ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE CORE

Take the following courses:

ESS-100 Environmental Systems I

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. 

4 CreditsN, WK-SP, CTGISPre-Req or Co-Req: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109.

ESS-110 Environmental Systems II

This course introduces students to the concepts of environmental systems and sustainability, review of ecological systems, and human impact on the environment. Students will work on a restoration/conservation project with a community partner to improve soil/water resource quality in the community. Students will be introduced to scientific writing and write a scientific paper. 

3 CreditsN, SW-LEPre-req or co-req: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109. (NOTE: ESS-100 is not a prereq for ESS-110.)

ESS-310 Water Resources I

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.

3 CreditsQM, NPrerequisites: ESS100.


Take one of the following courses:

ESS-301 Environmental Methods

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. 

3 CreditsNPrerequisites: ESS100 and 1 year of chemistry or permission of the instructor.

ESS-410 Water Resources II

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.

3 CreditsQS, N, CTGISPrerequisites: ESS310 and MA130


Take one of the following courses:

ESS-325 Conservation Biology

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.

3 CreditsS, NPrerequisites: ESS100 or BI105.

ESS-324 Natural Resource Management

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.

3 CreditsNPrerequisites: ESS100 and BI105 and BI121. A special course fee is as sessed.

ESS-445 Fishery Science & Management

This course is a survey of the elements of fisheries science and management including the biology, ecology, management, and conservation of fisheries and aquatic resources. Emphasis is on whole ecosystem approaches to ecology and management of inland freshwater fisheries of North America and associated habitats. 

4 CreditsH, N, QSPrerequisites: Bi 105/121 and ESS 325 or permission of instructor.


Take one of the following courses:

ESS-400 Senior Capstone I

The Senior Capstone course 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 semester based on needs and opportunities in local agencies to provide an advanced project that can be done in one semester.

1-3 CreditsS, CTGISPrerequisite: ESS200 and Senior Standing or permission of the instructor.

ESS-401 Senior Capstone II

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.

1-3 CreditsN, S, CTGISPrerequisites: ESS100 and Junior or Senior standing or permission.


CHEMISTRY REQUIREMENT

Take the following courses: (Two semesters of Chemistry with lab (8 credits) are required)

CH-142 Integrated Chemistry Principles I

An introduction to the principles of chemistry, this course begins a two semester sequence that integrates information from all aspects of chemistry while focusing on the core principles of the relationships between energy, the structure of atoms and molecules, and atomic and molecular properties and reactivity. Topics include energy, reactions, atomic structure, elemental properties, bonding, and molecular properties.

3 CreditsNCorequisite CH143

CH-143 Integrated Chem Principles I Lab

This semester will focus on learning good laboratory practices, primarily through the quantitative analysis of compounds. The quantitative analysis of materials and an understanding of reproducibility and bias are relevant to many fields, including medical analysis or the analysis of contaminants in the environment. This course will also teach you how to keep an excellent laboratory notebook, identify safety hazards in the lab, and complete data analysis and graphing in Excel. All of these tools will serve you well in a variety of careers.

1 CreditsN, QSCH142 is a corequisite of this course. A lab fee is associated with this course.

CH-144 Integrated Chemistry Principles II

An introduction to the principles of chemistry, this course completes a two semester sequence that integrates information from all aspects of chemistry while focusing on the core principles of the relationships between energy, the structure of atoms and molecules, and atomic and molecular properties and reactivity. Topics include thermodynamics, equilibrium reactions, acid/base and redox reactions, kinetics and nuclear reactions.

3 CreditsNPrerequisite: CH-142

CH-145 Integrated Chemistry Principles II Lab

This semester will focus on learning good laboratory practices, primarily through the quantitative analysis of compounds. The quantitative analysis of materials and an understanding of reproducibility and bias are relevant to many fields, including medical analysis or the analysis of contaminants in the environment. This course will also teach you how to keep an excellent laboratory notebook, identify safety hazards in the lab, and complete data analysis and graphing in Excel. All of these tools will serve you well in a variety of careers.

1 CreditN, QSPrerequisite: CH-143. A lab fee is associated with this course.


BIOLOGY REQUIREMENT

Complete one of the following options below:

OPTION 1:

BI-101 General Biology I

General Biology I is the first course in the Biology POE core curriculum. This course will be structured around four primary case studies on the opioid crisis, climate change, environmental toxicology and the evolution of speed in animals. The cases will outline foundational concepts in molecular biology and evolution.

4 Credits

BI-300 General Ecology

Examines the interactions of living organisms with their physical, chemical and biotic environments. Special attention is given to the environmental, biological and historical factors affecting the distribution, abundance, adaptation, and diversity of species in natural communities.

3 CreditsNPrerequisites: BI-101 and BI-102. Corequisite: BI-301.

BI-301 General Ecology Lab

Students work together as research teams to carry out original investigations on the ecology of local species and natural communities. Emphasis on ecological research design, data collection and analysis, and oral and written presentation of results. Frequent field trips are included. Note: a special lab fee is assessed and one field trip may require an additional fee.

1 CreditsNCorequisite: BI300


OPTION 2:

BI-101 General Biology I

General Biology I is the first course in the Biology POE core curriculum. This course will be structured around four primary case studies on the opioid crisis, climate change, environmental toxicology and the evolution of speed in animals. The cases will outline foundational concepts in molecular biology and evolution.

4 Credits

BI-325 Plant Ecology

Primarily an ecology course, but also included is a significant amount of plant identification/classification and plant epochology. The ecology portion will cover the whole spectrum of this fast-growing field; from communities and ecosystems to theory and adaptation.

3 CreditsNCorequisite: BI326. Prerequisites: BI105 and BI121 and Junior or Senior standing.

BI-326 Plant Ecology Lab

The first 10 weeks are devoted to laboratory work on the identification of the local entophyte flora. Students are required to make a personal collection representing a minimum of 8 families and are expected to become proficient in using a scientific manual. During the 5th and 6th week there is a mandatory all day field trip to collect forest data. An extensive paper on forest succession will be due by semester's end. Note: A special fee is assessed.

1 CreditNCorequisite: BI325


MATH - STATISTICS

Take the following course:

ESS-230 Environmetrics

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 inquisition to 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.

3 CreditsN, QS, CTGES, CTGISPrerequisites: Sophomore standing and permission of the instructor.


Take one of the following courses:

BI-305 Biostatistics

This course deals centrally with quantitative and statistical methodology in the biological sciences. It includes experimental design and the conventions of generating, analyzing, interpreting and presenting biological data. Counts as a math course for graduate and professional school requirements.

4 CreditsN, QS, CTGESPrerequisites: BI106 or ESS100

ESS-335 Quantitative Ecology

The goal of the course is to advance student understanding of a broad range of numerical and graphical techniques used to analyze complex data sets encountered in the environmental sciences. Students will learn the context to properly apply these techniques to address research questions. The purview is ecological, but is applicable to all other quantitative endeavors. The course emphasizes conceptual understanding, relevant applications, and proper interpretation rather than gory, though interesting, statistical theory. Students will apply the R language and environment for statistical computing to tailor analyses to specific circumstances. 

4 CreditsQS(Lec/Lab; 4 cr hr; Spring years; pre-req ESS 110, ESS 230-Environmetrics, or consent)

MA-130 Calculus I

An introduction to calculus including differentiation and integration of elementary functions of a single variable, limits, tangents, rates of change, maxima and minima, area, volume, and other applications. Integrates the use of computer algebra systems, and graphical, algebraic and numerical thinking.

4 CreditsN, QM

MA-205 Elementary Statistics

Introduction to traditional statistical concepts including descriptive statistics, binomial and normal probability models, confidence intervals, tests of hypotheses, linear correlation and regression, two-way contingency tables, and one-way analysis of variance.

4 CreditsN, QS, WK-SPPrerequisite: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109


ADVANCED ELECTIVES

Complete at least 16 credits from the following courses. NOTE: Some 200-level courses may be taken with advisor approval.

ESS-301 Environmental Methods

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. 

3 CreditsNPrerequisites: ESS100 and 1 year of chemistry or permission of the instructor.

ESS-305 Environmental Economics

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: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.

3 CreditsS 

ESS-324 Natural Resource Management

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.

3 CreditsNPrerequisites: ESS100 and BI105 and BI121. A special course fee is as sessed.

ESS-325 Conservation Biology

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.

3 CreditsS, NPrerequisites: ESS100 or BI105.

ESS-328 Limnology

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.

4 CreditsNTake BI105 and BI121 and ESS100 or permission of the instructor.

ESS-330 Geographical Information Systems

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, andapplications using Arc View GIS. It encourages thinking in spatial context. A diverse array of hands-on computer applicationsand 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.

4 CreditsCTGISNote: A special course fee is assessed. Prerequisite: ESS100.

ESS-337 Environmental Law

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).

3 CreditsS, CTGISPrerequisites: PS101 and ESS100 plus sophomore standing.

ESS-340 Forestry

This course provides a comprehensive survey of the discipline of forestry and forest ecology with special emphasis on tree identification, timber mensuration, and forest management issues in central Pennsylvania.

3 CreditsN, CTGISPrerequisites: ESS100.

ESS-345 Ichthyology

This course provides an in-depth and active, hands-on study of fishes within an evolutionary framework. Lecture explores fish ecology, evolution, diversity, systematics, zoogeography, and conservation. The laboratory focuses on fish classification, fish biology and morphology, and skills needed to identify fishes of the central Appalachians.

4 CreditsN, QS, CTGISPrerequisites: BI105 and BI121, junior-level standing, or permission of instructor.

ESS-346 Freshwater Invertebrates

This course provides an applied experience studying aquatic invertebrates that occupy freshwater ecosystems of North American. Lecture focuses on invertebrate ecology, sampling, monitoring, and analysis strategies for bioassessment, conservation, and description of taxa. Laboratory focuses on taxonomy, classification, and identification of families of invertebrates of the local central Appalachians.

4 CreditsN, QSPrerequisites: BI 105/121, junior-level standing, or permission of instructor.

ESS-361 Field Methods in Marine Systems

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 

3 CreditsNPrerequisites: GL111 and ESS100. Permission of instructor required.

ESS-362 Island Ecosystems

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.

3 CreditsNPrerequisites: GL111 and ESS100.

ESS-363 Upland Process and Estuaries

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.

3 CreditsNPrerequisites: GL111 and ESS100 and permission of instructor.

ESS-364 Culture, Class and Gender

Taught in India. This course will cover issues of gender and other disadvantaged groups in coastal management. Fishing villages are often composed of people who are ethnically, religiously, or class-wise distinct from upland populations. Women also have culturally distinct roles in the harvesting, production, and processing of natural resources.

3 CreditsCA, S, I, CWPrerequisites: ESS100 and permission of the instructor and the Center for International Education. A trip fee is applied.

ESS-377 GIS Advanced Topic

This course explores spatial decision support systems, hot spot modeling for home range, disease and crime, intermediate image analysis, habitat classification from multispectral and hyperspectral imagery.

4 CreditsN, QSPrerequisites: ESS310 or ESS330 or permission of the instructor.

ESS-380 Sense of Place Seminar

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.

3 CreditsCA, CWNote: There is a course fee assessed. Prerequisites: ESS100 or permission of the instructor.

ESS-410 Water Resources II

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.

3 CreditsQS, N, CTGISPrerequisites: ESS310 and MA130

ESS-445 Fishery Science & Management

This course is a survey of the elements of fisheries science and management including the biology, ecology, management, and conservation of fisheries and aquatic resources. Emphasis is on whole ecosystem approaches to ecology and management of inland freshwater fisheries of North America and associated habitats. 

4 CreditsH, N, QSPrerequisites: Bi 105/121 and ESS 325 or permission of instructor.

BI-305 Biostatistics

This course deals centrally with quantitative and statistical methodology in the biological sciences. It includes experimental design and the conventions of generating, analyzing, interpreting and presenting biological data. Counts as a math course for graduate and professional school requirements.

4 CreditsN, QS, CTGESPrerequisites: BI106 or ESS100

BI-324 Ornithology

This course provides a comprehensive survey of the comparative biology, ecology, and behavior of birds with a special focus on issues pertaining to conservation and management. Laboratory activities focus on field identification of birds and research and monitoring techniques. Several field trips are possible with one possible 3 day trip to Assatteague Island.

3 CreditsNPrerequisite: BI105

BI-327 Botany

This course will provide an in-depth examination of the biology of plants. In lecture and lab we will examine plant reproduction and development, morphology and physiology, evolution and biodiversity, and ecology and conservation. Particular attention will be paid to the aspects of plant biology that are unique to this branch of life and/or are of critical importance to human or other biotic interactions (e.g. photosynthesis, pollination, agriculture, etc.).

4 CreditsNPrerequisites: BI105. Note: A special course fee is applied.

BI-350 Invertebrate Zoology

Focuses on the organizational plan, behavioral and ecological adaptation, diversity and economic importance of representative members of the major invertebrate phyla.

2 CreditsNCorequisite: BI351. Prerequisite: BI105 and BI121.

BI-351 Invertebrate Zoology Lab

Illustrates and augments the content and concepts of the lecture through direct observation and/or dissection of selected representative organisms.

2 CreditsNCorequisite: BI350

BI-360 Vertebrate Zoology

Focuses on the vertebrate animals of the Eastern United States. Collection, taxonomic identification and natural history are emphasized.

3 CreditsNSuggested corequisites: BI361. Prerequisites: BI105 and Ecology/Biology related POE.

BI-361 Vertebrate Zoology Lab

Frequent field trips, for observation and specimen collection are followed by exercises in identification, specimen preparation, and museum techniques to illustrate and augment the concepts and content of the lecture. Note: A special fee is assessed and one optional field trip requires an additional fee.

2 CreditsNCorequisite: BI360

BI-370 Herpetology

This course presents the biology of amphibians and reptiles from an evolutionary, anatomical and ecological perspective. Phylogenetic diversity of modern taxa will be presented, focusing on North American groups. Instruction will be in the form of lectures, discussions, laboratory activities and field trips to observe local herpetological species.

3 CreditsNPrerequisites: BI105. Note: A special course fee will be applied.

BI-432 Environmental Toxicology

Broadly integrative in nature, this class compounds in environmental systems and focuses on the potential for deleterious consequences in wildlife species and humans. Examines aspects of chemistry, cell biology and ecology in considering environmental contamination. Instruction includes lectures and student presentations/writing exercises.

3 CreditsNPrerequisites: Take 2 courses from BI105 or CH142 or ESS100 and permission of the instructor.


POE Credit Total = 58-59

Students must complete at least 18 credits at the 300/400-level.  Any course exception must be approved by the advisor and/or department chair.