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

Natural Resources: Soil and Water Resource Management
Environmental Sciences Major: Soil and Watersheds Option B.S.

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, Institute for the Study of Earth Oceans and Space
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Phone: (603) 862-5022
Office: Complex Systems Research Center, 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

  • Kathryn Bennett '19, who is a dual major in environmental sciences: ecosystems and sustainability, is spending her summer abroad in Sweden thanks to the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) she was awarded!
    Kathryn Bennett '19, who is a dual major in environmental sciences: ecosystems and sustainability, is spending her summer abroad in Sweden thanks to the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) she was awarded!

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
Professional Perspectives in Natural Resources
Introduction to Environmental Science
Contemporary Conservation Issues and Environmental Awareness
or NR 437
Principles of Sustainability
Foundation Courses24
Biology
Introductory Biology: Evolution, Biodiversity and Ecology
Chemistry: Choose one
General Chemistry I
Chemical Principles for Engineers
Introductory Chemistry for Life Sciences
Physics: Choose one
Introduction to Physics I
General Physics I
Calculus: Choose one
Calculus for Life Sciences
Calculus I
Statistics: Choose one
Applied Biostatistics I
Statistics for Engineers and Scientists
Statistical Methods and Applications
Geology: Choose one
Dynamic Earth
Earth History
Geology and the Environment
Core Courses15
Techniques in Environmental Sciences
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Fate and Transport in the Environment
Natural Resources and Environmental Policy 1
Political Ecology
Additional Requirements40
Biology or Physics: Choose one
Environmental Biology
Introductory Biology: Molecular and Cellular
Introduction to Physics II
General Physics II
Ecology: Choose one
Forest Ecology
General Ecology
Soils
Studio Soils
Watersheds
Watershed Water Quality Management
Ecosystems: Choose one
Aquatic Ecosystems
or NR 730
Terrestrial Ecosystems
or NR 711
Wetland Ecology and Management
Soils II: Choose one
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
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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