NEW MAJORS & MINOR AS OF FALL 2021

The new majors and a minor in Earth & Climate Sciences will be available beginning fall 2021. Students who matriculated in fall 2020 or prior can either choose the new major or continue with their major in Earth & Ocean Sciences. If you have questions, please contact Emily Klein or Alex Glass.

 

Learn about the new major in Earth & Climate Sciences and its innovative approach to teaching climate change science, in this video with prominent faculty.


Focus of Study 

Our students generally share a passion for environmental stewardship, the conservation of biodiversity, and the sustainable and equitable use of the planet’s natural resources. Through coursework, lab work and field study, students will gain an understanding of the earth and climate on time scales ranging from days to billions of years.

Which degree program students pursue commonly reflects their relative interests: on the one hand, for environmental activism, policy, economics, conservation and environmental health; and on the other hand, their interest in understanding how our planet’s chemical, physical, and biogeological systems function and interact over geological time and to the present. 

Students in this major will learn a breadth and depth of knowledge in either earth and climate science concepts and practices, and will gain the skills of observation, data collection, analysis, and interpretation that are critical for the study of earth and climate sciences.

Program Hallmarks

  • Emphasis on early experiential learning in the form of field, laboratory, and other immersive experiences.
  • Class experiences that go beyond the large lecture format, and provide opportunities for active learning to capture the excitement, sense of discovery, and intellectual engagement in the given discipline.
  • The opportunity to incorporate optional field and laboratory experiences into our large introductory gateway courses.
  • Two new experiential courses: In these courses, students will have one-on-one interactions with our faculty, learn through hands-on exercises, and engage in field-, laboratory- and/or computer-based explorations of earth and climate sciences. 
    • ECS 210S Exploring Earth Sciences: Field and Laboratory Experiences
    • ECS 212S Exploring Climate Sciences: Data-driven investigations
  • These gateway and new experiential courses are followed by a flexible and balanced curriculum in which students have the choice to pursue an integrative education across earth and climate subject matters, or focus more deeply on one of the two areas.

Your Future

Earth and Climate Sciences prepares students for careers as climatologists, data analysts, environmental consultants, geologists, hydrologists, nature resource managers, environmental lawyers, marine biologists, oceanographers, professors and teachers, and many other fields. 

You’ll find our alums at the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and NOAA; at law firms, nonprofit organizations, investment firms, hospitals and global heath institutions; and in the energy sector, higher education, the mineral exploitation industry, K-12 education, and ecotourism, as well as in many other industries or sectors.

 


B.S. in Earth & Climate Sciences

The B.S. in Earth and Climate Sciences is designed for students interested in pursuing further studies or professional work in earth and climate sciences and related fields, or for students who intend to apply their scientific and analytic training to other professional careers, such as business, law or medicine. A minimum of sixteen courses is required for this major.

Gateway Courses – 2 Courses

All of the following courses are required. There is not a required sequence for these courses.

  • ECS 101 Dynamic Earth
  • ECS 103 Climate Change for Future Leaders

Co-Requisites – 5 Courses

All three of the following are required:

  • Math 111L
  • Chem 101
  • Physics 141

Choose two from the following:

  • Math 112L
  • Chem 201 or 210
  • Physics 142
  • Biology 201 or Biology 202 or Biology 207
  • Statistics 101 ...
  • CompSci 101 or EGR 103

Experiential Course – 1 Course

Choose one of the following:

  • ECS 210S Exploring Earth Sciences: Field and Laboratory Experiences
  • ECS 212S Exploring Climate Sciences: Data-driven investigations

Electives – 7 Courses

Choose seven courses to meet the following criteria:

  • One course must be selected from each subject area (Earth Science Area; Climate Science Area)
  • One course may be selected from the Field Course List (in addition to the one-course Field Course requirement)
  • Up to two courses may be substituted from related areas of science, mathematics or engineering, with DUS approval


Earth Sciences Area

  • ECS 201 The Solid Earth
  • ECS 203 The Surface of the Earth
  • ECS 204 Evolving Earth and Life
  • ECS 210S Exploring Earth Sciences: Field and Laboratory Experiences
  • ECS 220 Water Sciences
  • ECS 315 Waves, Beaches, and Coastlines
  • ECS 323 Landscape Hydrology
  • ECS 507S The Amazon

Climate Science Area

  • ECS 202 Ocean and Atmospheric Dynamics
  • ECS 212S Exploring Climate Sciences: Data-driven investigations
  • ECS 231 Energy and the Environment
  • ECS 239 Atmospheric Chemistry
  • ECS 364S Changing Oceans
  • ECS 365 Weather and Climate
  • ECS 509S Paleoclimate
  • ECS 511 The Climate System

  • ECS 550 Climate and Society

Field Course – 1 Course

Choose one of the following:

  • ECS 226S Field Methods in Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • ECS 278A Biodiversity of Alaska
  • ECS 288A Biogeography in an Australian Context
  • ECS 401 Field Exploration of the Geology of North Carolina
  • ECS 402S Volcanology – Geology of Hawaii
  • ECS 403 Geology and Natural History of the Yellowstone Region
  • ECS 410 Senior Capstone Experience

 

A.B. in Earth & Climate Sciences

The A.B. in Earth and Climate Sciences is best suited for students who wish to understand local and global earth and climate sciences in support of careers in government, environmental sciences, policy or economics, environmental law, and environmental health. A minimum of fourteen courses is required for this major.

Gateway Course – 1 Course

Choose one from the following:

  • ECS 101 Dynamic Earth
  • ECS 103 Climate Change for Future Leaders

Co-Requisites – 2 Courses

Choose two from the following:

  • Math 111L or Math 112L
  • Chem 101 or Chem 201 or Chem 210
  • Physics 141 or Physics 142
  • Biology 201 or Biology 202 or Biology 207
  • Statistics 101
  • CompSci 101 or EGR 103

Experiential Course – 1 Course

Choose one of the following:

  • ECS 210S Exploring Earth Sciences: Field and Laboratory Experiences
  • ECS 212S Exploring Climate Sciences: Data-driven investigations

Electives – 7 Courses

Choose any seven ECS courses from the lists below. Up to three courses may be substituted from related areas, with DUS approval.

Earth Sciences Area

  • ECS 201 The Solid Earth
  • ECS 203 The Surface of the Earth
  • ECS 204 Evolving Earth and Life
  • ECS 210S Exploring Earth Sciences: Field and Laboratory Experiences
  • ECS 220 Water Sciences
  • ECS 315 Waves, Beaches, and Coastlines
  • ECS 323 Landscape Hydrology
  • ECS 507S The Amazon

Climate Science Area

  • ECS 202 Ocean and Atmospheric Dynamics
  • ECS 212S Exploring Climate Sciences: Data-driven investigations
  • ECS 231 Energy and the Environment
  • ECS 239 Atmospheric Chemistry
  • ECS 364S Changing Oceans
  • ECS 365 Weather and Climate
  • ECS 509S Paleoclimate
  • ECS 511 The Climate System

  • ECS 550 Climate and Society

Field Courses

  • ECS 226S Field Methods in Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • ECS 278A Biodiversity of Alaska
  • ECS 288A Biogeography in an Australian Context
  • ECS 401 Field Exploration of the Geology of North Carolina
  • ECS 402S Volcanology – Geology of Hawaii
  • ECS 403 Geology and Natural History of the Yellowstone Region
  • ECS 410 Senior Capstone Experience

Science and Society Elective – 1 Course

Choose one course from the following:

  • BIOETHIC 282 Science, Ethics, & Democracy
  • BIOETHIC 502S Communicating Science & Bioethics
  • BIOETHIC 510S Science and the Media: Narrative Writing about Science, Health and Policy
  • CULANTH 419S Global Environmentalism and the Politics of Nature
  • ENVIRON 155 Principles of Economics and the Environment
  • ENVIRON 201 Integrating Environmental Science and Policy
  • ENVIRON 212 United States Environmental Policy
  • ENVIRON 214S Ethical Challenges in Environmental Conservation
  • ENVIRON 216S Environment and Conflict
  • GENOME 238S Influential Scientists and Policy Leaders in Science Policy
  • HISTORY 203 History of Global Health
  • HISTORY 260D Magic, Religion, and Science since 1400
  • HISTORY 345 North American Environmental History
  • ISS 112 The Googlization of Knowledge: Information, Ethics, and Technology
  • MARSCI 201 Humans and Changing Oceans
  • PHIL 215 Applied and Environmental Ethics
  • PHIL 242 Problems in Philosophy of Science
  • PHIL 282 Science, Ethics, & Democracy
  • SCISOC 201 Science, Media, & Perception: How Media Affects Our View of Science
  • SCISOC 205 Science, Technology, Ethics, and Masculinity in American Culture
  • Or approved substitutions, with DUS approval

 

Graduation with Distinction

The Division of Earth and Climate Sciences through Trinity College offers Graduation with Distinction through successful completion of a student research project. A candidate for Graduation with Distinction in Earth and Climate Sciences must have a grade point average of 3.2 in the major at the beginning of the project to qualify for nomination.

The student will normally do the work as part of research independent study courses (Earth and Climate Sciences 393, 394) completed during one academic year. The project will consist of an original piece of scientific research, which will be summarized by a written report in the style of a scientific publication. The student will also give a poster presentation to students and faculty of the division before the end of classes of the student’s final semester.

Minor

The minor in Earth and Climate Sciences is a great science complement to a primary major in the arts and humanities or another science. Our minors are often biology, public policy, environmental science, cultural anthropology, or evolutionary anthropology majors. The minor requires five courses.

Gateway Course – 1 Course

Choose one from the following:

  • ECS 101 Dynamic Earth
  • ECS 103 Climate Change for Future Leaders

Electives – 4 Courses

Choose four ECS courses from the following:

Experiential Courses

  • ECS 210S Exploring Earth Sciences: Field and Laboratory Experiences
  • ECS 212S Exploring Climate Sciences: Data-driven investigations

Earth Sciences Area

  • ECS 201 The Solid Earth
  • ECS 203 The Surface of the Earth
  • ECS 204 Evolving Earth and Life
  • ECS 220 Water Sciences
  • ECS 315 Waves, Beaches, and Coastlines
  • ECS 323 Landscape Hydrology
  • ECS 507S The Amazon

Climate Science Area

  • ECS 202 Ocean and Atmospheric Dynamics
  • ECS 231 Energy and the Environment
  • ECS 239 Atmospheric Chemistry
  • ECS 364S Changing Oceans
  • ECS 365 Weather and Climate
  • ECS 509S Paleoclimate
  • ECS 511 The Climate System

  • ECS 550 Climate and Society

Field Courses

  • ECS 226S Field Methods in Earth and Environmental Sciences
  • ECS 278A Biodiversity of Alaska
  • ECS 288A Biogeography in an Australian Context
  • ECS 401 Field Exploration of the Geology of North Carolina
  • ECS 402S Volcanology – Geology of Hawaii
  • ECS 403 Geology and Natural History of the Yellowstone Region
  • ECS 410 Senior Capstone Experience

 


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