Environmental Studies  


Major Checklist (pdf)
Students whose interest and course work are concentrated in science will earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree, while those more interested in human/cultural courses will earn a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) degree. A student may pursue an environmental studies major (32 semester hours) as a second major along with any other major. Students must earn a grade of “C” or higher in courses they wish to count toward their Environmental Studies Major.
Students opting for the Environmental Studies program should arrange the negotiable courses and/or the environmental field experience with the consent of the Environmental Studies coordinator and/or advisor, and their academic advisor. None of the 32 semester hours is applicable to the student’s first major.
Any student who completes the major courses, plus the appropriate credit in a major field or departmental concentration, may graduate with a double major in such fields as Biology-Environmental Studies, Geography-Environmental Studies, Chemistry-Environmental Studies, Sociology-Environmental Studies, et al.


The following CORE courses:
EL100 Introduction to Environmental Studies (3) NN
Introduction to principles of environmental relations and processes; survey of environmental literature.
EL301 Advanced Environmental Studies (3)
In depth examination of toxins and waste, natural systems and services, biodiversity, energy issues, climate change, and environmental policy. Prerequisite: EL100 or BY123.
GY101 Earth Environments (4) NL
Natural elements of environment and effects on man: seasons, radiation, wind, moisture, climate, as well as landforms resulting from running water, ice, wind, gravity, marine activities, and tectonic processes. Three hours lecture, two hours lab each week.
BY123 Introduction to Environmental Biology (4) NL
Introduction to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, with emphasis on human influences. Field experience based labs. Two hours lecture, three hours lab.
CY101 Environmental Chemistry (3) NL
Application of chemical concepts to environmental systems; implications of chemical technology to social and physical environment. Three hours lecture per week. One hour lab credit available by Independent Study contract. Not applicable to chemistry major.
CY102 Chemistry for Non-Major (3) NL
An introductory survey of the role of chemistry in society. The basic principles of chemistry are applied to everyday living situations. Common elements and compounds will be used to illustrate principles, some of which are acid-base theory, oxidation-reduction, radioactivity, and toxicity. Chemistry will be related to other disciplines, the national economy, other industries, and the future well-being of humans and the natural environment. Laboratory experiments will be conducted during the lecture period. Three hours of lecture/laboratory per week. Prerequisite: None.
GY120 Human Geography (4) PGC
The geographic subfield of Human Geography discusses and interprets the role of human beings as they are distributed across the surface of the earth. This is a far-ranging field of inquiry that incorporates information from the social scientific realms of economics, sociology, political science, and anthropology into a spatial analysis of the world around us. Given the nature of the topic, this course will be introductory in nature and examine the breadth of cultural geographic thought.
SY103 Cultural Anthropology (3) PGC
Analysis of human cultural adaptations in various societies around the world.
GY385 Geographic Information Systems GIS (4)
Geographic Information System fundamentals and theory are presented in a lecture format. Lab work focuses on applying GIS strategies and other geographic tools, such as aerial photo interpretation, spatial modeling and spatial analysis to examine a variety of physical geography and human geography problems. Three hours lecture, three hours lab. Prerequisite: GY320.
GY/EL490 Advanced Techniques and Topics (4)
Theory and application of specific techniques in research; collection and analysis of data; specific topics vary with instructors. Prerequisites: GY101 and GY120 or SY103.
GY/EL499 Geography Capstone and Research Seminar (1)
This is a research seminar where students implement the skills obtained during their study of Geography at Aquinas College. This course involves the implementation of research methods and techniques appropriate to each student's self-defined project. Introduction and application of skills necessary for successful written and oral presentation of geographical environmental research are included. The course is focused upon a sizeable student-defined research project that culminates in the presentation of their work and a written thesis. Prerequisite: GY/EL490.
SB100 Industrial Ecology (3)
This course examines natural and anthropogenic production processes and explores the complex interactions among society, industry, and the natural environment. The examination continues into the role of both private and government sectors in designing a commercial infrastructure that promotes profitability, resource conservation, and sustainable production processes. Prerequisites: EL 100 or BY 123, BS 201 and EL301.
Students may gain credit toward an Environmental Studies major by enrolling in:
EL310 Special Topics in Environmental Studies (3)
Variable topics in environmental studies offered on an occasional basis.
SB201 Environmental Business Management (3)
This course examines successful environmental management practices that enhance the profitability and sustainability of extraction, processing, manufacturing, and retailing businesses. It also integrates social issues, environmental problems, and technical opportunities that face today’s business managers. Non-traditional management approaches are discussed that increase profits for industry, enhance environmental integrity, and create a productive employee work communication, and social responsibility are discussed. Prerequisites: SB100 and BS201.
GY370 Geography of Water Resources (3)
Water resources and their management. Topics include the hydrologic cycle, irrigation, hydro-electric power, recreation, agricultural water usage, pollution, and desalinization. Prerequisite: GY101 or instructor approval.
EL395 Field Experience in Environmental Studies (Variable)
Field-based program established by contract between instructor and student. Subject to availability. Prerequisite: Approval of coordinator required.
EL398 Readings in Environmental Studies (Variable)
Individually-negotiated program of readings on selected topic established by contract between instructor and student. Contracts filed with Registrar. Prerequisite: Approval of coordinator.
EL399 Independent Project in Environmental Studies (Variable)
Individually-negotiated project of defined nature established by contract between instructor and student. Contracts filed with Registrar. Prerequisite: Approval of coordinator.