Environmental Science

Director: Katie Costanzo, PhD
 

Introduction

The Environmental Science major provides both theoretical and applied knowledge for students interested in professional careers in the environmental sciences, e.g., environmental consulting, environmental regulation and monitoring, environmental conservation, environmental health sciences (toxicology, occupational health, health physics, industrial hygiene, water quality industry) and the ecological sciences. In addition, the curriculum facilitates entry into graduate programs in the ecological, environmental health and environmental sciences.

The Environmental Science program is designed to have an interdisciplinary focus with required and recommended courses coming from biology, chemistry, geology, philosophy and social sciences. In addition, it is designed to provide needed job experiences through the completion of two required internships. For students interested in graduate study in the environmental sciences, one internship may be replaced with independent research in the environmental sciences.

For a more detailed description of the faculty, facilities, academic and co-curricular opportunities please visit the Environmental Science website.  

Qualifications

Students must maintain a 2.0 GPA in their major and support courses and a 2.0 overall average to graduate with a degree in Environmental Science.

Advisement

All students should have an advisor in the major and should contact the department directly to have an advisor assigned if they do not already have one.  Major advisors are normally assigned in the sophomore year, but may be requested in the freshman year to supplement a student's freshman advisor (their GRIF 101 facilitator). Meetings with academic advisors are required prior to students receiving their PIN for course registration each semester. All majors should work closely with their advisor in discussing career expectations, choosing their major electives, developing their entire academic program and planning their co-curricular or supplemental academic experiences.

The advisor may be changed at the student’s request.

Dual Majors

Students who wish to expand their educational opportunities may decide to declare a dual major. The decision may be based on career goals or planned graduate studies. Before a student declares a dual major, it is important to meet with the appropriate academic departments for advisement. Some dual major combinations can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional course work may be required. In order to declare a dual major, the student must complete the appropriate dual major request form and get the signature of each department chairperson and the appropriate associate dean.

Your advisor will be able to assist with course planning to facilitate a second major, so please let your advisor know if you are considering a dual major

Minors

Minors provide students the opportunity to pursue additional interests but generally do not require as many courses as a major.  Minors generally range from five to eight required courses. The minors page provides a complete list of minors and provides links to each minor. Some majors and minors can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree requirement, but in some cases additional coursework may be required. Students must complete the appropriate minor request form.

General Education Requirements

All undergraduate students must complete either the Canisius Core Curriculum or the All-College Honors Curriculum.

Free Electives

Free electives are courses in addition to the Core Curriculum or Honors Curriculum and major requirements sufficient to reach the minimum of 120 credit hours required for graduation. Students may graduate with more but not less than 120 credit hours.

Major Requirements

We encourage Environmental Science majors to take humanities classes that combine social and environmental issues like Environmental Ethics (PHI 244), Environment and Society (SOC 234), and Theological Ethics and Environmental Justice (RST 342).

BIO 111
111L
Introductory Biology I
and Introductory Biology Laboratory I
4
BIO 112
112L
Introductory Biology II
and Introductory Biology Laboratory II
4
BIO 211
211L
Biochemistry and Cell Biology I
and Biochemistry and Cell Biology Lab I
4
CHM 111
111L
General Chemistry I
and General Chemistry I Laboratory
4
CHM 112
112L
General Chemistry II
and General Chemistry II Laboratory
4
CHM 227
227L
Organic Chemistry I
and Organic Chemistry I Laboratory
4
PSY 201Basic Statistics for Behavioral Sciences3-4
or MAT 141 Inferential Statistics and Computers for Science
PSY 401Advanced Statistics Seminar3-4
or MAT 111 Calculus I
BIO 320Field Ecology4
BIO 360Environmental Health3
CHM 232
232L
Environmental Analytical Chemistry
and Environmental Analytical Chemistry Laboratory
4
ENV 100Introduction to Environmental Science Seminar1
ENV 200Introductory Hydrology4
ENV 352Environmental Science Seminar II1
ENV 498
ENV 499
Environmental Science Internship I
and Environmental Science Internship II
6
GEOL 120
120L
Introductory Geology
and Introductory Geology Laboratory
4
Total Credits57-59

Major Electives

Students must complete four of the following (at least three with labs):

ABEC 341
341L
Urban Ecology
and Urban Ecology Lab (lab optional)
4
BIO 212
212L
Biochemistry and Cell Biology II
and Biochemistry and Cell Biology Lab II (lab required)
4
BIO 305
305L
Environmental and Pathogenic Microbiology
and Environmental and Pathogenic Microbiology Lab (lab optional)
4
BIO 322Conservation Biology3
BIO 335
335L
Plant Biology
and Plant Biology Lab (lab optional)
4
BIO 343Entomology (lab required)4
BIO 365Vertebrate Zoology and Ecology (lab required)4
BIO 366Ornithology (lab required)4
BIO 370
370L
Plant Morphology
and Plant Morphology Lab (lab required)
4
BIO 375
375L
Community Ecology
and Community Ecology Laboratory (lab optional)
4
BIO 377Freshwater Biology (lab required)4
BIO 378
378L
Wetlands
and Wetlands Laboratory (lab optional)
4
CHM 301
301L
Classical Physical Chemistry
and Classical Physical Chemistry Laboratory (lab optional)
4
ECO 310Introduction to Geographic Information Systems3
PHY 201
201L
College Physics I
and College Physics I Laboratory (lab required)
4

NOTE: Most classes are offered every other year. Please check the advisement guide each semester to see which classes are being offered. The advisement guide will be used to indicate which courses students in each class year should be taking and when internship applications need to be submitted.

Major Experiences

All environmental science majors must complete two internship experiences. Recent internships have included Ecology and Environment, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Iroquois National Wildlife Refuge, Penn Dixie Paleontological and Outdoor Education Center, Tifft Nature Preserve, and the Buffalo Museum of Science. We encourage students to work with any faculty member in the program to find internships that will best meet their goals and needs.

Learning Goals & Objectives

Learning Goal 1

Students will develop competency with respect to knowledge having  a firm grasp of the basic concepts in environmental science.

Students will:
  • Objective A: Demonstrate an understanding of general environmental concepts from ecology, geology, hydrology, and analytical chemistry;
  • Objective B: Demonstrate detailed knowledge within at least two areas of environmental science;
  • Objective C: Connect previously learned material with real-life environmental situations.

Learning Goal 2

Students will develop problem-solving skills being able to perform the following.

Students will:
  • Objective A: Read and interpret data;
  • Objective B: Design an experiment to address a specific hypothesis;
  • Objective C: Critically analyze an article from the original scientific literature or a professional report.

Learning Goal 3

Students will demonstrate mastery with respect to technical skills.

Students will:
  • Objective A: Effectively communicate scientific material in written form;
  • Objective B: Draw a graph;
  • Objective C: Design a table.

Environmental Science Courses

ENV 100 Introduction to Environmental Science Seminar 1 Credit

Introduction to the field of environmental science. Information about a variety of careers is included. Required in freshman or sophomore year.

Offered: spring 2017.

ENV 200 Introductory Hydrology 4 Credits

Introduction to hydrologic processes, methods for quantifying hydrologic parameters and processes, and practical exposure to conducting and reporting hydrological studies. Lab required.

Prerequisite: GEOL 120 & GEOL 120L.

Offered: anticipated spring 2018.

ENV 352 Environmental Science Seminar II 1 Credit

Students attend scientific talks and present information relevant to their internship experiences. Career preparations also included.

Offered: spring.

ENV 401 Independent Research 1-3 Credits

Independent laboratory research in environmental science conducted under the supervision of a faculty member. Arrangements must be made prior to registration.

Prerequisite: written permission of faculty member & program director.

Offered: fall & spring.

ENV 498 Environmental Science Internship I 1-3 Credits

Practical experiences in the environmental sciences. Students must complete two internships in different areas of environmental sciences. Internships require an application and approval by the associate dean.

Prerequisite: junior or senior standing, minimum GPA of 2.0 in the major, a positive recommendation from a faculty member, & a completed & approved internship application.

Offered: fall & spring.

ENV 499 Environmental Science Internship II 1-3 Credits

Practical experiences in the environmental sciences. Students must complete two internships in different areas of environmental sciences. Internships require an application and approval by the associate dean.

Prerequisite: junior or senior standing, minimum GPA of 2.0 in the major, a positive recommendation from a faculty member, & a completed & approved internship application.

Offered: fall & spring.

Geology course 

GEOL 120 Introductory Geology 3 Credits

Basic concepts, including uniformitarianism, the rock cycle, the hydrologic cycle, tectonics and surface processes. Also covers how humans affect and are affected by their environment. Lab required. Students may not receive credit for both GEOL 120 and PHY 130.

Corequisite: GEOL 120L.

Fulfills College Core: Field 6 (Natural Sciences)

Offered: anticipated fall 2017.

GEOL 120L Introductory Geology Laboratory 1 Credit

Required lab for GEOL 120.

Corequisite: GEOL 120.