Course Schedule

The courses below are those offered for the term. (To view the course description, class dates & times, touch on accordion tab by the title.)

State-specific Information for Online Programs

Note: Students should be aware of state-specific information for online programs. For more information, please contact an admissions representative.

  • Homewood Campus

    420.624.01 - Ocean Stewardship and Sustainability

    Alexios Monopolis

    Thursday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/5 - 12/12

    Our oceans represent the final frontier of human exploration and discovery on Earth. Indeed, we have a greater understanding of the moon's surface than we do of the depths below the ocean’s surface. Although oceans are home to an extraordinary amount of biodiversity, over 95% of the ocean remains unexplored and over 90% of species have yet to be classified.

    What we do know, however, is that our oceans are under significant threat for human activities and a growing global population. Overfishing, plastic pollution, ocean warming and acidification threaten to undermine the ability of the ocean to sustain global systems that are critical for sustaining life on Earth. Indeed, the ocean produces half the planet’s oxygen, absorbs a quarter of all carbon dioxide emissions, feeds 3 billion people, and contributes $3 trillion per year to the global economy.

    This course will examine how to protect our oceans, in order to reduce pollution, restore and protect marine and coastal ecosystems, minimize ocean acidification, end overfishing and illegal harvesting, revitalize fish stocks, advance sustainable fishing practices, preserve endangered species, strengthen the rule of domestic and international law, promote innovation in ocean governance, and increase scientific knowledge, research and technology that supports ocean health.

    This course provides a holistic and systems-based view of how the ocean functions, human interactions with those functions and innovative policies and sustainable solutions to environmental problems stemming from those interactions.

    There will be two Saturday field trips for this course. Field Trip Fee = $50.00.

  • Washington DC Center

    420.601.51 - Geological Foundations of Environmental Science

    Jerry Burgess

    Tuesday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/10 - 12/17

    This course provides an overview of Earth’s materials, processes, and resources for environmental scientists and policymakers. Topics include minerals, rocks, sediments, stratigraphy, structure, geomorphology, and geologic environments. Emphasis is placed on understanding geologic principles and methods as applied to environmental science, Earth resources, and public policy. Offered online or onsite, twice per year. Onsite version includes a required field trip.

    This course will meet approximately half of the time at the Homewood Campus as well. We will be using facilities and equipment that are only available on the main campus. The first meeting will be in DC and there will be a field trip/lab fee of $100.

    420.611.51 - Principles & Methods of Ecology

    David Curson

    Wednesday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/4 - 12/11

    This course examines the relationship between organisms and their biotic and abiotic environment at three levels of biological hierarchy: individual organism, population, and community. Population characteristics, models of population dynamics, and the effect of ecological interactions on population regulation are discussed in detail. The structure and function of natural and man-made communities and the impact disturbances have on community structure are also examined. Students are led to appreciate the importance of ecology in solving environmental problems. Offered online or onsite, at least twice per year. Onsite version includes required field trips.

    This course will have two Saturday field trips to Soldiers Delight and Patuxent Wildlife Refuge. Field Trip Fee: $50.00.

    420.628.51 - Ecology and Management of Wetlands

    Kevin Brittingham

    Saturday 10:00 - 12:45; 9/7 - 12/14

    This course explores the biological, physical, chemical, and ecological aspects of tidal and non-tidal wetland ecosystems. Topics include wetland classification, valuation, function and dynamics. Wetland modification and manipulation are analyzed through case studies of restoration, construction, and mitigation. The effects of federal and state laws, of various regulations, and of human perturbations are explored. In-person sections include field trips that provide hands-on experience and demonstrate the significance of wetland mitigation, restoration and construction projects. Offered onsite every two years. Prerequisite: 420.611 Principles and Methods of Ecology, equivalent course, or experience.

    Field trip #1 – 9/14/19 – Jug Bay Wetland Sanctuary Field trip #2 – 9/21/19 – Anacostia Wetlands Field trip #3 – 9/28/19 – Chesapeake Bay Environmental Center Field trip #4 – 10/12/19 – Fort McHenry Wetland Mitigation Field trip #5 – 10/26/19 – Baltimore County stream restoration & wetland creation site Field Trip Fee: $150.00

    420.674.51 - Applied Energy Policy in the 21st Century

    Stephen Walls

    Monday 6:00 - 8:45; 9/9 - 12/16

    This course provides an overview of clean energy technology and deployment, infrastructure and finance for environmental scientists and policy makers. Topics include civics, climate science, renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable transportation, city infrastructure (energy, transportation, water), and public private partnerships. Emphasis is placed on a place-based approach to energy policy, including climate smart resilient cities and how new urban mobility can address social problems.

  • Online Courses

    420.301.81 - Quantitative Methods

    James Taylor

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    This prerequisite course provides the necessary background in mathematics for students who do not have sufficient undergraduate course work in calculus and statistics. Students who receive a provisional admission because of math deficiency can opt to take the mathematics assessment test. If the student earns a score of 80% or better, then s/he is not required to take the course. In this course, students acquire quantitative skills and an understanding of mathematical principles fundamental to environmental sciences, and necessary for evaluating the implications of policy measures. Topics include probability and statistics, systems of equations, analytical geometry, and basic concepts of calculus. Problem sets, interpretation of data, and applications to everyday problems help students appreciate the usefulness of quantitative methods. Offered online twice a year.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.603.81 - Environmental Applications of GIS

    Rachel Isaacs

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    Geographic information systems technology (GIS) is a powerful data visualization and analysis tool.This course is designed to introduce students to advanced concepts of geographic information science related to the fields of reserve planning, environmental science, natural resources, and ecology for the purpose of spatial analysis and geo-visualization of environmental issues. Topics may include conservation needs using remote sensing, digital image processing, data structures, database design, landscape ecology and metrics, wildlife home range and habitat analysis, suitability modelling, terrain and watershed analysis, and spatial data analysis. This course will only be offered online yearly. ?

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.603.82 - Environmental Applications of GIS

    Rachel Isaacs

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    Geographic information systems technology (GIS) is a powerful data visualization and analysis tool.This course is designed to introduce students to advanced concepts of geographic information science related to the fields of reserve planning, environmental science, natural resources, and ecology for the purpose of spatial analysis and geo-visualization of environmental issues. Topics may include conservation needs using remote sensing, digital image processing, data structures, database design, landscape ecology and metrics, wildlife home range and habitat analysis, suitability modelling, terrain and watershed analysis, and spatial data analysis. This course will only be offered online yearly. ?

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.604.81 - Hydrology & Water Resources

    Christiane Runyan

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    This course provides an introduction to the hydrological cycle and examines the influence of climate, geology, and human activity on this cycle. The components comprising this cycle will be examined and include: precipitation; evapotranspiration; surface and groundwater flow; storage in natural reservoirs; water quality; and water resource management and regulation. Discussion of these topics in threaded discussions using the primary literature as well as problem sets will highlight applications and areas of current hydrological research. Offered online and onsite three times per year. Onsite version includes a required field trip.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.604.82 - Hydrology & Water Resources

    Christiane Runyan

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    This course provides an introduction to the hydrological cycle and examines the influence of climate, geology, and human activity on this cycle. The components comprising this cycle will be examined and include: precipitation; evapotranspiration; surface and groundwater flow; storage in natural reservoirs; water quality; and water resource management and regulation. Discussion of these topics in threaded discussions using the primary literature as well as problem sets will highlight applications and areas of current hydrological research. Offered online and onsite three times per year. Onsite version includes a required field trip.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.608.81 - Oceanic & Atmospheric Processes

    Kathryn Schubel

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    In this course, students study the oceans and the atmosphere as interrelated systems. The basic concepts of air masses, water masses, winds, currents, fronts, eddies, and storms are linked to permit a fundamental understanding of the similar nature of oceanic and atmospheric processes. Among the course’s topics are weather forecasting, global climate change, marine pollution, and an introduction to applied oceanography. A field trip is included for in-person sections. Offered on-site or online two to three times each year.

    420.608.82 - Oceanic & Atmospheric Processes

    Kathryn Schubel

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    In this course, students study the oceans and the atmosphere as interrelated systems. The basic concepts of air masses, water masses, winds, currents, fronts, eddies, and storms are linked to permit a fundamental understanding of the similar nature of oceanic and atmospheric processes. Among the course’s topics are weather forecasting, global climate change, marine pollution, and an introduction to applied oceanography. A field trip is included for in-person sections. Offered on-site or online two to three times each year.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.611.81 - Principles & Methods of Ecology

    Jorge Santiago-Blay

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    This course examines the relationship between organisms and their biotic and abiotic environment at three levels of biological hierarchy: individual organism, population, and community. Population characteristics, models of population dynamics, and the effect of ecological interactions on population regulation are discussed in detail. The structure and function of natural and man-made communities and the impact disturbances have on community structure are also examined. Students are led to appreciate the importance of ecology in solving environmental problems. Offered online or onsite, at least twice per year. Onsite version includes required field trips.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.614.81 - Environmental Policymaking and Policy Analysis

    Andree DuVarney
    Rhey Solomon

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    This course provides students with a broad introduction to U.S. environmental policymaking and policy analysis. Included are a historical perspective as well as an analysis of future policymaking strategies. Students examine the political and legal framework, become familiar with precedent-setting statutes such as NEPA , RCRA , and the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and study models for environmental policy analysis. Cost benefit studies, the limits of science in policymaking, and the impact of environmental policies on society are important aspects of the course. A comparison of national and international policymaking is designed to provide students with the global perspective on environmental policy. Offered online or onsite, at least twice per year.

    Technology Fee: $200

    420.614.82 - Environmental Policymaking and Policy Analysis

    Andree DuVarney
    Rhey Solomon

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    This course provides students with a broad introduction to U.S. environmental policymaking and policy analysis. Included are a historical perspective as well as an analysis of future policymaking strategies. Students examine the political and legal framework, become familiar with precedent-setting statutes such as NEPA , RCRA , and the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and study models for environmental policy analysis. Cost benefit studies, the limits of science in policymaking, and the impact of environmental policies on society are important aspects of the course. A comparison of national and international policymaking is designed to provide students with the global perspective on environmental policy. Offered online or onsite, at least twice per year.

    Technology Fee: $200

    420.619.81 - Climate Dynamics

    Nathaniel Winstead

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    There is a huge interest in understanding the climate at multiple scales. This course will provide an overview of the chemical and physical climate system, feedbacks, and the basic physical balances governing atmospheric circulations and climate with an eye on understanding the basics of climate models. The course will cover energy transfer in the ocean-atmosphere system, mathematical modelling of the ocean and atmosphere, modeling of these systems and the basics on how to construct a climate model and explore the current state of climate models.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.622.81 - Ecotoxicology

    Michael Ciarlo

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    This course covers fundamental of ecotoxicology, including chemical action on plants, wildlife, and ecosystems. Coursework explores toxic effects of pollutants and other stressors at multiple levels of function ranging from cellular and organ systems to populations, communities, and ecosystem functions. Students will learn essential concepts governing fate, exposure, and toxic mechanisms of chemicals as well as basic mathematical models used to investigate biological uptake, bioaccumulation, and dose-response effects. Course includes lessons on application of ecotoxicology, including standard procedures for toxicity testing, risk assessment, and measuring exposures and impacts in the field. Topics are covered in a framework of basic biology and ecology, including cellular/organismal functions, trophic structure, food-web dynamics, population biology and community ecology. Offered online every two years. Prerequisite: 420.611 Principles and Methods of Ecology, equivalent course, or experience.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.638.81 - Coastal Zone Processes and Policy

    Kathryn Schubel

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    The course is designed to provide the student with knowledge to address modern coastal, environmental, geologic, and policy issues. The course will focus on the coasts, barrier-islands, major estuaries, and inner continental shelf areas of the United States. Fundamental coastal engineering principles will be described in order to address methods used for public works projects including hurricane protection, beach nourishment, and tidal inlet maintenance. The policies pertinent to management and use of coastal environments will be studied. Offered online every other year. Prerequisite: 420.601 Geological Foundations for Environmental Sciences, equivalent course, or experience.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.642.81 - Public Lands-Private Interests:The Struggle for Common Ground

    Jennifer da Rosa

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    This course prepares students to participate in the great debate over the use and protection of America 's federally owned forests, rangeland, parks, and sanctuaries. Students consider such questions as how much should be paid for grazing on federal lands; how to balance the demand for timber harvest with the need for watershed and wildlife management; who controls mineral and oil extraction on federal lands; and who has the rights to waters flowing through federal lands and stored behind federally funded dams. These and similar issues of today and tomorrow are studied in the context of history, statute and case law, and administrative regulations. Offered infrequently. Prerequisite: 420.614 Environmental Policymaking and Policy Analysis, equivalent course, or experience.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.643.81 - U.S. Environmental History

    Eileen McGurty

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    Environmentalism is a multifaceted phenomenon infused with many different schools of thought about the nature of environmental problems as well as the most appropriate solutions for those problems. This course will examine the major historical influences on the varied approaches to environmentalism and environmental practice. Students will explore the influence of environmental ideas and actions in the US from the 19th century to the present. The goal is to deepen our understanding of contemporary environmental practice – by others and ourselves – by tracing the influence of these historical trends in current debates and actions. Topics include conservationism, preservationism, transcendentalism and green romanticism, toxic construct, the wilderness construct, and sustainability.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.646.81 - Transportation Policy and Smart Growth

    Christopher Van Wyk

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    This course examines how transportation policy and decisions can alleviate or prevent problems resulting from urban sprawl. How can transportation decisions and planning contribute to more livable urban design and land use patterns that promote smart growth that is environmentally and ecologically sustainable? Students discuss how different environmental media land, water, and air are affected by our transportation systems and resulting development patterns, and how the design of transportation systems the highways, roads, transit systems, and bike and walk paths can more closely harmonize with nature and provide communities with a better quality of life. A wide range of policy options is examined, from altering the structure of road pricing to redesigning neighborhoods and altering urban form. A number of case studies are examined to illuminate the issues and principles raised in the course. Offered online at least every other year. Prerequisite: 420.614 Environmental Policymaking and Policy Analysis, equivalent course, or experience.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.660.81 - Strategies in Watershed Management

    Glenn Patterson

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    Watersheds are often thought of as the basic organizing units for landscapes and the natural resources they support. As water is a fundamental resource that shapes landscapes, nourishes life, provides habitat and recreation, and transports sediments, nutrients, and wastes, prudent management of watersheds is critical for thriving ecosystems and human populations. The course comprises ten on-line modules students, each with topical content, web pages to visit, readings in the required text, and a quiz. Most modules also have discussions, and some have other assignments. The final discussion is a brief essay on a relevant topic of the student's choice. Students are introduced to definitions of ‘watershed’ and ‘watershed management’ in the context of natural resources science and policy. There is a brief review of basic hydrology, a look at the history of watershed management, and examination of the institutions and legislation that control activities affect watershed management. We discuss threats to watershed health, sources of information to guide watershed managers, and practices that can ameliorate the threats. Through case histories, the students are exposed to the collaborative process for assessing, protecting, and restoring watersheds. Offered online, annually.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.665.81 - Climate Change on the Front Lines: The Study of Adaptation in Developing Countries

    Amir Poudel

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    Poor and developing countries are predicted to bear the brunt of climate change. This course will focus on key sectors such as agriculture, forestry, biodiversity, water resources, human health, and tourism and the ways in which poorer and developing counties are impacted by and adapting to climate change. This course may focus on a region or a specific country depending on the instructor. Assessment and evaluation of demographic trends, environmental challenges such as retreating ice, potential flood hazards, ecosystem impacts, as well as health issues will be incorporated. International instruments such as adaptation funds, carbon funds, clean development mechanisms, and reduced deforestation/degradation strategies and policies will be investigated in a comparative analysis of impacts and adaptation responses of countries around the world. Offered online, annually.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    420.690.81 - Environmental Health

    Paul Lewis

    Online 9/4 - 12/17

    The environment plays an important role affecting public health. This course will explore major topics in the area of environmental health, examining sources, routes, and health outcomes associated with exposure to microbial, chemical and physical agents in the environment. This course will cover how such agents affect human disease at the individual, community, and population level. Students will also explore how environmental health challenges are addressed through development of policy in a regulatory framework.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

  • Off-Site or International

    420.805.91 - Internship and Capstone Thesis

    Jerry Burgess
    Jennifer da Rosa

    This course is designed to allow students to have a Capstone/Thesis Internship Experience, a Group Research Project as well as the standard Capstone (Independent Research Project) in an internship format. Advanced students in the MS in Environmental Science and Policy program may propose an internship to receive on-the-job experience in science or science policy or a related profession. An approved internship receives one full course credit toward the MS in ESP degree usually an elective. Students may propose to participate in existing internship programs, or they may arrange a unique experience. In most cases, students should have completed four or more courses toward their degree before seeking an internship, and proposals must be submitted in writing to program leadership at least 30 days before the start of the target term. Proposals are evaluated on a competitive basis. Only a limited number will be approved, and priority will be given to students who have completed the most degree-level courses and who submit proposals that demonstrate the best internship experience. Internships may be paid or unpaid. To complete the course, students must write a robust paper designed for peer-review. The adviser for the paper will be the faculty member teaching the course in conjunction with a mentor as part of the internship experience. Because students receive academic course credit for internships, they pay tuition levels equal to one graduate course.

    Permission and Proposal Required before being admitted to the course.

  • Online Courses (Cross-Listed)

    425.800.81 - Research Design for Capstone Projects in Energy and Environmental Sciences

    Michael Schwebel

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 9/4 - 12/17

    The Capstone Project enables students to apply and synthesize the material learned in other courses, develop expertise on a specific topic related to climate change science or policy, work closely with experts in the field of study, and improve professional writing and presentation skills. In the semester prior to conducting the project, students must identify a proper topic and mentor who is both familiar with the chosen topic and willing to guide and oversee the project. The mentor must be a faculty member teaching in the program, a supervisor from the student’s place of work, or any expert with appropriate credentials. Formal proposals must be submitted at least two weeks prior to the start of the semester in which the project be completed. Prior to the enrollment in the course, the proposal must be reviewed and accepted by the course instructor.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

    470.770.81 - Communicating Public Policy

    Marilyn Serafini

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 9/4 - 12/17

    This course will introduce students to today’s most pressing public policy issues, with an emphasis on writing to achieve impact. Public policy professionals must be familiar with a variety of key issues and be able to effectively make a case for a position. This course will examine such topic areas as health care, energy/environment, fiscal policy, international trade, and education and identify core issues and the politics that characterize each of these policy areas. As part of our study, students will learn the art of writing policy memos, issue briefs, op-eds and speeches. When you complete the course successfully, you will be able to demonstrate a basic understanding of five public policy issues through various forms of writing. You will be able to effectively and succinctly write policy memos, issue briefs, op-eds, blogs and speeches, addressing a specified audience, clearly identifying the problem, and making a case for a position or solution.

    Technology Fee: $200.00

  • Homewood Campus (Cross-Listed)

    430.629.01 - Drones in Geospatial Decision Making

    James Blanchard

    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 9/4 - 10/22
    MTWThF 9:00 - 5:00; 10/21 - 10/24
    Online 6:00 - 8:45; 9/4 - 10/22

    This compressed format field course will explore current and future techniques of close-range remote sensing utilizing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs or drones) for environmental monitoring, urban cybersensing, and infrastructure assessment related to emergency response, leading to FAA Remote Pilot Certification to operate UAVs for commercial, professional, and research purposes. The course will focus on four basic objectives: (1) demonstrating knowledge and operational skills to successfully execute data acquisition using a variety of UAV remote sensing collection devices; (2) applying different methods of data acquisition and processing to identify, cross-validate and interpret data collected from UAV sensors; (3) discussing existing and emerging trends of UAV applications in various academic and professional situations, and (4) synthesizing and extrapolating data from these novel collection techniques to solve real-world problems. Students will act as flight crewmembers and scientific crew on numerous daily missions during the field portion of the course. Prerequisite: 430.600 Web GIS, or 420.603 Environmental Applications of GIS, or introductory GIS course.

    This course has a field component -a there will be a course fee of $325 per student The field work being Oct 21- Oct 24