Students in the Environmental Science Program at Carthage focus on the study of the problems that arise when human beings interact with physical/natural environment. The program seeks to train natural scientists who can function in the world of policy, and policy analysts who can shape the natural world.
- Carthage Schoology for current students
- Course schedules for all terms
- Current final exam schedule
- Major requirements
ECN 3050 / 4 credits
This course explores the economic dimension of environmental and natural resource use questions. The actions of producers and consumers, as influenced in part by institutional patterns and public policies, give rise to a variety of environmental problems and issues. By applying some basic tools of economic and institutional analysis, students may obtain a better understanding of environmental issues, both national and global, and are able to identify and evaluate alternative solutions.
Prerequisite: ECN 1010, or ECN 1030, or consent of the instructor
Introduction to Environmental Science (LAB SCI) (SE)
ENV 1000 / 4 credits
This course integrates biology, chemistry, and physical geography, and will provide an introduction to the fundamental natural science foundation necessary to understand and be literate in environmental science. Topics include systems analysis (atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere), matter, energy, ecosystems, biodiversity, environmental risk, ozone, water, soil and air pollution, global warming, food resources, and human health. Science and information literacy, with particular emphasis on the evaluation of sources, are emphasized in the classroom experience. Data analysis is an integral component of the course and is emphasized in laboratory work. The laboratory portion of this course will allow students hands-on experience with scientific and instrumental techniques typically used in environmental science with which data are analyzed at a variety of temporal and spatial scales.
Offered in Fall
Environmental Chemistry (LAB SCI)
ENV 2010 / 4 credits
An overview of chemical processes in the natural world. The course will include sections on atmospheric chemistry, aquatic chemistry, and soil chemistry and will address both natural phenomena and human impacts. These processes will be used to evaluate the causes and challenges of current environmental issues including ozone depletion, climate change, and water pollution. Laboratory exercises will focus on the analysis of pollutants in environmental samples.
Prerequisite: CHM 1000 or CHM 1010
Quantitative Environmental Analysis (QR)
ENV 2100 / 4 credits
An introduction to the quantitative tools used by environmental scientists to evaluate and address environmental issues. The course will introduce students to a range of such tools, discuss their strengths and weaknesses, and apply them to real-world environmental problems.
Prerequisite: ENV 1000
Environmental Pollutants (NLAB) (SE)
ENV 2550 / 4 credits
An introduction to the range of natural and synthetic chemicals that contribute to environmental pollution. Topics covered include the structure and properties of pollutants, their sources and use patterns, the pathways by which they enter environmental systems, the factors that affect their transport and fate, and their effects on human and ecosystem health. Through the process of investigating selected pollutants students will gain experience compiling and evaluating scientific information from a variety of sources, including newspaper articles, databases, and scientific journals, and communicating their findings clearly and effectively. Informal laboratory activities will give students the opportunity to design experiments and measure environmental pollutants in real-world settings.
Case Studies in Environmental Science (LAB SCI) (OC)
ENV 2610 / 4 credits
This course uses case studies and research experiences to build upon the concepts introduced in ENV 1000. There is further development of topics that integrate biology, chemistry, and physical geography. Topics may include invasive species; biodiversity; water, soil, or air pollution; global warming; food resources; and human health. Data analysis is an integral component of the course and is emphasized in class and laboratory work. The laboratory portion of this course will allow students hands-on experience with scientific and instrumental techniques typically used in environmental science with which data are analyzed on a variety of temporal and spatial scales. For Environmental Science majors, this course allows students to generate work that demonstrates their abilities to synthesize and integrate data and information from the biological, chemical, and geographical sciences.
Prerequisite: ENV 1000 with a grade of C- or higher.
Offered in Spring
Photographing Nature: Investigating Biodiversity and Conservation (NLAB)
ENV 2650 / 4 credits
This course introduces the student to the use of digital photography to explore plant and animal species and their habitats. The course begins with instruction in digital photography, and then moves outside where students will focus on organisms, learning to photograph them while exploring their biology. Photography will be used to engage students in making detailed observations and beginning the process of scientific discovery. After learning about species, their ecological interactions, and conservation, students will complete a final project that utilizes visual imagery to educate others about the value of biodiversity, ecology, and/or conservation issues. This course does not count toward the biology major.
Sustainable Agriculture (NLAB)
ENV 2750 / 4 credits
This seminar will review the history of agricultural development and evaluate environmental, economic, and social problems that develop from our past and current food production systems. Alternatives to conventional agricultural systems will be discussed and evaluated (including but not limited to organic, biodynamic farming, hydroponics, and vertical farming). We will analyze and discuss these issues from multiple scientific and cultural perspectives, and review the role of food production systems and food choice in promoting or degrading individual, community, and ecosystem health.
ENV 3000 / 4 credits
An introduction to the methods used by environmental scientists to design and complete research projects. Topics covered include research strategies, literature reviews, experimental design, data analysis, and scientific writing and communication. As part of the course, students will design an independent research project and develop a formal proposal to support their work.
ENV 3400 / 4 credits
The multidisciplinary science of conservation focuses on the preservation of biological species and ecosystems. This course examines several aspects of conservation science, including the documentation and classification of the full breadth of biological diversity on earth; the assessment of the health of species populations; the impact of human activities on species, communities, and ecosystems; and strategies for preserving, protecting, and/or restoring species, habitats, communities, and ecosystem services. The course introduces students to research techniques, including both quantitative and qualitative assessments, while exploring contemporary issues in conservation science. Students will also be exposed to a variety of career options for conservation professionals.
Prerequisite: BIO 1120 or ENV 1000
ENV 4000 / 4 credits
This is the capstone course for Environmental Science majors. During this course seniors complete and present their Senior Thesis work in consultation with faculty in the Environmental Science program.
Prerequisite: Senior standing
Research in Environmental Science
ENV 4900 / 1-4 credits
An opportunity to conduct research in environmental science, culminating in a research paper and a formal presentation. Given the interdisciplinary nature of environmental science, students in related disciplines may participate in this course with the permission of the instructor and their departmental advisor. Students may enroll for credit more than once, but no more than 4 credits may be applied to the major.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor
Applied Experience in the Discipline
ENV 4980 / 0 credits
Students must register for Field Experience Completion the term that they plan to complete their field experience.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor
Senior Thesis Completion
ENV 4990 / 0 credits
Students must register for ENV 4990 during the semester that they plan to complete their Senior Thesis. For most students this will be the Spring of their senior year.
Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor
Introduction to Geographic Information Science: Mapping Your World (NLAB) (SE) (QR)
GEO 1610 / 4 credits
This course provides an introduction to portraying spatial data and making data maps for a variety of applications. Students work in a hands-on lab/lecture setting while exploring computer mapping production techniques: cartographic design, communication properties of thematic maps, data selection and quality, and the problems of graphic display in print and electronic formats. Students will apply the course material by completing a variety of mapping projects. Students need no specialized computer skills to enter the course, but they will be expected to manipulate data and maps using the computer methods discussed in class.
Offered in Fall/Spring
Environmental Politics (SOC)
POL 3620 / 4 credits
This course introduces students to important theoretical and policy issues in the study and practice of environmental politics. It is designed to provide a better understanding of past, present, and future events by framing environmental issues within various theories of political science; introducing prominent actors, institutions, and issues; and examining recent attempts to create effective institutions to address specific environmental problems. This course examines the politics of environmental problems at all geographic scales; however, depending upon the professor, emphasis will either be on domestic or international issues.