Twin Cities campus
Twin Cities Campus

Environmental Geosciences Minor

CLA Dean's Office
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Undergraduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2018
  • Required credits in this minor: 18
The minor is offered in cooperation with the Department of Earth Sciences.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Minor Requirements
Students must complete ESCI 1001 or 3001.
Preparatory Courses
Take one of the following 1xxx-level courses.
ESCI 1001 - Earth and Its Environments [PHYS, ENV] (4.0 cr)
or ESCI 1005 - Geology and Cinema [PHYS, ENV] (4.0 cr)
or ESCI 1006 - Oceanography [PHYS, ENV] (4.0 cr)
or ESCI 1007 - From Microbes to Mammoths: History of Life on Earth [BIOL] (4.0 cr)
or ESCI 2201 - Solid Earth Dynamics (4.0 cr)
Minor Courses
Students choose minor courses in consultation with the ESci director of undergraduate studies/advisor.
Take 14 or more credit(s) from the following:
· ESCI 3001 {Inactive} (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 3002 - Climate Change and Human History [ENV] (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 3004 - Water and Society [ENV] (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 3005 - Earth Resources (3.0 cr)
· ESCI 3006 - Planets of the Solar System (3.0 cr)
· Substitutions
Substitutions can be made after consultation with the ESci advisor. Though not an exhaustive list, students have previously selected these course(s) as substitutions:
Take 0 or more course(s) from the following:
· ESCI 4701 - Geomorphology (4.0 cr)
· ANTH 3041 - Ecological Anthropology (3.0 cr)
· SOC 4305 - Environment & Society: An Enduring Conflict [ENV] (3.0 cr)
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· College of Liberal Arts
View future requirement(s):
· Fall 2018

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· Environmental Geosciences Minor
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ESCI 1001 - Earth and Its Environments (PHYS, ENV)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01201 - Geo 1001/1005/1012/1101/1105
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Physical processes that shape the Earth: volcanoes, earthquakes, plate tectonics, glaciers, rivers. Current environmental issues/global change. Lecture/lab. Optional field experience.
ESCI 1005 - Geology and Cinema (PHYS, ENV)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01058 - Geo 1001/Geo 1005/Geo 1101
Typically offered: Every Spring
Physical processes shaping the Earth, materials it comprises, its nearly five billion year history as told spectacularly, but often wrongly, by Hollywood movies.
ESCI 1006 - Oceanography (PHYS, ENV)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Geo 1006/5006
Typically offered: Every Fall
How various processes in the ocean interact. Marine biology, waves, tides, chemical oceanography, marine geology, and human interaction with the sea. Labs include study of live marine invertebrates, manipulation of oceanographic data, and discussion using videos showing unique aspects of ocean research.
ESCI 1007 - From Microbes to Mammoths: History of Life on Earth (BIOL)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall
Scientific evidence from biology, paleontology, and geology for origin/evolution of life over 4.5 billion years of Earth's history. Biochemical basis of life, biogeochemical cycles, natural selection, origin of species, genetics, phylogeny reconstruction, timescales for evolution.
ESCI 2201 - Solid Earth Dynamics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Dynamics of solid Earth, particularly tectonic system. Seismology, internal structure of Earth. Earth's gravity, magnetic fields. Paleomagnetism, global plate tectonics, tectonic systems. Field trip. prereq: concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in PHYS 1301 or instr consent
ESCI 3002 - Climate Change and Human History (ENV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01284
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Causes of long-/short-term climate change. Frequency/magnitude of past climate changes; their geologic records. Relationship of past climate changes to development of agrarian societies and to shifts in power among kingdoms/city-states. Emphasizes last 10,000 years.
ESCI 3004 - Water and Society (ENV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
For non-science majors. Study of (1) the role of humans as agents influencing the composition (quality) of water resources through domestic, agricultural, industrial, and other land-use practices; (2) the role of water in various ecosystem services which may be at odds with the anthropocentric view of water as a resource; (3) how population increase and climate change, coupled with human actions, is affecting the quality and quantity of available water, leading to lack of access to clean water and decent sanitation, and to severe water shortages (e.g., for irrigation) in some areas, especially in developing nations and politically unstable regions; and (4) how the availability of water shapes a society’s view of water as a resource and its view of the non-human demands for water (which is not uniform across the globe).
ESCI 3005 - Earth Resources
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Fall Odd Year
Geologic aspects of energy/material resources. Resource size/life-times. Environmental consequences of resource use. Issues of international/public ethics associated with resource production, distribution, and use.
ESCI 3006 - Planets of the Solar System
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Recent accomplishments of space missions. Diverse/common characteristics of planetary formation. Surface processes/interior dynamics. Meteoritic impacts. Comets. Other solar systems/possibility of life.
ESCI 4701 - Geomorphology
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Origin, development, and continuing evolution of landforms in various environments. Environmental implications. Weathering, slope and shore processes, fluvial erosion and deposition, arid region processes, glacial processes. This course includes lecture and laboratory components, including field trips. prereq: ESCI 2201, 2203 and 3202; MATH 1272; and PHYS 1301; or instructor consent.
ANTH 3041 - Ecological Anthropology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 00001 - Anth 3041/Anth 5041
Typically offered: Periodic Fall
Concepts, theories, and methods of ecological anthropology (cultural ecology). How humans interact with biophysical environment. Compares biological/cultural interactions with environment. Examines adaptive strategies cross-culturally. prereq: 1003 or instr consent
SOC 4305 - Environment & Society: An Enduring Conflict (ENV)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: 01846 - GloS 4305/Soc 4305
Grading Basis: A-F or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Examines how natural/built environments influence human behavior/social organization. Focuses on microenvironments/their influence on individuals. Impact of macroenvironments on societal organization. Environmental movements. prereq: 1001 or environmental course recommended, [soc majors/minors must register A-F]