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Course Descriptions

 

ENV 1200 – Introduction to Environmental Science

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): Minimum performance standard scores on reading, writing, and mathematics preassessment placement tests

Description: This course introduces students to environmental concepts and issues from an interdisciplinary approach. Students will gain an understanding of the scientific methods and techniques needed to understand the and analyze environmental issues such as ecology, human population growth, soils and agriculture, deforestation, urbanization, air pollution, freshwater resources, ocean pollution, climate change, fossil fuels, alternative energy sources, waste disposal, as well as environmental ethics and policy. Course topics will be complemented with computer exercises.

General Studies: Natural and Physical Sciences

Guaranteed Transfer: GT-SC2

ENV 1540 – Geologic and Environmental Hazards-Denver and Vicinity

Credits: 2

Prerequisite(s): GEL 1010 recommended

Description: This courses examines the geologic and environmental hazards around the Denver region, including mass wasting, swelling clays, subsidence and flooding, as well as contamination and remediation efforts at the Lowry Landfill and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. Future homeowners learn the meaning of “buyer beware.”

Note: Students cannot take both ENV 1540 and ENV 3540 for credit.

ENV 2000 – Applied Pollution Science

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200, CHE 1800, and CHE 1810

Description: This course introduces students to the abiotic and biotic scientific processes within the soil/water/atmosphere continuum that affects the fate and transport of pollutants. The extent, fate, mitigation, and impact of environmental pollution will be examined through applied examples and case studies.

ENV 2100 – Basic Water Sampling and Analysis

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): Completion of General Studies requirements in Written Communication, Oral Communication, Quantitative Literacy, and Natural and Physical Sciences

Description: Water quality information, including the consequences of pollution and other disturbances, is commonly used to indicate the health of an ecosystem. This course exposes students to the methods and techniques used in water quality sampling. Students will learn how to collect water samples in the field, analyze their results, and summarize the implications of the results. Students will also have the opportunity to learn how to collect and identify aquatic insects as an indicator of environmental health.

Field Trips: Field sampling of the Cherry Creek and a one-day field trip on a weekend are mandatory.

ENV 3000 – Environmental Engineering Fundamentals

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): CHE 1810, CHE 1811, MTH 2410, ENV 1200

Description: In this course, students are exposed to the interplay between humans, our activities, and the environment around us. Over the course of the semester, they will explore anthropogenic and natural effects on air and water quality, how these systems operate and the application of applied sciences (e.g., physics, chemistry, and biology) to the natural world.

Note: Credit will be granted for only one prefix: CET or ENV.

Cross Listed Course(s): CET 3000

ENV 3100 – Air Pollution

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200 or MTR 2400

Description: This course examines the causes and control of air pollution. Topics include pollutant sources and sinks, regional and global-scale pollution problems, monitoring and sampling techniques, regulatory control, meteorological influences, and indoor air quality.

Cross Listed Course(s): MTR 3100

ENV 3250 – Colorado Water Law and Water Rights Administration

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): Completion of General Studies requirements in Written Communication, Oral Communication, and Quantitative Literacy, and Junior Standing

Description: This course provides students with an in-depth study of the unique nature of Colorado water law and Colorado water rights administration. The course will survey the key issues surrounding the legal framework governing the allocation of water resources, administrative processes affecting water distribution, and policy considerations that influence decisions about the use and management of water resources in the state of Colorado. An overview of Colorado climate, geology and hydrology, as well as a review of Colorado’s early water use and development will provide the context for the study of the legal system with which the state and its citizens allocate water.

Note: Credit will be granted for only one prefix: ENV or MGT.

Cross Listed Course(s): MGT 3250

ENV 3400 – Water Resources

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200 or GEG 1920; Completion of General Studies

Description: This course presents an analysis of water as a major resource. It includes the study of the hydrologic cycle, competing water uses, current water problems, and approaches to water management. The relationship of water to land use is examined in terms of dams, watersheds, water laws, pollution, and flood control.

ENV 3540 – Advanced Geologic and Environmental Hazards-Denver and Vicinity

Credits: 2

Prerequisite(s): nine hours of geography or geology or Permission of instructor

Description: This course requires an analytical approach to the geologic and environmental hazards around the Denver region, including mass wasting, swelling clays, subsidence and flooding, as well as contamination and remediation efforts at the Lowry Landfill and the Rocky Mountain Arsenal. Future homeowners learn the meaning of “buyer beware.”

Note: Students cannot take both ENV 1540 and ENV 3540 for credit.

ENV 3620 – Population, Resources, and Land Use

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): GEG 1000 or GEG 1300, six hours in geography; ENV 1400 recommended

Description: This course examines the distribution and density of the global population and the relationship of these patterns to world resources and development problems. Population shifts, including birth, death, migration, and doubling rates are analyzed. Data analysis and projections are covered.

ENV 3700 – Mountain Environments

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200, 9 hours of coursework from any of the following: Environmental Science, Geology, Physical Geography, Biology, Chemistry, and Meteorology, and junior standing; or permission of instructor

Description: The course examines integrated mountain ecosystems, particularly in the Front Range of Colorado. Topics examined include vegetation distribution, climates, landforms and processes, wildlife, and human impacts. A weekend field trip to Rocky Mountain National Park is required.

ENV 3710 – Environmental Remediation

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200, BIO 1091, CHE 1800, and junior standing; or permission of instructor

Description: This course presents technologies available for reclaiming contaminated sites and reducing health risks. Physical, chemical, and biological technologies will be examined for the cleanup of hazardous wastes. Students will integrate the nature of hazardous wastes, the behavior of chemicals at the surface and subsurface, and technological applications. Students will design a monitoring program for assessing the applicability of site cleanup and analyze the data from a site monitoring program.

ENV 3720 – Waste Management

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200, BIO 1091, CHE 1800, and junior standing; or permission of instructor

Description: Waste generation, human health, waste treatment, disposal methods, recycling as well as environmental hazards will be examined in this course. Students will research the policies that govern transportation and disposal of waste. Laws and agency regulations will be examined to determine their effectiveness in reducing, remediating, and containing waste.

ENV 3730 – Environmental Risk Assessment

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200, 9 hours coursework in any of the following Environmental Science, Geology, Physical Geography, Biology, Chemistry, and Meteorology courses, junior standing; or permission of instructor

Description: Risk is an important component of regulatory decision making. Since risk assessment has no “correct” answers, this course explores what risk perception, risk management, and risk communication mean. Students will learn how to weigh the costs and benefits of risk reduction and how to evaluate the uncertainties in risk estimates. Case studies will be used to help explain the principles.

ENV 3740 – Environmental Health

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200, BIO 1091, CHE 1800, and junior standing; or permission of instructor

Description: This course addresses local, regional and global environmental issues affecting human health and policies. Environmental toxins and carcinogens, impacts on human health, dose response, occupational health, risk assessment strategies are discussed. A field trip to an environmental health agency is required.

ENV 3920 – Directed Study in Environmental Science

Credits: 2-6

Description: This course provides an opportunity for upper-division students with a strong background in environmental science to pursue a specific research topic of interest with a faculty member. The course requires permission of the instructor and chair of the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.

ENV 3980 – Internship in Environmental Science

Credits: 1-15

Prerequisite(s): Major in Environmental Science; junior or senior status; permission of instructor

Description: Supervised by a faculty member within the major department, internships provide practical, hands-on experience in a professional field related to the major. Internship placements must be established prior to enrollment in this course in consultation with the Applied Learning Center.
To register with the Applied Learning Center, students must meet the following qualifications:

Completed at least one semester at MSU Denver
Sophomore, junior or senior status
Declared major in an undergraduate program
2.5 minimum cumulative GPA at MSU Denver
Currently enrolled and taking classes at MSU Denver
For information and instructions on finding and enrolling in an internship, contact the Applied Learning Center at 303-556-3290 or internships@msudenver.edu.

Note: Variable Credit

ENV 4000 – Environmental Geology

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): GEL 1010, GEL 3120, and GEL 3420

Description: The close relationship of the environment to the geology of the earth is examined. Basic geology, geologic processes, and geologic techniques are applied to the environment in a series of practical problems. Interpretation of topographic and geologic maps is required. Natural geologic hazards are revealed in a series of actual case studies performed by the student.

ENV 4010 – Environmental Hazards and GIS

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 4000; GEG 3610 recommended

Description: This course evaluates environmental hazards relative to various land-use patterns. It utilizes case studies and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to examine hazards and prepare models.

ENV 4200 – Environmental Policy and Planning

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200 and completion of General Studies

Description: This course provides an overview of environmental policy and major environmental laws in the U.S. The major statutes are analyzed in terms of purpose, scope, implementation, compliance requirements, and impact on land use. Case studies are examined in a planning context.

ENV 4400 – Landscape Ecology

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200, GIS 2250, and ENV 4430; or permission of instructor

Description: Students will examine the effects of spatial pattern and scale on ecological processes. Concepts, tools, and techniques that enhance the effectiveness of watershed and ecosystem management, design of green infrastructure, and smart growth are explored. Students will learn how the concepts of landscape ecology apply to environmental policy, management, regulation, and assessment.

ENV 4410 – Water Law

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200 or ENV 1400 or ENV 3400 or Permission of instructor

Description: This course surveys U.S. water law and administration. Topics include (1) why we need laws regulating water use, (2) how ancient water laws influenced U.S. water law, (3) variations of surface and groundwater law, including prior appropriation, riparian, and hybrid, (4) international and interstate agreements, and (5) a special focus on water administration in the West.

Note: Credit will be granted for only one prefix: ENV or HON.

Cross Listed Course(s): HON 4410

ENV 4420 – Wetlands

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200 and completion of General Studies

Description: This course offers a broad overview of wetland landscapes. Topics include (1) spatial distribution (local and national), (2) variations in wetlands topology (salt-water versus fresh-water and warmer versus colder climates), (3) relationships between wetlands (migratory flight paths), (4) wetlands ecosystems, (5) human impacts on wetlands, (6) federal, state, and local wetlands regulations, and (7) international wetlands problems.

ENV 4430 – Habitat Planning

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200 and completion of General Studies

Description: This is an interdisciplinary course designed to examine the forces and impacts of urban expansion and ecological processes on wildlife habitats. Topics include conservation biology principles, problems with wildlife habitat conservation, and planning solutions to preserve wildlife habitat. Multiple spatial and political scales provide the context for analysis.

ENV 4440 – Limnology

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200, BIO 1081, and BIO 1091; or permission of the instructor

Description: This course examines the study of lakes, reservoirs, and ponds as inland water ecosystems. The physical, chemical, and biological components of inland waters are examined. The course investigates how lakes are formed and how they evolve over time. The shape of the lake basin, its water balance, and the catchment area are studied with respect to their influence on the ecology within the lake. Students learn how to assess the health of a lake, how to examine water quality, how to handle aquatic weed problems, and how to manage a lake fishery.

Field Trips: A one-day field trip to a lake, pond, or reservoir is required.

ENV 4450 – Stream Ecology

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200, BIO 1081, and BIO 1091; or permission of the instructor

Description: This course explores the diversity of running water ecosystems throughout the world by examining the chemistry, physical features, and biology of stream ecosystems. Principles of stream ecology will be used to examine local stream ecosystems ranging from those found in the mountains to the prairies. The relationship among a stream, its watershed, floodplain, and riparian zone will be studied. Human activities that alter water quality, chemistry, and the ecology of a stream will be investigated, as well as methods to mitigate and protect lotic (flowing water) ecosystems.

Field Trips: Students will have an opportunity to apply what they have learned in the classroom during a mandatory, one-day field trip.

ENV 4460 – Advanced Water Quality Analysis

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): CHE 1800, CHE 1801, CHE 1810, CHE 1811, ENV 2100, and ENV 3400

Description: This course examines advanced methods and protocols used in surface water, ground water, wetland, and terrestrial environmental sampling. Field methods for data collection, as well as operation of standard sampling equipment and instruments, are explored. Students design and conduct statistically valid sampling plans and conduct standard laboratory procedures for analysis of field data. Guidance documents and sampling techniques used by environmental agencies are addressed.

ENV 4500 – Environmental Biogeochemistry

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200, BIO 1091, CHE 1801 and CHE 1811, junior standing; or permission of instructor

Description: This course examines the chemical processes and pathways by which inorganic and organic chemical species interact within aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Environmental factors that control the chemical composition and bioavailability will be emphasized for both natural and human-impacted (polluted) systems.

ENV 4910 – Global Environmental Field Problems: Variable Topics

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200, 9 credit hours in any of the following Environmental Science, Geology, Physical Geography, Biology, Chemistry, Meteorology, junior standing; or permission of instructor

Description: Students will use field techniques to research and analyze global environmental problems. Possible field experiences will examine environmental or ecological change by traveling to the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Colorado, the Sonoran desert in Arizona, or alpine and periglacial regions of Alaska. This course may be repeated three times for credit under different topics for a maximum of nine hours.

ENV 4920 – Topics in Environmental Science: Variable Topics

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): ENV 1200,9 credit hours in the following Environmental Science, Geology, Physical Geography, Biology, Chemistry, and Meteorology, and junior standing; or permission of instructor

Description: Content of this course will vary according to contemporary environmental issues. This course may be repeated twice under different topics for a maximum of 6 hours.

ENV 4950 – Internship in Environmental Science

Credits: 2-15

Prerequisite(s): Environmental Science or Land Use major with concentration in environment and resources, junior standing, 12 credit hours in environmental science, permission of EAS department chair.

Description: This course provides an on-the-job internship experience with an environmental science-related company or agency. The experience must be done under qualified supervision and the auspices of an Earth and Atmospheric Sciences faculty member. 

ENV 4960 – Global Environmental Challenges

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): Twelve hours of upper division courses in geology, geography, biology and/or meteorology or written Permission of instructor, and Senior standing

Description: This course will include the identification of major global environmental problems, including causes and impacts and the interplay of economic, cultural, and political forces. The approach will be a geographic analysis including location, spatial distribution, density, boundaries, and physical factors such as landforms, soils, and climate. Students are responsible as individuals and groups for presentations and discussions.

Note: Credit will be granted for only one prefix: ENV or HON.

University Requirement(s): Senior Experience

Cross Listed Course(s): HON 4960

ENV 4970 – Environmental Field Studies

Credits: 3

Prerequisite(s): 12 hours of upper-division courses in geology, physical geology, biology, and/or meteorology, and/or written permission of instructor; completion of General Studies requirements; and senior standing.

Description: This course is a senior-level capstone course for land use and environmental science majors that will address current local environmental issues in Colorado through site visits and field techniques. Topics covered include: Denver air quality, water quality, sustainability, and waste disposal. Field trips will be taken to local environmental sites and agencies.

University Requirement(s): Senior Experience


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