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* Special Course Codes
(Code indicates course meets certain program or accreditation requirements. Ignore if there is no relevance to this program of study.)

G = General Education course (GenEd)
E = Engineering
ES
= Engineering Sciences
M = Mathematics
NS = Natural Sciences
PE = Professional Education
S = Summer-only course

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Division of Environmental Science

Web Catalog Information Subject to Change

The web version of the ESF Catalog is updated as needed throughout the year. To view the version officially associated with a particular date of entry to the College, please refer to the appropriate catalog of record.

Division of Environmental Science

RUSSELL D. BRIGGS, Division Director
358 Illick Hall, 315-470-6989

Environmental science at ESF is an interdisciplinary degree program that takes full advantage of its location within an environmentally focused college. The program offers students a tremendous variety of courses and faculty members to choose from, excellent facilities for research and field study, and a level of faculty expertise that is rarely found at other colleges.

The faculty members who deliver the program perform teaching, research and public service activities to promote environmental practices that will improve the lives of people within New York state and around the world.

The program's objectives are to prepare students who:

  • Will engage in environmental work while employed by government agencies and industry or in private consulting jobs that specialize in public works and the inventory, management, design, use, restoration and protection of natural and cultural resources,
  • Are prepared to enter advanced academic studies involved with any of the many aspects of environmental science, and
  • Will continue to develop the knowledge and skills needed to adapt to changing technological, environmental and business conditions to the benefit of society, employer and self.

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Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science

The curriculum in the bachelor’s degree program provides a strong foundation in the sciences and introduces students to the interdisciplinary breadth of environmental science through a selection of core courses dealing with the geographical, physical, social and living environments. Students have the flexibility to satisfy their core requirementssolar boat by completing courses in biology, chemistry, ecology, geography, engineering, forestry, environmental studies and other areas of study. College-wide general education requirements provide additional opportunities for students to complete courses in the arts, humanities and social sciences to develop a broader context for personal and professional growth.

Required Courses

CourseCodes*Credits
APM 105Survey of Calculus and Its Applications I G4
APM 106Survey of Calculus and Its Applications II 4
EFB 101General Biology I: Organismal Biology and EcologyG3
EFB 102General Biology I LaboratoryG1
EFB 103General Biology II: Cell Biology and Genetics G3
EFB 104General Biology II Laboratory G1
EFB 120The Global Environment and the Evolution of Human Society G3
ENS 132Orientation Seminar: Environmental Science 1
EWP 190Writing and the Environment G3
EWP 290Research Writing and HumanitiesG3
EWP 405Writing for Science Professionals 3
FCH 150General Chemistry I G3
FCH 151General Chemistry Laboratory I G1
FCH 152General Chemistry II G3
FCH 153General Chemistry Laboratory II G1
FOR 207Introduction to Economics G3
GNE 160Computing Methods for Engineers and Scientists 3
PHY 211General Physics IG3
PHY 212General Physics II 3
PHY 221General Physics I Laboratory 1
PHY 222General Physics II Laboratory 1

Note that one section of this course will fulfill the EWP 405 requirement. Students should check with their advisor before registering.

Lower Division Electives

Course Codes* Credits
Free electives 6
General Education Courses: American History, Western Civilization, Other World Civilizations, and The Arts G 6

Professional Courses

CourseCodes*Credits
APM 391Introduction to Probability and Statistics G3
EFB 320 General Ecology 4
ESF 200Information Literacy 1
ENS 494Environmental Science Capstone 1
ENS 498Research Problems in Environmental Science 1 - 5
ESF 300Introduction to Geospatial Information Technologies 3

Environmental Science Core

Students must complete one course from each of the following environmental science core areas. Note: Courses used to complete the advanced chemistry, biology, or mathematics requirements; environmental science core requirements; or option requirements may NOT be used to satisfy more than one of these requirements.

The Physical Environment

CourseCodes*Credits
ERE 351Basic Engineering Thermodynamics 3
EST 231Environmental Geology 3
FCH 210Elements of Organic Chemistry 4
FCH 221 & FCH 222Organic Chemistry I & Organic Chemistry Laboratory I 3 + 1
FCH 360Physical Chemistry I 3
FOR 338MeteorologyG3
FOR 340Watershed Hydrology 3
FOR 345Introduction to Soils 3
GNE 172Statics and Dynamics 4

The Living Environment

CourseCodes*Credits
EFB 303Introductory Environmental Microbiology 4
EFB 326Diversity of Plants 3
EFB 327Adirondack Flora 3
EFB 336Dendrology 3
EFB 342Fungal Diversity and Ecology 3
EFB 345Forest Health S3
EFB 351Forest Entomology 3
EFB 355Invertebrate Zoology 4
EFB 384Field Herpetology 3
EFB 385 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy 4
EFB 388Ecology of Adirondack Fishes 3
EFB 440Mycology 3
EFB 462Animal Physiology: Environmental and Ecological 3
EFB 483Mammal Diversity 4
EFB 485Herpetology 3
EFB 486Ichthyology 3

The Social Environment

CourseCodes*Credits
EFB 220
OR
EST 220
Urban Ecology

Urban Ecology



3

3
EFB 337Field Ethnobotany 3
EST 361History of the American Environmental Movement G3
EST 390Social Processes and the Environment 3
EWP 390Literature of Nature 3
FOR 312Sociology of Natural Resources 3
FOR 465Natural Resources Policy 3

Advanced Courses in Chemistry, Biology or Mathematics

An advanced course is one that has at least one prerequisite or is numbered 300 or above. Note: Courses used to complete the advanced courses in chemistry, biology or mathematics requirement may NOT be used to complete the environmental science core or option requirements.

Course Codes* Credits
Advanced Courses in science or mathematics 9-12

Upper Division Electives

Students must complete at least 15 credits in ONE of the following options. Courses used to complete the advanced chemistry, biology, or mathematics requirements; environmental science core requirements; or option requirements may NOT be used to satisfy more than one of these requirements.

Environmental Information and Mapping (15 credits required)

CourseCodes*Credits
ERE 365Principles of Remote Sensing 4
ERE 371Surveying for Engineers 4
ERE 551
OR
ENS 519
GIS for Engineers

Spatial Ecology



3

3
GEO 381Cartographic Design 4

Watershed Science (15 credits required)

CourseCodes*Credits
EFB 415Ecological Biogeochemistry 3
FOR 340Watershed Hydrology 3
FOR 345Introduction to Soils 3
FOR 442Watershed Ecology and Management 3
EFB 423
OR
EFB 424
OR
EFB 486
OR
EFB 487
OR
ERE 440
OR
FOR 338
OR
GEO 316
Marine Ecology

Limnology: Study of Inland Waters

Ichthyology

Fisheries Science and Management

Water Pollution Engineering

Meteorology

River Environments










G


4

3

3

3

3

3

3

Health and the Environment (17 credits required)

CourseCodes*Credits
EFB 303Introductory Environmental Microbiology 4
EFB 307Principles of Genetics 3
EFB 308Principles of Genetics Laboratory 1
EFB 325 Cell Biology 3
EFB 385
OR
EFB 462
Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy

Animal Physiology: Environmental and Ecological



4

3
EFB 400Toxic Health Hazards 3

Earth and Atmospheric Systems Science (15 credits required)

CourseCodes*Credits
EFB 415Ecological Biogeochemistry 3
EFB 424
OR
FCH 510
Limnology: Study of Inland Waters

Environmental Chemistry I



3

3
FCH 399Introduction to Atmospheric SciencesG3
FCH 496Special Problems in Chemistry 1 - 3
FOR 338MeteorologyG3

Students must take the Oceanography section of FCH 496, taught by Dr. Kieber.

Environmental Analysis (16 credits required)

CourseCodes*Credits
EFB 303Introductory Environmental Microbiology 4
FCH 380Analytical Chemistry I: Gravimetric, Titrimetric and Potentiometric Analysis 3
FCH 381Analytical Chemistry II: Spectroscopic, Chromatographic and Electroanalytical Instrumental Technique 3
FOR 338
OR
FOR 340
OR
FOR 345
Meteorology

Watershed Hydrology

Introduction to Soils
G




3

3

3
ERE 365
OR
GEO 388
Principles of Remote Sensing

Geographic Information and Society



4

3

Renewable Energy (15 credits required)

CourseCodes*Credits
ENS 325Energy Systems 3
ENS 335Renewable Energy 3
ENS 422Energy Markets and Regulation 3
ENS 441Biomass Energy 3

and a minimum of 3 credits from the following:

CourseCodes*Credits
CME 305Sustainable Energy Systems for Buildings 3
EFB 516Ecosystems 3
EFB 518Systems Ecology 4
ERE 351Basic Engineering Thermodynamics 3
ERE 519Green Entrepreneurship 3
EST 427Environmental and Energy Auditing 3
FCH 360Physical Chemistry I 3
PSE 361Engineering Thermodynamics 3
PSE 370Principles of Mass and Energy Balance 3

Total Minimum Credits For Degree: 127

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Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health
(launches Fall 2014)

SUNY-ESF’s bachelor of science in environmental health focuses on the study of how people interact with their environment: the air and water around us, the plants and animals we encounter, and the workplaces and homes where we spend much of our lives. The field is a broad one, encompassing both the direct effects of the environment on human health and the factors that could, in the long term, adversely affect the ecological balances that are essential to both human health and environmental quality.

Program will begin with the Fall 2014 semester.

Core Courses

CourseCodes*Credits
APM 106Survey of Calculus and Its Applications II 4
APM 391Introduction to Probability and Statistics G3
EFB 103General Biology II: Cell Biology and Genetics G3
EFB 104General Biology II Laboratory G1
EFB 303Introductory Environmental Microbiology 4
EFB 360Epidemiology 3
EFB 400Toxic Health Hazards 3
ENS 132Orientation Seminar: Environmental Science 1
ENS 250Foundations of Environmental Health 3
ENS 260Environmental Sampling Methods 3
ENS 350Environmental Health Management 3
ENS 470Environmental Risk Assessment 3
ENS 480Hazardous Materials Management 3
ENS 498Research Problems in Environmental Science 1 - 5
ENS 494Environmental Science Capstone 1
ESF 200Information Literacy 1
FCH 152General Chemistry II G3
FCH 153General Chemistry Laboratory II G1
FCH 221Organic Chemistry I 3
FCH 222Organic Chemistry Laboratory I 1
FCH 223Organic Chemistry II 3
FCH 224Organic Chemistry Laboratory II 1
FCH 399Introduction to Atmospheric SciencesG3
NSD 114Food Safety and Quality Assurance 2
PHY 101Major Concepts of Physics I 4
PHY 102Major Concepts of Physics II 4

Liberal Arts/General Education Electives

CourseCodes*Credits
APM 105Survey of Calculus and Its Applications I G4
EFB 101General Biology I: Organismal Biology and EcologyG3
EFB 102General Biology I LaboratoryG1
EWP 190Writing and the Environment G3
EWP 290Research Writing and HumanitiesG3
FCH 150General Chemistry I G3
FCH 151General Chemistry Laboratory I G1

Electives

Course Codes* Credits
Social Science elective G 3
American History elective G 3
Arts elective G 3
Western Civilization or Other World Civilization elective G 3

Focus Area Electives

Students must complete 12 elective credits in Environmental Health-related coursework. Among these courses must be at least one course from a minimum of 4 of the following EHL focus areas listed below:

Focus area elective (1 of 4): 3
Focus area elective (2 of 4): 3
Focus area elective (3 of 4): 3
Focus area elective (4 of 4): 3

Total credits = 12

1. Built Environment

CourseCodes*Credits
EST 132Introduction to Environmental Studies 3
EST 220Urban Ecology 3
EST 231Environmental Geology 3
LSA 311Natural Processes in Design and Planning 3
LSA 451Comprehensive Land Planning 3
LSA 470Thematic Landscape Design Studio 6

2. Geospatial Technology

CourseCodes*Credits
ERE 365Principles of Remote Sensing 4
ESF 300Introduction to Geospatial Information Technologies 3

3. Soils

CourseCodes*Credits
ERE 511Ecological Engineering in the Tropics 3
FOR 345Introduction to Soils 3
FOR 535Advanced Forest Soils 3
FOR 635Forest Soils and Their Analyses 3

4. Water and Wastewater

CourseCodes*Credits
CIE 442Treatment Processes in Environmental Engineering 4
CIE 472Applied Environmental Microbiology 3
EAR 420Contaminant Hydrogeology 3
EFB 505Microbial Ecology 2
ERE 440Water Pollution Engineering 3
FCH 510Environmental Chemistry I 3
FCH 515Methods of Environmental Chemical Analysis 3

5. Solid/Hazardous Materials and Waste Management

CourseCodes*Credits
CIE 341Introduction to Environmental Engineering 3
CIE 558Solid Wastes: Collection and Disposal 3
ENS 480Hazardous Materials Management 3
ERE 468Solid Waste Management 3

6. Hydrogeology

CourseCodes*Credits
EAR 420Contaminant Hydrogeology 3
EAR 541
FOR 340Watershed Hydrology 3
FOR 442Watershed Ecology and Management 3

7. Food Protection

CourseCodes*Credits
NSD 114Food Safety and Quality Assurance 2
NSD 115Food Science I 3
NSD 275Food Service Systems 3

Total Minimum Credits For Degree: 122

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Graduate Program in Environmental Science (GPES)

RUTH YANAI, Graduate Program Coordinator
210 Marshall Hall
315-470-6955/6528; FAX 315-470-6700

The graduate program in environmental science (GPES) offers M.S., M.P.S. and Ph.D. degrees. GPES was created in the early 1970s as a unique response to the emerging institutional and analytical challenges of developing environmental problems. The program, which draws upon faculty from throughout the College, emphasizes a multidisciplinary social and natural science approach to environmental understanding and stewardship. It maintains a strong academic orientation, facilitating student and faculty engagement of fundamental environmental challenges such as resource utilization and sustainability, the uses and limits of scientific prediction, risk and sustainability, the uses and limits of scientific prediction and risk analysis, and a holistic concern for the health of the environment.

Requirements

The academic requirements of the graduate program in environmental science are designed to provide graduates with a sound preparation to meet the rapidly evolving challenges of the field as leading scholars and professionals. Programmatic requirements constitute a framework which includes a comprehensive core foundation emphasizing theory, issues and methods; extended knowledge within an area of study; and a synthesis experience.

In addition, students should have an academic background and/or work experience related to the selected area of study. Wherever possible, deficiencies should be made up prior to matriculation.

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Master of Science (M.S.)

The Master's Degree is designed as a two-year experience. The minimum total credits for the degree is 30. Lists of courses that meet requirements identified in this section have been approved by each area of study (AOS) faculty group and are hyperlinked to the AOS web page. These lists are not exclusive; courses not on these lists may be taken with the approval of the Major Professor and Steering Committee, as indicated on the Form 3B.

Required credit hours are identified in three categories:

  1. Core: The broad interdepartmental focus of GPES is reflected in the core requirements - A minimum of 9 credit hours distributed in 3 areas: social science, natural or physical science, and methods/tools.
  2. Area of Study: A minimum of 15 credit hours (excluding 898 and 899 courses) in AOS courses are required.
  3. Thesis: A minimum of 6 credit hours of research resulting in a document that clearly demonstrates graduate level accomplishments of the student, followed by a defense examination. Students must have an approved Thesis Proposal. A form for approval is available in Appendix 4.
    1. Guidelines for preparation of the thesis document (PDF)
Concurrent Degree

Concurrent degree students may “double count” 8 credit hours toward their M.S. degree.

Advanced Standing

A maximum of 6 graduate credit hours with a grade of B or above that have not been applied to another degree may be transferred via petition. The petition must include an attached syllabus and a justification of how the courses are to be included on the student's Plan Sheet.

Petitions regarding Core requirements may be submitted following matriculation. Petitions regarding Area of Study requirements are to be submitted following the formalization of the student's steering committee (submission of Form 2A establishes the steering committee).

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Master of Professional Studies (M.P.S.)

For students entering in the fall 2013 semester, the Master of Professional Studies (MPS) degree is a 30 credit hour experience aimed at professional applications of environmental knowledge.

Core Requirements

Required course work:  A total of 9 credit hours that includes one 3-hour social science course, one 3-hour natural or physical science course, and one 3-hour methods or tools course emphasizing applications of technical knowledge.

Area of Study Requirements

A minimum of 12-15 credit hours of course works in the chosen area of study, as determined by the major professor and study area faculty.  Students in the Water and Wetland Resources program are required to take either (i) a minimum of 18** credit hours of area of study coursework and 3 hours of synthesis OR (ii) 15 credit hours of coursework in the area of study combined with 6 hours of synthesis. Students select a study area at the time of application for admission into the program.

A minimum of 12 credit hours of coursework is required in the chosen area of study, as determined by the major professor and study area faculty. Students select a study area at the time of application for admission to the program.

Eight study areas are available to M.P.S. students.

Synthesis Requirements

Students select either an Internship (minimum of 3 credit hours) or prepare a synthesis paper (3 credit hours). Some internships may extend to 6 credit hours, reducing electives to 0. All students must present a capstone seminar in their final semester. No terminal comprehensive examination is required. See Appendix B for internship guidance.

Advanced Standing
  1. Course transfers. A maximum of six graduate credit hours with a grade of B or above that have not been applied to another degree may be transferred via Petition. The Petition must include an attached syllabus, and a justification of how the courses are to be included on the student's Plan Sheet. Petitions for course transfers are submitted following matriculation.
  2. Credit for prior experience. Applicants with a minimum of three (3) years of post-baccalaureate full-time professional experience directly related to the intended area of study may apply for 6 credit hours of advanced standing in the program. Partial credit for experience cannot be awarded. When awarded for prior work experience, the 6 credit hours are applied toward the Synthesis requirement.
Concurrent Degree

Concurrent degree students may "double-count" 8 credit hours toward their MPS degree.

Environmental Science Seminar

All students are required to take two (2) semesters of ENS 797 Environmental Science Seminar OR, in consultation with the Major Professor, appropriate seminars in other ESF departments or Syracuse University (the latter for credit only). ENS 797 is normally completed as an Audit, but at times may be taken for credit if offered.

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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

The Ph.D. program provides a unique opportunity to develop integrative research within a strong college community of environmental analysts and to draw upon the expertise of scholars at Syracuse University. Entering students are required to complete the equivalent of the GPES master's core either from prior graduate study or coursework taken within the first year of residency. Environmental and natural resources policy applicants are expected to have completed a master’s research thesis.

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Graduate Areas of Study

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Biophysical and Ecological Economics (M.S., M.P.S., Ph.D.)

Students in the Biophysical and Ecological Economics (BEE) study area develop an understanding of environmental problems and solutions through analyses of the relations between the human economy of goods and services and the biophysical economy of networks of energy and material resource flows. Drawing on insights from social and physical sciences, BEE helps students to develop critical thinking, intellectual approaches, measurement tools and modeling skills for analyzing increasingly important topics in environment and natural resource science and policy. Specific course work in biophysical and ecological economics is supplemented by course work in ecology, resource management, environmental economics, policy analysis and others.

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Coupled Natural and Human Systems (M.S., M.P.S., Ph.D.)

The Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNHS) area of study fosters interdisciplinary research and scholarship that explicitly integrates the social and biophysical dimensions of environmental issues using a systems approach. Our research addresses the challenges of sustaining natural and social capital during the Anthropocene—the current era in which humans shape all major Earth system processes. Drawing on diverse backgrounds, CNHS students and faculty recognize humans as integral components of ecosystems and seek to understand their interactions and dynamics of change at multiple scales. Faculty mentors form collaborative and cross-disciplinary teams to advise CNHS students based on their wide range of expertise and experiences. An emphasis is placed on research and graduate training experience with applications to emerging sustainability issues in real-world settings.

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Ecosystem Restoration (M.S., M.P.S., Ph.D.)

The ecosystem restoration study area focuses on the technical, biogeochemical, ecological and cultural aspects of rehabilitating and restoring degraded ecosystems, habitats and landscapes. The program is designed for graduate students who wish to take an interdisciplinary approach to ecosystem restoration, have access to multidisciplinary expertise, and develop advanced knowledge of ecological engineering, conservation biology, restoration ecology, forest and habitat restoration, landscape ecology and eco-cultural restoration to address complex environmental problems. Current research includes urban ecology and renewal, aquatic restoration, invasive species, agroforestry, brownfields, traditional ecological knowledge and the spatial monitoring, modeling and analysis of integrated ecological processes. Field sites and study areas are located throughout the world and involve a wide variety of ecosystems, cultures and landscapes. Specific course work in ecosystem restoration is supplemented by courses offerings in science, engineering, mathematics, natural resources, and environmental and social policy.

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Environmental Communication and Participatory Processes (M.S., M.P.S., Ph.D.)

This study area addresses the communicative dynamics of the formation of attitudes. It includes decision making, public policy, public participation, campaign development, organizational effectiveness, and conflict prevention and resolution, which all hinge on the ability of participants to communicate and use information effectively, strategically and ethically. GPES students with this option will be prepared to enter diverse arenas of industry, non-government organizations and government structures well equipped to facilitate and participate in effective interactions among individual citizens, non-government organizations, publics, agencies, bureaucracies, scientists and others. They will have the skills and knowledge that will allow them to choose the more appropriate and effective process structures and strategies to reach objectives.

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Environmental and Community Land Planning (M.S., M.P.S., Ph.D.)

The program is designed for students with social science, natural science, engineering, or design backgrounds who are interested in an interdisciplinary and integrative program. Some students have majors in interdisciplinary programs in urban studies or environmental studies. Students develop an understanding and knowledge of development processes, natural systems and governmental planning and regulation. They develop a capacity to analyze environmental and community land planning problems and to form imaginative solutions. Skills obtained include preparation of land and environmental databases, plans, policies and implementation programs.

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Environmental Monitoring and Modeling (M.S., M.P.S., Ph.D.)

This study area focuses on multidisciplinary approaches to measuring and modeling environmental systems and processes. Students address pressing environmental problems in an integrative manner by taking advantage of a broad range of faculty expertise, a variety of course offerings related to the environment and access to advanced field equipment, study sites and computational hardware. Current research in this area includes sustainable development, air quality, water resources, biogeography, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, climate and anthropogenic change, forest biometrics and energy systems. Specific course work in environmental monitoring and modeling is supplemented by courses offerings in the fields of science, engineering, mathematics, natural resources and environmental and social policy.

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Environmental and Natural Resources Policy (Ph.D.)

The Ph.D. degree requires a minimum of sixty (60) total graduate credit hours (ESF policy). A total of forty-eight (48) hours in graduate coursework are required, of which twenty-four (24) credit hours must be taken in residence at ESF. In addition, Ph.D. students must complete at least twelve (12) credit hours of thesis research credit (FOR 999 or ENS 999: Doctoral Dissertation, corresponding to the departmental affiliation of your major professor). You will develop your program of study to satisfy the coursework requirements in consultation with your major professor and steering committee.

Coursework should provide a coherent body of theory, a set of appropriate methods to test that theory, and should focus on an important area of application beyond the specific work done for the graduate degree (see handbook for further guidance in coursework).

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Water and Wetland Resource Studies (M.S., M.P.S., Ph.D.)

The water and wetland resources area of study develops an understanding of technical, social and institutional aspects of water resources management, mitigation and restoration. Individual students may emphasize scientific or social subject areas but all study in both areas. Scientific aspects include the basic physical, chemical and biological interactions occurring in water resources systems. The social aspects are concerned with planning, regulation, law and institutions and management of water and wetland resources. Water serves as a focus for graduate study in water and related land resources management and water pollution and water quality control.

Recommended coursework includes:

  • physical sciences: civil engineering, geology, geomorphology, hydrology, meteorology, environmental engineering, soils, water chemistry, hydrogeology, hydrogeochemistry and geographic information systems;
  • biological sciences: ecology, entomology, fisheries biology, forestry, microbiology, water quality and limnology; and
  • social sciences: administration, economics, government, history, law, ethics, philosophy and policy.

* Special Course Codes (Code indicates course meets certain program or accreditation requirements. Ignore if there is no relevance to this program of study.) G = General Education Course (GenEd), E = Engineering, ES = Engineering Sciences, M = Mathematic, NS = Natural Sciences, PE = Professional Education, S = Summer-only


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