Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences

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Fall/Spring: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM

Summer: 8:00 AM -4:00 PM

We face a changing planet, and we need people who can make a difference. We can help you become one of those people!

Why you're needed ...

Change is occurring:

  • Population growth to 9+ billion people by 2100
  • Greater demand for fresh water
  • Climate change induced floods and drought
  • Increased demand for natural resources
  • A necessity for innovation and conservation

We need people ready to engage in making a difference.

  • Do you like to work outside or in the lab?
  • Are you interested in new technologies?
  • Do you want to help build a better society?

Look no further ...

Earth and Space Science gives secondary education majors the required coursework to be certified in earth and space science. It's also a good choice for students seeking careers in science-related business, journalism or public policy.

Environmental Geoscience is a blend of geography and geology that prepares you for graduate school or careers focusing on water and the environment, such as water resources management, environmental consulting, watershed management, coastal or marine systems, and wetlands delineation and restoration.

Geography and Planning prepares you for careers and for graduate school in a variety of specialties. This track is appropriate for students interested in cartography, urban, regional, or environmental planning, geographic information systems (GIS), resource management and valuation, parks and recreation.

GIS and Spatial Analysis introduces you to the process and study of collecting, measuring, and interpreting geographic information in order to create and update maps and charts for regional planning, education, and other purposes.

Professional Geology is a traditional geology program that prepares you for graduate school or certification as a professional geologist (P.G.), working in careers, such as hydrogeology, natural hazard mitigation, mining, or fossil fuel exploration and production.

Geosciences Minor is intended for students in any major interested in customizing their degree with a focus on mineral or fossil fuel resources, surface processes, environmental consulting, etc.

Geography Minor is intended for students in any major interested in customizing their degree with a specialty, such as resource management, planning, recreation, environmental valuation, or hazard management.

GIS and Spatial Analysis Minor is intended for students in any major interested in customizing their degree with a focus on spatial analysis.

Hydrology Minor is intended for students in any major interested in obtaining expertise in water resources, conservation, testing, and management.

Soil Science Minor is intended for students who are interested in studying and managing soils as a natural resource. Soil scientists are needed for areas such as wetland delineation, erosion/sedimentation control, engineering, and wastewater disposal. The minor provides the educational background needed to pursue certification after graduation as a Certified Professional Soil Scientist.

Bloomsburg’s MyCore General Education program gives students more flexibility to include a minor, ad customize their degree to their specific interests and talents. Talk with your advisor early on to see which minors might best support your interests and intended career path, and to help lay out a plan to complete your coursework.

Science and Technology

Any math or science minor can be of value, depending on your interests:

Sometimes, a minor in a different field will make you stand out to an employer.

Liberal Arts

Alternatively (not minors but still useful)

  • Two semesters of Arabic will be of value for anyone working in the Middle East
  • Four semesters of Russian – Russia is one of the most resource rich countries.
  • An Anthropology minor may be good; geoscientists are involved at most archeological sites.

Education

  • The Educational Technology minor is useful for anyone interested in science education, whether in schools or industry (specialized training programs).
  • Nearly every organization in education, business, and industry is engaged in the integration of technology through ongoing instruction and training in technological areas.

Business

  • The Legal Studies minor is an excellent introduction for those who may pursue or need to be familiar with any type of environmental regulations or environmental law.
  • Management minor is useful for those who wish to have advancement options in scientific or engineering industries and companies.

 

Common Core

All four tracks start with a common core of four courses in which students study how the Earth works, the impacts people have on the environment (and the impact the environment has on us), and ways to use maps to record, store, and communicate information about the world around us. Having a common core helps build a sense of community, exposes each student to all aspects of EGGS, and allows majors to make more informed choices about which major track they ultimately pick.

Common Core Courses:

  • EGGS 100 – Introduction to Environmental Science
  • EGGS 120 – Physical Geology
  • EGGS 150 – Quantitative Methods
  • EGGS 242 – Map Use and Analysis

Related Science and Math Cognates

All EGGS majors must take some courses in related science disciplines such as biology, physics, and chemistry because these are vital to developing a good understanding of the Earth, and our interactions with it! For instance, to treat a stream affected by acid mine drainage, it helps to understand some chemistry; to work for an alternative energy company, it helps to understand some physics; and understanding stream biology can help students restore a stream damaged by dredging or bank erosion.

At least one math course is also required. Having good math skills helps our majors identify and analyze patterns, construct logical arguments, and dissect and solve problems.

Science and Math Cognate Courses: The number and type of required cognate science and math courses varies, depending on your chosen EGGS track.

Specific Degree Requirements

Each track has additional required foundational courses, as well as upper-level electives that allow you to specialize in a particular area of interest.

General Education Courses

In addition to courses required for the major, every student at Bloomsburg University must also complete the General Education requirements. General Education courses will connect you to the world of ideas outside of EGGS, and help you develop the critical thinking and communication skills that are vital for success in every job. Thoughtful planning will allow you to choose approved General Education courses that reflect your interests, strengthen your major, and perhaps even get you started on a related minor.

For example:

  • if you are interested in working for an environmental advocacy organization, you could take Public Speaking.
  • If you plan to work in public policy, or get a job with a municipality, the Commonwealth, or the Federal Government, you might want to take Elements of Political Science, or U.S. Government.
  • Introduction to Business might be appropriate for students interested in environmental consulting, where career paths often start in the field, but lead into the office where you might oversee projects and/or to help manage the business.

Tentative Schedule of EGGS courses

While most of our general education and introductory courses are offered every semester, many of our upper level courses are not! Some are offered once a year, others once every other year or every three semesters. Knowing when the classes needed for your major are offered will help you determine when to take prerequisites for necessary coursework, and when specific requirements and electives will best fit into your plan.

Tentative Course Offerings

EGGS Course Prerequisites

Sometimes we require that you take courses in a specific order. Mastering fundamental concepts in one course allows you to succeed in another course that builds upon those fundamentals. When we need you to take classes in a particular order, we make one course a required prerequisite for the next. You will not be able to register for the higher-number course until you have completed (or are taking) the prerequisite lower-number course. For instance, you must take EGGS 242 - Map Use and Analysis before you take EGGS 360 - Principles of GIS I. Being aware of course prerequisites will help you map out an efficient plan for completing the major (as will seeing your advisor regularly!).

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Spatial Analysis

Digital Mapping Sciences (aka Geographical Information Systems, or GIS) are a rapidly growing field. They are used in a vast array of commercial domains including business sales and service, national intelligence, government planning, emergency management, and virtually every scientific field that maps spatial data including environmental science, archaeology, conservation biology, and geology.

The courses listed below are available for the STEM magnet track. The sequence provides students with a solid foundation in GIS mapping and programming that can be applied to a wide array of careers.

Junior Year

  • Fall: EGGS 242 Map Use and Analysis, and Elective 1
  • Spring: EGGS 360 Principles of GIS I, and Elective 2

Senior Year

  • Fall: EGGS 361 Principles of GIS II, and Elective 3
  • Spring: Electives 4 and 5, or a High School GIS Internship

Major in GIS?

The STEM track provides a standalone skillset that high school students can use to enhance their studies in many different academic domains (e.g., biology, business, sociology, etc.). For students with an interest in pursuing a geotechnical career, the Bloomsburg University EGGS Department offers major and minor degrees in GIS and Spatial Analysis.

Course List

  • EGGS 160 - Digital Earth
  • EGGS 242 - Map Use and Analysis
  • EGGS 320 - Remote Sensing
  • EGGS 360 - Principles of GIS 1
  • EGGS 361 - Principles of GIS 2
  • EGGS 364 - Digital Cartography
  • EGGS 390 - UAV / Drones
  • COMPSCI 115 - Python
  • COMPSCI 215 - Advanced Python
  • ENGTECH 180 - CAD

For more information contact Dr. Michael Shepard, Chair, at mshepard@bloomu.edu | (570) 389-4568 or Dr. Jeff Brunskill, GIS Program Coordinator, at jbrunski@bloomu.edu | (570) 389-4355

Annual Reports and Links

Environmental geoscience conduct soil sampling on upper campus

Jacques Weber Foundation Scholarship

This four-year, $10,000 per year award is for an incoming first-year EGGS major with a record of outstanding academic achievement. Students should submit a 300 to 500 word essay discussing the experiences that inspired their pursuit of this degree. Along with these minimum requirements, students must submit at least one letter of recommendation from a teacher, school administrator, or other mentor. The winner will be selected by the EGGS department. Renewable through senior year with contingencies.

EGGS students in the popular Field Methods course overlook Death Valley from a spectacular vantage.

Making a difference

Your support of the academic community in Environmental, Geographical and Geological Sciences (EGGS) at BU is critical for its continued success. Gifts from our alumni and friends allow our faculty to mentor students in their research projects throughout the year and put our students in the best position to succeed by helping provide availability of the latest technology, research and teaching methods.

The Husky Difference

Solar array located on lower campus
Since 2012, we've monitored the energy data from our solar array located between Hartline Science Center and Ben Franklin Hall.
Outdoor classroom located on upper campus
Located on upper campus, our Sustainable Food Systems Outdoor Classroom is a living sustainability education center and organic food producer.
Aerial photo of Bloomsburg's campus
We provide tracking of weather trends by local radar, current conditions and weather advisories, along with many other weather related features.

EGGS Contacts

Michael Shepard

Michael Shepard, Ph.D.

  • Chair and Professor of the Department of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences
Cheryl Smith

Cheryl Smith, B.S.

  • Secretary of the Department of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences
Rebecca Bourgault, Ph.D.

Rebecca Bourgault, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences, Professional U Fellow, College of Science and Technology
John Hintz

John Hintz, Ph.D.

  • Interim High Impact Practices Honors College Director, Professor of Environmental, Geographical, and Geological Sciences