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Duluth Campus

Environmental Science Minor

D Earth & Environmental Sci
Swenson College of Science and Engineering
  • Program Type: Undergraduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Fall 2020
  • Required credits in this minor: 29 to 31
The environmental science minor enhances a student's understanding of the scope of environmental problems, the biochemical and physical processes of environmental degradation, the sciences of non-renewable and renewable resources, and economic and political issues surrounding environmental problems. The minor provides valuable background for many environmental careers and applications.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Minor Requirements
Introductory Earth Science (3 - 4 cr)
GEOL 1110 - Geology and Earth Systems [LE CAT, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN] (4.0 cr)
or GEOL 1610 - Oceanography [LE CAT5, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN] (3.0 cr)
or GEOG 1414 - The Physical Geography [LE CAT, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN] (4.0 cr)
Chemistry I with lab (5 cr)
CHEM 1153 - General Chemistry I [LE CAT, NAT SCI] (4.0 cr)
CHEM 1154 - General Chemistry Lab I [LE CAT, NAT SCI] (1.0 cr)
Calculus I (5 cr)
MATH 1290 - Calculus for the Natural Sciences [LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR] (5.0 cr)
or MATH 1296 - Calculus I [LE CAT, LOGIC & QR] (5.0 cr)
Core Courses (10 - 11 cr)
Students majoring in Geological Sciences, cannot count GEOL 2110 towards minor.
ESCI 2010 - Surface Processes (4.0 cr)
If majoring in Geological Sciences, cannot count GEOL 2110 towards minor.
Take 2 or more course(s) from the following:
· GEOL 2110 - Earth History (4.0 cr)
· ESCI 3201 - Mineral Resources (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 3202 - Energy Resources (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 3203 - Surface Water and Groundwater Interaction (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 4102 - Environmental Assessment (3.0 cr)
Minor Electives (6 cr)
Take 2 or more course(s) totaling 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
· ESCI 3xxx
· ESCI 4xxx
· ESCI 5xxx
· GEOL 3xxx
· GEOL 4xxx
· GEOL 5xxx
 
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· Swenson College of Science and Engineering


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· Environmental Science Minor
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GEOL 1110 - Geology and Earth Systems (LE CAT, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Earth systems science is an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the processes operating within and the interactions between the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. In this course we investigate the changing nature of the Earth; its composition, architecture, and antiquity; the internal and external processes that shape it through time; cycles of energy and matter; the development of life and impact of human activity; and both local environmental issues and global change.
GEOL 1610 - Oceanography (LE CAT5, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Origin and history of ocean basins, sea floor morphology, chemistry of sea water, currents, waves, tides, life in the sea, primary productivity, nutrient dynamics, human impact. prereq: Credit will not be granted if already received for 2610.
GEOG 1414 - The Physical Geography (LE CAT, NAT SCI, SUSTAIN)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Periodic Fall, Spring & Summer
The environment is highly dynamic and is continually modified by human and environmental processes. This course examines these processes to better understand how the Earth's landscapes were formed and how they are currently being transformed. Specifically, students will understand the fundamental processes that govern the physical environment including Earth-sun relations, water resources, landforms, weather and climate, natural vegetation, and soils.
CHEM 1153 - General Chemistry I (LE CAT, NAT SCI)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02278
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Fundamental principles of chemistry exemplified by study of elements, compounds, and their reactions. Covers fundamental concepts of the atom, molecule, stoichiometry, chemical reactions, thermochemistry, gas laws, atomic structure, periodic table, chemical bonding, and other selected topics. The companion laboratory, CHEM 1154, should be taken concurrently. The combination of CHEM 1153 and CHEM 1154 meets the lab component of NAT SCI, LE CAT 4. prereq: One year high school chem, Math ACT 24 or higher or a grade of least C- in Math 1005, Credit will not be granted if already received for 1151 or 1161 or 1173. Fall semester, SCSE majors only.
CHEM 1154 - General Chemistry Lab I (LE CAT, NAT SCI)
Credits: 1.0 [max 1.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02279
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Basic laboratory skills while investigating the fundamental principles of chemistry. Covers fundamental concepts of the atom and molecule, stoichiometry, acid-base reactions, oxidation-reduction reactions, thermochemistry, characteristic properties of anions, gas laws and spectrophotometry. This laboratory accompanies lecture CHEM 1153. The combination of CHEM 1153 and CHEM 1154 meets liberal education category 4 requirements. prereq: Previous or concurrent enrollment in CHEM 1153 or 1173; credit will not be granted if already received for CHEM 1151, 1161 or 1174.
MATH 1290 - Calculus for the Natural Sciences (LE CAT2, LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01420 - Math1290/1296/1596
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Differential and integral calculus needed for modeling in earth and life sciences. Computational software. Not intended for students in mathematics, engineering, or physical sciences. prereq: Math ACT 27 or higher or a grade of at least C- in Math 1250 or department consent
MATH 1296 - Calculus I (LE CAT, LOGIC & QR)
Credits: 5.0 [max 5.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01420
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
First part of a standard introduction to calculus of functions of a single variable. Limits, continuity, derivatives, integrals, and their applications. prereq: Math ACT 27 or higher or a grade of at least C- in Math 1250 or department consent
ESCI 2010 - Surface Processes
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 02722
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Study of Earth surface processes emphasizing the origin and evolution of the earth's response of the physical environment to anthropogenic perturbations, climate change, and tectonic events; and application of physical, chemical, and mathematical principles to the study and interpretation of the environment. Surface processes will be explored through field and lab exercises designed to give the student hands-on experience in environmental characterization and monitoring. pre-req: GEOL 1110 or 1610 or GEOG 1414, MATH 1250 or 1290 or 1296, CHEM 1153 or 1173 or instructor consent
GEOL 2110 - Earth History
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
What is it that makes Earth habitable? What makes earth?s climate stable over geologic time? In this class, we will examine energy sources to earth?s surface and the processes that change them over geologic time. We will do this within a framework of mass balance ? comparing inputs to outputs at varying scales, investigating the evolution of climate, life and tectonics through time. Our goal is to identify, investigate, characterize, and assess the principal processes that shape earth?s surface environment from 4.54 billion years ago to present. To accomplish this aim, we will learn how geoscientists read Earth?s history, and what tools they use to do so. prereq: 1110 or 1130 or 1610 or Ast 1040 or Geog 1414 or instructor consent
ESCI 3201 - Mineral Resources
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
An introduction to the geology, extraction, processing, and disposal of mineral deposits, including major metal deposits (Fe, Al, Pb, Zn, Cu), scarce metals (high-technology metals, rare earth metals), non-metal deposits (salt, fertilizer, chemicals) as well as industrial minerals and resources (stone, sand/clay). Also, includes topics related to the environmental footprint of resource mining and the impact of technological and societal development. prereq: MATH 1290 or 1296 or instructor consent
ESCI 3202 - Energy Resources
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Geologic principles of carbon-based energy resources, with emphasis on coal and conventional and unconventional (e.g. shale oil, oil-sands, ultra-heavy crude oil) petroleum and gas; fundamentals of nuclear energy; introduction to technologies associated with the extraction, production, refinement, consumption, and byproduct treatment/disposal of carbon-based and nuclear-energy resources; importance of carbon-based energy in global industrialization and associated population growth; limits of population growth imposed by energy requirements; principles and associated technologies of renewable energy and energy conversion, with focus on solar (direct and indirect), geothermal, tidal, and biofuel energy resources. prereq: MATH 1290 or 1296 or 1596 and PHYS 1001 or 2013 or 2017 or instructor consent
ESCI 3203 - Surface Water and Groundwater Interaction
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Water at the Earth?s surface is constantly exchanged between wetlands, streams, lakes and shallow groundwater reservoirs. Human activities alter drainage patterns and impact surface water, runoff, and infiltration. Drainage of wetlands and construction of impervious surfaces increases the rate of storm water runoff and can lead to increases in flood frequency. Agricultural activities introduce fertilizers and pesticides into the soil, which can then contaminate surface water and groundwater reservoirs. Surface water is intimately connected to ground water through complex hydraulic interactions that are difficult to observe and measure and therefore are often ignored in water management policy implementation. This course examines the natural processes of groundwater and surface water interaction; classification of lakes, streams, and wetlands; sources, measurement and interpretation of hydrologic and geochemical data; and, through numerous case studies, the impacts of human activities on surface water and groundwater. pre-req: pre-req: GEOL 1110 or 1610 or GEOG 1414 and GEOL 2010 or ESCI 2010 or instructor consent
ESCI 4102 - Environmental Assessment
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Environmental issues identification and investigation. Review of case studies of environmental investigations and the components of environmental impact statements. Selection of local or regional environmental issues and evaluation of the environmental problems from a multidisciplinary perspective. Preparation of draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). prereq: instructor consent; no grad credit