Contacts | Program of Study | Program Requirements for the BS in Environmental Science | Lists of Elective Courses | Grading | Honors | Sample BS Programs | Courses

Department Website: http://geosci.uchicago.edu

Program of Study

The Department of the Geophysical Sciences offers a BS degree in Environmental Science. The program is intended for students whose interests fall at the intersection of biology, chemistry, and earth sciences, and is designed to prepare them to enter a variety of interdisciplinary fields in the environmental sciences, including the interface of environmental science and public policy. Students are given the opportunity to study such topics as the biogeochemical cycles, environmental chemistry, microbiology, ecology, the chemistry and dynamics of the ocean and atmosphere, climate change, and environmentally relevant aspects of economics and policy. Students are encouraged to participate in the Semester in Environmental Science at the Marine Biological Laboratory, and undergraduate research is also strongly encouraged.

Program Requirements for the BS in Environmental Science

The requirements for the BS degree in Environmental Science involve completion of:

  • six required courses that fulfill general education requirements for the physical sciences, biological sciences, and mathematics
  • seven required science or mathematics courses
  • eleven elective courses pertinent to the major from the electives lists below, which must include
    • four courses designated ENSC or GEOS
    • one course in Statistics, and two more in any of Mathematics, Statistics, or Computing
    • one to three courses in Social Science/Public Policy

Candidates for the BS in Environmental Science complete a year of chemistry, a year of mathematics (including Calculus I-II), and a year of biology (ENSC 24400 Ecology and Conservation, GEOS 27300 Biological Evolution, and BIOS 20198 Biodiversity), as well as PHYS 13100 Mechanics or the equivalent. (Note that some advanced chemistry courses require further physics as a prerequisite.)

Students are encouraged to begin discipline-specific courses as early as possible. Required disciplinary courses include ENSC 13300 The Atmosphere, ENSC 23800 Global Biogeochemical Cycles, and ENSC 23900 Environmental Chemistry. (Note that ENSC 23800 Global Biogeochemical Cycles is typically offered every other year.) Of ENSC/GEOS science electives, one can be a field course, and one may be ENSC 29700 Reading and Research in Environmental Science. Students participating in the Semester in Environmental Science receive credit for four courses in environmental science, two of which can be used to substitute for ENSC 24400 Ecology and Conservation and ENSC 23900 Environmental Chemistry.

The major is designed to be flexible enough to accommodate students whose primary interests cover various aspects of environmental science. Sample course schedules below give examples of course plans appropriate to students focusing on climatology, conservation, and biogeochemistry. Students with a focus on policy questions may take up to three courses in social science/public policy. These courses are available through undergraduate programs in Economics, Public Policy Studies, and Environmental Studies, or through the Harris School of Public Policy.

Because analysis of data and mathematical modeling are fundamental to environmental science, the major requires six courses in quantitative methods: a year of mathematics, one course in statistics, and two additional courses in mathematics, statistics, or computing.

Note that while students taking calculus through the more introductory MATH 13000s sequence are encouraged to complete the third quarter of calculus, MATH 13300 Elementary Functions and Calculus III, in the higher tracks Calculus III (e.g., MATH 15300 Calculus III) is not specifically required or recommended, as the first two courses offer a sufficiently comprehensive calculus training for students to move on to other courses. Depending on the choice of electives, students may credit as many as nine Mathematics/Statistics/Computing courses toward the major.

Summary of Requirements for the BS in Environmental Science

GENERAL EDUCATION
One of the following sequences:200
Introductory General Chemistry I
   and Introductory General Chemistry II
Comprehensive General Chemistry I-II *
Honors General Chemistry I-II
One of the following sequences:200
Elementary Functions and Calculus I-II *
Calculus I-II
Honors Calculus I-II
Both of the following: **200
Biodiversity
Biological Evolution §
Total Units600
MAJOR
ENSC 13300The Atmosphere100
ENSC 23800Global Biogeochemical Cycles100
ENSC 23900Environmental Chemistry100
ENSC 24400Ecology and Conservation100
CHEM 11300Comprehensive General Chemistry III *100
or CHEM 12300 Honors General Chemistry III
One of the following:100
General Physics I * ‡
Mechanics
Honors Mechanics
One of the following:100
Mathematical Methods for Physical Sciences I
Abstract Linear Algebra
Introduction to Mathematical Methods in Physics
Introduction to Quantitative Modeling in Biology (Advanced)
Elementary Functions and Calculus III *
Calculus III
Honors Calculus III
Eleven electives as follows:1100
Four courses designated ENSC or GEOS from List E-1: Physical and Biological Sciences
One course from List E-2: Social Sciences
Three courses from List E-3: Computational Sciences, of which one must be under the heading of Statistics
Three more courses from any of the elective lists, but only up to two of these may be from List E-2: Social Sciences
Total Units1800
*

Credit may be granted by examination.

**

Only students majoring in Environmental Science or Geophysical Sciences may use this pairing toward the general education requirement in the Biological Sciences. Environmental Science and Geophysical Sciences majors can take these courses without the BIOS prerequisites (BIOS 20150-20151/20152) unless they pursue a double major in Biological Sciences. They are expected to show competency in mathematical modeling of biological phenomena covered in BIOS 20151/20152.

§

Biological Evolution has several cross-listings; Environmental Science majors must register for the course under the GEOS 27300 listing.

PHYS 13100 or PHYS 14100 are the preferred courses. PHYS 12100 is allowable on a case-by-case basis but may not provide adequate preparation to allow for enrollment in higher level PHYS courses. Additionally, PHYS 12100 has a prerequisite of a year of Chemistry. Special petition to the department counselor is required for PHYS 12100 approval.

Lists of Elective Courses

List E-1: Physical and Biological Sciences

Environmental Science
ENSC 21100Energy: Science, Technology, and Human Usage100
ENSC 23805Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry100
ENSC 24000Geobiology100
ENSC 24500Environmental Microbiology100
ENSC 25200Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast100
ENSC 29700Reading and Research in Environmental Science100
Semester in Environmental Science/MBL

The following courses are the College designations for the Semester in Environmental Science that is taught at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. One quarter at MBL counts for four courses: ENSC 23820, ENSC 24100, ENSC 29800, and an elective of ENSC 24200, ENSC 24300, or ENSC 28100. Admission to the Semester in Environmental Science program is by application, which must be received by the MBL generally in March of the year preceding the start of the semester. Admissions decisions will generally be sent in April. Note that these courses start at the beginning of September, typically four weeks prior to the start of the College’s Autumn Quarter and are completed by the end of Autumn Quarter. More information on the course content and the application process, and deadlines can be found at https://college.uchicago.edu/academics/semester-environmental-science-ses. Students participating in the Semester in Environmental Science receive credit for four courses in environmental science, two of which can be used to substitute for ENSC 24400 Ecology and Conservation and ENSC 23900 Environmental Chemistry.

ENSC 23820Biogeochemical Analysis in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems – Marine Biological Laboratory100
ENSC 24100Ecology – Marine Biological Laboratory100
ENSC 29800Independent Undergraduate Research in Environmental Sciences – Marine Biological Laboratory100
ENSC 24200Methods in Microbial Ecology – Marine Biological Laboratory100
ENSC 24300Roles of Animals in Ecosystems – Marine Biological Laboratory100
ENSC 28100Quantitative Environmental Analyses – Marine Biological Laboratory100
Field Courses in Environmental Science

The department sponsors field trips that range in length from one day to several weeks. Shorter field trips typically form part of lecture-based courses and are offered each year. (The trips are open to all students and faculty if space permits.) Longer trips are designed as undergraduate field courses, and one such course may be used as an elective science course for the major. Destinations of field courses have recently included Baja California and the Bahamas.

ENSC 29002Field Course in Modern and Ancient Environments100
ENSC 29005Field Course in Environmental Science100
Geophysical Sciences
GEOS 21000Mineralogy100
GEOS 21400Thermodynamics and Phase Change100
GEOS 22060What Makes a Planet Habitable?100
GEOS 22200Geochronology100
GEOS 23205Introductory Glaciology100
GEOS 24220Climate Foundations100
GEOS 24230Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Foundations 100
GEOS 24240Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Rotation and Stratification 100
GEOS 24250Geophysical Fluid Dynamics: Understanding the Motions of the Atmosphere and Oceans100
GEOS 26100Phylogenetics and the Fossil Record100
GEOS 26300Invertebrate Paleobiology and Evolution100
Chemistry
CHEM 20100-20200Inorganic Chemistry I-II200
CHEM 22000-22100-22200Organic Chemistry I-II-III300
CHEM 23000-23100-23200Honors Organic Chemistry I-II-III300
CHEM 23300Organic Chemistry of Proteins *100
CHEM 26100-26200-26300Quantum Mechanics; Thermodynamics; Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics **300
Biology and Ecology***
BIOS 20200Introduction to Biochemistry100
BIOS 22244Introduction to Invertebrate Biology100
BIOS 23232Ecology and Evolution in the Southwest100
BIOS 23252Field Ecology100
BIOS 23254Mammalian Ecology100
BIOS 23258Molecular Evolution I: Fundamentals and Principles100
BIOS 23266Evolutionary Adaptation100
BIOS 23289Marine Ecology100
BIOS 23404Reconstructing the Tree of Life: An Introduction to Phylogenetics100
BIOS 23406Biogeography100
BIOS 25206Fundamentals of Bacterial Physiology100
Physics
PHYS 12200
  &  12300
General Physics II
   and General Physics III
200
PHYS 13200-13300Electricity and Magnetism; Waves, Optics, and Heat200
PHYS 14200-14300Honors Electricity and Magnetism; Honors Waves, Optics, and Heat200
PHYS 18500Intermediate Mechanics100
PHYS 19700Statistical and Thermal Physics100
PHYS 22500Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism I100
PHYS 22600Electronics100
PHYS 22700Intermediate Electricity and Magnetism II100
*

 Enrollment in CHEM 23300 requires a grade of C or higher in CHEM 22200 or 23200

**

 Prerequisites include MATH 20100 and PHYS 13300

***

ENSC majors can take these courses without the BIOS prerequisites (20150-20151) unless they pursue a double major in biology. Students are expected to show competency in the mathematical modeling of biological phenomena covered in BIOS 20151.

PHYS 13200-13300 or PHYS 14200-14300 are the preferred sequences. PHYS 12200-12300 is allowable on a case-by-case basis but may not provide adequate preparation to allow for enrollment in higher level PHYS courses. Special petition to the department counselor is required for PHYS 12100-12200-12300 approval.

List E-2: Social Sciences

Microeconomics Foundations
Students may take one of the following:
ECON 19800Introduction to Microeconomics100
ECON 20000The Elements of Economic Analysis I *100
ECON 20100The Elements of Economic Analysis II *100
PBPL 20000Economics for Public Policy100
PPHA 32300Principles of Microeconomics and Public Policy I *100
PPHA 32400Principles of Microeconomics and Public Policy II *100
Other Social Science Electives

(Note that many courses below require microeconomics as a prerequisite)

ECON 19900Introduction to Macroeconomics **100
ECON 26500Environmental Economics100
ENST 24102Environmental Politics100
PBPL 21800Economics and Environmental Policy100
PBPL 23100Environmental Law100
PBPL 24701U.S. Environmental Policy100
PBPL 26530Environment, Agriculture, and Food: Economic and Policy Analysis100
PBPL 26531Environment, Agriculture, and Food: Advanced Economic and Policy Analysis100
PBPL 27750Practicum in Environment, Agriculture, and Food Policy I100
PBPL 27751Practicum in Environment, Agriculture, and Food Policy II100
PPHA 36921Energy Economics and Policy100
PPHA 36930Environmental Economics100
PPHA 38900Environmental Science and Policy100
PPHA 39901Policy Approaches to Mitigating Climate Change100
*

 Must be taken in sequence

**

 Acceptable only if a microeconomics course is also taken

List E-3: Computational Sciences

Mathematics
MATH 15300Calculus III100
or MATH 16300 Honors Calculus III
MATH 15910Introduction to Proofs in Analysis100
or STAT 24300 Numerical Linear Algebra
MATH 20000-20100Mathematical Methods for Physical Sciences I-II *200
MATH 21100Basic Numerical Analysis100
MATH 20250Abstract Linear Algebra100
BIOS 20152Introduction to Quantitative Modeling in Biology (Advanced)100
BIOS 26210-26211Mathematical Methods for Biological Sciences I-II200
Physics
PHYS 22000Introduction to Mathematical Methods in Physics **100
PHYS 22100Mathematical Methods in Physics ***100
Statistics
Students may take any course in statistics at the 22000 level or higher, but recommended courses are shown below. Some courses require one of the first three as a prerequisite.
Students may take one of the following:
Mathematical Statistics for Public Policy I
   and Mathematical Statistics for Public Policy II
Statistical Methods and Applications §§
Statistical Models and Methods ‡‡
STAT 24400-24500Statistical Theory and Methods I-II §200
STAT 22400Applied Regression Analysis100
STAT 22600Analysis of Categorical Data100
STAT 26100Time Dependent Data100
PPHA 34600Program Evaluation100
The 30000 (and above) level courses listed below are a joint offering of the Department of Statistics and the Department of Public Health Studies, and may be suitable for Environmental Science majors.
STAT 31900Introduction to Causal Inference100
STAT 35800Statistical Applications100
STAT 36900Applied Longitudinal Data Analysis100
Computing
GEOS 25400Introduction to Numerical Techniques for the Geophysical Sciences100
CMSC 12100-12200-12300Computer Science with Applications I-II-III300
CMSC 23710Scientific Visualization100
CMSC 28510Introduction to Scientific Computing100
*

 Recommended prerequisite is MATH 19620 or MATH 15300 or MATH 16300

**

 Would generally substitute for MATH 20000-20100

***

 Recommended in addition to MATH 20000-20100 for advanced students—covers partial differential equations

 Must be taken as a sequence

‡‡

 Higher programming component than STAT 22000

§

 Recommended for advanced students. Must be taken as a sequence to be credited. STAT 24400-24500 have no prerequisite but it is possible to take both STAT 23400 and STAT 24400-24500.

§§

AP credit for STAT 22000 does not count toward the major requirements. Students with AP credit for STAT 22000 should plan to take at least three other courses from List E-3: Computational Sciences, one of which must be under the heading of Statistics.

Grading

Students majoring in Environmental Science must receive quality grades in all courses taken to meet requirements in the major.

Honors

The BS degree with honors is awarded to students who meet the following requirements: (1) a GPA of 3.25 or higher in the major and of 3.0 or higher overall; (2) completion of a paper based on original research, supervised and approved by a faculty member in geophysical sciences; (3) an oral presentation of the thesis research. All theses will be examined by the supervisor and a second reader from the faculty. Manuscript drafts will generally be due in the sixth week of the quarter in which the student will graduate (fifth week in Summer Quarter), and final manuscripts and oral presentations in the eighth week (seventh week in Summer Quarter).

Students are strongly encouraged to reach out to potential faculty supervisors no later than their third year, since theses generally arise out of research projects already begun with faculty members. When a thesis topic is determined, students should notify the undergraduate adviser of their intent to complete a thesis and confirm their eligibility. ENSC 29700 Reading and Research in Environmental Science can be devoted to the preparation of the required paper; however, students using this course to meet a requirement in the major must take it for a quality grade.

Students who wish to submit a single paper to meet the honors requirement in Environmental Science and the BA paper requirement in another major should discuss their proposals with the undergraduate advisers from both programs no later than the end of third year. Certain requirements must be met. A consent form, to be signed by the undergraduate advisers, is available from the College adviser. It must be completed and returned to the College adviser by the end of Autumn Quarter of the student's year of graduation.

Sample BS Programs

Each student will design an individual plan of course work, choosing from a wide range of selections that take advantage of rich offerings from a variety of subdisciplines. The sample programs that appear below are merely for the purpose of illustration; many other variations would be possible. NOTE: Courses that meet general education requirements and are required for the major are not listed.

Environmental Geochemistry
ENSC 23805Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry100
ENSC 23820Biogeochemical Analysis in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems – Marine Biological Laboratory100
ENSC 28100Quantitative Environmental Analyses – Marine Biological Laboratory100
ENSC 29800Independent Undergraduate Research in Environmental Sciences – Marine Biological Laboratory100
BIOS 20200Introduction to Biochemistry100
BIOS 26210-26211Mathematical Methods for Biological Sciences I-II200
CHEM 22000-22100Organic Chemistry I-II200
PBPL 20000Economics for Public Policy100
STAT 22000Statistical Methods and Applications100
Environmental Microbiology
ENSC 23820Biogeochemical Analysis in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems – Marine Biological Laboratory100
ENSC 24000Geobiology100
ENSC 24100Ecology – Marine Biological Laboratory100
ENSC 24200Methods in Microbial Ecology – Marine Biological Laboratory100
ENSC 24500Environmental Microbiology100
ENSC 29800Independent Undergraduate Research in Environmental Sciences – Marine Biological Laboratory100
BIOS 23404Reconstructing the Tree of Life: An Introduction to Phylogenetics100
BIOS 25206Fundamentals of Bacterial Physiology100
BIOS 26210-26211Mathematical Methods for Biological Sciences I-II200
PBPL 20000Economics for Public Policy100
STAT 22000Statistical Methods and Applications100
Environmental Science and Public Policy
ENSC 21100Energy: Science, Technology, and Human Usage100
ENSC 23805Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry100
ENSC 25200Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast100
ENSC 29002Field Course in Modern and Ancient Environments100
BIOS 23406Biogeography100
PBPL 21800Economics and Environmental Policy100
PPHA 31201
  &  31301
Statistical Theory and Applications for Public Policy I
   and Statistical Theory and Applications for Public Policy II
200
PPHA 32300
  &  32400
Principles of Microeconomics and Public Policy I
   and Principles of Microeconomics and Public Policy II
200
STAT 22400Applied Regression Analysis100

Environmental Science Courses

ENSC 13300. The Atmosphere. 100 Units.

This course introduces the physics, chemistry, and phenomenology of the Earth's atmosphere, with an emphasis on the fundamental science that underlies atmospheric behavior and climate. Topics include (1) atmospheric composition, evolution, and structure; (2) solar and terrestrial radiation in the atmospheric energy balance; (3) the role of water in determining atmospheric structure; and (4) wind systems, including the global circulation, and weather systems.

Instructor(s): D. Abbot     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): MATH 13100-MATH 13200
Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 13300,ENST 13300

ENSC 13400. Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast. 100 Units.

This course presents the science behind the forecast of global warming to enable the student to evaluate the likelihood and potential severity of anthropogenic climate change in the coming centuries. It includes an overview of the physics of the greenhouse effect, including comparisons with Venus and Mars; an overview of the carbon cycle in its role as a global thermostat; predictions and reliability of climate model forecasts of the greenhouse world. (L)

,

This course is part of the College Course Cluster program, Climate Change, Culture, and Society.

Instructor(s): D. Archer, D. MacAyeal     Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring
Prerequisite(s): Some knowledge of chemistry or physics helpful.
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 12300,GEOS 13400,PHSC 13400

ENSC 21100. Energy: Science, Technology, and Human Usage. 100 Units.

This course covers the technologies by which humans appropriate energy for industrial and societal use, from steam turbines to internal combustion engines to photovoltaics. We also discuss the physics and economics of the resulting human energy system: fuel sources and relationship to energy flows in the Earth system; and modeling and simulation of energy production and use. Our goal is to provide a technical foundation for students interested in careers in the energy industry or in energy policy. Field trips required to major energy converters (e.g., coal-fired and nuclear power plants, oil refinery, biogas digester) and users (e.g., steel, fertilizer production).

Instructor(s): E. Moyer     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Knowledge of physics or consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 24705,ENST 24705,GEOS 34705

ENSC 23800. Global Biogeochemical Cycles. 100 Units.

This survey course covers the geochemistry of the surface of the Earth, focusing on biological and geological processes that shape the distributions of chemical species in the atmosphere, oceans, and terrestrial habitats. Budgets and cycles of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorous, and sulfur are discussed, as well as chemical fundamentals of metabolism, weathering, acid-base and dissolution equilibria, and isotopic fractionation. The course examines the central role that life plays in maintaining the chemical disequilibria that characterize Earth’s surface environments. The course also explores biogeochemical cycles change (or resist change) over time, as well as the relationships between geochemistry, biological (including human) activity, and Earth’s climate.

Instructor(s): J. Waldbauer     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): CHEM 11100-11200 or consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 33800,GEOS 23800

ENSC 23805. Stable Isotope Biogeochemistry. 100 Units.

Stable isotopes of H, C, O, N, and S are valuable tools for understanding the biological and geochemical processes that have shaped the composition of Earth's atmosphere and oceans throughout our planet's history. This course examines basic thermodynamic and kinetic theory to describe the behavior of isotopes in chemical and biological systems. We then examine the stable isotope systematics of localized environmental processes, and see how local processes contribute to global isotopic signals that are preserved in ice, sediment, rock, and fossils. Special emphasis is placed on the global carbon cycle, the history of atmospheric oxygen levels, and paleoclimate.

Instructor(s): A. Colman     Terms Offered: Winter. Not offered 2017-2018
Prerequisite(s): CHEM 11100-11200-11300 or equivalent; 13100-13200-13300 or consent of instructor
Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 33805,GEOS 23805

ENSC 23820. Biogeochemical Analysis in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems – Marine Biological Laboratory. 100 Units.

This course examines the interface of biological processes with chemical processes in ecological systems. Course content emphasizes aquatic chemistry and the role of microbes in the cycling of nitrogen, carbon, and other elements. Effects of global changes on chemical cycling are emphasized. 

Instructor(s): Marine Biological Laboratory Staff.     Terms Offered: Autumn. L.
Prerequisite(s): Consent only. Admission by application to the Semester in Environmental Science program at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA; concurrent registration in BIOS 27710 and BIOS 27712 along with one of BIOS 27713, BIOS 27714 or BIOS 27715.
Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 27711

ENSC 23900. Environmental Chemistry. 100 Units.

The focus of this course is the fundamental science underlying issues of local and regional scale pollution. In particular, the lifetimes of important pollutants in the air, water, and soils are examined by considering the roles played by photochemistry, surface chemistry, biological processes, and dispersal into the surrounding environment. Specific topics include urban air quality, water quality, long-lived organic toxins, heavy metals, and indoor air pollution. Control measures are also considered.  This course is part of the College Course Cluster program, Climate Change, Culture, and Society.

,

Prerequisite(s): CHEM 11101-11201 or equivalent, and prior calculus course

Instructor(s): D. Archer     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): CHEM 11101-11201 or equivalent, and prior calculus course
Equivalent Course(s): ENST 23900,GEOS 33900,GEOS 23900

ENSC 24000. Geobiology. 100 Units.

Geobiology seeks to elucidate the interactions between life and its environments that have shaped the coevolution of the Earth and the biosphere. The course will explore the ways in which biological processes affect the environment and how the evolutionary trajectories of organisms have in turn been influenced by environmental change. In order to reconstruct the history of these processes, we will examine the imprints they leave on both the rock record and on the genomic makeup of living organisms. The metabolism and evolution of microorganisms, and the biogeochemistry they drive, will be a major emphasis.

Instructor(s): M. Coleman, J. Waldbauer     Terms Offered: Spring. Not offered 2017-2018
Prerequisite(s): GEOS 13100-13200-13300 or college-level cell & molecular biology
Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 36600,GEOS 26600

ENSC 24100. Ecology – Marine Biological Laboratory. 100 Units.

This course examines the structure and functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems including the application of basic principles of community and ecosystem ecology.  The course also examines contemporary environmental problems such as the impacts of global and local environmental change on community composition and food webs within forest, grassland, marsh and nearshore coastal ecosystems on Cape Cod. This course examines the structure and functioning of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems including the application of basic principles of community and ecosystem ecology.  The course also examines contemporary environmental problems such as the impacts of global and local environmental change on community composition and food webs within forest, grassland, marsh and nearshore coastal ecosystems on Cape Cod.

Instructor(s): Marine Biological Laboratory Staff     Terms Offered: Autumn. L.
Prerequisite(s): Consent only. Admission by application to the Semester in Environmental Science program at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA; concurrent registration in BIOS 27711 and BIOS 27712 along with one of BIOS 27713, BIOS 27714 or BIOS 27715.
Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 27710

ENSC 24200. Methods in Microbial Ecology – Marine Biological Laboratory. 100 Units.

This course explores the biology of microbes found in the environment, including relationships with the physical, chemical, and biotic elements of their environment. Emphasis is placed on understanding the science underlying the various methodologies used in the study of these organisms and systems. In the laboratory, students will work with the latest techniques to measure microbial biomass, activity, extracellular enzymes, and biogeochemical processes. Students are also introduced to molecular methods for assessing microbial genomic diversity. 

Instructor(s): Marine Biological Laboratory Staff      Terms Offered: Autumn. L.
Prerequisite(s): Consent only. Admission by application to the Semester in Environmental Science program at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA; concurrent registration in BIOS 27710, BIOS 27711 and BIOS 27712.
Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 27714

ENSC 24300. Roles of Animals in Ecosystems – Marine Biological Laboratory. 100 Units.

This course addresses the question, How do animals, including man, affect the structure and function of ecosystems. The course takes an interdisciplinary approach focused on the interactions of animal diversity, migration patterns, population dynamics, and behavior with biogeochemical cycles, productivity, and transport of materials across ecosystems. This course is an elective option within the Semester in Environmental Science program at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA. 

Instructor(s): Marine Biological Laboratory Staff     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Consent only. Admission by application to the Semester in Environmental Science program at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA; concurrent registration in BIOS 27710, BIOS 27711, and BIOS 27712.
Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 27715

ENSC 24400. Ecology and Conservation. 100 Units.

This course focuses on the contribution of ecological theory to the understanding of current issues in conservation biology. We emphasize quantitative methods and their use for applied problems in ecology (e.g., risk of extinction, impact of harvesting, role of species interaction, analysis of global change). Course material is drawn mostly from current primary literature; lab and field components complement concepts taught through lecture. Overnight field trip required.

Instructor(s): C. Pfister, E. Larsen     Terms Offered: Autumn. L.
Prerequisite(s): BIOS 20150, BIOS 20151 or BIOS 20152
Note(s): BIOS 20196 is identical to the previously offered BIOS 23251. Students who have taken BIOS 23251 should not enroll in BIOS 20196.
Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 20196

ENSC 24500. Environmental Microbiology. 100 Units.

The objective of this course is to understand how microorganisms alter the geochemistry of their environment. The course will cover fundamental principles of microbial growth, metabolism, genetics, diversity, and ecology, as well as methods used to study microbial communities and activities. It will emphasize microbial roles in elemental cycling, bioremediation, climate, and ecosystem health in a variety of environments including aquatic, soil, sediment, and engineered systems.

Instructor(s): M. Coleman     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): CHEM 11100-11200 and BIOS 20186 or BIOS 20197 or BIOS 20198
Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 26650

ENSC 25200. Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast. 100 Units.

This course presents the science behind the forecast of global warming to enable the student to evaluate the likelihood and potential severity of anthropogenic climate change in the coming centuries. It includes an overview of the physics of the greenhouse effect, including comparisons with Venus and Mars; an overview of the carbon cycle in its role as a global thermostat; predictions and reliability of climate model forecasts of the greenhouse world. Lectures are shared with PHSC 13400, but students enrolled in GEOS 23400 are required to write an individual research term paper and do some elementary climate modeling exercises in Python (no previous coding experience required). (L)

Instructor(s): D. Archer     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor required.
Note(s): Some knowledge of chemistry or physics helpful.
Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 23400

ENSC 28100. Quantitative Environmental Analyses – Marine Biological Laboratory. 100 Units.

This course emphasizes the application of quantitative methods to answering ecological questions. Students apply mathematical modeling approaches to simulating biological and chemical phenomena in terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

Instructor(s): Marine Biological Laboratory Staff      Terms Offered: Autumn, L.
Prerequisite(s): Consent Only. Admission by application to the Semester in Environmental Science program at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA; concurrent registration in BIOS 27710, BIOS 27711 and BIOS 27712.
Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 27713

ENSC 29002. Field Course in Modern and Ancient Environments. 100 Units.

This course uses weekly seminars during Winter Quarter to prepare for a one-week field trip over spring break, where students acquire experience with sedimentary rocks and the modern processes responsible for them. Destinations vary; past trips have examined tropical carbonate systems of Jamaica and the Bahamas and subtropical coastal Gulf of California. We usually consider biological, as well as physical, processes of sediment production, dispersal, accumulation, and post-depositional modification.

Instructor(s): S. Kidwell, Staff     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Organizational meeting and deposit usually required in Autumn Quarter; interested students should contact an instructor in advance.
Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 39002,GEOS 29002

ENSC 29005. Field Course in Environmental Science. 100 Units.

No description available.

Terms Offered: Not offered 2017-2018
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor
Note(s): Interested students should contact the departmental counselor.
Equivalent Course(s): GEOS 29005

ENSC 29700. Reading and Research in Environmental Science. 100 Units.

Terms Offered: Summer, Autumn, Winter, Spring
Prerequisite(s): Consent of instructor and departmental counselor
Note(s): Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. Available to nonmajors for P/F grading. Must be taken for a quality grade when used to meet a requirement in the major.

ENSC 29800. Independent Undergraduate Research in Environmental Sciences – Marine Biological Laboratory. 100 Units.

This course is the culmination of the Semester in Environmental Science at the Marine Biological Laboratory. An independent research project, on a topic in aquatic or terrestrial ecosystem ecology, is required. Students will participate in a seminar for scientific communication as well as submit a final paper on their project.

Instructor(s): Marine Biological Laboratory Staff     Terms Offered: Autumn. L.
Prerequisite(s): Consent only. Admission by application to the Semester in Environmental Science program at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, MA; concurrent registration in BIOS 27710 and BIOS 27711 along with one of BIOS 27713, BIOS 27714 or BIOS 27715.
Equivalent Course(s): BIOS 27712


Contacts

Undergraduate Primary Contact

Department Counselor
Mark Webster
HGS 233
773.702.4071
Email

Administrative Contact


Departmental Office
HGS 161
773.702.8101