Environmental Science

Environmental Science Major

Learn more about this major

Degree Requirements - 126 credits

Students can earn a bachelor of science degree with this major.  See the requirements for the bachelor of science degree.

Major Requirements: 17 courses and corresponding laboratories where applicable, 68 credits

CUES Shared Core Requirements (5 courses and corresponding laboratories where applicable, 20 credits)

Credits:

4

Description:

Focuses on the natural environment through the lens of social science and humanities. Students will study texts from those disciplines to acquire a deeper understanding of the values and beliefs that underlie environmental issues. Students will investigate the policy-making processes and institutions through which those issues are decided, and the social inequalities in the distribution of environmental problems. Texts to be studied will range from literature, philosophy, and film to policy statements, impact reports, community advocacy materials, and investigative journalism.

Prerequisites:

Take UES-L111 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

Applies the fundamentals of science to environmental issues. Topics include population dynamics and resources, environmental degradation, ecosystems, geologic processes, deforestation, biodiversity, climate change, air, soil, and water resource management, and pollution and risks to health.

Prerequisites:

Take UES-111 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Laboratory exercises are used to illustrate topics covered in UES 111. Field testing and analysis of environmental samples. Field trips may be required.

Prerequisites:

Take UES-L225 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

Provides the fundamentals of geographic information science (GIS) including the history of automated mapping. A review of the necessary hardware and software elements used in GIS is presented. Hands-on exercises with computerized mapping software are required.

Prerequisites:

Take UES-225 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Required companion computer laboratory to be taken concurrently with UES 225.

Credits:

4

Description:

Examines a contemporary environmental issue for the development of senior project. Students will develop a proposal to address an identified issue from the multiple perspectives (e.g., policy, ethics, environmental justice, science and culture). As appropriate, the proposal will be field tested, demonstrated, or presented to the local community.

Choose one of the following:

Prerequisites:

MATH 128 or higher. REMINDER: STATS 250 is a required prerequisite MKT 220, FIN 200 and ISOM 201(prerequisite for ISOM 319)

Credits:

4

Description:

Application of statistical analysis to real-world business and economic problems. Topics include data presentation, descriptive statistics including measures of location and dispersion, introduction to probability, discrete and continuous random variables, probability distributions including binomial and normal distributions, sampling and sampling distributions, statistical inference including estimation and hypothesis testing, simple and multiple regression analysis. The use of computers is emphasized throughout the course. Normally offered each semester.

Prerequisites:

BIO 111/L111

Credits:

4

Description:

Introduction to the statistical methods used to evaluate biological problems. Sampling, probability, confidence intervals, hypothesis tests, experimental design, analysis of variance, regression, and correlation are some of the topics offered. Software for data handling, graphics, and analysis will be used.

Environmental Science Requirements (6 courses and corresponding laboratories where applicable, 24 credits)

Prerequisites:

Must take BIO L114 concurrently.

Credits:

3

Description:

Rigorous introduction to organismal biology emphasizing evolution, phylogenetics, form, and function. This is an introductory course required of all biology majors and minors, and some non-biology science majors. This course is not recommended for the non-science student.

Prerequisites:

Must take BIO 114 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

A series of laboratory experiences in evolution, diversity, anatomy and physiology.

Prerequisites:

Placement at MATH 104 or better. Students who do not place at MATH 104 must take MATH 104 concurrently. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM-L111.

Credits:

3

Description:

Fundamental principles of chemistry are discussed. Introduces atomic structure, stoichiometry, the periodic table, the nature of chemical bonds, and chemical reactions. This course is recommended for science majors or those considering careers in the health sciences.

Prerequisites:

MATH-104 MATH-108 MATH-121 MATH-128 MATH-130 MATH-134 MATH-164 MATH-165 MATHT-MPEL1 MATHT-MPEL2 or MATHT-MPEL3. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM 111.

Credits:

1

Description:

"Introduces the basic principles of chemistry through ""discovery"" laboratory experiments. Learn safe laboratory practices and basic techniques such as determining mass and volume\"

Prerequisites:

CHEM 111/L111; CHEM-L112 must be taken concurrently. MATH 104 placement or higher.

Credits:

3

Description:

This course is a continuation of General Chemistry I. Fundamental principles of chemistry are discussed. Introduces thermochemistry, gases, solution chemistry, chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, acid-base systems, and thermodynamics.

Prerequisites:

CHEM-111/L111; CHEM-112 must be take concurrently. MATH-104 placement or higher.

Credits:

1

Description:

This course is a continuation of General Chemistry I Laboratory. Apply the basic principles of chemistry through discovery laboratory experiments with an emphasis on quantitative analysis. Execute basic analytical techniques such as the application of Beer's Law and acid-base titrations. This laboratory is designed around the foundational laboratory skills practiced by science students in a wide variety of majors.

Choose one of the following courses and corresponding laboratory:

Prerequisites:

CHEM 112/L112 or permission of instructor; and UES-L255 concurrently.

Credits:

3

Description:

Investigates the chemical processes (including biologically mediated ones) that affect the cycling and ultimate fate of chemicals in the environment (air, water, and soil). Remediation and treatment methods used to minimize pollutant loads and mitigate their impacts are considered.

Prerequisites:

CHEM 112/L112 or permission of instructor; and UES-255 concurrently.

Credits:

1

Description:

Illustrates chemical processes in the environment and the methods of analysis of contaminants via laboratory exercises and application of instrumental techniques.

Or

Prerequisites:

CHEM 211, or permission of instructor

Credits:

3

Description:

A study of the chemical processes (including biologically mediated ones) that affect the cycling and ultimate fate of chemicals in the environment. Topics include air, water, and soil chemistry as well as energy and climate change. The effects of pollutant loads on natural systems and the remediation and treatment methods used to minimize pollutant loads are investigated. 3 hour lecture. Normally offered spring, odd numbered years.

Prerequisites:

CHEM 355 must be taken concurrently. Take CHEM-L211;

Credits:

1

Description:

Laboratory exercises designed to illustrate principles covered by topics in CHEM 355. Prerequisites: CHEM L211, concurrent enrollment in CHEM 355 required. 4-hour laboratory. Normally offered spring, odd numbered years.

Choose one of the following sequences:

Prerequisites:

Take MATH-121 or MATH-134 or MATH-165 or permission of Physics department chair; PHYS-L111 taken concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

Introduction to the fundamental principles of physics. Study of kinematics, vectors, Newton's laws, rotations, rigid body statics and dynamics, energy and work, momentum,heat and thermodynamics, kinetic theory. The laboratory consists of experiments to illustrate the basic concepts studied in the course.

Prerequisites:

PHYS 111 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Introduction to the fundamental principles of physics. Study of kinematics, vectors, Newton's laws, rotations, rigid body statics and dynamics, energy and work, momentum,heat and thermodynamics, kinetic theory. The laboratory consists of experiments to illustrate the basic concepts studied in the course. Error propagation, use of Excel, laboratory notebooks and formal reports required.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-111 and PHYS-L11. Must be taken concurrently with PHYS-L112.

Credits:

3

Description:

Continuation of the fundamental principles of physics. Study of simple harmonic motion, waves, fluids, electric forces and fields, electric potential, DC circuits, electromagnetic induction, magnetic fields, AC circuits, introduction to optics, introduction to atomic, nuclear and particle physics.

Prerequisites:

PHYS 111 and PHYS L111; PHYS 112 must be taken concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Continuation of the fundamental principles of physics. Study of simple harmonic motion, waves, fluids, electric forces and fields, electric potential, DC circuits, electromagnetic induction, magnetic fields, AC circuits, introduction to optics, introduction to atomic, nuclear and particle physics. The laboratory consists of experiments to illustrate the basic concepts studied in the course. Error propagation, use of Excel, laboratory notebooks, and formal reports required.

Or

Prerequisites:

MATH-121 or higher (previously or concurrently) and PHYS L151 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

PHYS 151 is the first of three courses (PHYS 151, 152, 153) that comprise the calculus based introductory physics sequence at Suffolk University intended for students majoring in the physical sciences, engineering and mathematics. This course aims to teach basic techniques in physics that fall under the topic of classical mechanics and their application in understanding the natural world. Specific topics include the study of vectors, Newton's laws, rotations, rigid body statics and dynamics, fluid mechanics, simple harmonic motion, mechanical waves, sound and hearing. The student will learn how to analyze physical situations by using simple models, and also how to solve those models and derive useful conclusions from them. This course will show students how experimental results and mathematical representations are combined to create testable scientific theories, and how the complexities of most real-life physical situations can be reduced to simple problems by identifying the essential physical features and ignoring the rest. The student will learn to distinguish the scientific approach to physical situations from other ways of looking at them, for example, artistic, humanistic, and business.

Prerequisites:

MATH 121 or higher (previously or concurrently) PHYS 151 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

The laboratory consists of experiments to illustrate the basic concepts studied in the course: measurements, propagation of errors, vectors, Newton's laws, work and energy, momentum, rotations, oscillations, simple harmonic motion, fluid. Knowledge of algebra, trigonometry, differentiation and integration required.

Prerequisites:

PHYS-151 and PHYS-L151. Must be taken concurrently with PHYS-L152.

Credits:

3

Description:

This calculus based course begins with topics in kinetic theory and the laws of thermodynamics. It then covers electric charge and field, Gauss' law, electrical potential and capacitance, electric currents and DC circuits. Next magnetism, electromagnetic induction, Faraday's law and AC circuits are discussed. This is followed by Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves, and properties of light.

Prerequisites:

PHYS 151 and L151 and PHYS 152 must be taken concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

The laboratory consists of experiments to illustrate the basic concepts studied in the course: heat, gas laws, electric forces, field, and potential, DC and AC circuits, magnetic field, electromagnetic induction, Faraday's law, optics. Calculus, algebra, trigonometry are required. Error propagation, use of Excel, laboratory notebooks, and formal reports required.

Environmental Studies Requirements (2 courses, 8 credits)

Prerequisites:

UES-L211 must be taken concurrently.

Credits:

3

Description:

Focuses on how environmental conditions affect human, animal and ecological health. Areas may include control of environmental contaminants; public health and infectious disease control; sanitation systems; antibiotic resistance; health issues associated with food production; the effects of industrialization on the environment; and the impact of disasters on environmental health.

Prerequisites:

UES-211 must be taken concurrently.

Credits:

1

Description:

Illustrates topics covered UES 211 through laboratory exercises. Exercises may include analysis of environmental samples (soil, water, and air). Field trips may be required.

Choose one of the following courses:

Credits:

4

Description:

Identifies the environmental effects of economic activity, including polluted water and air, noise, and radiation, and values their costs and benefits. Analyzes mechanisms, including taxes and permits, for achieving a socially preferable level of pollution. Traces role played by institutions, including common ownership, in affecting environmental decay. Resource depletion (of oil, forests, and fisheries) and appropriate policy responses.

Credits:

4

Description:

The study of how economic and human activity is distributed across space, the reasons for these spatial distributions, and the processes that change the spatial organization of economic activity over time. Topics include: maps, map projections, and geographic information systems; population geography; the organization and location of cities, towns and villages; transportation and communication policy; industrial location; the geography of world trade; and geographic features of economic development. The course takes a global perspective, and draws on cases and examples from all over the world. Cultural Diversity B

Prerequisites:

Take EC-101

Credits:

4

Description:

More than half of the world population lives in urban areas. This course sets out to explain the existence, growth, geographic patterns, and impact of cities, and the effects of public policy on urban form, structure, and activity. It addresses the urban issues of transportation, congestion, housing, crime, poverty and inequality, governance, and the environment, and asks how planning and policy can tackle these. The context of these discussions is the megacities of Asia: 24 of the world's 37 megacities (those with ten million or more inhabitants) are in Asia, where they are home to almost 500 million people. The choices made by these cities will be considered in comparative perspective, including with Boston, New York, Paris, and London.

Prerequisites:

ENT-101 and Junior Standing

Credits:

3

Description:

Over the past decade, the world of business and the environment has exploded. Beginning as an engineering-driven movement among a handful of companies during the 1980's, many firms have learned that improved environment performance can save money and create a competitive advantage. In this course, we will cover how businesses of all sizes are more attentive to environmental issues and the realization that a green business: improves employee morale and health in the workplace, holds a marketing edge over the competition, strengthens the bottom line through operating efficiencies, is recognized as an environmental leader, can have a strong impact in the community and beyond, and can improve public relations.

Prerequisites:

GVT 110 or GVT 120 or instructor's permission

Credits:

4

Description:

This course will provide an examination of the institutions involved in the American policy-making process. The student will learn about the presidential system that exists in the United States. The course will focus on a relationship between the President and Congress and how that relationship impedes or facilitates the public policy process, including the budgetary process. The course will include a discussion of the president's role as head of the executive branch, and the implementation of congressional policies. Attention will be given to the role of the judiciary in the policy process. Normally offered every year.

Prerequisites:

GVT 110 or instructor's permission

Credits:

4

Description:

This course examines the process and politics of agenda-setting and public policy formulation in the United States. The primary focus is on understanding the complex interaction between institutions and actors involved in public policy making at the federal level, although many of these observations are transferrable to other levels of government (state and local) and other political systems. Students will learn by doing as they become elected Members of Congress in a semester-long legislative simulation. Normally offered every fall.

Prerequisites:

This course will have a service learning component Junior Status required

Credits:

4

Description:

From Rio to the Boston Harbor Project, this course examines the policies and politics of the environment. It examines the origins of the environmental movement in the United States focusing on the development and present function of government and non-government organizations responsible for the development and implementation of global, national, state and local environmental policies.

Prerequisites:

PHIL-119, PHIL-123, PHIL-127 or PHIL-120

Credits:

4

Description:

An examination of the moral issues involved in the interaction of humans with their natural environment. Topics include: the environmental crisis, human-centered vs. nature-centered ethics, intrinsic value in nature, obligations to future generations, the importance of preserving endangered species and wilderness, radical ecology, eco-feminism, and the role of social justice in environmental issues. Prerequisite: PHIL 119, or 123, or 127. 1 term -4 credits. Normally offered every year.

Credits:

4

Description:

This course will explore our natural environment and human interacations with it. We will connect a critical study of society, power, and inequality to the study of our natural environment and the ways it is altered by human behaviors. We will also consider ways to change our society's relationship with the natural environment to keep our earth clean and safe for human society.

Credits:

4

Description:

Investigates the environmental justice movement, its basis in law, and its leaders. Students will study key topics pertaining to environmental and health disparities and learn about community organizing and advocacy and their application to shape decision-making. Sustainable practices and their integration into daily life to create healthy communities and equity will be considered.

Prerequisites:

Class will meet for 75 minutes a week and then travel over spring break. Instructor's consent is required

Credits:

4

Description:

In this course students meet community needs by engaging in service-learning outside the classroom.Focuses on the history and lasting effect of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) on the physical and political landscape of the United States.Tracks the progression of work of the more than 3 million men who served in the CCC from 1933 to 1942, from the planting of billions of trees to the development of recreational opportunities on federal and state lands. Looks at the role the CCC played in redefining conservation and creating a mainstream environmental movement. Investigates the lasting legacy that the CCC left on the American landscape through the development of other conservation corps programs. Connected with a required Alternative Spring Break trip, this experiential education offering will allow students to experience and complete similar work to that completed by CCC members.

Credits:

4

Description:

Permaculture is the design of food systems and social structures to provide for human needs while restoring ecosystem health. Examining the interconnections between environmental, social and economic components, Permaculture is informed by the disciplines of systems ecology, ecological design and ethno-ecology.

Credits:

4

Description:

Explores local and bioregional food systems through the lens of holistic design and of building a resilient food culture through the ethics of sustainability. Students will examine environmental, social and economic factors of building successful community food systems from seed to table. Provides students with the tools to assess the decisions that direct our current food chain including processing, marketing, and food distribution. Students will make connections to food justice, health, food insecurity while analyzing commercial agriculture and small scale sustainable farming.

Advanced Science Requirements (3 courses and corresponding laboratories where applicable, 12 credits)

Choose three of the following:

Prerequisites:

BIO-111/L111 or BIO-114/L114 or Instructor's consent; BIO-L254 concurrently;

Credits:

3

Description:

Introduction to the marine environment, its organisms and their specific adaptations. Emphasis on marine and estuarine ecology, intertidal habits, trophic relations, and physiology. Human impacts on the sea: fisheries, mariculture, pollution, introduced species, climate change and seawater acidification, and law of the sea. Taught yearly each fall.

Prerequisites:

BIO-111/L111 or BIO-114/L114 or Instructor's consent; BIO-254 concurrently;

Credits:

1

Description:

Field trips to local marine environments, museums, and aquaria; field and laboratory study and observations of live, preserved, and models of marine organisms.

Prerequisites:

BIO-114/L114; BIO-L333 concurrently;

Credits:

3

Description:

Areas of study include but are not limited to basic principles of population biology, community ecology, trophic dynamics, ecosystem structure and function and evolutionary theory.

Prerequisites:

BIO-114, BIO-L114, and BIO-333 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Field and laboratory experiences in techniques and concepts relevant to ecological theory, data collection, statistical analysis, visual representation and report preparation.

Prerequisites:

BIO-114 and BIO-L114

Credits:

4

Description:

This course covers a broad spectrum of aspects of biodiversity and conservation by examining key elements ranging from global patterns in the distribution of life on our planet to the effects our human population is causing on those patterns. Examples from marine and terrestrial animals and plants are used to convey current ideas with a focus on the importance of global biodiversity, and the design of management programs for the conservation of species and ecosystems. 4-credit

Prerequisites:

BIO-114/L114;

Credits:

3

Description:

A survey of the occurrence, life history and pathogenicity of the most important arthropod-borne, human diseases both internationally (malaria, dengue, plague, trypanosomiasis, yellow fever, etc.) and within the United States (Lyme disease, EEE, West Nile Virus, and others). Demographic and environmental factors leading to the re-emergence and spread of these diseases will be considered.

Prerequisites:

CHEM 112 and CHEM-L112. CHEM-L211 must be taken concurrently.

Credits:

3

Description:

Introduces basic theories of structure, bonding, and chemical reactivity as specifically applied to modern organic chemistry. Includes functional groups, acid/base chemistry, nomenclature, resonance, spectroscopy, and stereochemistry.

Prerequisites:

CHEM-112 and CHEM-L112. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM 211.

Credits:

1

Description:

Introduces synthetic organic chemistry techniques. Includes melting point determination, distillation, crystallization, extraction, chromatographic separations, and infrared spectroscopy. Discusses experimental design within the context of green organic chemistry.

Prerequisites:

CHEM 211 and CHEM L211. Must take CHEM-L212 concurrently.

Credits:

3

Description:

Builds on the core competencies acquired in Organic Chemistry I. Includes detailed mechanistic discussions of substitution, elimination, and addition reactions. Emphasizes organic synthesis, structure determination, and spectroscopy.

Prerequisites:

CHEM-211 and CHEM-L211. Must be take CHEM-212 concurrently.

Credits:

1

Description:

Builds on the core competencies acquired in Organic Chemistry Laboratory I. Emphasizes the characterization of organic molecules via nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Discusses experimental design within the context of green organic chemistry.

Prerequisites:

CHEM 211; CHEM L314 must be taken concurrently.

Credits:

3

Description:

Explores the basic techniques of collecting and analyzing data from different types of instrumentation, including: ultraviolet, visible, fluorescence, atomic and emission spectroscopy; chromatographic methods; electrochemical measurements. Students will apply these techniques to problems in chemistry, forensics, and environmental science.

Prerequisites:

CHEM L211; CHEM 314 must be taken concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Laboratory experiments in chemical analysis using instrumental techniques, including spectroscopy and chromatography. Data collection and evaluation includes computer-based methods. Reports are prepared in professional style.

Prerequisites:

CHEM 314/L314

Credits:

3

Description:

Topics in inorganic chemistry including bonding theories, chemical structures, symmetry and group theory, kinetics and mechanisms of reactions, and spectroscopy. Advanced topics may include bioinorganic chemistry, or organometallics.

Prerequisites:

CHEM 375 must be taken concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Laboratory exercises designed to illustrate principles covered by topics in CHEM 375. Prior or concurrent enrollment in CHEM 375 required.

Credits:

4

Description:

In this course students meet community needs by engaging in service-learning outside the classroom. Develops students' awareness and understanding of wetlands including inland and salt marshes,mangroves, and swamps. The beginning of the semester is devoted to understanding of how these vital ecosystems function with topics including wetland hydrology, biogeochemistry, management,and restoration. The latter portion of the semester is focused on developing a testable citizen science project (e.g. a sampling protocol) for a local salt marsh in conjunction with a local community partner.

Math Requirement (1 course, 4 credits)

Choose one of the following:

Prerequisites:

MATH-104, MATH-121 or MATH level 4

Credits:

4

Description:

A one-semester introduction to differential and integral calculus. Theory is presented informally and topics and techniques are limited to polynomials, rational functions, logarithmic and exponential functions. Topics include a review of precalculus, limits and continuity, derivatives, differentiation rules, applications of derivatives to graphing, minima/maxima, applications of the derivative, marginal analysis, differential equations of growth and decay, anti-derivatives, the definite integral, the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus, and area measurements. This course cannot be used to satisfy core or complementary requirements by students majoring in chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, or physics. Several sections offered each semester.

Prerequisites:

MATH-121 with a minimum grade of C, MATH-075, or MATH level 5

Credits:

4

Description:

Functions, limits and continuity, squeeze theorem, limits at infinity; instantaneous rate of change, tangent slopes, and the definition of the derivative of a function; power, product, and quotient rules, trig derivatives, chain rule, implicit differentiation; higher order derivatives; derivatives of other transcendental functions (inverse trig functions, exponential and log functions, hyperbolic trig functions); applications of the derivative (implicit differentiation, related rates, optimization, differentials, curve sketching, L'Hopital's rule); anti-derivatives; indefinite integrals; Fundamental Theorem; applications (net change). 4 lecture hours plus 1 recitation session each week. Normally offered each semester.

Any math course above MATH-165 may also be chosen.

Students who have taken MATH-165 are encouraged to take PHYS-151/L151 and PHYS-152/L152. Students considering graduate school are encouraged to take MATH-165 and MATH-166.

Internship Option

Internships may be approved for credit by the CUES director. An approved internship for 3- or 4-credits may be used as a concentration course option at the discretion of the CUES director. 

Prerequisites:

Environmental Science and Environmental Studies majors and minors only with junior standing.

Credits:

1.00- 4.00

Description:

Application of the principles and techniques of environmental science or studies to a specific environmental problem through a local internship placement of 10 hours per week (minimum) for 12 weeks. Typically, this experience will include literature research, classroom meetings, and field work in an off-campus environmental agency or NGO.

Credits:

1.00- 4.00

Description:

Application of the principles and techniques of environmental science or studies to a specific environmental problem through a global internship placement of 10 hours per week (minimum) for 12 weeks. Typically, this experience will include literature research, classroom meetings, and field work in an off-campus environmental agency or NGO.

Residency Requirement Policy: In the College of Arts and Sciences, a two-course (8 credit) residency requirement must be satisfied for completion of a minor and a four-course (16 credit) residency requirement must be satisfied for the completion of a major.

Environmental Science Learning Goals and Objectives

Learning goals and objectives reflect the educational outcomes achieved by students through the completion of this program. These transferable skills prepare Suffolk students for success in the workplace, in graduate school, and in their local and global communities.

Learning Goals Learning Objectives
Students will know/understand Students will be able to...
Science as a process for understanding environmental phenomena and issues
  • Assess the ethics of a proposed study
  • Conduct an experiment following standard protocols
  • Recognize the importance of safety protocols
  • Collect data via quantitative and qualitative observations and measurements
  • Interpret the results of an experiment
How science is communicated
  • Evaluate primary literature
  • Interpret visual representations of data
  • Summarize the discoveries of scientific research
How to communicate scientific findings
  • Orally present findings to others in formal and informal settings
  • Construct a written document in a scientific style, including proper citation of sources
  • Prepare visual representations of data
  • Access and utilize scientific databases
How to work collaboratively
  • Conduct an experiment or gather data as part of a group
  • Participate in group discussions
  • Record protocols and observations
  • Provide constructive feedback to group members
  • Accept feedback from group members
How decisions about the environment are made
  • Describe the historical context of environmental decisions
  • Describe the societal and cultural context of environmental decisions
  • Describe the political context of environmental decisions
  • Describe the ethical context of decisions about the environment
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the process of establishing environmental regulations in the US and globally
  • Analyze how poverty, social injustice, and inequity impact environmental decision making
The physical and chemical characteristics of the natural environment
  • Identify the chemical structures and physical characteristics of the molecules of biotic and abiotic components of the environment
  • Write and use material balances
  • Apply a systems approach to the analysis of urban, suburban, and rural areas
  • Identify the major environmental impacts of human activity
  • Understand and describe technical solutions to environmental problems
That energy can be changed from one form to another, and the need for, and impacts of, human energy use
  • Compare and contrast relevant forms of energy (e.g. kinetic energy vs. potential energy, energy stored in bonds vs. potential energy of concentration gradients)
  • Write and use an energy balance
  • Identify solar and non-solar energy sources and their environmental impacts
  • Identify social justice issues in provision of energy to global population
How to apply systems thinking to environmental problems
  • Use GIS mapping software to analyze an environmental issue or problem
  • Evaluate an environmental problem from multiple disciplines
  • Identify the global environmental systems, including the sources and sinks for environmentally important elements and compounds
  • Provide the societal, cultural, and regulatory context for an environmental issue or problem
  • Identify multiple stakeholders in an environmental issue and how they impact policy and reform
  • Distinguish between natural and anthropogenically generated environmental phenomenon and understand their interactions
How to pursue a career in the environmentally related fields
  • Effectively search for and locate pertinent internships and jobs
  • Assess your qualifications in relation to an internship and/or job description
  • Prepare job application materials including a resume and cover letter
  • Conduct a mock interview

Environmental Science Minor

Learn more about this minor

Minor Requirements: 6 courses, 24 credits

The Environmental Science minor has three required courses and three additional courses demonstrating an emphasis in biology or chemistry.

Core Requirements (3 courses and corresponding laboratories where applicable, 12 credits)

Prerequisites:

Take UES-L111 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

Applies the fundamentals of science to environmental issues. Topics include population dynamics and resources, environmental degradation, ecosystems, geologic processes, deforestation, biodiversity, climate change, air, soil, and water resource management, and pollution and risks to health.

Prerequisites:

Take UES-111 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Laboratory exercises are used to illustrate topics covered in UES 111. Field testing and analysis of environmental samples. Field trips may be required.

Prerequisites:

UES-L211 must be taken concurrently.

Credits:

3

Description:

Focuses on how environmental conditions affect human, animal and ecological health. Areas may include control of environmental contaminants; public health and infectious disease control; sanitation systems; antibiotic resistance; health issues associated with food production; the effects of industrialization on the environment; and the impact of disasters on environmental health.

Prerequisites:

UES-211 must be taken concurrently.

Credits:

1

Description:

Illustrates topics covered UES 211 through laboratory exercises. Exercises may include analysis of environmental samples (soil, water, and air). Field trips may be required.

Prerequisites:

Take UES-L225 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

Provides the fundamentals of geographic information science (GIS) including the history of automated mapping. A review of the necessary hardware and software elements used in GIS is presented. Hands-on exercises with computerized mapping software are required.

Prerequisites:

Take UES-225 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Required companion computer laboratory to be taken concurrently with UES 225.

Electives (3 courses and corresponding laboratories where applicable, 12 credits)

Choose one of the following options:

Biology Option

Prerequisites:

Must take BIO L114 concurrently.

Credits:

3

Description:

Rigorous introduction to organismal biology emphasizing evolution, phylogenetics, form, and function. This is an introductory course required of all biology majors and minors, and some non-biology science majors. This course is not recommended for the non-science student.

Prerequisites:

Must take BIO 114 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

A series of laboratory experiences in evolution, diversity, anatomy and physiology.

Prerequisites:

BIO-114/L114; BIO-L333 concurrently;

Credits:

3

Description:

Areas of study include but are not limited to basic principles of population biology, community ecology, trophic dynamics, ecosystem structure and function and evolutionary theory.

Prerequisites:

BIO-114, BIO-L114, and BIO-333 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Field and laboratory experiences in techniques and concepts relevant to ecological theory, data collection, statistical analysis, visual representation and report preparation.

Prerequisites:

BIO-114 and BIO-L114

Credits:

4

Description:

This course covers a broad spectrum of aspects of biodiversity and conservation by examining key elements ranging from global patterns in the distribution of life on our planet to the effects our human population is causing on those patterns. Examples from marine and terrestrial animals and plants are used to convey current ideas with a focus on the importance of global biodiversity, and the design of management programs for the conservation of species and ecosystems. 4-credit

Chemistry Option

Prerequisites:

Placement at MATH 104 or better. Students who do not place at MATH 104 must take MATH 104 concurrently. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM-L111.

Credits:

3

Description:

Fundamental principles of chemistry are discussed. Introduces atomic structure, stoichiometry, the periodic table, the nature of chemical bonds, and chemical reactions. This course is recommended for science majors or those considering careers in the health sciences.

Prerequisites:

MATH-104 MATH-108 MATH-121 MATH-128 MATH-130 MATH-134 MATH-164 MATH-165 MATHT-MPEL1 MATHT-MPEL2 or MATHT-MPEL3. Must be taken concurrently with CHEM 111.

Credits:

1

Description:

"Introduces the basic principles of chemistry through ""discovery"" laboratory experiments. Learn safe laboratory practices and basic techniques such as determining mass and volume\"

Prerequisites:

CHEM 111/L111; CHEM-L112 must be taken concurrently. MATH 104 placement or higher.

Credits:

3

Description:

This course is a continuation of General Chemistry I. Fundamental principles of chemistry are discussed. Introduces thermochemistry, gases, solution chemistry, chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, acid-base systems, and thermodynamics.

Prerequisites:

CHEM-111/L111; CHEM-112 must be take concurrently. MATH-104 placement or higher.

Credits:

1

Description:

This course is a continuation of General Chemistry I Laboratory. Apply the basic principles of chemistry through discovery laboratory experiments with an emphasis on quantitative analysis. Execute basic analytical techniques such as the application of Beer's Law and acid-base titrations. This laboratory is designed around the foundational laboratory skills practiced by science students in a wide variety of majors.

For one of the three courses, student may select either:

Prerequisites:

CHEM 112/L112 or permission of instructor; and UES-L255 concurrently.

Credits:

3

Description:

Investigates the chemical processes (including biologically mediated ones) that affect the cycling and ultimate fate of chemicals in the environment (air, water, and soil). Remediation and treatment methods used to minimize pollutant loads and mitigate their impacts are considered.

Prerequisites:

CHEM 112/L112 or permission of instructor; and UES-255 concurrently.

Credits:

1

Description:

Illustrates chemical processes in the environment and the methods of analysis of contaminants via laboratory exercises and application of instrumental techniques.

or

Prerequisites:

CHEM 211, or permission of instructor

Credits:

3

Description:

A study of the chemical processes (including biologically mediated ones) that affect the cycling and ultimate fate of chemicals in the environment. Topics include air, water, and soil chemistry as well as energy and climate change. The effects of pollutant loads on natural systems and the remediation and treatment methods used to minimize pollutant loads are investigated. 3 hour lecture. Normally offered spring, odd numbered years.

Prerequisites:

CHEM 355 must be taken concurrently. Take CHEM-L211;

Credits:

1

Description:

Laboratory exercises designed to illustrate principles covered by topics in CHEM 355. Prerequisites: CHEM L211, concurrent enrollment in CHEM 355 required. 4-hour laboratory. Normally offered spring, odd numbered years.

Residency Requirement Policy: In the College of Arts and Sciences, a two-course (8 credit) residency requirement must be satisfied for completion of a minor and a four-course (16 credit) residency requirement must be satisfied for the completion of a major.

Minor Programs Policy: A student declaring a minor may use no more than two courses from a major or double major combination to fulfill the requirements for the minor. No more than one course from one minor may count toward the fulfillment of a second minor. Students may not minor in a subject in which they are also completing a major. For more information, see the Minor Programs section of the CAS Degree Requirements page.

Honors

To complete requirements for honors in the major, a candidate must:

  1. Graduate with a major GPA of 3.5 or higher
  2. Graduate with an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher
  3. Complete UES-H555 (minimum registration for 4 credits)
  4. Develop and complete an independent study project under the supervision of a member of the CUES Honors Advisory Committee. Depending on the nature of the project, the study may be conducted on or off campus, or involve a combination of both
  5. Defend a thesis to the CUES Honors Advisory Committee
  6. Present findings in a colloquium
  7. CAS Honors Program students only: Also present work from the senior honors experience at the Honors Symposium or Pecha Kucha event

To become a candidate for honors in the major, a student must:

  1. Have a major GPA of 3.5 or higher
  2. Have an overall GPA of 3.5 or higher
  3. Receive an invitation from the CUES Honors Advisory Committee

Environmental Science Courses

Credits:

4

Description:

Focuses on the natural environment through the lens of social science and humanities. Students will study texts from those disciplines to acquire a deeper understanding of the values and beliefs that underlie environmental issues. Students will investigate the policy-making processes and institutions through which those issues are decided, and the social inequalities in the distribution of environmental problems. Texts to be studied will range from literature, philosophy, and film to policy statements, impact reports, community advocacy materials, and investigative journalism.

Prerequisites:

UES-L107 must be taken concurrently.

Credits:

3

Description:

Unmanned autonomous systems (UAS) or Drones are high-tech, intelligent machines capable of traveling by air, land, or sea via a remote connection. This course presents concepts and practical methods of using Unmanned Vehicles in a professional context, particularly for environmental projects. UAVs are increasingly being used in a professional capacity such as cinematography and filming, real estate, construction, surveying, mapping, agriculture, industrial inspections, utilities inspections and many more. The course covers mission planning, operations, field data collection, data processing, legal implications, data analysis and data deliverables. The course and laboratory will include learning flying micro-drones and preparing to pass the Federal Aviation Administration's Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Airmen (Part 107) exam. The course will have an associated Laboratory component in which students will learn how to properly plan effective flight missions, fly safely and legally, develop risk management strategies, analyze the data captured and convert it into a useful data deliverable.

Prerequisites:

UES-107 must be taken concurrently.

Credits:

1

Description:

Unmanned autonomous systems (UAS) or Drones are high-tech, intelligent machines capable of traveling by air, land, or sea via a remote connection. This course presents concepts and practical methods of using Unmanned Vehicles in a professional context, particularly for environmental projects. UAVs are increasingly being used in a professional capacity such as cinematography and filming, real estate, construction, surveying, mapping, agriculture, industrial inspections, utilities inspections and many more. The course covers mission planning, operations, field data collection, data processing, legal implications, data analysis and data deliverables. The course and laboratory will include learning flying micro-drones and preparing to pass the Federal Aviation Administration's Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Airmen (Part 107) exam. The course will have an associated Laboratory component in which students will learn how to properly plan effective flight missions, fly safely and legally, develop risk management strategies, analyze the data captured and convert it into a useful data deliverable.

Prerequisites:

UES-107/L107 previoiusly or concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Building on the theory and skills learned in UES 107/L-107, UES-L108 is a one credit course which allows students to learn the hands-on skills necessary to safely and effectively operate a drone. This is a skill only learned by focused practice and flying drones on a regular basis. Techniques, tips and best practices will be examined and practiced repeatedly. Successful completion of this course will require passing a practical examination which will consist of flying a micro drone and demonstrating all the various skills that drone pilots need to employ in order to fly safely.

Prerequisites:

SU Upward Bound program participant

Credits:

1

Description:

Intensive study of topics in urban sustainability and climate adaptation in the 21st century. Focuses on concepts in sustainable design and urban planning using the STEM disciplines. Technical reading and writing emphasized.

Prerequisites:

Take UES-L111 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

Applies the fundamentals of science to environmental issues. Topics include population dynamics and resources, environmental degradation, ecosystems, geologic processes, deforestation, biodiversity, climate change, air, soil, and water resource management, and pollution and risks to health.

Prerequisites:

Take UES-111 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Laboratory exercises are used to illustrate topics covered in UES 111. Field testing and analysis of environmental samples. Field trips may be required.

Prerequisites:

Take CHEM-112 and CHEM-L112 previously or concurrently; Environmental Science majors only

Credits:

1

Description:

Summarizes and reviews the main organic functional groups of importance in the environment, their reactivity, and their basic mechanisms (ionic or radical) in environmental systems.

Prerequisites:

Take UES-L121 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

Examines art and cultural objects through the lens of the biological, chemical, and physical principles of the materials and processes we use to make them. Includes consideration of factors important in art conservation. Provides an environmental context for the manufacture and use of art materials and the preservation of cultural objects.

Prerequisites:

Take UES-121 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Provides hands-on work with pigments, dyes, and other art materials using the basic principles of science and technology. Students will conduct laboratory experiments that produce art objects and other consumer products. Instruction in safe laboratory practices and basic techniques such as determining mass and volume, representing data in the form of tables, graphs, and graphics. Practice in synthesizing compounds like paints and finishes and in evaluating methods of art conservation.

Prerequisites:

UES-L211 must be taken concurrently.

Credits:

3

Description:

Focuses on how environmental conditions affect human, animal and ecological health. Areas may include control of environmental contaminants; public health and infectious disease control; sanitation systems; antibiotic resistance; health issues associated with food production; the effects of industrialization on the environment; and the impact of disasters on environmental health.

Prerequisites:

UES-211 must be taken concurrently.

Credits:

1

Description:

Illustrates topics covered UES 211 through laboratory exercises. Exercises may include analysis of environmental samples (soil, water, and air). Field trips may be required.

Prerequisites:

Take UES-L225 concurrently

Credits:

3

Description:

Provides the fundamentals of geographic information science (GIS) including the history of automated mapping. A review of the necessary hardware and software elements used in GIS is presented. Hands-on exercises with computerized mapping software are required.

Prerequisites:

Take UES-225 concurrently

Credits:

1

Description:

Required companion computer laboratory to be taken concurrently with UES 225.

Prerequisites:

UES-L226 concurrently. UES 107/L107 and UES L108.

Credits:

3

Description:

This course deals with project based drone based mapping from the perspective of an environmental scientist or planner. Students will identify a need for geographic data on an environmental project, plan a drone mission, analyze the data and present the visualization through a GIS Map.

Prerequisites:

UES-226 concurrently. UES-107, UES-L107 and UES-L108.

Credits:

1

Description:

This lab accompanies UES-226 and allows for hands on work in both gathering data via drone flight missions and then taking that data and creating a map product. Work will follow Project Management protocols.

Prerequisites:

CHEM 112/L112 or permission of instructor; and UES-L255 concurrently.

Credits:

3

Description:

Investigates the chemical processes (including biologically mediated ones) that affect the cycling and ultimate fate of chemicals in the environment (air, water, and soil). Remediation and treatment methods used to minimize pollutant loads and mitigate their impacts are considered.

Prerequisites:

CHEM 112/L112 or permission of instructor; and UES-255 concurrently.

Credits:

1

Description:

Illustrates chemical processes in the environment and the methods of analysis of contaminants via laboratory exercises and application of instrumental techniques.

Credits:

4

Description:

In this course students meet community needs by engaging in service-learning outside the classroom. Develops students' awareness and understanding of wetlands including inland and salt marshes,mangroves, and swamps. The beginning of the semester is devoted to understanding of how these vital ecosystems function with topics including wetland hydrology, biogeochemistry, management,and restoration. The latter portion of the semester is focused on developing a testable citizen science project (e.g. a sampling protocol) for a local salt marsh in conjunction with a local community partner.

Prerequisites:

Honors student or at least 3.3 GPA

Credits:

4

Description:

In this course students meet community needs by engaging in service-learning outside the classroom. Students' awareness and understanding of wetlands including inland and salt marshes, mangroves, and swamps will be developed through exploration of these vital ecosystems (topics include wetland biology, management, and restoration). The latter portion of the semester is focused on developing a testable citizen science project (e.g. a sampling protocol) for a local salt marsh in conjunction with a local community partner where students will be going into the field three times over the course of the semester via pre-arranged private transportation.

Credits:

4

Description:

Investigates the environmental justice movement, its basis in law, and its leaders. Students will study key topics pertaining to environmental and health disparities and learn about community organizing and advocacy and their application to shape decision-making. Sustainable practices and their integration into daily life to create healthy communities and equity will be considered.

Prerequisites:

Class will meet for 75 minutes a week and then travel over spring break. Instructor's consent is required

Credits:

4

Description:

In this course students meet community needs by engaging in service-learning outside the classroom.Focuses on the history and lasting effect of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) on the physical and political landscape of the United States.Tracks the progression of work of the more than 3 million men who served in the CCC from 1933 to 1942, from the planting of billions of trees to the development of recreational opportunities on federal and state lands. Looks at the role the CCC played in redefining conservation and creating a mainstream environmental movement. Investigates the lasting legacy that the CCC left on the American landscape through the development of other conservation corps programs. Connected with a required Alternative Spring Break trip, this experiential education offering will allow students to experience and complete similar work to that completed by CCC members.

Credits:

4

Description:

Provides an overview of Environmental Education (EE) by investigating how EE has been defined, how the field has changed over time, and how our own connections with the environment can inform our understanding and practice of this work. Students will consider the goals of EE and the variety of approaches utilized in the field to reach those goals. Age appropriate environmental education, place-based education, and urban environmental education will also be studied.

Credits:

4

Description:

Permaculture is the design of food systems and social structures to provide for human needs while restoring ecosystem health. Examining the interconnections between environmental, social and economic components, Permaculture is informed by the disciplines of systems ecology, ecological design and ethno-ecology.

Credits:

4

Description:

Explores how Americans have understood the environment and their relationship to it through analysis of classic environmental texts, historical contexts, and societal perspectives. Analyzes how the environment has changed from pre-colonial times to the present and how these changes have been described through the lens of environmental history. Themes include differing viewpoints of European and indigenous peoples toward the natural environment, the impacts of the Western expansion on native species and landscapes, the rise of industrialism and its impacts on natural resources and ecosystems, and the rise of 20th century environmentalism.

Prerequisites:

UES-111 UES-L111 UES-211 UES-L211

Credits:

4

Description:

How environmental professionals decide what to study, how they select a research design, sample and collect data, analyze results, interpret findings, and write up reports. Students are introduced to the techniques most frequently used by environmental professionals and undertake their own small research project. Required for all environmental studies majors.

Credits:

4

Description:

Explores local and bioregional food systems through the lens of holistic design and of building a resilient food culture through the ethics of sustainability. Students will examine environmental, social and economic factors of building successful community food systems from seed to table. Provides students with the tools to assess the decisions that direct our current food chain including processing, marketing, and food distribution. Students will make connections to food justice, health, food insecurity while analyzing commercial agriculture and small scale sustainable farming.

Credits:

4

Description:

Examines a contemporary environmental issue for the development of senior project. Students will develop a proposal to address an identified issue from the multiple perspectives (e.g., policy, ethics, environmental justice, science and culture). As appropriate, the proposal will be field tested, demonstrated, or presented to the local community.

Prerequisites:

Junior standing or above required or consent of the instructor. Retricted to CUES major/minor students only.

Credits:

4

Description:

This course combines a practicum placement of at least 10 hours a week for 12 weeks in a position that offered the student significant opportunity to learn about environmental problems as the basis for reflection, analysis, and skill development through appropriate reading, writing, and oral presentation assignments. Specific learning objectives will be tailored to the student's placement. Interested students should consult instructor in advance. ECR. 4 credits. Prerequisite: junior standing, limited to Environmental Studies majors and minors.

Credits:

4

Description:

Investigates the rise of the Green Party, from its grass-roots beginnings to participation in the federal government. Background on the development of green consciousness in Germany and Europe since the early 20th century. Present governmental policies and programs (e.g., alternative energy sources, organic farming, recycling, dismantling of nuclear power). Cross-listed GER 420 and GVT 420

Credits:

4

Description:

Examines different sides of environmental and energy concerns championed by the media and the responses of politicians, public government, and the public to these issues. Probes the roles that politicians, lobbyists, and the media have in framing the debate on environmental issues and in the development of resulting public policy. Considers scientific evidence about complex environmental issues (climate change) and the challenges of analyzing and articulating these issues.

Credits:

0

Description:

This course requires students to complete a minimum of 15 engagement hours per semester. Students gain exposure to a variety of activities related to CUES research and development in a laboratory or field setting with faculty oversight. Permission of instructor required. May be taken more than once.

Prerequisites:

Environmental Science and Environmental Studies majors and minors only with junior standing.

Credits:

1.00- 4.00

Description:

Application of the principles and techniques of environmental science or studies to a specific environmental problem through a local internship placement of 10 hours per week (minimum) for 12 weeks. Typically, this experience will include literature research, classroom meetings, and field work in an off-campus environmental agency or NGO.

Credits:

1.00- 4.00

Description:

Application of the principles and techniques of environmental science or studies to a specific environmental problem through a global internship placement of 10 hours per week (minimum) for 12 weeks. Typically, this experience will include literature research, classroom meetings, and field work in an off-campus environmental agency or NGO.

Prerequisites:

An independent study form must be submitted to the CAS Dean's Office.

Credits:

1.00- 4.00

Description:

This is an independent study in environmental studies. Topics will vary.

Prerequisites:

Grade point average 3.0 overall, 3.4 in major; completion of a minimum of 8 credits in courses that are part of the Environmental Studies major at Suffolk University; consent of instructor.

Credits:

4

Description:

Individual program of reading, research, writing on an approved topic under the supervision of a member of the CUES Honors Advisory Committee, for CUES majors who are candidates for honors in a CUES major and who wish to prepare a thesis for submission to the honors committee. Must normally be taken in the senior year.

Prerequisites:

Grade point average 3.0 overall, 3.4 in major; completion of a minimum of 8 credits in courses that are part of the Environmental Studies major at Suffolk University; consent of instructor.

Credits:

4

Description:

Individual program of reading, research, writing on an approved topic under the supervision of a member of the CUES Honors Advisory Committee, for CUES majors who are candidates for honors in a CUES major and who wish to prepare a thesis for submission to the honors committee. Must normally be taken in the senior year.