Biosciences (Green) Track

The Environmental Biosciences Track provides the essential skills for entry-level positions that require a good knowledge of biotic systems and the ability to inventory biologic resources. This track aims to produce scientists capable of tackling environmental problems in which links/interactions with life sciences are crucial and a greater knowledge of biological/ecological sciences is required. It also lays a strong foundation for graduate or professional training in disciplines such as ecology, wildlife management, and natural resource management. Students must complete at least 33 s.h. of Environmental Biosciences Track course work, including one 4 s.h. field course at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory.

For help planning your courses, please see the green track's Example Plan of Study, or contact the ES Program's undergraduate academic advisor, Hannah Whitcomb: 

Students who plan to apply to graduate programs may consider supplementing this degree with courses in Organic Chemistry and Physics.

Environmental Biosciences Foundation

All three of these courses:

BIOL:2374 Biogeography (fall semesters only) 3 s.h.
BIOL:2512 Fundamental Genetics 4 s.h.
BIOL:3172 Evolution 4 s.h.

and at least 9 s.h. from these:

BIOL:2246 Entomology Lab 4 s.h.
EES:3070 Marine Ecosystems and Conservation 3 s.h.
EES:3220 Evolution of the Vertebrates 3 s.h.
GEOG:3500 Intro to Environmental Remote Sensing 3 s.h.
GEOG:2950 Environmental Conservation 3 s.h.
GEOG:3315 Ecosystem Ecology 3 s.h.
GEOG:3350 Urban Ecology 3 s.h.
GEOG:4470 Ecological Climatology 3 s.h.


Environmental Biosciences Field Study

At least 3 s.h. from the list below. New Lakeside Laboratory (IALL) courses are added regularly; check with your advisor to see if a course not listed below will count toward your major):

ENVS:3095 Field Ecology (Fall semesters) 3 s.h.
ENVS:3096 Winter Ecology (Spring semesters) 2 s.h.
ENVS:3097 Introduction to Bird Study (Spring semesters) 2 s.h.
ENVS:3230 Special Topics (when topic involves field work / field trips) 1-4 s.h.
IALL:3034 Topics in Ecology and Sustainability (Summer - at Lakeside Labs) 2 s.h.
IALL:3103 Aquatic Ecology (Summer - at Lakeside Labs) 4 s.h.
IALL:3105 Plant Taxonomy (Summer - at Lakeside Labs) 4 s.h.
IALL:3109 Freshwater Algae (Summer - at Lakeside Labs) 4 s.h.
IALL:3115 Field Mycology (Summer - at Lakeside Labs) 4 s.h.
IALL:3117 Ecology and Systematics of Diatoms (Summer - at Lakeside Labs) 4 s.h.
IALL:3121 Plant Ecology (Summer - at Lakeside Labs) 4 s.h.
IALL:3123 Prairie Ecology I (Summer - at Lakeside Labs) 2 s.h.
IALL:3125 Prairie Ecology II (Summer - at Lakeside Labs) 2 s.h.
IALL:3126 Ornithology (Summer - at Lakeside Labs) 2 s.h.
IALL:3131 Ecology (Summer - at Lakeside Labs) 4 s.h.
IALL:3162 Restoration Ecology (Summer - at Lakeside Labs) 2 s.h.

Iowa Lakeside Laboratory is located in northwestern Iowa on Lake Okoboji. It offers unique summer educational opportunities, including the courses listed above. Information on Lakeside Lab courses is on ISIS, but registration is handled separately via the Lakeside Lab website. Note that you need to register for Lakeside Lab courses before mid-April (registration begins in January). If you have a GPA of at least 2.5, you also should apply for a scholarship to cover the cost of room and board.


Environmental Biosciences Electives

At least 6 s.h. from the following list. Additional field courses or foundation courses may also be used for elective credit:

BIOL:1261 Introduction to Botany 4 s.h.
BIOL:2663 Plant Response to the Environment 3 s.h.
BIOL:3244 Animal Behavior (with or without lab) 3 or 5 s.h.
BIOL:3676 Evolution Lab 4 s.h.
BIOL:3994 Introduction to Research ARR
BIOL:4999 Honors Investigation ARR
CEE:5440 Fundamentals of Environmental Chemistry and Microbiology  3 s.h.
CHEM:2210 Organic Chemistry I 3 s.h.
CHEM:3110 Analytical Chemistry I 3 s.h.
CHEM:3120 Analytical Chemistry II 3 s.h.
EES:2200 Historical Geology 3 s.h.
EES:3080 Introduction to Oceanography 2 s.h.
EES:3110 Chemical Evolution of the Oceans 3 s.h.
EES:3210 Principles of Paleontology 3 s.h.
EES:4630 Hydrogeology 4 s.h.
EES:4790 Applied Environmental Geology 3 s.h.
GEOG:2310 Introduction to Climatology 3 s.h.
GEOG:3310 Landscape Ecology 3 s.h.
GEOG:3570 LiDAR: Principles and Applications 3 s.h.
STAT:6513 Intermediate Statistical Methods 3 s.h.

Students may petition their Environmental Science advisor to use other appropriate 2000-, 3000- and 4000-level courses as electives.

Policy Course

At least 3 s.h. from the following list: 


BIOL:1260 Plants and Human Affairs 3 s.h.
ECON:3330 Environmental and Nat Resource Economics 3 s.h.
EES:1115 The History and Science of Oil 3 s.h.
GEOG:1070 Contemporary Environmental Issues 3 s.h.
GEOG:3340 Ecosystem Services: Human Dependence 3 s.h.
GEOG:3400 Iowa Environmental Policy in Practice 3 s.h.
GEOG:3780 U.S. Energy Policy in Global Context 3 s.h.
GEOG:4750 Environmental Impact Analysis 3 s.h.
GEOG:4770 Environmental Justice 3 s.h.