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Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies

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  • Course description
    Increasing population, technological demands, and the continued quest for a higher standard of living impose expanding demands on finite global resources.  Environmental Studies students and faculty study the effects of these stresses on the earth and its inhabitants in the classroom, field, and laboratories.  The Division offers a major in Environmental Studies with three possible tracks (Natural Science, Social Science, Environmental Science), depending on your particular interest. A minor in Environmental Studies is also available.

    Hands-on, interactive learning
    All our majors engage in independent undergraduate research projects as part of the Environmental Studies program. The topics of these projects vary greatly, depending on the interests of the students.  We firmly believe that students learn by “doing” and incorporate hands-on, interactive learning in virtually all of our courses.

    Outstanding equipment and facilities
     
    To aid in these projects, we have a vast array of state-of-the-art field, laboratory, and computer equipment available for all of our students to use.  This includes an ion chromatograph, atomic absorption spectrophotometer, and instrumentation to perform capillary zone electrophoresis, all used for the analysis of water samples; a fully-equipped Geographic Information Systems (GIS) laboratory complete with two sub-meter scale Global Positioning Systems units, a dedicated GIS specialist, a 36-inch color plotter, and the latest version of the most frequently used GIS software; and a variety of equipment for soil testing, including compaction meter, soil moisture collectors, microscopes, and wet-laboratory equipment.

    In our Environmental Imaging Lab, we have several very high quality light microscopes, including one that has special capability to do mineralogical analysis of rock samples.  To go along with these microscopes we have a high resolution digital imaging system and a dedicated computer plus software to allow research microscopy of small inorganic particles and microscopic organisms.  Additionally, we have a separate digital imaging system that utilizes scanned images, oriented to analyzing the growth rings of trees for ecological and climatological analyses.  This system complements and enhances the dissection microscopes we have that are used for traditional examination of tree rings.  We also have tree ring corers and facilities for preparation of cored tree sections for image analysis.

    Finally, because environmental research often involves field work, we have a variety of instruments used for field sampling and analysis, including a “Hydrolab” for analyzing a variety of water parameters in the field; sediment and water samplers, including two automated, programmable water samplers; flow meters; field dissolved oxygen, pH, and electrical conductivity meters; and two boats.  We also have two field facilities on or very close to campus: a hydrologic field laboratory, consisting of seven groundwater wells, which is fully instrumented to measure and record water levels, temperature, electrical conductivity, pressure, etc.; and the Foster Lake property, a 223-acre property consisting of the lake and surrounding forest, which is used as a field laboratory for Environmental Studies classes and student research.

    All of the facilities are available for students to use in classes and on research projects. Additional research facilities are available on campus in the other science and engineering departments, making Alfred University’s Environmental Studies department one of the best equipped undergraduate programs in the country.  Faculty in the department routinely hire undergraduates as interns or research assistants in the summer, allowing students to get even more experience with research projects and instrumentation.  All of these experiences, inside and outside of the classroom, prepare Environmental Studies students for a wide variety of career opportunities and post-graduate education in fields related to the study of the environment.

    Major Requirements

    Natural Science Track

    Core: All Courses Required ( [ ] designates credits hours)
    ENVS 101 Environmental Studies I - Natural Science [4]
    or 103 Principles of Geography [4]
    ENVS 102 Environmental Studies II - Social Science [4]
    ENVS 205 Environmental Data Analysis [4]
    ENVS 240 Environmental Research Procedures I [3]
    ENVS 241 Environmental Research Procedures II [3]
    ENVS 360 Junior Seminar [1]
    ENVS 440 Research Planning [2]
    ENVS 490 Senior Seminar [2]
    ENVS 499 Senior Year Project [2-4]
    or 495 ARGUS Project [2-4]
    POLS 214 Politics and Environment [2]
    ECON 201 Introduction to Economics and Markets [4]

    Breadth I: Two courses
    BIOL 111 Modern Biology w/ Human Implications [4]
    or 201 Biology I [4]
    CHEM 103 Basic Chemistry [4]
    or 105 General Chemistry [4]
    ENVS 110 Methods in Environmental Science [4]
    ENVS 220 Introduction to GIS [4]
    GEOL 101 Physical Geology [4]
    PHYS 111 Introductory General Physics I [4]
    or 125 Physics I [4]

    Breadth II: Two courses
    ANTH 200 Introductory Cultural Anthropology [4]
    ANTH 310 Cultural Anthropology and Disease [4]
    ECON 312 Environmental Economics [3]
    ENGL 293 A Place in the Universe [2]
    ENVS 201 Environmentalism [2]
    ENVS 204 Environmental History [2]
    ENVS 250 Spirituality and the Environment [3]
    ENVS 345 International Environmental Politics [4]
    ENVS 415 Natural Resources Management [3]
    PHIL 207 Ethics [4]
    POLS 240 Deep Ecology [2-4]
    POLS 315 Environmental Law [2]
    POLS 345 Global Ecopolitcs [4]
    PSYC 285 Environmental Psychology [4]
    SOCI 376 Technology, Values, and Environment [4]
    SOCI 388 Populations [4]

    Natural Science Track:
    Three courses (at least 11 credits) from among those listed, with no more than two 100-level courses.
    BIOL 202 Biology II [4]
    BIOL 311 Invertebrate Zoology [4]
    BIOL 322 Botany [4]
    BIOL 345 Vertebrate Natural History [4]
    BIOL 354 Ecology [4]
    BIOL 356 Aquatic Ecology [4]
    ENVS 320 Advanced GIS
    ENVS 397 Water Lab [1]
    CHEM 106 General Chemistry II [4]
    CHEM 310 Basic Organic Chemistry [3]
    or 315 Organic Chemistry I [4]
    CHEM 316 Organic Chemistry II [4]
    CHEM 321 Introduction of Analytical Chemistry [4]
    ENVS 320 Advanced GIS [4]
    ENVS 351 Environmental Biogeochemistry [4]
    GEOL 201 Surficial Geology [4]
    GEOL 301 Structural Geology [4]
    GEOL 307 Stratigraphy and Sedimentation [4]
    GEOL 464 Hydrogeology [4]
    PHYS 112 Introductory General Physics II [4]
    or 126 Physics II [4]

    Social Science Track

    Core: All Courses Required ([ ] designates credits hours)
    ENVS 101 Environmental Studies I - Natural Science [4]
    or 103 Principles of Geography [4]
    ENVS 102 Environmental Studies II - Social Science [4]
    ENVS 240 Environmental Research Procedures I [3]
    ENVS 241 Environmental Research Procedures II [3]
    ENVS 360 Junior Seminar [1]
    ENVS 440 Research Planning [2]
    ENVS 490 Senior Seminar [2]
    ENVS 499 Senior Year Project [2-4]
    or 495 ARGUS Project [2-4]
    ENVS 205 Environmental Data Analysis [4]
    or POLS 230 Introductory Data Analysis & Statistics [3]
    or SOCI 230 Introductory Data Analysis & Statistics [3]
    or PSYC 220 Psychological Methods & Statistics [4]
    or BUSI 113 Business Statistics [4]
    POLS 214 Politics and Environment [2]
    ECON 201 Introduction to Economics and Markets [4]

    Breadth: Two courses
    BIOL 111 Modern Biology with Human Implications [4]
    or 201 Biology I [4]
    CHEM 103 Basic Chemistry [4]
    or 105 General Chemistry [4]
    ENVS 110 Methods in Environmental Science [4]
    ENVS 220 Introduction to GIS [4]
    GEOL 101 Physical Geology [4]
    PHYS 111 Introductory General Physics I [4]
    or 125 Physics I [4]

    Social Science Emphasis:
    Five courses (at least 18 credits) from among the following:
    ANTH 200 Introductory Cultural Anthropology [4]
    ANTH 310 Cultural Ecology and Disease [4]
    ECON 202 Principles of Macroeconomics [3]
    ECON 312 Environmental Economics [3]
    ENGL 293 A Place in the Universe [2]
    ENVS 201 Environmentalism [2]
    ENVS 204 Environmental History [2]
    ENVS 250 Spirituality and the Environment [3]
    ENVS 345 International Environmental Politics [4]
    ENVS 320 Advanced GIS [4]
    ENVS 415 Natural Resources Management [3]
    PHIL 207 Ethics [4]
    POLS 212 American State Governments and Politics [2]
    POLS 240 Deep Ecology [2-4]
    POLS 315 Environmental Law [2]
    POLS 345 Global Ecopolitics [4]
    PSYC 280 Social Psychology [4]
    PSYC 285 Environmental Psychology [4]
    SOCI 376 Technology, Values, and Environment [4]
    SOCI 388 Populations [4]

    Environmental Science Track

    Core: All Courses Required ( [ ] designates credits hours)
    ENVS 101 Environmental Studies I - Natural Science [4]
    or 103 Principles of Geography [4]
    ENVS 102 Environmental Studies II - Social Science [4]
    ENVS 240 Environmental Research Procedures I [3]
    ENVS 241 Environmental Research Procedures II [3]
    ENVS 360 Junior Seminar [1]
    ENVS 440 Research Planning [2]
    ENVS 490 Senior Seminar [2]
    ENVS 499 Senior Year Project [2]
    or 495 ARGUS Project [2-4]
    ENVS 205 Environmental Data Analysis [4]
    MATH 151 Calculus I [4]

    Breadth: 20 credit hours
    BIOL 102 Biology I [4]
    CHEM 105 General Chemistry [4]
    CHEM 106 General Chemistry II [4]
    ENVS 220 Introduction to GIS [4]
    GEOL 101 Physical Geology [4]
    MATH 152 Calculus II [4]
    PHYS 111 Introductory General Physics I [4]
    or 125 Physics I [4]
    PHYS 112 Introductory General Physics II [4]
    or 126 Physics II [4]

    Depth: Three courses (totaling at least 11 credits)
    BIOL 322 Botany [4]
    BIOL 354 Ecology [4]
    BIOL 356 Aquatic Ecology [4]
    ENVS 325 Water Quality Management [4]
    ENVS 397 Water Lab [1]
    CHEM 310 Basic Organic Chemistry [3]
    or 315 Organic Chemistry [4}
    CHEM 321 Introduction to Analytical Chemistry [4]
    ENVS 320 Advanced GIS [4]
    ENVS 351 Environmental Biogeochemistry [4]
    GEOL 201 Surficial Geology [4]
    GEOL 464 Hydrogeology [4]

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