Jul 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Science, B.S.

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Environmental science students receive a broad range of environmental courses. They may choose to focus on water resources or applied ecology. Students are often involved in faculty research programs and present results of their research at local and national conferences.

Students studying water resources focus on the flow and quality of water in various environments including streams, lakes, and aquifers, and students receive comprehensive training in the biology, chemistry, and ecology of water bodies. The focus is on human-influenced and natural processes affecting water quality. Courses emphasize water quality assessment and control, soil and water conservation, and watershed management and planning.

Applied ecology is the study of interrelationships between organisms and their environment, within the context of seeking to understand and mitigate impacts of human activities on those systems. Students are provided with the core science background necessary to conduct environmental field and laboratory research. Students then gain familiarity with specific ecological systems, concepts, and methods through courses such as Field Ecosystem Ecology, Forest Ecology, Wetlands Ecology, Environmental Entomology, and Limnology.

For students interested in becoming certified to teach science in Maine, a concentration in secondary teacher education is offered as part of the B.S. in environmental science.

Environmental Science and Policy courses tend to be laboratory-intensive and quantitative. We encourage students to acquire advanced skills in utilizing analytical tools such as statistical software, mapping applications, and geographic information systems (GIS). This combination of a strong science core with applied environmental technologies allows a graduate in environmental science to pursue either graduate study in the sciences or immediate entry-level employment with an environmental engineering firm, government agency, or non-governmental organization.

Program Requirements

Minimum number of credits required for the major is 72, plus the University’s Core Curriculum. Some departmental major requirements may overlap with the Core Curriculum, allowing students to double-count and be efficient in course selection. A student must achieve at least a 2.0 grade point average and must earn a C- or higher in each course applied toward completion of the major.

One tools course; suggested courses include:

Electives: Three environmental science classes 200-level or higher.

Recommended Course Sequence

Students should begin with ESP 101  and ESP 102 . Advanced environmental science courses also may have biology, chemistry, and mathematics prerequisites.

USM Core Requirements

The USM Core Curriculum is a coherent, integrative, and rigorous liberal education that enables our graduates to be world-minded, intentional, life-long learners and captures your general education degree requirements. 

Please Note: Core requirements may be part of your major and/or minor, and Core may have been fulfilled with transfer credit. Please consult your MaineStreet Degree Progress Report (DPR) and review your degree progress with your Advisor.  For additional information, access the USM Core webpage.

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