2021-2022 Catalog 
    Dec 04, 2022  
2021-2022 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Science Major

Environmental Science at Ohio Wesleyan is an interdisciplinary, natural science approach to the environment within the context of the liberal arts. Diverse courses provide you with an integrative, scientific understanding of the environment with an emphasis on approaches to addressing current environmental challenges.

Once you’ve taken your core classes, you can explore the environment through upper-level natural science courses in a wide range of disciplines. Every major will complete a capstone project.

Learning Objectives

• Students will be able to explain how a wide range of interdisciplinary factors (social sciences, natural sciences and humanities) contribute to environmental issues.

• Students will understand the relationship and connections between diverse natural sciences in the context of environmental issues. For example, what kinds of tools, research methods, and perspectives do the geological vs. the biological sciences contribute to our understanding of climate change?

• Students will develop skills in (1) experimental design, (2) data analysis and interpretation, (3) using scientific instruments and techniques in the context of exploring and solving environmental problems. Examples of problems with an environmental dimension where natural science could be applied include environmental management, ecological restoration, monitoring and assessment, natural hazard response and mitigation, cultural conflicts, the built environment, ethical issues, human health, natural resource extraction, poverty, and war.

• Students will develop skills in detecting and conceptualizing complex connections within and across disciplines in real-world environmental issues based on their experiences with engaged projects. For example, the contributions of botany, zoology, geology and chemistry in tandem with social science perspectives and interpersonal relations could be explored in a watershed restoration project. This implies a capacity to engage in real-world problem solving.

• Students will be able to connect global environmental concerns to local places and communities and address environmental problems with natural science methodologies in a global context and from diverse cultural and geographic perspectives.

Major Requirements

Core Requirements (6.5 units) for Environmental Science major:

  1. ENVS 111 : Physical Geography
  2. ENVS 112 : Ecology and the Human Future
  3. ENVS 100 1 : Introduction to Environment & Sustainability
  4. ENVS 100 2/400 1 : Conversations: Toward a Sustainable Future (0.25 units)
  5. BIOL 122  (+lab): Organisms and their Environment
  6. CHEM 110  (+lab): General Chemistry I
  7. MATH 105 : Basic Probability & Statistics or MATH 230 : Applied Statistics or MATH 200 3 : Biostatistics or PSYC 210 : Quantitative Methods in Psychology

Independent Project (1 unit): A significant project developed in consultation with the Director of Environmental Science consisting of at least one unit of independent study (ENVS 490  or equivalent) or internship (ENVS 495  or equivalent). Project may be the outgrowth of travel learning courses, summer science research, theory into practice grant projects, etc. Project will be refined and presented as part of ENVS 100 2/400 1  taken during the senior year.

One (1) social science / humanities unit from:

  1. ECON 366 : Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
  2. GEOG 347 : Human Impacts on the Environment
  3. HIST 300 5 : Introduction to Environmental History or HIST 350 C  Black Death
  4. PG 280 : Environmental Politics
  5. PHIL 250 : Environmental Ethics

Six (6) additional natural science or physical geography classes selected from the options below. Students may chose Option 1 or Option 2:

Option 1: One (1) introductory natural science unit from:

  1. BIOL 120  (+lab): Cell Biology
  2. BOMI 103  (+lab): Biology of Cultivated Plants
  3. BOMI 125  (+lab): Introduction to Microbiology
  4. CHEM 111  (+lab): General Chemistry II 
  5. MATH 110 : Calculus I
  6. MATH 111 : Calculus II
  7. PHYS 115  (+lab): Principles of Physics I

Plus (5) of the upper level natural science/physical geography units below (no more than three from the same discipline) OR

Option 2: Six (6) natural science/physical geography units (no more than three from the same discipline):

  1. BOMI 252   (+lab): Biodiversity of Flowering Plants
  2. BIOL 255  (+lab): Tropical Biology
  3. BOMI 337  (+lab): Adaptive Biology of Plants
  4. BOMI 344  (+lab): Plant Communities and Ecosystems
  5. BOMI 355  (+lab, travel): Plant Responses to Global Change
  6. CHEM 260  (+lab): Organic Chemistry I
  7. CHEM 261  (+lab): Organic Chemistry II
  8. CHEM 270  (+lab): Analytical Chemistry
  9. GEOG 353 : Cartography or GEOG 355 : Geographic Information Systems (Social Science Credit)
  10. GEOG 369 : Remote Sensing of the Environment (Social Science Credit)
  11. GEOG 375 : Climate Change (Social Science Credit) 
  12. MATH 200 2 : Mathematical Modeling of Climate Change
  13. MATH 280 : Differential Equations
  14. ZOOL 311 : Invertebrate Zoology
  15. ZOOL 313 : Entomology
  16. ZOOL 341 : Ornithology (+lab)
  17. ZOOL 345 : Marine Biology (travel)
  18. ZOOL 347 : Population and Community Ecology (+lab)
  19. ZOOL 349 : Island Biology (travel)
  20. ZOOL 353 : Conservation Biology (+lab)