Environmental Sciences Major: Hydrology Option (B.S.)

This is an archived copy of the 2017-2018 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit http://catalog.unh.edu.


The College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS), together with the College of Life Science and Agriculture (COLSA), jointly offers a bachelor of science degree in environmental sciences. Environmental sciences is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the interaction of biological, chemical, and physical processes that shape our natural environment. Students graduating with a degree in environmental sciences will have an understanding of these interacting processes, the ability to effectively communicate with both scientific and lay audiences, competency in field methods appropriate for entry-level environmental science positions, competency in the use and application of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), a basic understanding of environmental policy, and the ability to contribute to multidisciplinary teams. The University of New Hampshire is a recognized leader in environmental sciences research, and the environmental sciences program capitalizes on faculty expertise in this area. The program has 15 full-time faculty members, with major teaching and research emphases in the areas of biogeochemical cycling, environmental chemistry, ecosystem science, global change, hydrology, plant ecology, soil science, and water resource management. 

Employment opportunities include: environmental consulting firms, educational facilities (e.g., science centers), environmental monitoring laboratories (e.g., water treatment plants; the Environmental Protection Agency), government agencies (e.g., the U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Land Management, Natural Resource Conservation Service), university and government research laboratories, and nongovernment environmental organizations. The environmental sciences program also constitutes an excellent preparation for graduate programs in several areas relating to the environment. Students should consult with their adviser early if their goals include further study.

The Program has three options: ecosystems, soils and watersheds, and hydrology. Environmental science B.S. degrees with options in ecosystems and soil and watersheds are managed by the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment in COLSA. The Department of Earth Sciences in CEPS offers the hydrology option of the B.S. environmental sciences degree. Specific course requirements for the major vary by option.

In addition to the Discovery Program and University writing requirements, all students will take Introduction to Environmental Science NR 403 Introduction to Environmental Science and Professional Perspectives in Natural Resources (NR 400 Professional Perspectives in Natural Resources), plus one other elective introductory environmental science course. Foundation courses include introductions to biology, physics, chemistry, geology, calculus, and statistics.


NR 400Professional Perspectives in Natural Resources1
NR 403Introduction to Environmental Science4
Plus one other elective introductory environmental science course4
Total Credits9


BIOL 411Introductory Biology: Molecular and Cellular4
or BIOL 412 Introductory Biology: Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology
Select one of the following:4-8
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry II
Chemical Principles for Engineers
PHYS 407
PHYS 408
General Physics I
and General Physics II
MATH 425
MATH 426
Calculus I
and Calculus II
Statistics for Engineers and Scientists
Applied Biostatistics I
Select one of the following:4
Dynamic Earth
Earth History
Geology and the Environment
Total Credits32-36


ESCI 534Techniques in Environmental Sciences3
NR 658Introduction to Geographic Information Systems4
ESCI 654Fate and Transport in the Environment4
NR 602Natural Resources and Environmental Policy4
or GEOG 673 Political Ecology
Capstone Experience 1
Total Credits15

NR 791 Project in Environmental Science I and an independent study or capstone course approved by their adviser and the program coordinator.



Landscape Evolution
ESCI 561Landscape Evolution4
NR 501Studio Soils4
or ESCI 512 Principles of Mineralogy
Surface Water Hydrology
ESCI 705Principles of Hydrology4
or CEE 754 Engineering Hydrology
Groundwater Hydrology
ESCI 710Groundwater Hydrology4
A course in quantitative analysis4
Select two or three approved electives8-12
Total Credits28-32

Some students enroll in the EcoQuest program (a study abroad opportunity in New Zealand), which satisfies the policy requirement and capstone requirement if taken senior year.

Students must complete additional courses for the hydrology option to total 88 credits in the major:

For a list of approved elective courses and for further information about the major, students may consult with the program coordinator: Michael Palace, Michael.Palace@unh.edu, (603) 862-4193.