Environmental Science and Management

The major in environmental science and management, offered by the Department of Natural Resources Science, prepares undergraduate students for professional careers in the public and private sectors of natural resources management. Environmental Science and Management incorporates course work in water resources, geospatial technologies, wetland ecology, wildlife biology, soil science, forestry, and land use/environmental quality relationships.  Coursework emphasizes the field techniques that underpin environmental assessment and restoration. This is a comprehensive major that includes a solid background in the basic sciences and exposure to a broad array of subject matter relating to environmental science and management. This major provides solid preparation for more specialized study at the graduate level and prepares undergraduate students for professional careers in the public and private sectors of natural resources management. Flexible course requirements allow students to develop individual areas of concentration and prepare for a variety of positions in environmental science and management after graduation. This major is also suitable for students who wish to become certified as teachers of environmental science and natural resources at the secondary level. With proper course selection environmental science majors can meet the educational requirements for certifications by professional and governmental agencies as biologists, soil scientists, natural resource specialists, geospatial specialists, hydrologists, and other classifications.

The major requires 19 credits of professional courses, which include introduction to resource economics (EEC 105; 3 credits), physical geology (GEO 103; 4 credits), natural resource conservation (NRS 100; 3 credits), seminar in natural resources (NRS 200; 1 credit), introductory soil science (NRS 212; 4 credits), and conservation biology (NRS 223; 4 credits). As part of the basic science requirements (25-27 credits), environmental science and management majors must complete eight credits in biological sciences (BIO 101/103 & 102/104); four credits in introductory chemistry (CHM 101/102 or CHM 103/105); four credits in introductory organic chemistry (CHM 124/126); three credits in applied calculus (MTH 131); three to four credits in statistics (STA 308 or STA 409); and three to four credits in either introductory biochemistry (CMB 311), introductory microbiology (CMB 201 or CMB 211), or general chemistry II (CHM 112/114). At least 24 credits of concentration courses must be taken. These core courses are selected from the following groups: biological and ecological science; watershed and environmental quality; methods in environmental science; natural resources management; and land use management. At least one course must be selected from each group. Up to six credits of letter grade experiential learning courses may be taken as concentration courses.

Supporting electives (18 credits) must be selected from an approved list of courses, mostly at the 300 and 400 levels. At least 9 supporting elective credits must be NRS courses. Up to 9 credits of experiential learning courses may be taken toward satisfying supporting elective requirements.

Minors in Natural Resources Science

The following minors are University-approved. Students may also design their own minors; see Minor Fields of Study.

GIS and Remote Sensing. This minor field of specialization provides students in-depth training in the use of GIS (geographic information system) and remote sensing technology and application of geospatial data processing methods to environmental problem solving. Students who declare a minor in GIS and remote sensing must complete 18 credit hours consisting of the following core courses: NRS 409, 410, 415, 516, and 522. The remaining credits may be taken from NRS 423, 524, 533, or CPL 511. Students minoring in GIS and remote sensing are encouraged to take a capstone course that allows them to apply their analytical skills in a real-world application.

Global Water Resources. Please see Interdepartmental Minors for detailed information.

International Development. Please see Interdepartmental Minors for detailed information.

Restoration Science and Management: This interdepartmental minor provides students in-depth, interdisciplinary training in the principles and application of restoration science and management to solve environmental problems and issues. Students who declare a minor in restoration science and management are required to complete 18 credits, including 4 credits from NRS 401, 3 credits from NRS 543, 3-6 credits from one or more experiential learning project courses (NRS 395, NRS 397, GEO 397, NRS 491, NRS 492 NRS 495, NRS 497), and 4-8 credits from one or more of the following courses: BIO 262, GEO 103, GEO 320, NRS 223, NRS 445, NRS 475. Students minoring in restoration science and management are encouraged to take a capstone course that allows them to apply their analytical skills in a real-world application and to engage with NGO, state, federal agencies on projects and internships.  Please see Interdepartmental Minors for additional information.

Soil Environmental Science. This minor field of specialization provides students in-depth training in the application of soils information to solve environmental problems and issues. Students fulfilling the requirements of the soil environmental science minor meet the qualifications for basic membership in the Society of Soil Scientists of Southern New England, are eligible for certification as soil scientists under the American Registry of Certified Professional Soil Scientists, and meet the requirements for federal job listings under soil scientists. Students who declare a minor in soil environmental science must complete 18 credits from the following courses: NRS 212, 351, 412, 426, 450, 452, 461, 471, 510, or 567. Students minoring in soil environmental science are encouraged to take a capstone course that allows them to apply their analytical skills in a real-world application.

Wildlife and Conservation Biology. This minor field of specialization provides students in-depth training in the principles of managing wildlife populations and their habitats. Students who declare a minor in wildlife and conservation biology must complete at least 18 credits of NRS courses within the WCB major curriculum, at least 12 of these 18 credits must be at the 200 level or higher, and all courses in the minor must be taken for a letter grade. Students minoring in wildlife and conservation biology are encouraged to take a capstone course that allows them to apply their analytical skills in a real-world application.  A major in this program is also available.