Environmental Science Course Descriptions

ENVS - 100. Understanding Our Environment w/Lab (4)
This course is an introduction to environmental science and environmental studies for non-science majors. It examines the environmental impact of population growth on natural resources; mineral and resource extraction; water resource use and water pollution; air pollution and climate change; and conventional and sustainable energy supplies. Emphasis is placed on a holistic approach to environmental science using class discussions, laboratory exercises, and environmental surveys to reinforce scientific principles. Satisfies Core B2. Offered every semester.

ENVS - 110. Introduction to Environmental Science w/Lab (4)
This course serves as an introduction to and covers broad aspects of environmental science and environmental studies for environmental science and environmental studies majors. For all cases, the resulting environmental impacts are studied in detail. Specifically, this course examines the risks associated with growth in a developing world; environmental impact of population growth on natural resources; mineral and resource extraction; water resource uses; and renewable and non-renewable sources for power generation. Emphasis is placed on a holistic approach to environmental science using laboratory exercises, environmental surveys, and class discussions to reinforce scientific principles. Offered every semester.

ENVS - 210. Ecology and Human Impacts w/Lab (4)
Prerequisite: ENVS 100 or 110 with C- or higher. This course introduces students to biological and ecological aspects of environmental science. The course will include lectures, laboratory, and field exercises that emphasize basic ecology principles. The goal of the course is to give the student an overview of basic ecology, ecological management issues, and ecosystem policy with special emphasis on local issues in the San Francisco Bay Area. Offered every spring.

ENVS - 212. Air and Water w/Lab (4)
Prerequisite: ENVS 100 or 110 with C- or higher and MATH 108 or the equivalent (only offered in Fall). This course covers broad physical and chemical aspects of the atmosphere and water resources. Specifically, this course considers atmospheric composition, weather processes, and air pollution; water resources, regulations, and defining water quality based on intended use. For all cases, the resulting environmental impacts are studied in detail. Emphasis is placed on a holistic approach to environmental science using field trips and sampling exercises, laboratory exercises, environmental surveys, and class discussion to reinforce scientific principles. Offered every Fall.

ENVS - 250. Environmental Data Analysis (4)
Prerequisites: ENVS 100 or 110 with C- or higher and MATH 108 or the equivalent (only offered in Fall). Provides students with foundations in quantitative analysis methods used to analyze environmental data. These methods are applied to real-world cases, and students will conduct a full analysis and prepare a professional report as part of a group process. Satisfies Core B1. Offered every Fall.

ENVS - 311. Environmental Chemistry (4)
Prerequisites: CHEM - 113 with a grade of C- (1.7) or higher, and one of the following: ENVS - 212, CHEM - 230, or CHEM - 236. This course provides in-depth coverage of major topics in the chemistry of the environment, including tropospheric air pollution, stratospheric ozone depletion, aquatic chemistry, water pollution and water treatment, soil chemistry, and toxic organic compounds. Cross-listed with: CHEM - 311. Offered intermittently.

ENVS - 312. Water Resource Analysis w/Lab (4)
Prerequisite: ENVS - 212. This course explores two primary aspects of water resource availability: surface water hydrology and water quality. Process analyses of environmental problems are used throughout this course to aid in the development of scientific knowledge and environmental impacts on water. Offered intermittently.

ENVS - 320. Restoration Ecology w/Lab (4)
Prerequisite: ENVS - 210. An overview of concepts and practices in restoration ecology. Emphasis will be on the application of ecological principles to restoration design, implementation, and monitoring. Two lectures and one laboratory session each week. Offered intermittently.

ENVS - 321. Wetland Ecology w/Lab (4)
Prerequisite: ENVS - 210 or permission of instructor. This upper-division lecture and laboratory course reviews basic concepts of ecology as they apply to wetland ecosystems. Major course topics include: wetland hydrology and soils, wetland biota and their adaptations, wetland types, and policies for wetland management. Offered intermittently.

ENVS - 330. Environmental and Ecosystem Health (4)
Prerequisite: CHEM - 113 (General Chemistry II) Environmental health is the study of how physical, biological and chemical pollutants affect the environment and, in turn, human health.  Impacts such as cancer and feminization of males draw widespread media attention and remain one of the rallying cries for the environmental movement.  Despite these worries, there have been around 100,000 new chemicals approved for commercial use in United States over the last 30 years.  How do we decide which ones to worry about?   This class will introduce some of the basic principles of toxicology to lay the groundwork for evaluating hazards, exposure, and risk. We will apply these principles through reading and analyzing some of the controversies in the scientific literature, such as the impacts of pesticides on amphibians and the effects of eating seafood containing mercury. A major goal will be to learn to critically read and analyze the scientific literature.  Students will also discuss the spread of disease, endocrine disruptors, heavy metals, pesticides, and radiation.

ENVS - 335. Marine Environments (4)
Prerequisite: ENVS 212 with C or higher. This elective introduces the biological, chemical, and physical processes that shape marine environments. It explores how these processes are impacted by anthropogenic activities, such as overfishing, eutrophication, ocean acidification, climate change, and pollution.

ENVS - 350. Energy and Environment (4)
Prerequisites: ENVS - 212 and ENVS - 250. In this course, students will examine energy production and consumption as an underlying cause of multiple environmental problems. Beginning with an overview of energy-environment connections, the course will cover major fuel types and energy sources--from coal and natural gas to solar, and advanced energy carriers and storage systems (e.g., hydrogen and fuel cells). Offered intermittently.

ENVS - 360. Climate Change: Science and Policy (4)
Prerequisites: ENVS - 210, ENVS - 212 and ENVS - 250. In this course, students will develop a deeper understanding of the greenhouse effect and human influences on the Earth's climate. Building on this scientific base, the course will emphasize climate change mitigation--options for changing human activities and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases to avert negative climate change impacts. Offered intermittently.

ENVS - 370. Introduction to Landscape Ecology and GIS w/Lab (4)
Prerequisites: ENVS 100 or 110, ENVS 210 and ENVS 250. This course serves as an introduction to environmental remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). It is designed to provide students with basic concepts, principles and applications of remote sensing and GIS and their use in natural resource management. This course has a corequisite laboratory. Offered intermittently.

ENVS - 390. Undergraduate Special Topics (4)
Courses offered occasionally on a special topic in Environmental Science. Offered intermittently.

ENVS - 410. Methods of Environmental Monitoring w/Lab (4)
Prerequisites: ENVS - 210, ENVS - 212, ENVS - 250, all with a minimum grade of C-. Capstone field and laboratory methodologies class that draws upon materials presented in the foundation courses. Offered every spring.

ENVS - 498. Advanced Undergraduate Research (4)
Original research supervised by a member of the staff, with credit to be fixed in each case. Designed to give students an acquaintance with, and an appreciation of, the principles and methods of original scientific investigation. A research report must be filed. Cross Listed With: ENVA - 498.