Apr 20, 2024  
2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog 
2006-2007 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Ecology and Environmental Sciences

Ecology and Environmental Sciences

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The Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Environmental Sciences is an interdisciplinary program offered cooperatively by the faculties of the Departments of Plant, Soil and Environmental Sciences; Biological Sciences; Forest Ecosystems Science; Resource Economics and Policy; and Wildlife Ecology. Students majoring in the program are taught and advised by over thirty-five faculty from several academic departments. The program is designed for students who wish to pursue a professional career in environmental conservation, management, administration, planning, or research. The degree can also be used in preparation for postgraduate study in several disciplines related to ecology and environmental sciences.

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 and conservation.

The Ecology and Environmental Sciences curriculum is composed of seven requirement areas, amounting to at least 99 credits (depending upon selections), plus up to 21 credits reserved for unstructured electives. The requirement areas are as follows:
I. Ecology and Environmental Sciences Courses; II. Biological and Ecological Science Courses; III. Physical and Chemical Science Courses; IV. Quantitative Skills Courses; V. Communication Skills Courses; VI. Human Values and Social Context Courses; VII. Ecology and Environmental Sciences Concentration; VIII. Free Electives.

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. However, the program is also designed to allow students ample flexibility to pursue individual interests in preparing for careers or postgraduate study.

The 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.

Area II. Biological and Ecological Sciences

Area VI. Human Values and Social Context

All students in the program must earn at least 18 credits in the humanities and social sciences. These courses, which are selected in consultation with an advisor, must be chosen to meet several distributional requirements established by the University of Maine’s General Education Requirements as follows:

Area VII. The Ecology and Environmental Sciences Concentration (21 credits)

Each student is required to complete at least one concentration. Each concentration consists of 21 credits, at least 15 of which must be at the 300 level or above. Appropriate course choices must be made in the other six requirement areas to satisfy the prerequisites for the chosen concentration.

Several courses are listed under each of the following concentrations. Students are required to build their concentrations largely from the courses on these lists. However, with the approval of the advisor, certain courses not on a list may also be used. For seniors, certain graduate courses may be used in the concentration with approval of the student’s advisor. At the beginning of the concentration listings, prerequisite courses and suggested preparatory courses are listed. These courses are taken in lieu of free electives.


Required Preparatory Courses:

Concentration Electives:


Environmental Sciences

Land Use Planning

Natural History

Natural Resource Management

Resource and Environmental Policy

Soil and Water Sciences

Wetland and Aquatic Ecology

Individualized Concentration

In some cases the standard concentration may not meet adequately the interests or career aspirations of students in this program. Under certain conditions, such students may develop and pursue an individualized concentration of study.

Individualized concentrations obviously must deal with some aspect of ecology and environmental sciences, as is broadly reflected in the degree program at this time. 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 an ecological science, this would not be an appropriate organizing concept for an individualized concentration since a degree in wildlife may be obtained from another unit of the University of Maine. Individualized concentrations, as all concentrations in the program do, require at least 21 credits of study, 15 of which must be 300 or 400 level courses.

A student wishing to pursue an individualized concentration should do so in conjunction with an advisor associated with the program. The student should prepare a brief proposal for the concentration, including a narrative explaining the organizing concept of the concentration (essentially a justification), a proposed name of the concentration, and a list of the courses that would be taken to complete the concentration. The proposal will need to be approved by the advisor, program coordinator, and Associate Dean of the College.

Area VIII. Electives (21 credits)

A free elective is any course for which the University awards academic credit. Students may use these credits to increase their professional job prospects by taking additional courses in their area of concentration or by completing course work in a second area of concentration. Some natural resource students may elect courses in foreign languages to broaden opportunities for employment or for study in other countries. Other students may wish to broaden their knowledge in the arts and humanities.

Third Year - First Semester

Third Year - Second Semester

  • Concentration Electives. Credits: 6-8
  • Elective. Credits: 3
  • Fourth Year - First Semester

    Fourth Year - Second Semester

    • Concentration Elective (3-4 cr.)
    • Free Electives (12 cr.)

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