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The University of Maine    
 
    
 
  Oct 17, 2017
 
2017-2018 Undergraduate Catalog

Ecology and Environmental Sciences


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OVERVIEW OF DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

Minimum number of credits required to graduate: 120

Minimum Cumulative GPA required to graduate: 2.0

Minimum Grade requirements for courses to count toward major: EES 489 requires minimum grade of C.  All Concentration courses require a minimum grade of C.

Other GPA requirements to graduate: None.

Required Course(s) for fulfilling Capstone Experience: EES 489.

Contact Information: Dr. Kate Ruskin, Program Coordinator, 101 Nutting Hall, (207) 581-3177, ees@maine.edu


Transfer Policy: Currently enrolled students who wish to change their major to EES must first meet with the Undergraduate Program Coordinator and demonstrate success in a 100 level Math and/or Science course.

The Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Environmental Sciences is an interdisciplinary program offered cooperatively by the faculties of the Department of Anthropology; Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Conservation Biology; School of Earth and Climate Sciences; School of Food and Agriculture; School of Biology and Ecology; School of Economics; and School of Forest Resources. Students majoring in the program are advised by over thirty-five faculty from these units. The program is designed for students who wish to pursue a professional career in ecology and environmental sciences in one of many applications:  management, administration, planning, education, research or graduate school.

The BS in Ecology and Environmental Sciences is designed to acquaint students with the scope and characteristics of our natural resources and to introduce the scientific and economic principles that govern resource use, sustainability, and conservation.

The Ecology and Environmental Sciences curriculum is composed of eight requirement areas, amounting to at least 96 credits (depending upon selections), plus up to 24 credits reserved for unstructured electives. The requirement areas are as follows:

    I. Ecology and Environmental Sciences;
   II. Biological and Ecological Sciences;
  III. Social Sciences; 
  IV. Physical and Chemical Sciences;
   V. Quantitative and Information Skills;
  VI. Communication Skills;
 VII. General Education;
VIII. Concentrations Courses;

The requirements are designed so that Ecology and Environmental Sciences graduates will be well grounded in both the natural and social sciences, and will possess the skills necessary for a successful career. The program is also designed to allow students ample flexibility to pursue individual interests in preparing for careers or postgraduate study.

Six Ecology and Environmental Sciences concentrations allow a student to pursue a particular aspect of natural resources in depth with an eye toward future employment or postgraduate study. Students should decide on their area of concentration early in their programs so that course choices in the first and sophomore years will include the prerequisites for courses in their chosen concentration.

1. Ecology and Environmental Sciences (15 credits)


All students in the program take the core courses, beginning with EES 117.  The capstone experience for majors is accomplished by the completion of EES 489.  Students should not take the capstone course until fall of their senior year.  Honors students meet the requirement for EES 489 and 490 through satisfactory completion of their Honors Directed Study and Thesis (HON 498/499).  A minimum grade of C is required for EES 489.

 

2. Biological and Ecological Sciences (7 credits)


5. Quantitative and Information Skills (6-7 credits)


6. Communication Skills (9 credits)


7. General Education


General Education requirements for mathematics, science and writing competency, a capstone experience, and ethics are met by the EES curriculum as outlined above. In addition, students must complete coursework in the following areas:

Human Values and Social Context (18 credits)
As part of the General Education requirements of the University of Maine, all undergraduates must complete the Human Values and Social Context (HVSC) requirement. Students must take at least three credits from each of five sub-categories. The Population and the Environment sub-category is met within the EES core requirements. Each student must complete courses in the remaining sub-categories (below) from an approved list.  Depending on course choices, some sub-categories may also be met within the EES requirements (Social Context and Institutions, Western Cultural Traditions, Cultural Diversity and International Perspectives). The Artistic and Creative Expression sub-category is never covered by EES requirements, so students must satisfy this requirement via an additional elective.

* Western Cultural Tradition (3 cr.) or Social Contexts and Institutions (3 cr.)
* Cultural Diversity and International Perspectives (3 cr.)
* Artistic and Creative Expression (3 cr.)

Completion of the Civilizations Sequence (HON 111, 112, 211 & 212) will satisfy all areas of the Human Values and Social Contexts (HSVC) general education requirement for 16 of the 18 required credits and the ethics requirement.

8. Program Concentrations


In addition to the core requirements that establish the basic foundation, each student must complete one concentration of study in the program. At a minimum, a concentration will entail at least 21 credits of course work with at least 15 credits being 300 or 400 level (Junior or Senior) courses. Courses taken as part of the core curriculum cannot be counted towards concentration requirements. For example, if a student chooses SFR 220 to meet the EES Social Science core requirement, that course cannot be counted towards the Sustainability, Environmental Policy, and Natural Resource Management Concentration. Students must earn a minimum grade of C in all courses that are included in the concentration. Students work with an academic advisor to choose the combination of concentration courses that best meets the student’s academic goals. Some concentration courses may have required prerequisites which are not EES program requirements, but which must be completed before the concentration course is taken. Substitutions may be made for courses in the approved lists below with approval of the student’s academic advisor and the undergraduate coordinator. For well-qualified seniors, graduate courses may also be used with the approval of the advisor and the course instructor.

Footnotes:

1 Students in the Ecosystems Ecology Marine Ecosystems option must take SMS 300

2 Only students in the Ecosystems Ecology Forest Ecosystems option take SFR 446

3 Only students in Ecosystems Ecology Marine Ecosystems option take SMS 230

4 Students in the Ecosystems Ecology Forest Ecosystems option take SFR 220

5 Only students in Ecosystems Ecology Marine Ecosystems option take ERS108

6 Only students in Ecosystems Ecology Marine Ecosystems option take SMS 108

7 Only students in the Ecosystem Ecology Forest Ecosystems option take SFR 205

8 Students in the Ecosystem Ecology Forest Ecosystems option must take SFR 400

EARTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES


The intent of the Earth and Environmental Sciences concentration is to provide flexibility to pursue courses related to the environmental geosciences that meet individual student interests.  When selecting courses that fulfill these electives, please consider personal objectives and select courses that will further your individual goals (Where do you hope to work?  Do you plan on attending graduate school?).  Students interested in employment opportunities in different fields are advised to discuss course selections with faculty in those fields.

Directed Electives (Must take 21 total credits, 15 of which are 300-400 level classes.)


  • Directed electives must be selected from the following disciplines or classes:  ERS, PSE, WLE, BIO, SMS, SFR, ECO, MAT 127, PHY 112 or PHY 122. 
  • At least 12 of these 21 course credits must be ERS courses.
  • At least 3 of these 21 course credits must be taken outside of ERS.
  • Students are strongly encouraged to complete courses in hydrology (e.g. ERS 350, ERS 580), geochemistry (e.g. ERS 312, ERS 521), and surficial processes (e.g. ERS 361, ERS 441) to acquire skills relevant for a career in environmental geosciences.  Students interested in pursuing post-graduate studies are advised to take MAT 127 Calculus II and PHY 112 General Physics II.

 

Sample Directed Electives: Environmental Earth Science


Hydrology and Geochemistry


ECOSYSTEM ECOLOGY


  1. ECOSYSTEM ECOLOGY
  2. ECOSYSTEM ECOLOGY - Aquatics and Wetlands Systems Option
  3. ECOSYSTEM ECOLOGY - Forest Ecosystems Option
  4. ECOSYSTEM ECOLOGY - Marine Ecosystems Option

There are four focus options within the Ecosystem Ecology concentrations (see 1-4 above).  Building on the core courses in biological and ecological sciences, students in these concentrations study in depth natural processes and ecological interactions.  They reflect the tremendous depth of faculty resources in ecology at the University of Maine and are designed to prepare students for both advanced study and professional work in ecology.  Students in the EES Ecosystem Ecology Concentration may choose a generalist option with elective course selections presenting a broad array of ecosystems or a focused option on a specific ecosystem of interest to the student. 

 

Required courses (12 credits)


Concentration Electives (20-24 credits, 15 of which must be 300-400 level courses)


Ecosystems (8-11 credits)


Organismal Ecology (3-4 credits)


Genetics and Evolution (3 credits)


Additional Electives (6 credits)


Choose additional courses from the three areas above or from the list below.

NATURAL HISTORY AND ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES


Natural history is a broad term involving the interest in and study of diverse aspects of the natural sciences (e.g., botany, zoology, geology, chemistry), historical geography, anthropology (human development and history within an ecological framework), and conservation. Environmental studies is an academic field that focuses on human interactions with the environment. This interdisciplinary concentration places more focus on the social sciences related to human-environment relationships and may include topics in ethics, policy, sociology, and philosophy as well as environmental sciences. Students will have familiarity with the diversity of life in all its forms to provide the foundation for a broadly trained naturalist. Building on the core courses in biological, ecological, and social sciences, students in this will be prepared for professional work in environmental non-government organizations, consulting firms, state and federal agencies, environmental education, as well as graduate study.

Concentration Electives (18 required credits)


18 required credits, 15 of which need to be 300 or 400 level classes

 

Ecosystem diversity (3-4 credits)


SOIL AND WATER SCIENCE


Students in this concentration will study soil biogeochemical and hydrologic processes in depth. Their understanding and skills will be useful in addressing many societal challenges, including climate and land use change, environmental protection, ecosystem services, food security, and energy production in a range of employment settings. In addition this concentration prepares students for advanced study in related areas.

Required Courses (12 credits)


Recommended Course


Electives (21 credits)


(21 credits, 15 of which need to be 300 or 400 level courses.)

SUSTAINABILITY, ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, AND NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT


Building on the core courses in biological, ecological, and social sciences, students in this concentration study in depth interactions between human and natural systems. This concentration reflects the tremendous depth of faculty resources in anthropology, environmental economics, environmental policy, natural resource management, human ecology, human dimensions of natural resource management, and sustainability science at the University of Maine. This concentration is designed to prepare students for both advanced study and professional work in sustainability science, environmental policy, and natural resource management.

Concentration Electives (18 credits)


18 credits total, 15 of which must be 300-400 level courses.

Must take a minimum of one or two courses in each of these three areas (Economics, Social, and Resource Management/Policy/Ecology).

Resource Management/Policy/Ecology (6 credit minimum)


Individualized Concentration


In some cases, the defined concentrations may not meet the interests or career aspirations of students in the program. Students may develop and pursue an individualized concentration of study.

Individualized concentrations must deal with some aspect of ecology and environmental sciences as broadly reflected in the degree program. Individualized concentrations may not be developed for areas where degrees are already being offered at the University of Maine. So, for example, while “wildlife” is clearly part of natural ecosystems, this would not be an appropriate organizing concept for an individualized concentration since a degree program in wildlife ecology already exists at the University of Maine. Generally, the course work that makes up an individualized concentration should be largely drawn from courses offered at the University of Maine.

A student wishing to pursue an individualized concentration should do so in conjunction with an advisor who is a faculty member participating in the EES program. The student should prepare a brief proposal for the concentration, including a narrative explaining the organizing concept for the concentration and proposed name. The courses that will be taken to constitute the concentration should also be included. Individualized concentrations must include 21 credit hours of course work, at least 15 of which are at the 300 or 400 course level. An individualized concentration must be approved by the student’s academic advisor, the Undergraduate Coordinator, and the Director.
 

Required Courses in Suggested Sequence of the B.S. in Ecology and Environmental Sciences


Sequence varies widely depending on concentration. Students and advisors should carefully review curriculum and pay close attention to the timing of courses, prerequisites, etc.

Students are encouraged to take at least 15 credits each semester.

First Year - First Semester


First Year - Second Semester


Second Year - First Semester


Third Year - Second Semester


Fourth Year - First Semester


Fourth Year - Second Semester


  • EES 490 - Senior Seminar Credits: 3
  • Concentration Courses
  • Free Elective Courses
  • Footnotes:

    1C BIO 200 required for all concentrations except for Earth and Environmental Sciences and Sustainability

    2C Students can take EES 217 in the first semester of their second or third year.

    3C Students in Ecosystem Ecology Marine Ecosystems must take SMS 300. BIO 319 is offered in the spring.

    4C  Students in Ecosystems Ecology Forest Ecosystems Option must take SFR 205

    5C Students choose PHI 232(fall or spring course) or ECO 381 (fall course)

    6C Only students in the Ecosystems Ecology - Forest Ecosystems Concentration take SFR 446. Only students in the Ecosystem Ecology - Marine Ecosystems Concentration take SMS 230.

Required Courses in Suggested Sequence for the Honors Program of the B. S. in Ecology and Environmental Sciences


Sequence varies widely depending on concentration.  Students and advisors should carefully review curriculum and pay close attention to timing of courses, prerequisites, etc.

Students are encouraged to take at least 15 credits each semester.

First Year - First Semester


Third Year - First Semester


Third Year - Second Semester


Fourth Year - First Semester


Fourth Year - Second Semester


  • HON 499 - Honors Thesis Credits: 3
  • Concentration Courses
  • Free Electives
  •  

     

  • 1D Students that don’t complete the honors sequence should consult with his/her advisor to make sure general education requirements are met.

    2D BIO 200 required for all concentrations except for Earth and Environmental Sciences and Sustainability

    3D Students can take EES 217 in first semester of their second or third year

    4D Students in the Ecosystem Ecology Marine Ecosystems Option must take SMS 300.  BIO 319 is a spring course

    5D Students in Ecosystem Ecology Forest Ecosystem Option must take SFR 205

    6D Only students in the Ecosystem Ecology Forest Ecosystem option take SFR 446. Only students in the Ecosystem Ecology Marine Ecosystem Option take SMS 230.

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