West Chester University
Interested in the environment? You have a wide variety of options to choose from at WCU, ranging from formal degree programs to general-interest courses. Environmental study is not centralized in one academic department on campus, so you are encouraged to contact the specific department offering the program of particular interest. Find more information below and in the Environmental Programs factsheet.
The effects of human population on earth's resources are studied against a background of physical, biological, and health sciences. Note: Students completing BIO 102 may not take ESS 102 or ENV 102 for credit. May not be taken as biology major elective. Approved interdisciplinary course.
Relationships between living organisms and their environment. (2,3) PREREQ: BIO 110. Recommended are BIO 215 and 217, MAT 121, or SCI 101 and 102 and one semester of computer science.
A quantitative, second course in ecology, emphasizing distributional patterns and fluctuations in abundance of natural populations. PREREQ: BIO 270, MAT 121, and one semester of calculus.
A course designed to provide practical experience in wetlands' classification, delineation, regulation, management, and mitigation practices. The abiotic and biotic characteristics of inland and coastal wetlandsare emphasized. (2,3) PREREQ: Eight hours of biology or permission of instructor.
The application of basic biological and ecological principles for the preservation of biological diversity. Emphasis will be on understanding the threats to biodiversity, the values of biodiversity, and preservation strategies including ecological risk assessment and the management of endangered species, habitats, and ecosystems. PREREQ (required): BIO 110, 215 or 217, and 270. PREREQ (recommended): BIO 310.
The environmental and biological characteristics of freshwater. Emphasis is placed on field methods, water quality evaluation based on the interpretation of comprehensive datasets, and management strategies for lakes, ponds, and streams. PREREQ: BIO 270, CHE 104.
As currently taught, this general education science course focuses on issues facing our society for which it is important to have a knowledge of chemistry. Among the issues studied are air pollution, ozone depletion, global climate change, energy resources, drinking water, and acid rain.
An introduction to physical chemistry including ideal gases, kinetic theory, three laws of thermodynamics, introduction to phase equilibrium, chemical equilibrium, application of the fundamental equation of thermodynamics, transport phenomena, chemical kinetics, X-ray diffraction, and the structure of solids. PREREQ: CHE 104, MAT 161 and 162 all with a C- or better. CONCURRENT or PREREQ: PHY 180.
The chemistry of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere; human impact on these areas. PREREQ: CHE 104.
Catalysis is involved in over 90% of all processes used in the chemical industry. Nanoscience is defined as the regime where quantum and surface effects dominate the properties of materials and is essential to the fabrication of computer chips and lab-on-a-chip devices. The surface science approach to the study of heterogeneous catalysis and nanoscience is to apply a molecular perspective to surface processes such as adsorption, desorption, reaction, growth and etching. This course examines the fundamentals of reaction dynamics and experimental techniques at surfaces and applies them to the processes that underpin catalysis, structure formation (including atom manipulation) and atomically resolved imaging. PREREQ: CHE 341.
The role of the environment in an economic system. Topics include energy economics, the economics of renewable and nonrenewable resources, and the economics of pollution. Prerequisites for this course: ECO 111, ECO 112
This course is intended as an overview and introduction to the field of environmental education. Historical antecedents, including nature education, outdoor education, and conservation education, as well as philosophies and methodologies appropriate for a basic understanding of environmental education, will be analyzed, with emphasis on compliance with curriculum regulations in Pennsylvania. Sources of support for environmental education in the form of professional organizations, resources, and funding mechanisms will be identified.
Basic concepts of outdoor education, the role of outdoor education in the school program, and the initiation and administration of outdoor education.
This course is designed to facilitate the infusion of environmental education into the traditional classroom and prepare teachers to use a variety of settings for environmental education teaching opportunities. Emphasis will be placed on teaching techniques closely identified with curriculum development goals and objectives for environmental education including the use of case studies, addressing controversial issues, and strategies for the development of ecological literacy and critical thinking skills. The student also will have a field placement that will provide an opportunity to put environmental education theory into practice.
Generally these will be one-week workshops to provide environmental educators with training and/or skills in specific programs, topics, or activities related to environmental education.
Provides students with the training required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency to work at sites where hazardous wastes and/or hazardous materials may be stored, spilled, transported, or used.
Practical field and laboratory experience in environmental sample collection and analysis. PREREQ: CHE/CRL 107, ENV 102, or permission of instructor.
A consideration of the types and amounts of air contaminants, the atmospheric processes that transport them, and the role of air quality in human health. PREREQ: ENV 102, or permission of instructor.
Special workshops on contemporary environmental health issues. Topics announced at time of offering. This course may be taken again for credit.
An examination of human health and ecological risk assessment with emphasis on exposure estimation. PREREQ: ENV 102.
Prepares students for working with federal and Pennsylvania environmental regulations. Emphasizes use and development of Internet regulatory resources. Specific discussions and exercises related to various regulatory agencies are included. PREREQ: ENV 102, or permission of instructor.
Sources, characteristics, and amounts of solid and hazardous wastes and their implications for human health. Methods of collection, handling, disposal, and recycling. PREREQ: ENV 102, or permission of instructor.
An investigation of the health effects of chemical, physical, and biological hazards in the environment. PREREQ: BIO 204, CHE 230 (concurrent), ENV 102, or permission of instructor.
A study of the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of airborne and dermal hazards in the work environment. PREREQ: ENV 102, or permission of instructor.
In-depth investigation and discussions on topics of particular concern or significance to the environmental health field. Topics will be varied from year to year. PREREQ: Senior environmental health major.
Field placement with an environmental health department in an industry, consulting firm, or government agency. PREREQ: Senior environmental health major and a cumulative GPA of 2.50 or above.
A study of the anticipation, recognition, evaluation, and control of physical hazards such as ergonomics, noise, and radiation in the work environment. PREREQ: ENV 102, or permission of instructor.
An examination of the quality and quantity requirements of surface and subsurface water resources used for drinking water supplies. Laboratory included. PREREQ: ENV 102, or permission of instructor.
An introduction to principles and applications of geochemistry to geologic systems, including surface and ground waters, soils, and rocks. PREREQ: CHE 103, ESS 101.
The application of geological information to human problems encountered in natural phenomena, such as flooding, earthquakes, coastal hazards, and man-made concerns, including waste disposal, land use, and global change. PREREQ: ESS 101 or permission of instructor.
The scope of geography and understanding of the world's regions generated by it. Human society is examined in a frame of spatial, environmental, and resource factors. Map skills and other "tools" of geography are introduced.
An inquiry into the type, size, and distribution of natural resources, and into the problems of resource management. Emphasis is placed on the United States.
This course reviews the principles of cartography and GIS in terms of environmental applications. Using ESRI's ArcGIS software, students will add environmental, political, economic, and other types of data to computerized maps to explore environmental analysis. These data will then be spatially examined and manipulated to review the process of mapmaking and decision making.
This course reviews the principles of GIS in terms of environmental modeling. It is also a study of how GIS software is used to enhance d the decision-making process from a critical point of view. Using ESRI's ArcGIS software, students will add environmental , political, economic, and other types of data to computerized maps to explore environmental analysis. These data will then be spatially examined and manipulated to review the process of mapmaking and decision making.
An inquiry into the development of comprehensive land use studies by governmental and private agencies, emphasizing the development of skills in problem identification and resolution.
An insight into the "why" and "how" of land development, emphasizing the role of local government in zoning, subdivision regulation, and other land regulations.
The nature and dimensions of environmental problems with an emphasis on endangered life-support systems. Aspects of natural and social environment systems and their mutual interrelationships.
Introduction to the concepts and tools of environmental planning which include landscape form and function in planning. Applications to local and regional issues are stressed.
Important issues, descriptive and analytical, facing urban and suburban transportation are studied. Employment of the planning process emphasizes use of analytical tools.
Special topics in geography of planning not offered under existing, regularly offered courses.
Fundamental concepts of health and wellness exploring several health-related areas with an opportunity for personal lifestyle change conducive to better health.
This course examines the health beliefs and practices of a variety of subcultural groups in the United States. Emphasis is placed on the application of multicultural health beliefs and practices. It utilizes the cross-cultural approach in meeting the health needs of clients and families. It is open to all University students, regardless of major. Diverse communities course.
Special workshops on contemporary health problems and issues. Topics announced at time of offering.
This course introduces students to the applications used to examine health care distribution within the realm of health policy analysis and health services research. Demonstrations will include analysis of the distribution of disease, various health indicators, and health care resources.
An examination of the transformation of the American landscape, the history of American environmental policy, and the development of today's environmental controversies.
Impact of technology and the environment as forces of influence on communities. The lab course will combine a historical overview with a contemporary focus on ways the science community is developing and regulating ideas for the future. Laboratory field experiences will involve data collection and observation in a variety of environmental contexts.
Learn the fundamentals of a “triple bottom line” approach to business, which simultaneously considers environmental, social and financial performance. The format of the class will be highly interactive and include a combination of discussion, small group activities, experiential exercises, films and field trips.
Study of arguments and principles surrounding moral questions about the environment: Who and what deserves moral consideration? What are our moral obligations to the environment? What if our obligations to the environment and human beings conflict? Do animals have rights? PREREQ: Three PHI credits or permission of instructor.