Environmental and Earth Sciences

Minor in Environmental and Earth Sciences

To complete an Environmental and Earth Sciences Minor, students must complete a minimum of nineteen (19) credit hours in geology, geography, biology, chemistry, and physics with a minimum grade of C in each course. The first eight to ten (8 to 10) credit hours are prescribed (GEOL-G100 and a choice of either GEOG-G107 or GEOL-G133) and form the foundation of the higher level courses in Geology and Geography. In addition, students must complete at least three (3) credit hours of upper level course work outside of geology and geography. Finally, students must complete a minimum of two additional geology or geography electives chosen from the list of elective courses below. Note: Students must take all the necessary pre-requisites before enrolling in courses for the minor.


GEOL- G100 General Geology (5 cr.) Broad study of the earth. The earth in the solar system, earth's atmosphere. Formation and modification of earth materials, landforms, continents and oceans through geologic time.

In addition, students must take one of the following courses:

GEOG- G107 Physical Systems of the Environment (3 cr.) Physical environment as the home of humans, emphasizing the distribution and interaction of environmental variables (landforms, vegetation, soils, and climate).

GEOL- G133 Geology of the United States (5 cr.) Introduction to physical and historical geology with applications to United States geology. Study of the geologic events (and their associated rocks and structures) that have shaped the continent, including mountain building, earthquakes, volcanoes, continental drifting, intercontinental seaways, sedimentary environments, glacial geology and modern processes.

Students must select a minimum of one course from the following list:

BIOL-L473 Ecology (3 cr.) P: 8 hours of biology. R: BIOL-L 105. Major concepts of ecology for science majors; relation of individual organisms to their environment, population ecology, and structure and function of ecosystems.

CHEM-C351 Green Chemistry and Sustainability Sciences (4 cr.) P: CHEM-C 343, CHEM-C 344 and junior standing. Green Chemistry, also known as sustainable or environmentally benign chemistry, seeks to minimize waste and energy use, while maximizing the efficiency of resource use and using renewable resources whenever possible. The aim of the course is to produce students with a blend of chemistry skills for a thorough appreciation of the principles and practice of green chemical processing and environmental sustainability. Topics will cover supercritical fluids, ionic liquids, biotransformations, polymers, etc. Focus will be on green organic chemistry, in which labs, such as solventless reactions and liquid carbon dioxide extraction, will be introduced. Lecture and laboratory.

CHEM-C 300 Energy and Green Chemistry - A Natural Science Perspective (3 cr.) P: CHEM-C 106/106. An introduction to topics in existing and potential renewable sources of energy including hydroelectric, geothermal, tidal, wind, and solar energy, and an introduction to greener approaches in academic and industrial procedures.  The use of energy at personal or public scale including quantitative comparison between hybrid forms of energy will be covered. Underlying scientific principles and environmental impacts will be discussed.

CHEM-C 390 Environmental Sciecne (3 cr.). Exploration of the complex interrelationships among the physical, chemical, biological, cultural, economic, and political forces that shape the global environment. Note: CHEM-C 390 will not count toward a Bloomington or Kokomo chemistry degree.  

PHYS-P 310. Environmental Physics P: PHYS-P 201 or consent of instructor. Relationship of physics to current environmental problems. Energy production, comparison of sources and by-products; nature of and possible solutions to problems of noise; particulate matter in atmosphere.

Finally, students must select two or more courses from the following list to complete the 20-credit hour minimum requirement.

GEOL- T326 Geology of Mineral Resources (3 cr.) P: a course in geology or consent of the instructor. Formation of minerals and mineral deposits. Gem materials and metallic and non-metallic economic minerals: occurrence and uses.

GEOL- G300 Environmental Geology and Urban Geology (3 cr.) R: GEOL- G100, GEOL-G133, or GEOG-G107 Significance of regional and local geologic features and processes in land use.  Use of geologic factors to reduce conflict in utilization of mineral and water resources and damage from geologic hazards. 

GEOL- T312 Geology of Indiana (3 cr.) P: GEOL-G 100. Study of the physiography and bedrock structure of Indiana, first with topographic and geologic maps, and then with field trips to selected areas. Rock and fossil specimens will be collected for study.

GEOG- G315 Environmental Conservation (3 cr.) R: 3 credit hours of geography or junior standing. Conservation of natural resources including soil, water, wildlife, and forests as interrelated components of the environment, emphasizing an ecological approach. Current problems relating to environmental quality.

GEOL- G400 Energy: Sources and Needs (3 cr.) Renewable and non-renewable energy resources, their origins, society's needs and usage, environmental impacts of use and production, and future directions in energy technologies.  Also may include study of non-energy resources including metallic and nonmetallic resources.

GEOL- G421 United States Geology: Field Experience (1 to 5 cr.) A six week lecture/field trip course incorporating a 2 B 3 week field experience in the western United States. Students will explore the geologic events (and their associated rocks and structures) that have shaped the continent, including mountain building, earthquakes, volcanoes, continental drifting, intercontinental seaways, sedimentary environments and glacial geology. Possible destinations include (but are not limited to) the Black Hills, Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens and the Glacier National Park.*

For the most current requirements for this minor, please visit our Academic Bulletin.