The Study of
Fourteen courses and an integrating experience are required for the major.
Only courses with a grade of C- or better may be counted
toward the major.
A. Natural Science and Mathematics Foundational
Five foundational requirements from the natural science and mathematics curriculum.
- Three Environmental Science core courses
Two concentration courses
Two elective courses from the natural sciences,
mathematics, computer science or engineering
Two social science/humanities courses
One integrating experience involving research or an
courses, one from each discipline, are required. It is recommended that students take
these courses by the end of the sophomore year. Students are encouraged to take a full
year of each science and a full year of mathematics.
"L" refers to course with a full laboratory
B. Environmental Science Core Courses
Evolution of Life (NEW IN 2008)
- Chemistry 111L Introductory Chemistry I
- Mathematics 107 Statistics;
or 126 Calculus with Algebra and Trigonometry;
or 131 Calculus I
- Geoscience 112L Introduction to Earth Science
- Physics 101L Principles of Physics;
or 131L Mechanics and Heat
All three courses must be taken.
49L. Introduction to Environmental Science
Methods in Environmental Science
Environmental Science 401. Advanced Seminar in
Students must take two of these courses. The third may be taken as one of the
two required science electives. Students are encouraged to take all three.
230L Environmental Chemistry (prerequisite: Chemistry
Geoscience 204L Earth Systems Science
- Biology 333L Ecology
D. Natural Science, Mathematics and Engineering
courses are required. These may be taken from any of the courses listed below. New courses
may be offered as electives.
Environ. Sci. 286. Theory and Applications of
Geographic Information Systems
Mathematics 252. Introduction to Mathematical Modeling I
Mathematics 254. Introduction to Mathematical Modeling II
Mathematics 257. Intermediate Statistics
Engineering 232L. Engineering Materials
Engineering 337. Thermodynamics
Physics 231L. Electricity and Magnetism and Waves
Geoscience 305. Soil Science
Geoscience 312. Geophysics
- Biology 204. Plant Diversity
- Biology 215L. Botany
- Biology 222L. Invertebrate Zoology
- Biology 228L. Microbiology
- Biology 233
- Biology 319L Animal Physiology
- Biology 323L. Plant Metabolism and Behavior
- Biology 336L. Marine and Freshwater Botany'
- Biology 463L. Ecological Concepts and Methods
- Biology 475. Symbiosis
- Chemistry 208L. Analytical Chemistry
- Chemistry 211L. Organic Chemistry
- Chemistry 312L. Instrumental Methods of Chemical Analysis
- Chemistry 430
- Computer Science 215L. Data Structures and Algorithms
Social Sciences and Humanities Courses
Economics 101. Basic Economic
Principles and one of the following courses are required:
Political Science 224.
Public Policy Analysis:
Theory and Practice
Public Policy 302.
Law and Environmental Policy
Public Policy 303.
Policy Implementation Workshop
F. Integrating Experience
- Economics 209. Urban Economics
- Economics 301. Microeconomic Theory
- Economics 311. Environmental Economics
- Philosophy 227. Environmental Philosophy
An independent integrating experience, approved by the
coordinating committee in advance, is required. This half-credit requirement is designed
to provide students with environmental problem-solving experience and can be met through
an internship, or through library, field, or laboratory research.
Internship in Environmental Science
Environ. Sci. 419 Research in Environmental Science (Library)
Environ. Sci. 425 Research in Environmental Science (Laboratory)
Environ. Sci. 499 Honors Research
Environ. Sci. 399
Independent study - Guidelines
Advanced Placement - Students
who have received an Advanced Placement grade of 4 or 5 in Environmental Science
will be excused from Environmental Science 149L. and receive one credit towards
Teaching Assistantship -
Students wishing to serve as a teaching assistant should discuss their interest
with the faculty. Accepted students must fill out the required forms
to register for Environmental Science 466. College credit, but not major
credit, is given for teaching assistants and grading is on a pass/low pass/fail
Courses at Other Institutions -
Students who wish major credit for course work at other institutions should: (1)
receive approval from the Registrar for college credit, and (2) submit to the
director of the Environmental Science program the name of the institution, the
number, title, and catalogue description of the course and, if possible, the
syllabus. This information must be submitted in writing before the work is
initiated and formal permission must be obtained before the course can be
credited toward the major at Trinity. Some students may also wish to participate
in semester study away programs that focus on serious environmental science study.
the suitable programs in which Trinity students participate regularly are:
- Duke University Marine Laboratory
- Marine Biological Laboratory Semester in Environmental Science,
- School for Field Studies
- Sea Education Association, Woods Hole
Honors in Environmental Science
- Students seeking admission to the honors program in Environmental Science must
submit a written application to the director before the sixth week of classes of
their sixth semester. The Environmental Science coordinating committee will act
on each application. Students seeking honors must have completed a minimum of
five courses for the major by their fifth semester and their grade point average
in these courses must be at least a B+ (3.3). Students not qualifying for the
honors program after five semesters may be invited by the faculty to enter the
program at a later time.
After acceptance into the honors program,
students must maintain a GPA of B+ in their Environmental Science courses. In addition,
they must perform research in environmental science (Environmental Science 425) for two semesters. The honors program culminates in an Honors Thesis
(Environmental Science 499) and a public presentation. Upon completion of these
requirements, the Environmental Science coordinating committee will vote to award honors
to those candidates it deems qualified. Under exceptional circumstances, the coordinating
committee may consider for honors research students who are not enrolled in the honors
program but who produce particularly distinguished work.
Instructions for preparing an Honors Thesis in
New Courses Created in Support of the Environmental Science Major
Environmental Chemistry --This
course will cover basic chemical concepts, such as polarity, volatility
and solubility, as they relate to chemical behavior in the environment.
The ability to predict environmental behavior from chemical structure
will be emphasized. Human and environmental toxicology will be
discussed, and specific pollutants will be examined. Case studies will
be used to illustrate concepts. The laboratory will emphasize techniques
used for environmental analysis. 1.25
Prerequisites: Chemistry 112L. or 121L., one semester of college mathematics,
and Environmental Science 149L.
Chemistry 430. Environmental Toxicology --
This course will cover basic
toxicological principles by examining the biological and chemical
factors that influence toxicity, the impact of natural and synthetic
toxins on the environment and health, toxicity testing protocols and
toxicological mechanisms. Human and ecological toxicology will be
discussed with particular emphasis on the influence of chemical
structure on toxicity. Case studies will be used to illustrate concepts.
Prerequisite: CHEM 212 or CHEM 230.
Environmental Science 149L. Introduction to Environmental Science --
An introduction to
interrelationships among the natural environment, humans,
the human environment, including the biological, social, economic,
technological, and political aspects of current environmental
challenges. This course focuses on building the scientific framework
necessary to understand environmental issues. It will explore the
structure, function, and dynamics of ecosystems, interactions between
living and physical systems, and how human enterprise affects natural
systems. It will also examine current issues regarding human
impacts on environmental quality, including global warming, air and
water pollution, agriculture, overpopulation, energy, and urbanization.
Labs will incorporate both laboratory and field exercises that
complement lecture material.
Environmental Science 275L. Methods in Environmental Science
field-oriented, problem-based course covering data collection and
analysis methods commonly used to conduct environmental assessments and
to solve environmental problems. This course includes methods for risk
assessment, land management and land use history determination, habitat
analysis, bio-monitoring, soil composition analysis, soil and water
chemistry analysis, and GIS mapping. A strong emphasis is placed
upon research design, statistical analysis, and modeling. As a
culminating exercise, students in the course prepare a final report that
integrates all the topics and techniques learned throughout the course
and that addresses the focal problem.
149L or permission of instructor
Environmental Science 286. Theory and Application of Geographic Information
course that focuses on the theory and application of Geographic Information
Systems (GIS) using the ESRI ArcGIS software package. ArcGIS is a powerful
mapping tool that facilitates the compilation, analysis and presentation of
spatial data for a wide variety of disciplines including the natural and social
sciences and any other field that uses spatial data. This course will provide
students with the fundamental skills needed to design and manage digital
databases and map sets so that they may integrate GIS into future courses,
research or careers. Topics include basic and advanced navigation and
functionality within the ArcGIS workspace; database management and querying; and
methods of data acquisition for GIS project building. Class projects will be an
integral component of the course and will be tailored to the specific interests
and goals of individual students.
Environmental Science 401.
Advanced Seminar in Environmental Science
seminar will engage students in the
study of an environmental issue. The course will include interaction with
community groups and government agencies, library research, and the
collection and analysis of data to explore the connections between science,
public policy, and social issues.
or concurrent: ENVS 149L and ENVS 275L and two core ENVS courses.
Geoscience 112L. Introduction to Earth Science
-- The course will introduce students to the basic principles of geology, such as rock and
mineral identification, the interpretation of the geological record, and the theory of
plate tectonics. These principles will allow us to reconstruct the Earth's history, to
interpret sedimentary records in terms of environmental change, and to assess the impact
of human activity on the Earth system. Additional topics include volcanoes and igneous
rocks, sedimentary environments, the Earth's climatic history, the formation of mountain
ranges and continents, and an introduction to the Earth's interior. Two one-day field
trips focus on the local geology and the various rock types found within the state.
Geoscience 204L. Earth Systems Science
Over recent centuries humans have evolved as the major agent of environmental change and
are altering the global environment at a rate unprecedented in the Earth's history. This
course provides the scientific background necessary for knowledgeable discussions on
global change and the human impact on the environment. The major processes that affect the
geo- and biosphere, as well as connections and feedback loops, will be discussed. The
course also explores techniques that enable us to reconstruct short and long-term
environmental changes from geological archives. Particular emphasis will be placed on
climatic stability on Earth, the effects of global warming, the human threat to
biodiversity, and the depletion of the ozone layer. Prerequisites: Geoscience 112L. and
Mathematics 107. or higher.
Geoscience 305. Soil Science -- After a
brief introduction to the soil profile, its nomenclature and classification, the course
will concentrate on the processes and factors that influence weathering and soil
development. Topics to be covered include: physical and chemical weathering of rocks; the
influences of parent material, topography, climate, and time on soil formation; and the
relationships between soils and the biosphere. The remainder of the course will be taken
up with the application of soils to geological and environmental problems. Two half-day
field trips will familiarize students with the various soil types found in Connecticut.
Prerequisites: Geoscience 112L. and Chemistry 111L. or 121L.
Geoscience 312. Geophysics -- A study of
the physical properties of the Earth, how they are measured, and how they can be used to
explore the interior of the Earth, inaccessible to direct observation. Topics for
discussion include the shape of Earth and gravitational potential, seismology, and the
Earth's thermal, magnetic and electrical properties. Prerequisites: Physics 131. and
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