ENVIRONMENT AND ECOLOGY (ENEC)
This course examines the ways in which scientific information, human values, and the policy process interact to produce environmental change, economic growth, and social justice in North Carolina.
Special topics course. Content will vary each semester.
Interdisciplinary course exploring the intersection between the natural world and society. Students will learn about how natural systems work, the ecosystem services they provide to societies, how global change has impacted these services on local and global scales, and how science is used to find solutions to these problems and inform environmental policy.
Students quantify global depletion of energy resources and accompanying environmental degradation, hence discovering the profound changes in attitudes and behavior required to adjust to diminished fossil fuels and modified climate.
Comparative study of the cultural and biological diversity of peoples of Siberia from prehistoric through contemporary times. Course topics include the biological diversity, culture, behavior, and history of Siberian populations.
Human-environment interactions are examined through analytical methods from the social sciences, humanities, and sciences. The focus is on the role of social, political, and economic factors in controlling interactions between society and the environment in historical and cultural contexts. Three lecture hours and one recitation hour a week. Honors version available.
Examines fundamental processes governing the movement and transformation of material and energy in environmental systems. Focuses on the role of these processes in environmental phenomena and how society perturbs these processes. Integrates methods from a range of scientific disciplines. Three lecture hours and three computer laboratory hours a week.
A quantitative introduction to selected topics in environmental sciences with an emphasis on developing and solidifying problem-solving skills.
This course will provide an intellectual focus on the interface between environment and society by examining the relationship among science, policy, and actual management practices on a chosen topic.
By employing a multidisciplinary approach, this class will give students a sense of the role that the environment has played in shaping United States society and the role that our society plays in producing environmental change at the national and global level. Honors version available.
This seminar series will provide a general introduction to energy sources, resources, technologies, and societal use from a sustainability perspective.
Natural processes and human impacts on estuarine systems using the Neuse River estuary as a case study. Course includes one week of intensive field work based at the Institute of Marine Sciences. A student may not receive credit for this course after receiving credit for ENEC 222. Course previously offered as MASC 220.
Introduction to the estuarine and coastal environment: geomorphology, physical circulation, nutrient loading, primary and secondary production, carbon and nitrogen cycling, benthic processes, and sedimentation. Consideration given to human impact on coastal systems with emphasis on North Carolina estuaries and sounds. Includes a mandatory weekend field trip and laboratory.
Explores the nexus of agricultural, ecological, and food systems as they dynamically interact. The class examines case studies from North Carolina and other parts of the world. Themes include nutrition, food security, agroecology, and sustainable livelihoods. Students engage in readings, class projects, and hands-on activities in a laboratory setting.
Course examines human adaptations to environments across Africa. Focuses on livelihood systems such as farming, herding and hunting/gathering.
This one credit hour course meets the semester before UNC students go to study abroad at the Institute for the Environment Thailand Field Site. The course will prepare students for the research portion of the program. Student should be applying to the field site when taking this course.
This one credit hour seminar is only open to students who are planning to participate in the spring research semester in Ecuador. The main purpose of this seminar is to prepare students for this six-month experience in Ecuador by discussing both research methods and Ecuadorian society.
Includes one-hour laboratory. Atmospheric processes including radiation, dynamics, and thermodynamics are emphasized. Circulations across a range of temporal and spatial scales are described. Links between environmental problems and the atmosphere are explored.
Covers the politics of environmental issues, with a focus on issues that have become internationalized. It focuses on the special problems that arise in creating rules for environmental management and regulation when no single government has authority to enforce those rules.
Introduction to the new field of biodiversity studies, which integrates approaches from systematics, ecology, evolution, and conservation. Taught at off-campus field station.
The course familiarizes students with the natural history, ecology, and physical and chemical characteristics of the coral reef environment. Policy and management issues are also examined.
This course explores the biogeography of Siberia and gives students practical training on how to do field work in field ecology and physical geography.
This course will give students a multidisciplinary introduction to growing field of biodiversity preservation.
A seminar that introduces students to non-Western perspectives and comparative study of ecological, social, and economic factors that influence the welfare of contemporary African communities. Examination of famine, population growth, and health issues within the context of African cultural and social systems.
Open to all undergraduates. North Carolina's flora: recognition, identification, classification, evolution, history, economics, plant families, ecology, and conservation. Three lecture and three laboratory hours per week.
Explores ecological theory and its application to the restoration of terrestrial, aquatic, and marine ecosystems. Requires 30 hours of service to a local restoration project in which students will collect ecological data for a final case study project.
Principles of spatial and temporal data analysis are applied to issues of the role of society in producing environmental change. Methods include statistical analysis, model development, and computer visualization. Three lecture hours and one laboratory hour a week.
Examines regional to global scale flow of materials and energy through materials extractions, processing, manufacturing, product use, recycling, and disposal, including relevance to policy development. Reviews natural cycles, basic physics, and technology of energy production.
Historical development of the system of beliefs, values, institutions, etc, underlying societal response to the environment in different cultures is analyzed. The approach is interdisciplinary, drawing on methods from history, philosophy, psychology, etc. Three lecture hours a week.
Introduction to the methods for assigning value to aspects of the environment and to interhuman and human-environment interactions. The approach is interdisciplinary, drawing on methods from philosophy, ecology, psychology, aesthetics, economics, religion, etc. Online course.
An exploration of the large-scale evolution of coastal environments, including relevance of geologic setting, wave and sediment transport processes, the evolution of beach and barrier island morphology, and issues of coastal environmental management. Course previously offered as GEOL 310/MASC 316.
A Web-based course on the methods and roles of risk assessment in the international setting, with a primary focus on United States-European Union applications in environmental policy decisions.
This course takes a deep dive into the global energy transition, studying the rapidly-evolving renewable energy and energy-efficiency technologies, prices for new energy sources like solar and wind, and competition with fossil and nuclear fuels. Honors version available.
This introductory course will cover two broad themes: the physical processes of the hydrologic cycle and how human use (and abuse) of freshwater resources can lead to major environmental problems. PX credit for ENEC/EMES 324 + 324L. PL credit for ENEC/EMES 324. Course previously offered as GEOL 324.
This course explores logistical, political, social, and economic challenges in supplying every human with adequate access to clean water, the most basic human right. Honors version available.
This course introduces students to theories, principles, and measurement of sustainability. It also provides an overview of sustainability in national and international contexts.
This course gives students an overview of environmental law and some practical experience in environmental policy making.
The utilization of common coastal resources, the management of fisheries, and coastal zone management guide an examination of coastal laws, policies, and regulations at the federal, state, and local levels. Taught at off-campus field station.
Gives students a foundation in population biology and the ecological processes that influence populations of economically important fish and shellfish. Students will gain practical quantitative skills including statistical analyses, model development, and data visualization. Familiarity with introductory statistics concepts is preferred but not necessary.
The meaning of environmental values and their relation to other values; the ethical status of animals, species, wilderness, and ecosystems; the built environment; environmental justice; ecofeminism; obligations to future generations.
Introduction to the ecology of agricultural practices and the impact of food production on the environment. Particular attention will be paid to the constraints on agriculture which must be overcome to feed the planet's growing population. Honors version available.
This course will provide an overview of some of the most challenging energy issues of the 21st century and will cover the tools and perspectives necessary to analyze those problems.
Explores linkages among nations, global environmental institutions, and the environmental problems they cause and seek to rectify. Introduces pressing challenges of the global environment such as China and India's energy and climate policies, the environmental impacts of coal, nuclear energy, shale gas and fracking, and marine pollution. Discusses perspectives of nations, the role of financial markets and NGOs, and the international community involved in crafting policy solutions.
Climate change-perhaps the defining issue of the 21st century-is a highly complex problem that requires interdisciplinary collaboration to develop policy responses. This course explores the science of climate change and uses theories from multiple disciplines, including law, political science, economics, and earth and atmospheric sciences, to frame solutions to this global challenge. Students will apply quantitative and qualitative tools to understand causes and impacts of climate change, as well as policy responses.
Explores rhetorical means of citizen influence of practices affecting our natural and human environment; also, study of communication processes and dilemmas of redress of environmental grievances in communities and workplace.
This course develops a set of core principles that are essential to understand and evaluate environmental policy and renewable resource use. These principles are primarily economic, but our discussion will also include insights from politics and ethics.
Permission of the instructor. This course provides an internship with an organization on sustainability topics and public engagement. Pass/Fail only.
Permission of the instructor. Research in an area of environmental science or environmental studies.
Permission of the instructor. A specialized selection of readings from the literature of a particular environmental field supervised by a member of the Carolina Environmental Faculty group. Written reports on the readings or a literature review paper will be required. Cannot be used as a course toward the major.
Required preparation, a background in chemistry and mathematics, including ordinary differential equations. Chemical processes occurring in natural and engineered systems: chemical cycles; transport and transformation processes of chemicals in air, water, and multimedia environments; chemical dynamics; thermodynamics; structure/activity relationships.
Introduces students to approaches used to preserve the natural and cultural heritage of the Southern Appalachians. Taught at off-campus field station.
Principles of analysis of the atmosphere are applied to the analysis of environmental phenomena. The link between the atmosphere and other environmental compartments is explored through environmental case studies.
Recommended preparation, ENEC 201, and MATH 152 or 231. This course will get students familiar with the principles governing the conversion of a variety of non-renewable and renewable resources to energy services. Physical, chemical, and biological principles involved in the design and analysis of these systems will be reviewed. The basics of project economics applied to the design of energy conversion systems will also be introduced.
Principles of geological and related Earth systems sciences are applied to analyses of environmental phenomena. The link between the lithosphere and other environmental compartments is explored through case studies of environmental issues. Three lecture hours and one laboratory hour a week.
Principles of analysis of the ocean, coast, and estuarine environments and the processes that control these environments are applied to the analysis of environmental phenomena. Case studies of environmental issues. Three lecture hours and one laboratory hour a week.
Required preparation, any introductory geology course. This course develops the knowledge and skills teachers need to implement inquiry-based earth science instruction: conceptual knowledge of earth sciences and mastery of inquiry instructional methods. Students study inquiry in cognitive science and learning theory. This course is a requirement for the UNC-BEST program in geological sciences. Course previously offered as GEOL 412.
This course explores principles and strategies for studying environmental phenomena, and presents methods for developing explanatory and predictive models of environmental systems, e.g., predator-prey, estuaries, greenhouse gases, and ecosystem material cycles.
This course explores atmospheric processes most important to environmental problems such as the transport and transformation of air pollutants and weather systems involved in intercontinental transport of gases and particles.
Earth surface processes and landscape evolution. Previously offered as GEOL 417.
The impact of building on the environment and health will be examined by looking at the major areas of: land use planning, water resource use, energy, materials and indoor environment.
Textiles are pervasive in our lives, from clothing to upholstery, yet have major impacts on our environment and health, from the products' cradle to grave. This course examines the environmental and social costs of producing our clothing, carpet, and other textiles in daily life. We will also consider possible solutions currently offered by industry and entrepreneurs.
Recommended preparation, ENEC 330. For the first time in history, a majority of the world's people live in cities with huge implications for sustainability. Students will examine the factors driving the trend toward urbanization worldwide, the challenges posed by this trend, and the efforts by cities to become more sustainable.
Recommended preparation, ENEC 201, and MATH 110 or 130. This class will introduce students to environmental life cycle assessment (LCA). The methodology to calculate the environmental impacts associated with a product, a service, or a system will be reviewed through case studies in the field of energy systems, waste management, and eco-design. Students will also get a chance to learn how to perform a full LCA through a hands-on project using LCA software and databases.
Study of wetland ecosystems with particular emphasis on hydrological functioning, the transition from terrestrial to aquatic systems, wetlands as filtration systems, and exchange between wetlands and other environments. Course previously offered as MASC 433.
Water is an essential resource for all life, and the availability of clean water will become one of the most important socio-political and economic discussions over the coming decades. This course covers fundamentals of groundwater storage, subsurface flow, and contaminant transport, emphasizing the role of groundwater in the hydrologic cycle, the relation of groundwater flow to geologic structure, and the management of contaminated groundwater and drinking water resources. Course previously offered as GEOL 435.
How does climate change affect vulnerable human populations? We will attempt to answer a shared research question on this topic by reading the peer-reviewed literature and by conducting a semester-long data analysis project incorporating social and climate data from around the world. This is a course-based undergraduate research experience (CURE).
This course introduces students to the physiological, morphological, and behavioral factors employed by marine organisms to cope with their physical environment. Emphasis will be placed on the response of marine organisms to environmental factors such as seawater temperature, light, water salinity, ocean acidification, etc. Course previously offered as MASC 441.
For junior and senior science majors or graduate students. Biology of marine photosynthetic protists and cyanobacteria. Phytoplankton evolution, biodiversity, structure, function, biogeochemical cycles and genomics. Harmful algal blooms, commercial products, and climate change. Three lecture/practical session hours per week. Course previously offered as MASC 444. Permission of the instructor.
A field-intensive study of the ecology of marine organisms and their interactions with their environment, including commercially important organisms. Laboratory/recitation/field work is included and contributes two credit hours to the course. Course previously offered as MASC 448.
Principles of chemistry, biology, and geology are applied to analysis of the fate and transport of materials in environmental systems, with an emphasis on those materials that form the most significant cycles. Three lecture hours and one laboratory hour a week.
Introduction to contemporary and historical changes in human population, international development, and the global environment and how these processes interact, drawing on population geography as an organizing framework. Previously offered as GEOG 450.
Examines how human-environmental adaptations shape the economic, social, and cultural lives of hunter-gatherers, pastoralists and agriculturalists. Approaches include optimal foraging theory, political ecology and subsistence risk.
Historical ecology is a framework for integrating physical, biological, and social science data with insights from the humanities to understand the reciprocal relationship between human activity and the Earth system.
Students will develop a comprehensive understanding of the field of ecology, including modern and emerging trends in ecology. They will develop literacy in the fundamental theories and models that capture ecological processes; emphasis will also be placed on the relevance of ecology and ecological research for human society.
Explores the ecological concepts underlying ecosystem management (e.g., genetic and species diversity, stability, resilience, landscape ecology, etc.), the tools used in the approach, and case studies of how communities are implementing ecosystem management.
This course explores the intersection of business/economic growth and the major sustainability issues affecting the environment and societal well-being and raises questions about business ethics and the moral responsibility of business leaders, consumers, and citizens. Previously offered as ENEC 306.
Reviews geographical information systems (GIS). Covers geostatistics theory for the interpolation of environmental and health monitoring data across space and time. Uses publicly available water and air quality monitoring data to create maps used for environmental assessment, regulatory compliance analysis, exposure science, and risk analysis.
Required preparation, one course in probability and statistics. Use of mathematical models and computer simulation tools to estimate the human health impacts of exposure to environmental pollutants. Three lecture hours per week.
A cohesive examination of the human impacts on biological processes in estuarine ecosystems. Laboratory/recitation/field work is included and contributes two credit hours to the course. Taught at off-campus field station.
This course is designed to develop basic finance skills along with familiarity with core business concepts. The goal of the course is to empower non-business majors with the skills and vocabulary required to advance the goals of pro-environment businesses and social entrepreneurs.
This course explores the environmental history of the Albemarle estuary and its larger watershed and explores ways in which humans can utilize this region in a more sustainable manner. Taught at off-campus field station.
This course examines the political and economic dimensions of the food we eat, how it is produced, who eats what, and related social and environmental issues, both domestic and international, affecting the production, pricing, trade, distribution, and consumption of food. Honors version available.
This course utilizes GIS, GPS, and remote sensing technologies to gather data on geology, watersheds, soils, integrated moisture indices. The class also develops habitat maps and derives species diversity indices. Taught at off-campus field station.
This course develops a core set of principles to understand and evaluate energy markets, policies, and regulations. Topics include oil markets, electric vehicles and CAFÉ standards, pollution permit markets and C02 regulations, and electricity markets.
Explores coastal and offshore energy issues, including energy demand, present-day and innovative sources of energy to meet that demand, economics, policy, and environmental and human health outcomes of different energy sources. Summer session only; online and field trip hybrid course, with a mandatory 8-day field site component on the Outer Banks. Housing and field activities arranged by the instructor, which will carry a fee. Taught at off-campus field station.
This course develops and applies core principles essential to understanding and evaluating coastal environmental policy and renewable resource use. The principles include the economics of pollution, public choice, information and cost-benefit analysis, property rights, incentive-based regulation, and the economics of renewable resources. Includes insights from politics and ethics. Taught at off-campus field station.
Principles of analysis of the structure and function of ecosystems are applied to environmental phenomena. The link between the biosphere and other environmental compartments is explored through case studies of environmental issues. Three lecture hours and one laboratory hour a week. Taught at off-campus field station.
Advanced topics from diverse areas of environmental science and/or environmental studies are explored. Honors version available.
Combines theory and application to explore effective communication in various environmental contexts and professions. Offers students from diverse disciplines tools to effectively and credibly communicate about environmental topics using a spectrum of strategies, and offers methods for effective thinking, writing, and speaking.
Students learn quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research skills and their application to public policies and management of natural resources.
Permission of the instructor. This course provides an internship with an organization related to environmental sciences or studies. Pass/Fail only.
Provides a real-world and relevant case study in which to apply material from multiple disciplines including public policy, economics, environmental science, and international studies. Teaches techniques for building policy models not covered elsewhere.
Introduction to the theory, methods, and applications of stable isotopes to environmental problems. Primary focus will be on the origin, natural abundance, and fractionation of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen isotopes. Course previously offered as GEOL 511.
Focuses on biological-physical couplings that shape coastal environments (i.e. coastal 'ecomorphodynamics') and determine how these environments change with climate and land use. Environments include: barrier islands, open ocean coastlines, and tidal wetlands. Grading based on presentations, participation, and a research proposal. Course previously offered as ENEC 710/GEOL 710/MASC 730.
River floods are critically important in the global hydrologic cycle. While seasonal floods can be environmentally restorative, they can also have devastating socio-economic and public health consequences. Beginning with the hydrologic cycle, this course will cover concepts related to rainfall runoff and hydrologic response, flood frequency analysis, the mechanics of open channel flow, and overland and channel routing. Students will also gain experience working with real-world data and engineering software. Previously offered as GEOL 514.
The course will provide students with a multidisciplinary perspective of environmental changes to encompass both human health and ecological health.
Recommended preparation, MATH 383. Develops explanatory and predictive models of the earth's climate. The level is introductory and the emphasis is on modeling past climate with the hope of understanding its future.
This course explores the reciprocal connections between energy (production/conversion, distribution, and use), land use, environment, and transportation. Evaluation of federal, state, and local policies on energy conservation and alternative energy sources are emphasized. Students gain skills to analyze impacts, interdependencies, and uncertainties of various energy conservation measures and production technologies.
This course will provide an introduction to urgent topics related to energy, sustainability, and the environment. The course material will focus on new technologies, policies, and plans in cities and different governing bodies in the energy system with a focus on developing tools to analyze energy for its sustainability, impact on people, the environment, and the economy.
Introduction to the application of quantitative and statistical methods in environmental science, including environmental monitoring, assessment, threshold exceedance, risk assessment, and environmental decision making.
Application of modern statistical analysis and data modeling in ecological and evolutionary research. Emphasis is on computer-intensive methods and model-based approaches. Familiarity with standard parametic statistics is assumed.
An interdisciplinary course for students interested in environmental issues or journalism to produce stories about environmental issues that matter to North Carolinians. Students learn to identify credible sources, manage substantial amounts of information, and find story focus as they report on technical and often controversial subjects in a variety of media.
This course provides an overview of natural and social science approaches to addressing biodiversity conservation and resource management. Concepts and methods from population biology, evolutionary ecology, community ecology, and conservation biology will be complemented with approaches from common property theory, indigenous resource management, and human evolutionary ecology.
Required preparation, previous course work in ecology. Permission of the instructor. Topics vary but focus on interdisciplinary problems facing humans and/or the environment. May be repeated for credit.
Examines the interplay of science and economics in the design of environmental markets. The first part introduces the principles of environmental economics. The second part considers several case studies that illustrate the critical role that scientific models of natural systems play in the design of environmental markets.
Water resources demand-supply relationships, United States water resource and related water quality policy, legal structure for water allocation, planning, project and program evaluation, and pricing. Strategies for coping with floods, droughts, and climate change will be explored. Extensive use of case studies.
Introduction to the management of water quality at the local and basinwide scales. Topics include theory and management frameworks; state and federal statutes and programs; water contaminants, their fate and transport; alternatives for improving and protecting water quality; and the technologies and management practices of selected basinwide comprehensive strategies.
Permission of the instructor required. Students receive service-learning credit through active participation in a community, campus, or other approved group project.
The goal of this course is to help students who intend to become professional ecologists or biologists acquire critical skills and strategies needed for achieving their career goals.
Applications of continuum mechanics in the earth sciences, including stress, strain, elasticity, and viscous flow. Numerical solutions to problems in heterogeneous finite strain including finite element analysis. Course previously offered as GEOL 608.
Recommended preparation, MATH 231. This course will equip students with an overview of contemporary issues in energy modeling and energy systems analysis, with a focus on environmental and public health impacts of energy systems. Students will gain exposure to a variety of research methodologies, analytical tools, and applications of energy modeling applied to environmental and public health related problems such as climate change, air pollution, and water footprints of energy systems.
This course explores the functions of ecosystems, land development activities that impact such functions, and the land use management tools to create strategies for mitigating and restoring environmental damage. Course goals include understanding the ecological context of planning and how ecological principles may inform planning decisions. Prepares planners to engage effectively with biologists, natural resource managers, park managers, and other professionals from the natural sciences.
May be repeated for credit.
Examines communication practices that accompany citizen participation in environmental decisions, including public education campaigns of nonprofit organizations, "risk communication," media representations, and mediation in environmental disputes.
Theory and methods of environmental economics. Topics covered include cost-benefit analysis and environmental policy analysis, economic concept of sustainability, optimal use of natural resources, nonmarket valuation, and economic instruments.
Permission of the director of undergraduate studies. First of two course sequence leading to the honors designation.
Permission of the director of undergraduate studies. Independent project leading to the honors designation. Includes weekly research seminar.
Interdisciplinary, team-based analyses of environmental phenomena are performed and applied to problems of the selection of effective environmental strategies. Students may select from a wide range of examples and venues.
Graduate standing in ecology required. Organized field work in remote environments with a faculty instructor as approved by student's supervisory committee. May be repeated for credit.
Permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit.
Acquaints early career graduate students with research techniques and assesses their propensity for research. Arranged by mutual agreement of the student and faculty member.