Environmental Sciences Major: Soil and Watersheds Option (B.S.)

Environmental Sciences Major: Soil and Watersheds Option (B.S.)

Natural Resources: Soil and Water Resource Management

What is the study of soil and watersheds in environmental sciences?

Environmental sciences is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the interaction of biological, chemical, and physical processes that shape our natural environment. In the soil and watersheds concentration, students focus on issues surrounding soil health and watershed quality management. Students also develop a basic understanding of environmental policy, field methods appropriate for entry-level environmental science positions and geographic information systems (GIS) and learn how to communicate effectively with both scientific and lay audiences and contribute to multidisciplinary teams. 

Why study soil and watersheds in environmental sciences at UNH?

UNH is a recognized leader in environmental sciences research, and environmental sciences majors benefit from the significant depth and breadth of faculty expertise in the areas of biogeochemical cycling, environmental chemistry, ecosystem science, global change, hydrology, plant ecology, soil science and water resource management. Students graduate with a comprehensive skillset that prepares them for work at government agencies, environmental consulting firms, and environmental and university research labs. Students are encouraged to participate in faculty research projects and UNH’s EcoQuest study abroad program in New Zealand, and many graduates continue to master’s and doctoral programs. 

Potential careers 

  • Advocacy and regulatory affairs 
  • Environmental consulting 
  • Education and outreach 
  • Environmental monitoring 
  • Environmental organizations 
  • Research

Contact

Wilfred Wollheim

Co-director, Water Systems Analysis Group
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Phone: (603) 862-5022
Office: Natural Resources & the Environment, James Hall Rm 276, Durham, NH 03824

Wendy Rose

BUSINESS MANAGER II
Phone: (603) 862-3933
Office: Natural Resources & the Environment, James Hall Rm 114, Durham, NH 03824
Natural Resources and the Environment
114 James Hall
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-1022

Curriculum & Requirements

The College of Life Sciences and Agriculture (COLSA) and the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (CEPS) jointly offer a bachelor of science degree in environmental sciences. Environmental science is an interdisciplinary field concerned with the interaction of biological, chemical, and physical processes that shape the environment, and control the response of natural systems to human activities.    Students graduating with a degree in environmental sciences will have an understanding of these interacting processes, experience working in interdisciplinary teams to apply this understanding, and the ability to communicate effectively with both scientific and lay audiences.  While in this program, students will acquire significant experience with field, laboratory and analytical methods appropriate for employment in professional environmental science positions as well as a basic understanding of environmental policy.  The University of New Hampshire is a recognized leader in environmental sciences research, and the environmental sciences program capitalizes on faculty expertise in this area. Program faculty emphasize teaching and research in the areas of biogeochemical cycling, environmental chemistry, ecosystem science, global change, hydrology, plant ecology, soil science, and water resource management among many other fields.

Employment opportunities include environmental consulting firms; educational facilities (e.g., science centers), environmental monitoring laboratories (e.g., water treatment plants, the Environmental Protection Agency), government agencies (e.g., the U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Land Management, Natural Resource Conservation Service), university and government research laboratories, and nongovernment environmental organizations. The environmental sciences program also constitutes an excellent preparation for graduate programs in several areas relating to the environment.

The Program has four options, and specific course requirements for the major vary by option. The ecosystems and soils and watersheds options are both managed by the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment in COLSA, and the geosystems and hydrology options are both managed by Earth Sciences in CEPS. 

Introductory Environmental Sciences9
NR 400
Professional Perspectives in Natural Resources
NR 403
Introduction to Environmental Science
NR 435
Contemporary Conservation Issues and Environmental Awareness
or NR 437
Principles of Sustainability
Foundation Courses24
Biology
BIOL 412
Introductory Biology: Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology
Chemistry: Choose one
CHEM 403
General Chemistry I
or CHEM 405
Chemical Principles for Engineers
or CHEM 411
Introductory Chemistry for Life Sciences
Physics: Choose one
PHYS 401
Introduction to Physics I
or PHYS 407
General Physics I
Calculus: Choose one
MATH 424B
Calculus for Life Sciences
or MATH 425
Calculus I
Statistics: Choose one
BIOL 528
Applied Biostatistics I
or MATH 644
Statistics for Engineers and Scientists
or EREC 525
Statistical Methods and Applications
Geology: Choose one
ESCI 401
Dynamic Earth
or ESCI 402
Earth History
or ESCI 409
Geology and the Environment
Core Courses15
ESCI 534
Techniques in Environmental Sciences
NR 658
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
ESCI 654
Fate and Transport in the Environment
NR 602
Natural Resources and Environmental Policy 1
or GEOG 673
Political Ecology
Additional Requirements40
Biology or Physics: Choose one
NR 439
Environmental Biology
or BIOL 411
Introductory Biology: Molecular and Cellular
or PHYS 402
Introduction to Physics II
or PHYS 408
General Physics II
Ecology: Choose one
NR 527
Forest Ecology
or BIOL 541
Ecology
Soils
NR 501
Studio Soils
Watersheds
NR 703
Watershed Water Quality Management
Ecosystems: Choose one
NR 751
Aquatic Ecosystems
or NR 730
Terrestrial Ecosystems
or NR 711
Wetland Ecology and Management
Soils II: Choose one
NR 761
Environmental Soil Chemistry
or NR 744
Biogeochemistry
or NR 706
Soil Ecology
4 Approved Electives
Elective (CHEM 404 can be used if CHEM 403 was taken)
Elective
Elective
Elective
Capstone1
NR 791
Preparation for Capstone (and approved Capstone Experience) 2

Explore Program Details

Rigorous academic pursuit and hands-on learning from the mountains to the sea. Full immersion learning at a diversity of sites in the North and South Islands.
Ecoquest

Xi Sigma Pi is facilitated through the UNH NREN department. Its goal is to unite likeminded individuals through service and fraternal spirit through a shared enjoyment of the environment. In addition, members receive recognition for their service by earning a cord to wear during graduation. Opportunities to take up leadership roles and give back to the NREN department are abundant.

XI SIGMA PI NREN Honor Society

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