Environmental Studies Track

Environmental Studies Track

The environmental studies track requires a minimum of 15 s.h. This program is designed for students interested in the environment from physical and sociocultural perspectives. These students may have career expectations or personal interests in resource management, physical geography, climatology, environmental policy or law, global environmental change, sustainable development, or other complex environmental issues. Career goals may involve one of the environmental professions, such as landscape ecology or climatology; environmental planning and regulation; or environmental law, policy, and politics. The program stresses the interrelationships among social and natural processes that affect the environment.

Students of environmental studies can build expertise in environmental change, environmental policy and decision support, GIS for environmental studies, remote sensing, landscape ecology, field methods and statistical analyses, and environmental justice. Training in field observation, remote sensing, geographical information systems, quantitative analysis/computing, and cartographic representation are included in this concentration. The program also provides a sound foundation for graduate or professional-level studies in either the natural or social aspects of the environment. Students also have the opportunity to learn from leading experts in landscape ecology, environmental sampling, land use/land cover change, and computer simulation.

In addition to the common requirements, students in the environmental studies track complete a common track course (3 s.h.) and at least 12 s.h. of upper-level geographical and sustainability sciences courses.

Course List
Code Title Hours
Common course—all environmental studies track students take this:  
GEOG:1070 Contemporary Environmental Issues 3

Students choose a total of four upper-level courses (at least 12 s.h.) from the following, in consultation with their advisor. Those who wish to gain additional experience in theory and application of GIS systems should take GEOG:3520 GIS for Environmental Studies and GEOG:4520 GIS for Environmental Studies: Applications, or they should earn 6 s.h. in other GIS-based geographical and sustainability sciences courses.

Course List
Code Title Hours
At least one of these:  
GEOG:2310/EES:2310 Introduction to Climatology 3
GEOG:2374/BIOL:2374 Biogeography 3
GEOG:2410 Environment and Development 3
GEOG:2930 Water Resources 3
GEOG:3500 Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing 3
GEOG:3520 GIS for Environmental Studies 3
At least one of these:  
GEOG:3310 Landscape Ecology 3
GEOG:3315 Ecosystem Ecology 3
GEOG:3320/EES:3260 Wetlands: Function, Geography, and Management 3
GEOG:3340 Ecosystem Services: Human Dependence on Natural Systems 3
GEOG:3350 Urban Ecology 3
GEOG:3400 Iowa Environmental Policy in Practice 3
GEOG:3760/GHS:3760 Hazards and Society 3
GEOG:3920/URP:3001 Planning Livable Cities 3
GEOG:4010 Field Methods in Physical Geography 3
GEOG:4200 Sustainability as a System Science 3
GEOG:4470 Ecological Climatology 3
GEOG:4500 Advanced Remote Sensing 4
GEOG:4520 GIS for Environmental Studies: Applications 3
GEOG:4650 Simulation in Environmental Geography 3
GEOG:4750/URP:4750 Environmental Impact Analysis 4
GEOG:4770 Environmental Justice 3