The Bachelor of Science Degree Program in Global Environmental Science, University of Hawaii at Manoa
 
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Course Work and Requirements (as of February 2012)

Also available for download: The GES Survival Manual (971 KB)

    A. A Sample Program for a Proposed Major in Global Environmental Science
    B. Course Requirements
      B1. University General Education Core Requirements
      B2. University Graduation Requirements
      B3. GES Core Basic Sciences Requirements
      B4. GES Core Derivative Sciences Requirements
      B5. GES Foundation Course Requirements
      B6. GES Coupled Systems Courses: minimum of 4 courses required
      B7. Senior Research Courses
    C. Senior Research Paper
    D. Computing Requirement and Data Collection
    E. Course Work and Sequencing

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


A. 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

A. Written Communication (FW)                            One course = 3 credits

B. Symbolic Reasoning (FS)                                   One course = 3 credits

C. Global and Multicultural Perspectives (FG)     Two courses = 6 credits

2. Diversification Requirements

A. Arts (DA), Humanities (DH), and Literatures (DL)                        Two courses = 6 credits

B. Natural Sciences: Biological (DB), Physical (DP) and lab (DY)    Two courses plus one lab = 7 credits

C. Social Sciences (DS)                                                                     Two courses = 6 credits

B2. GES Core Basic Sciences Requirement

1. Focus Courses

A. Hawaiian, Asian, and Pacific Issues (H)        One course

B. Contemporary Ethical Issues (E)                   One course

C. Oral Communication (O)                              One course

D. Writing Intensive (W)                                    Five courses

2. Hawaii or Second Language                                    Two courses

B3. GES Core Basic Sciences Requirements

For course descriptions, please visit: http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/oceanography/courses.html

Biology 171, 172, 171L, 172L = 8 hrs
Chemistry 161, 162, 161L, 162L = 8 hrs
Mathematics 241, 242, and 243, 244 (or GG/OCN 312 and Economics 321) = 14 hrs
Physics 170, 272, 170L, 272L = 9 hrs

B4. GES Core Derivative Sciences Requirements

Geology and Geophysics 101, 101L = 4 hrs
Alternative: Geology and Geophysics 170 = 4 hrs
Meteorology 200 = 3 hrs
Oceanography 201 = 3 hrs
Oceanography 201L = 1 hr

B5. GES Foundation Course Requirements

Geography 411 Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change = 3 hrs
Alternative: Geography 410 Human Role in Environmental Change = 3 hrs
Oceanography 100 Global Environmental Science Seminar = 1 hr
Oceanography 310, 310L(WI) Global Environmental Change = 5 hrs
Oceanography 320 (WI) Aquatic Pollution = 3 hrs
Oceanography 363(WI) Interpretation of Earth-system computer Databases = 3 hrs
Oceanography 401(WI) Biogeochemical Systems= 3 hrs

B6. GES Coupled Systems Courses: minimum of 3 courses required (below are examples; other courses are available)

Astronomy 240 Foundations of Astronomy = 3 hrs                                                                
Biochemistry 241 Fundamentals of Biochemistry = 3 hrs
Biology 265 Ecology and Evolutionary Biology = 3 hrs
Biology 301 Marine Ecology and Evolution = 3 hrs  
Biology 360 Island Ecosystems = 3 hrs
Biology 404 Advanced Topics in Marine Biology = 3 hrs
Botany 350 Resource Management and Conservation in Hawaii = 3hrs
Botany 480 Algal Diversity and Evolution = 3 hrs
Economics 358 Environmental Economics = 3 hrs
Economics 458 Project Evaluation and Resource Management = 3 hrs
Economics 638 Environmental Resource Economics = 3 hrs
Geography 300 Climatology = 3 hrs
Geography 401 Climate Change = 3 hrs
Geography 402 Agricultural Climatology = 3 hrs
Geography 405 Water in the Environment = 3 hrs
Geography 488 Geographic Information Systems = 3 hrs
Geology & Geophysics 301 Mineralogy = 4 hrs
Geology & Geophysics 309(WI)(CI) Sedimentology and Stratigraphy = 4 hrs
Geology & Geophysics 420 Sea Levels, Ice Ages, and Global Change = 3 hrs
Geology & Geophysics 421 Geologic Record of Climate Change = 3 hrs
Geology & Geophysics 425 Environmental Geochemistry = 3 hrs
Geology & Geophysics 444 (Oceanography 444) Plate Tectonics = 3 hrs
Geology & Geophysics 455 Hydrogeology = 4 hrs
Geology & Geophysics 466 Planetary Geology = 3 hrs
Meteorology 302 Atmospheric Physics = 3 hrs
Meteorology 303 Introduction to Atmospheric Dynamics = 3 hrs
Microbiology 401 Marine Microbiology = 3 hrs
Natural Resources & Environmental Management 301 & L Natural Resource Management = 4 hrs
Natural Resources & Environmental Management 302 Natural Resources & Environmental Policy = 3 hrs
Natural Resources & Environmental Management 304 Fundamentals of Soil Science = 3 hrs
Natural Resources & Environmental Management 461 Soil Erosion and Conservation = 3 hrs
Oceanography 315 (Philosophy 315) Modeling Natural Systems = 3 hrs
Oceanography 330 (Ocean Resources & Engineering 330) Mineral and Energy Resources of the Sea = 3 hrs
Oceanography 331 Living Resources of the Sea = 3 hrs
Oceanography 403 Marine Genomics & Biotechnology = 3 hrs
Oceanography 435 Climate Change and Urbanization = 3 hrs
Oceanography 480 Dynamics of Marine Ecosystems: Biological-Physical Interactions in the Oceans = 3 hrs
Oceanography 620(CI) Physical Oceanography = 3 hrs
Oceanography 621(CI) Biological Oceanography = 3 hrs
Oceanography 622(CI) Geological Oceanography = 3 hrs
Oceanography 623(CI) Chemical Oceanography = 3 hrs
Oceanography 633(CI) Chemical Oceanography Laboratory Methods = 2 hrs
Oceanography 638 (Geology & Geophysics 638) (CI) Earth System Science and Global Change = 3 hrs
Philosophy 316 Science, Technology, and Society = 3 hrs
Planning-Urban & Regional 310 Introduction to Planning = 3 hrs
Political Science 316 International Relations I = 3 hrs
Sociology 412 Analysis in Population and Society = 3 hrs
Zoology 410 Corals and Coral Reefs = 3 hrs
Zoology 466 Fisheries Science = 3 hrs
The student may also wish to take additional courses in fundamental physics, chemistry, biology, or mathematics.

B7. Senior Research Courses

Oceanography 490 Communication of Research Results = 2 hrs
Oceanography 499 Undergraduate Thesis = 3 to 6 hrs

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C. Senior Research Paper

In addition to the above course work, two courses are required for the senior 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.

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 Senior 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.

SOEST currently has a satellite remote sensing laboratory to download oceanographic, terrestrial, and atmospheric data from NASA, NOAA, and other agencies. This laboratory operates three satellite receiving systems, two for tracking polar orbiting satellites and a third for geostationary satellites. We also have an internal communications network for email and the Internet and a newly installed student computer classroom/laboratory equipped with a Sun server system and several computer terminals. Every faculty member has a computer terminal with access to the Internet and a wide variety of computer software, including those designed for very sophisticated calculations. Our students either have their own terminal or access to rooms designed to serve student computer needs. We also have access to the Maui High Performance Computing Center.

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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 senior 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 senior thesis (OCN 499) will generally be conducted during the senior 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.

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 advisors to discuss options to meet their individual needs. Students who have not fully completed the lower division mathematics and science foundation classes in their first two years and students who work at a job with a significant number of hours per week may find this schedule very difficult to meet; a four year plan may not be realistic for those students in one of these positions. Taking some classes during the summer would ease the load during the fall and spring semesters. 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 16 credits per semester (16 credits per semester x 8 semesters = 128 credits). Also note that 60 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

 

 

HSL 102

HSL

 3

 

ENG 100

FW

 3

 

 

CHEM 162, 162l

GES

 4

 

HSL 101

HSL

 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

 

 

 

 

15

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3 Fall

MATH 243 or

GES

 3

 

4 Spring

MATH 244 or

GES

 3

 

OCN 312

 

 

 

 

ECON 321

 

 

 

PHYS 170, 170L

GES

 5

 

 

PHYS 272, 272L

GES

 4

 

GG 101/101L

GES

 4

 

 

OCN 320

W, GES

 3

 

 

FG (A/B/C)

 3

 

 

AHL 1

DA, DH, DL

 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FG (A/B/C)

 3

 

 

 

15

 

 

 

 

16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5 Fall

OCN/MET 310

E

 3

 

6 Spring

Elective

 

 3

 

MET 200

GES

 3

 

 

GEOG 411 or 410

GES

 3

 

BIOL 171, 171L

DB, W, GES

 4

 

 

BIOL 172, 172L

W, GES

 4

 

DS 1

DS

 3

 

 

OCN 363

GES

 3

 

OCN 310L

GES

 2

 

 

CS 1

DA, DH, DL

 3

 

 

 

15

 

 

 

 

16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Fall

OCN 401

W, GES

 3

 

8 Spring

DS

 3

 

OCN 499

GES

 3

 

 

OCN 499

W, GES

 3

 

DA, DH, DL

GES

 3

 

 

OCN 490

O, GES

 2

 

CS 2

GES

 3

 

 

CS 3

GES

 3

 

Elective 300+

 

 3

 

 

CS 4

GES

 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

15

 

 

 

 

14

                 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

121

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Last modified: January 2013