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Minor in Environmental Science

School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Overview

Biola’s environmental science minor program equips students from any major to impact the world for Christ by working to restore all aspects of God’s creation. The environmental science program provides a platform that combines scientific and theological knowledge with practical field, lab and teaching skills, and can be used by those passionate about creating just and sustainable solutions for environmental issues.


Courses

Note: This list is intended to give you a quick glimpse into the program’s academic offerings, and should not be used as a guide for course selection or academic advising. For official program requirements, see the course catalog.

Core Courses

An interdisciplinary approach to the study of the environment using concepts from ecology, biology, chemistry, geology, the social sciences and Scripture to understand the interplay of natural resources, how humans are affecting the environment, and how to deal with environmental problems. Notes: Approved for Core Curriculum Science credit. Grade Mode: A.
Introductory course for biological science majors emphasizing the principles of systematics and biodiversity, population genetics and origins theories, ecology, and anatomy and physiology. Notes: Approved for Core Curriculum Science credit. Grade Mode: A.
This laboratory, which accompanies BIOS 114, will involve dissection as well as experimentation. A field project involving the La Mirada Creek is included. Notes: Approved for Core Curriculum Science credit. Grade Mode: A.
The biology of vertebrates, stressing structure and function. Laboratory dissection of representative vertebrates emphasizes comparative anatomy. Grade Mode: A, N.
Environmental analysis and natural resources analysis in relation to society and developmental issues. Focus on ecological sustainability and sustainable society in the context of various factors that are bringing environmental degradation and impoverishment of people and cultures. Topics include tropical agriculture, hunger, poverty, international debt, appropriate technology, relief programs, missionary earthkeeping, conservation of wild nature, land tenure and land stewardship. Employs a discussion format grappling with difficult practical and ethical problems and issues that require deep and personal thought. Notes: Biola or Au Sable offering. Grade Mode: A.
Systems level perspective on landforms and ecosystems. Includes analysis and interpretation of field data, remotesensing data derived from satellites and aircraft and geological information systems (GIS). Field trips to and analysis of forests, wetlands, lakeshores, and rivers. Includes application to policy and land use planning. Notes: Au Sable offering. Grade Mode: A.
Field study of lakes and other freshwater systems with applications to planning and management. Includes an introduction to limnology and investigation of representative lakes, streams, and wetlands of the region and compares the North American Great Lakes with other great lakes of the world and their stewardship. Notes: Au Sable offering. Grade Mode: A.
Systematics, distribution, behavior and ecology of the common plants and animals of the selected domestic or international sire or region. Emphasis is on the site's biodiversity, ecology, and associated conservation issues. Trips to domestic sites may occur during Interterm or Summer terms, as well as on Saturdays or weekends during the school year. Domestic sites may include the LA region, the Sierra, the Grand Canyon, and the Channel Islands. Trips to international sites may occur in the Interterm or Summer term and may include studies world-wide. Both domestic and international sites will vary from year to year based on faculty interest and student support and enrollment. Notes: Students taking this course as an elective will have different assignments than BIOS and BIES majors. Credits vary based on different lengths of time at the study site. Grade Mode: A.
Introduction to oceanography, marine plant and animal diversity, and ecological relationships. Lab sessions will include field trips. Lecture/Lab Hours: Three hours lecture, four hours laboratory. Grade Mode: A, N.
Investigation of contemporary problems in environmental stewardship including the use of renewable and nonrenewable natural resources, pollution, appropriate land use and development, third world concerns, and preservation of wild nature. In addition to developing a Christian environmental ethic from a stewardship perspective, the course considers such movements and issues as deep ecology and ecofeminism, animal rights, wilderness ethics, wildlife management, biodiversity, and agro-ecology. Emphasis on considering concrete, current ethical debate. Notes: Biola or Au Sable offering. Grade Mode: A.
The dilemmas of dangerous knowledge in environmental and medical activities are investigated, including stem cell research and applications, fetal tissue research, human gene manipulation, transgenic bioengineering, genetically modified crops, release of bioengineered organisms into natural ecosystems, and emerging disease, the ethics of environmental activism, and the religious roots of ethical values. This course uses a seminar format in which topics are presented by student teams including presentations, panel discussions, and debate. Current attempts to develop a theological basis for bioethics are considered. Notes: Au Sable offering. Grade Mode: A.
Introduction to the fundamentals of environmental health, with an introduction to environmental epidemiology and environmental medicine. Environmental pollutants and their sources, effects of environmental pollution on the environment and public health, environmental control agencies, methods of pollution control, environmental law and policy, environmental and public health research agencies, environmental epidemiology, environmental medicine, and environmental stewardship are included. Field trips and lab assignments complement the materials covered in lectures. Notes: Au Sable offering. Grade Mode: A.
This course will provide an understanding of the importance of geographic information systems software (GIS) that is used worldwide to create maps and analyze digital data and photos for use in many disciplines. Within the biological and environmental sciences it is used in environmental impact reports, city or regional planning, and species and ecosystem management plans. Students will create maps and analyze data gained from the web or created by themselves. Lecture/Lab Hours: Three hours lecture, four hours laboratory, weekly. Notes: Must have good computer skills and be familiar with Microsoft Excel. Grade Mode: A, N.
Principles of conservation biology with applications to sustainable human society and biospheric integrity. An integrative approach to biology and society that interrelates population biology, ecological principles, biogeochemical cycles, ecosystem functions, and human society in the context of biospheric degradation. The course develops a stewardship perspective rooted in biological principles and directed at conservation of plant and animal species, biotic communities, ecosystems, and human society. Included are topics of human development, poverty, and economic growth.Fee: $95 Notes: Biola and Au Sable offering. Grade Mode: A.
Ecological and theoretical foundations for ecosystem and biotic community restoration. This course develops ecological principles for ecosystem restoration and applies them to redeeming and restoring degraded and damaged ecosystems and endangered species. Field studies include analysis of restoration and rehabilitation work with Kirtland Warbler, an officially designated wild river, coastal dunes, kettle-hole bogs, deforested lands, degraded residential and farming sites, and abandoned oil wells. A practical field laboratory is included in which techniques are applied to a specific site. Notes: Au Sable offering. Grade Mode: A.
Au Sable is a Christian institute focusing on field studies from a stewardship perspective. Biola is a participating member of the institute. Courses are taught at field stations in Michigan, Washington, Florida and India. Coursework taken through the institute can be counted as elective credit in the Biological Sciences, or may be substituted for specific major requirements. Notes: May be taken for a total of 16 credits with different content. Grade Mode: A.
An introduction to the general concepts of the ecology of populations, communities and ecosystems, including physiological ecology, speciation and evolutionary theory. Laboratory includes field trips and a research project. Grade Mode: A, N.
20
Total Program Credits
Every program at Biola University features rigorous academics, biblically integrated curriculum and vocational preparation.
WSCUC
Accreditation
Biola University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission. Additional accreditations may apply to specific programs.

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