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Biological Science Applications
Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies

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The Biological Science Applications Option is designed for students interested in careers at the interface of biology, social, and economic issues. This Option provides solid background in the biological sciences pertinent to our natural resources and ecosystems as well as a foundation in the social sciences. In contrast to the traditional biology program, this Option emphasizes the interaction of both biological and societal issues. Specific goals are:

  • Provide a sound background in biological sciences;
  • Foster a broad systems view of our society, biological resources and ecosystems (or some other level of biology such as an endangered population or microbial process or biotechnology) affected by human activity;
  • Develop a capacity to make independent judgments of environmental issues based on scientific principles and socio-political understanding; and
  • Enhance effective skills in communicating scientific/technical issues of a biological nature in socio-political settings.

Students in this Option prepare for careers dealing with many environmental issues of society including regulatory, consulting and advisory positions in governmental agencies as well as employment in education or in the private sector such as environmental consulting firms and activist organizations. Many of these contexts demand practical solutions that require sound judgment of biological facts against the realities of our society. Graduates of the BSA option will do best in careers that demand articulate communication skills supported by scientific understanding. Many of our students go on for advanced degrees in science, law or business. Some become university teachers or researchers. Students in the BSA option may wish to consider also taking ESF's new Renewable Energy Minor; both together will prepare students well for a job or graduate studies in the energy field.

Biological Science Applications Option Requirements [1]

Category Description Credits

Scientific Breadth:

One course required from each category.

Microbes Course 9
Plants Course
Animals Course

Focus Area:

At total of four courses required. At least 2 advanced courses from one of the Focus Areas.

Biological Interpretation 12
Biological Management
Environmental Quality
Biological Systems
GIS Geographic Information Systems Course 3
Policy/Law Policy Course or Law Course 3
Total Option Credits

Biological Science Applications Breadth Requirements

Take one course from each category:

Microbes Plants Animals
EFB 303 Intro. Env. Biology EFB 326 Div. of Plants EFB 352 Entomology
EFB 340 For. Shade Tree Path. EFB 336 Dendrology EFB 355 Invert. Zoology
EFB 440 Mycology EFB 445 Plant Ecology & Global Change EFB 486 Ichthyology
EFB 443 Plant Virology   EFB 483 Mammal Diversity
EFB 505 Microbial Ecology    

Biological Science Applications Focus Area Requirements

A total of four focus area courses is required. Each student must take at least 2 advanced courses from one of the Focus Areas. The student and Advisor may develop an individualized Biological Focus that includes the Senior Synthesis. The lists below are illustrative.

Biological Interpretation Biological Management Environmental Quality Biological Systems
EFB 417 Non-Personal Environmental Interpretive Methods EFB 413 Conservation Biology EST 550 Env. Impact Analysis EFB 415 Ecological Biogeochemistry
EFB 521 Principles of Interpretive Programming EFB 487 Fisheries Science and Management FOR 334 Silviculture EFB 424 Limnology
  EFB 490 Wildlife Ecology & Management EFB 345 Forest Health EFB 444 Biodiversity and Geography of Nature
  EFB 491 Applied Wildlife Science EFB 351 Forest Entomology EFB 445 Plant Ecology & Global Change
  EFB 493 Wildlife Habitats & Pop. EFB 400 Toxic Health Hazards EFB 516 Ecosystems
    EFB 540 Forest Health Monitoring EFB 518 Systems Ecology
      EFB 519 Geographic Modeling
      EFB 523 Tropical Ecology
      EFB 542 Freshwater Wetland Ecosystems
      FOR Integrated Resources Management

Geographic Information Systems Courses

  • ESF 300 Introduction to Geospatial Information Technologies

Policy or Law Courses

Take one:

  • EST 460 Land Use Law
  • EST 550 Environmental Impact Analysis
  • FOR 465 Natural Resources and Environmental Policy
  • FOR 487 Environmental Law & Policy

Senior Synthesis

BSA students pursuing the advanced coursework Option should consider the following:

  • EFB 400 Toxic Health Hazards
  • EFB 518 Systems Ecology
  • EFB 522 Biophysical Economics

Typical Course Sequence

This is a possible sequence for the option. In consultation with your advisor, you will need to adjust this sequence to suit your specific situation.

Junior - Fall Credits
EFB 320 General Ecology 4
EST 361
History of the American Environmental Movement
  Upper Division Environmental Studies Social Science 3
  BSA Breadth Option Microbes Course 3
  BSA Breadth Option Animals Course 3
Total Semester Credits
Junior - Spring  
EWP 410 Writing for Environmental Professionals 3
APM 391 Introduction to Probability and Statistics 3
EST 321 Government and the Environment 3
  BSA Breadth Option Plants Course 3
  General Elective 3
Total Semester Credits
Senior - Fall  
  Upper Division Computing or Natural Science Course 4
  GIS Course 3
  BSA Option Focus Area Course 3
  BSA Option Focus Area Course 3
  Senior Synthesis 3
Total Semester Credits
Senior - Spring  
EST 494 Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies 1
  BSA Option Policy Course or Law Course 3
  BSA Option Focus Area Course 3
  BSA Option Focus Area Course 3
  General Elective 3
  General Elective 3
Total Semester Credits

[1] Please note the specific lower division required courses for students in the Biological Science Applications option. See catalog for requirements.

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State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry
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