2017-18
Undergraduate Degree & Course Catalog

Environmental Geosciences BS

(HEGIS: 04.20 ECOLOGY, CIP: 40.0699 Geological and Earth Sciences/Geosciences, Other)

Department of Geology

126 Cooke Hall
North Campus
Buffalo NY, 14260
Ph: 716-645-3489
F: 716-645-3999
W: www.envsci.buffalo.edu

Why study Environmental Geosciences BS at UB?

Environmental Geosciences is an interdisciplinary curriculum integrating physical, chemical and biological aspects of the environment and environmental systems. There remains a large demand for scientists with quantitative, interdisciplinary training in environmental sciences to address, mitigate, and manage a multitude of complex environmental problems facing society. The Interdisciplinary Program in Environmental Geosciences curriculum is specially designed to prepare students for positions across a broad range of environmental fields and professions. The program has three specialization tracks: Ecology & the Environment, Water & the Environment, and Environmental Monitoring & Analysis. Environmental Geoscience graduates will have a solid foundation in biological, physical, and natural sciences, mathematics and statistics, and analytic and geospatial techniques, as well as the specialized training necessary for integrated analysis of environmental systems.

Learning Outcomes

Upon graduation from the Environmental Geoscience program, a student should be able to: enter graduate school or obtain a position in the environmental sciences; collect, analyze and interpret environmental data; and communicate environmental data and interpretation in writing and orally.

The Learning Environment

The Environmental Geoscience program consists primarily of courses that involve a mixture of lectures and labs. While 100-level courses typically have class sizes of greater than 200 students, upper-level courses often have class sizes of less than 30 students. Some lower-level courses can be taken online, but most courses require in-person instruction. Independent studies and internships are available and are encouraged for students in their Senior year. The program has a capstone experience course, GEO 470, Integrated Environmental Management.

About Our Facilities

As an interdisciplinary program, Environmental Geosciences does not have its own instructional or laboratory space. Since many courses are taken in the Departments of Geography and of Geology, an idea about the facilities that will be used can be gathered from their descriptions in this catalog.

About Our Faculty

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of this program, students will take classes from and interact with faculty from a number of departments on campus. Through this the students are exposed to a range of research projects and have the opportunity to conduct independent research in these labs.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit our department website for additional information about our faculty.

Career Outlook

Environmental Sciences is an interdisciplinary curriculum integrating physical, chemical and biological aspects of the environment and environmental systems. There remains a huge demand for scientists with quantitative, interdisciplinary training in environmental geosciences to address, mitigate and manage a multitude of complex environmental problems facing society.

This program will prepare students for graduate school or for entry-level positions in environmental consulting firms, non-governmental organizations and governmental environmental agencies. Career tracks include a wide range of positions in sustainable resource management, restoration, monitoring and mitigation among others.

Academic Advising

Students interested in a degree in Environmental Geosciences are encouraged to contact the director of undergraduate studies. When the students are accepted into the major, they will meet with the director of undergraduate studies to design a course of study that matches their needs within the degree guidelines. As appropriate, the student may be reassigned an advisor whose specialties are aligned with the student's interests.

Students must meet with their advisor at least once a semester prior to registering for the following semester. At the time of the advisement appointment, the student's academic record (all university, general education, and departmental requirements) is reviewed and any concerns are discussed.

Academic Advising Contact Information

The undergraduate secretary for the program, Sharon Hassett, can be emailed at shassett@buffalo.edu and called at 716-645-3489.

The director of the program, Dr. Chris Larsen, can be emailed at larsen@buffalo.edu and called at 716-645-0488.

Scholarships and Financial Support

Students in this program may qualify for scholarships and financial support from a number of sources, including:

  • UB Financial Aid, including Scholarships
  • Nationally Competitive Fellowships and Scholarships
  • UB College of Arts and Sciences Scholarships and Awards

Experiential Learning

Environmental research at UB is conducted on a wide array of topics and includes faculty modeling the movement of pollutants in aquifers in Western New York through to examining the ability of reef corals to respond to global climate change, and faculty research sites extend from western New York to the tropics to the Greenland icecap.

These and many similar projects provide undergraduates in Environmental Geosciences opportunities to learn about and participate in research.

Extracurricular Activities

Students are encouraged to participate in the Undergraduate Environmental Geoscience Club. Details can be found on the Environmental Geoscience website.

Becoming a(n) Environmental Geosciences BS Student

Becoming a University at Buffalo Student

Admission to UB is highly competitive. For the 2016 incoming freshman class, UB reported an average ACT score of 24-30 and an average SAT (CR+M) score of 1100-1300. 90 percent of admitted students are in the top 50 percent of their class.

Admission to UB is based on a holistic review. We consider high school average, class rank, SAT (critical reading and math) or ACT scores, and strength of the high school academic record. A personal essay, recommendations, documented creative talent, demonstrated leadership, community service and special circumstances are also considered.

The following is not required for admission, but is suggested as adequate preparation for university-level coursework:

  • Four years of English (with a substantial writing component)
  • Four years of social studies
  • Three years of college-preparatory science
  • Three years of a second language
  • Three years of college-preparatory mathematics

Visit Undergraduate Admissions to learn more.

Current UB Students Applying to the Program

Admission to the program is contingent on completion of the prerequisites with a 2.33 minimum GPA and a 2.33 minimum overall GPA.

Suggested Introductory Courses

GEO 101 (Earth Systems Science), 105 (Earth, Environment, and Climate Lab) and 106 (Global Climate Change); OR GLY 101 (Natural Hazards), 102 (Climate Change), 105 (Natural Hazards and Climate Change lab); BIO 200 (Evolutionary Biology)

Completing the Environmental Geosciences BS Program

Academic Requirements

Students must have a minimum 2.33 GPA in courses required for the major to graduate with an Environmental Geosciences degree.

Academic Advice

Students considering this major can obtain advice by contacting the program’s director, Dr. Chris Larsen, at larsen@buffalo.edu or 716-645-0488.

Transfer Credit Policy

The University has articulation agreements with several local colleges. Students should consult with the advisement office at their present college for more details. The College of Arts and Sciences Student Advisement and Services Office at UB also may be consulted. To request a transfer of credit for a course not listed at either advisement office, submit a request to the Director of Undergraduate Studies along with a course description from the college catalog and a course syllabus.

SUNY Seamless Transfer is a SUNY-wide program intended to make transferring to UB and other SUNY Schools simple and efficient for SUNY students. SUNY has defined courses that SUNY students can take before transferring which will apply to the major at UB and ensure timely graduation.

Information about the Transfer Path for this major can be found on the

SUNY website.

Students are encouraged to contact their academic advisor or department to discuss how their coursework will apply to their degree.

Prerequisite Courses

GEO 101,105, 106 Or GLY 101, 102, 105
BIO 200 or equivalent

Required Courses

Core Science Courses
CHE 101-102 or CHE 105-CHE 106 or CHE 107-CHE 108
PHY 101-PHY 102 or PHY 107-PHY 108

Core Math Courses
MTH 121-MTH 122 or MTH 141-MTH 142

Core Environmental Courses
CIE 340 Environmental Engineering
GEO 211 Univariate Statistics in Geography
GEO 481 Geographic Information Systems
GLY 309 Ecology
GLY 462 Aqueous Geochemistry
PHI 234 Environmental Ethics

Senior Capstone Course
GEO 470 Integrated Environmental Management

Elective Requirements
6 courses from the list of electives; 3 must be at the 400-level and no more than 3 per department.
1 elective must focus on field methods and data collection.
Independent Study or Honors can be counted toward specialization with approval of the Undergraduate Studies Committee, but no more than 3 credits of Independent Study or Honors may be used for elective requirements.

Electives

Specialization Tracks
The specialization tracks are designed to provide students with a background in a single aspect of environmental sciences, enabling students to more readily compete in the job market or attend graduate school. Each track requires a minimum of 4 courses from a given track plus 2 additional electives (6 total); 3 of the 6 must be at the 400 level and no more than 3 courses of the 6 can be taken from a single department. The tracks given below are intended only as examples and are subject to future revision as new courses are added to the curriculum. Students are not required to select a specialization track.

Ecology and the Environment

GLY 310 Ecological Methods
GLY 409 Advanced Ecology
GLY 411 Marine Ecology
GLY 412 Field Course in Tropical Marine Ecology
BIO 456 Evolutionary Genetics
BIO 458 Molecular Ecology
GEO 356 Forest Ecology
GEO 445 Restoration Ecology
SSC 441 Wildlife and Wildlands Management
CIE 441 Ecological Engineering

Water and the Environment

GLY 414 Hydrogeology
GLY 419 Environmental Geophysics
GEO 345 Water Resources
GEO 449 Fluvial Geomorphology

Environmental Monitoring and Analysis

CHE 349 Physical Chemistry for Life Sciences
CHE 413 - CHE 414 Instrument Analysis and Lab
CHE 470 Analytical Chemistry of Pollution
GLY 310 Ecological Methods
GLY 419 Environmental Geophysics
GLY 465 Environmental Remote Sensing
GEO 350 Field and Laboratory Techniques

Environmental Science Electives

BIO 318 Plant Biology
BIO 337 Pattern & Process
BIO 495 Undergrad Supervised Teaching – For EnvSci courses only, no more than 3 credits count towards major
BIO 497 Dept. Honors thesis/project – No more than 3 credits can count towards major. Thesis/project topic must be related to EnvSci
BIO 498 Undergraduate Research - No more than 3 credits can count towards major. Project topic must be related to EnvSci
BIO 499 Independent Study - No more than 3 credits can count towards major. Project topic must be related to EnvSci
CHE 349 Physical Chemistry for Life Sciences
CHE 413- 414 Instrument Analysis and Lab
CHE 470 Analytical Chemistry of Pollution
CIE 341 Environmental Engineering Science
CIE 441 Ecological Engineering
CIE 447 Sustainability
CIE 448 Chemical Principals in Environmental Engineering
CIE 461 Air Pollution
CIE 469 Hazardous Waste Management
GEO 345 Water Resources
GEO 347 Climatic Geomorphology
GEO 350 Landform Field and Laboratory Techniques*
GEO 352 Introduction to Soils
GEO 356 Forest Ecology
GEO 435 Conservation Biogeography
GEO 444 Advanced Earth System Science
GEO 445 Restoration Ecology
GEO 448 Steam Restoration
GEO 449 Fluvial Geomorphology
GEO 475 Landscape modeling with GIS
GEO 479 GIS for Environ Modeling (with lab)GEO 483 Remote Sensing
GEO 496 Environmental Internship only - No more than 3 credits can count towards major
GEO 498 Undergraduate Research - No more than 3 credits can count towards major. Project topic must be related to EnvSci
GEO 499 Independent Study - No more than 3 credits can count towards major. Project topic must be related to EnvSci
GLY 310 Ecological Methods*
GLY 312 Surface Processes and Hydrology I
GLY 313 Surface Processes and Hydrology II
GLY 409 Advanced Ecology
GLY 411 Marine Ecology
GLY 412 Field Course in Tropical Marine Ecology*
GLY 414 Hydrogeology
GLY 419 Environmental Geophysics
GLY 429 Analysis of Geologic Data
GLY 453 Quaternary Dating and Paleoclimate
GLY 458 Macroevolution
GLY 465 Environmental and Geological Remote Sensing
GLY 498 Undergraduate Research - No more than 3 credits can count towards major. Project topic must be related to EnvSci
GLY 499 Independent Study - No more than 3 credits can count towards major. Project topic must be related to EnvSci
SSC 326 Great Lakes Ecology
SSC 360 Environmental Impact Statement
SSC 441 Wildlife and Wildlands Management
SSC 493 Ecology of Unique Environments
SSC 496 Environmental Internship – no more than 3 credits can towards major

*GEO 350, GLY 310 or GLY 412 will satisfy the field methods and data collection elective requirement.

Total Credit Hours Required

Credits Required for Major 79
Additional Credits Required for UB Curriculum  32
Additional Credits Required for Electives   9
Total Credits Required for Degree 120


Students should consult with an academic advisor to determine how any transfer or exam credit might be utilized in meeting general education, prerequisite, or major requirements.

See Baccalaureate Degree Requirements for general education and remaining university requirements.

Curricular Plan / Degree Map

View the Curricular Plan for the Environmental Geosciences BS (PDF) which is a recommended sequence of courses to help achieve this degree in four years.

Published: March 30, 2017 09:20:25 AM