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Bachelor of Arts and Bachelors of Science

Environmental Science

Program Overview

The ES program places strong emphasis on experiential learning, getting students out of the classroom and into the field, while simultaneously maintaining an academically rigorous curriculum. Students become trained in valuable scientific and technical skills, such as GIS, environmental chemistry, and field techniques and analysis in ecology, wildlife, and marine science.

Program Details

The Environmental Science program places strong emphasis on experiential scientific training in the field allowing students to explore greater breadth and diversity in their academic experiences, interests, and scientific training. Students will learn in the classroom and lab setting, but also apply their knowledge outside the classroom with fieldwork and internships.

Dr. Michael McGrann is building an ambitious ecological research project that will involve students in WJU’s Environmental Science program. Faculty and student research assistants walk hundreds on the PCT while collecting data using novel, noninvasive survey techniques. The goal of this project is to track the population trends and distributions of hundreds of wildlife species, and their habitats, along the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT). It is referred to as the PCT Biodiversity Megatransect. The PCT is a continuous hiking trail that runs from the Mexican border to the Canadian border along the mountain ranges of California, Oregon, and Washington (2,650 miles long). This is also a collaborative research project with California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) as well as faculty from other campuses.

Goals and Objectives

  • Track the population trends and distributions of hundreds of wildlife species, and their habitats, along the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT)
  • Inform conservation decisions that protect biodiversity in the remote mountain regions of the Pacific Crest Trail

This program consists of three research- and field-oriented courses within the Biodiversity Study Program that provide a rich undergraduate experience, emphasizing academic excellence and research exploration for academically gifted students.This program provides an additional 15 units of specialized study and scholarly research beyond the original degree requirements which allows graduates to have special recognition upon graduation.

For the additional 15 units that are required, choose from the following:

  • ESCI 442 Field Research in Ecology (5 units)
  • ESCI 497 Research Assistantship in the Environmental Science (up to 2 semesters at 5 units each).
  • BIOL 495 Molecular Methods (5 units)

Students taking these courses will participate directly in the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Megatransect research (see below). Students may choose to enroll separately in the field course on the PCT (ESCI 442 Field Research in Ecology, see course description below), or either of the other two courses (ESCI 497 Research Assistantship, BIOL 495 Molecular Methods) and students may apply these courses as upper division credit toward their degree at their respective institutions. Students may also choose to enroll in the complete Honors Program (15 additional semester units beyond the student’s original degree requirements). See below for course requirements for the Honors Program.

The field course on the PCT (ESCI 442) is open to both WJU and non-WJU students across majors (both science and non-science majors) of good academic standing and who have good observation skills, a desire for adventure, ability to work in a wilderness setting, and a passion for science (see application materials for students qualifications). The Honors Program is also open to WJU and non-WJU students across majors in natural sciences (e.g., environmental science, biology, etc.).

Apply to the Program

Please download the Application and Faculty Reference PDF forms below. Email completed forms to Dr. Michael McGrann at this address: mmcgrann@jessup.edu.

The Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Science is designed for greater flexibility, particularly for those students wanting to accommodate an approved environmental study abroad program. Furthermore, it allows students to explore greater breadth and diversity in their academic experiences, interests, and scientific training.

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science degree is designed for students who desire more specialized training. Each of the concentrations for this degree is described below.
Ecological Research Concentration   
The ecological research concentration is designed to prepare students who are on track for a graduate program in the environmental sciences. This concentration will provide quantitative and technical skills to implement ecological research in the field.
Ecology and Field Biology Concentration
This concentration is designed for students who seek a greater emphasis on the analytical and technical skills to implement ecological studies in the field. It is particularly well suited for those seeking careers in government, private firms, or nonprofits as wildlife biologists, environmental consultants, or conservation scientists.

ESCI310 General Ecology and Lab

Course includes mandatory lab component. Field trips are required. Alternative assignmentsfor the field trips may be provided at the discretion of the instructor in special circumstances. The course examines the interrelationships between organisms and their environment. Topics include organismal, population, community, ecosystem, landscape, and conservation ecology. Topics on evolution, natural selection, and adaptation are also included. Students are further provided with experiential learning opportunities in ecological field techniques.

3 units

ESCI320 Environmental Chemistry and Lab

Course includes mandatory lab component. Field trips are required. Alternative assignments for the field trips may be provided at the discretion of the instructor in special circumstances. The course covers topics on the chemistry of the environment, including the atmosphere, soil, and water. Topics include the fate of pollutants, water quality, air pollution, energy, climate, soil chemistry, and hazardous and solid waste disposal.

3 units

ESCI340 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

The course will provide a foundational understanding of the principles and applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS employs powerful computer‐based tools to analyze spatial data. These tools can be used to describe, analyze, and predict (or model) the spatial distribution of both human and natural phenomena across the surface of the Earth. Students will employ ArcGIS software to learn how to employ various spatial data formats, conduct spatial analyses, and communicate the results, which includes the production of maps. GIS knowledge

3 units

ESCI350 Environmental Ethics OR ESCI361 American Environmental Literature

ESCI350: This course investigates current environmental issues and problems at the locally, regionally, and globally. Students examine a variety of biblically‐based and secular environmental ethics. Issues discussed may include, but are not limited to, climate change, the biodiversity crisis, wildlife and habitat conservation, use of renewable and nonrenewable natural resources, pollution, land use and sustainable development, third world environmental degradation, poverty, and wilderness preservation. The main objective of the course is for each student to develop his or her own well‐informed environmental ethic that isframed within a biblical worldview yet also informed by secular viewpoints.

ESCI361: The course examines the American ideas and literature that have shaped the environmental movement. Authors discussed may include Muir, Thoreau, Leopold, Carson, Abbey, and others.

3 units

ESCI360 Environmental Law and Policy OR ESCI362 American Environmental History and Policy

ESCI360: The course examines state and federal laws, regulations, policies, and the agencies that govern the use of environmental resources on public and private lands. Students will consider the impact of these lawslocally, nationally, and globally. Students will also explore the process of environmental assessment and environmental impact statements under the National Environmental Policy Act.

ESCI362: The course examines the changing relationships between people and the environment on the North American continent from pre‐history to the present. Topics include changing attitudes and perceptions towards wilderness, wildlife, and the use of natural resources. The course will also discuss the movements that served as the impetus of environmental law and policy, including the impact of these policies, in the United States from the Progressive Era to the present

3 units

ESCI498 Senior Colloquium – Thesis/Project

A capstone course. The purpose of this colloquium is for the student to conduct directed research and literature review on a topic within the environmental sciences that is related to their scientific interest or career pursuits. This course provides an opportunity to sharpen scientific writing and presentation skills through a review process. An on‐campus presentation before a gathering of scientists, professionals, and fellow students may be required.

3 units

CHEM105 Introduction to Chemistry with Lab

Course includes a mandatory lab component (CHEM105L) that must be taken concurrently. Successful completion of this course requires passing both CHEM105 and CHEM105L with a C‐ or better in a concurrent semester. Introduces fundamental principles of general chemistry including types of matter and physical states, physical and chemical transformations, chemical equations and stoichiometry, bonding, atomic and chemical structure, intermolecular forces, gas laws, solutions, colligative properties, acids and bases, and nuclear chemistry. The course is designed to meet the requirements for certain nursing, dental hygiene, physical therapy, agriculture, and forestry programs and helps satisfy general education science requirements. Formerly Introduction to General Chemistry.

3 units

CHEM106 Introduction to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry with Lab

Course includes a mandatory lab component (CHEM106L) that must be taken concurrently. Successful completion of this course requires passing both CHEM106 and CHEM106L with a C‐ or better in a concurrent semester. A study of the major classes of organic compounds, including nomenclature structure, properties, intermolecular forces, and types of reactions. This course then applies the concepts of organic chemistry to the structure and function of biomolecules such as carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, enzymes, and DNA and RNA. The course is designed to meet the requirements for certain nursing, dental hygiene, physical therapy, agriculture, and forestry programs, and helps satisfy general education science requirements.

3 units

MATH120 Statistics

An introduction to the tools of statistics covering such topics as frequency distributions, variability, probability, and hypothesis testing.

3 units

Upper Division x4

May include environmental science or biology courses

3 units each

ESCI131 Earth and Environmental Science with Lab

Course includes mandatory lab component (ESCI131L). A field trip may be required. An alternative assignment to the field trip may be provided at the discretion of the instructor in special circumstances. An introduction to the concepts and principles of earth and the environment including topics in atmospheric science, geology, and ecology. It is a study of the earth and the intertwined processes that shape it. Spatial locations and relationships between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and solid earth will be examined, along with the earth’s position in space and the solar system and universe. An overview of a biblically‐based environmental ethic is also included.

3 units

ESCI310 General Ecology with Lab

Course includes mandatory lab component. Field trips are required. Alternative assignments for the field trips may be provided at the discretion of the instructor in special circumstances. The course examines the interrelationships between organisms and their environment. Topics include organismal, population, community, ecosystem, landscape, and conservation ecology. Topics on evolution, natural selection, and adaptation are also included. Students are further provided with experiential learning opportunities in ecological field techniques.

3 units

ESCI340 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

The course will provide a foundational understanding of the principles and applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). GIS employs powerful computer‐based tools to analyze spatial data. These tools can be used to describe, analyze, and predict (or model) the spatial distribution of both human and natural phenomena across the surface of the Earth. Students will employ ArcGIS software to learn how to employ various spatial data formats, conduct spatial analyses, and communicate the results, which includes the production of maps. GIS knowledge

3 units

ESCI320 Environmental Chemistry with Lab

Course includes mandatory lab component. Field trips are required. Alternative assignments for the field trips may be provided at the discretion of the instructor in special circumstances. The course covers topics on the chemistry of the environment, including the atmosphere, soil, and water. Topics include the fate of pollutants, water quality, air pollution, energy, climate, soil chemistry, and hazardous and solid waste disposal.

3 units

ESCI350 Environmental Ethics OR ESCI361 American Environmental Literature

ESCI350: This course investigates current environmental issues and problems at the locally, regionally, and globally. Students examine a variety of biblically‐based and secular environmental ethics. Issues discussed may include, but are not limited to, climate change, the biodiversity crisis, wildlife and habitat conservation, use of renewable and nonrenewable natural resources, pollution, land use and sustainable development, third world environmental degradation, poverty, and wilderness preservation. The main objective of the course is for each student to develop his or her own well‐informed environmental ethic that isframed within a biblical worldview yet also informed by secular viewpoints.

ESCI361: The course examines the American ideas and literature that have shaped the environmental movement. Authors discussed may include Muir, Thoreau, Leopold, Carson, Abbey, and others.

3 units

ESCI498 Senior Colloquium – Thesis/Project

A capstone course. The purpose of this colloquium is for the student to conduct directed research and literature review on a topic within the environmental sciences that is related to their scientific interest or career pursuits. This course provides an opportunity to sharpen scientific writing and presentation skills through a review process. An on‐campus presentation before a gathering of scientists, professionals, and fellow students may be required.

3 units

CHEM105 Introduction to Chemistry with Lab

Course includes a mandatory lab component (CHEM105L) that must be taken concurrently. Successful completion of this course requires passing both CHEM105 and CHEM105L with a C‐ or better in a concurrent semester. Introduces fundamental principles of general chemistry including types of matter and physical states, physical and chemical transformations, chemical equations and stoichiometry, bonding, atomic and chemical structure, intermolecular forces, gas laws, solutions, colligative properties, acids and bases, and nuclear chemistry. The course is designed to meet the requirements for certain nursing, dental hygiene, physical therapy, agriculture, and forestry programs and helps satisfy general education science requirements. Formerly Introduction to General Chemistry.

3 units

CHEM106 Introduction to Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry with Lab

Course includes a mandatory lab component (CHEM106L) that must be taken concurrently. Successful completion of this course requires passing both CHEM106 and CHEM106L with a C‐ or better in a concurrent semester. A study of the major classes of organic compounds, including nomenclature structure, properties, intermolecular forces, and types of reactions. This course then applies the concepts of organic chemistry to the structure and function of biomolecules such as carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, enzymes, and DNA and RNA. The course is designed to meet the requirements for certain nursing, dental hygiene, physical therapy, agriculture, and forestry programs, and helps satisfy general education science requirements.

3 units

MATH120 Statistics

An introduction to the tools of statistics covering such topics as frequency distributions, variability, probability, and hypothesis testing.

3 units

PHYS101. Physics for Life Sciences I with Lab

This course is designed for life science majors but not intended for math majors. Must be taken concurrently with PHYS101L. Students are introduced to basic concepts of physics using algebraic and trigonometric techniques. Topics include Newton’s laws of motion, energy and momentum, conservation laws, and thermal properties of matter. Course includes a mandatory lab component. Successful completion of this course requires passing both PHYS101 and PHYS101L with a C‐ or better in a concurrent semester. Satisfies general education science lab requirements if taken concurrently with PHYS101L.

3 units each
  • Formulate a personal set of moral principles, or an ethic, on the environment that is centered on Christian faith and biblical
    principles and further informed by secular viewpoints.
  •  Articulate a thorough understanding of the general natural sciences, including biology, physics, chemistry, and earth
    sciences.
  •  Articulate a thorough understanding of several specialized disciplines within the environmental sciences, including ecology
    and evolution, environmental chemistry, botany, soil science, natural history, and wildlife science.
  • Be proficient at scientific and technical reading and writing and perform analyses of environmental datasets.
  • Be proficient in the use of geographic information systems in environmental analyses.
  • Think critically and express a keen awareness of current environmental crises as well as potential solutions at the local,
    regional, and global levels.
  • Demonstrate a fundamental understanding of environmental laws, regulations, and policies and their historical context.
  • Express an understanding of the role of environmental literature and history in shaping our modern society’s relationship
    to nature.
  • California Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • Institute for Bird Populations
  • Sierra Streams Institute
  • ECORP environmental consulting
  • Placer County Conservation Program
  • Land IQ
  • Placer County Water Agency
Head over to my.jessup.edu for student tools, resources, schedules and forms.

Offerings

Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science

BA in Environmental Science
BS in Environmental Science

Concentrations

Ecological Research
Ecology and Field Biology

Minor

Environmental Science Minor

Program Advisor

Michael C. McGrann

Assistant Professor
Lead Faculty of Environmental Science

Faculty & Staff

Fungai Mukome, PhD

Assistant Professor, Chemisty

John Richert, Ph.D

Assistant Professor

Matthew Klaur

Lab Technician

Michael C. McGrann

Assistant Professor and Lead Faculty, Environmental Science

Stephanie Everhart

Assistant Professor

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