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Environmental Sciences

Environmental Sciences | Courses

312 Stockbridge Hall

Degree: Bachelor of Science

Contact: Sandy Barron
Office: 312 Stockbridge
Phone: (413) 545-5226
E-mail: sbarron@nre.umass.edu
Website: www.umass.edu/envsci/

The Environmental Sciences program offers an interdisciplinary major in the College of Natural Resources and the Environment. Cooperating disciplines are: Food Science; Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning; Microbiology; Natural Resources Conservation; Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences; Resource Economics; Veterinary and Animal Sciences.

Program Director: Professor Guy R. Lanza. Contributing faculty: Food Science—Professor Levin; Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning—Professor Ryan; Microbiology—Professors Leschine, Nüsslein; Natural Resources Conservation—Professors Fuller, Griffin, Kittredge; Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences—Professors Bhowmik, Manning, Parkash, Simkins, Vittum, Xing; Resource Economics—Professors Field, Stevens, Stranlund; Veterinary and Animal Sciences—Professors Arcaro, Clark; Lecturers Haynes, Hellem, Marshall, Olock, Tayeh, Weiss.

The Field

Environmental Sciences employs an interdisciplinary approach to teaching, research, and outreach. Students learn how to meet the challenges of creating a safe and healthy environment and how to recognize and control the impact of pollution and environmental stress on ecosystems. Faculty and students seek practical solutions to complex environmental problems by crossing traditional disciplinary boundaries. Students learn how to integrate and apply knowledge from the appropriate areas of basic science, economics, and policy. Environmental Sciences faculty and students address problems caused by ecosystem degradation from physical alteration of the environment and chemical contaminants from industrial activities, agriculture, food production, and inadequate resource management.

The Environmental Sciences program is the only academic unit on campus providing a B.S. degree in Environmental Sciences. Environmental Sciences faculty teach a series of courses with the ENVIRSCI designation as well as disciplinary courses in their department that apply to the Environmental Sciences major. The curriculum includes innovative course offerings that extend the traditional classroom experience to outreach activities including environmental applications and problem solving in off-campus community settings. Specialty courses expose students to a blend of academic and practical knowledge that includes environmental site assessment (ASTM-EPA procedures), hazardous waste operations and emergency response (OSHA Certification), environmental applications of GIS technologies, and novel approaches to recycling non-traditional waste materials. Environmental Sciences majors are prepared for immediate employment upon graduation or have the option of embarking on graduate studies in environmental biology, chemistry, toxicology, policy, and law.

The Major

All majors take required courses which provide a background in natural sciences, mathematics, and environmental studies. First-year students attend a required seminar to discuss critical environmental issues with faculty and outside speakers.

A core curriculum of four courses and a Junior Year Writing course are also required for all majors. These core requirements provide a solid foundation in the social and scientific aspects of environmental problems. Students learn how to apply scientific data to solve complex environmental problems and to establish coherent environmental policy options to protect and sustain the environment.

A diverse selection of upper-level courses allows students to work with their faculty adviser to design a unique curriculum tailored to their individual interests and needs. Students combine related courses in a General Track of study, or select a specific concentration in: Biology, Health Sciences, Toxicology and Chemistry or Policy.

Environmental Biology—provides an ecological perspective on the relationships and interdependence of organisms in terrestrial and aquatic habitats, with emphasis on the effects of human activities on the biota.

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry— focuses on the impacts of environmental contaminants on the biota with emphasis on the analytical chemistry, biochemistry, and ecotoxicology of pollutants in the air, water, and soil.

Environmental Policy—applies scientific knowledge to address public policy issues on the environment using economic analysis, regulation, administration, enforcement, and law.

Basic science and math requirements:
BIOLOGY 100, 101 Introductory Biology I, II, or equivalent
CHEM 111, 112 General Chemistry I, II
CHEM 250 Organic Chemistry
CHEM 261, 262/269 Organic Chemistry I, II/Lab
MATH 127, 128 Calculus I, II
RES-ECON 211 Introductory Statistics for the Life Sciences
RES-ECON 262 Environmental Economics
Also recommended: CMPSCI 105 or 121 or equivalent

Required department courses:
112 Fundamentals of the Environment
213 Introduction to Environmental Policy
214 Principles of Environmental Biology
315 Principles of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
380 Writing in Environmental Sciences
191A, 194A Introductory Seminars

After completing core requirements, students choose four upper level courses in the environmental sciences concentration. Students desiring to concentrate within a specific area must select from approved courses within the concentration; students in the general environmental sciences area may select courses from among any approved offerings. Courses associated with the concentrations are:

Environmental Biology
BIOLOGY 283 General Genetics
BIOLOGY 421 Plant Ecology
BIOLOGY 528 Principles of Evolution
BIOLOGY 542 Ichthyology
CE-ENGIN 575 Advanced Solid and Hazardous Waste Management
ENVIRSCI 504 Air Pollution and Climate Change Biology
ENVIRSCI 515 Microbiology of Soil
ENVIRSCI 535 Methods in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
GEO-SCI 354 Climatology
MICROBIO 310/312 General Microbiology/Lab
W&FCONSV 470 Fish Ecology
W&FCONSV 564 Wildlife Habitat Management
W&FCONSV 565 Dynamics and Management of Wildlife Populations

Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
BIOCHEM 420 Elementary Biochemistry
BIOCHEM 524 General Biochemistry
BIOLOGY 283 General Genetics
CHEM 312 Analytical Chemistry
CHEM 315 Quantitative Analysis
ENVIRSCI 504 Air Pollution and Climate Change Biology
ENVIRSCI 515 Microbiology of Soil
ENVIRSCI 535 Methods in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
ENVIRSCI 555 Environmental Toxicology in Context
ENVIRSCI 575 Environmental Soil Chemistry
ENVIRSCI 585 Animal and Environmental Toxicology
GEO-SCI 519 Aqueous and Environmental Geochemistry
MICROBIO 310 General Microbiology
MICROBIO 330 Microbial Genetics
MICROBIO 560 Microbial Diversity
PLNTSOIL 555 Urban Environment and Plant Growth
PLNTSOIL 597O Organic Contaminants in Soils, Waters, and Sediments
PLNTSOIL 597X Inorganic Contaminants in Soil, Water, and Sediment

Environmental Policy
ECON 308 Political Economy of the Environment
ENVIRSCI 342 Pesticides, the Environment, and Public Policy
GEO-SCI 362 Land Use and Society
NRC 382 Human Dimensions of Natural Resource Management
NRC 409 Natural Resources Policy and Administration
PLSOILIN 385 Laboratory in Agricultural Biotechnology
POLISCI 382 Environmental Policy
REGIONPL 553 Resource Policy and Planning
RES-ECON 263 Natural Resource Economics
RES-ECON 471 Benefit-Cost Analysis of Natural Resource Programs
W&FCONSV 564 Wildlife Habitat Management
W&FCONSV 571 Fisheries Science and Management

The Minor

The minor in Environmental Sciences is intended for students from related majors who wish to increase their awareness and understanding of the nature of environmental concerns and decision making. It is structured to expose students to the various perspectives of the field. A minor in Environmental Sciences can be earned by completing two core courses plus at least three courses selected from the concentration areas—Environmental Policy, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and Environmental Biology and Health—for a minimum total of 15 credits. Students must take at least one course in each concentration area.

1) Select two of the four core courses:
112 Fundamentals of the Environment*
213 Introduction to Environmental Policy
214 Principles of Environmental Biology
315 Principles of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

*Substitution permitted: ENVIRSCI 101, NRC 100.

2) Select one course from each concentration:

A) Environmental Policy
ENVIRSCI 213 (if not already chosen as a core course)
NRC 409 Natural Resources Policy and Administration
POLISCI 280 Public Policy
POLISCI 382 Environmental Policy
RES-ECON 263 Natural Resource Economics
RES-ECON 471 Benefit-Cost Analysis of Natural Resource Programs

B) Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry
ENVIRSCI 315 (if not already chosen as a core course)
ENVIRSCI 504 Air Pollution Biology
ENVIRSCI 515 Microbiology of Soil
ENVIRSCI 555 Environmental Toxicology in Context
ENVIRSCI 575 Environmental Soil Chemistry
ENVIRSCI 585 Animal and Environmental Toxicology
GEO-SCI 519 Aqueous and Environmental Geochemistry
PLNTSOIL 597O Organic Contaminants in Soils, Waters, and Sediments

C) Environmental Biology
BIOLOGY 421 Plant Ecology
ENVIRSCI 214 Principles of Environmental Biology (if not already chosen as a core course)
MICROBIO 310/312 General Microbiology
MICROBIO 390E Microbial Ecology
PLNTSOIL 555 Urban Environment and Plant Growth

Further details on course work and electives are listed on the program website, www.umass.edu/envsci/ and in the Environmental Sciences: Guide to Undergraduate Studies; copies are available from the Environmental Sciences Program, 312 Stockbridge Hall.

Career Opportunities

The B.S. degree in Environmental Sciences leads to a variety of career opportunities in private industry and governmental agencies concerned with environmental quality assessment, community environment programs, and interagency coordination in environmental quality maintenance. Many majors will continue studies at the graduate level in such diverse fields as environmental microbiology, ecotoxicology, environmental sciences education, environmental engineering, and environmental law.

Environmental Sciences | Courses