ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (ESCI)

College of Arts and Sciences, Interdisciplinary Program
O’Shaughnessy Science Hall (OSS) 117, (651) 962-5241
Hickson (GEOL), program director; Environmental Science Committee: Emms (BIOL), Wammer (CHEM), and Amel (PSYC and ENVR program director, advisory)

Department Web Site: http://www.stthomas.edu/environmentalscience/

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary science program focused on solving environmental problems that lie at the interface between biology, chemistry, and geology. Students participate in one of three concentrations (biology, chemistry, or geology) leading to the Bachelor of Science degree, each of which contains substantial coursework from each of these disciplines. This program provides excellent preparation for students wishing to pursue graduate degrees in conservation biology, environmental science, earth system science, or other environmentally-focused programs of study in the sciences. It also provides solid preparation for students planning other types of environmental careers, such as environmental consulting, law, policy, or research.

Students entering this program should contact the program director or a committee member. Each student will be assigned an adviser appropriate to the concentration that they choose for their course of study. 

Major in Environmental Science: Concentration in Biology (B.S.)

  • ESCI 310 Environmental Problem Solving (4 credits)
  • ESCI 390 Senior Research Seminar (4 credits)

Biology courses (24 credits):

  • BIOL 207 Genetics, Ecology, and Evolution (4 credits)
  • BIOL 208 Biological Communication and Energetics(4 credits)
  • BIOL 209 Biology of Sustainability(4 credits)
  • BIOL 333 Ecology (4 credits)
  • BIOL 435 Aquatic Biology (4 credits) or BIOL 486 Environmental Physiology (4 credits)  

Plus:

  • Four additional BIOL credits at the 300-level, selected in consultation with the academic adviser. BIOL 211, or Individual Study or Research courses in biology, may be substituted for this requirement with prior approval of the academic adviser. 

Engineering course (4 credits):

  • ENGR 123 Energy and the Environment (4 credits)

Geology courses (8 credits):

  • GEOL 115 Environmental Geology (4 credits) or GEOL 162 Earth’s Record of Climate (4 credits)
  • GEOL 211 Earth Materials (4 credits) or GEOL 252 Geomorphology (4 credits) or GEOL 260 Regional Geology and Geological Field Methods (4 credits) 

Chemistry courses (8-12 credits):

  • CHEM 111 General Chemistry I (4 credits) and CHEM 112 General Chemistry II (4 credits)

or

  • CHEM 115 Accelerated General Chemistry (4 credits)

and

  • CHEM 201 Organic Chemistry I (4 credits)

Mathematics courses (4-8 credits):

  • MATH 108 Calculus with Review I (4 credits) and MATH 109 Calculus with Review II (4 credits)

or

  • MATH 113 Calculus I (4 credits)

Statistics course (4 credits):

  • STAT 220 Statistics I (4 credits) or MATH 303 Statistics for the Applied Sciences (4 credits)

Humanities and Policy/Economics courses (choose two of the following)(8 credits): 

  • ECON 370 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (4 credits)
  • ENVR 212 Social Dynamics and the Environment (4 credits)
  • ENVR 301 Environmental Ethics (4 credits) or PHIL 358 Environmental Ethics (4 credits)
  • ENVR 351 Environmental Policy (4 credits) or POLS 316 Environmental Policy(4 credits)

NOTE: Additional coursework in geographic information systems, environmental policy, economics, law, etc would lead to an even stronger degree program. ESCI and ENVR affiliated faculty can provide suggestions for additional courses, co-majors, and/or minors that might be applicable. Students pursuing graduate degrees in environmental science are strongly encouraged to take introductory physics courses (PHYS 111 and 112).

Major in Environmental Science: Concentration in Chemistry (B.S.)

  • ESCI 310 Environmental Problem Solving (4 credits)
  • ESCI 390 Senior Research Seminar (4 credits) 

Chemistry courses (20-24 credits):

  • CHEM 111 General Chemistry I (4 credits) and CHEM 112 General Chemistry II (4 credits)

or

  • CHEM 115 Accelerated General Chemistry (4 credits)

and

  • CHEM 201 Organic Chemistry I (4 credits)
  • CHEM 300 Quantitative analysis (4 credits) 

Plus eight credits from the following:

  • CHEM 202 Organic Chemistry II (4 credits)
  • CHEM 320 Instrumental Analysis (4 credits)
  • CHEM 331 Chemical Thermodynamics and Reaction Dynamics (4 credits)
  • CHEM 332 Quantum Chemistry and Molecular Spectroscopy (4 credits)
  • CHEM 440 Biochemistry I (4 credits)

Engineering course (4 credits):

  • ENGR 123 Energy and the Environment (4 credits)

Biology courses (8 credits):

  • BIOL 207 Genetics, Ecology, and Evolution (4 credits)
  • BIOL 208 Biological Communication and Energetics (4 credits) 

Geology courses (8 credits): 

  • GEOL 115 Environmental Geology (4 credits) or GEOL 162 Earth’s Record of Climate (4 credits)
  • GEOL 211 Earth Materials (4 credits) or GEOL 252 Geomorphology (4 credits) or GEOL 260 Regional Geology and Geological Field Methods (4 credits) 

Mathematics courses (4-8 credits):

  • MATH 108 Calculus with Review I (4 credits) and MATH 109 Calculus with Review II (4 credits)

or

  • MATH 113 Calculus I (4 credits)

Humanities and Policy/Economics courses (choose two of the following)(8 credits):

  • ECON 370 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (4 credits)
  • ENVR 212 Social Dynamics and the Environment (4 credits)
  • ENVR 301 Environmental Ethics (4 credits) or PHIL 358 Environmental Ethics (4 credits)
  • ENVR 351 Environmental Policy (4 credits) or POLS 316 Environmental Policy(4 credits)  

Plus eight credits from the following (it is strongly recommended that one of these courses be a field-based course):

  • BIOL 211 Introduction to field research (4 credits)
  • BIOL 333 Ecology (4 credits)
  • BIOL 335 Conservation Biology (4 credits)
  • CHEM 491, 492 Research (4 credits)
  • GEOL 260 Regional Geology and Geological Field Methods (4 credits)
  • GEOL 310 Environmental Geochemistry (4 credits)
  • GEOL 410 Hydrogeology (4 credits)
  • STAT 220 Statistics I (4 credits)

NOTE: PHYS 111 or 112 and MATH 114 are required for those who wish to take CHEM 331 or CHEM 332 as a part of their chemistry coursework. Additional coursework in geographic information systems, environmental policy, economics, law, etc would lead to an even stronger degree program. ESCI and ENVR affiliated faculty can provide suggestions for additional courses, co-majors, and/or minors that might be applicable. Students pursuing graduate degrees in environmental science are strongly encouraged to take introductory physics courses (PHYS 111 and 112).

Major in Environmental Science: Concentration in Geoscience (B.S.)

  • ESCI 310 Environmental Problem Solving (4 credits)
  • ESCI 390 Senior Research Seminar (4 credits)

Geology courses (20 credits): 

  • GEOL 115 Environmental Geology (4 credits) or GEOL 162 Earth’s Record of Climate (4 credits)
  • GEOL 211 Earth materials (4 credits)
  • GEOL 252 Geomorphology (4 credits)
  • GEOL 310 Environmental Geochemistry (4 credits)
  • GEOL 410 Hydrogeology (4 credits)

Field course (4 credits): 

  • GEOL 260 Regional Geology and Geological Field Methods (4 credits)
  • BIOL 211 Introduction to field research (4 credits)  

Biology courses (12 credits):

  • BIOL 207 Genetics, Ecology, and Evolution (4 credits)
  • BIOL 208 Biological Communication and Energetics (4 credits)
  • BIOL 333 Ecology (4 credits) or BIOL 335 Conservation Biology (4 credits) 

Engineering course (4 credits):

  • ENGR 123 Energy and the Environment (4 credits)

Chemistry courses (4-8 credits):

  • CHEM 111 General Chemistry I (4 credits) and CHEM 112 General Chemistry II (4 credits)

or

  • CHEM 115 Accelerated General Chemistry (4 credits)

Mathematics courses (4-8 credits):

  • MATH 108 Calculus with Review I (4 credits) and MATH 109 Calculus with Review II (4 credits)

or

  • MATH 113 Calculus I (4 credits) 

Statistics course (4 credits):

  • STAT 220 Statistics I (4 credits) or MATH 303 Statistics for the Applied Sciences (4 credits) 

Humanities and Policy/Economics courses (choose two of the following)(8 credits):

  • ECON 370 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (4 credits)
  • ENVR 212 Social Dynamics and the Environment (4 credits)
  • ENVR 301 Environmental Ethics (4 credits) or PHIL 358 Environmental Ethics (4 credits)
  • ENVR 351 Environmental Policy (4 credits) or POLS 316 Environmental Policy (4 credits)

NOTE: Additional coursework in geographic information systems, environmental policy, economics, law, etc would lead to an even stronger degree program. ESCI and ENVR affiliated faculty can provide suggestions for additional courses, co-majors, and/or minors that might be applicable. Students pursuing graduate degrees in environmental science are strongly encouraged to take introductory physics courses (PHYS 111 and 112).

Course Number Title Credits
ESCI  243 Individual Study 2 OR 4
ESCI  269 Research 2 OR 4
ESCI  310 Environmental Problem Solving 4
ESCI  389 Research 2 OR 4
ESCI  393 Individual Study 2 OR 4
ESCI  430 Senior Research Seminar 4
ESCI  491 Reseach 2 OR 4
ESCI  495 Individual Study 2 OR 4