Environmental Conservation and Sustainability Major (B.S.)

https://colsa.unh.edu/natural-resources-environment/program/bs/environmental-conservation-sustainability-major

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:
Contemporary Conservation Issues and Environmental Awareness
Principles of Sustainability
Natural Science:
Biology:
Introductory Biology: Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology
Environmental Biology
Ecological Principles: Select one of the following4
Ecology
Forest Ecology
Agroecology
Physical Science: Select one of the following4
Introduction to Environmental Science
The Science of Where
General Chemistry I
Energy and Environment
Geology and the Environment
Environmental Pollution and Protection: A Global Context
Introduction to Physics I
Social Science:
Resource Economics:
Environmental and Resource Economics Perspectives
Environmental Ethics and Values: Select one of the following4
Ecological Sustainability and Values
Sustainable Living - Global Perspectives
Environment and Society
Natural Resources Policy: Select one of the following4
Natural Resources and Environmental Policy
Environmental Policy, Planning and Sustainability in New Zealand
Essential Tools and Skills:
Field Methods:
Natural Resources Field Methods
Statistics: Select one of the following4
Applied Biostatistics I
Statistical Methods and Applications
Geospatial Analysis:
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Writing Skills: Select one of the following4
Professional and Technical Writing
Persuasive Writing
Nature Writers
Presentation Skills: Select one of the following4
Public Speaking
Presenting Science to the General Public
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
Biological Oceanography
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
Ecology and Society in a Changing Arctic
Biogeochemistry
Aquatic Ecosystems
Environmental Soil Chemistry
Community Ecology
Forest Health in a Changing World
Lake Ecology
Marine Ecology
Aquatic Plants in Restoration/Management
Insect Pest Management
Marine Invertebrate Evolution and Ecology
Ecology and Marine Environment
Sustainable Marine Fisheries
Fisheries Biology: Conservation and Management
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
Applied Community Development
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
International Environmental Politics and Policies for the 21st Century
Resolving Environmental Conflicts
Sustainable Living - Global Perspectives
Advanced Topics in Sustainable Energy
Globalization and Global Population Health
Fundamentals of Planning
Green Real Estate
Intermediate Microeconomic Analysis
International Economics
Economic Development
Economics of Climate Change
Introduction to Natural Resource Economics
Land Economics Perspectives: Uses, Policies, and Taxes
Community Economics
Agricultural and Food Policy
Environmental Economics
Rural and Regional Economic Development
Political Ecology
American Environmental History
Comparative Environmental Politics and Policy
Environmental Sociology
Communities and the Environment
Introduction to Tourism
Advanced Tools & Skills and Natural History
Select at least one course
Field Dendrology
Vertebrate Biology
Watershed Water Quality Management
Environmental Modeling
Mammalogy
Quantitative Ecology
Silviculture
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
New England Mushrooms: a Field and Lab Exploration
Topics in Community Planning
Social Impact Assessment
Field Studies in Lake Ecology
Lake Management
Ornithology
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 Credits60

Sample Course Sequence for Environmental Conservation and Sustainability

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredits
BIOL 412 Introductory Biology: Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology (Inquiry, Disc BS) 4
NR 435 Contemporary Conservation Issues and Environmental Awareness (Disc ETS) 4
EREC 411 Environmental and Resource Economics Perspectives (or Discovery Course, not SS or ETS) 4
ENGL 401 or Discovery Course 4
 Credits16
Spring
NR 437 Principles of Sustainability 4
NR 439 Environmental Biology 4
EREC 411 Environmental and Resource Economics Perspectives (or Discovery Course, not SS or ETS) 4
ENGL 401 or Discovery Course 4
 Credits16
Second Year
Fall
NR 415 Natural Resources Field Methods 2
Ecological Principles 1 4
Physical Science (Disc PS) 2 4
Presentation Skills (possible Disc FPA) 2 4
Practicum 3 0
Elective 4
 Credits18
Spring
Statistics (Disc QR) 2 4
Writing Skills (Univ. writing req.) 2 4
NR 658 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 4
NR 602 or Discovery Course 4
 Credits16
Third Year
Fall
NR 602 or Discovery Course 4
Ethics/Values Requirement 4
Focus Area Courses 8
OR Electives
 
OR any remaining Discovery or WI requirement
 
OR Capstone 4
 
 Credits16
Spring
Focus Area Courses 5 16
OR Electives
 
OR any remaining Discovery or WI requirements
 
OR Capstone 4
 
 Credits16
Fourth Year
Fall
Capstone Requirement 5 2-4
Focus Area Courses 12
OR Electives
 
OR any remaining Discovery of WI requirements
 
 Credits14-16
Spring
Capstone Requirement 5 2-4
Focus Area Courses 12
OR Electives
 
OR any remaining Discovery of WI requirements
 
 Credits14-16
 Total Credits126-130

Students will be able to:

  • Evaluate the validity and limitations of scientific theories and claims about the environment;
  • Describe and explain the interactions among physical, biological, chemical, and human components of the environment;
  • Formulate tests of environmental questions, acquire data, and apply scientific methods to answer these questions;
  • Characterize the various social drivers of environmental problems and the relative attributes of policy instrument solutions;
  • Locate, evaluate, and summarize print and electronic media including peer-reviewed literature and then compose and deliver informed positions on current environmental problems to the public.
  • Describe and explain the ecological and societal value of biodiversity, sustainability, and environmental stewardship;
  • Master mathematical, statistical, and study design knowledge and skills, and use state-of-the-art software, hardware, and analytical techniques relevant to environmental conservation and sustainability:
  • Use principles of ecology, economics, sustainability, and policy science to solve real-world environmental problems;
  • Communicate effectively to peers within the environmental community and with audiences outside of the discipline.