2022-2023 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 18, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Geoscience, BS

Gregory D. Hoke, Chair
204 Heroy Geology Laboratory,


Suzanne Baldwin, Tripti Bhattacharya,  Melissa Chipman, Daniel Curewitz, Paul Fitzgerald, Gregory Hoke, Linda Ivany, Christopher Junium, Jeffrey Karson, Christa Kelleher, Laura Lautz, Zunli Lu, Robert Moucha, Cathryn Newton, Scott Samson, Christopher Scholz, Jay Thomas, Sam Tuttle, Tao Wen

Climate change, environmental degradation, and resource management collectively encompass perhaps the greatest global challenge we face today. Study of the processes that link changes in the atmosphere, ocean, solid earth and biosphere has seen major advances in recent decades. The BS in Environmental Geoscience degree delivers in-depth study of these components of the dynamic earth system and the linkages among them. This fundamental understanding is augmented with practical applications in environments spanning local to global scales. This degree 1) prepares students for careers in environmental resource monitoring, remediation, and regulation associated with positions in private corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations, 2) provides the scientific underpinning for students moving into complementary fields of environmental management, law, policy, and education, and 3) offers a solid foundation for students interested in pursuing advanced degrees in the sciences and/or careers in research related to the study of the Earth system in public, corporate, or academic settings.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Explain process-based linkages among the lithosphere, climate, water, and life as illustrated by the Earth system over time.                                                                                
  • Analyze and interpret general patterns in the history of the Earth-life system using geological records.

  • Describe local and global patterns of climate change and understand both spatial and temporal drivers of the climate system.

  • Infer Earth surface processes and environments and characterize ecosystem properties from field, lab and data-driven observations of sedimentary systems.
  • Use analytical, remote sensing, and/or numerical tools to characterize hydrologic systems in the surface and/or subsurface.

  • Effectively synthesize published literature related to Earth and Environmental sciences in a written report and/or a data product.

  • Develop written and verbal communication skills required to effectively convey science to a wide range of audiences.

Requirements for B.S. Degree in Environmental Geoscience

The BS degree in Environmental Geoscience requires at least 64 credits of Earth and Environmental Science including auxiliary math and science coursework.

Introductory Earth Science Courses

4 credits

Sequence Earth Science Course

4 credits

Math Sequence

6- 8 credits

Any combination of Calculus I and Calculus II or Elementary Probability and Statistics I from the following list:

Introduction to Earth and Environmental Science Skills Set

4 credits

Two EAR 200 courses in: 

Introduction to Field Methods (2 credits)
Introduction to Data Analysis (2 credits)

Divisions of Environmental Geoscience

9 credits

Choose one from each block that does not duplicate the above core classes. Other courses may be substituted by petition.

Upper Division Requirements

8 credits

Select 7-credits of upper-division EAR or approved auxiliary science or mathematics courses

Requirements for Distinction in Environmental Geoscience

  • Minimum GPA Within Department 3.6
  • Cumulative GPA, by End of Senior Year 3.4

Other Criteria Required for the Degree with Distinction:

Students must complete a research-based senior thesis in conjunction with a faculty supervisor. The thesis must constitute independent, hypothesis-driven research involving investigative tools and techniques in the Earth Sciences. Students must submit the written thesis to the department and give a public seminar reporting their results. Students should register for EAR 409 - Senior Thesis in Earth Science in the semester in which they plan to submit the thesis. All else being satisfied, Distinction is conferred following a vote of approval from the Faculty of the Department of Earth and Environmental Science.