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College of Arts
and Sciences (College)
Academic Bulletin

College Programs
College of Arts and Sciences (College) 
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Bloomington, IN 47405  
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Environmental Science

Major in Environmental Science—B.S.
Department Honors Program



Bruce Douglas (Geological Sciences)

Distinguished Professors

Gary Hieftje (Chemistry), Ronald Hites (Public and Environmental Affairs, Chemistry)

Rudy Professor

Emilio Moran (Anthropology)


Simon Brassell (Geological Sciences), Keith Clay (Biology), C. Susan Grimmond (Geography), Hendrik Haitjema (Public and Environmental Affairs), Ellen Ketterson (Biology), Theodore Miller (Public and Environmental Affairs), Craig Nelson (Biology), David Parkhurst (Public and Environmental Affairs), Mark Person (Malcolm and Sylvia Boyce Chair, Geological Sciences), Lisa Pratt (Geological Sciences), Sara Pryor (Geography), J. C. Randolph (Public andEnvironmental Affairs), Scott Robeson (Geography), Hans Peter Schmid (Geography), Maxine Watson (Biology), Jeffrey White (Public and Environmental Affairs)

Associate Professors

Debera Backhus (Public and Environmental Affairs), James Bever (Biology), Chris Craft (Public and Environmental Affairs), Tom Evans (Geography), Diane Henshel (Public and Environmental Affairs), Claudia Johnson (Geological Sciences), Vicky J. Meretsky (Public and Environmental Affairs), Greg Olyphant (Geological Sciences), Flynn Picardal (Public and Environmental Affairs), Chen Zhu (Geological Sciences)

Assistant Professors

Constance Brown (Geography), Kelly Caylor (Geography), Heather Reynolds (Biology), Todd Royer (Public and Environmental Affairs), Phillip Stevens (Public and Environmental Affairs)

Professors Emeriti

Bennet Brabson (Physics), George Ewing (Chancellor's Professor, Chemistry), Erle Kauffman (Geological Sciences), Noel Krothe (Geological Sciences), Lee Suttner (Geological Sciences), Donald Whitehead (Biology)

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The B.S. in Environmental Science (B.S.E.S.) is a joint degree program between the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs. The interdisciplinary B.S.E.S. program considers the environment as a scientific entity. Students preparing for professional employment or graduate study in environmental science or in one of the traditional sciences should consider this degree.

While it is possible to divide environmental science into numerous subdisciplines or systems such as the atmosphere, the biosphere, the hydrosphere, and the lithosphere, these subsystems are interdependent components of a single large system. It follows that the problems encountered in the environmental sciences are inherently interdisciplinary; hence a scientist working in this field is required to possess both a breadth of knowledge and a specific set of skills and expertise. The overall organization of the B.S.E.S. degree program reflects this philosophy with a broad core curriculum, a concentration area, and a senior research project providing advanced hands-on experience. The B.S.E.S. degree program is intended to instill an appreciation of the integrated nature of the discipline and supply a level of expertise in one area. Recognition of these areas of expertise comes in the form of a concentration designation (General, Atmospheric Science, Ecosystem Science, Hydrology and Water Resources, Mathematical Modeling, Surficial Processes, or Pollution Control Technologies and Remediation).

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Major in Environmental Science-B.S.

Purpose The B.S. in environmental science is designed to provide a scientific background with both breadth and depth to prepare students for professional science-related employment and/or advanced study at the graduate level. Students must complete a set of fundamental skills and distributions requirements, a core curriculum, and a concentration in a particular branch of environmental science.

Fundamental Skills and Distribution (variable credit hours depending on course selection)

  1. Writing: English Composition (ENG W131, W231) and Intensive Writing (IW); senior research thesis within major fulfills IW requirement.
  2. Mathematics: Major fulfills requirement.
  3. Public speaking: Select one course from CMCL C121, C122, C205, C223, C225, C228, C229, or THTR T115 or T120.
  4. Foreign language: Student must complete the study of a single foreign language through the second semester of the first year of college-level course work. All or part of the requirement may be fulfilled by performance on placement examinations.
  5. One Topics/Freshman Seminar course from Arts and Humanities or from Social and Historical Studies; the course chosen for this requirement may be used in partial fulfillment of requirement 6 below if the course selected carries the Arts and Humanities designation.
  6. Arts and Humanities: Two courses chosen from the College of Arts and Sciences Bulletin "Table of Approved Distribution Courses by Department"; COLL E103 may fulfill one of these two courses.
  7. Social and Historical Studies: One course with an emphasis on economics or political science, selected from ECON E201, E202, E364, POLS Y103, or Y313.
  8. Social and Historical Studies: One course with an emphasis on public policy, selected from SPEA V263, V371, V376, V499, or V472.
  9. Natural and Mathematical Sciences: Major fulfills requirement.

Core Requirements (60-62 credit hours)

  1. BIOL L111 and L473.
  2. CHEM C117, C118 and R340 or C117, R340, and N330 or C117, R340, and A314. Note that CHEM C341 or SPEA E464 may be substituted for CHEM R340. Students who did not earn at least a B in high school chemistry should contact the B.S.E.S. program director and the Department of Chemistry Undergraduate Placement Office to determine the appropriate starting course.
  3. Computing: CSCI A202, or GEOG G250, or SPEA E325. Any one of these three courses may be selected.
  4. SPEA E262.
  5. GEOG G304.
  6. GEOL G225 and G329. G329 is offered only at the IU Geological Field Station in Montana and should be taken during the summer following the fourth semester of enrollment. Students with certain needs can substitute two of the following courses for G329: BIOL L465 Advanced Field Biology, SPEA E442 Habitat Analysis-Terrestrial, and SPEA E443 Habitat Analysis-Aquatic.
  7. MATH M211, M212, and M343. Pending enrollments, a special section of M343 for environmental sciences may be offered.
  8. PHYS P221 and P222.
  9. Statistics: MATH K300 or GEOG G488 or MATH M365 or SPEA K300.
  10. Environmental science senior research: Guided by a faculty member, each student undertakes a project closely related to his or her concentration (see below). Completion of oral and written reports provides valuable experience and fulfills the university's intensive writing requirement. Students should enroll in the appropriate course within the faculty supervisor's department.

Concentration (minimum of 18 credit hours)

Whereas the core curriculum provides each student with a solid background in the basic subjects pertinent to the environmental sciences, the concentration is aimed at preparing students for graduate study or professional employment in specific fields. A partial list of the available topics includes atmospheric sciences, applied ecology, earth-system science, energy production, environmental toxicology, global environmental change, surface-groundwater systems, numerical modeling, and oceanic sciences. Additional or alternative topics can be defined in order to fit specific needs or opportunities. Programs include 18 credit hours of course work selected by students in consultation with a faculty advisor, active in the field in which they have chosen to concentrate, and two additional faculty members. Each program is then approved by the B.S.E.S. Program Committee.

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Department Honors Program

Students eligible for the honors program must maintain a minimum overall grade point average of 3.300 and a 3.500 grade point average in the core and concentration portion of the B.S.E.S. degree requirements. Honors students are encouraged to enroll in departmental courses and sections intended for honors students. The senior research project, including the written thesis and oral presentation compose the heart of the honors requirements. In addition, honors students are expected to participate in special courses and seminars. Further information regarding this program and a complete listing of requirements may be obtained from the Program Director or the Honors Advisor.

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