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Environmental Science

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Departmental Mission Statement

Requirements for Major

Core Curriculum

Elective Concentrations

Environmental Science/Social Science

Environmental Science/Geology

Environmental Science/Biology

Requirements for Minor

Course Descriptions

 

Director, Chris Keil

 

The Environmental Science Program of Wheaton College represents that part of the Wheaton College community in which students learn the science and service of environmental stewardship, and the understanding and care of God’s physical creation. Through acts of scholarship and service, students and faculty protect environmental systems, inform the global church, and influence society and culture to make appropriate responses of stewardship that reflect creation care.

The Environmental Science curriculum consists of a core curriculum of 36 credit hours and concentration area of 10 credit hours. The core curriculum covers four broad areas of environmental science:

*       the issues and intellectual identity of environmental science,

*       the foundational natural and social sciences needed to address environmental problems,

*       the theology of creation and stewardship, and

*       practical experiences in environmental study and management as expressions of service to God, other human beings, and to the non-human creation.

Students select an area of concentration that compliments their individual interests and provides more advanced expressions of theory and practice in lectures, discussions, laboratory, field experience, and environmental research. This curriculum prepares students not only to be an effective servant as an environmental professional, but to become an agent of transformation of the professional culture of environmental science in ways that increase Christian influence and expression in this field.

Field science experience is a key component of preparation for an environmental vocation. The Environmental Science Program is supported by the facilities and courses at the College’s Science Station in South Dakota's Black Hills. Study in the Black Hills completes two of the Core Requirements for the major as well as satisfying the field-intensive course requirement. Upon completion of a summer of study in the Black Hills Environmental Science students are eligible to apply for research positions at the Science Station. In addition, students may register for elective credit in environmental science by taking courses through the Au Sable Institute (Michigan) or the Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory (Massachusetts), both of which Wheaton College participates as a member institution. Credit earned in these programs meet the field-intensive course requirement and is treated as Wheaton College credit.

An internship or research experience is a distinctive requirement for Environmental Science students at Wheaton College.  Internships can be completed with private, governmental or non-profit organizations. With appropriate planning and coordination students may complete their internship through the Human Needs and Global Resources (HNGR) program, Urban Studies Program, or other approved experiential learning semester experience. Research experiences can be completed in collaboration with Wheaton faculty on campus or at field locations. While the program will provided assistance and direction, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange and obtain approval for their internship or research experience.

Students who complete an Environmental Science major are granted a Bachelor of Science degree unless they request a Bachelor of Arts degree.

Core Curriculum (Required of all students) 36 hours

BIOL 242 Diversity of Life

BIOL 243 Processes of Life

CHEM 236 General Chemistry

ENVR 221 Introduction to Environmental Science

ENVR 241 Quantitative Methods

GEOL 221 Physical Geology for Science Majors

GEOL 371 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (2)

HNGR 112 Third World Issues (2)

ENVR 495 Environmental Science Research (2-4) or ENVR 496 Internship (2-4)

ENVR 494 Environmental Science Capstone (2)

One approved field-intensive course (see list)

Elective Concentrations (Choose one)

Environmental Science/Social Science – Choose 10 hours

Select a minimum of 10 hours from the list below

Required

ECON 211 Principles of Microeconomics

 

Other Approved Electives

ANTH 362 Globalization

ANTH 426 Cultural Ecology (2)

ECON 365 Economic Development and Growth (prerequisite B EC 211)

ENVR 391 Environmental Modeling

ENVR 421 Basic Applications in Agronomy

ENVR 431 Introduction to Environmental and Geotechnical Engineering

GEOL 372 GIS Practicum (2)

GEOL 388 Appropriate Technology and the Environment (2)

HNGR 381 Topics in Development (2 or 4)

IR 353 Comparative Public Policy (2)

PSCI 373 Environmental Politics (2)

PSCI 347 Renaissance and Modern Political Philosophy

PSCI 373 Environmental Politics (2)

PSCI 386 Congress and American Politics

Environmental Science/Geology – Choose 10 Hours

Select a minimum of 10 hours from the list below

 

Required

GEOL 437 Hydrogeology

 

Other Approved Electives

BIOL 365 Marine Biology (2)

ENVR 391 Environmental Modeling

ENVR 421 Basic Applications in Agronomy

ENVR 431 Introduction to Environmental and Geotechnical Engineering

GEOL 332 Studies in Regional Geology

GEOL 336 Process Geomorphology

GEOL 342 Fundamentals of Geochemistry (2)

GEOL 343 Fundamentals of Mineral Science (2)

GEOL 344 General Petrology and Petrography

GEOL 355 Introduction to Soil Science

GEOL 365 Physics of the Earth (2)

GEOL 372 GIS Practicum (2)

GEOL 381 Global Warming (2)

GEOL 388 Appropriate Technology, Development, and the Environment (2)

GEOL 412 Field Geology (6)

PHYS 315 Meteorology (2) - taught at the Wheaton College Science Station

Environmental Science/Biology – Choose 10 hours

Select a minimum of 10 hours from the list below

BIOL 241 Organization of Life

BIOL 343 Plant Taxonomy (3)

BIOL 344 Economic Botany

BIOL 352 Parasitology (2)

BIOL 356 Genetics (prerequisite BIOL 241, 242 and 252 or ENVR 241 with dept approval)

BIOL 365 Marine Biology

BIOL 368 Invertebrate Zoology

BIOL 372 Field Zoology (3)

BIOL 382 Field Natural History

ENVR 391 Environmental Modeling

ENVR 421 Basic Applications in Agronomy

ENVR 431 Introduction to Environmental and Geotechnical Engineering

GEOL 355 Introduction to Soil Science (2)

GEOL 372 GIS Practicum (2)

GEOL 437 Hydrogeology

Approved Field Intensive Courses

Wheaton College Science Station

BIOL 242 Diversity of Life

BIOL 243 Processes of Life: Ecology and Evolution

BIOL 382 Field Natural History

Since BIOL 242 and BIOL 243 are also core requirements, if either is used to meet the field course core requirement, an additional four hours of concentration coursework is needed. This does not increase the total credits needed for the major.

Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies

Varies by year. Check program website for course listing. Fulfills field-intensive requirement with approval by Director of Environmental Science based on student’s curricular goals.

Morton Arboretum

Varies by year. Check program website for current course listing. Fulfills field-intensive requirement with approval by Directory of Environmental Science based on student’s curricular goals.

Woods Hole Marine Biological Station

Varies by year. Check program website for course listing. Fulfills field-intensive requirement with approval by Director of Environmental Science based on student’s curricular goals.

 

Requirements for a minor in Environmental Science include 20 hours: ENVR 221, BIOL 242, BIOL 243, GEOL 221, GEOL 371 (2), and two additional hours as advised by the Director of the Environmental Science Program.

Environmental Science Courses (ENVR)

ENVR 221. Introduction to Environmental Science. An introduction to the historical and contemporary problems and dilemmas in environmental science, their scientific bases, sociological implications, ethical dimensions, and avenues for constructive response. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Field trip ($15 trip fee)

ENVR 241. Quantitative Methods. Quantitative methods are necessary to adequately describe, analyze, and understand environmental processes. The course includes an introduction to three distinct areas of analysis common in environmental problems–basic statistics, multivariate and spatial statistics, and numerical modeling. Emphasis is on computer use and applications of the methods to study of the environment. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Prerequisites: ENVR 221 or GEOL 221.

ENVR 319. Environmental Ethics. A survey and analysis of major scientific problems and foundational philosophies underlying contemporary environmental ethics and the application of environmental ethics to the scientific and professional practice of conservation and environmental stewardship in scientific research, personal decision making, and professional environmental management. Prerequisite: Lab science course; meets upper division General Education requirement.

ENVR 391. Environmental Modeling. Increasingly models are used to understand and solve environmental processes and systems and to aid in environmental management. The course will introduce students to a variety of modeling methods (e.g. physical/mathematical, discrete/continuous, finite difference/finite element, stochastic/deterministic) and give environmental examples from the geological, biological, climatological, and socio-politico-economic fields. Students will analyze a problem and determine which type of model is appropriate and then proceed to construct the model. They will evaluate existing models with respect to boundary conditions, input, resolution, numerical stability, and appropriateness of assumptions. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Prerequisites: ENVR 241. Alternate years.

ENVR 421. Basic Applications in Agronomy. A survey of concepts and methods in crop science. Subject matter is intended to provide background for domestic, as well as international interests. Topics in lecture and lab include agricultural ecology, forestry, food-crop production, and growth optimization in various environments. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Prerequisites: introductory biology lab course, ENVR 221, or permission of the instructor.

ENVR 431. Introduction to Environmental and Geotechnical Engineering. A survey of concepts and problem solving involving the interaction of people and earth systems. Subject matter is intended to provide background for domestic, as well as international interests. Topics in lecture and lab include basic systems analysis, energy, pollution abatement, water systems, construction criteria, and testing/utilization of earth materials. Three lectures, three hours laboratory. Prerequisites: ENVR 221 and ENVR 241 or PHYS 221, PHYS 231 or permission of the instructor. Alternate years.

ENVR 494. Environmental Science Capstone. A senior capstone course teaching the motivations, theory, and methods needed to practice the vocations of environmental science as expressions of Christian faith and service equipping students to act as transformative agents in a professional environmental culture through scholarship in environmental study and conservation of environmental systems. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing and approval of the program director of Environmental Science.

ENVR 495. Environmental Science Research. Field, laboratory, or library research involving selection of a research problem, review of appropriate professional literature, completion of data collection and analysis, and preparation of one or more professional papers submitted for presentation or publication in an appropriate professional venue. Requires direct supervision and mentoring by the program director of Environmental Science or faculty approved by the director. (2-4)

ENVR 496. Environmental Science Internship. An extended and concentrated experience in research, management, or education in environmental science under approved professional supervision and college guidelines. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or higher and approval by the program director of Environmental Science. (2-4)

ENVR 497. Environmental and Conservation Science Research Seminar. A weekly seminar featuring presentations of on-going primary research on problems of environmental and conservation studies in the natural and social sciences. Graded pass/fail. One hour per week. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or higher. (1)

Revision Date: July 1, 2014

 

 

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