Environmental Studies

The field of Environmental Studies recognizes that finding solutions to the environmental challenges facing our society requires individuals with experience and training in a broad array of disciplines. Success in the field requires not only a scientific background to develop technical solutions but also an understanding of the social and economic implications of solutions and decisions. The Environmental Studies Program at UNO offers interdisciplinary undergraduate degrees that provide students with training in the breadth of disciplines required to understand the complex nature of solving environmental challenges, as well as the scientific expertise needed to successfully pursue a career relating to the environment.

Other Information

All coursework taken for the Environmental Science major or minor must be completed with a grade of “C-” or better.

Double Majors

ENVN--Geography & Planning and Geography double majors: Students completing both of these majors may count all geography courses toward both majors.

ENVN--Life Sciences and Biology double majors: Students may not count the same 3000-4000 level Biology courses towards both majors. Double majors are required to take a minimum of 5 additional upper division BIOL courses that are not part of the other major. These courses must be approved by the advisor and at least three of these must be lab courses. BIOL 3150 may not count as part of these upper division courses.

Writing in the Discipline

See concentrations.

Contact

Dr. John McCarty, Director
114 Allwine Hall
402.554.2849
jmccarty@unomaha.edu

Website


 

Degrees Offered

Hour Requirements

To obtain a BS in Environmental Sciences, a student must fulfill university, college, and departmental requirements.  As an interdisciplinary major, Environmental Sciences meets the college breadth requirement without the addition of a minor or additional General Education courses.  Other hour requirements follow:

  1. 46 hours of University General Education courses - Environmental Sciences majors who work with their advisor to select courses do not complete 46 hours of coursework solely for the purpose of meeting university General Education requirements.  Instead, they select courses to ensure that they:
    • Take six hours of coursework that meets both the six hours of diversity requirements and six hours of distribution requirements,
    • Meet the three-hour University General Education mathematics requirement through completing statistics as part of their major courses,
    • Meet the seven-hour University General Education natural sciences distribution requirement through completing major courses.

    By doing so, the number of credit hours taken solely to meet General Education requirements is reduced to 30 or fewer.

  2. Minimum of 71-79 hours of major courses depending on the concentration selected.
  3. 11-19 hours of electives.  Total elective credit is determined by the General Education courses taken, concentration selected, and the selection of courses used to fulfill major requirements.

TOTAL HOURS: 120

Core Requirements

All majors complete a set of core courses in the environmental sciences, in addition to completing courses specific to their concentration.  Core requirements include:

ENVN 2010ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS1
Two additional approved introductory environmental science courses
ENVN/GEOL/BIOL 4610ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT3
A minimum of 3 credit hours in ENVN 48003
ENVN/BIOL 4800INTERNSHIP ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AND PLANNING1-3
ENVN/GEOG 4820INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL LAW & REGULATIONS3
An approved course in statistics
An approved GIS course

ENVN 2000  LANDSCAPE APPRECIATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY (3 credits)

This course enables students to observe, document and critically examine the values and processes associated with human-designed landscapes and their connection to natural environments. Through concepts and tools presented in the course, students understand the environmental, social and economic context of local and global environments. Emphasis is placed on landscape as an indicator of aesthetic quality; the preference and restorative attributes of nature; design principles and processes as integrators of humans and nature in sustainable urbanized landscapes; and the various ways that sustainability can define a framework for multi-functional landscapes.

Distribution: Humanities and Fine Arts General Education course

ENVN 2010  ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS (1 credit)

An overview of current environmental problems and the efforts to solve those problems. Intended for Environmental Studies majors and other students with an interest in conservation, the human environment, and management of natural resources. This course examines current local, regional, and global environmental issues and explores work being done to improve environmental quality. The purpose of the course is to give students a broad, interdisciplinary overview of environmental topics to prepare them for advanced course work in the field. Usually offered Spring.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): BIOL 1330 or GEOL 1010 (or concurrent enrollment). Not open to non-degree graduate students.

ENVN 2120  SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPE PLANTS (4 credits)

This course focuses on the identification of native and adapted landscape plants, including herbaceous perennials, groundcovers, vines, trees and shrubs in natural and urbanized landscapes. In addition, it covers the ecological and design contexts for the landscape roles, sustainable usage and management of identified plants in the Great Plains region. (Cross-listed with BIOL 2120)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): High school biology

Distribution: Natural/Physical Sci General Education lecture&lab

ENVN 2130  SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPE PLANTS II (3 credits)

This course requires the identification of native and adapted landscape plants, including groundcovers, vines, trees and shrubs, in natural and urbanized landscapes. In addition, it covers the sustainable usage and management of identified plants in the Great Plains region. (Cross-listed with BIOL 2130)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): ENVN 2130 or BIOL 2130 is recommended.

ENVN 3660  INTRODUCTION TO SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPE DESIGN (3 credits)

This course provides an overview of graphic techniques and process for landscape design; the analysis and conceptual design of the landscape; and the exploration of the design characteristics of plants, landform, and structures through discussion, case studies and applied design development. A focus on sustainable design components and applications is included, including native and adapted plant selection, stormwater management, water conservation, efficient irrigation concepts, and practical landscape management and maintenance considerations. (Cross-listed with BIOL 3660)

Distribution: Humanities and Fine Arts General Education course

ENVN 3670  INTRODUCTION TO SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPE DESIGN LABORATORY (1 credit)

This course covers the basic use of graphic techniques for landscape design; the analysis and process for conceptual design of the landscape; studio problems in value, texture, form and space; and the exploration of the design characteristics of plants, landform, and structures supporting sustainable landscape design and management principles. (Cross-listed with BIOL 3670)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): ENVN 3660 or BIOL 3660 (prior or concurrent).

ENVN 4090  SPECIAL TOPICS IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES (1-5 credits)

A variable credit lecture and/or laboratory course pertaining to a specific topic in environmental studies or sustainability not available in the regular curriculum. May be repeated as topics change.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Junior or senior standing.

ENVN 4270  GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS (3 credits)

This course introduces students to issues of global environmental politics and policy, including the science behind issues such as climate change, how environmental policy is made at the national and international levels, and what role politics plays in determining environmental resource use. (Cross-listed with PSCI 4270, PSCI 8276)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): PSCI 2210 or junior standing or permission of instructor.

ENVN 4310  OUR ENERGY FUTURE: SOCIETY, THE ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY (3 credits)

This course emphasizes a critical analysis of our energy options and their environmental, economic and ethical connections. The course includes the underlying chemistry necessary to accurately assess energy positions described in the mainstream media and ultimately to make informed, creative energy choices. This course supports the Health and the Environment concentration in the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking. (Cross-listed with ENVN 8316, CACT 8316)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Permission of instructor.

ENVN 4320  ECOLOGICAL SUSTAINABILITY AND HUMAN HEALTH (3 credits)

The course will explore and develop the complex context of the systemic links among ecosystems and human health (and more broadly human well-being) using case studies including climate change, water quality, infectious diseases and agricultural production. Students will develop skills in critical thinking and applied research by studying biological connections between humans and ecosystems and how social, economic and cultural processes and practices mediate these connections. This course supports the Health and the Environment concentration in the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking. (Cross-listed with CACT 8326)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Junior or Senior standing

ENVN 4410  WETLAND ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT (3 credits)

This course will examine the principles and theory of wetland ecology with application towards wetland management and regulation. An interdisciplinary overview of physical, biological and regulatory aspects of wetlands will allow students to synthesize information from their backgrounds in geography, geology and ecology. Definitions, classifications, natural processes and functions of wetland environments will be presented. Labs concentrate on field techniques used to assess specific plant, animal, soil, and hydrological characteristics of wetlands. (Cross-listed with BIOL 4410 and BIOL 8416)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): BIOL 3340 or instructor permission.

ENVN 4420  RESTORATION ECOLOGY (3 credits)

Restoration Ecology examines how people assist with the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded. The course will examine the theory and application of restoration ecology through lecture, discussion, field trips, and development of a restoration management plan for a degraded ecosystem near Omaha. The course will provide information and resources used by restoration and land management professionals to plan, implement, and manage restorations. (Cross-listed with BIOL 4420, BIOL 8426)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Junior or Senior standing.

ENVN 4600  GIS APPLICATIONS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (1 credit)

This course introduces the use of geographic information systems (GIS) and other geospatial tools for work in the fields of environmental science, ecology, and natural resource management. The course will develop a working knowledge of the common software and hardware tools used by ecologists through hands-on projects. (Cross-listed with BIOL 4600, BIOL 8606)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): BIOL 3340 or permission of instructor.

ENVN 4610  ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND ASSESSMENT (3 credits)

An interdisciplinary approach to techniques for the design and implementation of environmental inventory and monitoring schemes used to evaluate natural resources. Students work as teams to synthesize information from their backgrounds in geography, geology and ecology to evaluate the impacts of human actions on environmental quality following the framework for environmental assessments provided by the National Environmental Policy Act. Course is organized to accommodate variable needs of students with different backgrounds and career choices. Usually offered every year. (Cross-listed with BIOL 4610, GEOG 4610, GEOG 8616, GEOL 4610, GEOL 8616)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Permission of instructor.

ENVN 4700  SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS CAPSTONE (3 credits)

This is a capstone experience for students interested in sustainability and related fields. Students work as part of a multidisciplinary team under the guidance of faculty mentors to develop sustainable solutions to challenges faced by local, regional, or global organizations.

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Instructor permission.

ENVN 4800  INTERNSHIP ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AND PLANNING (1-3 credits)

Internship providing practical experience working with environmental organizations or government agencies for students interested in careers in environmental science and related fields. A proposed internship must be approved by the Environmental Studies Program prior to enrolling. Usually offered Fall, Spring, Summer. (Cross-listed with BIOL 4800)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Permission of the Environmental Studies Program.

ENVN 4820  INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL LAW & REGULATIONS (3 credits)

Seminar on environmental law and regulations. Addresses federal regulations, implementing instructions, legal principles and requirements. The major federal environmental laws, air and water quality, solid and hazardous waste, and pollution prevention and remediation are discussed. Usually offered Fall semesters. (Cross-listed with BIOL 4820, BIOL 8826, GEOG 4820, GEOG 8826, PA 4820, PA 8826)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Junior-senior and permission.

ENVN 8316  OUR ENERGY FUTURE: SOCIETY, THE ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABILITY (3 credits)

This course emphasizes a critical analysis of our energy options and their environmental, economic and ethical connections. The course includes the underlying chemistry necessary to accurately assess energy positions described in the mainstream media and ultimately to make informed, creative energy choices. This course supports the Health and the Environment concentration in the Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking. (Cross-listed with ENVN 4310, CACT 8316)

Prerequisite(s)/Corequisite(s): Graduate standing.