rotating photos Course Work and Requirements

GES Curriculum

A. Sample Program for a Proposed Major in Global Environmental Science

We provide here a sample program for a major in Global Environmental Science (GES). This is the most efficient way to gain an appreciation for the depth and extent of the curriculum in GES. Beyond the core requirements, the specific curriculum for a student will be tailored to his or her needs. An advisor from the GES faculty will be assigned to each student who declares a major in the program. The advisor will closely track the student's progress through the program, and will be available for student consultations.

Aside from core university requirements, the GES program has core requirements of two basic types: basic sciences and derivative sciences. The former provides the foundation to understand and appreciate the latter in the context of basic skills in mathematics, biology, chemistry, and physics. A minimum grade of C must be obtained in all GES required courses.

Both GES core requirements provide the necessary cognitive skills to deal with the higher academic level courses within the GES curriculum. These include required foundation courses in GES and coupled systems courses. It is within this latter category of course work that the formal course program will be tailored to the individual student's needs.

For example, we anticipate that most students will follow closely a natural science track of study. However, because of the human dimensions issues involved in the subject matter of environmental change, some students may wish to expand their academic program into the social sciences that bear on the issues of global change.

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B. Course Requirements

B1. University General Education Core Requirements

1. Foundation Requirements

2. Diversification Requirements

B2. GES Core Basic Sciences Requirement

1. Focus Courses

B3. GES Core Basic Sciences Requirements

Course Descriptions

Future Course Offerings

B4. GES Core Derivative Sciences Requirements

B5. GES Foundation Course Requirements

B6. GES Coupled Systems Courses: minimum of 4 courses required
       (below are examples; other courses are available; always check well in advance (at least a semester prior) with the course's home department to see if course will be offered in semester you plan to take it)

(labs can not count as Coupled Systems Courses)

The student may also wish to take additional courses in fundamental physics, chemistry, biology, or mathematics.

B7. Research Courses

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C. Research Thesis and Oral Presentation

In addition to the above course work, two courses are required for the research paper (Oceanography 490 Communication of Research Results, 2 credits, and Oceanography 499 Undergraduate Thesis, 3 credits) will be required of all students in order to graduate from the GES program. In general this paper will be the result of research done under the auspices of one or more of the GES faculty members in SOEST, although other faculty within the University are available to mentor a student. In either case, the faculty research mentor would coordinate with the advisor assigned to the student upon entrance into the program.

As part of their thesis experience, the student will also publically present the result of their thesis. This presentation allows the student to share their results with the public and to develop oral communication skills important in today’s job place.

The Department of Oceanography and SOEST have many ongoing research programs, including those of a theoretical, field (observational), and experimental nature. The student would be expected to act as an apprentice in one of these programs or another of his or her choosing in consultation with their advisor.

It is anticipated that a number of GES students will do research at the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology at Coconut Island (including using facilities of the Edwin W. Pauley Marine Laboratory and the Pauley-Pagan Science Library) to satisfy their Thesis requirement. This includes research in the He‘eia Ahupua‘a land-coastal margin ecosystem.

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D.Computing Requirement and Data Collection

All students within the GES program will become facile with computers and software packages designed for scientific work. There are various avenues for satisfying this requirement, including formal course work, tutorial, and individual student effort. Oceanography 363 is a course required of all GES students that will deal with the utilization of large databases in global and environmental sciences, including those available from NOAA, NASA, etc. The course will use the databases in the context of problem solving. Good computing skills will be necessary to work with these databases in this context.

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E. Course Work and Sequencing

The coursework and sequencing should be clear from the presentation above for the university general education core and graduation requirements (B1 and B2), the GES core basic sciences requirement (B3), and the GES core derivative sciences requirement (B4). Students should take the core requirements in sciences before progressing to the foundation courses (B5). The foundation courses then act as the cornerstone for the coupled systems courses (B6). As noted above, 5 courses from the university and GES core (B1, B2, B3, and B4), the foundation (B5), coupled systems (B6), and the research (B7) course lists must be taken as writing intensive courses.

After completing the various core and foundation requirements in B1-5 above, the coupled systems (B6) course work is elective and can be tailored to the individual student. At this stage, the student has the opportunity to take relevant courses in Economics (e.g. 358, Environmental Economics), Sociology (e.g. 412, Analysis in Population and Society), and other sciences (e.g. Biology 265, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology). Research for the thesis (OCN 499) will generally be conducted during the year, and the Communication of Research Results (OCN 490) will be taken during the student's final semester.

The GES core requirement courses and the foundation courses are taught a minimum of once per year. Many of the coupled systems courses are also taught every year. Precalculus is required for admission to the GES program and appropriate high school preparation in mathematics and science, including biology, chemistry, and physics, is highly recommended.

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Sample four-year plan for a well-prepared Freshman* for
a Bachelor of Science Degree in GES

The following sample schedule would allow an incoming freshman to complete the GES BS degree in four years. The schedule shown below serves only as an example of how a freshman may complete a BS in four years. Students should consult with their GES advisor to discuss options to meet their individual needs. Students who can obtain credit for the first year of language based on their high school classes should do so. Note that to graduate in eight semesters one must average 15 credits per semester (15 credits per semester x 8 semesters = 120 credits). Also note that 45 credits (i.e., 4 full semesters) of classes with college-level pre-requisites (upper division) are needed.

* Assumes student places in Math 241 (Calculus I).
 

Semester

Class

Requirement

Credits

 

Semester

Class

Requirement

Credits

1 FALL

MATH 241

FS, GES

 4

 

2  SPRING

MATH 242

GES

4

 

CHEM 161, 161L

DP, DY, GES

4

   

OCN 201, 201L

GES

4

 

OCN 100

GES

1

   

HAP/DH

 

3

 

ENG 100

FW

3

   

CHEM 162, 162L

GES

4

 

OEST 100

SOEST

1

         
 

OCN 101

GES

3

         
     

16

       

15

                 

3 FALL

OCN 312 (DS)

GES

3

 

4 SPRING

ECON 321

 

3

 

PHYS 170, 170L

GES

5

   

PHYS 272, 272L

GES

4

 

DA/DL

 

3

   

GG 101, 101L

GES

4

   

FG (A/B/C)

3

   

 

FG (A/B/C)

3

 

OCN 320

W, GES

3

     

 

 

     

17

       

14

                 

5 FALL

OCN 310

E

3

 

6 SPRING

DS

DS

3

 

ATMO 200

GES

3

   

Elective

 

1

 

BIOL 171, 171L

DB, W, GES

4

   

BIOL 172, 172L

W, GES

4

 

Elective 300+

 

3

   

OCN 363

GES

3

 

OCN 310L

GES

2

    CS 1

DA, DH, DL

3

     

15

       

14

                 

7 FALL

OCN 401

W, GES

3

 

8 SPRING

Elective 300+

 

3

 

OCN 499

GES

3

   

OCN 499

W, GES

3

 

CS 2

GES

3

   

OCN 490

O, GES

2

 

CS 3

GES

3

   

Elective 300+

 

3

 

Elective 300+

 

3

   

CS 4

GES

3

     

15

       

14

                 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

120

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Learning Outcomes

Students completing the Global Environmental Science degree program will be able to:

  1. Define and explain the basic principles and concepts of chemistry, physics, biology, calculus, geology, geophysics, meteorology, and oceanography.
  2. Apply their understanding of the fundamentals of science and mathematics to the description and quantification of the interactions of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere, including humans.
  3. Employ the scientific approach to problem solving, and hypothesis formation and testing.
  4. Conduct scientific research, and analyze and evaluate results.
  5. Demonstrate information literacy by collection and evaluation of scientific literature.
  6. Express themselves clearly and concisely in written form.
  7. Demonstrate skilled delivery of well organized informal and formal oral presentations.

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