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ESF Academic Catalog
Bachelor of Science in Aquatic and Fisheries Science

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Aquatic and fisheries science is the study of aquatic ecosystems to increase scientific understanding and to apply this knowledge to their management and conservation, thereby sustaining them for multiple uses.

Aquatic ecosystems are complex and found within myriad wetlands, streams, lakes, estuaries, and oceans that support life on earth. Professional aquatic scientists and managers work to conserve and restore biodiversity, habitats, and ecological function while supporting services including fisheries, water resources, transportation, energy, recreation and human connections to nature. Career opportunities for students with a B.S. in aquatic and fisheries science include fisheries science, wetland science, limnology, marine biology and oceanography, and numerous conservation-related fields. Typical employment is with federal and state agencies, universities, research institutions,  management authorities, and private consulting firms, as well as local, regional, and international non-governmental organizations.

Required Courses

Course Number Course Codes * Credits
APM 105 Survey Of Calc & Appl I G 4
APM 391 Intro/Probability&Stats G 3
EFB 101 Gen Bio I:Organismal Bio&Ecol G 3
EFB 102 General Biology I Laboratory G 1
EFB 103 Gen Bio II:Cell Bio & Genetics G 3
EFB 104 General Biology II Laboratory G 1
EFB 120 The Global Envirnmnt & Society G 3
EFB 132 Orientation Seminar:EFB 1
EFB 202 Ecol Monitor&Bio Assessmnt 3
EFB 210 Diversity of Life I 3
EFB 211 Diversity of Life II 3
EFB 307 Principles Of Genetics 3
EFB 308 Prin Of Genetics Lab 1
EFB 311 Principles of Evolution 3
EFB 320 General Ecology 4
EFB 325 Cell Biology 3
EFB 424 Limnology:Study Inland Waters 3
EFB 486 Ichthyology 3
EFB 492 Sr Synthesis/Aquatic&Fish Sci 1
EWP 190 Writing And The Envrnment G 3
EWP 290 Research Writing & Humanities G 3
FCH 150 General Chemistry I G 3
FCH 151 General Chemistry I Lab G 1
FCH 152 General Chemistry II G 3
FCH 153 General Chemistry II Lab G 1
FCH 210 Elements Of Organic Chem 4
FOR 207 Introduction To Economics G 3
FOR 110 Environmental Physics 3
PHY 102
FCH 223
FCH 224
APM 106
Major Concepts of Physics II

Organic Chemistry II

Organic Chemistry Lab II

Survey Of Calc & Appl II
0 - 8





Course Name Codes* Credits
General Education Course in one of the following categories: US History
& Civic Engagement, The Arts, World History and Global Awareness,
World Languages
G 3
General Education Course in Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice G 3
Directed Electives    27
Open Electives   16


Directed Electives

To ensure both strength and breadth of knowledge, 27 elective credit hours must be obtained through courses in the following subject areas (S=spring semester, F=fall semester).

  1. Field Experience Elective
    At least three elective credits must come from an approved field course in biology (this is in addition to the core field course, EFB 202). These credits may be obtained through an elective course at our Cranberry Lake Biological Station, an approved internship (EFB 420) or field trip course (EFB 500). Winter Mammalian Ecology (EFB 484) and Tropical Ecology (EFB 523) meet this requirement, as can approved field courses from other institutions.
  2. Structure and Function
    At least 3 credit hours must be in the subject area of organism-level physiology, anatomy, or development. The list of allowable courses below may vary slightly from year to year.
    • EFB 385—Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (4 cr.) S
    • EFB 427—Plant Anatomy and Development (3 cr.) F
    • EFB 462—Animal Physiology: Environmental and Ecological (3 cr.) S
    • EFB 429—Plant Physiology (3 cr.) S
    • BIO 447—Immunology (3 cr.) S
    • BIO 503—Developmental Biology (3 cr.) S
  3. Organismal Diversity
    To encourage breadth in organism-level biology, students must complete (in addition to the core requirement of EFB  486 or EFB 388) at least 3 credit hours in each of the following two categories:
    1. Plants and Microbes:
      • EFB 303—Introductory Environmental Microbiology (4 cr.) F
      • EFB 326—Plant Evolution, Diversification and Conservation (3 cr.) S
      • EFB 327- Adirondack FLora (3 cr.) CLBS
      • EFB 336—Dendrology (3 cr.) F
      • EFB 340—Forest and Shade Tree Pathology (3 cr.) S
      • EFB 350- Microbial Consortium (3 cr.) F even years
      • EFB 435—Flowering Plants: Diversity, Evolution, and Systematics (3 cr.) F
      • EFB 440—Mycology (3 cr.) F
      • EFB 446—Ecology of Mosses (3 cr.) S
      • EFB 496 - Wetland Plants & Communities of Adirondacks (3 cr.) CLBS
      • EFB 496 - Flora of Central NY (3 cr.) Maymester
    2. Invertebrate and Vertebrate Animals:
      • EFB 351—Forest Entomology (3 cr.) F, odd years
      • EFB 352—Entomology (3 cr.) F, even years
      • EFB 355—Invertebrate Zoology (4 cr.) S
      • EFB 388—Ecology of Adirondack Fishes (3 cr.) CLBS
      • EFB 453—Parasitology (3 cr.) F
      • EFB 482—Ornithology (4 cr.) S
      • EFB 483—Mammal Diversity (4 cr.) F
      • EFB 485—Herpetology (3 cr.) F
      • EFB 554—Aquatic Entomology (3 cr.) F
      • EFB 566 - Systematic Entomology (3 cr.) S, even years
  4. Physical/Chemical Environment
    To encourage understanding and familiarity with the aquatic habitat, students must complete at least 3 credit hours from one of the following courses:
    • EST 231—Environmental Geology (3 cr.) S
    • FCH 510—Environmental Chemistry I (3 cr.) S
    • FCH 515—Methods of Environmental Chemical Analysis (3 cr.) F
    • FOR 338—Meteorology (3 cr.) S
    • FOR 340—Watershed Hydrology (3 cr.) S
    • FOR 345—Introduction to Soils (3 cr.) F
    • EAR 101—Dynamic Earth (3 cr.) F
    • EAR 105—Earth Science (3 cr.) S
  5. Environmental Systems Science
    To further promote understanding of the systems approach to aquatic ecosystems and an integration of environmental and biological factors, students must complete at least 3 credit hours from one of the following courses.
    • EFB 423—Marine Ecology (4 cr.) S, even years
    • EFB 516—Ecosystems (3 cr.) S
    • EFB 518—Systems Ecology (4 cr.) F
    • EFB 523—Tropical Ecology (3 cr.) S
    • EFB 542—Freshwater Wetland Ecosystems (3 cr.) S
    • ERE 275—Ecological Engineering  I (3 cr.) S
  6. Management
    At least 3 credit hours in resource or ecosystem management must be obtained through a course in the following list.
    • EFB 370- Population Biology & Management (3 cr.) S
    • EFB 390- Wildlife Ecology & Management (4 cr.) F
    • EFB 438- Ecology & Management of Waterfowl (3 cr.) F
    • EFB 487—Fisheries Science and Management (3 cr.) F
    • FOR 360—Principles of Management (3 cr.) F
    • FOR 372—Fundamentals of Outdoor Rec. (3 cr.) F,S
    • FOR 442—Watershed Ecology & Management (3 cr.) F 
  7. Analytical Tools
    To increase the breadth of practical skills and knowledge students must complete at least 3 credit hours, obtained through one of the following courses:
    • BTC 401—Molecular Biology Techniques (3 cr.) F
    • EFB 488—Fisheries Science Practicum (1 cr.) F
    • EFB 519—Geographic Modeling (3 cr.) S
    • EFB 525—Limnology Practicum (2 cr.) F
    • ERE 445—Hydrological Modeling (3 cr.) F
    • ESF 300—Introduction to Geospatial Information Technologies (3 cr.) F,S
  8. Communications
    Students must complete at least 3 credit hours from one of the following communication or interpretation courses.
    • EST 370—Introduction to Personal Environmental Interpretation Methods (3 cr.) F
    • EST 471- Non-personal Environmental Interpretation Methods (3 cr.) S
    • EWP 220—Public Presentation Skills for Environmental Professionals (3 cr.) F,S
    • EWP 407—Writing for Environmental and Science Professionals (3 cr.) F

Total Minimum Credits For Degree: 126