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Geography & Environmental Studies at Aquinas College

Environmental Studies Major (BS)

The major consists of the Environmental Studies Core courses (28 credits) and at least one of three (Ecology, Chemistry, or Earth Sciences) concentrations. Any remaining semester hours (i.e. less than 52) will be filled by elective courses. Any 200-level (or above) course listed within the major may be counted as an elective.

Major Requirements: Fifty-two (52) semester hours.

  • At least eighteen (18) semester hours must be taken at Aquinas.
  • Students must complete core courses and at least one concentration to total 52 semester hours.
  • Only courses with a grade of C or higher will count toward the major.
AQUINAS REQUIREMENTS
CS152 Spreadsheets 1.0
EL100 Introduction to Environmental Studies 3.0
EL301 Advanced Environmental Studies 3.0
EL490 Advanced Techniques and Topics 4.0
EL499 Environmental Studies Capstone Research (SC) Seminar 1.0
ES211 Microeconomic Principles 3.0
GY101 Earth Environments 4.0
MS151 Elementary Statistics OR MS252 Statistics 3.0
Two (2) courses from the following:
EH310 Special Topics in English (approval by chairperson) 3.0
HY240 Environmental History 3.0
PH238 Environmental Philosophy 3.0
TY255 Catholic Social Teaching 3.0
WS260 Women and the Environment 3.0

 

CONCENTRATION 1: ECOLOGY
BY170 Introduction to Organisms 4.0
BY171 Introduction to Cells 4.0
BY352 Ecology 3.0
Three (3) courses from the following:
BY231 Microbiology 4.0
BY241 Ornithology 3.0
BY264 Plant Taxonomy 3.0
BY275 Aquatic Field Biology 3.0
GY360 Biogeography (WI) 3.0
Three (3) – Four (4) semester hours of elective courses at a 200 level or above:
   
   
   

 

CONCENTRATION 2: CHEMISTRY
CY111 General Chemistry I 4.0
CY112 General Chemistry II 4.0
CY211 Organic Chemistry I 4.0
CY212 Organic Chemistry II 4.0
CY215 Quantitative Analysis 4.0
CY346 Instrumental Methods of Analysis (WI) 4.0

 

CONCENTRATION 3: EARTH SCIENCE
GY320 Cartography: Map Making and Interpretation 4.0
GY340 Remote Sensing 4.0
GY385 Geographic Information systems-GIS 4.0
Three (3) courses from the following:
GY280 Geospatial Analysis 3.0
GY350 Climatology/Meteorology 3.0
GY352 Geomorphology 3.0
GY360 Biogeography (WI) 3.0
GY370 Geography of Water Resources 3.0
Three (3) semester hours of elective courses at a 200 level or above:

 

 

Courses

  • BY170 Introduction to Organisms (4) NL

    This course will introduce the evolutionary processes that shape variation within populations and generate species diversity. It will examine the diversity in organismal morphology, physiology, behavior and ecology, and describe the interactions between species and their environments. The overarching goal of the course is to illustrate fundamental concepts in evolution, ecology and diversity via examples of species adaptations and interactions. An additional goal is to develop critical analytical skills through case studies, interactive lab protocols, and hands-on observations of plant and animal specimens. Three (3) hours lecture, three (3) hours lab. Offered every fall. BY170L, weekly lab.

  • BY171 Introduction to Cells (Formerly BY160 Principles of Biology) (4)

    Introduction to the structure and function of cells, including basic chemistry, metabolism, mitosis, genetics, protein synthesis, and cell regulation. Three (3) hours lecture, three (3) hours lab. Offered every semester.

  • BY231 Microbiology (4)

    Morphology, taxonomy, and physiology of bacteria and other microorganisms; microbial genetics, environmental and industrial significance of microorganisms, and infectious diseases will be covered. Three (3) hours lecture, four (4) hours lab. Prerequisites: completion of the introductory biology sequence with minimum grades of C. Offered every spring. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Biological Science requirement.

  • BY241 Ornithology (3)

    An introduction to the study of birds, their classification, anatomy, physiology, behavior, and natural history. Five hours per week, divided between lecture, lab and field excursions. Prerequisites: completion of the introductory biology sequence with minimum grades of C. Offered even-numbered springs. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Biological Science requirement.

  • BY264 Plant Biology (3)

    Study of structure, function, reproductive adaptations, and taxonomic classification of the major phyla of land plants. Emphasis on laboratory observations of micro- and macroscopic features and specialized terminology. Two (2) hours lecture, three (3) hours lab. Prerequisites: completion of the introductory biology sequence with minimum grades of C. Offered odd-numbered springs. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Biological Science requirement

  • BY275 Aquatic Field Biology (3)

    The study of aquatic systems and organisms, their functions, origins and interactions. Field oriented labs with training in limnological equipment and analysis. Three (3) hours lecture, three (3) hours lab. Prerequisites: completion of the introductory biology sequence with minimum grades of C. Offered even-numbered falls. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Biological Science requirement.

  • BY352 Ecology (3)

    This course examines interrelationships between individuals and their abiotic environment as well as population-and community-level interactions. General principles will be applied to a range of organisms, including plants, animals, microorganisms, and humans. Labs will vary in structure and will emphasize the collection and evaluation of numerical data to test hypotheses. Two (2) hours lecture and three (3) hours laboratory. Prerequisites: minimum grad of C in BY170, BY171.

  • CS152 Spreadsheets (1)

    This hands-on lab course covers basic spreadsheet functions such as simple formulas, formatting, and print layout using Microsoft Excel. Course projects introduce skills using a variety of formulas and basic functions, charts, and absolute addressing. This course would be beneficial to any students with a desire to analyze numerical data, manage finances, perform simple statistics, or generate charts and graphs.

  • CY111 General Chemistry (4) NL

    A first college course in chemistry designed primarily for science majors. Topics include atomic structure, chemical bonding, molecular structure, properties of gases, solids, and liquids, stoichiometry, and thermochemistry. Three (3) hours of lecture and one 3-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: CY100 or high school chemistry; math placement score of 18 or higher, co-registration in MS114, or completion of MS114 with a C or better. High school physics strongly recommended.

  • CY112 General Chemistry (4)

    A continuation of CY111. Topics include coordination chemistry, descriptive inorganic and organic chemistry, electrochemistry, equilibria, kinetics, and thermodynamics. Three (3) hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisites: CY111 and CS152 with grades of C- or better. Co-enrollment in CY112 and CS152 is allowed with approval of the chemistry department chairperson. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Physical Science requirement.

  • CY211 Organic Chemistry (4)

    This is the first semester of a year-long course in organic chemistry for science majors. Topics include bonding, reaction mechanisms, structure, stereochemistry, and synthesis and reactions of aliphatic hydrocarbons and their derivatives. The correlation of molecular structure to physical properties and instrumentation is introduced. Three (3) hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisite: CY112, with a grade of C- or better, or its equivalent. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Physical Science requirement.

  • CY212 Organic Chemistry (4)

    Continuation of CY211. Topics include carbonyl compounds and reactions, aromatic hydrocarbons, the application of instrumental methods (e.g. UV-vis, IR, NMR, MS) in the identification of the molecular structure, heterocyclic compounds. Multistep synthesis will be introduced. Three (3) hours of lecture and one three-hour laboratory period per week. Prerequisite: CY211, with a grade of C– or better, or its equivalent. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Physical Science requirement.

  • CY215 Quantitative Analysis (4) QR

    A first course in chemical analysis. Topics include gravimetric and volumetric methods, statistical applications, ionic equilibria, chromatography, and spectroscopy. Two (2) hours of lecture and two three-hour laboratory periods per week. Prerequisite: CY112 (or equivalent) with a grade of C– or better. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Physical Science requirement.

  • CY346 Instrumental Methods of Analysis (4) WI

    An introduction to instrumental methods both theoretical and practical. Topics include spectroscopic methods (UV/Visible, IR, Raman, AA, AE, NMR), electrochemical methods (potentiometry and voltammetry), chromatographic methods (GC and HPLC), radiomethods, and thermal methods. Two (2) hours of lecture and two three-hour laboratory periods per week. Prerequisite: CY215 with a grade of C- or better. This course is not accepted for the Natural World Physical Science requirement.

  • EH310 Special Topics in English

    Intensive study determined by instructor. Credits may be earned under different specific titles.

  • 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. This course is not accepted for Social Science or Natural World General Education credit.

  • 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. This course is not accepted for Social Science or Natural World General Education credit.

  • ES211 Microeconomic Principles (3) SS1

    Introduction to the economic problem and the study of economics; basics of supply and demand; introduction to concepts and models used to understand the economic behavior of households and firms, economic outcomes under various market structures, market failures, and international trade.

  • GY101 Earth Environments (4) NL

    Natural elements of environment and effects on humans: seasons, radiation, wind, moisture, climate, as well as landforms resulting from running water, ice, gravity, marine activities, and tectonic processes. Three (3) hours lecture, two (2) hours lab (GY101L).

  • GY280 Geospatial Analysis (3) (SS1/SS2)

    Fundamental skills in a variety of geospatial data collection and analysis technologies, including GPS and web-based mapping and GIS analysis, to investigate geographic patterns and questions. Two (2) hours lecture and two (2) hours lab (GY280L).

  • GY320 Cartography: Map Making and Interpretation (4)

    Cartographic design with emphasis on developing ability to communicate through maps and graphs; some computer graphics. Three (3) hours lecture, two (2) hours lab (GY320L). This course is not accepted for Social Science or Natural World General Education credit.

  • GY340 Remote Sensing (4)

    Fundamental skills in visual image interpretation, photogrammetry, and computer processing of digital aerial and satellite imagery. Three (3) hours lecture, two (2) hours lab (GY340L). Prerequisite: GY101 or GY120. This course is not accepted for Social Science or Natural World General Education credit.

  • GY350 Climatology/Meteorology (3)

    Weather elements and introduction to world climatic characteristics and locations; applied climatology. Prerequisite: GY101 or instructor approval. This course is not accepted for Social Science or Natural World General Education credit.

  • GY352 Geomorphology (3)

    The study of landform evolution through an analysis of natural and anthropogenic processes. Included in the analysis are glacial, fluvial, Aeolian, tectonic, and volcanic activities. Prerequisite: GY101. This course is not accepted for Social Science or Natural World General Education credit.

  • GY360 Biogeography (3)

    Biogeography is the study of species and how they are arranged upon the landscape. It explores both the distribution of plants and animals on the earth as well as the ecological processes that underlay those arrangements. This course is not accepted for Social Science or Natural World General Education credit.

  • GY370 Geography of Water Resources (3)

    The Geography of Water Resources is a course that looks at the nature and distribution of the water resources that our society depends upon. A sizeable portion of the course will detail the characteristics of the different sources of water as well as the myriad environmental and legal problems that arise from our usage of this resource. Prerequisite: GY101 or instructor approval. This course is not accepted for Social Science or Natural World General Education credit.

  • 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 (3) hours lecture, two (2) hours lab (GY385L). Prerequisite: GY320 and CS152 .This course is not accepted for Social Science or Natural World General Education credit.

  • HY240 Environmental History (US or Global) (3) HP

    An introductory historical survey of the interaction of humans with the environment focusing primarily on the post-Columbian period. The class will engage the influence of the natural environment on history (including climate, plants, animals, and microorganisms) as well as the impact of humans on the natural world. Topics will include pre- and post-Columbian ecological impacts, increasing environmental challenges of industrial and agricultural modernization, and the origins of the contemporary and environmental crisis.

  • MS151 Elementary Statistics (3) QR

    Designed primarily for students who have had no more than two years of high-school mathematics or its equivalent. Includes the fundamental concepts of descriptive and inferential statistics. Prerequisite: MS107. This course is not accepted for the General Education Mathematics requirement.

  • PH238 Environmental Philosophy (3)

    An examination of the various responses to the call to go beyond conservationalism and reform environmentalism of the 60’s and beyond environmental ethics. Topics include: deep ecology, eco-feminism, social ecology and radical environmentalism.

  • TY255/CA255 Catholic Social Teaching (3) TF

    The official social doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. The primacy of the person, human rights, the common good, family, natural law, meaningful work, just war.

  • WS260 Women and the Environment (3) PSC

    This course explores representations and theories of ecofeminism that connect nature and women, as well as the work of pioneering and contemporary "environmental advocates," such as Rachel Carson, Wangari Maathai, Vandana Shiva, and West Michigan women who have led the modern environmental movement. Through a range of readings, written responses, discussion, and a final community engagement project, students apply course models to shape an environmental consciousness for themselves.