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Environmental Science (ES) Course Descriptions

ES 5013  Survey Topics in Environmental Science
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
Analysis of the basic concepts and new scientific developments in environmental science. Case studies will cover a range of relevant topics to promote a thorough understanding of the emergent issues in environmental science. Emphasis will be placed on developing both written and verbal scientific presentation skills. (Formerly EES 5013. Same as BIO 5013. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: BIO 5013, EES 5013, or ES 5013.)

ES 5023  Environmental Statistics
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: MAT 1033 and STA 1993 or their equivalents, or consent of instructor.
Emphasis on methods and applications of statistics for environmental science. Measure of location, variability, and association. Interpretation of categorical data, hypothesis testing, and use of statistical software programs and applications. (Formerly EES 5023. Same as GEO 5023. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: EES 5023, ES 5023, or GEO 5023.)

ES 5043  Global Change
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in the program or consent of instructor.
Changes in the global distribution of plants and animals and the causes of the changes will be examined. Factors that are apparently coupled to changes in the atmosphere and environmental temperature will be examined. (Formerly EES 5043. Same as CE 6113 and GEO 5043. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: CE 6113, EES 5043, ES 5043, or GEO 5043.)

ES 5063  Environmental Microbiology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: BIO 3713 or consent of instructor.
To provide a basic understanding of environmental microbiology primarily from two aspects: microbial interactions with chemical pollutants in the environment and the fate of microbial pathogens in the environment. Topics covered include microbial environments, detection of bacteria and their activities in the environment, microbial biogeochemistry, bioremediation, and water quality. (Formerly EES 5063. Same as BIO 5063 and CE 5203. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: BIO 5063, CE 5203, EES 5063, or ES 5063.)

ES 5073  Environmental Microbiology Laboratory
(2-3) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: BIO 3722 or consent of instructor.
To provide an understanding of environmental microbiology laboratory techniques using both traditional and molecular research skills. Basic techniques for isolation and characterization of environmental soil and water microflora including methods for enumeration and measurement of physiological activity. (Formerly EES 5073. Same as BIO 5073. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: BIO 5073, EES 5073, or ES 5073.)

ES 5103  Applied Ecology
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
The impact of humanity’s activities on the environment: their effect on water, land, animal, and human resources. An evaluation of present and future strategies to preserve a healthy environment. (Formerly EES 5103. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5103 and ES 5103.)

ES 5113  River Ecosystems
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in biology or environmental science, or consent of instructor.
This course examines the physical, chemical, and biological factors that determine biodiversity and the structure and function of aquatic and riparian ecosystems. Key ecological and hydrogeomorphology concepts and their application to environmental concerns are covered. Field trip required. (Same as BIO 5103. Credit cannot be earned for both BIO 5103 and ES 5113.) (Formerly titled “Freshwater Ecology.”)

ES 5123  Project Analysis
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course examines the complex processes and factors in the evaluation of large-scale projects involving natural resources. It brings together the tools required to evaluate the physical, economic, financial, legal, and political constraints of these projects. (Formerly EES 5123. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5123 and ES 5123.)

ES 5213  Environmental Geology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: GEO 4063 or consent of instructor.
Geologic materials and processes as related to their influence on the human physical environment. Effects of landscape modification and geologic hazards such as earthquakes and landslides. Properties of minerals, rocks, and soils and geologic aspects of waste disposal and water resources are examined. (Course cannot be used for graduate credit by students in Geology.) (Formerly EES 5213. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5213 and ES 5213.)

ES 5233  Experimental Design and Analysis
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ES 5023 or an equivalent, or consent of instructor.
Fundamental concepts of the statistical design and analysis of environmental experiments will be presented. Students will be required to design experiments and to analyze data using computer software. (Formerly EES 5233. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5233 and ES 5233.)

ES 5243  Advanced Plant Ecology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: BIO 3283 and BIO 3292, or consent of instructor.
A study of the major biomes of the world, including North America and Texas, and the factors that influence the development of these biomes. Special consideration is given to species interactions that lead to high and low density species. (Formerly EES 5243. Same as BIO 5243. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: BIO 5243, EES 5243, or ES 5243.)

ES 5253  Contaminant Transport in Porous Media
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
The transport of contaminants in a subsurface environment. Effects of dispersion, interphase mass transfer, transformation reactions, and porous-media heterogeneity on transport: covers aqueous (dissolved) and multiphase (immiscible liquid, gas) systems. (Formerly EES 5253. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5253 and ES 5253.)

ES 5263  Microbial Ecology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: BIO 3713 or consent of instructor.
Interrelationships between microorganisms and their environment, including natural habitats of microorganisms, normal human flora, and pathogens. Special consideration is given to application of genetically engineering microorganisms for environmental problems. (Formerly EES 5263. Same as BIO 5263. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: BIO 5263, EES 5263, or ES 5263.)

ES 5493  Water Pollution Control
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Principles and methods of water pollution control process design and operation; selection and optimization of total treatment processes as well as appurtenances and accessory equipments; and methods involved in the design process and the selection of the hardware. (Formerly EES 5493. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5493 and ES 5493.)

ES 5503  Environmental Policy and Law
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Current environmental enabling acts and regulations are covered, with emphasis on federal acts, such as the National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and associated regulations. Management strategies for environmental compliance are also presented. (Formerly EES 5503. Same as PAD 5483. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: EES 5503, ES 5503, or PAD 5483.)

ES 5623 Environmental Chemistry
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course explores the chemistry of the environment, the chemistry underlying environmental problems and solutions to environmental problems. Emphasis is placed on thermodynamics and kinetics of reaction cycles; sources, sinks and transport of chemical species; and quantitation of chemical species. Examples are selected from the chemistry of natural and contaminated air, water, and soil. (Same as CE 5613. Credit cannot be earned for both ES 5623 and CE 5613).

ES 5743  Plant-Microbe Interactions
(3-2) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: A 2000-, 3000- or higher-level microbiology or plant physiology course, or consent of instructor.
The study of molecular and cellular aspects of the interaction between plants and microorganisms in the environment, such as mycorrhizae, pathogenic fungi, Agrobacterium, pathogenic bacteria and plant viruses. Topics include microbial virulence, signaling, gene expression, and disease resistance in plants. Laboratory will focus on plant biochemical and microbiological methods as they relate to environmental problems. (Formerly EES 5743. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 5743 and ES 5743.)

ES 5753  Conservation Biology
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
The class topics will include the nature of the biosphere, threats to its integrity, and ecologically sound responses to these threats. Also included will be the origin and preservation of biotic diversity, how the rich variety of plant and animal life arose, how it has been maintained by natural processes, and how its destruction can be prevented. (Same as BIO 5753. Credit cannot be earned for both BIO 5753 and ES 5753.)

ES 5763  Ornithology
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
A course covering various aspects of the biology of birds, including anatomy, physiology, systematics, evolution, behavior, ecology, and biogeography. Field trips may be included. (Same as BIO 5713. Credit cannot be earned for both BIO 5713 and ES 5763.)

ES 5773  Wildlife Management
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
An introduction to wildlife management including ecological principles dealing with ecosystems, natural communities, and populations. The importance of animal behavior, the availability of food, cover, wildlife diseases, predators, hunting, and trapping will be included. Field trips may be included. (Same as BIO 5793. Credit cannot be earned for both BIO 5793 and ES 57

73.)

ES 5783  Evaluation and Valuation of Ecosystem Services
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
This course will examine the flow of goods and services provided by the ecosystem that are important to sustaining human well-being. The value of ecosystem goods is generally set by trading the market place, while the value of ecosystems services is often ignored, yet also important in sustaining human well-being. This course will explore methods to evaluate and value these ecosystem services.

ES 5793  Environmental Remediation
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: CHE 2603 or an equivalent.
This course will focus on the fundamentals associated with environmental remediation in relation to overall environmental quality and protection. Topics covered include contaminant fate and transport; physical, chemical, and biological processes/characteristics of the air, soil, and water; remediation/restoration methods; environmental monitoring; environmental assessments; environmental regulations; and water/wastewater treatment.

ES 5971-3  Directed Research
1 to 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission in writing (form available) of the instructor and the student’s Graduate Advisor of Record.
The directed research course may involve a laboratory, field-based, or theoretical problem. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 3 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master’s degree. (Formerly EES 5971-3.)

ES 5981  Graduate Seminar in Environmental Science and Engineering
(1-0) 1 hour credit. Prerequisite: Graduate standing in the program or consent of instructor.
Topical issues of current research will be examined. Presentations will be by current faculty, invited guests and Master’s or Doctoral candidates. May be repeated for credit but only 2 hours may be applied toward the Master’s degree. The grade report for this course is either “CR” (satisfactory) or “NC” (unsatisfactory). (Formerly EES 5981 and ES 5991.)

ES 6003  Risk and Decision Analysis
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ES 5023 or consent of instructor.
Advanced application of systems analysis to the solution of environmental problems and the building and solving of mathematical models. The role of analytical tools such as cost analysis, decision, and utility theory as they are applied to the efficient utilization of natural resources are also covered. (Formerly EES 6003. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6003 and ES 6003.)

ES 6013  Instrumental Environmental Methods for Environmental Analysis
(2-2) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: One year of college chemistry or consent of instructor.
A survey of instrumental techniques and standard methods for analysis of environmental pollutants. Designed primarily for students interested in environmental management and remediation, the focus of the course will vary but will emphasize some aspect of environmental quality, water and soil in particular. (Formerly EES 6013. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6013 and ES 6013.)

ES 6033  Multivariate Analysis in Environmental Science and Engineering
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: ES 5023 and ES 5233 or their equivalents, or consent of instructor.
Fundamental concepts of Multivariate Analysis in Environmental Science and Engineering will be presented. Students will examine principle components, factor analysis, cluster analysis, multidimensional scaling, discriminate analysis, multivariate normal distributions, mean vectors and covariance matrix and tests of covariance matrices. (Formerly EES 6033. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: CE 6033, EES 6033, or ES 6033.)

ES 6103  Environmental Impacts
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere are treated as interrelated systems. Human impact and interaction within and among these systems are studied. Preparation and evaluation of environmental impact statements and assessments are included. (Formerly EES 6103. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6103 and ES 6103.)

ES 6113  Advanced Plant Physiology
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Principles of plant physiology and biochemistry, with particular emphasis on plant hormones, nitrogen fixation, plant respiration, photosynthesis, and current research work. (Formerly EES 6113. Same as BIO 6113. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: BIO 6113, EES 6113, or ES 6113.)

ES 6123  Environmental Quality
(2-3) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: CHE 2603 or equivalent, and ES 3053 or ES 4003, or consent of instructor.
Principles of surface and aquatic chemistry as applied to soil and natural water systems. Application of aforementioned principles in the study of environmental quality issues will be included. Laboratory will focus on analysis of pollutants using modern analytical techniques. (Formerly EES 6123. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6123 and ES 6123.)

ES 6133  Methods in Field Ecology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: BIO 3283 or an equivalent.
Examination of techniques to collect, identify, and preserve plants and animals. Field methods used in the analysis of populations and communities are considered. (Formerly EES 6133. Same as BIO 6133. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: BIO 6133, EES 6133, or ES 6133.)

ES 6203  Aqueous Geochemistry
(2-3) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: CHE 2603 or equivalent, and ES 3053 or ES 4003, or consent of instructor.
An in-depth study of geochemical principles and practices focusing primarily on the aquatic environment. Designed to familiarize advanced students of Geochemistry, Environmental Science, and Environmental Engineering with those aspects of applied chemistry that have relevance in the care of environmental research and practice. (Formerly EES 6203. Same as GEO 6203. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: EES 6203, ES 6203, or GEO 6203.)

ES 6213  Advanced Ecology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: BIO 3283 or an equivalent.
Interaction of organisms with their environment, allelopathy, competition, distribution, succession, and factors that control growth and dispersal. Special consideration is given to the concepts of climax, succession, and land management. (Formerly EES 6213. Same as BIO 6213. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: BIO 6213, EES 6213, or ES 6213.)

ES 6253  Biodegradation of Organics in Soil and Groundwater
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: BIO 5123 or consent of instructor.
Description of modern pollution problems and potential remediation techniques focusing on the chemistry, biochemistry, and molecular biology of biodegradation of hazardous and toxic compounds. (Formerly EES 6253. Same as BIO 6253. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: BIO 6253, EES 6253, or ES 6253.)

ES 6273  Analyses of Environmental Problems
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Problems will be presented and potential solutions will be explored from a variety of areas including soil, air, water, coastal and marine systems. Also examined will be potential impact on biotic and abiotic resources in terrestrial, aquatic and marine systems. (Formerly EES 6273. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: CE 6273, EES 6273, or ES 6273.)

ES 6703  Environmental Biotechnology
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: ES 5063 or ES 5263, and ES 5243, or consent of instructor.
Molecular methods for detection of microorganisms in the environment. Fate and survival of introduced organisms in the environment. Molecular mechanisms of microbial inactivation in waste treatment systems and microbial risk assessment. (Formerly EES 6703. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6703 and ES 6703.)

ES 6723  Advanced Environmental Regulations
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: ES 5503 or equivalent, or consent of instructor.
A study of the environmental regulatory apparatus, and rules and regulations implemented to achieve those objectives of the environmental laws. (Formerly EES 6723. Credit can be earned for only one of the following: CE 6723, EES 6723, or ES 6723.)

ES 6763  Environmental Phytoremediation
(2-3) 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: CHE 2603 or equivalent, and ES 3053 or ES 4003, or consent of instructor.
The study of environmental pollution effects on physiological and ecological processes of plants, in both managed and unmanaged ecosystems. Pollutants under study include contaminants of air (such as ozone, sulphur dioxide and UV-B radiation) and soil (such as metals and organic xenobiotics). Topics include principles, protocols and applications of molecular biology and biotechnology for genetic improvement of microbes/plants for environmental remediation. Laboratory will focus on plant biochemical, soil chemical and plant molecular biological methods and a group research project. (Formerly EES 6763. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6763 and ES 6763.)

ES 6813  Water Resources
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Application of management principles to the efficient use of water resources by people and their public and private institutions. Water is examined in terms of its value, use, and changing role in the context of economics, history, politics, and technology. (Formerly EES 6813. Same as GEO 6813. Credit can be earned for only for one of the following: EES 6813, ES 6813, or GEO 6813.)

ES 6901-3  Experimental Techniques in the Environmental Sciences
(1-0, 2-0, 3-0) 1 to 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Topics will include various research methods in environmental science. May be repeated for credit as topics vary. (Formerly EES 6901-3. Unless topic varies, credit cannot be earned for both EES 6901-3 and ES 6901-3.)

ES 6941  Environmental Science Colloquium
(1-0) 1 hour credit. Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
Discussions of current journal articles, reviews, and recent advances in specialized areas of the biological sciences. May be repeated for credit as topics vary. The grade report for this course is either “CR” (satisfactory participation in the colloquium) or “NC” (unsatisfactory participation in the colloquium). (Formerly EES 6941. Same as BIO 7041. Unless topic varies, credit can be earned for only one of the following: BIO 7041, EES 6941, or ES 6941.)

ES 6951-3  Independent Study
1 to 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission in writing (form available) of the instructor and the student’s Graduate Advisor of Record.
Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. For students needing specialized work not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to the Master’s degree. (Formerly EES 6951-3.)

ES 6961  Comprehensive Examination
1 hour credit. Prerequisite: Approval of the appropriate Graduate Program Committee to take the Comprehensive Examination.
Independent study course for the purpose of taking the Comprehensive Examination. May be repeated as many times as approved by the Graduate Program Committee. Enrollment is required each term in which the Comprehensive Examination is taken if no other courses are being taken that term. The grade report for the course is either “CR” (satisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination) or “NC” (unsatisfactory performance on the Comprehensive Examination). (Formerly EES 6961.)

ES 6963  Internship
3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Graduate standing and consent of Graduate Advisor of Record.
An opportunity for students to work in a setting that permits them to apply what they have learned in the formal instruction part of the program. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 3 hours will apply to the Master’s degree. (Formerly EES 6963. Credit cannot be earned for both EES 6963 and ES 6963.)

ES 6973  Special Problems
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
An organized course offering the opportunity for specialized study not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. Special Problems courses may be repeated for credit when the topics vary, but not more than 6 hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to a Master’s degree. Field trips may be required. (Formerly EES 6973.)

ES 6983  Master’s Thesis
3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Permission of the Graduate Advisor of Record and thesis director.
Thesis research preparation. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 hours will apply to the Master’s degree. Credit will be awarded upon completion of the thesis. Enrollment is required each term in which the thesis is in progress. (Formerly EES 6983.)

ES 7211-3  Doctoral Research
1 to 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy for the Doctoral degree.
May be repeated for credit, but no more than 15 hours may be applied to the Doctoral degree. (Formerly EES 7211-3.)

ES 7311-3  Doctoral Dissertation
1 to 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Admission to candidacy for the Doctoral degree.
May be repeated for credit, but no more than 15 hours may be applied to the Doctoral degree. (Formerly EES 7311-3.)

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