Environmental Studies

The environmental studies major is designed so that a student specializes in one of the following areas of emphasis or options: analytic, earth sciences, geography and planning, or life science. Each option is designed for the student to develop enough depth in that discipline to continue on to graduate school in that discipline. The courses required in each option, however, are also chosen with the intent that a student with a Bachelor’s degree is competitive in the environmental job market. A B.S. degree and a minor are offered.

Analytic Option

The analytic option is designed to produce chemists who are particularly interested in the chemical pollutants that are being released into the air, earth and water environments of our planet. They may find jobs with local and state health departments, state and national environmental protection agencies, local testing laboratories, as well as in the private chemical-producing industries. Typically graduates work as laboratory and field technicians who sample and analyze chemical pollutants. Advisor: Dr. Frederic Laquer.

Earth Sciences Option

The earth sciences option is designed to prepare students for a career in environmental geology. Today many environmental problems are associated with the earth and our use of it. Thus, contamination of surface and underground waters, pollution of the soil and construction of dams and other large structures all require earth science environmental specialists to either help alleviate the problem created by misuse, or avoid environmental problems during project development. Many public and private agencies, including engineering and construction firms, have jobs for people trained in this area.
Advisors: Dr. Harmon Maher or Dr. Bob Shuster.

Geography and Planning Option

The geography and planning option is primarily designed to produce local and regional planning specialists who have a good understanding of environmental problems. Anytime humans change the nature of the landscape by constructing new housing developments, highways, shopping centers, etc. a potentially negative environmental impact to the natural landscape exists. Today planners who are environmentally sensitive are in great demand to help avoid the common confrontations that arise between developers and those groups that are affected by the project. Advisor: Dr. Jeff Peake.

Life Science Option

The life science option is designed to prepare a student for jobs in environmental biology and related fields. These include working as pollution monitoring technicians for various public agencies such as county and state health departments, as well as state and national environmental protection agencies; students may also find themselves attracted to jobs with local, regional and national nature conservation agencies, both public and private. These jobs may involve monitoring endangered species, evaluating habitat, making inventories of wildlife, or interpreting nature as a ranger in a public or private environmental education center. Adviser: Dr. John McCarty.

Environmental Studies - Core Curriculum

All environmental studies majors complete a core of courses which provide breadth and a fundamental understanding of the legal and regulatory framework that guides environmental sciences. Within each option, students complete in-depth course work in their discipline, as well as supporting courses in related disciplines. In addition to the courses listed here, students are encouraged to select courses in environmental ethics (PHIL 3180), environmental sociology (SOC 3850), and economics (ECON 2200) as part of their university and college general education requirements. Note that some required course areas may be fulfilled by several options as approved by an environmental studies advisor. Students who are unsure about which option to choose should contact the Director of the Environmental Studies Program or one of the advisors listed above.

Courses needed to fulfill the core curriculum include ENVN 2010; BIOL 1330*; CHEM 1010**; GEOL 1010***; ECON 2200; GEOG 1030 or GEOG 1060 or GEOG 1070; ENVN 4820 (or approved alternative); PHIL 3180 or SOC 3850 (or an approved alternative); an approved course in statistics; an approved course in GIS or geospatial science; ENVN 4610; ENVN 4800.

*not required for the life science option

**not required for the analytic option

***not required for the earth science option

Environmental Studies - Option Curricula

Courses required to fulfill the Environmental Studies - Analytic Option are ENVN 2010, 4610, 4800, and 4820; approved courses in statistics and in GIS or geospatial science; BIOL 1330 and 2440; GEOL 1010; GEOG 1030 or 1060 or 1070; CHEM 1180-1184, 1190-1194, 2210-2214 or 2250/2260- 2274, plus 2400, 2404, 2500, 3350, 3354, 3414, 3650, 3654 and 3030. Also required are; MATH 1950 and 1960, PHYS 2110, 2120, 1154, and 1164; and NSCI 3940. GEOG 4010 and an additional course in geology (GEOL 1170, 2600, or 4540) or physical geography (GEOG 2620, 3510, or 4630) are strongly recommended.

The Environmental Studies - Earth Science Option requires: ENVN 2010, 4610, 4800, and 4820; approved courses in statistics and in GIS or geospatial science; BIOL 1330; CHEM 1010 or 3030, plus one of the following chemistry sequences: CHEM 1140-1144, 2210- 2214, 3650-3654 or 1180-1184, 1190-1194, 2210-2214. Also required are PHYS 1050- 1054 or 1110-1154 or 2110-1154, and ENGL 3980 or ENGR 3000. Required courses in earth sciences are: GEOL 1170 and 4260 and an additional 27 hours chosen from the following courses: GEOL 1180, 2300, 2500, 2600, 2750-2754, 2760-2764, 3300, 3310, 3400, 4400, 4540, and GEOG 3510, 4010, 4100, 4320, 4330, or 4630 (or other courses as approved by an adviser).

The Environmental Studies - Geography and Planning Option requires ENVN 2010, 4610, 4800, and 4820; BIOL 1330 plus two additional approved courses in biology (BIOL 1020, 3340, 3530, 4120, 4180, 4210); CHEM 1010 and 1014; GEOL 1010; GEOG 1030 or 1060 or 1070; PHYS 1050/1054; an approved course in statistics and two approved courses in computer science. Courses required within the discipline include: GEOG 1020, 4120 and an additional approved course in human geography; two approved courses in physical geography (GEOG 3440, 3510, 4100, 4260, 4320, 4330, 4340); GEOG 3530, 3540, and two additional approved courses in geospatial sciences (GEOG 4020, 4030, 4050, 4630, 4660). In addition, majors are advised to take additional course work in chemistry (CHEM 1140/1144).

The Environmental Studies - Life Science Option requires: ENVN 2010, 4610, 4800, and 4820; GEOL 1010; GEOG 1030 or 1060 or 1070; approved courses in statistics and in GIS or geospatial science; CHEM 1010 or 3030, plus one of the following chemistry sequences; CHEM 1140-1144, 2210-2214, 3650-3654; or CHEM 1180-1184, 1190-1194, 2210-2214, 3650-3654; or CHEM 1180-1184, 1190-1194, 2250, 2260-2274: one of the following physics sequences; PHYS 1050-1054 or 1110-1154 and 1120-1164. Required within the life sciences are: BIOL 1450, 1750, 2140, 2440 or 3020, 3340, 3530, 4120, plus two additional upper division courses in biology. Students fulfill the college requirement for writing in the discipline by completing the Department of Biology’s writing intensive courses as described under the Biology BS degree or by completing a college-approved third writing course.

Minor in Environmental Studies

A minor in environmental studies requires a minimum of 19 credit hours. Students must complete ENVN 2010, two courses from the following - BIOL 1330, CHEM 1010, GEOL 1010, GEOG 1030; plus 12 credit hours chosen from the following list, provided that those courses are not in the student’s major field of study: ENVN 4600, 4610, 4800, 4820; BIOL 3340, 3530, 3730, 4100, 4120, 4210, 4220, 4230, 4270, 4340, 4350, 4370, 4540, 4600, 4610, 4780, 4790, 4800, 4820, 4840, 4880, 4910, 4920, 4940, 4980; CHEM 3030, 3414, 3650/3654; GEOG 3130, 3510, 3530, 3540, 3930, 4010, 4020, 4030, 4050, 4100, 4120, 4250, 4260, 4320, 4330, 4340, 4610, 4630, 4820; GEOL 3300, 3310, 3400, 4540; PHIL 3180; SOC 3850. Exceptions must be approved by the Environmental Studies Coordinating Committee. Students interest in completing the minor should consult with the Director of the Environmental Studies Program.

For more information…

Please call 402.554.2849 or visit our webpage www.unomaha.edu/environmental_studies/