Undergraduate minor: environmental sciences
The Environmental Sciences Program provides rigorous interdisciplinary training in the scientific study of the environment. It promotes an understanding of the earth as a complex network of interacting organic and inorganic systems. The program's undergraduate curricula reflect the diversity in the broad field of environmental sciences and draw upon the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' disciplinary strengths, giving students the opportunity to develop particular areas of expertise.
Hands-on field experience is a crucial component of the program. Students are strongly encouraged to engage in research and study abroad.
The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is the administrative home for the Environmental Sciences Program.
Undergraduate Programs of Study
- Major in Environmental Sciences (Bachelor of Arts)
- Major in Environmental Sciences (Bachelor of Science)
Depending on their choice of track and/or courses, students majoring in environmental sciences may have the opportunity to take courses at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory, a field station located on West Lake Okoboji, in northwestern Iowa. Run cooperatively by the University of Iowa, Iowa State University, and the University of Northern Iowa, the laboratory offers courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels and provides excellent conditions for summer study in several disciplines. See Iowa Lakeside Laboratory (University College) in the Catalog or visit the Lakeside Laboratory website.
Environmental Sciences Courses
ENVS:1080 Introduction to Environmental Science3-4 s.h.
Biological and physical character of the Earth; interaction of humans with the environment, including impacts on ecosystems, climate, natural processes, resources; alternative options, including sustainability, waste management, energy, land reform. GE: Natural Sciences with Lab; Natural Sciences without Lab. Same as EES:1080.
ENVS:1085 Fundamentals of Environmental Science4 s.h.
Interdisciplinary study of how Earth's natural systems interact, how these systems affect society, and how they respond to human activity; how environmental problems can be solved and avoided by drawing upon knowledge in disciplines as diverse as ecology, anthropology, economics, chemistry, and political science; blended instructional environment, including traditional lectures, discussions in TILE classrooms, laboratory, online learning, peer-reviewed writing exercises, and service learning. Offered fall semesters. Requirements: no prior enrollment in EES:1080 or ENVS:1080. GE: Natural Sciences with Lab. Same as EES:1085.
ENVS:1090 Introduction to Environmental Sciences Laboratory1 s.h.
ENVS:1115 Big Ideas: The History and Science of Oil3 s.h.
Historical perspective on business, science, geology, technology, politics, environment, and culture of the global oil industry; the rise of oil as the most influential international business of the last 150 years, the material foundation of economies, a major force in world politics, a shaper of daily life, and a guide to understanding Earth's deep history. Offered fall semesters. GE: Historical Perspectives. Same as EES:1115, GEOG:1115, HIST:1115.
ENVS:2673 Ecology3-4 s.h.
Adaptations of organisms to their physical and biological environments; organism-environment interactions; population biology; interactions between species; ecology of communities, ecosystems; human impact on ecosystems. Prerequisites: BIOL:1411 and BIOL:1412 and (MATH:1460 or MATH:1850 or MATH:1550). Recommendations: a basic statistics course. Same as BIOL:2673.
ENVS:3000 Environmental Sciences Seminar1 s.h.
Role of sciences in environmental issues and problems; progression from observation to evaluation to design of better questions and experiments. Requirements: environmental sciences major.
ENVS:3020 Earth Surface Processes3 s.h.
Basic geomorphic and environmental processes that shape the earth's surface; emphasis on erosion, transport, deposition by land mass movement (creep, landslides, earth flow), fluid agents (wind, water, ice); methods used to study these processes. Prerequisites: EES:1080 or EES:1050 or EES:1080 or GEOG:1020. Same as EES:3020, GEOG:3020.
ENVS:3095 Field Ecology4 s.h.
Analysis and interpretation of patterns and underlying physical and biotic basis for regional and local distributions of plants and animals of eastern Iowa; field observation, sampling, and laboratory analysis; conduction of several field research projects requiring collection, statistical analysis, and interpretation of data in short reports; field-oriented course. Recommendations: advanced undergraduate standing or graduate standing in ecology, environmental sciences, or geoscience.
ENVS:3100 Introduction to Applied Remote Sensing4 s.h.
Remote sensing of the earth's surface from aircraft, satellites; aerial photograph interpretation; remote sensing systems, methods, data analysis using electromagnetic spectrum and digital processing techniques, including visible, infrared, microwave radiation; remote sensing applied to geologic and environmental problems. Prerequisites: EES:1050 or EES:1080 or EES:1030. Same as EES:3100.
ENVS:3110 Chemical Evolution of the Oceans3 s.h.
Investigation of various physicochemical states oceans have assumed over the past four billion years of Earth history; use of isotope geochemistry as a proxy for ancient ocean conditions; focus on integrated Earth system science, paleoceanographic and paleoclimate modeling, role of chemical stratigraphy in deciphering past climate states of ocean-atmosphere system; relationship between chemical changes in ocean/atmosphere and biological systems of the Earth. Same as EES:3110.
ENVS:4700 Evolution of Ecosystems3 s.h.
Evolutionary history of terrestrial and marine ecosystems; ecological processes from population to ecosystem levels; community assembly, trophic levels, networks, biodiversity dynamics; practical aspects of paleoecological data collection, statistical analysis, modeling. Requirements: two courses in geoscience, biology, environmental sciences, anthropology, or geography. Same as EES:4700.