Building Strong Geoscience Departments > Curricula & Programs > Curriculum Design > Curriculum Profiles > GeoEnvironmental Studies, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

GeoEnvironmental Studies, Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania

Information for this profile was provided by Thomas P. Feeney in 2009.

Shippensburg University of PA is a public four-year institution, primarily undergraduate .

Overview and Context

Illustration of the Shippensburg geoenvironmental studies curriculum, constructed by Monica Bruckner, based on information provided by Thomas Feeney. Click on the image to see a larger version.
GeoEnvironemntal Studies at Shippensburg is the largest program within the Geography and Earth Science Department. All 15 faculty are engaged in the program that typically has ~150 majors enrolled at any one time. The University undergraduate degree requires 120 hours; the Geoenvironmental Studies (B.S.) totals a minimum of 37 credit hours.
This is the primary curricula available to undergraduates interested in physical geography/geology/geo-technical. Other tracks include Land Use, Geographic Techniques (i.e. GIS/Cartography), and Earth-Space Education.

Program Design

This program provides a broad cross-section of the Geoscience field. There is a wide degree of flexibility of course selection, and students are assigned an advisor upon declaring the major. Students are exposed to fundamentals of geology, hydrology, meteorology, land use, field techniques, and cartography/GIS.

Goals and Assessment

The curriculum was designed to provide breadth across the discipline in an effort to provide students the skills to be successful in graduate studies or the professional field. A wide range of electives coached within areas of specializations offers students the flexibilty to concentrate on various topics within the discipline.

For assessment,
  • All prospective graduating senoirs are given an exit survey in the Capstone course.
  • Internship sponsors provide summaries of student work.

Courses and Sequencing

Entry into the program

  • Physical Geology
  • Meteorology
  • Soils
  • Hydrology

Core courses

  • Geoenvironemntal Internship (3-6 credit hours)

Electives

Students are required to take

  • 6 credits (2 courses) of GEOGRAPHY electives,
  • 9 credits (3 courses) of GEOENVIRONMENTAL COMPLEX SYSTEMS electives,
  • 3 credits (1 course) of GEOENVIRONMENTAL electives, and
  • 6 credits (2 courses) of TECHNIQUE COURSE electives
selected from the lists below.

GEOGRAPHY ELECTIVES

  • Economic Geography
  • Land Use
  • Geography of Europe
  • Geography of Latin America
  • Transportation Geography
  • Geography of South and SE Asia
  • Industrial Geography
  • Geography of East Asia
  • Historical Geography
  • Urban Geography
  • Regional Geographic Studies
  • Geography-Geology Field Study

GEOENVIRONMENTAL COMPLEX SYSTEMS

  • Applied Meteorology and Climatology
  • Mineral and Rock Resources
  • Environmental Geology
  • Intro to Biogeography
  • Geomorphology
  • Environmental Health
  • Groundwater and Hydrogeology
  • Environmental Land Use Planning
  • Water Resources Management
  • Geography-Geology Field Study
  • Selected Topics

GEOENVIRONMENTAL ELECTIVES

  • Historical Geology
  • Geology of National Parks
  • Oceanography
  • Climatology Geomorphology Introduction to Research

TECHNIQUE COURSE ELECTIVES

  • GIS I: Introduction to GIS
  • Remote Sensing
  • Cartography GIS II: Intermediate GIS
  • GIS III: Advanced GIS
  • Image Processing
  • Field Techniques
  • Quantitative Methods
  • Geography-Geology Field Study

Other required courses

  • THREE COURSES SELECTED FROM:
    • Principles of Biology
    • Ecology
    • Field Zoology
    • Plant Taxonomy
    • Field Natural History
  • TWO COURSES SELECTED FROM:
    • Introductory Physics
    • Chemical Bonding
    • Introductory Chemistry
  • ONE MATH COURSE SELECTED FROM:
    • Finite Math
    • Statistics
    • Pre-Calculus
    • Calc I or II
  • ONE COURSE SELECTED FROM:
    • Overview of Computer Science
    • Computer Science I
    • Computer Science II

Capstone

  • Geography Seminar

Additional comments

GIS Certificate Option: GIS I and GIS II required; 2 (two) additional "technique" courses.

Additional Materials




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