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Earth and Environmental Sciences Major

Effective Winter 2019

Advising

A plan for the major in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is developed in consultation with a department advisor. A proposed plan must be approved in its entirety by the appropriate advisor prior to registration for the first term of major. Thereafter, progress through the plan and future elections must be reviewed, and approved in advance, whenever a change is proposed and in any case no less frequently than at the beginning of each new academic year of residence. Certification must also be obtained from an advisor, on an official LSA Major Release Form, immediately prior to submission of the application for the degree.

Information about appointments with department advisors is available on the web at: lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate-students.html

Students wishing to pursue a minor in the department must develop a specific plan for its completion in consultation with the department's designated advisor. Appointments are scheduled online lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate-students.html

Prerequisites

Prerequisites to the major provide students with background knowledge in topics related to Earth and environmental science and in core natural science areas. These should be completed as soon as possible.

  1. Earth and Environmental Science Requirements.
    Choose one from each of the following two categories:
    • Category I: An introductory geoscience course with a laboratory (EARTH 116, 119&118, or 120).
    • Category II: An introductory environmental science or oceanography course with a laboratory (EARTH 202, 219, or 222&223).
  2. MATH 115 (Calculus I) or equivalent
  3. Choose at least 2 out of the following 4 options for chemistry, physics, and biology courses:
    • Option I: [EARTH 131: Earth and Environmental Chemistry -or- CHEM 130: General Chemistry] with CHEM 125+126 (lab + discussion) highly recommended
    • Option II: PHYSICS 135 and 136: Physics for the Life Sciences I and lab -or- PHYSICS 140 and 141: Physics I and lab -or- PHYSICS 160 and 161: Honors Physics I and lab
    • Option III: BIOLOGY 171: Introductory Biology Ecology and Evolution, BIOLOGY 172: Introductory Biology Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental, BIOLOGY 174: Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology, or BIOLOGY 195: Introductory Biology AP.
    • Option IV: Choose one from:
      • MATH 116: Calculus II,
      • MATH 214 or 216: Differential Equations,
      • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or 210/211: Organic Chemistry and Lab,
        or
      • PHYSICS 240/241: Physics II and Lab.


Recommended Prerequisites

Recommended introductory field experience. Students are encouraged in their first year of declaring the major to participate in a departmental international or domestic field trip over spring break or summer.

Students interested in continuing on to graduate school or professional work in the geosciences are encouraged to choose their prerequisites in consultation with a department advisor. See also the other recommendations listed below.

Requirements

Minimum Credits: 30

The major requires a minimum of 30 credits of coursework not including prerequisites. Students who choose a sub-plan will complete a minimum of 38 credits.

Students may pursue one of three options within the major:

(1) an Earth and Environmental Sciences major with no sub-plan;

(2) an Earth and Environmental Sciences major with a sub-plan in Earth Sciences

(3) an Earth and Environmental Sciences major with a sub-plan in Environmental Sciences

The requirements for each option are described below:

Earth and Environmental Sciences major with no sub-plan:   this option is intended to provide flexibility and is suitable for students interested in careers in environmental law, policy, economics, business, sustainability, and related fields.

  1. Core Courses

    Core courses in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Major are designed to provide students with training in the physical, chemical, and biologic processes relevant to the present form, and evolution of the Earth.

    Students should choose four courses from the following Core Course Options:
    • EARTH 305: Earth's Surface and Sediments
    • EARTH 313: Geobiology
    • EARTH 314: Global and Applied Geophysics
    • EARTH 315: Earth Materials
    • EARTH 325: Environmental Geochemistry
    • EARTH 331: Climate and Climate Change
    • EARTH 351: Earth Structure
    • EARTH 412: Geochemistry of the Solid Earth
    • EARTH 442 Earth Surface Processes and Soils

    2. Field Experience Requirement

    A fundamental aspect of studying the Earth and environmental sciences is exposure to hands-on approaches for data collection and problem-solving. For this reason, the Earth and Environmental Sciences major requires students to complete a field-based course at Camp Davis, Wyoming, where students learn how to collect and interpret Earth and Environmental science data.

    Students must choose one course from EARTH 450 (or prior to Spring 2014, EARTH 341) or EARTH 440. Students interested in completing EARTH 440 are strongly encouraged to complete EARTH 305 and 351 prior to taking EARTH 440. Students who take EARTH 450 must take either EARTH 119&118 or 116 or 120 AND EARTH 201 or 202 or 219, or ENVIRON 209 or 202 or 229 or 281, or BIOLOGY 281. Students who take EARTH 450 are also strongly encouraged to take EARTH 442 prior to taking EARTH 450. Students interested in a career in Oceanography may elect to take, with approval from a department advisor, a marine based field course. 

    3. General Electives

    Nine EARTH credits at the 300 or higher level. Earth and Environmental Sciences majors are required to take these additional EARTH credits at the 300 or higher level to develop additional expertise in a specialization or area of their choosing. Students may wish to consider a specialization in an area listed in the core courses, or create their own specialization in consultation with a department advisor.

    Remaining core courses listed above may be elected as well as other department course offerings. Students interested in graduate school and/or professional employment in the geosciences are encouraged to take as many 400-level courses as possible.

    A maximum of one credit of research or independent study (EARTH 299, 489, 490, 494, 498, 499) can be used for these electives.

    4. Upper Level Writing Requirement

    The College requires that every student satisfy an upper-level writing requirement before graduation. Students in major programs in the department must satisfy this requirement by completion of EARTH 333 or 380 with a C- minimum or by a program of writing that is explained in detail on the departmental web page: www.lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate.

 

Earth and Environmental Sciences major with an Earth Sciences sub-plan:  This option is intended to provide a strong foundation in core areas of the Earth sciences and skills and experience in the collection and interpretation of data, and is suitable for students who are interested in pursuing a career and/or graduate studies in geology, geophysics, and geochemistry and related fields.

1. Core Courses
Core courses in the Earth Sciences sub-plan are designed to provide students with training in the physical, chemical, and geological processes relevant to the present form and evolution of the Earth. Recognizing that core areas of the environmental sciences are also central to sub-disciplines in the Earth sciences, the Earth Sciences sub-plan also requires at least one core course from the Environmental Sciences sub-plan. Finally, an upper-level core course builds on knowledge and concepts from the core

Students take all five of the following Earth Sciences Core Courses:

  • EARTH 305 Earth's Surface and Sediments
  • EARTH 314 Global and Applied Geophysics
  • EARTH 315 Earth Materials
  • EARTH 351 Earth Structure
  • EARTH 412 Geochemistry of the Solid Earth

Students choose one of the following Environmental Sciences Core Courses:

  • EARTH 313 Geobiology
  • EARTH 325 Environmental Geochemistry
  • EARTH 331 Climate and Climate Change
  • EARTH 442 Earth Surface Processes and Soils

2. Upper-Level Analytical Methods
Skills in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data are critical to the Earth Sciences. For this reason, the Earth Sciences sub-plan requires students to complete one of the following Upper-Level Analytical Methods Courses:  

  • EARTH 408 Introduction to GIS
  • EARTH 444 Analytical Paleobiology
  • EARTH 455 Determinative Methods
  • EARTH 468 Data and Models


3. Field Experience Requirement

  • EARTH 440 Geology Field Methods (Students interested in completing EARTH 440 are strongly encouraged to complete EARTH 305 and 351 prior to taking EARTH 440.)

4. Earth Sciences Electives
At least one of the following:

  • EARTH 344 Sustainable and Fossil Energy
  • EARTH 415 Economic Geology
  • EARTH 418&419 Paleontology
  • EARTH 420 Earth Physics
  • EARTH 422 Principles of Geochemistry
  • EARTH 428 Mineral Surfaces
  • EARTH 429 Computational Mineralogy
  • EARTH 432 Plant Paleobiology
  • EARTH 437 Evolution of Vertebrates
  • EARTH 442 Earth Surface Processes and Soils
  • EARTH 444 Analytical Paleobiology
  • EARTH 449 Marine Geology
  • EARTH 467 Stratigraphy and Basin Analysis
  • EARTH 477 Hydrogeology
  • EARTH 483 Seismology

5. Upper Level Writing Requirement

The College requires that every student satisfy an upper-level writing requirement before graduation. Students in concentration programs in the department must satisfy this requirement by completion of EARTH 333 or 380 or by a program of writing that is explained in detail on the departmental web page: www.lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate.

 

Earth and Environmental Sciences major with an Environmental Sciences sub-plan:  This option is intended to provide a strong foundation in core areas of the environmental sciences and skills and experience in the collection and interpretation of data, and is suitable for students who are interested in pursuing a career and/or graduate studies in climatology, hydrology, oceanography, environmental chemistry, and related fields.

1.  Core Courses
Core courses in the Environmental Sciences sub-plan are designed to provide students with a foundation in the physical, chemical, biological, and geological processes relevant to environmental processes. Recognizing that core areas of the Earth sciences are also central to sub-disciplines in the environmental sciences, the Environmental Sciences sub-plan also requires at least one core course from the Earth Sciences sub-plan.

Students take all four of the following Environmental Sciences Core Courses:

  • EARTH 313 Geobiology
  • EARTH 325 Environmental Geochemistry
  • EARTH 331 Climate and Climate Change
  • EARTH 442 Earth Surface Processes and Soils


Students choose one of the following Earth Sciences Core Courses:

  • EARTH 305 Earth's Surface and Sediments
  • EARTH 314 Global and Applied Geophysics
  • EARTH 315 Earth Materials
  • EARTH 351 Earth Structure
  • EARTH 412 Geochemistry of the Solid Earth


2. Sustainability Course
Human activity exerts strong influence on the environment and is now an integral part of the Earth system. Hence, a course that focuses on human issues surrounding resources, economics, sustainability, and environment is required for the Environmental Sciences sub-plan.  Students choose one of the following:

  • EARTH 333 Inexhaustible Seas?  Marine Resources and Environmental Issues
  • EARTH 380 Mineral Resources, Economics, and the Environment


3. Upper-Level Analytical Methods
Skills in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data are critical to the environmental sciences. For this reason, the Environmental Sciences sub-plan requires students to complete one of the following Upper-Level Analytical Methods Courses:  

  • EARTH 408 Introduction to GIS
  • EARTH 455 Determinative Methods
  • EARTH 468 Data and Models


4. Field Experience Requirement

  • EARTH 450 Ecosystem Science (Students who take EARTH 450 must take either EARTH 119&118 or 116 or 120 AND EARTH 201 or 202 or 219, or ENVIRON 209 or 202 or 229 or 281, or BIOLOGY 281. Students who take EARTH 450 are also strongly encouraged to take EARTH 442 prior to taking EARTH 450.)

5. Environmental Sciences Electives
At least two of the following:

  • EARTH 344 Sustainable and Fossil Energy
  • EARTH 413 Geomicrobiology
  • EARTH 421 Introduction to Physical Oceanography
  • EARTH 427 Environmental and Technological Applications of Mineralogy
  • EARTH 428 Mineral Surfaces
  • EARTH 429 Computational Mineralogy
  • EARTH 431 Terrestrial Biomes
  • EARTH 446 Paleoclimate
  • EARTH 452 Paleoceanography
  • EARTH 465 Biogeochemistry
  • EARTH 477 Hydrogeology
  • EARTH 478 Geochemistry of Natural Waters

6. Upper Level Writing Requirement

The College requires that every student satisfy an upper-level writing requirement before graduation. Students in concentration programs in the department must satisfy this requirement by completion of EARTH 333 or 380 or by a program of writing that is explained in detail on the departmental web page: www.lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate.

 

Sample specializations

Students who choose the Earth and Environmental Sciences major are encouraged to build a specialization that suits their own interests by taking additional upper-level courses in the department. They may elect to use additional relevant courses from other departments as well. Students should build their specialization in close consultation with their department advisor.

The following includes titles of a few example specializations that students may consider pursuing. Recommended courses associated with each of these specializations are available on the department website. These are only examples, and other specializations may be considered in consultation with a department advisor.

  • Geology
  • Environmental Geoscience
  • Energy and Mineral Resources
  • Geochemistry
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Paleontology and Geobiology

Other recommendations

Students interested in graduate school or a career in geological and environmental sciences, or oceanography, are strongly encouraged to plan their curriculum in close consultation with an Earth and Environmental Sciences department advisor as soon as possible. Example curricula are given below.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment in Geological Sciences include:

  • MATH 116: Calculus II, MATH 214 or 216: Differential equations.
  • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or CHEM 210 and 211: Organic Chemistry
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241: Physics II and Lab
  • EARTH 305, 310, 313, 315, 351, 418, 420, 422, 440
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment in Environmental Geology include:

  • MATH 116: Calculus II, MATH 214 or 216: Differential equations.
  • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or CHEM 210 and 211: Organic Chemistry
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241: Physics II and Lab, or BIOLOGY 162, 171, or 172.
  • EARTH 305, 315, 325, 380, 420, 442, 450 (or prior to Spring 2014, EARTH 341), 465, 477.
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment in Oceanography include:

  • MATH 116: Calculus II, and one of MATH 214, 215, or 216: Differential equations
  • STATS 250
  • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or CHEM 210 and 211: Organic Chemistry
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241: Physics II and Lab
  • EARTH 222 and 223, 305, 310, 320, 321, 325 or 422, 409, 420, 449, 452
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the EARTH subject area may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.

Honors

Effective: Winter 2012

The Honors plan consists of a series of special academic opportunities supplementary to any of the regular majors. The Honors plan is tailored to fit the needs and interests of individual students. Honors students in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences should complete EARTH 490 for one credit during two of the four terms of the junior and senior years for:

  1. reading and discussion of the professional literature;
  2. library research and reporting on a special research problem;
  3. research as an assistant to a faculty member or as part of a graduate seminar; or
  4. individual research and reporting on a problem or graduate seminar.

A thesis is required to complete the program. The Honors plan offers well-qualified students an opportunity to increase the breadth and depth of their undergraduate experience. To be eligible for the Honors plan, students must have at least: (1) a 3.4 grade point average in EARTH courses elected in the department; and (2) a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4 at the time of acceptance. Students admitted to the Honors plan must complete the requirements for their principal major program.

Ideally, the selection of candidates for Honors plan is made at the beginning of the junior year, but qualified students may be admitted to the plan as late as the end of the junior year. Interested students should contact the departmental office for referral to the Honors advisor, 2534 C.C. Little Building, (734) 764-1435.

Teaching Certificate

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers prospective secondary school science teachers an opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree from the College with a major in the department while satisfying the requirements for a provisional secondary school teaching certificate with a teaching major in earth science or general science. An outline with specific information about the teaching major and minor in earth science, general science, and the other teaching certificate requirements should be obtained from the School of Education Office of Academic Services. Interested students should consult the teaching certificate advisor as early as possible.

Earth and Environmental Sciences (Major) (Fall 2018)

Effective Fall 2018

Advising

A plan for the major in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is developed in consultation with a department advisor. A proposed plan must be approved in its entirety by the appropriate advisor prior to registration for the first term of major. Thereafter, progress through the plan and future elections must be reviewed, and approved in advance, whenever a change is proposed and in any case no less frequently than at the beginning of each new academic year of residence. Certification must also be obtained from an advisor, on an official LSA Major Release Form, immediately prior to submission of the application for the degree.

Information about appointments with department advisors is available on the web at: lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate-students.html

Students wishing to pursue a minor in the department must develop a specific plan for its completion in consultation with the department's designated advisor. Appointments are scheduled online lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate-students.html

Prerequisites

Prerequisites to the major provide students with background knowledge in topics related to Earth and environmental science and in core natural science areas. These should be completed as soon as possible.

  1. Earth and Environmental Science Requirements.
    Choose one from each of the following two categories:
    • Category I: An introductory geoscience course with a laboratory (EARTH 116, 119&118, or 120).
    • Category II: An introductory environmental science or oceanography course with a laboratory (EARTH 202, 219, or 222&223).
  2. MATH 115 (Calculus I) or equivalent
  3. Choose at least 2 out of the following 4 options for chemistry, physics, and biology courses:
    • Option I: CHEM 130: General Chemistry with CHEM 125+126 (lab + discussion) highly recommended
    • Option II: PHYSICS 135 and 136: Physics for the Life Sciences I and lab -or- PHYSICS 140 and 141: Physics I and lab -or- PHYSICS 160 and 161: Honors Physics I and lab
    • Option III: BIOLOGY 171: Introductory Biology Ecology and Evolution, BIOLOGY 172: Introductory Biology Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental, BIOLOGY 174: Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology, or BIOLOGY 195: Introductory Biology AP.
    • Option IV: Choose one from:
      • MATH 116: Calculus II,
      • MATH 214 or 216: Differential Equations,
      • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or 210/211: Organic Chemistry and Lab,
        or
      • PHYSICS 240/241: Physics II and Lab.


Recommended Prerequisites

Recommended introductory field experience. Students are encouraged in their first year of declaring the major to participate in a departmental international or domestic field trip over spring break or summer.

Students interested in continuing on to graduate school or professional work in the geosciences are encouraged to choose their prerequisites in consultation with a department advisor. See also the other recommendations listed below.

Requirements

Minimum Credits: 30

The major requires a minimum of 30 credits of coursework not including prerequisites. Students who choose a sub-plan will complete a minimum of 38 credits.

Students may pursue one of three options within the major:

(1) an Earth and Environmental Sciences major with no sub-plan;

(2) an Earth and Environmental Sciences major with a sub-plan in Earth Sciences

(3) an Earth and Environmental Sciences major with a sub-plan in Environmental Sciences

The requirements for each option are described below:

Earth and Environmental Sciences major with no sub-plan:   this option is intended to provide flexibility and is suitable for students interested in careers in environmental law, policy, economics, business, sustainability, and related fields.

  1. Core Courses

    Core courses in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Major are designed to provide students with training in the physical, chemical, and biologic processes relevant to the present form, and evolution of the Earth.

    Students should choose four courses from the following Core Course Options:
    • EARTH 305: Earth's Surface and Sediments
    • EARTH 313: Geobiology
    • EARTH 314: Global and Applied Geophysics
    • EARTH 315: Earth Materials
    • EARTH 325: Environmental Geochemistry
    • EARTH 331: Climate and Climate Change
    • EARTH 351: Earth Structure
    • EARTH 412: Geochemistry of the Solid Earth
    • EARTH 442 Earth Surface Processes and Soils

    2. Field Experience Requirement

    A fundamental aspect of studying the Earth and environmental sciences is exposure to hands-on approaches for data collection and problem-solving. For this reason, the Earth and Environmental Sciences major requires students to complete a field-based course at Camp Davis, Wyoming, where students learn how to collect and interpret Earth and Environmental science data.

    Students must choose one course from EARTH 450 (or prior to Spring 2014, EARTH 341) or EARTH 440. Students interested in completing EARTH 440 are strongly encouraged to complete EARTH 305 and 351 prior to taking EARTH 440. Students who take EARTH 450 must take either EARTH 119&118 or 116 or 120 AND EARTH 201 or 202 or 219, or ENVIRON 209 or 202 or 229 or 281, or BIOLOGY 281. Students who take EARTH 450 are also strongly encouraged to take EARTH 442 prior to taking EARTH 450. Students interested in a career in Oceanography may elect to take, with approval from a department advisor, a marine based field course. 

    3. General Electives

    Nine EARTH credits at the 300 or higher level. Earth and Environmental Sciences majors are required to take these additional EARTH credits at the 300 or higher level to develop additional expertise in a specialization or area of their choosing. Students may wish to consider a specialization in an area listed in the core courses, or create their own specialization in consultation with a department advisor.

    Remaining core courses listed above may be elected as well as other department course offerings. Students interested in graduate school and/or professional employment in the geosciences are encouraged to take as many 400-level courses as possible.

    A maximum of one credit of research or independent study (EARTH 299, 489, 490, 494, 498, 499) can be used for these electives.

    4. Upper Level Writing Requirement

    The College requires that every student satisfy an upper-level writing requirement before graduation. Students in concentration programs in the department must satisfy this requirement by completion of EARTH 333 or 380 or by a program of writing that is explained in detail on the departmental web page: www.lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate.

 

Earth and Environmental Sciences major with an Earth Sciences sub-plan:  This option is intended to provide a strong foundation in core areas of the Earth sciences and skills and experience in the collection and interpretation of data, and is suitable for students who are interested in pursuing a career and/or graduate studies in geology, geophysics, and geochemistry and related fields.

1. Core Courses
Core courses in the Earth Sciences sub-plan are designed to provide students with training in the physical, chemical, and geological processes relevant to the present form and evolution of the Earth. Recognizing that core areas of the environmental sciences are also central to sub-disciplines in the Earth sciences, the Earth Sciences sub-plan also requires at least one core course from the Environmental Sciences sub-plan. Finally, an upper-level core course builds on knowledge and concepts from the core

Students take all five of the following Earth Sciences Core Courses:

  • EARTH 305 Earth's Surface and Sediments
  • EARTH 314 Global and Applied Geophysics
  • EARTH 315 Earth Materials
  • EARTH 351 Earth Structure
  • EARTH 412 Geochemistry of the Solid Earth

Students choose one of the following Environmental Sciences Core Courses:

  • EARTH 313 Geobiology
  • EARTH 325 Environmental Geochemistry
  • EARTH 331 Climate and Climate Change
  • EARTH 442 Earth Surface Processes and Soils

2. Upper-Level Analytical Methods
Skills in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data are critical to the Earth Sciences. For this reason, the Earth Sciences sub-plan requires students to complete one of the following Upper-Level Analytical Methods Courses:  

  • EARTH 408 Introduction to GIS
  • EARTH 444 Analytical Paleobiology
  • EARTH 455 Determinative Methods
  • EARTH 468 Data and Models


3. Field Experience Requirement

  • EARTH 440 Geology Field Methods (Students interested in completing EARTH 440 are strongly encouraged to complete EARTH 305 and 351 prior to taking EARTH 440.)

4. Earth Sciences Electives
At least one of the following:

  • EARTH 344 Sustainable and Fossil Energy
  • EARTH 415 Economic Geology
  • EARTH 418&419 Paleontology
  • EARTH 420 Earth Physics
  • EARTH 422 Principles of Geochemistry
  • EARTH 428 Mineral Surfaces
  • EARTH 429 Computational Mineralogy
  • EARTH 432 Plant Paleobiology
  • EARTH 437 Evolution of Vertebrates
  • EARTH 442 Earth Surface Processes and Soils
  • EARTH 444 Analytical Paleobiology
  • EARTH 449 Marine Geology
  • EARTH 467 Stratigraphy and Basin Analysis
  • EARTH 477 Hydrogeology
  • EARTH 483 Seismology

5. Upper Level Writing Requirement

The College requires that every student satisfy an upper-level writing requirement before graduation. Students in concentration programs in the department must satisfy this requirement by completion of EARTH 333 or 380 or by a program of writing that is explained in detail on the departmental web page: www.lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate.

 

Earth and Environmental Sciences major with an Environmental Sciences sub-plan:  This option is intended to provide a strong foundation in core areas of the environmental sciences and skills and experience in the collection and interpretation of data, and is suitable for students who are interested in pursuing a career and/or graduate studies in climatology, hydrology, oceanography, environmental chemistry, and related fields.

1.  Core Courses
Core courses in the Environmental Sciences sub-plan are designed to provide students with a foundation in the physical, chemical, biological, and geological processes relevant to environmental processes. Recognizing that core areas of the Earth sciences are also central to sub-disciplines in the environmental sciences, the Environmental Sciences sub-plan also requires at least one core course from the Earth Sciences sub-plan.

Students take all four of the following Environmental Sciences Core Courses:

  • EARTH 313 Geobiology
  • EARTH 325 Environmental Geochemistry
  • EARTH 331 Climate and Climate Change
  • EARTH 442 Earth Surface Processes and Soils


Students choose one of the following Earth Sciences Core Courses:

  • EARTH 305 Earth's Surface and Sediments
  • EARTH 314 Global and Applied Geophysics
  • EARTH 315 Earth Materials
  • EARTH 351 Earth Structure
  • EARTH 412 Geochemistry of the Solid Earth


2. Sustainability Course
Human activity exerts strong influence on the environment and is now an integral part of the Earth system. Hence, a course that focuses on human issues surrounding resources, economics, sustainability, and environment is required for the Environmental Sciences sub-plan.  Students choose one of the following:

  • EARTH 333 Inexhaustible Seas?  Marine Resources and Environmental Issues
  • EARTH 380 Mineral Resources, Economics, and the Environment


3. Upper-Level Analytical Methods
Skills in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data are critical to the environmental sciences. For this reason, the Environmental Sciences sub-plan requires students to complete one of the following Upper-Level Analytical Methods Courses:  

  • EARTH 408 Introduction to GIS
  • EARTH 455 Determinative Methods
  • EARTH 468 Data and Models


4. Field Experience Requirement

  • EARTH 450 Ecosystem Science (Students who take EARTH 450 must take either EARTH 119&118 or 116 or 120 AND EARTH 201 or 202 or 219, or ENVIRON 209 or 202 or 229 or 281, or BIOLOGY 281. Students who take EARTH 450 are also strongly encouraged to take EARTH 442 prior to taking EARTH 450.)

5. Environmental Sciences Electives
At least two of the following:

  • EARTH 344 Sustainable and Fossil Energy
  • EARTH 413 Geomicrobiology
  • EARTH 421 Introduction to Physical Oceanography
  • EARTH 427 Environmental and Technological Applications of Mineralogy
  • EARTH 428 Mineral Surfaces
  • EARTH 429 Computational Mineralogy
  • EARTH 431 Terrestrial Biomes
  • EARTH 446 Paleoclimate
  • EARTH 452 Paleoceanography
  • EARTH 465 Biogeochemistry
  • EARTH 477 Hydrogeology
  • EARTH 478 Geochemistry of Natural Waters

6. Upper Level Writing Requirement

The College requires that every student satisfy an upper-level writing requirement before graduation. Students in concentration programs in the department must satisfy this requirement by completion of EARTH 333 or 380 or by a program of writing that is explained in detail on the departmental web page: www.lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate.

 

Sample specializations

Students who choose the Earth and Environmental Sciences major are encouraged to build a specialization that suits their own interests by taking additional upper-level courses in the department. They may elect to use additional relevant courses from other departments as well. Students should build their specialization in close consultation with their department advisor.

The following includes titles of a few example specializations that students may consider pursuing. Recommended courses associated with each of these specializations are available on the department website. These are only examples, and other specializations may be considered in consultation with a department advisor.

  • Geology
  • Environmental Geoscience
  • Energy and Mineral Resources
  • Geochemistry
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Paleontology and Geobiology

Other recommendations

Students interested in graduate school or a career in geological and environmental sciences, or oceanography, are strongly encouraged to plan their curriculum in close consultation with an Earth and Environmental Sciences department advisor as soon as possible. Example curricula are given below.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment in Geological Sciences include:

  • MATH 116: Calculus II, MATH 214 or 216: Differential equations.
  • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or CHEM 210 and 211: Organic Chemistry
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241: Physics II and Lab
  • EARTH 305, 310, 313, 315, 351, 418, 420, 422, 440
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment in Environmental Geology include:

  • MATH 116: Calculus II, MATH 214 or 216: Differential equations.
  • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or CHEM 210 and 211: Organic Chemistry
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241: Physics II and Lab, or BIOLOGY 162, 171, or 172.
  • EARTH 305, 315, 325, 380, 420, 442, 450 (or prior to Spring 2014, EARTH 341), 465, 477.
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment in Oceanography include:

  • MATH 116: Calculus II, and one of MATH 214, 215, or 216: Differential equations
  • STATS 250
  • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or CHEM 210 and 211: Organic Chemistry
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241: Physics II and Lab
  • EARTH 222 and 223, 305, 310, 320, 321, 325 or 422, 409, 420, 449, 452
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the EARTH subject area may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.

Honors

Effective: Winter 2012

The Honors plan consists of a series of special academic opportunities supplementary to any of the regular majors. The Honors plan is tailored to fit the needs and interests of individual students. Honors students in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences should complete EARTH 490 for one credit during two of the four terms of the junior and senior years for:

  1. reading and discussion of the professional literature;
  2. library research and reporting on a special research problem;
  3. research as an assistant to a faculty member or as part of a graduate seminar; or
  4. individual research and reporting on a problem or graduate seminar.

A thesis is required to complete the program. The Honors plan offers well-qualified students an opportunity to increase the breadth and depth of their undergraduate experience. To be eligible for the Honors plan, students must have at least: (1) a 3.4 grade point average in EARTH courses elected in the department; and (2) a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4 at the time of acceptance. Students admitted to the Honors plan must complete the requirements for their principal major program.

Ideally, the selection of candidates for Honors plan is made at the beginning of the junior year, but qualified students may be admitted to the plan as late as the end of the junior year. Interested students should contact the departmental office for referral to the Honors advisor, 2534 C.C. Little Building, (734) 764-1435.

Teaching Certificate

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers prospective secondary school science teachers an opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree from the College with a major in the department while satisfying the requirements for a provisional secondary school teaching certificate with a teaching major in earth science or general science. An outline with specific information about the teaching major and minor in earth science, general science, and the other teaching certificate requirements should be obtained from the School of Education Office of Academic Services. Interested students should consult the teaching certificate advisor as early as possible.

Earth and Environmental Sciences (Major) (Winter 2018 - Summer 2018)

Effective Winter 2018

Advising

A plan for the major in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is developed in consultation with a department advisor. A proposed plan must be approved in its entirety by the appropriate advisor prior to registration for the first term of major. Thereafter, progress through the plan and future elections must be reviewed, and approved in advance, whenever a change is proposed and in any case no less frequently than at the beginning of each new academic year of residence. Certification must also be obtained from an advisor, on an official LSA Major Release Form, immediately prior to submission of the application for the degree.

Information about appointments with department advisors is available on the web at: lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate-students.html

Students wishing to pursue a minor in the department must develop a specific plan for its completion in consultation with the department's designated advisor. Appointments are scheduled online lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate-students.html

Prerequisites

Prerequisites to the major provide students with background knowledge in topics related to Earth and environmental science and in core natural science areas. These should be completed as soon as possible.

  1. Earth and Environmental Science Requirements.
    Choose one from each of the following two categories:
    • Category I: An introductory geoscience course with a laboratory (EARTH 116, 119&118, or 120).
    • Category II: An introductory environmental science or oceanography course with a laboratory (EARTH 202, 219, or 222&223).
  2. MATH 115 (Calculus I) or equivalent
  3. Choose at least 2 out of the following 4 options for chemistry, physics, and biology courses:
    • Option I: CHEM 130: General Chemistry with CHEM 125+126 (lab + discussion) highly recommended
    • Option II: PHYSICS 135 and 136: Physics for the Life Sciences I and lab -or- PHYSICS 140 and 141: Physics I and lab -or- PHYSICS 160 and 161: Honors Physics I and lab
    • Option III: BIOLOGY 171: Introductory Biology Ecology and Evolution, BIOLOGY 172: Introductory Biology Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental, BIOLOGY 174: Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology, or BIOLOGY 195: Introductory Biology AP.
    • Option IV: Choose one from:
      • MATH 116: Calculus II,
      • MATH 214 or 216: Differential Equations,
      • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or 210/211: Organic Chemistry and Lab,
        or
      • PHYSICS 240/241: Physics II and Lab.


Recommended Prerequisites

Recommended introductory field experience. Students are encouraged in their first year of declaring the major to participate in a departmental international or domestic field trip over spring break or summer.

Students interested in continuing on to graduate school or professional work in the geosciences are encouraged to choose their prerequisites in consultation with a department advisor. See also the other recommendations listed below.

Requirements

Minimum Credits: 30

The major requires a minimum of 30 credits of coursework not including prerequisites. Students who choose a sub-plan will complete a minimum of 38 credits.

Students may pursue one of three options within the major:

(1) an Earth and Environmental Sciences major with no sub-plan;

(2) an Earth and Environmental Sciences major with a sub-plan in Earth Sciences

(3) an Earth and Environmental Sciences major with a sub-plan in Environmental Sciences

The requirements for each option are described below:

Earth and Environmental Sciences major with no sub-plan:  this option is intended to provide flexibility and is suitable for students interested in careers in environmental law, policy, economics, business, sustainability, and related fields.

  1. Core Courses

    Core courses in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Major are designed to provide students with training in the physical, chemical, and biologic processes relevant to the present form, and evolution of the Earth.

    Students should choose four courses from the following eight Core Course Options:
    • EARTH 305: Earth's Surface and Sediments
    • EARTH 313: Geobiology
    • EARTH 314: Global and Applied Geophysics
    • EARTH 315: Earth Materials
    • EARTH 325: Environmental Geochemistry
    • EARTH 331: Climate and Climate Change
    • EARTH 351: Earth Structure
    • EARTH 442 Earth Surface Processes and Soils

    2. Field Experience Requirement

    A fundamental aspect of studying the Earth and environmental sciences is exposure to hands-on approaches for data collection and problem-solving. For this reason, the Earth and Environmental Sciences major requires students to complete a field-based course at Camp Davis, Wyoming, where students learn how to collect and interpret Earth and Environmental science data.

    Students must choose one course from EARTH 450 (or prior to Spring 2014, EARTH 341) or EARTH 440. Students interested in completing EARTH 440 are strongly encouraged to complete EARTH 305 and 351 prior to taking EARTH 440. Students who take EARTH 450 must take either EARTH 119&118 or 116 or 120 AND EARTH 201 or 202 or 284, or ENVIRON 209 or 202 or 281 or 284, or BIOLOGY 281. Students who take EARTH 450 are also strongly encouraged to take EARTH 442 prior to taking EARTH 450. Students interested in a career in Oceanography may elect to take, with approval from a department advisor, a marine based field course. 

    3. General Electives

    Nine EARTH credits at the 300 or higher level. Earth and Environmental Sciences majors are required to take these additional EARTH credits at the 300 or higher level to develop additional expertise in a specialization or area of their choosing. Students may wish to consider a specialization in an area listed in the core courses, or create their own specialization in consultation with a department advisor.

    Remaining core courses listed above may be elected as well as other department course offerings. Students interested in graduate school and/or professional employment in the geosciences are encouraged to take as many 400-level courses as possible.

    A maximum of one credit of research or independent study (EARTH 299, 489, 490, 494, 498, 499) can be used for these electives.

    4. Upper Level Writing Requirement

    The College requires that every student satisfy an upper-level writing requirement before graduation. Students in concentration programs in the department must satisfy this requirement by completion of EARTH 333 or 380 or by a program of writing that is explained in detail on the departmental web page: www.lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate.

 

Earth and Environmental Sciences major with an Earth Sciences sub-plan:  This option is intended to provide a strong foundation in core areas of the Earth sciences and skills and experience in the collection and interpretation of data, and is suitable for students who are interested in pursuing a career and/or graduate studies in geology, geophysics, and geochemistry and related fields.

1. Core Courses
Core courses in the Earth Sciences sub-plan are designed to provide students with training in the physical, chemical, and geological processes relevant to the present form and evolution of the Earth. Recognizing that core areas of the environmental sciences are also central to sub-disciplines in the Earth sciences, the Earth Sciences sub-plan also requires at least one core course from the Environmental Sciences sub-plan. Finally, an upper-level core course builds on knowledge and concepts from the core

Students take all four of the following Earth Sciences Core Courses:

  • EARTH 305 Earth's Surface and Sediments
  • EARTH 314 Global and Applied Geophysics
  • EARTH 315 Earth Materials
  • EARTH 351 Earth Structure


Students choose one of the following Environmental Sciences Core Courses:

  • EARTH 313 Geobiology
  • EARTH 325 Environmental Geochemistry
  • EARTH 331 Climate and Climate Change
  • EARTH 442 Earth Surface Processes and Soils

Plus the following Upper-Level Core Course:

  • EARTH 412 Geochemistry of the Solid Earth

2. Upper-Level Analytical Methods
Skills in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data are critical to the Earth Sciences. For this reason, the Earth Sciences sub-plan requires students to complete one of the following Upper-Level Analytical Methods Courses:  

  • EARTH 408 Introduction to GIS
  • EARTH 444 Analytical Paleobiology
  • EARTH 455 Determinative Methods
  • EARTH 468 Data and Models


3. Field Experience Requirement

  • EARTH 440 Geology Field Methods (Students interested in completing EARTH 440 are strongly encouraged to complete EARTH 305 and 351 prior to taking EARTH 440.)

4. Earth Sciences Electives
At least one of the following:

  • EARTH 344 Sustainable and Fossil Energy
  • EARTH 415 Economic Geology
  • EARTH 418&419 Paleontology
  • EARTH 420 Earth Physics
  • EARTH 422 Principles of Geochemistry
  • EARTH 428 Mineral Surfaces
  • EARTH 429 Computational Mineralogy
  • EARTH 432 Plant Paleobiology
  • EARTH 437 Evolution of Vertebrates
  • EARTH 442 Earth Surface Processes and Soils
  • EARTH 449 Marine Geology
  • EARTH 467 Stratigraphy and Basin Analysis
  • EARTH 477 Hydrogeology
  • EARTH 483 Seismology

5. Upper Level Writing Requirement

The College requires that every student satisfy an upper-level writing requirement before graduation. Students in concentration programs in the department must satisfy this requirement by completion of EARTH 333 or 380 or by a program of writing that is explained in detail on the departmental web page: www.lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate.

 

Earth and Environmental Sciences major with an Environmental Sciences sub-plan:  This option is intended to provide a strong foundation in core areas of the environmental sciences and skills and experience in the collection and interpretation of data, and is suitable for students who are interested in pursuing a career and/or graduate studies in climatology, hydrology, oceanography, environmental chemistry, and related fields.

1.  Core Courses
Core courses in the Environmental Sciences sub-plan are designed to provide students with a foundation in the physical, chemical, biological, and geological processes relevant to environmental processes. Recognizing that core areas of the Earth sciences are also central to sub-disciplines in the environmental sciences, the Environmental Sciences sub-plan also requires at least one core course from the Earth Sciences sub-plan.

Students take all four of the following Environmental Sciences Core Courses:

  • EARTH 313 Geobiology
  • EARTH 325 Environmental Geochemistry
  • EARTH 331 Climate and Climate Change
  • EARTH 442 Earth Surface Processes and Soils


Students choose one of the following Earth Sciences Core Courses:

  • EARTH 305 Earth's Surface and Sediments
  • EARTH 314 Global and Applied Geophysics
  • EARTH 315 Earth Materials
  • EARTH 351 Earth Structure


2. Sustainability Course
Human activity exerts strong influence on the environment and is now an integral part of the Earth system. Hence, a course that focuses on human issues surrounding resources, economics, sustainability, and environment is required for the Environmental Sciences sub-plan.  Students choose one of the following:

  • EARTH 333 Inexhaustible Seas?  Marine Resources and Environmental Issues
  • EARTH 380 Mineral Resources, Economics, and the Environment


3. Upper-Level Analytical Methods
Skills in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data are critical to the environmental sciences. For this reason, the Environmental Sciences sub-plan requires students to complete one of the following Upper-Level Analytical Methods Courses:  

  • EARTH 408 Introduction to GIS
  • EARTH 455 Determinative Methods
  • EARTH 468 Data and Models


4. Field Experience Requirement

  • EARTH 450 Ecosystem Science (Students who take EARTH 450 must take either EARTH 119&118 or 116 or 120 AND EARTH 201 or 202 or 284, or ENVIRON 209 or 202 or 281 or 284, or BIOLOGY 281. Students who take EARTH 450 are also strongly encouraged to take EARTH 442 prior to taking EARTH 450.)

5. Environmental Sciences Electives
At least two of the following:

  • EARTH 344 Sustainable and Fossil Energy
  • EARTH 413 Geomicrobiology
  • EARTH 421 Introduction to Physical Oceanography
  • EARTH 428 Mineral Surfaces
  • EARTH 429 Computational Mineralogy
  • EARTH 431 Terrestrial Biomes
  • EARTH 446 Paleoclimate
  • EARTH 452 Paleoceanography
  • EARTH 465 Biogeochemistry
  • EARTH 477 Hydrogeology
  • EARTH 478 Geochemistry of Natural Waters

6. Upper Level Writing Requirement

The College requires that every student satisfy an upper-level writing requirement before graduation. Students in concentration programs in the department must satisfy this requirement by completion of EARTH 333 or 380 or by a program of writing that is explained in detail on the departmental web page: www.lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate.

 

Sample specializations

Students who choose the Earth and Environmental Sciences major are encouraged to build a specialization that suits their own interests by taking additional upper-level courses in the department. They may elect to use additional relevant courses from other departments as well. Students should build their specialization in close consultation with their department advisor.

The following includes titles of a few example specializations that students may consider pursuing. Recommended courses associated with each of these specializations are available on the department website. These are only examples, and other specializations may be considered in consultation with a department advisor.

  • Geology
  • Environmental Geoscience
  • Energy and Mineral Resources
  • Geochemistry
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Paleontology and Geobiology

Other recommendations

Students interested in graduate school or a career in geological and environmental sciences, or oceanography, are strongly encouraged to plan their curriculum in close consultation with an Earth and Environmental Sciences department advisor as soon as possible. Example curricula are given below.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment in Geological Sciences include:

  • MATH 116: Calculus II, MATH 214 or 216: Differential equations.
  • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or CHEM 210 and 211: Organic Chemistry
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241: Physics II and Lab
  • EARTH 305, 310, 313, 315, 351, 418, 420, 422, 440
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment in Environmental Geology include:

  • MATH 116: Calculus II, MATH 214 or 216: Differential equations.
  • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or CHEM 210 and 211: Organic Chemistry
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241: Physics II and Lab, or BIOLOGY 162, 171, or 172.
  • EARTH 305, 315, 325, 380, 420, 442, 450 (or prior to Spring 2014, EARTH 341), 465, 477.
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment in Oceanography include:

  • MATH 116: Calculus II, and one of MATH 214, 215, or 216: Differential equations
  • STATS 250
  • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or CHEM 210 and 211: Organic Chemistry
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241: Physics II and Lab
  • EARTH 222 and 223, 305, 310, 320, 321, 325 or 422, 409, 420, 449, 452
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the EARTH subject area may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.

Honors

Effective: Winter 2012

The Honors plan consists of a series of special academic opportunities supplementary to any of the regular majors. The Honors plan is tailored to fit the needs and interests of individual students. Honors students in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences should complete EARTH 490 for one credit during two of the four terms of the junior and senior years for:

  1. reading and discussion of the professional literature;
  2. library research and reporting on a special research problem;
  3. research as an assistant to a faculty member or as part of a graduate seminar; or
  4. individual research and reporting on a problem or graduate seminar.

A thesis is required to complete the program. The Honors plan offers well-qualified students an opportunity to increase the breadth and depth of their undergraduate experience. To be eligible for the Honors plan, students must have at least: (1) a 3.4 grade point average in EARTH courses elected in the department; and (2) a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4 at the time of acceptance. Students admitted to the Honors plan must complete the requirements for their principal major program.

Ideally, the selection of candidates for Honors plan is made at the beginning of the junior year, but qualified students may be admitted to the plan as late as the end of the junior year. Interested students should contact the departmental office for referral to the Honors advisor, 2534 C.C. Little Building, (734) 764-1435.

Teaching Certificate

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers prospective secondary school science teachers an opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree from the College with a major in the department while satisfying the requirements for a provisional secondary school teaching certificate with a teaching major in earth science or general science. An outline with specific information about the teaching major and minor in earth science, general science, and the other teaching certificate requirements should be obtained from the School of Education Office of Academic Services. Interested students should consult the teaching certificate advisor as early as possible.

Earth and Environmental Sciences (Major) (Fall 2017)

Effective Fall 2017

Advising

A plan for the major in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is developed in consultation with a department advisor. A proposed plan must be approved in its entirety by the appropriate advisor prior to registration for the first term of major. Thereafter, progress through the plan and future elections must be reviewed, and approved in advance, whenever a change is proposed and in any case no less frequently than at the beginning of each new academic year of residence. Certification must also be obtained from an advisor, on an official LSA Major Release Form, immediately prior to submission of the application for the degree.

Information about appointments with department advisors is available on the web at: lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate-students.html

Students wishing to pursue a minor in the department must develop a specific plan for its completion in consultation with the department's designated advisor. Appointments are scheduled online lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate-students.html

Prerequisites

Prerequisites to the major provide students with background knowledge in topics related to Earth and environmental science and in core natural science areas. These should be completed as soon as possible.

  1. Earth and Environmental Science Requirements.
    Choose one from each of the following two categories:
    • Category I: An introductory geoscience course with a laboratory (EARTH 116, 119&118, 120, or 201), or an introductory geosciences course without a laboratory (EARTH 119, 284 or 205+206) combined with a laboratory course (EARTH 118 or 207).
    • Category II: An introductory course in global change, oceanography, or environmental science (EARTH 171, 222&223, 201, 202, 284 or 320).
  2. MATH 115 (Calculus I) or equivalent
  3. Choose at least 2 out of the following 4 options for chemistry, physics, and biology courses:
    • Option I: CHEM 130: General Chemistry with CHEM 125+126 (lab + discussion) highly recommended
    • Option II: PHYSICS 140 and 141: Physics I and lab
    • Option III: BIOLOGY 162, 171, or 172: Introductory Cell Biology or Ecology
    • Option IV: Choose one from:
      • MATH 116: Calculus II,
      • MATH 214 or 216: Differential Equations,
      • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or 210/211: Organic Chemistry and Lab,
        or
      • PHYSICS 240/241: Physics II and Lab.


Recommended Prerequisites

Recommended introductory field experience. Students are encouraged in their first year of declaring the major to participate in a departmental international or domestic field trip over spring break or summer.

Students interested in continuing on to graduate school or professional work in the geosciences are encouraged to choose their prerequisites in consultation with a department advisor. See also the other recommendations listed below.

Requirements

Minimum Credits: 30

The major requires a minimum of 30 credits of coursework not including prerequisites. Students who choose a sub-plan will complete a minimum of 38 credits.

Students may pursue one of three options within the major:

(1) an Earth and Environmental Sciences major with no sub-plan;

(2) an Earth and Environmental Sciences major with a sub-plan in Earth Sciences

(3) an Earth and Environmental Sciences major with a sub-plan in Environmental Sciences

The requirements for each option are described below:

Earth and Environmental Sciences major with no sub-plan:  this option is intended to provide flexibility and is suitable for students interested in careers in environmental law, policy, economics, business, sustainability, and related fields.

  1. Core Courses

    Core courses in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Major are designed to provide students with training in the physical, chemical, and biologic processes relevant to the present form, and evolution of the Earth.

    Students should choose four courses from the following eight Core Course Options:
    • EARTH 305: Earth's Surface and Sediments
    • EARTH 313: Geobiology
    • EARTH 314: Global and Applied Geophysics
    • EARTH 315: Earth Materials
    • EARTH 325: Environmental Geochemistry
    • EARTH 331: Climate and Climate Change
    • EARTH 351: Earth Structure
    • EARTH 442 Earth Surface Processes and Soils

    2. Field Experience Requirement

    A fundamental aspect of studying the Earth and environmental sciences is exposure to hands-on approaches for data collection and problem-solving. For this reason, the Earth and Environmental Sciences major requires students to complete a field-based course at Camp Davis, Wyoming, where students learn how to collect and interpret Earth and Environmental science data.

    Students must choose one course from EARTH 450 (or prior to Spring 2014, EARTH 341) or EARTH 440. Students interested in completing EARTH 440 are strongly encouraged to complete EARTH 305 and 351 prior to taking EARTH 440. Students who take EARTH 450 must take either EARTH 119&118 or 116 or 120 AND EARTH 201 or 202 or 284, or ENVIRON 209 or 202 or 281 or 284, or BIOLOGY 281. Students who take EARTH 450 are also strongly encouraged to take EARTH 442 prior to taking EARTH 450. Students interested in a career in Oceanography may elect to take, with approval from a department advisor, a marine based field course. 

    3. General Electives

    Nine EARTH credits at the 300 or higher level. Earth and Environmental Sciences majors are required to take these additional EARTH credits at the 300 or higher level to develop additional expertise in a specialization or area of their choosing. Students may wish to consider a specialization in an area listed in the core courses, or create their own specialization in consultation with a department advisor.

    Remaining core courses listed above may be elected as well as other department course offerings. Students interested in graduate school and/or professional employment in the geosciences are encouraged to take as many 400-level courses as possible.

    A maximum of one credit of research or independent study (EARTH 299, 489, 490, 494, 498, 499) can be used for these electives.

    4. Upper Level Writing Requirement

    The College requires that every student satisfy an upper-level writing requirement before graduation. Students in concentration programs in the department must satisfy this requirement by completion of EARTH 333 or 380 or by a program of writing that is explained in detail on the departmental web page: www.lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate.

 

Earth and Environmental Sciences major with an Earth Sciences sub-plan:  This option is intended to provide a strong foundation in core areas of the Earth sciences and skills and experience in the collection and interpretation of data, and is suitable for students who are interested in pursuing a career and/or graduate studies in geology, geophysics, and geochemistry and related fields.

1. Core Courses
Core courses in the Earth Sciences sub-plan are designed to provide students with training in the physical, chemical, and geological processes relevant to the present form and evolution of the Earth. Recognizing that core areas of the environmental sciences are also central to sub-disciplines in the Earth sciences, the Earth Sciences sub-plan also requires at least one core course from the Environmental Sciences sub-plan. Finally, an upper-level core course builds on knowledge and concepts from the core

Students take all four of the following Earth Sciences Core Courses:

  • EARTH 305 Earth's Surface and Sediments
  • EARTH 314 Global and Applied Geophysics
  • EARTH 315 Earth Materials
  • EARTH 351 Earth Structure


Students choose one of the following Environmental Sciences Core Courses:

  • EARTH 313 Geobiology
  • EARTH 325 Environmental Geochemistry
  • EARTH 331 Climate and Climate Change
  • EARTH 442 Earth Surface Processes and Soils

Plus the following Upper-Level Core Course:

  • EARTH 412 Geochemistry of the Solid Earth

2. Upper-Level Analytical Methods
Skills in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data are critical to the Earth Sciences. For this reason, the Earth Sciences sub-plan requires students to complete one of the following Upper-Level Analytical Methods Courses:  

  • EARTH 408 Introduction to GIS
  • EARTH 444 Analytical Paleobiology
  • EARTH 455 Determinative Methods
  • EARTH 468 Data and Models


3. Field Experience Requirement

  • EARTH 440 Geology Field Methods (Students interested in completing EARTH 440 are strongly encouraged to complete EARTH 305 and 351 prior to taking EARTH 440.)

4. Earth Sciences Electives
At least one of the following:

  • EARTH 344 Sustainable and Fossil Energy
  • EARTH 415 Economic Geology
  • EARTH 418&419 Paleontology
  • EARTH 420 Earth Physics
  • EARTH 422 Principles of Geochemistry
  • EARTH 428 Mineral Surfaces
  • EARTH 429 Computational Mineralogy
  • EARTH 432 Plant Paleobiology
  • EARTH 437 Evolution of Vertebrates
  • EARTH 442 Earth Surface Processes and Soils
  • EARTH 449 Marine Geology
  • EARTH 467 Stratigraphy and Basin Analysis
  • EARTH 477 Hydrogeology
  • EARTH 483 Seismology

5. Upper Level Writing Requirement

The College requires that every student satisfy an upper-level writing requirement before graduation. Students in concentration programs in the department must satisfy this requirement by completion of EARTH 333 or 380 or by a program of writing that is explained in detail on the departmental web page: www.lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate.

 

Earth and Environmental Sciences major with an Environmental Sciences sub-plan:  This option is intended to provide a strong foundation in core areas of the environmental sciences and skills and experience in the collection and interpretation of data, and is suitable for students who are interested in pursuing a career and/or graduate studies in climatology, hydrology, oceanography, environmental chemistry, and related fields.

1.  Core Courses
Core courses in the Environmental Sciences sub-plan are designed to provide students with a foundation in the physical, chemical, biological, and geological processes relevant to environmental processes. Recognizing that core areas of the Earth sciences are also central to sub-disciplines in the environmental sciences, the Environmental Sciences sub-plan also requires at least one core course from the Earth Sciences sub-plan.

Students take all four of the following Environmental Sciences Core Courses:

  • EARTH 313 Geobiology
  • EARTH 325 Environmental Geochemistry
  • EARTH 331 Climate and Climate Change
  • EARTH 442 Earth Surface Processes and Soils


Students choose one of the following Earth Sciences Core Courses:

  • EARTH 305 Earth's Surface and Sediments
  • EARTH 314 Global and Applied Geophysics
  • EARTH 315 Earth Materials
  • EARTH 351 Earth Structure


2. Sustainability Course
Human activity exerts strong influence on the environment and is now an integral part of the Earth system. Hence, a course that focuses on human issues surrounding resources, economics, sustainability, and environment is required for the Environmental Sciences sub-plan.  Students choose one of the following:

  • EARTH 333 Inexhaustible Seas?  Marine Resources and Environmental Issues
  • EARTH 380 Mineral Resources, Economics, and the Environment


3. Upper-Level Analytical Methods
Skills in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data are critical to the environmental sciences. For this reason, the Environmental Sciences sub-plan requires students to complete one of the following Upper-Level Analytical Methods Courses:  

  • EARTH 408 Introduction to GIS
  • EARTH 455 Determinative Methods
  • EARTH 468 Data and Models


4. Field Experience Requirement

  • EARTH 450 Ecosystem Science (Students who take EARTH 450 must take either EARTH 119&118 or 116 or 120 AND EARTH 201 or 202 or 284, or ENVIRON 209 or 202 or 281 or 284, or BIOLOGY 281. Students who take EARTH 450 are also strongly encouraged to take EARTH 442 prior to taking EARTH 450.)

5. Environmental Sciences Electives
At least two of the following:

  • EARTH 344 Sustainable and Fossil Energy
  • EARTH 413 Geomicrobiology
  • EARTH 421 Introduction to Physical Oceanography
  • EARTH 428 Mineral Surfaces
  • EARTH 429 Computational Mineralogy
  • EARTH 431 Terrestrial Biomes
  • EARTH 446 Paleoclimate
  • EARTH 452 Paleoceanography
  • EARTH 465 Biogeochemistry
  • EARTH 477 Hydrogeology
  • EARTH 478 Geochemistry of Natural Waters

6. Upper Level Writing Requirement

The College requires that every student satisfy an upper-level writing requirement before graduation. Students in concentration programs in the department must satisfy this requirement by completion of EARTH 333 or 380 or by a program of writing that is explained in detail on the departmental web page: www.lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate.

 

Sample specializations

Students who choose the Earth and Environmental Sciences major are encouraged to build a specialization that suits their own interests by taking additional upper-level courses in the department. They may elect to use additional relevant courses from other departments as well. Students should build their specialization in close consultation with their department advisor.

The following includes titles of a few example specializations that students may consider pursuing. Recommended courses associated with each of these specializations are available on the department website. These are only examples, and other specializations may be considered in consultation with a department advisor.

  • Geology
  • Environmental Geoscience
  • Energy and Mineral Resources
  • Geochemistry
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Paleontology and Geobiology

Other recommendations

Students interested in graduate school or a career in geological and environmental sciences, or oceanography, are strongly encouraged to plan their curriculum in close consultation with an Earth and Environmental Sciences department advisor as soon as possible. Example curricula are given below.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment in Geological Sciences include:

  • MATH 116: Calculus II, MATH 214 or 216: Differential equations.
  • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or CHEM 210 and 211: Organic Chemistry
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241: Physics II and Lab
  • EARTH 305, 310, 313, 315, 351, 418, 420, 422, 440
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment in Environmental Geology include:

  • MATH 116: Calculus II, MATH 214 or 216: Differential equations.
  • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or CHEM 210 and 211: Organic Chemistry
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241: Physics II and Lab, or BIOLOGY 162, 171, or 172.
  • EARTH 305, 315, 325, 380, 420, 442, 450 (or prior to Spring 2014, EARTH 341), 465, 477.
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment in Oceanography include:

  • MATH 116: Calculus II, and one of MATH 214, 215, or 216: Differential equations
  • STATS 250
  • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or CHEM 210 and 211: Organic Chemistry
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241: Physics II and Lab
  • EARTH 222 and 223, 305, 310, 320, 321, 325 or 422, 409, 420, 449, 452
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the EARTH subject area may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.

Honors

Effective: Winter 2012

The Honors plan consists of a series of special academic opportunities supplementary to any of the regular majors. The Honors plan is tailored to fit the needs and interests of individual students. Honors students in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences should complete EARTH 490 for one credit during two of the four terms of the junior and senior years for:

  1. reading and discussion of the professional literature;
  2. library research and reporting on a special research problem;
  3. research as an assistant to a faculty member or as part of a graduate seminar; or
  4. individual research and reporting on a problem or graduate seminar.

A thesis is required to complete the program. The Honors plan offers well-qualified students an opportunity to increase the breadth and depth of their undergraduate experience. To be eligible for the Honors plan, students must have at least: (1) a 3.4 grade point average in EARTH courses elected in the department; and (2) a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4 at the time of acceptance. Students admitted to the Honors plan must complete the requirements for their principal major program.

Ideally, the selection of candidates for Honors plan is made at the beginning of the junior year, but qualified students may be admitted to the plan as late as the end of the junior year. Interested students should contact the departmental office for referral to the Honors advisor, 2534 C.C. Little Building, (734) 764-1435.

Teaching Certificate

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers prospective secondary school science teachers an opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree from the College with a major in the department while satisfying the requirements for a provisional secondary school teaching certificate with a teaching major in earth science or general science. An outline with specific information about the teaching major and minor in earth science, general science, and the other teaching certificate requirements should be obtained from the School of Education Office of Academic Services. Interested students should consult the teaching certificate advisor as early as possible.

Earth and Environmental Sciences (Major) (Winter 2014 - Summer 2017)

Effective Winter 2014

Advising

A plan for the major in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences is developed in consultation with a department advisor. A proposed plan must be approved in its entirety by the appropriate advisor prior to registration for the first term of major. Thereafter, progress through the plan and future elections must be reviewed, and approved in advance, whenever a change is proposed and in any case no less frequently than at the beginning of each new academic year of residence. Certification must also be obtained from an advisor, on an official LSA Major Release Form, immediately prior to submission of the application for the degree.

Information about appointments with department advisors is available on the web at: lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate- students.html

Students wishing to pursue a minor in the department must develop a specific plan for its completion in consultation with the department's designated advisor. Appointments are scheduled online lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate-students.html

Prerequisites

Prerequisites to the major provide students with background knowledge in topics related to Earth and environmental science and in core natural science areas. These should be completed as soon as possible.

  1. Earth and Environmental Science Requirements.
    Choose one from each of the following two categories:
    • Category I: An introductory geoscience course with a laboratory (EARTH 116, 119&118, 120, or 201), or an introductory geosciences course without a laboratory (EARTH 119, 284 or 205+206) combined with a laboratory course (EARTH 118 or 207).
    • Category II: An introductory course in global change, oceanography, or environmental science (EARTH 171, 222&223, 201, 202, 284 or 320).
  2. MATH 115 (Calculus I)
  3. Choose at least 2 out of the following 4 options for chemistry, physics, and biology courses:
    • Option I: CHEM 130: General Chemistry with CHEM 125+126 (lab + discussion) highly recommended
    • Option II: PHYSICS 140 and 141: Physics I and lab
    • Option III: BIOLOGY 162, 171, or 172: Introductory Cell Biology or Ecology
    • Option IV: Choose one from:
      • MATH 116: Calculus II,
      • MATH 214 or 216: Differential Equations,
      • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or 210/211: Organic Chemistry and Lab,
        or
      • PHYSICS 240/241: Physics II and Lab.


Recommended Prerequisites

Recommended introductory field experience. Students are encouraged in their first year of declaring the major to participate in a departmental international or domestic field trip over spring break or summer.

Students interested in continuing on to graduate school or professional work in the geosciences are encouraged to choose their prerequisites in consultation with a department advisor. See also the other recommendations listed below.

Requirements

  1. Core Courses

    Core courses in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Major are designed to provide students with training in the physical, chemical, and biologic processes relevant to the present form, and evolution of the Earth.

    Students should choose four courses from the following eight Core Course Options:
    • EARTH 305: Earth's Surface and Sediments
    • EARTH 310: Geochemistry of the Solid Earth
    • EARTH 313: Geobiology
    • EARTH 314: Global and Applied Geophysics
    • EARTH 315: Earth Materials
    • EARTH 325: Environmental Geochemistry
    • EARTH 331: Climate and Climate Change
    • EARTH 351: Earth Structure
  2. Field Experience Requirement

    A fundamental aspect of studying the Earth sciences is exposure to hands-on approaches for data collection and problem-solving. For this reason, the Earth and Environmental Sciences major requires students to complete a field-based course at Camp Davis, Wyoming, where students learn how to collect and interpret Earth and Environmental science data.

    Students must choose one course from EARTH 450 (or prior to Spring 2014, EARTH 341) or 440. Students interested in completing EARTH 440 are strongly recommended to complete EARTH 305, 310, and 351 prior to taking EARTH 440. Students interested in a career in Oceanography may elect to take, with approval from a department advisor, a marine based field course.

  3. Geoscience Electives

    Nine EARTH credits at the 300 or higher level. Earth and Environmental Sciences majors are required to take these additional EARTH credits at the 300 or higher level to develop additional expertise in a specialization or area of their choosing. Students may wish to consider a specialization in an area listed in the core courses, or create their own specialization in consultation with a department advisor.

    Remaining core courses listed above may be elected as well as other department course offerings. Students interested in graduate school and/or professional employment in the geosciences are encouraged to take as many 400-level courses as possible.

    A maximum of one credit of research or independent study (EARTH 299, 489, 490, 494, 498, 499) can be used for these electives.

Sample specializations

Students who choose the Earth and Environmental Sciences major are encouraged to build a specialization that suits their own interests by taking additional upper-level courses in the department. They may elect to use additional relevant courses from other departments as well. Students should build their specialization in close consultation with their department advisor.

The following includes titles of a few example specializations that students may consider pursuing. Recommended courses associated with each of these specializations are available on the department website. These are only examples, and other specializations may be considered in consultation with a department advisor.

  • Geology
  • Environmental Geoscience
  • Energy and Mineral Resources
  • Geochemistry
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Paleontology and Geobiology

Other recommendations

Students interested in graduate school or a career in geological and environmental sciences, or oceanography, are strongly encouraged to plan their curriculum in close consultation with an Earth and Environmental Sciences department advisor as soon as possible. Example curricula are given below.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment in Geological Sciences include:

  • MATH 116: Calculus II, MATH 214 or 216: Differential equations.
  • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or CHEM 210 and 211: Organic Chemistry
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241: Physics II and Lab
  • EARTH 305, 310, 313, 315, 351, 418, 420, 422, 440
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment in Environmental Geology include:

  • MATH 116: Calculus II, MATH 214 or 216: Differential equations.
  • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or CHEM 210 and 211: Organic Chemistry
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241: Physics II and Lab, or BIOLOGY 162, 171, or 172.
  • EARTH 305, 315, 325, 380, 420, 442, 450 (or prior to Spring 2014, EARTH 341), 465, 477.
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment in Oceanography include:

  • MATH 116: Calculus II, and one of MATH 214, 215, or 216: Differential equations
  • STATS 250
  • CHEM 230: Physical Chemistry or CHEM 210 and 211: Organic Chemistry
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241: Physics II and Lab
  • EARTH 222 and 223, 305, 310, 320, 321, 325 or 422, 409, 420, 449, 452
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Other Department Policies

Upper-Level Writing Requirement

The College requires that every student satisfy an upper-level writing requirement before graduation. Students in concentration programs in the department must satisfy this requirement by completion of EARTH 333 or 380 or by a program of writing that is explained in detail on the departmental web page: www.lsa.umich.edu/earth/undergraduate.

Distribution Policy

No course used to fulfill a major requirement may be used toward the LSA Distribution Requirement. In addition, courses in the EARTH subject area may not be used toward the Distribution Requirement.

Honors

Effective: Winter 2012

The Honors plan consists of a series of special academic opportunities supplementary to any of the regular majors. The Honors plan is tailored to fit the needs and interests of individual students. Honors students in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences should complete EARTH 490 for one credit during two of the four terms of the junior and senior years for:

  1. reading and discussion of the professional literature;
  2. library research and reporting on a special research problem;
  3. research as an assistant to a faculty member or as part of a graduate seminar; or
  4. individual research and reporting on a problem or graduate seminar.

A thesis is required to complete the program. The Honors plan offers well-qualified students an opportunity to increase the breadth and depth of their undergraduate experience. To be eligible for the Honors plan, students must have at least: (1) a 3.4 grade point average in EARTH courses elected in the department; and (2) a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.4 at the time of acceptance. Students admitted to the Honors plan must complete the requirements for their principal major program.

Ideally, the selection of candidates for Honors plan is made at the beginning of the junior year, but qualified students may be admitted to the plan as late as the end of the junior year. Interested students should contact the departmental office for referral to the Honors advisor, 2534 C.C. Little Building, (734) 764-1435.

Teaching Certificate

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences offers prospective secondary school science teachers an opportunity to earn a bachelor's degree from the College with a major in the department while satisfying the requirements for a provisional secondary school teaching certificate with a teaching major in earth science or general science. An outline with specific information about the teaching major and minor in earth science, general science, and the other teaching certificate requirements should be obtained from the School of Education Office of Academic Services. Interested students should consult the teaching certificate advisor as early as possible.

Earth and Environmental Sciences Major (Winter 2013-Fall 2013)

Effective Winter 2013-Fall 2013

May be elected as a departmental major

The Earth and Environmental Sciences major trains students to receive a broad foundation in natural and physical sciences related to environmental and Earth sciences. Students are required to learn material from several core areas of the Earth sciences. The program also includes a field requirement that takes students off campus to study and apply their knowledge. Finally, students are encouraged, but not required, to complete a specialization in a subject area of their choosing. Students in this program of study can earn either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. A Bachelor of Science degree requires students complete at least 60 credits in science and math courses.

Prerequisites to the Major

Prerequisites to the major provide students with background knowledge in topics related to Earth and environmental science and in core natural science areas. These should be completed as soon as possible.

  1. Earth and Environmental Science Requirements. Choose one from each of the following two categories:
    • Category I: An introductory geoscience course with a laboratory (EARTH 116, 119&118, 120, or 201), or an introductory geosciences course without a laboratory (EARTH 119, 284 or 205+206) combined with a laboratory course (EARTH 118 or 207).
    • Category II: An introductory course in global change, oceanography, or environmental science (EARTH 171, 222&223, 201, 202, 284 or 320).
  2. MATH 115 (Calculus I)
  3. Choose at least 2 out of the following 4 options for chemistry, physics, and biology courses:
    • Option I: CHEM 130 and 125 (General Chemistry and Lab)
    • Option II: PHYSICS 140 and 141 (Physics I and lab)
    • Option III: BIOLOGY 162, 171, or 172 (Introductory Cell Biology or Ecology)
    • Option IV: Choose one from
      • MATH 116 (Calculus II),
      • MATH 214 or 216 (Differential Equations),
      • CHEM 230 (Physical Chemistry) or 210/211 (Organic Chemistry and Lab), or
      • PHYSICS 240/241 (Physics II and Lab).

Recommended Prerequisites

Recommended introductory field experience. Students are encouraged in their first year of declaring the major to participate in a departmental international or domestic field trip over spring break or summer.

Students interested in continuing on to graduate school or professional work in the geosciences are encouraged to choose their prerequisites in consultation with a department advisor. See also the other recommendations listed below.

Requirements for the Major

The  requirements for the major are:

  1. Core Courses: Core courses in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Major are designed to provide students with training in the physical, chemical, and biologic processes relevant to the present form, and evolution of the Earth. Students should choose four courses from the following eight Core Course Options:
    • EARTH 305 Earth's Surface and Sediments
    • EARTH 310 Geochemistry of the Solid Earth
    • EARTH 313 Geobiology
    • EARTH 314 Global and Applied Geophysics
    • EARTH 315 Earth Materials
    • EARTH 325 Environmental Geochemistry
    • EARTH 331 Climate and Climate Change
    • EARTH 351 Earth Structure
  2. Field Experience Requirement
    A fundamental aspect of studying the Earth sciences is exposure to hands-on approaches for data collection and problem solving. For this reason, the Earth and Environmental Sciences major requires students to complete a field-based course at Camp Davis, Wyoming, where students learn how to collect and interpret Earth and Environmental science data.

    Students must choose one course from EARTH 341 or 440. Students interested in completing EARTH 440 are strongly recommended to complete EARTH 305, 310, and 351 prior to taking EARTH 440. Students interested in a career in Oceanography may elect to take, with approval from a department advisor, a marine based field course.
  3. Geoscience Electives: Nine EARTH credits at the 300 or higher level. Earth and Environmental Sciences majors are required to take these additional EARTH credits at the 300 or higher level to develop additional expertise in a specialization or area of their choosing. Students may wish to consider a specialization in an area listed in the core courses, or create their own specialization in consultation with a department advisor. 

    Remaining core courses listed above may be elected as well as other department course offerings. Students interested in graduate school and/or professional employment in the geosciences are encouraged to take as many 400-level courses as possible.

    A maximum of one credit of research or independent study (EARTH 299, 489, 490, 494, 498, 499) can be used for these electives.  

Sample specializations: Students who choose the Earth and Environmental Sciences major are encouraged to build a specialization that suits their own interests by taking additional upper-level courses in the  department. They may elect to use additional relevant courses from other departments as well. Students should build their specialization in close consultation with their department advisor. 

The following includes titles of a few example specializations that students may consider pursuing. Recommended courses associated with each of these specializations are available on the department website. These are only examples, and other specializations may be considered in consultation with a department advisor.

  • Geology
  • Environmental Geoscience
  • Energy and Mineral Resources
  • Geochemistry
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Paleontology and Geobiology

Other recommendations: Students interested in graduate school or a career in geological and environmental sciences, or oceanography, are strongly encouraged to plan their curriculum in close consultation with a Earth and Environmental Sciences department advisor as soon as possible. Example curricula are given below.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment inGeological Sciences include:

  • MATH 116 (Calculus II), MATH 214 or 216 (Differential equations).
  • CHEM 230 (Physical Chemistry) or CHEM 210 and 211 (Organic Chemistry)
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241 (Physics II and Lab)
  • EARTH 305, 310, 313, 315, 351, 418, 420, 422, 440
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment inEnvironmental Geology include:

  • MATH 116 (Calculus II), MATH 214 or 216 (Differential equations).
  • CHEM 230 (Physical Chemistry) or CHEM 210 and 211 (Organic Chemistry)
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241 (Physics II and Lab) or BIOLOGY 162, 171, or 172.
  • EARTH 305, 315, 325, 341, 380, 420, 442, 465, 477.
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment inOceanography include:

  • MATH 116 (Calculus II), and one of MATH 214, 215, or 216 (Differential equations)
  • STATS 350
  • CHEM 230 (Physical Chemistry) or CHEM 210 and 211 (Organic Chemistry)
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241 (Physics II and Lab)
  • EARTH 222 and 223, 305, 310, 320, 321, 325 or 422, 409, 420, 449, 452
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Earth and Environmental Sciences Major (Winter 2012-Fall 2012)

Effective Winter 2012-Fall 2012

May be elected as a departmental major

The Earth and Environmental Sciences major trains students to receive a broad foundation in natural and physical sciences related to environmental and Earth sciences. Students are required to learn material from several core areas of the Earth sciences. The program also includes a field requirement that takes students off campus to study and apply their knowledge. Finally, students are encouraged, but not required, to complete a specialization in a subject area of their choosing. Students in this program of study can earn either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. A Bachelor of Science degree requires students complete at least 60 credits in science and math courses.

Prerequisites to the Major

Prerequisites to the major provide students with background knowledge in topics related to Earth and environmental science and in core natural science areas. These should be completed as soon as possible.

  1. Earth and Environmental Science Requirements. Choose one from each of the following two categories:
      • Category I: An introductory geoscience course with a laboratory (EARTH 116, 119&118, 120, or 201), or an introductory geosciences course without a laboratory (EARTH 119, 284 or 205+206) combined with a laboratory course (EARTH 118 or 207).
      • Category II: An introductory course in global change, oceanography, or Earth system science (EARTH 171, 222&223, or 320).
  2. MATH 115 (Calculus I)
  3. Choose at least 2 out of the following 4 options for chemistry, physics, and biology courses:
      • Option I: CHEM 130 and 125 (General Chemistry and Lab)
      • Option II: PHYSICS 140 and 141 (Physics I and lab)
      • Option III: BIOLOGY 162, 171, or 172 (Introductory Cell Biology or Ecology)
      • Option IV: Choose one from
        • MATH 116 (Calculus II),
        • MATH 214 or 216 (Differential Equations),
        • CHEM 230 (Physical Chemistry) or 210/211 (Organic Chemistry and Lab), or
        • PHYSICS 240/241 (Physics II and Lab).

Recommended Prerequisites

Recommended introductory field experience. Students are encouraged in their first year of declaring the major to participate in a departmental international or domestic field trip over spring break or summer.

Students interested in continuing on to graduate school or professional work in the geosciences are encouraged to choose their prerequisites in consultation with a department advisor. See also the other recommendations listed below.

Requirements for the Major

The major requirements are:

  1. Core Courses: Core courses in the Earth and Environmental Sciences Major are designed to provide students with training in the physical, chemical, and biologic processes relevant to the present form, and evolution of the Earth. Students should choose four courses from the following eight Core Course Options:
    • EARTH 305 Earth's Surface and Sediments
    • EARTH 310 Geochemistry of the Solid Earth
    • EARTH 313 Geobiology
    • EARTH 314 Global and Applied Geophysics
    • EARTH 315 Earth Materials
    • EARTH 325 Environmental Geochemistry
    • EARTH 331 Climate and Climate Change
    • EARTH 351 Earth Structure
  2. Field Experience Requirement
    A fundamental aspect of studying the Earth sciences is exposure to hands-on approaches for data collection and problem solving. For this reason, the Earth and Environmental Sciences major requires students to complete a field-based course at Camp Davis, Wyoming, where students learn how to collect and interpret Earth and Environmental science data.

    Students must choose one course from EARTH 341 or 440. Students interested in completing EARTH 440 are strongly recommended to complete EARTH 305, 310, and 351 prior to taking EARTH 440. Students interested in a career in Oceanography may elect to take, with approval from a department advisor, a marine based field course.
  3. Geoscience Electives: Nine EARTH credits at the 300 or higher level. Earth and Environmental Sciences majors are required to take these additional EARTH credits at the 300 or higher level to develop additional expertise in a specialization or area of their choosing. Students may wish to consider a specialization in an area listed in the core courses, or create their own specialization in consultation with a department advisor. 

    Remaining core courses listed above may be elected as well as other department course offerings. Students interested in graduate school and/or professional employment in the geosciences are encouraged to take as many 400-level courses as possible.

Sample specializations: Students who choose the Earth and Environmental Sciences major are encouraged to build a specialization that suits their own interests by taking additional upper-level courses in the  department. They may elect to use additional relevant courses from other departments as well. Students should build their specialization in close consultation with their department advisor. 

The following includes titles of a few example specializations that students may consider pursuing. Recommended courses associated with each of these specializations are available on the department website. These are only examples, and other specializations may be considered in consultation with a department advisor.

  • Geology
  • Environmental Geoscience
  • Energy and Mineral Resources
  • Geochemistry
  • Geophysics
  • Oceanography
  • Paleontology and Geobiology

Other recommendations: Students interested in graduate school or a career in geological and environmental sciences, or oceanography, are strongly encouraged to plan their curriculum in close consultation with a Earth and Environmental Sciences department advisor as soon as possible. Example curricula are given below.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment inGeological Sciences include:

  • MATH 116 (Calculus II), MATH 214 or 216 (Differential equations).
  • CHEM 230 (Physical Chemistry) or CHEM 210 and 211 (Organic Chemistry)
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241 (Physics II and Lab)
  • EARTH 305, 310, 313, 315, 351, 418, 420, 422, 440
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment inEnvironmental Geology include:

  • MATH 116 (Calculus II), MATH 214 or 216 (Differential equations).
  • CHEM 230 (Physical Chemistry) or CHEM 210 and 211 (Organic Chemistry)
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241 (Physics II and Lab) or BIOLOGY 162, 171, or 172.
  • EARTH 305, 315, 325, 341, 380, 420, 442, 465, 477.
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.

Recommended courses for students interested in graduate study or professional employment inOceanography include:

  • MATH 116 (Calculus II), and one of MATH 214, 215, or 216 (Differential equations)
  • STATS 350
  • CHEM 230 (Physical Chemistry) or CHEM 210 and 211 (Organic Chemistry)
  • PHYSICS 240 and 241 (Physics II and Lab)
  • EARTH 222 and 223, 305, 310, 320, 321, 325 or 422, 409, 420, 449, 452
  • Completion of a senior or Honors thesis after at least two semesters of research with faculty in the department.