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Environmental Science

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Environmental Science

Degree Option

Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science with a major in environmental science.

See requirements for Bachelor of Science.

Description of Program

This interdisciplinary science degree prepares students in a liberal arts tradition to understand connections between human beings and their effects on the Earth's environment. Drake environmental science students are grounded in the natural sciences disciplines while also acquiring the ability to synthesize information across disciplines. Students develop technical and quantitative skills including laboratory and field methods, statistical analysis and the implementation of geographic information systems (GIS). Courses in the social sciences such as economics, politics, policy and ethics provide an important link to the human element associated with environmental issues. Graduates of the program will be well prepared to undertake graduate study in diverse fields of environmental sciences, as well as to work in governmental and nongovernmental capacities on environmental issues.

Field work is a key component of this degree, featured in biology, geology and environmental classes. Iowa's central location in the nation allows students to experience a diversity of ecosystems and human communities during frequently offered weekend and summer field trips. The program also connects students with ongoing environmental projects (for example an 8,000-acre prairie restoration project including bison and elk at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge, 20 miles east of campus), with offerings at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory in Milford, Iowa (a biological field station), and with semester-long marine science experiences at the University of Southern Mississippi's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory in Ocean Springs, Mississippi.

Drake’s environmental science major is distinguished by its strong focus on interdisciplinary study, emphasis on field experiences, opportunities for research and independent study, and service learning approach in the Senior Capstone experience.

B.S. Degree: The B.S. degree program is designed to provide significant experience in research. Students in either the life science or physical science track of the ENS major may select this option. Students will become collaborators with faculty and contribute to all aspects of a research project from proposal and hypothesis formation to data analysis, interpretation and presentation. The research typically occurs at Drake University with Drake faculty, but it could also be completed during an off-campus experience with a non-Drake adviser (e.g., study abroad, local workplaces). Off campus research still requires an ENSP faculty adviser (through enrollment in ENSP 197).

B.S. Requirements:

  • Collaboration with a faculty advisor in a significant research project (minimum of 2 semesters)
  • Research proposal submitted to the ENSP program and approved before your senior year
  • Biology 99, Biological Research and Statistical Methods, or its advisor-approved equivalent
  • A minimum of 2 credits of ENSP 197, Undergraduate Thesis Research
  • Oral presentation of the research to ENSP faculty and students
  • Research paper and a copy of the presentation submitted to the ENSP program

Students planning to complete a B.S. in ENS should obtain a copy of the full description of the B.S. requirements from their advisor or the program director by their sophomore year.

PROGRAM SIZE
Approximately 50 students are enrolled in the Environmental Science major. Average class size is about 20 students.

Requirements for Major

The environmental science major is offered as two tracks— Physical Science and Life Science. These are designed to provide students with a combination of coursework that will best develop the expertise and experience that is appropriate for their specific career goals. Completion of one of these tracks is required for the environmental science degree.

Students are strongly encouraged to develop additional depth in focus areas of interest to them in conversation with their academic advisers and the program director. Students planning to attend graduate school should work carefully with their adviser to determine what additional courses will be needed to prepare for graduate admission.

Physical Science Track: Required 60 credits

Core Curriculum [27]

Electives (take 2 into to Biology courses) Credits
(i)Biology 1,1L (The Biological Sciences) OR 3,1
Biology 13,13L (General/Pre-Professional Biology II) 3,1
(ii)Biology 18,18L (Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology) OR 3,1
Biology 19,19L (Introduction to Botany) 3,1
ENSP 35 (One Earth: Global Environmental Science) 3
ENSP 36 (One Earth Laboratory) 1
ENSP 41 (Principles of Geology) 4
Chemistry 1,3 (General Chemistry I) 4
Chemistry 2,4 (General Chemistry II) 4
ENSP 65 (Geographic Information Systems) 3

Chemistry & Quantitative [14]

Required Credits
Chemistry 81 (Quantitative Chemistry) 4
Chemistry 107, 108 (Organic Chemistry) 4
Math 50 (Calculus I) 3
(i)Biology 99 (Biological Research & Statistical Methods) OR 3
Statistics 60 (Statistics for the Life Sciences) 3

Area of Specialization [10]

Electives - Take 10 credit hours in adviser-approved upper-level courses Credits
Biology 103,103L (Microbiology) 3,2
Biology 115, 115L (Aquatic Biology) 2,1
Biology 168,168L (Limnology) 3,1
Biology 186 (Molecular Biology) 3
ENSP 51 (Energy and the Environment) 3
ENSP 141 (Environmental Geology) 4
ENSP 165 (Advanced GIS) 3
Chemistry 130 (Biochemistry) 3
Chemistry 18 (Instrumental Chemistry) 1-4
Physical Science 71 (Solar Energy I) 2
Physical Science 72 (Solar Energy II) 1
LLAB 166 (Watershed Hydrology and Surficial Processes) 4
LLAB 168 (Aquatic Ecology) 4
Or adviser-approved electives 3-4 credits

Science and Policy Integration [6]

Electives - Take 6 credits Credit
ENSP 111 (International Environmental Policy) 4
ENSP 135 (Global Climate Change: Science & Policy) 3
ENSP 156 (Environmental Politics and Policy) 3
ENSP 157 (Environmental Justice) 3
Or adviser-approved electives 3-4

Capstone [3]

ENSP 191: Environmental Science & Policy Practicum 3

Life Science Track: Required 60 credits

Core Curriculum [27]

Electives (take 2 into Biology courses) Credit
(i)Biology 1,1L (The Biological Sciences) OR 3,1
Biology 13,13L (General/Pre-Professional Biology II) 3,1
(ii)Biology 18,18L (Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology) OR 3,1
Biology 19,19L (Introduction to Botany) 3,1
ENSP 35 (One Earth: Global Environmental Science) 3
ENSP 36 (One Earth Laboratory) 1
ENSP 41 (Principles of Geology) 4
Chemistry 1,3 (General Chemistry I) 4
Chemistry 2,4 (General Chemistry II) 4
ENSP 65 (Geographic Information Systems) 3

Theory of Ecology [15]

Required Credits
Biology 117 (Ecology) 3
Biology 118L (Ecology Lab) 2
Electives (take one of each couplet) Credits
(i)Biology 120, 120L (Ecosystem Ecology) OR 3,1
Biology 167, 167L (Population andmmunity Ecology) 3,1
(ii)ENSP 165 (Applications of GIS) OR 3
ENSP 154 (Environmental Decision-Making) 3
(iii) Biology 99 (Biological Research & Statistical Methods) OR 3
Statistics 60 (Statistics for the Life Sciences) 3

Field Biology Component [9]

Electives - Take 9 credits Credits
ENSP 101 (Restoration Ecology Practicum) 3
ENSP 115 (Environmental Field Course) 1-6
Biology 24,24L (Field Ornithology) 1,1
Biology 110,110L (Iowa Natural History) 1,1
Biology 114, 114L (Evolution) 3,1
Biology 119,119L (Herpetology) 2,1
Biology 122,122L (Mammalogy) 2,1
Biology 123,123L (Biology of Invertebrates) 3,1
Biology 152,152L (Field Botany) 2,1
Biology 168,168L (Limnology) 3,1
LLAB 119 (Amphibians and Reptiles) 4
LLAB 124 (Ornithology) 4
LLAB 152 (Plant Taxonomy) 4
LLAB 161 (Freshwater Algae) 4
LLAB 161 (Biology of Aquatic Plants) 4
LLAB 164 (Prairie Ecology) 4
LLAB 168 (Aquatic Ecology) 4
LLAB 169 (Ecosystems of North America) 4
LLAB 170 (Introduction to Insect Ecology) 4
LLAB 171 (Plant Ecology) 4
LLAB 172 (Wetland Ecology) 4
LLAB 174 (Behavioral Ecology) 4
Or adviser-approved electives 3-4

Science and Policy Integration [6]

Electives - Take 6 credits Credits
(i)ENSP 125 (Conservation Biology) OR 4
ENSP 135 (Global Climate Change: Science & Policy) 3
(ii)ENSP 156 (Environmental Politics and Policy) OR 3
ENSP 157 (Environmental Justice) OR 3
ENSP 111 (International Environmental Policy) 4
Or adviser-approved electives 3-4

Capstone [3]

ENSP 191 (Environmental Science & Policy Practicum) 3

Requirements for Minor

Program of study for the minor: All minors must have an adviser in the program and must successfully complete a minimum 22 credit hours that fulfill the following requirements:

ENSP 035 (One Earth: Global Environmental Science)
ENSP 036 (One Earth: Global Environmental Science Laboratory)
Biology 001 (Introduction to Biological Science), or equivalent
Biology 117 (Ecology)
Biology 118L (Ecology Lab)

Elective – take one course from this group
(i) ENSP 041 (Principles of Geology), OR
ENSP 065 (Geographic Information Systems), OR
ENSP 105 (Environmental Geology), OR
ENSP 135 (Global Change: Science and Policy)

ENSP elective in Environmental Policy
ENSP 100-level elective

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