Academic Catalog

2018-2019 Undergraduate Academic Catalog

Environmental Science Concentration

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Degree Type Offered: Concentration

The concentration in environmental science allows students in majors across any discipline to examine critically the issues around human use and abuse of natural resources.

The following courses are required:

ENVR-101 Introduction to Environmental Sciences

Credits: 4 Term Offered: Fall and Spring

Introduces basic biological concepts and applies them to help students understand the causes and solutions of environmental problems. Addresses a wide variety of environmental issues including biodiversity loss, the effects of pollution on organisms and ecosystems, and global climate change. Special emphasis given to help students understand how scientific knowledge is developed and scientific information can be found, interpreted and applied by society. Three lectures and one laboratory per week. Corequisite: MATH-118 or MATH-110 FILA general education: natural and physical sciences

ENVR/BIOL-301 Principles of Environmental Science

Credits: 4 Term Offered: Fall Only

An exploration of basic biological, chemical, geological, and physical processes at work on the earth, its lifeforms, and its natural resources. The extent of human impact and the need for global awareness will be emphasized, along with the need for application of rapidly expanding knowledge and technology toward solution of environmental problems. Three lectures and one lab per week. Prerequisites: BIOL-110 and 111 or CHEM-161 and 162 or permission of instructor (Cross-listed as BIOL-301)

Choose two from the following list:

CHEM/ENVR-270 Chemistry of the Environment

Credits: 4 Term Offered: Spring Only

This course is designed to introduce students to the chemical principles underlying environmental issues, scientific literacy pertinent to the environment and scientific articles, and examine the implications of environmental policy. Prerequisites: CHEM-125 or CHEM-162 (Cross-listed as ENVR-270)

CHEM/ENVR-320 Analytical Environmental Chemistry

Credits: 4 Term Offered: Spring Only

The chemistry and quantitative aspects of environmentally important cycles (C, N, O, P, S) in the context of the atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. Major environmental issues are discussed such as acid rain, sewage treatment, ozone destruction, anthropogenic climate change, air pollution and eutrophication. Laboratories involve sampling, quantitative detection and data analysis. Three hours of lecture and one four-hour lab per week. Prerequisite: CHEM-162 Alternate years: offered 2019-2020 (Cross-listed as ENVR-320)

GEOL-330 Soil and Hydrogeology

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Spring Only

This course is a study of the environment on the Earth's surface, the boundary between the solid and liquid, and interactions between rock and water. This will include weathering and the formation of soil, and the flow of water at the surface and below ground level. Lab activities will include sampling and analysis of soil, surface water, and groundwater. Prerequisite: ENVR-301

ENVR-305 Natural Resource & Environmental Law

Credits: 3 Term Offered: Spring Only

This course will provide an overview of federal and state laws that are aimed at the conservation of natural resources and/or protection of environmental quality. Major laws that will be covered include the National Environmental Protection Act, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and others. Speakers from natural resource/environmental agencies such as the Va. Department of Environmental Quality, Va. Department of Game and Inland Fisheries and U.S. Forest Service will provide practical insights into the application and implementation of environmental policy. Alternate years: offered 2018-2019 Prerequisites: BIOL-100, 101 or 110

ENVR/BIOL-312W Wildlife Ecology and Management

Credits: 4 Term Offered: Fall Only

Explores the ecology and management of wildlife with an emphasis on North American mammals and birds. Topics include habitat quality, forestry, nutrition, disease, population dynamics and diversity. Also explores human dimensions in the North American stakeholder model of wildlife management. Lab emphasizes field techniques. Three lectures and one lab per week. Prerequisites: FILA-150 or FILA-350, ENG-110 and BIOL 111 or permission of instructor FILA general education: writing intensive Alternate years: offered 2018-2019 (Cross-listed as BIOL-312W)

BIOL-316 Ornithology: the Biology of Birds

Credits: 4 Term Offered: Spring Only

Explores the anatomy, physiology, ecology and behaviors that have produced an extraordinary biodiversity of bird species. The major groups of modern birds are introduced, and their origin and ecology are examined. Students learn to recognize local species in the field and examine them in the lab using the ornithology collections. Suitable for both biology majors and non-majors. Prerequisites: BIOL-100 or BIOL-110 Offered alternate years

BIOL-321 Herpetology

Credits: 4 Term Offered: Spring Only

An introduction to the study of amphibians and reptiles. Lectures will focus on the origin and evolution of amphibians and reptiles, and on their biology, ecology and conservation. Lab will emphasize taxonomy, anatomy, species identification, and common field techniques used to study these groups. Prerequisite: BIOL-111 Offered alternate years

BIOL-322 Mammalogy

Credits: 4 Term Offered: Spring Only

A comprehensive survey of mammals. Lectures will focus on phylogenetics, the origin and evolution of mammals and their biology, ecology and conservation. Lab will emphasize taxonomy, species identification and common field techniques used to study mammals. Prerequisite: BIOL-111 Offered alternate years

BIOL-335 Summer Flora

Credits: 4 Term Offered: Summer

Survey of the vascular flora of the Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountain areas. Field-based course that introduces students to the identification of plants in the field of their ecology. Plant collection and specimen preservation are also included. Prerequisites: BIOL-111

BIOL-340 Botany

Credits: 4 Term Offered: Fall Only

A comprehensive survey of the plant kingdom that will include topics ranging from plant anatomy, physiology, diversity and ecology. Students interested in ecology, forestry and wildlife biology will find this course particularly useful. Three lectures and one lab per week. Prerequisite: BIOL-111 Offered alternate years

BIOL/ENVR-360W Environmental Physiology

Credits: 4 Term Offered: Fall Only

This course will provide a framework for studying how animals function in their native environments at different stages of their life cycles. Its scope is animal physiology blended with environmental science: principles of physiological mechanisms are examined from the perspective of physiological adaptation in a given environmental context, including specific adaptations to environmental extremes. Course structure: active learning lectures and applied learning labs. Development of critical scientific thinking and scientific writing are significant components of the course. Prerequisites: FILA-150 or FILA-350, ENG-110, BIOL-110 and BIOL-111, and MATH-120 FILA general education: writing intensive (Cross-listed as ENVR-360W)

ENVR-330 Introduction to Geographical Information Systems

Credits: 4 Term Offered: Spring Only

This course is an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS is a computerized system that allows users to collect, store, visualize and analyze locational/geospatial data. Students learn basic cartographic concepts and the use of common GIS software programs. The course focuses on environmental and biological applications of GIS while the technology also has many applications in earth sciences, urban planning, business, etc. Three lectures and one lab per week. Prerequisite: MATH-120

ENVR/BIOL-401 Environmental Microbiology

Credits: 4 Term Offered: Fall Only

An exploration of how microorganisms interact with their environment and the implications of these interactions for humans. Specific topics will include: antibiotic resistance, biodegradation, biodiversity, biofuels, bioremediation, extreme environments, geochemical cycles, methods for sampling, culture, and analysis of environmental microorganisms, microbiology of air, water, and soil; environmental pathogens; and microbiological treatment of sewage and water. Three lectures and one lab per week. Prerequisites: BIOL-309 or ENVR/CHEM-320 Alternate years: offered 2017-2018 (Cross-listed as BIOL-401)

ENVR-402 Conservation Biology

Credits: 4 Term Offered: Fall Only

Survey of the methods used by the public and private sectors to manage our environment and natural resources. The primary emphasis will be on restoration ecology and conservation biology. Other topics that will be addressed will include environmental engineering (e.g. green chemistry and design of pollution control devices), economic considerations in conservation (e.g. conservation land easements and ecotourism), and government regulation. The lab will provide students with experience applying standard methods of monitoring biological resources. The lab will also provide an opportunity for students to hear talks from environmental experts and to travel to local sites where management activities are occurring. Prerequisites: BIOL-111 or permission of the instructor Alternate years: offered 2016-2017 (Cross-listed as BIOL-402)

ENVR/BIOL-433 Biology & Management of Fishes

Credits: 4 Term Offered: Spring Only

A survey of diversity of fish (with an emphasis on freshwater fish of North America). Topics will include taxonomy, anatomy, physiology, behavior, and ecology. There will be special emphasis on management of fish populations and diversity in the face of environmental threats including pollution, habitat alteration, overharvest and invasive species. Lab will include basic ecology and behavior but will focus heavily on common fisheries' techniques. Prerequisite: ENVR/BIOL-301 or BIOL-350 or permission of the instructor Offered alternate years (Cross-listed as BIOL-433)

ENVR/BIOL-435 Freshwater Ecology

Credits: 4 Term Offered: Fall Only

An introduction to aquatic ecosystems (lakes, ponds, streams and wetlands). Students will learn about the major chemical and physical processes that determine the function of freshwater systems. Students will be introduced to the major groups of aquatic organisms (algae, vascular plants, invertebrates and fish). Includes strong emphasis on the impacts that humans have on freshwater systems. The lab will introduce the basic skills necessary for the study and management of fresh waters. Prerequisite: ENVR/BIOL-301 or BIOL-350 or permission of the instructor Offered alternate years (Cross-listed as BIOL-435)

Students may not double count the courses in the elective list for the environmental science concentration on any other plan of major or minor.