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Environmental Science

Major Requirements

Students in the Environmental Science Program focus on the study of the problems that arise when human beings interact with the physical/natural environment. As an area of study in a liberal arts college, this major highlights the interconnections between the natural and social sciences for approaching environmental problems. The approach is broadly based, and yet also focused on the student’s choice of an individual study track (Conservation and Ecology, Environmental Policy Analysis, Environmental Data Analysis, or Water and Life).

One of the primary goals is to educate natural and social scientists in the liberal arts tradition, so students will understand how to approach complex problems using methodologies and philosophies from multiple disciplines including biology, chemistry, economics, geospatial science, and political science. The program prepares students for graduate study and/or careers in a variety of environmental fields.

Carthage offers a major in Environmental Science. Majors may select one of four course sequences to best suit their research interests and career goals:

Current students: You should follow the official College Catalog from the year you entered Carthage and work with your advisors and the program chair to ensure all requirements are met.

Environmental Science Major

The major in Environmental Science consists of at least 56 credits including a core set of courses (28 credits) and a plan of study (28 credits) chosen by the student in conjunction with his or her advisor. Students are also expected to attend one campus colloquium per month during their junior and senior years, unless they are participating in an off-campus program.

In consultation with an advisor, the student selects a plan of study that is both focused and interdisciplinary. Four sequences of study from which to choose have been approved for students. Changes to the sequences must be approved by the academic advisor and the Environmental Science Oversight Committee. Under special circumstances, highly motivated students can self-design a sequence to best fit their needs. Again, the academic advisor and the Oversight Committee must approve the plan prior to student’s beginning advanced course work.

Per the College requirement, all Environmental Science majors must complete a senior thesis. An oral presentation of the senior thesis is required as part of the Environmental Science Senior Seminar (ENV 4000). Environmental Science majors who are double-majoring are required to take ENV 4000 even if they have completed a Senior Seminar in another major.

Students can choose any one of the following course sequences to fulfill their Environmental Science major:

Focus in Conservation and Ecology

Core
Statistics Course that meets the Math requirement
ENV 1600 Introduction to Environmental Science
ENV 2610 Case Studies in Environmental Science
GEO 1610 Introduction to GIS: Mapping Your World
ECN 3050 Environmental Economics
POL 3620 Environmental Politics
ENV 4000 Senior Seminar
ENV 4980 Field Experience Completion
ENV 4990 Senior Thesis Completion

Track
CHM 1000 Better Living Through Chemistry
BIO 1030 Conservation OR BIO 2200 Introduction to Ecology
BIO 3050 Plant Physiology OR GEO 3800 Soil Science OR BIO 3340: Microbiology OR BIO 3320 Entomology
GEO 2450 Biogeography OR GEO 3400 Forest Ecology
GEO 3900 Methods of Field Methods
GEO 3200 Hydrology
Elective: 3000+ Level or Other Approved Topics Course

Focus on Environmental Policy Analysis

Core
Statistics Course that meets the Math requirement
ENV 1600 Introduction to Environmental Science
ENV 2610 Case Studies in Environmental Science
GEO 1610 Introduction to GIS: Mapping Your World
ECN 3050 Environmental Economics
POL 3620 Environmental Politics
ENV 4000 Senior Seminar
ENV 4980 Field Experience Completion
ENV 4990 Senior Thesis Completion

Track
POL 2400 American Government: National, State, and Local
POL 3930 Environmental Law
SWK 3100 Social Welfare Policy Analysis
SOC 3020 Sociological Research I
BIO 1030 Conservation OR BIO 2200 Introduction to Ecology
Elective: 3000+ Level or Other Approved Topical Course

Focus on Water and Life

Core
Statistics Course that meets the Math requirement
ENV 1600 Introduction to Environmental Science
ENV 2610 Case Studies in Environmental Science
GEO 1610 Introduction to GIS: Mapping Your World
ECN 3050 Environmental Economics
POL 3620 Environmental Politics
ENV 4000 Senior Seminar
ENV 4980 Field Experience Completion
ENV 4990 Senior Thesis Completion

Track
CHM 1020 General Chemistry II
CHM 2070 Organic Chemistry I
CHM 3230 Analytical Chemistry
GEO 3200 Hydrology
GEO 3800 Soil Science
BIO 3340 Microbiology
BIO 3200 Aquatic Ecology

Focus on Environmental Data Analysis

Core
Statistics Course that meets the Math requirement
ENV 1600 Introduction to Environmental Science
ENV 2610 Case Studies in Environmental Science
GEO 1610 Introduction to GIS: Mapping Your World
ECN 3050 Environmental Economics
POL 3620 Environmental Politics
ENV 4000 Senior Seminar
ENV 4980 Field Experience Completion
ENV 4990 Senior Thesis Completion

Track
GEO 2700 Satellite and Air Photo Analysis
GEO 2610 Advanced GIS and Analytical Cartography
BIO 1030 Conservation OR BIO 2200 Introductory to Ecology
CSC 1110 Principles of Computer Science
CSC 2560 Data Structures and Algorithms OR CSC 1120 Principles of Computer Science II
CSC 3410 Database Design and Management

Successful completion of ENV 1600 and 2610 will fulfill any prerequisites for the courses listed in each sequence.

Electives can be selected from courses offered within another track or can be approved by the academic advisor and the Environmental Science Oversight Committee.

Field Experience (ENV 4980)

Finally, students must complete an approved field experience. It is the intention of this program that our students all have practical experience in the Environmental Science major before they graduate. The field experience can be completed in the following formats:

  • An off-campus field course.
  • A J-Term or summer trip.
  • Research experience through the Carthage SURE program or an off-campus program
  • An internship either as part of an interest group such as Greenpeace, Sierra Club, or the Reason Public Policy Institute, or by working in an industry or government setting.
  • Relevant employment in the discipline.

Field experiences are approved as part of your plan of study. Consult your advisor for specific examples.

Current students, remember: You should follow the official College Catalog from the year you entered Carthage and work with your advisors and the department chair to ensure all requirements are met.

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