife conservation, and (6) secondary certification in earth and space science or environmental education. Environmental science focuses on the scientific study of the relationship between humans and the natural world; Environmental studies examines that relationship from a social science and humanities perspective; Geology is the scientific study of the Earth system; Secondary education in earth and space sciences or environmental prepares students for certification to teach Earth sciences or environmental sciences at the secondary level; and Wildlife conservation focuses on an understanding and protection of biodiversity. Environmental Economics uses the tools of economics, finance, and psychology to help solve pollution and natural resource harvesting problems.
Special programs, facilities, or equipment:
- The Raystown Field Station: 365 acres of land available for college use, provides students with environmental research and education opportunities
- Shuster Hall at the Raystown Field Station: a new "green" building, made with 40% recycled materials and energy-efficient design, as a teaching tool and classroom
- Field station residence programs in all semesters (including summer).
- Coastal Marine Science, Semester in India
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS) computer lab
- Multiple Global Positioning System (GPS) units
- Remote Field Course, summer course in Southwestern Desert
- “Hands on experience” starting at the introductory level, through numerous local field trips exploring spectacular geologic sites in the Appalachians
- Extended field trips (2 to 7 days) associated with most upper-level courses
- Remote Field Course in the American Southwest, taught collaboratively with faculty in Biology, Environmental Science and Studies, Anthropology, and Physics
- Hydrogeological investigations at Juniata’s 665-acre Raystown Field Station
- Exceptional collections of minerals, fossil, and rock specimens
- Analytical scanning electron microscope (SEM) with cathodoluminesence
- Research quality petrographic and stereo-zoom microscopes with photographic and digital imaging capabilities
- Automated powder x-ray diffractometer
- Fluid inclusion analysis laboratory
- Ion chromatograph and portable spectrophotometer for water quality analysis laboratory, operated cooperatively with Chemistry and Biology departments
- Rock, fossil, microfossil, and mineral preparation laboratories.
- Extensive field supplies including Brunton compasses, rock sampling equipment, safety gear, camping supplies for large groups, and college-supplied vans
Programs of Emphasis:
- Environmental Economics
- Environmental Science
- Environmental Studies
- Wildlife Conservation
Examples of Student Designed Programs of Emphasis:
- Environmental Policy
- Environmental Biology
- Environmental Geology
- Marine Science
- Water and Conflict
Take 4 courses from the required courses below:
- Introduction to ESS (ESS-100)
- Historical Geology (GL-202)
- Natural Resource Management (ESS-324) or Conservation Biology (ESS-325)
- Environmental Economics(ESS-305) or Environmental Law (ESS-337)
Plus take 2 courses from the optional course below:
- BI-105, Biological Diversity & Ecology + BI 121, Biology Lab
- BI-300, Ecology
- HS-262, North American Environmental History
- GL-100, Introduction Physical Geology
- ESS-324, Natural Resource Management or ESS-325, Conservation Biology
- ESS-305, Environment Economics or ESS-337, Environmental Law
- ESS-401, Senior Capstone
- GL-202, Historical Geology
6 courses are required for the secondary emphasis.
Sample Internship/Research Experiences:
- Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
- Dept. Fish and Wildlife, Oregon
- Department of Environmental Protection, Pennsylvania
- Game Commission, Pennsylvania
- Army Corps of Engineers
- Regional Math/Science Center, Frostburg State University, Maryland
- Coastal Marine Science Semester in India
- Mangrove Restoration in India Funded by the UN Development Programme
- Most students complete at least one original research or external internship experience.
- In recent years, students have completed internships with the US Geological Survey, National Museum (Smithsonian), PA Department of Environmental Protection, PA Department of Transportation, National Parks Service, and numerous private sector firms.
- Recent original research projects have focused on: geochemical investigations of the Juniata River watershed, Paleozoic litho- and biostratigraphy of eastern North America, sedimentary petrology of syntectonic sandstone and conglomerate, and fluid inclusion microthermometry of sulfide-bearing mineral deposits.
ESS-100 Environmental Systems I (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; N) This course introduces students to the concept of systems, reviews ecological systems and then goes on to human systems as these impact the environment. The course will explore the two forces that are at the core of most environmental impacts (climate change, ozone depletion, air and water pollution, and a loss of biodiversity) will be explored as will the fundamental attributes of agriculture, food, soil and water. Throughout, the influence of culture, society, ethics and science on the environmental problems will be discussed. Prerequisites: None.
ESS-110 Environmental Systems II (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; N,CW) This course is part of a 2-course series designed for freshmen in Environmental Science and Studies. The course introduces students to the concepts of environmental systems and sustainability, review ecological systems and human impact the environment. Students will be introduced to scientific writing - reviewing journal articles; use of bibliographic software; experimental design and hypotheses testing; data analysis and interpretation of results. Environmental problem-solving and use of EXCEL data sheets will also be covered. Prerequisites: ESS POE.
ESS-189 Writing in ESS (Spring; Yearly; 1.00 Credit; CW) ESS189 is designed to introduce freshmen to writing in the sciences, acquire the basic skills and knowledge required to write in the field. Scientific papers often use a standard format that allows researchers to present information clearly and concisely. This style is essential because scientists expect to be able to replicate the study. Students will be taught to critique the different components expected in a scientific paper, and learn to prepare papers in the accepted standard fashion.
ESS-199 Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-4.00 Credits) Allows departments to offer topics not normally scheduled. Prerequisites, corequisites, and fees vary by title.
ESS-211 Water Lab Practicum (Fall & Spring; Yearly; 1.00 Credit; N) This is a tutorial to learn basic methods of water quality analysis. Students work in conjunction with commercial water lab, conduction analyses for a local township. Prerequisite: Enrollment is by permission only.
ESS-224 Wildlife Management (Spring; Variable; 3.00 Credits; N) Wildlife management incorporates the science and management of wild animals, both rare and common species. Threatened species may require particular knowledge of population structure and processes for effective management, while common species may need control or might be exploited as novel production products. Prerequisites: ESS100 and BI105 and BI121. A special course fee is assessed.
ESS-230 Environmetrics (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; N,QS) This course is a survey of the various visual, statistical, and modeling approaches commonly used in the analysis of environmental data. The course covers: (1) visual literacy from exploratory data inquisitionto poster creation; (2) elementary group comparison such as t-test and ANOVA and their non-parametric analogs;(3) basic systems modeling; and (4) regression modeling techniques based on the generalized linear model framework. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing and permission of the instructor.
ESS-235 Environmental Reading (Fall; Yearly; 1.00 Credit; N,CW) This class will explore 2-3 classic and/or modern works in environmental studies and natural history. The writers list includes: Aldo Leopold, Annie Dillard, Dan Dagett, Saul Alinski, Wangari Maathai, Gifford Pinchot, Bill McKibben, Mary Kingsley, Ian McHarg, Wendel Berry, Andrew Lytle, Ester Boserup, Roderick Nash, Vandana Shiva, Rose Reuter, Barry Lopez, Bernd Heinrich and others.
ESS-269 Art As Sustainable Development (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; F,I) Taught in India. Art as a Sustainable Development: Pottery, Beadwork, Leatherwork, and Sculpture (3 Units). Where: Various locations (Auroville, Mahabalipuram, and Kodiakanal). Local coastal industries in India are comprised of a wide variety of artisanship. When: February. Subjects: The arts of coastal India include pottery, beadwork, stonework, leatherwork, and jewelry. This course will provide the opportunity to work with the artists who train local people and produce these works for sale. This will cover introductory classes in these arts. The student will also visit the production factories and cottage industries where these products are produced for market. The student will also compare the economic structure of villages where the artesian communities operate with nearby villages dependent primarily on either agriculture or industry. This comparison will give the students clear perspective on the role of art in sustainable development. Students wishing to further their study in any of these fields may negotiate more time in the studios. Instructors: Angad Vohra (Pottery & Sculpture), Meena (Painting), Gillian (Beadwork & Leatherwork), Francois Grenier (Stonework). Prerequisite: ESS100.
ESS-299 Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 1.00-3.00 Credits; N) Allows the departments to offer special topics not normally offered. Departments may offer more than one special topic. Prerequisites, corequisites, and fees vary by title.
ESS-300 Envir.Problem Solving (Fall; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; S,N) Students will practice and gain experience in solving actual environmental problems by putting academic theory to work in real world situations. Students will learn to work effectively in interdisciplinary teams comprised of both environmental scientist and environmental studies students. This course serves as preparation for senior research and internships. Prerequisite: ESS200.
ESS-301 Environmental Methods (Either Semester; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; N) This course deals with a variety of environmental issues and problems. This includes the causes and the scientific and social backgrounds needed to understand them. It also introduces the student to the roles of scientists and engineers in dealing with them. The course involves both quantitative and qualitative assessments. Prerequisites: ESS100 and 1 year of chemistry or permission of the instructor.
ESS-305 Environmental Economics (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S) This course will cover the basics of microeconomic analysis as it applies to the environmental decision making and environmental policy with respect to pollution abetment, resource harvesting, and sustainability analysis. The course will also explore the strengths and weaknesses of economic models of human behavior. Finally, the course explores the growing concern of sustainable and resilient economies. Prerequisites: ESS100 and EB105 or EB223 or permission of the instructor.
ESS-306 Environmental Economics Lab (Spring; Yearly; 1.00 Credit; QM) This is the optional quantitative lab for ESS305 (Environmental Economics). We will advance our skills in economics analysis in EXCEL including cost benefit analysis, risk analysis, and linear programming. We will also use MathCAD or Mathmatica to explore optimality in resource extraction. Corequisite: EB305.
ESS-310 Water Resources I (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; QS,N) This course provides the student with a working overview of the hydrologic cycle, providing the student with the basic concepts of all aspects of hydrology. Particular emphasis is placed on the integrative nature of ecosystems within the watershed, including the interdependencies and driving forces of energy, the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, and the land, and the biosphere. Prerequisites: ESS100 or EES100.
ESS-320 Environmental Monitoring (Spring; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; N) This course develops skills in monitoring the environment, with a strong focus on water quality monitoring (both chemical and biological) in a variety of habitats. Environmental site assessment will also be conducted. A weekend-long field trip is required. Prerequisite: ESS 100 and ESS-200 or permission.
ESS-324 Natural Resource Management (Spring; Variable; 3.00 Credits; N) This course provides a comprehensive coverage of local, regional, national, and global resource and environmental issues from population growth to wetlands to sustainable agriculture and natural resource policies and legislation. It considers renewable and non-renewable resources such as water, land, soil, air, wildlife, and their associated habitats. Prerequisites: ESS100 and BI105 and BI121. A special course fee is as sessed.
ESS-325 Conservation Biology (Fall; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S,N) Conservation Biology encompasses biology, politics, ethics, economics and anthropology. The major course objective is the exploration of conservation complexities--important for successful conservation efforts. Other objectives are to gain an understanding of extinction, community conservation, population genetics and demography. This course has a required weekend field trip with a fee added for the trip. Prerequisites: ESS100 or BI105.
ESS-328 Limnology (Fall; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; N) An ecology/environmental science course covering inland aquatic environments (lakes and streams). A balanced study of both physical-chemical and biological aspects, it is an appropriate upper level addition to a variety of POE's in natural sciences. Take BI105 and ESS100 and BI121 or permission of the instructor.
ESS-330 Geographical Information Systems (Fall & Spring; Yearly; 4.00 Credits) This course is an introduction to a Geographical Information System (GIS), and the course objective is that students gain a basic, partial understanding of GIS concepts, technical issues, and applications using Arc View GIS. It encourages thinking in spatial context. A diverse array of hands-on computer applications and projects are used to understand how geographical data can be analyzed spatially. Students explore analysis techniques in a problem basis learning approach using small team projects. Note: A special course fee is assessed. Prerequisite: ESS100.
ESS-337 Environmental Law (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S) This course will examine the major environmental laws in the United States and major Supreme Court cases covering these statutes. The status covered will be National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), The Clean Water Act (CWA), The Clean Air Acr (CAA), The Endangered Species Act (ESA), Federal Insecticide Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), and The Toxic Substances Control Act (TOSCA), The Forest Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA), Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), and the Superfund Amendment and Reauthorization Act (SARA). Prerequisites: PS101 and ESS100.
ESS-350 Field Research Methods (Fall; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; N) Field Methodologies is intended for students interested in gaining experience in conducting filed based ecological or environmental research. Students will be lead through the process of investigation, including the generation of research questions, research planning and design, analysis of data, and presentation methods, while giving them the opportunity to conduct independent projects. This is not a techniques/equipment training course; it will fulfill the independent study requirement of the ESS POE. This course will be particularly useful to students considering a field based senior research project. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor only. A course in statistics or ecology is highly recommended.
ESS-355 Ornithology (Summer; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; N) This course provides a comprehensive survey of the comparative biology, ecology, and behavior of birds with a special focus on issues pertaining to conservation management. Laboratory activities focus on field identification of birds and research and monitoring techniques. Prerequisites: BI113 or 1 college level organismal or ecology courses. Note: A special fee is applied. Course will run from June 1st to June 30th.
ESS-361 Field Methods in Marine Systems (Spring; Yearly; 4.00 Credits; N,Q) Taught in India. This is the methods portion of the course including field techniques, quantitative methods, and a scientific writing seminar. The student requirements will be a short paper, four section quizzes and a final exam Prerequisites: GL111 and ESS100. Permission of instructor required.
ESS-362 Island Ecosystems (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; N) Taught in India. This course will introduce the students to island ecosystems from both applied and theoretical viewpoint. The course will run in the Andaman Islands in India. The topics covered will include island fauna, island flora, reef ecosystems, and a ridge to reef view of these complex biotas. Prerequisites: GL111 and ESS100.
ESS-363 Upland Process and Estuaries (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; N) Taught in India. This course will introduce students to estuaries and upland processes. About 50% of the course will be on site with the discussion and activities intended to give a very close view of the processes, ecology, and issues in coastal watersheds and estuaries. Prerequisites: GL111 and ESS100 and permission of instructor.
ESS-364 Culture, Class and Gender (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; CA,S,I,CW) Taught in India. This course will cover issue of gender and other disadvantaged groups in coastal management. Fishing villages' area often composed of people who are ethnically, religiously, or class wise distinct from upland populations. Women furthermore also have culturally distinct roles in the resource harvesting, production, and processing of natural resources. Course takes place in India. Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor and permission of the Center for International Education and ESS100.
ESS-375 Sustainability (Fall; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; N,CW,CA) Taught at Raystown Field Station. Students study sustainability, considering the triad of environment, economics and society, with a systems-view, connecting cultural practices to the concept of limits. Energy and Policy and topics focusing on the challenges of cultural change will be studied in depth with lecture, discussion, writing, simulations, field trips and integration with the Sense of Place seminar. Note: Special fees may apply to this course. Prerequisite: ESS100. Corequisites: PACS180 and ESS232 and ESS380.
ESS-377 GIS Advanced Topic (Fall; Variable; 4.00 Credits; N,QS) This course will explore: Spatial decision support systems, Hot spot modeling for home range, disease and crime, Intermediate Image analysis, Habitat classification from multispectral and hyperspectral imagery.
ESS-380 Sense of Place Seminar (Fall & Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; CA,CW) Taught at Raystown Field Station. This is the " cornerstone " of the Sense of Place semester, managed by one faculty, but comprised of a series of modules taught by various faculty and guest speakers. Module topics cover a range of environmental, ecological, and societal issues connecting to the region. Students will be expected to journal their experiences at RFS as well as complete other writing assignments. Note: There is a course fee assessed. Prerequisites: ESS100 or permission of the instructor.
ESS-399 Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S,N) Topics vary from year to year. They will focus one or more special environmental skills, methods, approaches or technologies. A laboratory fee will be assessed.
ESS-401 Senior Capstone II (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; N,S) This course is the second semester of the Senior Capstone. It is intended to provide a real-world, project-based experience working on an advanced- level project. The student teams utilize skills they have acquired in their academic career to evaluate and provide potential solutions to realistic environmental tasks. The project will be chosen each year based on needs and opportunities in local agencies to provide and advanced project that can be done in one year. Prerequisites: ESS100 and ESS400 and Junior or Senior standing or permission.
ESS-410 Water Resources II (Spring; Odd Years; 3.00 Credits; QS,N) This is an advanced hydrology course aimed at furthering the students understanding of the complex interactions of the hydrologic cycle. Particular emphasis will be placed on mathematically modeling the process including precipitation, runoff, infiltration, soil moisture and stream flow. Prerequisites: ESS310 and MA130
ESS-450 Environmental Research (Fall & Spring; Yearly; 2.00-6.00 Credits; S) An independent research experience that includes the preparation of a research proposal. Students present research results during weekly meetings with instructor. A research paper is the end point of the research experience. Presentation of results at national meetings is encouraged. May be repeated for up to 15 credits. Prerequisite: ESS100 and ESS300 and permission of the instructor.
ESS-460 Coastal Zone Management (Spring; Yearly; 3.00 Credits; S) Taught in India. This course will cover the current legal status, international treaties, state and central government coastal zone management regulations, and the history and current status of conflict and the attempts to overcome that conflict in India. This includes shrimp farming, over fishing, pollution, shipping, oil spills changes in beach morphology and coastal topography from weirs dams, etc. Prerequisites: GL111 and ESS100.
ESS-490 Environmental Science and Studies Internship (Fall & Spring; Yearly; 2.00-9.00 Credits; N) Note: May be repeated up to a total of 9 hours of credit. Prerequisite: Permission and Jr. or Sr. Standing. Corequisite: ESS495.
ESS-495 Env.Sci.Res./Seminar (Either Semester; Yearly; 2.00-6.00 Credits; N) Requires students to reflect on experience and/or pursue relevant research. Corequisite: ESS 490. Prerequisite: Permission. May count as F,I,S,H, or N depending on emphasis of internship.
ESS-499 Special Topics (Variable; Variable; 3.00 Credits; S,N) Allows the departments to offer special topics not normally offered. Departments may offer more than one special topic. Prerequisites vary by title.
ESS-TUT ESS Teaching Assistant (Variable; Variable; 1.00-3.00 Credits; N)