Ecological Studies Program Requirements

These requirements are from an excerpt from the University Academic Catalog, which outlines the requirements for a student to earn the distinction of being a Castleton University graduate. The complete catalog is available online.

For further information about this major, contact Dr. Cynthia Moulton, the Ecological Studies Coordinator: Cynthia.Moulton@Castleton.edu

The B.A. in Ecological Studies offers students an opportunity to explore the science of ecology and the environment within the tradition of the liberal arts major. The multidisciplinary curriculum cultivates a broad understanding of the interconnectedness of living organisms and environmental systems, including the interactions between humans and the natural world.

Graduates will be prepared for careers in government and non-government environmental organizations as park naturalists, research/field technicians, wildlife specialists, environmental advocacy staff, nature writers, and outdoor educators. Additionally, some students may pursue graduate programs in science education, natural resource management, and environmental law/policy.

Further, students completing the degree requirements for the B.A. in Ecological Studies will have all necessary coursework required for professional certification through the Ecological Society of America.

Complete the following courses (42-43 cr):

Code Course Credits

BIO 1121

Biology I

(grade of C or higher required)

A comprehensive introduction to biology focused on the molecular, cellular, and organismal level. The course provides an introduction to all areas of biology.

Lecture and lab.

Prerequisite: One year of high school biology and chemistry.

Fee Lab fee $50

Fall

4

BIO 1122

Biology II

(grade of C or higher required)

A continuation of BIO 1121 Biology I, with particular emphasis on organisms, ecosystems, and evolution.

Lecture and lab.

Fee Lab fee $50

Spring

4

CHE 1041

General Chemistry I

(grade of C or higher required)

Fundamental principles of chemistry. Topics include modern atomic theory and structure of atoms, chemical bonds, stoichiometry, gas laws, thermochemistry and molecular geometry. To succeed in this course, an understanding of applied algebra is necessary.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: MAT 1020 or MAT 1221 or MAT 1320, or equivalent placement.

Fee Fee $50.

Fall

4

CHE 1042

General Chemistry II

(grade of C or higher required)

Continuation of CHE 1041. Topics include solution properties, kinetics, equilibrium, reaction mechanisms, thermodynamics, oxidation-reduction reactions and acid-base chemistry.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: Grade of "C-" or better in CHE 1041 or CHE 1051

Fee $50 lab fee

Spring

4

GEY 1030

Dynamic Earth

-OR- GEY 1050 - The Earth through Time 4 cr

This is an introductory geology course which examines the geological features of the earth and the processes that operate in the interior and on the surface of the earth which are responsible for their formation. Topics studied include volcanos, earthquakes, mountain building, plate tectonics, glaciers, minerals, rocks, streams and groundwater. Also covered are the techniques and methods geologists use to learn more about the earth.

Lecture and lab.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Fall

4

BIO 2035

Animal Diversity and Evolution

In this course students will investigate the form, function, and ecology of animals from an evolutionary perspective. Fundamental life processes will be considered at the cellular, organismal, population, and ecosystem levels that connect with issues relating to biodiversity and conservation biology. Two Saturday field trips are required.

Lecture and lab

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Fee Lab fee $50

Fall

4

BIO 2125

Fundamentals of Microbiology

A study of the cellular structure and function of microorganisms, principally bacteria. The physiology, genetics, and interactions of bacteria with higher forms of life and the environment will be covered. The required laboratory will provide students with an understanding and practical knowledge of aseptic techniques and other common microbiology methods.

Prerequisite: BIO 1121 and BIO 1122 , or BIO 2011 and BIO 2012.

Fee Lab fee $50

Fall

4

GEO 2210

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

-OR- SCI 2210 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 3 or 4 cr

This course is designed to introduce students to the basic concepts of modern geographic information systems (GIS). The class will consist of lectures, discussions, readings, demonstrations, and hands-on training exercises using ESRI's ArcView software. This will give students experience in defining spatial problems and solutions, organizing and locating geographic data, manipulating data for display, and map creation and use of a desktop GIS. Students will be expected to use what they have learned to develop a final ArcView project. This course fulfills the Gen Ed computing requirement at the Bachelor's level.

Fee Lab fee $60.

Spring, even years

3 or 4

BIO 3030

Ecology of Water

In this course we will investigate the ecology of the earth's most perfect liquid - water. The impact of large dams, ground water pumping, hydro-fracking, irrigation, and water diversions on the environment, biodiversity, and humanity will be investigated.

Restrictions A minimum of junior standing.

Prerequisite: BIO 1121 and BIO 1122 or permission of instructor.

Spring, odd years

3

BIO 3060

Ecology

A study of the interrelationships between plants, animals, microorganisms and their abiotic environment. Problems in experimental design and ecological analysis will be explored. Some Saturday field trips are planned. Field trips to primitive areas are required.

Lecture and lab.

Prerequisite: BIO 1121, BIO 1122, and CHE 1041 or CHE 1051 with grades of "C" or higher.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Fall

4

BIO 3065

Plant Ecology

This course covers the major concepts in plant community, population, physiological and evolutionary ecology through lecture, discussion and active field and laboratory activities. One or more field trips are planned.

Prerequisite: BIO 1121, BIO 1122, and CHE 1041 or CHE 1051 with grades of C or higher.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Fall, even years

4

And complete 1 of the following courses (3-4 cr):

Code Course Credits

BIO 3013

Biogeochemistry

This unique but very relevant course will focus on the study of chemical, physical, geological and biological processes that make up the natural environment. Small-scale processes are addressed that are important in the cycling of elements in our global system. Students will learn and understand the specific interactions of chemicals with living organisms which directly impact the global ecosystem. Discussions will also focus on how climate change affects these processes.

Prerequisite: BIO 1121 , BIO 2010, and CHE 1042 or CHE 1052 with grades of "C" or better.

Fall, even years.

4

BIO 3160

Animal Behavior

This course examines the behavior of animals as they interact with each other and the environment. Topics include anti-predator behavior, foraging behavior, territoriality, social interactions, communication, and migration. The goal of the course is to learn to think critically about animal behavior by understanding behavior on both the proximate (genetics, development and response to external stimuli) and ultimate (evolutionary) levels. In the laboratory, groups of students will design, carry out, and report on an independent research project.

Prerequisite: BIO 1121 and BIO 1122 with grades of "C" or better.

Fee Fee $50

Spring

4

BIO 3350

Natural History of the Mojave Desert

Deserts contain diverse, fascinating, and unique life forms. The open desert landscapes result in outstanding exposure allowing for the study of ancient and modern geological processes and features including volcanoes, sand dunes, and dry lakes. Natural History of the Mojave explores biological and geological aspects of the Mojave desert in California. Topics include the biogeography of plant species, plant and animal adaptations to desert climates and habitats, and the geological forces that shape and maintain those habitats. The course includes a field trip to primitive areas of the Mojave Desert where hiking on rugged terrain is required. The field trip occurs in the week following commencement and the laboratory fee covers all travel, food, and lodging costs.

Prerequisite: Eight credits of BIO or GEY with grades of "C" or better and permission of instructor.

Fee Dependent on current travel costs, expected to be between $1000 and $1500.

Spring, odd years

4

BIO 4035

Advanced Molecular Biology

This course provides an exploration of fundamental molecular biology, genetic, and biochemical concepts. Students will participate in lengthy research projects involving current lab techniques in these fields.

Lecture and lab.

Prerequisite: Completion of BIO 2010, BIO 2125, BIO 3070, and CHE 1042 or CHE 1052 with grades of C or higher.

Fee Lab fee $50

Fall, odd years

4

BIO 4250

Ecotoxicology

An investigation of the effects of pollutants in ecosystems. Student will explore how contaminants (e.g., pesticides, industrial discharges, toxic wastes, etc.) play a critical role in biotic and abiotic relationships and, ultimately, biodiversity. Students will confront toxicological problems by reviewing case studies and current research, as well as by examining the social, political, and ecological aspects of each issue.

Restrictions A minimum of junior standing.

Prerequisite: BIO 3060 or BIO 3065 and CHE 1042 or CHE 1052.

Spring, even years

3

GEY 3110

Hydrogeology

This is an applied hydrogeology course with lecture, laboratory and field experience. Course material will include the hydrologic cycle, ground water, wells, water quality/contamination and flow modeling. Lecture and lab.

This course fulfills the Scientific and Mathematical Understanding Frame of Reference.

Prerequisite: GEY 1030, GEY 1050 or consent of the instructor.

Fee Lab fee $50.

Fall, odd years

4

(Credits required for the major: 45-47 cr)

And complete a minor

Students majoring in Ecological Studies are required to complete a minor (approved by the program coordinator) in one of the many disciplines available at Castleton. Note that students may not minor in Biology or Natural Sciences.

Recommendation

We strongly recommend that students complete an internship relating to their career goals.

Note

The B.A. in Ecological Studies may not be combined with the BS.BIO, the BS.ENV, or a minor in Biology or Natural Sciences.

And complete the University's Gen Ed requirements

Click here for General Education Requirements.