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Environmental Science

Course Descriptions

Environmental Science Courses


ES 160 Concepts Environmental Science (SD) (4.00 SH). An investigation of the effect of humans on the Earth’s environment and on the other species that inhabit our planet. The course will look at the impact that an increasing human population has on the resource utilization, pollution production, habitat degradation, and the extinction of species. It will include a brief look at the policies and laws that specifically relate to environmental problems. Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

ES 170 Project-Based Environmental Sci(SD) (4.00 SH). A survey of the major environmental issues facing our planet, with an in-depth focus on one environmental issue of local/regional interest. The course emphasizes the science of environmental issues but also explores the social, political, and economical factors that are involved. The first half of the course involves traditional lab and field experiences, while the laboratory portion of the second half of the course is dedicated to a research project related to the environmental issue of local/regional interest.

ES 170C C:Project-Based Envir Science (SD) (4.00 SH). A survey of the major environmental issues facing our planet, with an in-depth focus on one environmental issue of local/regional interest. The course emphasizes the science of environmental issues but also explores the social, political, and economical factors that are involved. The first half of the course involves traditional lab and field experiences, while the laboratory portion of the second half of the course is dedicated to a research project related to the environmental issue of local/regional interest.

ES 230 Chemical Analysis (4.00 SH). A study of the theoretical foundation and skills necessary for the solution of problems encountered in the area of quantitative chemical analysis, including classical and modern methods. Emphasis is given to the evaluation and presentation of data, sampling, equilibrium dynamics of analytically important reactions, experimental design, volumetric techniques, absorption and emission spectroscopy, electrochemical methods, and analytical separations. Examples and laboratory exercises will include environmental air, soil and water systems. Prerequisites: CHE 117, and MTH 135 or MTH 150 or BIO 206 (may be co-requisite). (Also listed as CHE 230.)

ES 231 Environmental Analysis (4.00 SH). A study of the theoretical foundation and skills in the area of quantitative chemical analysis, including classical and modern methods, as applied to environmental measurements. Emphasis is given to the evaluation and presentation of data, sampling, equilibrium dynamics of analytically important reactions, experimental design, volumetric techniques, absorption and emission spectroscopy, electrochemical methods, analytical separations, and field measurements. All examples and laboratory exercises will focus on environmental applications of chemical analysis. Prerequisites: CHE 117, and MTH 131, 135, 150, or BIO 206. (Also listed as CHE 231.)

ES 251 Introduction to GIS (4.00 SH). This course is an introduction to the theory and use of Geographic Information Systems, including the fundamental concepts of GIS, capabilities of GIS, and applications for dealing with spatial data. Key issues for discussion will include data input, data models, database design and database queries, sources of information for spatial databases, spatial analysis, computational algorithms, and information presentation. Other issues such as the nature of geographic phenomena to be represented in a GIS, comparisons of different GIS representational schemes, and appropriate use of geographic information will also be covered. These topics will be discussed within an environmental context using ArcView, a PC-based GIS software package,

ES 360 Ecology (4.00 SH). A study of the structure of ecological populations, communities, and ecosystems, and the processes that affect them. Topics include population growth, regulation, and dynamics, population interactions, food webs, species diversity, succession, biogeography, and energy flow and nutrient cycling. Laboratories stress experimental design and data analysis. Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 202. (Also listed as BIO 360.)

ES 601 Environmental Science Capstone (4.00 SH). Interdisciplinary senior research project designed to study an environmental problem from an integrated, multidisciplinary viewpoint. Students work collectively to develop testable hypotheses, design and implement experiments to test their hypotheses, and present their results in comprehensive written and oral reports. Prerequisite: successful completion of all required courses in the major

 

Supporting Courses


BIO 201 Cell Biology & Genetics (SD) (4.00 SH). This course serves as an introduction for students who have chosen biology or molecular biology as a major or minor. A combination of lectures, laboratory exercises, and assignments will introduce students to ways of observing and thinking about fundamental concepts and processes in the following areas of biology—biochemistry, cell structure and function, metabolism, genetics, and biotechnology. Various resources will be utilized to reinforce biological concepts, learn new laboratory skills, and improve critical thinking skills. Multiple sections offered every Fall Semester; one section offered every Spring Semester. Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

BIO 202 Organismal Biology & Ecology (4.00 SH). An integrative evolution-themed exploration of structure and function in plants and animals, along with study of interactions of organisms at the population, community and broader scales.

BIO 206 Biostatistics & Experim Design (QR) (4.00 SH). An introductory course in experimental design and data analysis designed to encourage an understanding and appreciation of the role of experimentation, hypothesis testing, and data analysis in biology. The course will emphasize principles of experimental design, methods of data collection, exploratory data analysis, and the use of graphical and statistical tools commonly used by biologists to analyze data. Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 201. Offered every semester. Meets Quantitative Reasoning (QR) IP

BIO 301 Microbiology (4.00 SH). A study of the diversity in viruses, bacteria, fungi, and algae with an emphasis on the role of evolution in generating the diversity found in microorganisms. Consideration will be given to various energy metabolisms, genetic strategies, molecular systematics, and microbial adaptations that allow such diversity. Also considered will be the importance of microorganisms in medical, industrial, and environmental settings. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 201. Offered Spring Semester.

BIO 360 Ecology (4.00 SH). A study of the structure of ecological populations, communities, and ecosystems, and the processes that affect them. Topics include population growth, regulation and dynamics, population interactions, food webs, species diversity, succession, biogeography, and energy flow and nutrient cycling. Laboratories stress experimental design and data analysis. Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 202. Offered every Spring Semester. (Also listed as ES 360.)

BIO 361 Biological Diversity (4.00 SH). This course is an examination of principles and practices of conserving global biological diversity. Conservation biology draws from various sub disciplines of biology including ecology, genetics, evolution, and biogeography. The course begins with an analysis of the global distribution of biodiversity and examines patterns of biodiversity at genetic, species, ecosystem, and landscape levels. Emphasis is placed the main threats to biodiversity and the consequences of loss of biodiversity. Students will also examine tools and strategies for conserving biodiversity and discuss the application of conservation biology in today's society. Laboratory exercises focus on specific topics including assessment and monitoring of species diversity in the field, population viability modeling, and the design of nature reserves. Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 202. Offered every other Fall Semester.

BIO 461 Field Biology (4.00 SH). This course examines the local flora and fauna and is based upon field observation, natural history, and identification of local plants and animals. The lab component will involve extensive field work, including techniques for monitoring and assessment, and will be a major focus of this course. Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 338, 360, or 361.

BIO 463 Marine Biology (4.00 SH). A detailed study of marine organisms and their interactions with physical, chemical, and biological factors in their environment. Adaptations of the most important groups of marine organisms will be examined from evolutionary, ecological, and physiological points of view. Major marine ecosystems will be described. In addition, the course will examine how marine organisms and ecosystems are affected by human activities and how those activities affect the future of ocean resources on Earth. Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 338, 360, or 361. Offered Spring Semester, alternate years.

BIO 464 Freshwater Biology (4.00 SH). A study of inland water systems, including lakes, rivers, estuaries, and wetlands. The biological, physical, and chemical features of these systems are described, and the interaction between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems is discussed. A laboratory emphasizing field work is included. Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 338, 360, or 361.

BIO 520 Biology Travel Course (SD) (2.00 SH). A combination of on-campus study, with off-campus study in a natural setting to gain firsthand knowledge of biological concepts and principles that are particularly well illustrated in the region being studied. Experiential, problem-based learning is emphasized. The specific region, topics, and focus are likely to change with each offering. Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

CHE 117 Principles of Chemistry (SD) (4.00 SH). A course emphasizing stoichiometry, chemical equilibria, acids and bases, chemical kinetics, thermodynamics, electrochemistry, nuclear phenomena, and interactions of science and society. In the laboratory program students will investigate chemical systems, analyze observations and data, devise explanations, and communicate results. Prerequisites: High school chemistry and an acceptable score on a placement test or completion of CHE 111 or ES 160 with a grade of C- or better. Offered Fall and Spring semesters. Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

CHE 180 Inorganic Chemistry (4.00 SH). A study of the energetics of the bonding and reactions of inorganic compounds. Emphasis is given to the periodicity of the chemical and physical properties of the elements. Major themes of the course include effective nuclear charge, lattice energy, charge density, acid/base theories, and the descriptive chemistry of all of the elements. The laboratory includes the investigation of the energetics of reactions, the synthesis and analysis of coordination compounds, qualitative chemistry, and the communication of results. Prerequisite: CHE 117 with a grade of C- or better. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

CHE 230 Chemical Analysis (4.00 SH). A study of the theoretical foundation and skills necessary for the solution of problems encountered in the area of quantitative chemical analysis, including classical and modern methods. Emphasis is given to the evaluation and presentation of data, sampling, equilibrium dynamics of analytically important reactions, experimental design, volumetric techniques, absorption and emission spectroscopy, electrochemical methods, and analytical separations. Examples and laboratory exercises will include environmental air, soil and water systems. Prerequisites: CHE 117, and MTH 135, MTH 150 or BIO 206 (may be co-requisite) with grades of C- or better. Offered Fall and Spring semesters. (Also listed as ES 230.)

CHE 231 Environmental Analysis (4.00 SH). A study of the theoretical foundation and skills in the area of quantitative chemical analysis, including classical and modern methods, as applied to environmental measurements. Emphasis is given to the evaluation and presentation of data, sampling, equilibrium dynamics of analytically important reactions, experimental design, volumetric techniques, absorption and emission spectroscopy, electrochemical methods, analytical separations, and field measurements. All examples and laboratory exercises will focus on environmental applications of chemical analysis. Prerequisites: CHE 117, and MTH 131, 135, 150, or BIO 206. (Also listed as ES 231.)

CHE 261 Organic Chemistry I (4.00 SH). An overview of organic chemistry. Organic molecules are compared by their functional group, focusing on nomenclature, physical properties, and the major chemical reactions used in synthesis and identification. Emphasis is also given to the areas of acidity, basicity, stereochemistry, aromaticity, and spectroscopy. Laboratory activities involve techniques for determination of physical and chemical properties, and methods of purification. Prerequisite: CHE 117 with a grade of C- or better. Offered Fall and Spring semesters.

CHE 262 Organic Chemistry II (4.00 SH). A study of organic reactivity. This course details organic molecules by reactivity and emphasizes the differences between organic reactions. Specifically, organic reactions will be surveyed by type of reaction keying on the movement of electrons, molecular orbitals, and energetics. Spectroscopy is employed to monitor structural changes. Laboratory activities also probe the reactivity of molecules and explore the relationship between structure and reactivity. Prerequisite: CHE 261 with a grade of C- or better. Offered Spring Semester.

CHE 340 Instrumental Analysis (4.00 SH). A study of modern instrumentation used in the investigation of chemical systems. The theory, design, and application of spectroscopic, electrochemical, and surface analysis techniques are discussed. Basic electronics and the relationship between signal and noise are also discussed. Prerequisites: CHE 230 and PHY 142 or 152. Offered Fall Semester, alternate years.

CHE 375 Green Chemistry (4.00 SH). A study of the principles, concepts, and applications of green chemistry. Particular attention will be given to industrial processes, catalysis, waste management, and renewable resources. Discussions will focus on the current literature on green chemistry. While the course does not include a laboratory, students will participate in a project that applies the principles of green chemistry to a laboratory experiment used in the chemistry curriculum. This project will serve as the culminating experience for the course. Prerequisites: CHE 230 and CHE 261.

CHE 381 Biochemistry Principles (4.00 SH). A study of proteins, carbohydrates, lipids and nucleic acids in a biological context. Emphasis is placed on the relationship between the structure and function of these biomolecules. Other topics include methodologies to analyze biomolecules, membranes, transport, kinetics, and biosignaling. Prerequisites: CHE 261 and BIO 201. Offered most semesters.

GEL 121 Intro to Geology (SD) (4.00 SH). An introductory study of the earth, its materials, its structure, the forces which act upon it and modify it, human interactions with the earth, and the earth’s history. The laboratory includes field work in the area, as well as in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and/or West Virginia. (PreK-4 early childhood education/preK-8 special education majors may use this course to meet the physical science requirement). Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

MTH 135 Concepts of Statistics (QR) (4.00 SH). An introduction to the concepts of statistics. Topics include graphical and numerical summaries of data, confidence intervals and significance tests about hypotheses. Emphasis is placed on conceptual understanding and interpretation of data and statistics. Not available to students who have credit for ECO 220, PSY 201, SSC 251, BIO 206. (Offered Spring semester.) Meets Quantitative Reasoning Intellectual Perspective requirement (QR).

MTH 150 Calculus I (QR) (4.00 SH). This course will focus on the fundamentals of differential calculus. Topics considered include functions, limits, continuous functions, differentiation and integration of functions with one real variable, applications of differentiation and the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus. Students will be introduced to some basic calculus proofs. This course is suggested for all students who expect to continue for any advanced degree including finance, law, and medicine. (Offered every semester.) Meets Quantitative Reasoning Intellectual Perspective requirement (QR).

MTH 152 Calculus II (QR) (4.00 SH). This course will focus on the fundamentals of integral calculus, including techniques and applications of integration. Other topics include infinite series and introductory topics from differential equations. Prerequisite: C- or better in MTH 150 or the permission of the instructor. (Offered every semester.) Meets Quantitative Reasoning Intellectual Perspective requirement (QR).

PHY 141 Foundations Physics I (SD) (4.00 SH). The first semester of an introductory study of physics (mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, waves, light and modern physics) without calculus. Basic principles used in both semesters are introduced in the first semester. Some emphasis will be given to applications of physics to biological systems. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: a good background in high school mathematics including algebra and trigonometry. Offered Fall Semester. Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

PHY 142 Foundations Physics II (4.00 SH). The second semester of an introductory study of physics (mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, waves, light and modern physics) without calculus. Some emphasis will be given to applications of physics to biological systems. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: PHY 141 or PHY 151. Offered Spring Semester.

PHY 151 Principles Physics I (SD) (4.00 SH). The first semester of an introductory study of physics (mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, waves, light and modern physics). Basic principles used in both semesters are introduced in the first semester. Some basic concepts of calculus may be introduced as needed. A laboratory is included. Co-requisite: MTH 150 or higher. Offered Fall Semester. Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

PHY 152 Principles Physics II (4.00 SH). The second semester of an introductory study of physics (mechanics, heat, electricity, magnetism, waves, light and modern physics). Calculus methods will be used. A laboratory is included. Prerequisite: PHY 151; Co-requisite: MTH 152 or higher. Offered Spring Semester.

PS 242 Environmental Policy & Politics (4.00 SH). This course explores “the environment” as a focus of public policy, an issue in political debate, and a basis for thinking about the purposes of political life. It reviews some of the classic readings in environmentalism, considers domestic and international policy approaches to major issues such as climate change, clean air and water, and sustainable development, and explores the ways in which thinking “environmentally” challenges our standard assumptions about policy-making and political life. Prerequisite: PS 101 or consent of instructor.

 

What can you do with an Environmental Science degree?

Imagine yourself an environmental consultant, environmental regulator, environmental lawyer, conservation scientist, or sustainability analyst.