Earth and Environmental Sciences Courses
130 Physical Geology without Laboratory (4)
Identical to EES 131 but with web-based assignments in lieu of a formal laboratory. Intended for those interested in learning about geology but who do not wish to take a lab, especially those pursuing teaching certification. Students intending to major in EES should take EES 131. Offered every fall.
131 Physical Geology with Laboratory (4)
Investigates the materials and processes that characterize the interior of our dynamic and ever-changing planet. Topics include rocks and minerals, volcanism, earthquakes, the origin of mountains, the vastness of geologic time, and the unifying theory of plate tectonics. Intended for those seeking laboratory General Education credit and/or those interested in pursuing a major in EES. Offered every fall semester and occasional spring semesters.
132 Environmental Geology without Laboratory (4)
Identical to EES 133 but with web-based assignments in lieu of a formal laboratory. Intended for those interested in learning about environmental geology but who do not wish to take a lab, especially those pursuing teaching certification. Students intending to major in EES should take EES 133. Offered every spring.
133 Environmental Geology with Laboratory (4)
Investigates the interaction between people and the earth. Acquaints students with issues surrounding the origin, distribution, and exploitation of water, mineral, and energy resources. Natural hazards and their mitigation and issues surrounding Earth’s climate are investigated. Intended for those seeking laboratory general education credit and/or those interested in pursuing a major in EES. Offered every spring.
200 Oceanography (4)
Explores the geology of the ocean basins and the physical and chemical nature of seawater. Topics studied include ocean waves, tides, and currents. Links between the oceans and the atmosphere are explored with special emphasis on the effect of oceans on climate, El Nino, and climate change. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours each week. Designed for science and non-science majors. Prerequisite or Corequisite: math placement level H, A, or B, or MATH 104. Course fee of $50 required. Offered every fall.
210 Meteorology (4)
An introduction to the atmosphere and the science behind weather phenomena such as clouds, hurricanes, and tornadoes. Students practice weather forecasting, use meteorological instrumentation, and analyze global meteorological datasets. Designed for science and non-science majors. Prerequisite or Corequisite: math placement level H, A, or B, or MATH 104. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours each week. Course fee of $50 required. Offered every spring.
250 Field Experiences in Earth and Environmental Sciences (2 or 4)
Provides students with an intensive field experience in selected habitats as they conduct studies to examine various geological sites and sample particular habitats. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Lab fee. Prerequisite: consent. Offered in selected January Terms or summers on demand.
270 Environmental Chemistry (4)
An exploration of the Earth system and human perturbations to that system from a chemical perspective. Topics covered include ozone depletion, persistent organic pollutants, wastewater treatment, and toxicity of environmental contaminants. Laboratory exercises give students experience in environmental sampling and analysis. Prerequisites: CHEM 120. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours each week. Identical to CHEM 270. Offered fall of odd-numbered years.
300 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (4)
Introduces the computer-literate student to the underlying theory and practical applications of Graphic Information System (GIS) technology. Lectures are interwoven with hands-on computer exercises that illustrate the principles, develop technical competence, and demonstrate the versatility of GIS. Individualized projects reinforce concepts and help students acquire the knowledge and confidence required to use GIS outside the classroom. Prerequisites: math placement level H, A, or B, and junior/senior status, or MATH 104, or consent. Offered fall of even-numbered years.
305 Teaching Experience (1)
Qualified students assist instructors in the teaching of EES courses and laboratories. May be repeated for credit, but students may apply no more than 4 semester hours toward graduation. Prerequisite: Consent. Offered every semester.
316 General Ecology (4) W
A study of the interrelationships between organisms and their environment. Topics will range from the individual level to the global scale, including both basic and applied ecological topics. Prerequisites: BIO 130, successful completion of ENG 105 with a grade of C or higher, and sophomore status or higher. Identical to BIO 316.
320 Energy and the Environment (4)
An introduction to the fundamental physical concepts underlying energy, its conversion, and its impact on the environment. Topics include fossil fuels, nuclear-fueled power plants, renewable forms of energy, pollution, and energy conversion. Prerequisite: math placement level H or A, or MATH 135. Offered spring of odd-numbered years.
330 Advanced Topics in Geology (4)
An in-depth study of some aspect of geology. Topics may include structure and evolution of mountain belts, paleontology, earth materials, and sedimentology. May be taken multiple times for credit as topic varies. Prerequisite: EES 131. Course fee of $50 required. Offered spring of even-numbered years.
340 Climatology (4) W
An examination of the earth’s climate system and the science of climate change. Topics include the dynamics and feedbacks of the climate system, ocean and biosphere influences on climate, reconstruction of past climate, predications of future climate, and human influences on global and regional weather patterns. Prerequisites: ENG 105 with a grade of C or higher, and EES
200 or EES 210. Offered fall of even-numbered years.
375 Topics in Tropical Biology (4)
An intensive field experience in neotropical ecosystems (rainforests, coral reefs, mangroves, caves, etc.). Descriptive studies of local flora and fauna will be combined with an in-depth investigation of a topic of interest. Field activities will include moderately strenuous exercise under a variety of weather conditions. Destinations may include Belize, Costa Rica, Trinidad, or other tropical sites. Course fee required. Identical to BIO 375. Prerequisite: BIO 130 and sophomore status or higher, and consent. Offered in select January Terms.
393 Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) (2)
Introduces the essentials and broad research applications of SEM. Topics include the preparation of biological and non- biological specimens, the use of secondary and backscattered electrons for imaging, and the operation of SEM in high vacuum and variable pressure modes. Hands-on training and independent operation of the SEM are mandatory. Identical to BIO 393. Prerequisites: Sophomore status and consent. Offered in selected terms.
394 Energy Dispersive Spectrometry (2)
Explores the applications of Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS) in determining the chemical composition of specimens. Topics include sample preparation, specimen-beam interactions, and gun alignment procedures useful for generation and collection of x-rays in high vacuum and variable pressure. Hands-on training of the SEM and EDS system are emphasized. Prerequisites: BIO or EES 393 and consent. Offered in select terms.
400 Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) (4)
Introduces the broad research applications of SEM. Topics include sample preparation, critical point drying, sputter coating, imaging, and x-ray microanalysis. Includes weekly training with the SEM and completion of an independent research project. Identical to BIO 400. Prerequisites: junior/senior status and consent. Offered in select terms.
410 Physical Hydrology (4)
An introductory class covering the hydrologic cycle including groundwater, precipitation, surface water, the vadose zone, and coastal hydrology. Topics include flow to wells, runoff processes, floods, capillarity, unsaturated flow, saltwater intrusion and effect of sea level changes. Laboratory and field exercises will illustrate aspects of the hydrological cycle. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours a week. Prerequisites: EES 132 or EES 133 and math placement H or A, or Math 135 (C- or higher.) Offered spring of even-numbered years.
425 The Age of Oil (4) I
Explores all aspects of oil: its chemistry and origin; how we find it and turn it into myriad products; the influence that cheap, abundant oil has had on our society; and its role in politics and war. Environmental effects and the questions about the future supply will also be considered. Prerequisites: senior status or consent. Offered when circumstances permit.
450 Biogeochemistry (4)
Explores the connections among the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere through exploration of global
cycling of nutrients and pollutants. Students investigate these biogeochemical cycles through analysis of primary research articles, field measurements, chemical analysis, and a self-designed research project. Prerequisites: senior status and any 200 level chemistry course. Lecture three hours, laboratory three hours each week. Identical to CHEM 450. Offered every spring.
470 Internship in the Natural Sciences (2 or 4)
An intensive study of a specific field of science through an on-site field experience. Internships involve hands-on opportunities in the sciences that are relevant to the chosen site. Students may enroll for 2 or 4 semester hours in a given semester. A minimum of 80 hours devoted to the internship is expected for 2 semester hours, and a minimum of 160 hours is expected for
4 semester hours, but some placements may require more time. Students must coordinate their internship placement with the supervising faculty member at least two months prior to placement. Pass/fail grading. Prerequisites: junior/senior status and consent. Offered every semester and most January Terms (2 semester hours only).
489 Research in the Natural Sciences (2 or 4)
Offers students the opportunity to conduct original scientific research in an area of interest. Students work closely with one or more members of the natural science faculty to develop and conduct a research project, then present their findings orally during the semester’s undergraduate research symposium and as a formal research paper. Students are encouraged to present their findings at a conference. Prerequisite: junior/senior status and a major in the natural sciences, prior approval by the project advisor, and consent of the instructor. Students may enroll for 2 or 4 hours in a given semester. May be repeated for a maximum total of 8 semester hours. Identical to BIO 489, CHEM 489, CS 489, MATH 489, and PHYS 489. Offered every semester and most January Terms (2 semester hours only).