Environmental Conservation and Sustainability Major (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.


ECS Major Curriculum

The ECS major is comprised of 14 core requirements providing integrative courses in both environmental conservation and sustainability, along with a foundation in biology, ecology, physical and social science, and the basic tools and skills applied to problem solving. These core requirements are typically fulfilled in the first two years. Beginning in their junior year, ECS students, in consultation with their advisers, create a seven course focus area based on an ecological system or natural resource of their choosing. The focus area provides advanced study in ecology and natural resources; social sciences; tools, skills, and/or natural history and should reflect the student's interests and future goals. Additionally, each ECS student completes a practicum experience and a capstone option.

The ECS major provides the opportunity for students to gain a common foundation of knowledge and skills emphasizing integration and critical thinking, while allowing for sufficient flexibility to pursue their interests and passions within a large and complex field of study. The design of the curriculum will allow each student at least four, and as many as six, free electives, which they may fulfill as they choose. Many students pursue international experiences, such as the UNH EcoQuest program in New Zealand, add a minor or dual degree (such as the dual degree in international studies), and/or pursue research opportunities with our faculty or through another of UNH's undergraduate research opportunity programs.

ECS Major Requirements

Degree Core Requirements
Foundational Courses:
NR 435Contemporary Conservation Issues and Environmental Awareness (ETS)4
NR 437Principles of Sustainability4
Natural Science:
BIOL 412Introductory Biology: Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology (BS DLAB, INQ)4
NR 439Environmental Biology4
Ecological Principles: Select one of the following4
General Ecology (WI)
Forest Ecology
Physical Science: Select one of the following4
Introduction to Environmental Science (INQ)
The Science of Where (Summer, on-line, PS DLAB)
General Chemistry I (PS DLAB)
Energy and Environment (PS)
Geology and the Environment ( PS DLAB)
Environmental Pollution and Protection: A Global Context
Introduction to Physics I ( PS DLAB)
Social Science:
Resource Economics:
EREC 411Environmental and Resource Economics Perspectives (SS)4
Environmental Ethics and Values: Select one of the following4
Ecological Sustainability and Values (WI)
Sustainable Living - Global Perspectives
Environment and Society
Natural Resources Policy: Select one of the following4
Natural Resources and Environmental Policy (WI)
Environmental Policy, Planning and Sustainability in New Zealand (WI)
Essential Tools and Skills:
Field Methods:
NR 415Natural Resources Field Methods2
Statistics: Select one of the following4
Applied Biostatistics I
Statistical Methods and Applications
Geospatial Analysis:
NR 658Introduction to Geographic Information Systems4
Writing Skills: Select one of the following4
Professional and Technical Writing (WI)
Persuasive Writing (WI)
Nature Writers (WI)
Presentation Skills: Select one of the following4
Public Speaking
Creative Drama
Introduction to Puppetry
Storytelling, Story Theatre, and Involvement Dramatics
Theatre for Young Audiences
Focus Area
Select seven total courses to create a focus area addressing an environmental issue, ecological system, or natural resource (see below) 128
Ecology and Natural Resources:
Select one to four courses: no more than one course may be at the 400 or 500 level. Additional courses must be at the 600 or 700 levels.
Global Environmental Change
Wildlife Ecology
Studio Soils
Forest Ecosystems and Environmental Change
Freshwater Resources
Landscape Ecology
Physiological Ecology
Wildlife Population Ecology
Introduction to Biogeography
Principles of Conservation Biology
Ecology and Biogeography of New Zealand
Restoration Ecology and Ecosystem Management in New Zealand
Applied Directed Research in New Zealand
Conservation Genetics
Soil Ecology
Wetland Ecology and Management
Terrestrial Ecosystems
Tropical Ecology
Aquatic Ecosystems
Environmental Soil Chemistry
Community Ecology
Forest Health in a Changing World
Forest Communities of New Hampshire
Lake Ecology
Marine Ecology
Aquatic Plants in Restoration/Management
Insect Pest Management
Marine Invertebrate Evolution and Ecology
Biological Oceanography
Fisheries Biology
Tropical Coastal Plant Ecology
Ecology and Marine Environment
Sustainable Marine Fisheries
Social Sciences
Select two to five courses: no more than one course may be at the 400 or 500 level. Additional courses must be at the 600 or 700 levels.
Community Development Perspectives
Introduction to our Energy System and Sustainable Energy
International Energy Topics
Economics of Forestry
Environmental Policy, Planning and Sustainability in New Zealand
Ecological Sustainability and Values
Law of Natural Resources and Environment
International Environmental Politics and Policies for the 21st Century
Resolving Environmental Conflicts
Sustainable Living - Global Perspectives
Advanced Topics in Sustainable Energy
Globalization, Development, and Poverty
Globalization and Global Population Health
Applied Community Development
Fundamentals of Planning
Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis
International Economics
Economic Development
Women and Economic Development
Economics of Climate Change
Community Economics
Agricultural and Food Policy
Environmental Economics
Marine Resource Economics
Rural and Regional Economic Development
Political Ecology
American Environmental History
Comparative Environmental Politics and Policy
International Environmental Politics, Policy, and Law
Environmental Sociology
Communities and the Environment
Advanced Tools & Skills and Natural History
Select at least one course
Field Dendrology
Vertebrate Biology
Watershed Water Quality Management
Environmental Modeling
Quantitative Ecology
Wetland Delineation
Wetlands Restoration and Mitigation
Forest Management
Forest Inventory and Modeling
Remote Sensing of the Environment
Digital Image Processing for Natural Resources
Geographic Information Systems in Natural Resources
Systems Thinking for Sustainable Solutions
Methods of Social Research
Field Studies in Lake Ecology
Lake Management
Biology and Diversity of Insects
Senior Capstone Options
The ECS major capstone experience may be filled by any one (1) of the following options:4
Option 1:
Leadership for Sustainability
Option 2: Both seminars must be scheduled. At least one must be taken in the senior year.
Critical Issues in Sustainability: Sustainability as an Abundance Paradigm
and Critical Issues in Sustainability: Sense of Place
Option 3:
Applied Directed Research in New Zealand (NZ Directed projects, if taken in the senior year) 2
Option 4:
Directed projects fulfilling one of the following: McNair Research Theses, Hamel Center Programs (IROP, SURF USA, SURF Abroad, etc.) may be applied in consultation with the adviser and ECS program coordinator.
Work Experience
Work Experience 3
Total Credits86

The focus area is based upon at least one course in the ecology and natural resources category, along with a combination of courses in the social sciences; tools, skills, and natural history categories; and any additional courses from the ecology and natural resources category reflecting the student's interests and future direction. Focus areas should be designed in close consultation with the adviser. Courses used to fulfill core requirements may not be used in the focus area.


If NR 663 Applied Directed Research in New Zealand is taken in the junior year or earlier, then one Critical Issues seminar (2cr) or Leadership for Sustainability must be taken in the senior year to fulfill the capstone requirement.


Each ECS major will engage in a practical experience reflecting their interests and goals. The choice of the experience will be made in conjunction with the adviser and may occur any time beginning with the sophomore year.