ENVS 1000 - The Sustainability Challenge

What is sustainability and what challenges are we facing now and in the future? What is my impact and what can I do about it? In the course, students will learn about the “three-legged stool” (economic, environmental, and social) of sustainability and how to use systems thinking to better understand the complex natural and human systems we rely upon for food, water, energy, business, etc. Students will “take the sustainability challenge” and measure their own current impacts and compare them to their impacts after taking actions to be more sustainable. The collective results will then be used to propose action plans to inspire others on campus and in the broader community to do the same.

Credit: 3


ENVS 1020 - Introductory Meteorology

A survey of the physical and chemical principles of atmospheric science applied to elementary descriptions and interpretations of atmospheric phenomena.

Credit: 3


ENVS 1030 - Tropical Ecology and Sustainability

This is a field-based course looking at tropical environmental systems and sustainability through a field trip to one of the Hawaiian Islands or Costa Rica. The field trip provides an overview of natural history and the science of tropical ecosystems, human history and culture, and sustainability through experiential and place-based learning. There are pre- and post-field trip activities in addition to the field trip.

Repeatable up to 12 credits.

Credit: 3


ENVS 1040 - Introduction to Fresh Water Systems

Prerequisite: Any 1000-level BIOL course, BIOL 2030, or 2050; CHEM 1000 or 1020.

A survey of the biology, chemistry, physics, and geology of fresh water systems such as lakes, wetlands, and rivers.

Credit: 3


ENVS 1500 - Natural Disasters

The Earth experiences natural disasters as a result of volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, landslides, flooding, storms, drought, and wildfires. These events dramatically impact humanity and the environment. Increasing population and poor land use practices compound the effects of natural disasters. This course is designed for undergraduate students of any major who are interested in understanding natural disasters and how we can minimize the dangers and damages of these events. We will review case histories of recent and historical events, focusing on how forecasting, prediction, warning systems, education, and planning can reduce human vulnerability to natural disasters.

Credit: 3


ENVS 2000 - Principles of Environmental Science

An introduction to the analysis of environmental problems from a scientific perspective using fundamental principles from the biological and physical sciences.

Credit: 3


ENVS 2001 - Principles of Environmental Science Laboratory

Laboratory and field component of ENVS 2000.

Credit: 1


ENVS 3000 - Sustainability and the Environment

Prerequisite: Any WC&IL II course.

Sustainability offers a rich framework for addressing complex human-environment interactions within our society; environmental science provides a basis for inquiry into how those interactions shape and are shaped by ecosystems. This course uses both to examine the nexus between human innovation and consequent ecological impacts (both negative and positive) as related to current and often controversial environmental and social issues. The goal of the course is to provide students with not only an understanding of the basic science behind the issues but also an ability to think across disciplines to assess how these issues might be addressed sustainably.

Credit: 3


ENVS 3002 - Applications of Environmental Science

Prerequisite: ENVS 2000; or [BIOL 1000 or 1500] and [CHEM 1020, GEOL 1000, or MARS 1000]; or BIOL 2052, and CHEM 2052.

The course emphasizes the use of the scientific method and the results of scientific study to explore and understand issues of environmental concern. The major objective is the presentation of the human inhabited biosphere as a system amendable to study and scientific understanding.

Credit: 3


ENVS 3003 - Applications of Environmental Science Laboratory

Prerequisite: ENVS 2001.

Laboratory and field component of ENVS 3002.

Credit: 1


ENVS 3010 - Environmental Impact Analysis

Prerequisite: ENVS 2000.

Methods of assessing and predicting physical, chemical, biological, social, and economic impacts on the environment resulting from human activities. The course includes preparation and review of environmental impact reports.

Credit: 3


ENVS 3020 - The Environmental Policy Process

Prerequisite: ENVS 2000 or 3000.

Students will examine the environmental-policy-making process from different points of view, whether as an environmental scientist or citizen activist, at different government levels (city, state, or federal) and across different media (air, water, and waste). Students will gain a practical understanding of existing environmental policies as well as the process by which new environmental policies are proposed, designed, implemented, and evaluated. An understanding of the process helps students to identify opportunities to advocate for environmental change.

Credit: 3


ENVS 3030 - Earth Systems and Global Change

Prerequisite: ENVS 2000.

Natural and human-induced variability and change in the earth environment on a global scale. Interactions among lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, ecosphere, and the human dimension of global change.

Credit: 3


ENVS 3200 - Photovoltaic Systems Design

Prerequisite: ENVS 2000, MATH 1115, or MATH 1130.

This course introduces the fundamental principles of solar energy and photovoltaic systems design. It includes the design of a safe, code-compliant photovoltaic system and preparation of permit-quality technical drawings. The course provides the skills suitable for a supervised, entry-level position in the photovoltaic industry, as specified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP).

Credit: 3


ENVS 3400 - Hydrology and Water Resources

Prerequisite: ENVS 2000.

Water is critical for the survival of human civilization, and water resource issues have important consequences for human health, food systems, energy, and society. This course will explore the mechanics, distribution, timing, availability and management of water resources. Aspects of the hydrologic cycle, surface and groundwater hydrology, and water quality and treatment will be investigated, along with examination of water rights, laws and current and emerging trends in water resource monitoring, development, and technology.

Credit: 3


ENVS 3600 - Natural Resource Management

Prerequisite: BIOL 1500 or BIOL 2050.

Sound management principles applied to limited resources such as energy, water, and food.

Credit: 3


ENVS 3990 - Internship

Prerequisite: At least a 2.7 GPA for undergraduate level.

Internships provide students with applied, experiential learning opportunities so that they can make connections between academic study and the practical application of that study in a professional work environment. Academic internships are supervised by a faculty member and an on-site professional supervisor. All academic internships must be approved in advance by the department or program. Unless stipulated otherwise by the department or program, credit hours are defined by the university's credit hour policy (for example, a 3-credit internship will require a minimum of 120 hours on­site). Internships may be repeated for a total of 9 credit hours.

Repeatable for up to 9 Credits.

Credit: 1 to 3


ENVS 4000 - Methods of Environmental Science

Prerequisite: ENVS 3002.

This course will present advanced analytical technologies current in real world applications of environmental science. Computer-driven data analysis, modeling, and presentation technology have become vital to the understanding and reporting of problems and issues that constitute today’s applications of environmental science. This course will present specific applications in a hands-on approach.

Credit: 3


ENVS 4001 - Methods of Environmental Science Laboratory

Prerequisite: ENVS 3002.

Laboratory component of ENVS 4000.

Credit: 1


ENVS 4030 - Applied Geographic Information Systems

Prerequisite: Senior or graduate status or permission of the instructor.

The availability of digital geographic information has resulted in a need for professionals in many disciplines to use these data to benefit humanity and nature. This course will provide a practical, hands-on approach to spatial data analysis using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) as applied to the natural sciences or your field of study. The project-based nature of the course will encourage undergraduate students to identify and analyze a spatial problem of their choice.

Credit: 3


ENVS 4040 - Sustainable Building Science

Prerequisite: ENVS 3000.

This course examines the fundamentals of integrated building design, including the history, science, and technology of green building. Emphasis is placed on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, and this course helps prepare students to obtain one of the U.S. Green Building Council's credentials (LEED Green Associate or LEED Accredited Professional).

Credit: 3


ENVS 4050 - Remote Sensing

Prerequisite: ENVS 2000; MATH 3306; PHYS 2052; any WC&IL II course.

The physics and techniques of remote sensing presented through an exploration of physical characteristics of terrestrial and marine environments.

Credit: 3


ENVS 4060 - Geographic Information Systems 2: Spatial Analysis

Prerequisite: ENVS 4030

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) provide tools for quantifying and describing spatial data to answer research and management questions. In this course students will use ArcGIS to describe the distribution of features, and to discern patterns and measure relationships among these features. Topics include the use of raster GIS tools for natural resource modeling and environmental analysis; the raster structure and its advantages and limitations; appropriate data and procedure; simple raster surface modeling and image integration; map algebra concepts using ArcGIS Spatial Analyst; proximity and dispersion modeling; cost surfaces and many of the vector-based analytical tools and techniques available within ArcGIS.

Credit: 3


ENVS 4070 - Industrial Ecology

Prerequisite: Any 3000 level course in BIOL, CHEM, ENGB, ENGE, ENGT, ENVS, or MARS.

Industrial Ecology (IE) is the systematic study of how materials and energy flow within our current linear industrial production systems and interact with the environment and human communities. IE seeks to redesign those conventional systems and move towards more circular, regenerative ones, by providing the framework to explore a wide array of novel ideas such as circular economy, zero waste, industrial symbiosis, life cycle analysis, biomimicry, and cradle-to-cradle design. By comparing and contrasting these principles against traditional industrial practices, student gain a better understanding of how to shift to more sustainable, equitable, and environmental benign management systems.

Credit: 3


ENVS 4100 - Society and Environment: Contemporary Issues Seminar

Prerequisite: ENVS 3002.

A critical analysis of contemporary environmental issues that face society. The course includes formal seminars, informal group discussions, and a comprehensive review paper.

Capstone course.

Credit: 3


ENVS 4200 - Business and Environment: Contemporary Issues Seminar

Prerequisite: ENVS 3002. Senior standing.

Acritical analysis of contemporary environmental management issues. The course includes formal seminars, informal group discussions, and a comprehensive review paper.

Credit: 3


ENVS 4300 - Advanced Photovoltaic Systems Design

Prerequisite: ENVS 3200 or MATH 2214.

This is an advanced course in photovoltaic systems design for people considering a career in the solar electric industry. The detailed design of stand-alone and utility-interactive photovoltaic systems is covered with emphasis on compliance with the National Electric Code. Both residential and small commercial/institutional systems are covered (up to 30 kW). This course is based, in part, on the knowledge typically required of industry practitioners as specified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and can help in preparation for the NBCEP PV installer certification exam.

Credit: 3


ENVS 4400 - Environmental Science Seminar

Prerequisite: ENVS 3002.

A critical analysis of recent environmental scientific literature. The course includes formal seminars, informal group discussions, a comprehensive review article, and a research project proposal.

Credit: 3


ENVS 4600 - Environmental Science Research

Prerequisite: ENVS 4400.

The execution of the research project proposed in ENVS 4400. The course includes oral status reports, a final written report, a final formal seminar, and a poster presentation of research project results.

Credit: 3


ENVS 4950 - Environmental Studies Practicum

Prerequisite: ENVS 3002.

Senior practicum opportunity in environmental studies.

Repeatable up to three times. 9 credits maximum.

Credit: 1 to 3


ENVS 6010 - Global Climate Change

Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

This course discusses the history of the Earth’s climate from its formation to the present time. Focus will be placed on natural mechanisms that cause large-scale, global climate change, from the long-term to the abrupt, and how anthropogenic climate change fits into this context.

Credit: 3


ENVS 6020 - Advanced Photovoltaic Systems Design

Prerequisite: ENVS 3200 or MATH 2441. Graduate standing.

This is an advanced course in photovoltaic systems design for people considering a career in the solar electric industry. The detailed design of stand-alone and utility-interactive photovoltaic systems is covered with emphasis on compliance with the National Electric Code. Both residential and small commercial/institutional systems are covered (up to 30kW). This course is based, in part, on the knowledge typically required of industry practitioners as specified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) and can help in preparation for the NBCEP PV installer certification exam.

Credit: 3


ENVS 6030 - Sustainable Energy Systems

Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

This course examines energy systems, including resource estimation, environmental effects, and economics. The current mix of energy sources and technologies is examined along with sustainable options, with an emphasis on quantitative analysis based on scientific principles (thermodynamics and kinetics). Sustainable energy options examined include nuclear energy, biofuels, hydropower, ocean, geothermal, wind, and solar energy.

Credit: 3


ENVS 6032 - Applied Geographic Information Systems

Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

The availability of digital geographic information has resulted in a need for professionals in many disciplines to use these data to benefit humanity and nature. This course will provide a practical, hands-on approach to spatial data analysis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as applied to the natural sciences or your field of study. The project-based nature of the course will encourage graduate students to identify and analyze a spatial problem of their choice. 

Credit: 3


ENVS 6040 - Sustainable Building Science

Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

This course examines the fundamentals of integrated building design, including the history, science, and technology of green building. Emphasis is placed on the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system and this course helps prepare students for obtaining one of the U.S. Green Building Council’s credentials (LEED Green Associate or LEED Accredited Professional).

Credit: 3


ENVS 6050 - Watershed and Wetland Systems

Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

An integrated view of ecological systems. An introduction to concepts in geomorphology, hydrology, biogeochemistry, primary production, carbon cycling, and abiotic and biotic controls on nutrient cycling. Emphasis on research investigating the effects of natural and anthropogenic stressors on ecological resources at multiple spatial and temporal scales, development of indicators of watershed/wetland condition, and comparative values of ecological systems.

Credit: 3


ENVS 6060 - Geographical Information Systems 2: Spatial Analysis

Prerequisite: GEOG 4700 or permission of instructor. Graduate standing.

GIS is about getting answers to questions so you can make intelligent decisions. In this course you will use ArcGIS to describe the distribution of a set of features and to discern patterns and measure relationships among these features. Topics in this course include the use of raster GIS tools for natural resource modeling and environmental analysis; the raster structure and its advantages and limitations; appropriate data procedures; simple raster surface modeling and image integration; map algebra concepts using ArcGIS Spatial Analyst; proximity and dispersion modeling; cost surfaces; and many of the vector-based analytical tools and techniques available within ArcGIS.

Credit: 3


ENVS 6070 - Conservation and Sustainability in the Tropics

Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

This summer graduate course consists of a two-week travel component to a tropical ecosystem after a four-week online introduction to the issues and questions involved in understanding the impact of humans on tropical ecology and sustainability. Students will examine how human values and choices affect tropical ecosystems, conservation and sustainability so they can develop their own perspective from their experiences, culminating in a final assignment and discussion submitted after returning home.

Credit: 3


ENVS 6150 - Environment, Power and Society

Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

With the publication of Environment, Power, and Society in 1971, H.T. Odum changed the lives of countless individuals, altering their worldviews by starting them along a quantitative, systems-oriented path toward holistic thinking. This course will introduce the Energy Systems Language, a visual mathematics capable of representing the details and bringing into focus the complexities of any system, and through the macroscope, his tool for eliminating detail and gaining an overview of the entire system. For many, the concepts in Environment, Power, and Society are profound ideas and methods that clear away much of the mystery about integrating nature and humanity to the benefit of both.

Credit: 3


ENVS 6300 - Modeling and Simulation

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of instructor.

This course introduces concepts of analytic modeling and computer simulation to improve and assist in the understanding of and decision-making about environmental systems. Topics include: introduction of modeling and simulation concepts, review of relevant math and statistics, extensive hands-on use of computer tools, and application to a variety of environmental problems.

Credit: 3


ENVS 6920 - Special Topics in Environmental Science

Prerequisite: Graduate standing.

The title, content, and prerequisites for this course will vary with instructor and need in the program. The course may be repeated when the title and content have changed.

Credit: 3


ENVS 6990 - Internship

Prerequisite: At least a 2.7 GPA for undergraduate level and a 3.0 for graduate.

Internships provide students with applied, experiential learning opportunities so that they can make connections between academic study and the practical application of that study in a professional work environment. Academic internships are supervised by a faculty member and an on-site professional supervisor. All academic internships must be approved in advance by the department or program. Unless stipulated otherwise by the department or program, credit hours are defined by the university's credit hour policy. Internships may be repeated for a total of 9 credit hours.

Credit: 1 to 3