Environmental Assessment - Online and Distance Education

Environmental Assessment

 

Courses

The Environmental Assessment Program offers a number of courses online. These may be taken as part of a certificate or degree program, or by non-degree-seeking students on a course-by-course basis. For those interested in taking individual courses without enrolling in a degree or certificate program, you must first enroll as a Non-Degree Studies (NDS) Student.

Master of Environmental Assessment Core Courses

All students earning the Master of Environmental Assessment must complete the following courses (22 credit hours) to earn their degree. The courses are selected to offer a cohesive continuing education opportunity for people in agricultural, chemical, environmental, energy, natural resource, pharmaceutical, biomedical, and biotechnology fields. Companies and government research facilities in these fields, as well as regulatory agencies, all have a need for employees who understand the basic principles of environmental assessment, how to perform and review human and ecological risk assessments, and how these assessments relate to environmental regulation and management.

To learn more about each course, click the course number.

EA 501 - Environmental Stressors

Units: 3

Introduces students to how organisms are affected by and respond to changes or stressors - both natural and human-induced - in the environment. With a focus on the concepts most significant to the field of environmental assessment, the course emphasizes the fundamental processes and effects of pollutants and naturally-occurring substances in the environment, including emerging issues and historically significant cases.

Offered in Fall Only

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2020 Fall Term

EA 502 - Environmental Risk Assessment

Units: 3

This course provides students with an appreciation and understanding of the principles of environmental risk assessment including: Hazard Identification, Toxicity Assessment, Exposure Assessment, and Risk Characterization. Emphasis is placed on contemporary problems in human health and the environment, and it will be based on the most current methodologies described in the "Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund." Enrollment in the course requires graduate standing or consent of the instructor. Two semester sequence of college biology & college chemistry.

Offered in Spring Only

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2020 Spring Term

EA 503 - Environmental Exposure Assessment

Units: 3

Provides students with an appreciation and understanding of the principles of environmental exposure assessment including the sources, transport and fate of chemicals in the environment. Emphasis is on contemporary problems in human health and the environment, covering topics such as: transformation and degradation processes, classes of contaminants a well as predicting environmental fate and exposure. Enrollment in the course requires graduate standing or consent of the instructor. Two semester sequence of college biology & college chemistry.

Offered in Fall Only

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2020 Fall Term

EA 504 - Environmental Monitoring and Analysis

Units: 3

Monitoring and analysis of chemical and biological impacts to the environment. Theory of chemical, physical, biological, and ecological monitoring. Planning and conducting environmental sampling and monitoring programs. Management, analysis, and quality assurance and control. Enrollment in the course requires graduate standing or consent of the instructor.

Offered in Summer

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2020 Summer Term 1

EA 506 - Water Quality Assessment

Units: 3

Introduces students to topics fundamental to the understanding of aquatic systems and the processes that influence water quality. Covered topics include the hydrologic cycle, water chemistry, aquatic ecology, aquatic toxicology, water quality laws and standards, water quality assessment and techniques, and water pollution control and treatment. Emphasis is on contemporary water quality issues such as nutrient enrichment, introduced species, contaminants, and climate change.

Offered in Spring Only

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2020 Spring Term

GIS 510 - Fundamentals of Geospatial Information Science and Technology

Units: 3

This course provides an advanced overview of how geographic information systems [GIS] facilitate data analysis and communication to address common geographic problems. Students improve spatial reasoning and problem definition expertise while emphasizing geographic data models and structures, data manipulation and storage, customization through programming, and the integration of geospatial analysis and modeling into project-based problem solving applicable to a variety of disciplines. Skilled application of both desktop and cloud-based GIS software supports these areas. Extensive independent learning and computer experiences include virtual laboratory sessions, alongside optional online or in-person weekly help sessions to facilitate student learning.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

EA 665 - Professional Project

Units: 1 - 6

Environmental assessment project conducted under the mentorship of a member of the graduate faculty.

Offered in Fall Spring Summer

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Summer Term 1 2020 Fall Term

EA 590 Special Topics In Environmental Assessment

Note: Each semester there are several variations of  courses offered as EA590 that are considered Environmental Assessment General Electives, including: Data Quality Analysis Assessment, Air Quality Assessment and NEPA Assessment

Plus one of the following two courses:

EA 505 - Environmental Assessment Law & Policy

Units: 3

This course provides students with an appreciation and understanding of the principles of environmental law and policy. Emphasis is on the US legal system and litigation process relevant to environmental law, covering topics such as: the National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA], the Pollution Prevention Act [PPA], the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act. Throughout the course, a case study is integrated into the conceptual lecture material with the intent of providing practical examples to conceptual material.

Offered in Spring Only

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2020 Spring Term

PS 536 - Global Environmental Law and Policy

Units: 3

International organizations, laws and policies addressing global environmental problems including: population growth, atmospheric pollution, climate change, use of oceans, forests and biodiversity. Relationship between environment and Third World economic development.

Offered in Spring Only

Find this course:

2020 Summer Term 1

Environmental Assessment Electives

Students may select electives to enhance the degree program. Five to eight credit hours of coursework are selected in consultation with the faculty advisor. These hours are selected from distance education courses offered across the university. 

General Electives

Note: There are several variations of EA590 that are considered Environmental Assessment General Electives, including: Water Quality Assessment, Data Quality Analysis Assessment, Air Quality Assessment and NEPA Assessment. Speak to your advisor for details.

Renewable Energy Electives

Note: There are several variations of EA590 that are considered Renewable Energy General Electives, including: Renewable Energy Policy and Economics, Fundamentals of PV Design and Installation, Fundamentals of Renewable Energy Site Assessment and Site Maintenance and Storage. Speak to your advisor for details. 

GIS Electives

GIS 512 - Introduction to Environmental Remote Sensing

Units: 3

Principles and hands-on techniques for processing and analyzing remotely sensed data for natural resource applications. Topics include review of the electromagnetic spectrum, pre-processing [georectification, enhancements and transformations], processing [visual interpretation, indices, supervised and unsupervised classification] and post-processing [masking, change analysis and accuracy assessment] of digital image data. This course will provide students with fundamental concepts and skills needed to pursue further studies in digital processing of remotely sensed data.

Offered in Fall and Spring

TERM: Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

GIS 515 - Cartographic Design

Units: 2

Principles of cartographic design and how to apply them to produce high-quality geographic information system [GIS] based maps. Successful students will acquire an understanding of map design and experience applying it with GIS software. Students produce project maps in both print and web media.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

GIS 520 - Spatial Problem Solving

Units: 3

Focus on spatial problem solving from a geographic information perspective. Students learn to solve spatial problems through advanced analysis using geospatial technologies, learn to integrate and analyze spatial data in various formats, and explore methods for displaying geographic data analysis results to guide decision making. All course materials are delivered through the Internet, with optional weekly on-campus and synchronous online help sessions.

Offered in Fall Spring Summer

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

GIS 521 - Surface Water Hydrology with GIS

Units: 3

The application of geographic information systems [GIS] to surface water modeling including stream and watershed delineations, regulatory wetlands jurisdiction determinations, and flood mapping. In addition students will develop spatial computation methods to support hydrological analysis in land use planning, landscape management, and engineering assessments.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Fall Term

GIS 530 - Spatial Data Foundations

Units: 3

This course focuses on geospatial information systems from a mathematical and information science perspective. We discuss theoretical frameworks for conceptualizing geographic data, including levels of measurement, data control, and the vector data and raster data paradigms. Then we discuss the geometric underpinnings of geospatial systems: representing data with geographic elements, spatial referencing systems, and projection. Next, we explore map-related topology and computational geometry concepts. Finally, we survey the algorithms for core spatial manipulations, such as interpolation and polygon operations.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

GIS 582 - Geospatial Modeling

Units: 3

The course provides foundations in methods for GIS-based surface analysis and modeling. The topics include proximity analysis with cost surfaces and least cost paths, multivariate spatial interpolation and 3D surface visualization. Special focus is on terrain modeling, geomorphometry, solar irradiation, visibility, and watershed analysis. Students are also introduced to the basic concepts of landscape process modeling with GIS and to the principles of open source GIS. Introductory level knowledge of GIS or surveying/ geomatics principles is required.

Offered in Fall and Spring

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

Statistics Electives

ST 511 - Statistical Methods For Researchers I

Units: 3

Basic concepts of statistical models and use of samples; variation, statistical measures, distributions, tests of significance, analysis of variance and elementary experimental design, regression and correlation, chi-square.

Offered in Fall Spring Summer

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2020 Summer Term 1 2020 Fall Term

ST 512 - Statistical Methods For Researchers II

Units: 3

Covariance, multiple regression, curvilinear regression, concepts of experimental design, factorial experiments, confounded factorials, individual degrees of freedom and split-plot experiments. Computing laboratory addressing computational issues and use of statistical software.

Offered in Fall Spring Summer

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Summer Term 2

Natural Resources, Water and Soil Electives

BAE 580 - Introduction to Land and Water Engineering

Units: 3

This distance course introduces students to concepts of the hydrologic cycle, water quality, precipitation, evapotranspiration, infiltration, watershed delineation, surface runoff and open channel flow. Students will apply these concepts to an engineering design problem. This course is designed for non-engineering distance graduate students and lifelong education students and students from engineering disciplines outside of BAE. It will not substitute for BAE 471. The course is only open to students with senior standing or higher.

Offered in Fall Only

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Fall Term

FW 726 - Quantitative Fisheries Management

Units: 3

Current methods for assessment and management of exploited fish populations, including sampling methods, data analysis and modeling. A required research paper or project.

Offered in Fall Only

YEAR: Offered Alternate Even Years

SSC 532 - Soil Microbiology

Units: 4

Soil as a medium for microbial growth, the relation of microbes to important mineral transformations in soil, the importance of biological equilibrium and significance of soil microbes to environmental quality.

SSC 562 - Environmental Applications Of Soil Science

Units: 3

Identification and evaluation of basic factors influencing movement of potential pollutants through soil and their underlying strata. Development of understanding of processes of soil and site evaluation for waste disposal and transport of pollutants through soils.

Offered in Spring Only

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2020 Spring Term

SSC 570 - Wetland Soils

Units: 3

Wetland definitions, concepts, functions and regulations; chemical, physical and morphological characteristics of wetland soils. Wetland soil identification using field indicators and monitoring equipment; principles of wetland creation, restoration and mitigation. Special project required for SSC 570. Two mandatory field trips. Field trips for distance education students are not required but optional. Credit will not be given for both SSC 470 and SSC 570.

Offered in Fall Spring Summer

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2020 Spring Term 2020 Summer Term 1 2020 Fall Term

BAE 576 - Watershed Monitoring and Assessment

Units: 3

Water measurement and structure sizing. Identification of water quality problems and water quality variable selection. Monitoring design, water quality sampling equipment, and sample collection and analysis. Statistical analysis and presentation of water quality data.

Offered in Fall Only

FOR 595 - Special Topics

Units: 1 - 6

Individual students or groups of students, under direction of a faculty member, may explore topics of special interest not covered by existing courses. Format may consist of readings and independent study, problems or research not related to thesis.Also used to develop and test new 500-level courses.

Offered in Fall Spring Summer

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2020 Fall Term

MEA 517 - Fundamentals of Climate Change Science

Units: 3

This course will present the basic science of climate change, including chemical and physical systems and processes. The students will be introduced to how the climate system works and the role of greenhouse gases in the climate system. Students will learn about climatological data, climate models and how predictions/projections are made. Emphasis will be placed upon relating predicted/projected changes to manifestations such as sea level rise and changes in the distribution and character of precipitation. Topics include the primary climate components, ocean-atmospheric teleconnections, decadal and multi-decadal climate indices, natural and anthropogenic climate variability, and climate model projections.

Offered in Fall Only

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2020 Fall Term

Plan of Work

Once enrolled, each student must submit a plan of work outlining the 30 credit hours which will be included in the student’s program.

Course Load

Students in the Master of Environmental Assessment program are generally self-supported. Self-supported students may take up to 9 credit hours of coursework per semester. However, we recommend that students who are employed full-time start with one course per semester and only add a second course after their first semester.