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University Catalog

University of Maine at Fort Kent • 23 University Drive, Fort Kent, ME 04743

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies

Vision Statement

The Environmental Studies faculty of the Natural and Behavioral Sciences Division at the University of Maine at Fort Kent believe that experience-based learning, whether in the field or in the laboratory, is essential for optimal learning and for career preparation. The faculty asserts that scientific literacy, defined as proficiency in critical thinking, logical reasoning, and communication pertaining to the sciences, is an essential ability that we must foster in our graduates so that they can respond to environmental challenges. Our liberal arts degree provides an interdisciplinary grounding in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities, with an emphasis on experiential learning. This broad background preparation, combined with the training in critical analysis that permeates our curriculum, prepares our Environmental Studies graduates to address local, regional, and global environmental issues.


Mission Statement

Students in the Environmental Studies Program at UMFK develop a broad knowledge of the natural and social sciences, with a focus on an aspect of environmental studies that are of personal interest. Students learn to identify environmental issues, collect and interpret data, explore creative solutions, and communicate their findings. Students work with an interdisciplinary team of faculty with expertise in biology, chemistry, forestry, the social sciences, and the humanities. Small class sizes within the Environmental Studies program foster a close working relationship between faculty and students in an informal and nurturing atmosphere.


Program Description/Goals

The Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies degree is an interdisciplinary academic program that combines traditional classroom learning with a hands-on outdoor experience. Consonant with the location of the campus in the center of the Acadian Forest Region, the program is oriented toward environmental issues affecting rural areas, small towns, and wildlands. Students develop an understanding of the general principles of ecological systems, including components, processes, interrelationships, and of the interactions that exist between natural and cultural systems within the global environment. Students complete a rigorous curriculum that emphasizes coursework in terrestrial ecology and human-environment interactions. With close advising by a faculty mentor, each student designs and executes an in-depth laboratory or field research study in the final year of their education. Students present this capstone work in a public lecture at the end of the semester. We believe that this opportunity to practice independent research is invaluable in helping our students to be well prepared for future careers or graduate study.

Career preparation is an important goal of our program. Careers for Environmental Studies graduates focus on the use, conservation, and protection of natural resources such as water, soil, forests, wildlife, and wilderness. Potential employers include resource management organizations, regulatory and enforcement agencies, municipal groups involved in community planning and public relations, nongovernmental environmental advocacy organizations, educational institutions, and private companies.

Another key goal of our program is to prepare students to be environmentally literate individuals who are committed to pursuing a sustainable natural world for the benefit of humanity and the environment. Our faculty infuse interdisciplinary liberal arts courses with exposure to environmental problems in our community. This service learning aspect of our curriculum fosters an understanding of how we impact the natural world, as well as an appreciation of our connection to nature.

All students in the Environmental Studies Program will participate in a Field Experience Program as part of their coursework.  This program consists of experiential learning activities that students participate in through short field trips in the local area, as well as through multi-day expeditions to destinations across the U.S.  The courses included in the Field Experience Program each have a $150 fee, which helps to cover necessary costs including equipment travel, entrance fees, and camping. It is important that students take courses during the designated year and semester to ensure that they have the background preparation needed to benefit fully from the field-based activities.


Student Learning Outcomes

Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies Program at the University of Maine at Fort Kent will:

  1. clearly explain the general principles of ecological systems including components, processes, and interrelationships;
  2. exhibit a holistic understanding of the interactions between natural and cultural systems within the global environment;
  3. develop an ability to apply academic knowledge through independent or collaborative projects;
  4. demonstrate proficiency in writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills needed to assess environmental issues and proposed solutions; and
  5. develop a life-long commitment to environmental stewardship.

Program Requirements

The Environmental Studies curriculum is an interdisciplinary collaboration of departments and faculty that consists of core courses and electives. To meet the needs of students with diverse backgrounds and interests, students have the opportunity to design a portion of their program around individual interests in the natural or social science aspects of environmental studies. Specific graduation requirements are as follows:

  1. Completion of a minimum of 120 acceptable semester hours of credit.
  2. Either (a) a minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.0 on all university-level work.
  3. Completion of at least 45 semester hours of upper-level credit (course numbers 300 and above) in each of which a minimum grade of “C” has been earned.
  4. Completion of the General Education Requirements (see Index under “General Education Requirements”).
  5. Completion of the Environmental Studies required courses and the Specialized Area of Study.

Environmental Studies Program Requirements

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 100 General Biology (General Education) 4 credits
BIO 121 General Biology II 4 credits
BIO 202 Botany 3 credits
BIO 204 Zoology 3 credits
BIO 316 Advanced Plant Science 4 credits
BIO 352 Ecology 4 credits
ENV 200 Principles of Environmental Science 4 credits
ENV 341 Modern Humanity and the Environment 3 credit
ENV 400 Senior Projects I 3 credits
ENV 401 Senior Projects II 3 credit
Total 35 credits

 

Required Support Courses

(These requirements may also meet some of the general education requirements.)

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 219 Finding Your Career Path in the Sciences 1 credits
CHY 100 Chemistry I 4 credits
CHY 101 Chemistry II 4 credits
ENV 310 Soil Sciences 4 credits
FOR 242 Map and Lidar 3 credits
GEO 103 Intro to GPS 1 credit
GIS 300 GIS Applications I 4 credits
GEO 380 GIS Applications II 4 credits
HUM 102 First Year Experience 3 credits
MAT 351 Statistics 3 credits
Total 31 credits

Concentrations

Students can design their own programs, or select appropriate courses from one of the following options:

  • Field Studies: Wildlife Biology
  • Field Studies: Aquatic Ecosystems

Field Studies: Wildlife Biology

The field studies wildlife biology concentration are provided a broad understanding of wildlife biology and management through the study of biology, a greater understanding of soil biodiversity, plants and their impact on wildlife diversity, wildlife habitat interactions, and management of wildlife.   Students will be engaged in hands-on fieldwork to develop skills in wildlife management techniques and animal studies.

Concentration Requirements

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 309 Dendrology 4 credits
BIO 356  Vertebrate Biology 3 credits
BIO 440 Special Topic 4 credits
ENV 302 Wildlife Conservation and Management 4 credits
ENV 334 Wildlife Science 4 credits

Field Studies: Aquatic Ecosystems

The field studies aquatic ecosystems concentration introduces the theory and practice of ecology, the study of interrelationships among living things and their environment through the study of freshwater ecosystems and will be engaged in hands-on fieldwork to investigate the ecology of local forests and plants, wetlands, rivers, and lakes. Students will be engaged in addressing sustainable solutions in an effort to achieve a balance between the environment, technology, organized society, population growth, and social justice. This program will address global, national and local issues, as well as providing an opportunity for hands-on experiences.

 

Concentration Requirements

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 380 Limnology 4 credits
BIO 440 Special Topic 4 credits
ENV 333 Fisheries Science 3 credits
ENV 380 Limnology 4 credits
ENV 404 The Dynamics of Water and Air 4 credits

Techniques for Assessment

Students are assessed in all classes using various means including written assignments, quizzes and exams, field and laboratory practical exams, comprehensive final exams in some classes, and course projects. All students must demonstrate proficiency in written and oral communication skills by satisfactory performance on the written report and public oral presentation for the capstone Senior Project. Graduating students complete an exit survey during their last semester to reflect on their BSES program education and provide feedback about their experience. Graduates are required to complete an alumni survey to provide feedback about the quality and effectiveness of their education.


Suggested Course Sequencing: Field Studies: Wildlife Biology

Fall Semester Freshman Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 100 General Biology I 4 credits
ENV 200 Principles of Environmental Science 4 credits
ENG 100 English Composition I 3 credits
HUM 102 First Year Experience 3 credits
Total 14 credits

Spring Semester Freshmen Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 121 General Biology II 4 credits
BIO 204 Zoology 3 credits
ENG 101 English Composition II 3 credits
GEO 103 Intro to GPS 1 credit
  General Education-Quantitative Reasoning 3 credits
Total 14 credits

 

Fall Semester Sophomore Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 202 Botany 3 credits
CHY 100 Chemistry I 4 credits
ENV 302 Wildlife Conservation and Management 4 credits
FOR 109 Dendrology (Field Taxonomy of Woody Plants) 4 credits
Total 15 credits

Spring Semester Sophomore Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 219 Finding Your Career Path in the Sciences 1 credit
CHY 101 Chemistry II 4 credits
FOR 242 Map and LiDAR Interpretation 3 credits
GIS 300 GIS Applications I 4 credits
  General Education – Visual & Performing Arts 3 credits
Total 15 credits

Fall Semester Junior Year

CRN Course Name Credits
ENV 310 Soil Science 4 credits
ENV 334 Wildlife Science 4 credits
GEO 380 GIS Applications II 4 credits
MAT 351 Statistics I 3 credits
Total 15 credits

Spring Semester Junior Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 352 Ecology 4 credits
ENV 400 Senior Projects I 3 credits
  General Education – History 3 credits
  General Education-Behavioral Sciences 3 credits
  General Education-Oral Communication 3 credits
Total 16 credits

 

Fall Semester Senior Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 316 Advanced Plant Science 4 credits
ENV 401 Senior Projects II 3 credits
  General Education – Literature 3 credits
  General Education – Foreign Languages 3 credits
  Elective 3 credits
Total 16 credits

Spring Semester Senior Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 440 Special Topics 4 credits
ENV 341 Modern Humanity and the Environment 3 credits
  Electives 6 credits
Total 13 credits

Suggested Course Sequencing: Field Studies: Aquatic Ecosystems

Fall Semester Freshman Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 100 General Biology I 4 credits
ENV 200 Principles of Environmental Science 4 credits
ENG 100 English Composition I 3 credits
HUM 102 First Year Experience 3 credits
Total 14 credits

Spring Semester Freshmen Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 121 General Biology II 4 credits
BIO 204 Zoology 3 credits
ENG 101 English Composition II 3 credits
GEO 103 Intro to GPS 1 credit
  General Education-Quantitative Reasoning 3 credits
Total 14 credits

 

Fall Semester Sophomore Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 202 Botany 3 credits
CHY 100 Chemistry I 4 credits
MAT 351 Statistics I 3 credits
  General Education – History 3 credits
  General Education – Visual & Performing Arts 3 credits
Total 16 credits

Spring Semester Sophomore Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 219 Finding Your Career Path in the Sciences 1 credit
CHY 101 Chemistry II 4 credits
FOR 242 Map and LiDAR Interpretation 3 credits
GIS 300 GIS Applications I 4 credits
  General Education-Behavioral Sciences 3 credits
Total 15 credits

Fall Semester Junior Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 380 Limnology 4 credits
ENV 310 Soil Science 4 credits
GEO 380 GIS Applications II 4 credits
  General Education – Foreign Languages 3 credits
  General Education-Oral Communication 3 credits
Total 18 credits

Spring Semester Junior Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 352 Ecology 4 credits
ENV 338 Aquatic Pollution Seminar 4 credits
ENV 400 Senior Projects I 3 credits
  General Education – Literature 3 credits
  General Education – Foreign Languages 3 credits
Total 17 credits

 

Fall Semester Senior Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 316 Advanced Plant Science 4 credits
ENV 333 Fisheries Science 3 credits
ENV 401 Senior Projects II 3 credits
ENV 404 The Dynamics of Water and Air 4 credits
Total 14 credits

Spring Semester Senior Year

CRN Course Name Credits
BIO 316 Advanced Plant Science 4 credits
ENV 333 Fisheries Science 3 credits
ENV 401 Senior Projects II 3 credits
ENV 404 The Dynamics of Water and Air 4 credits
Total 14 credits

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