Environmental Science Minor

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Required Courses:

ENVR 151: Introduction to Environmental Studies I (3)

An introduction to contemporary environmental studies and creation care, with emphasis on class discussion of relationships between human population and resource use in light of biblical teaching about environmental stewardship. Particular attention is given to the biotic and ecological dimensions of creation stewardship and planetary distress. Designed to be taken by environmental studies majors concurrently with Environmental Studies 161. [Cross-listed: Community Development 151, CORE 211, Earth Science 151]

ENVR 152: Introduction to Environmental Studies II (4) 

Flowing from a foundation in physical and earth sciences, this course offers an introduction to energy and material use in Western society and examines the resulting impact on the environment. Contemporary practices and their historical roots are critiqued in light of Biblical norms for stewardship. An emphasis on evaluation and implementation of practical steps toward sustainability permeates the course with the goal of motivating and equipping students to become lifelong stewards. The laboratory portion of the course combines tours, laboratory measurements, economic analysis, and environmental analysis. Three lectures and one laboratory period of three hours per week. Environmental Studies 151 is not a prerequisite. [Cross-listed: Earth Science 152, CORE 222]

ENVR 161: Field and Laboratory Investigations in Environmental Studies (1)

A field and laboratory exploration of fundamental issues, concepts, and techniques of contemporary environmental studies with a biological and ecological focus. Includes visits to sites of natural history and stewardship interest both locally and regionally. Also includes an introduction to important technological tools in environmental studies and analysis of physical and biotic parameters of the environment. Required for students majoring or minoring in Community Development or Environmental Studies. Corequisite: Environmental Studies 151. [Cross-listed: Community Development 161]

ENVR 251: Environmental Chemistry (3)

A study of the nature and transport of chemical species—both natural and human-introduced—in the natural environment (atmosphere, hydrosphere, geosphere, and biosphere). Three lectures per week. Prerequisite: Chemistry 109 or 111; or permission of instructor. Prior completion of Chemistry 122 or 225 recommended. [Cross-listed: Chemistry 251, Earth Science 251]

ENVR 252: Environmental Chemistry Laboratory (1)

This lab will include methods of sampling and analysis of samples from natural and/or human influenced environments. Graded on an A-F scale. Corequisite: Environmental Studies 251. [Cross-listed: Chemistry 252, Earth Science 252]

ENVR 325: Restoration Ecology and Applied Stewardship (3)

An interdisciplinary capstone course designed to explore current research, thought, and issues in environmental stewardship with a focus on ecological restoration. Principles and practices of the discipline of restoration ecology will be explored and then utilized to develop a holistic restoration plan for a specific location. Conference attendance and regional travel to restoration sites are important components of the course. Prerequisites: Environmental Studies 151; junior or senior standing.

Must Choose:

one course from Agriculture 370, 371, Biology 200

AGRI 370: Agroecology (3)

An introduction to the principles of agricultural ecology with an emphasis on Christian stewardship of God’s world. Topics include the development and characteristics of agroecosystems, ecological disturbance and succession, diversity, pest management, nutrient cycling, environmental quality, energy use, climate change, social capital, conservation practices, and global food production. The interaction of agroecosystems with surrounding ecosystems is studied, and the utilization of ecological principles in agroecosystem design and management are examined. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: Agriculture 101, 111 or Biology 122, 215 or Environmental Studies 151, 152; junior or senior standing. [Cross-listed: Earth Science 370]

AGRI 371: Agroecosystems Analysis (3)

A field-based course in which students visit eight or more agroecosystems and work in teams to understand them, analyze them, and reflect on their sustainability. The course includes pre-class reading and writing assignments, eight intensive days of farm visits and analysis during the summer, and final written assignments due in September. It is a cooperative course involving students and faculty members from Dordt University, Iowa State University, the University of Minnesota, and the University of Nebraska. It provides Dordt students with a unique opportunity to engage the broader culture and to consider the implications of a Christian view of agroecosystems. Prerequisites: Agriculture 101, 111 or Biology 122, 215 or Environmental Studies 151, 152; junior or senior standing; permission of instructor.

BIO 200: Principles of Ecology and Field Biology (4)

An introduction to ecological studies including topics in ecosystem and community structure, nutrient cycling, energy flow, limiting factors, and population interrelationships. The laboratory will emphasize study of local flora and fauna via field work. Three lectures and one laboratory period of three hours per week, plus one or two Saturday field trips. Prerequisite: one year of college biology.

one course from Agriculture 201, Environmental Studies 201, 202, 303

AGRI 201: Nature and Properties of Soils (3)

A comprehensive introduction to the field of soil science with an emphasis on scientific principles and their application in solutions to practical soil management problems. Two lectures and one three-hour laboratory per week. Prerequisites: Agriculture 111 or Biology 215; Chemistry 110 or 111. [Cross-listed: Earth Science 210]

ENVR 201: Introductory Geology and Physical Geography (4)

A general introduction to the physical nature and structure of the solid Earth, including, briefly, its physical geography and a more detailed look at its geology. The environmental implications of these subjects are detailed. Three lectures and one laboratory period of three hours per week plus one overnight field trip and one or two shorter trips. [Cross-listed: CORE 223, Earth Science 201, Geography 201]

ENVR 202: Meteorology and Climate Change (3)

Provides a general introduction to meteorology and weather. Climate and climate change in Quaternary times to the present are also considered. The implications of an anthropogenically enhanced greenhouse effect will be addressed, with particular attention given to the impact of these changes on the structure and function of ecosystems. Includes one or two field trips to relevant sites in the region. [Crosslisted: Earth Science 202, Geography 202]

ENVR 303: Geographic Information Systems and Surveying (4)

An introduction to the acquisition, analysis, display, manipulation, and management of geographic information. Course topics will include geographical data input, storage, maintenance, analysis, and retrieval. Students will utilize common GIS software and associated hardware. An overview of survey methods used to gather and quantify features of physical geography will be included. The course will meet in two studio lab classes to provide an integral learn-by-doing experience applying GPS technology, survey methods, and GIS applications. Application of GIS to agriculture, business, environmental management, and other disciplines will be provided in this course. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or above. [Cross-listed: Agriculture 303, Business Administration 303, Construction Management 207, Earth Science 303]

one course from Biology 316, Environmental Studies 270, 320

BIO 316: Flora of North America (3)

Welcome to the flora of North America! This is a course in field biology and taxonomy of vascular plants. Our study will focus on the native vegetation of the tall-grass prairie landscape with its associated gallery forests and wetlands. We will be comparing local studies to plant complexes from other geographic locations. Two lectures and one laboratory period per week. This course includes extensive field work and potentially several weekend field trips. Prerequisite: Biology 215.

ENVR 270: Avian Biology and Conservation (3)

The identification, natural history, ecology, and stewardship of birds. Topics include morphological and physiological ecology of birds, habitat selection, communication, migration, reproductive ecology, territoriality, taxonomy, and conservation. The connections between avian ecology and creation stewardship will be explored. Recognition of a diverse set of birds by sight and sound is an important component of the course. Two lecture/discussion sessions and one three-hour lab per week. Field work will concentrate on local birds, but at least one trip to a distant site will be included. Prerequisite: one of Agriculture 101, Biology 122, CORE 212, Environmental Studies 151.

ENVR 320: Wildlife Ecology and Stewardship (3)

Advanced examination of animal (especially terrestrial vertebrate) populations, communities, and habitats, particularly as such analysis is applied to the manipulation and exploitation of animal populations and communities to regulate their abundance and distribution and/or to restore them. Considerable exploration and critique of the development and practice of wildlife management, particularly as it compares to biblical principles for creation stewardship. Two lecture/discussion sessions and one three-hour lab per week. Additional activities include an overnight field trip and attending a wildlife conference. Prerequisite: one course from Agriculture 370, 371, Biology 200. [Cross-listed: Biology 320]