Course Descriptions

Environmental Science - Course Descriptions

BIOL 101 Biological Concepts (Gen. Ed. Goal 7, Lab)
An approach to the study of biology that emphasizes conceptual understanding of biological systems. These areas include evolution and the origin of life, cellular processes, Mendelian and molecular genetics, ecology, behavioral science, and basic physiological systems. The interrelationship of these areas and their effect on human biology are stressed. Laboratory. This course is not open to Biology majors.
Prerequisite: MATH 095 General Mathematics or a satisfactory score on the mathematics placement exam.

BIOL 200 Introduction to Environmental Science (Gen. Ed. Goal 7)
A comprehensive survey of the environmental principles concerning the interactions of humans and world resources. The role of technology in meeting the problems of growth, pollution, energy, and agriculture is examined in the context of present capabilities and the prospects for future development. No laboratory.

BIOL 232 Invertebrate Zoology
A comparative study of the invertebrate animal phyla with emphasis on marine forms. The course stresses functional morphology, development, behavior, and ecological and evolutionary relationships among the various groups. Students study live specimens whenever possible. Laboratory exercises include field trips to collect and study invertebrates of the region.
Prerequisite: BIOL 101 Biological Concepts or both BIOL 160 Introduction to Organismal Biology and BIOL 161 Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 251 Vascular Plant Taxonomy
An historical view of plant classification; concepts of nomenclature, goals of phylogenetic and biosystematic investigations; anatomical and morphological characteristics important in classification; key characteristics of important temperate plant families; collection and identification techniques; and introduction to the local flora. Laboratory.
Prerequisite: BIOL 101 Biological Concepts or BIOL 160 Introduction to Organismal Biology.

BIOL 335 Principles of Wildlife Biology
A study of the distribution of major wildlife groups in the United States. The principles of wildlife management and evaluation of land and water habitats are stressed, as well as population growth dynamics and field procedures. Laboratory.
Prerequisites: CHEM 107 Principles of Chemistry; BIOL 101 Biological Concepts or BIOL 160 Introduction to Organismal Biology.

BIOL 336 Ornithology
An introduction to the biology of birds, including anatomy, physiology, behavior, ecology, field identification, and conservation. Students become familiar with the techniques and tools necessary to identify bird species by sight and/or sound, as well as with basic research techniques. Laboratory includes field trips.
Prerequisite: A biology or zoology course at the 100-level or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 341 Marine Biology
An introduction to the variety of marine environments and the biological and physical factors which contribute to the productivity of these areas. Oceanic habitats are compared to other ecosystems including tropical and temperate estuaries, coral reefs and salt marshes. Problems of human interaction with the marine environment are emphasized. Laboratory.
Prerequisite: BIOL 101 Biological Concepts or BIOL 160 Introduction to Organismal Biology and BIOL 161 Introduction to Cell and Molecular Biology.

BIOL 348 Ecology
An advanced course that synthesizes knowledge gained in other courses and applies it to ecological problems. Emphasis is placed on the interactions between the organism and its biological and physical environments. Concepts covered include soil, climate, trophic systems, life history trade offs, behavioral ecology, biodiversity, and human impact. Laboratory includes field trips. Students may not receive credit for both BIOL 348 Ecology and BIOL 408 Ecology.
Prerequisites: CHEM 107 Principles of Chemistry and two (2) biology courses (200 level or above) or permission of the instructor.

BIOL 391 Tropical Ecology and Conservation: Field Study
An examination of ecological principles as they apply to tropical ecosystems. Topics covered include tropical climate and soils, geological history of Central America, biological diversity, characteristics and types of tropical communities, types of interactions among community members, ecological succession, anthropogenic impacts and conservation. The course requires a 1-2 week field trip after the end of the semester to a tropical ecosystem (at additional cost). The field portion of this course includes some strenuous activities; students are strongly encouraged to consider whether they are physically and emotionally prepared for rigorous activity and travel in a developing nation. Note: This course is open only to majors/minors in Biology or Environmental Science.
Prerequisites: Two (2) Biology laboratory courses at the 200-level or above and permission of the instructor.

CHEM 103 General Chemistry (Gen. Ed. Goal 6, Lab)
A study of the fundamental chemical laws and theories, with laboratory, for students not planning to major in chemistry.

CHEM 201 Organic Chemistry
A one-semester course designed to provide a concise introduction to the fundamental and most important principles of organic chemistry. Compounds are discussed in terms of their structure, reactions, importance in nature and applications to allied fields. Laboratory.
Prerequisite: CHEM 103 General Chemistry.

EASC 241 Introduction to Meteorology (Gen. Ed. Goal 6)
A focus on the acquisition of an understanding of the phenomenon of weather and the behavior of the Earth’s atmosphere. The underlying physical principles required as the foundation for this understanding are introduced as needed. Topics that are covered include the origin and composition of the Earth’s atmosphere, the ozone problem, global warming, cloud and precipitation formation, types of fog, causes of winds, air mass and frontal weather, air pollution and acid rain, thunderstorms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and weather forecasting.
Prerequisite: MATH 095 General Mathematics or a satisfactory score on the mathematics placement examination.

EASC 246 Oceanography (Gen. Ed. Goal 6)
An introduction to the structure and origin of ocean basins; the origin and chemistry of seawater; the physical dynamics of the sea including oceanic circulation, waves, and tides; geology of coastal areas; some marine ecology; management practices for coastal and oceanic environments. Several field trips supplement lectures. This course is designed for all students interested in the oceans and their preservation.
Prerequisite: MATH 095 General Mathematics or a satisfactory score on the mathematics placement examination.

ECON 102 Principles of Microeconomics (Gen. Ed. Goal 9)
An introduction to the behavior of individual decision makers, particularly consumers and firms, who must make choices under conditions of economic scarcity. The course focuses on how markets work to allocate resources, how households maximize their satisfaction from consumer opportunities subject to an income constraint, and how firms organize production and measure costs in order to maximize profits. Related topics include comparative advantage and trade, competition and monopoly, government regulation, and labor markets.

ENVS 450 Senior Thesis in Environmental Science
An opportunity for the Environmental Science major to work independently in an area relevant to the student's special interests. Each student's experience is planned in cooperation with an advisor from the Environmental Science Committee of the Geography and Biology Departments. Progress reports and final written and oral reports are required. Proposal for independent research must be submitted to the Environmental Science Committee by October 15th for spring semester or February 15th for fall semester.
Prerequisites: Environmental Science majors only. Senior standing and approval of the Geography department chair.

ENVS 495 Internship in Environmental Science
A supervised practical experience in a public or private agency, appropriate to the students training and interests. The internship program is offered through cooperation of participating institutions that provide guidance for the interns. A minimum of 160 on-site hours is necessary to complete the internship in Environmental Studies. The 160 hours must be completed within one semester. The internship in Environmental Science may be taken for one (1) course credit in the major as a free elective. A student may not enroll in an internship more than twice (two course credits). Admission to this course must be approved by the Environmental Science Committee of the Geography and Biology Departments. Application due by October 15th for spring semester and February 15th for fall semester.
Prerequisites: Environmental Science majors only. Senior standing, two semesters completed at Framingham State College, overall QPA of 2.75 with a 2.75 average in courses for the major.

GEOG 135 Introduction to Environmental Studies (Gen. Ed. Goal 10)
An introduction to the political, economic, ethical, cultural, scientific, and geographical conditions that have framed environmental issues in the United States. Critical analysis of specific environmental issues such as over-fishing, deforestation, nuclear sites, and air pollution will be used for examination of environmental policies and the many variables that affect these policies.

GEOG 212 Geographic Perspectives on the Environment
An introductory survey stressing the geographic approach to the study of man/land relationships. Emphasis is placed on the impact of human activities on the environment and on conflicts between resource exploitation and environmental quality. Contemporary geographic themes concerning the environment: perception, natural resource utilization, modification by urbanization, and environmental regions are studied. Particular focus is on New England and the United States.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of instructor.

GEOG 214 Geographical Techniques - Quantitative Methods
A basic introduction to the skills and techniques needed by geographers. The course focuses on geographic applications of quantitative methods and uses the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software for analysis and presentation of data.

GEOG 216 Introduction to Geographical Information Systems
An introduction to the use of Geographical Information Systems (G.I.S.) in analyzing spatial data, including methods of data acquisition, and the theory and design of G.I.S. storage and to various aspects of retail location, urban planning, and environmental concerns.
Prerequisite: Prior knowledge of computers, with permission of instructor, or CSCI 120 Introduction to Information Technology.

GEOG 225 Population, Food, and Global Development (Gen. Ed. Goal 12)
A critical examination of a fundamental problem facing contemporary civilization: how to address the relationship between the increasing size of the global population and limited natural resources. The availability, production and consumption of food in particular, are fraught with problems subject to debates and ideological positionings. These particularly concern inequities of race, class, and gender embedded in power relationships between Third world producers and First world consumers. Alternative analyses are presented using development theory and commodity chain analysis to look at global uneven development through the connections between food consumption in the global core with food production in the global periphery. The course concludes by looking at the emergence of social movements, which attempt to connect Third World agricultural producers with First World consumers.

GEOG 230 Geography of Natural and Man-Made Hazards
A geographical analysis of selected hazardous conditions of the natural and man-made environment at global, regional, and local levels. In a given semester, the course may emphasize natural or man-made hazards. Specific natural hazards covered include earthquakes and volcanoes; hurricanes, tornadoes, and severe storms; coastal flooding and erosion; and river flooding. Specific man-made hazards include nuclear power plants, toxic wastes, transportation and treatment of hazardous materials, structure fires and arson, and terrorism. Field trips are included.

GEOG 235 Environmental Law and Policy (Gen. Ed. Goal 10)
Designed for the non-legal student whose interest in the environment or whose field of present or future employment would be enhanced by a basic understanding of legal and policy matters as they apply to the environment. The course begins with a discussion of the judicial system, followed by an introduction to the concepts of administrative and common law. The course addresses the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clear Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and the various hazardous waste statutes. The course applies this body of law to current environmental issues addressing the political, economic, cultural, and ethical variables that influence environmental policy in the United States.

GEOG 240 Municipal Land Use
An overview of legal and policy matters as they apply to land use in local municipalities. Topics include zoning and subdivision regulations, wetland protection, comprehensive permits, and protection of open space.

GEOG 316 Advanced Geographic Information Systems
An advanced course in geographic information systems (GIS). The purpose of this course is to examine how GIS can be used for spatial analysis and modeling applications. Topics include a number of advanced analytical techniques using GIS, including hydrologic modeling, location analysis, spatial interpolation, nearest neighbor estimation, map algebra and urban growth simulation.
Prerequisite: GEOG 216 Introduction to Geographical Information Systems.

GEOG 328 Introduction to Remote Sensing
An introductory course in digital remote sensing and satellite imagery analysis. The goal of this course is to introduce the fundamental principles of remote sensing with an emphasis on the theoretical and applied realms of the discipline. Topics include physics of electromagnetic radiation, digital photogrammetry, image interpretation, spatial resolution, airborne and space-borne sensors and image classification. All topics discussed in lecture are reinforced through laboratory exercises and field work.
Prerequisite: GEOG 216 Introduction to Geographical Information Systems.

GEOG 339 Methods for Planning Analysis and Plan Making
A focus on the specific techniques of city plan preparation and presentation, and on the methods of involving local citizens in the planning process. Among the techniques included are site analysis, field surveys, mapping and graphics for data presentation, and organizing public participation workshops. Computer applications for planning are surveyed.

GEOG 375 Resource Management
An analysis of resource control methodologies. Emphasis is on territorial and developmental impacts of political decisions regarding resources, conflicts between technological and ecological approaches to environment quality, national and international aspects of resource exploitation and utilization. This course includes preparation of environment impact statements, study of laws relating to the use and abuse of the environment, and field trips.
Prerequisite: A course on environment or permission of the instructor.

GEOL 231 Physical Geology (Gen. Ed. Goal 6, Lab)
A study of the nature and origin of the minerals and rocks composing the Earth; the geologic evolution of surface features (scenery) taking into account the underlying rock types and structures as well as the surface effects of glaciers, oceans, rivers, volcanoes, and earthquakes; introduction to geologic aspects of environmental issues; and the geology of the solar system. Numerous field trips supplement the lectures and labs. Designed for any students wanting to learn more about the formation of landscapes and the limitations of earth resources.
Prerequisite: MATH 095 General Mathematics or a satisfactory score on the mathematics placement examination.

GEOL 233 Environmental Geology for Town and Regional Planning
A focus on the nature and structure of local bedrock and surficial deposits, the distribution and dynamics of surface and ground water, waste disposal and treatment, and coastal processes. Local geologic hazards such as flooding, mass movements of unconsolidated surface deposits, subsidence, ground water contamination and coastal erosion are considered. Students become familiar with resources, tools, and new approaches through geology to environmental planning and impact analysis. Local case studies and field trips supplement the lectures.
Prerequisite: MATH 095 General Mathematics or a satisfactory score on the mathematics placement examination.

HIST 348 United States Environmental History
An historical examination of how people of the United States organized their lives within ecological systems of the area, conceived of their natural world, and reshaped their environment according to human needs. The complex and interdependent relationships among human social, cultural, and political institutions and the natural world receive special emphasis.
Prerequisite: HIST 151 U.S. History to Reconstruction or HIST 152 U.S. History since Reconstruction; or permission of instructor.

PHYS 201 Introductory Physics (Gen. Ed. Goal 6, Lab)
An introduction to those concepts of physics of particular relevance to the life and earth sciences. The topics covered, all at a non-calculus level, include motion, scaling, energy and its conservation, fluids, wave motion, electrostatic force, electrical currents, nuclear radiation and its effects and uses. The course includes a weekly three-hour laboratory component.
Prerequisite: MATH 200 Precalculus.
PHIL 234 Environmental Ethics
A critical inquiry into human values and habits as they reveal the good and the bad in human beings' relationships to nature or the environment. The course emphasizes the historical and ethical changes in the philosophy of nature and the natural world. Ways in which attitudes and values regarding nature are grounded in cultural, religious, and societal beliefs are also discussed.
Prerequisite: One introductory philosophy course.

POSC 223 Bureaucratic Politics and Power
An introduction to bureaucratic organizations servicing the public sector. The course analyzes the politics and power of governmental bureaucracies and discusses their substantive impact upon individuals and societal policy. Topics include the growth of bureaucratic authority and power, organizational behavior, administrative leadership, decision making, the politics of budgeting, and administrative accountability and responsibility.

POSC 250 American Legal Systems (Gen. Ed. Goal 10)
A study of the origins and essentials of the common law, statutes, constitutions, and court decisions in the United States. Emphasis is on legal reasoning and case analysis to promote legal problem-solving skills. Topics include criminal law and procedures, property law, contract law, and the law of torts. This course fulfills the requirements to study the federal and Massachusetts constitutions.

Advanced Level Courses

POSC 329 Public Policy Analysis
An analysis of the policy process emphasizing the response of officials to problems, available policy alternatives, the way officials choose and implement programs and the effect of these programs. A substantive topic is used to illustrate the basic concepts and principles of the public policy process.

MATH 208 Biostatistics
A course that covers statistical methods as they apply to the biological, health, and food sciences. The major emphasis is on hypothesis testing, including regression and analysis
of variance. Descriptive statistics is also included. The statistical package Minitab is used.
Note: A student may not receive credit for both MATH 208 Biostatistics and MATH 117 Introduction to Statistics or BIOL 304 Biometrics.
Prerequisite: One credit-bearing course in college mathematics.

COMM 107 Effective Speaking (Gen. Ed. Goal 5)
An application of the principles of speech and language in oral communication. Students practice different types of speech-communication situations and analyze their speaking and language skills. The course incorporates written critiques and may include video-taping of oral presentations and panel discussions. This course is for NON-MAJORS ONLY.
Note: Students may not receive credit for both COMM 107 Effective Speaking and 71.111 Speech and Language Communication (offered prior to Fall 1992).

COMM 328 Argumentation and Advocacy
An introduction to the nature of argument and critical thinking, including methods of analysis, research, critical evaluation of reasoning and evidence, refutation, debate and advocacy. Students learn how to think about their positions critically, plan their communicative strategies effectively, and argue their cases forcefully. The course surveys the study of reasoning, evidence, case construction and effective presentation in bringing about belief and conviction. These concepts are explored in detail, often by applying them to various elements of the public sphere and considering various social and political questions.
Prerequisite: COMM 115 Introduction to Speech Communication or permission of instructor.

ENGL 225 Introduction to Journalism
An introduction to the profession of journalism providing historical background, basis for libel, and other fundamental, technical and legal knowledge for journalists. Students produce extensive writing in a variety of journalistic formats, such as news, features, and op/ed pieces. The course also investigates current issues in contemporary journalism by analyzing a wide range of newspapers.
Prerequisite: Completion of Gen. Ed. Goal 1 or permission of instructor.

ENGL 372 Technical Writing
Designed to develop students’ abilities to produce representative technical documents. Projects may include instructions, proposals, technical reports, procedures, tutorials, usability tests, and support websites. Students are introduced to writing for technical and non-technical audiences, as well as to conventions of technical writing and the basics of editing appropriate to technical contexts. Students who have received credit for 21.472 Technical Writing will not receive credit for this course.
Prerequisite: Completion of Gen Ed. Goal 1 or permission of instructor.

SOCI 130 Social Problems
An analysis of selected social problems affecting society, such as racism, sexism, class inequality, poverty, drug abuse, crime, and environmental destruction. Special attention is given to the social, economic, and political forces that cause these problems in the United States, and to their possible solutions. Note: Students may not receive credit for both SOCI 130 Social Problems and 52.123 Contemporary Social Problems in Urban Society.


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