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Environmental Science Courses & Requirements

Degrees Offered:

  • B.A.: Environmental Science
  • B.S.: Environmental Science
  • Minor: Environmental Studies

Course Listings

  • Click here to read complete descriptions of the Environmental Science courses offered at Wittenberg.

Degree Overview:

Environmental Science Major

Common to both the B.A. and B.S. is a thematic emphasis that allows students to focus their study in areas of environmental science in which our faculty have interest and experience. Available themes currently include:

  • conservation biology
  • aquatic ecosystems
  • stream resources
  • water resources
  • wildlife management

Students work with their advisor and the program director to discuss interests and develop a plan of study.

Environmental Studies Minor

Students need a broad range of courses to understand thoroughly and work successfully on environmental problems that are inherently interdisciplinary. This minor gives an environmental focus to any major and offers the breadth of knowledge that complements the in-depth study required of a traditional discipline. Our graduates develop the problem-solving skills and critical-thinking ability that make them more appealing to prospective employers and graduate schools.

Interdepartmental Major

With the approval of the provost and the Environmental Science Program Committee, students can create an interdepartmental major composed of courses selected from several departments but all contributing to some unified purpose or theme. For students interested in a major in environmental studies or sustainability, where the focus of the major shifts from environmental science to policy-related, economic or social dimensions of the environment, an interdepartmental major would be appropriate.

3-2 Program with Duke University

For exceptional students, Wittenberg has a cooperative program with Duke University's School for the Environment. Students spend three years at Wittenberg completing the courses required for a major concentration and Wittenberg's general education program. After two additional years of study in an environmental program at Duke, students receive a B.A. from Wittenberg and an M.A. from Duke.

Degree Requirements:

Major in Environmental Science (B.A.)

Complete 50 credits of coursework, including core environmental science courses, cognate courses, foundational and advanced courses focused on a theme of study, and a capstone experience. Students develop a theme of study in consultation with their advisor.

Examples of themes include conservation biology, aquatic ecosystems, stream resources, water resources and wildlife management.

Required in Environmental Science
Environmental Science 101B, 250, 290 and 494

Required in Social Sciences or Humanities
Eight credits from Communication 363, Economics 350, Philosophy 207R, Political Science 221S, Political Science 251, Political Science 320, Political Science 321, Political Science 332, Religion 177R, Religion 378R or additional courses as approved by the program.

Required in Statistics
Four credits from Mathematics 127Q or 227Q, Business 210Q or Psychology 201Q

Foundational Courses
At least 24 credits of foundational courses from two or more departments from the following list of approved courses, selected in consultation with an advisor in the Environmental Science Program and focused on a theme of study:

  • BIOL 170B: Concepts of Biology: Biological Information, Reproduction, and Evolution (5 credits)
  • BIOL 180B: Concepts of Biology: Energy and Resources in Biology (5 credits)
  • CHEM 121B: Models of Chemical Systems (5 credits)
  • CHEM 162B: Chemical Structure and Analysis (5 credits)
  • ESCI 100N: Climate Change (4 credits)
  • ESCI 291: Spatial Analysis in the Natural Sciences (cross-listed as GEOL 291) (2 credits)
  • ESCI 292: Remote Sensing (2 credits)
  • ESCI 293: Applied Problems in GIS (2 credits)
  • ESCI 294: GIS Applications (2 credits)
  • GEOL 150B: Physical Geology (5 credits)
  • GEOL 160B: Environmental Geology (5 credits)
  • GEOL 170B: Geology of the Critical Zone (5 credits)
  • PHYS 200B: Mechanics and Waves (5 credits)
  • Additional courses as approved by the program

Advanced Courses
At least 14 credits of advanced courses, including one course at the 300-level or higher, from the following list of approved courses, selected in consultation with an advisor in the Environmental Science Program and focused on a theme of study:

  • BIOL 230: Woody Plants (4 credits)
  • BIOL 233: Ornithology (5 credits)
  • BIOL 235: Morphology of Vascular Plants (5 credits)
  • BIOL 241: Freshwater Ecology (5 credits)
  • BIOL 242: Behavioral Ecology (5 credits)
  • BIOL 245: Introductory Wildlife Management (5 credits)
  • BIOL 250: Topics: Conservation Biology (5 credits)
  • BIOL 316: Molecular Genetics and Bioinformatics (5 credits)
  • BIOL 346: Ecology (5 credits)
  • BIOL 347: Evolution (4 credits)
  • CHEM 201: Introduction to Organic Chemistry (5 credits)
  • CHEM 281: Analytical Chemistry (5 credits)
  • ESCI 350: Biogeochemistry. (cross-listed at GEOL 350) (5 credits)
  • GEOL 240: Process Geomorphology (5 credits)
  • GEOL 315: Watershed Hydrology (4 credits)
  • Additional courses as approved by the program

Major in Environmental Science (B.S.)

Complete 67 credits of coursework, including core environmental science courses, cognate courses, foundational and advanced courses focused on a theme of study, and a capstone experience. Students develop a theme of study in consultation with their advisor.

Examples of themes include conservation biology, aquatic ecosystems, stream resources, water resources and wildlife management.

Required in Environmental Science
Environmental Science 101B, 250, 290 and 494 and at least one additional credit from Environmental Science 490, 491 or 492

Required in Social Sciences or Humanities
Eight credits from Communication 363, Economics 350, Philosophy 207R, Political Science 221S, Political Science 251, Political Science 320, Political Science 321, Political Science 332, Religion 177R, Religion 378R or additional courses as approved by the program

Required in Computer Science, Mathematics or Statistics
Four credits from Mathematics 127Q or 227Q, Business 210Q or Psychology 201Q and at least four credits from Mathematics 131Q, 201Q and 202Q, or Computer programming 150

Foundational Courses
At least 24 credits of foundational courses from two or more departments from the following list of approved courses, selected in consultation with an advisor in the Environmental Science Program and focused on a theme of study:

  • BIOL 170B: Concepts of Biology: Biological Information, Reproduction, and Evolution (5 credits)
  • BIOL 180B: Concepts of Biology: Energy and Resources in Biology (5 credits)
  • CHEM 121B: Models of Chemical Systems (5 credits)
  • CHEM 162B: Chemical Structure and Analysis (5 credits)
  • ESCI 100N: Climate Change (4 credits)
  • ESCI 291: Spatial Analysis in the Natural Sciences (cross-listed as GEOL 291) (2 credits)
  • ESCI 292: Remote Sensing (2 credits)
  • ESCI 293: Applied Problems in GIS (2 credits)
  • ESCI 294: GIS Applications (2 credits)
  • GEOL 150B: Physical Geology (5 credits)
  • GEOL 160B: Environmental Geology (5 credits)
  • GEOL 170B: Geology of the Critical Zone (5 credits)
  • PHYS 200B: Mechanics and Waves (5 credits)
  • Additional courses as approved by the program

Advanced Courses
At least 14 credits of advanced courses, including one course at the 300-level or higher, from the following list of approved courses, selected in consultation with an advisor in the Environmental Science Program and focused on a theme of study:

  • BIOL 230: Woody Plants (4 credits)
  • BIOL 233: Ornithology (5 credits)
  • BIOL 235: Morphology of Vascular Plants (5 credits)
  • BIOL 241: Freshwater Ecology (5 credits)
  • BIOL 242: Behavioral Ecology (5 credits)
  • BIOL 245: Introductory Wildlife Management (5 credits)
  • BIOL 250: Topics: Conservation Biology (5 credits)
  • BIOL 316: Molecular Genetics and Bioinformatics (5 credits)
  • BIOL 346: Ecology (5 credits)
  • BIOL 347: Evolution (4 credits)
  • CHEM 201: Introduction to Organic Chemistry (5 credits)
  • CHEM 281: Analytical Chemistry (5 credits)
  • ESCI 350: Biogeochemistry. (cross-listed at GEOL 350) (5 credits)
  • GEOL 240: Process Geomorphology (5 credits)
  • GEOL 315: Watershed Hydrology (4 credits)
  • Additional courses as approved by the program

Capstone Experience
A significant capstone experience in environmental science is required prior to ESCI 494: Senior Seminar. For students pursuing the B.A., extended field studies, field seminars or project-based courses provide ample opportunities for students to satisfy this requirement. For students pursuing the B.S., the capstone experience must be from an independent study, directed research or internship, including summer research or internship opportunities. These students are required to present the results of their work at a campus or professional research symposium (separate from the Senior Seminar poster presentation). Either the experience or its presentation must be credit-bearing (1-4 credits). Students will work in consultation with their advisors and the program director to determine appropriate capstone experiences.

Minor in Environmental Studies

The Environmental Studies minor consists of a minimum of 20 credits distributed along a theme of study to insure coherence and depth of study related to the environment. Students develop a theme of study in consultation with their minor advisor. Courses are distributed according to the following levels:

  • Level 1: Introductory core course from either ESCI 100 or ESCI 101 (4 credits)
  • Level 2: Introductory topical course from the list of approved courses (4 credits)
  • Level 3: Advanced topical or methods course from ESCI 250 or the list of approved courses (4 credits)
  • Level 4: Four credits in Geographic Information Systems from ESCI 290, 291, 292, 293 or 294 (4 credits)
  • Level 5: Application through independent study or internship from ENVS 490 or 491 or ESCI 490 or 491 (1-4 credits)

Within each level, students select one or more courses. To insure breadth of study, at least 16 credits of course work beyond the core course will be from outside the student's major department.

Approved Courses
Level 2: One course from Biology 230, 233, 239, 241, 242, 245, 247, 248B or 249B, Geology 240, Marine Science 200 or Political Science 221S or 223

Level 3: One course from Biology 346 or 347, Communication 363, Economics 350, Geology 315, Philosophy 305, or Political Science 320 or 321

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