Environmental Science, BS - Grades 4-8 Science Education Concentration

Program Description

Introduction

The College of Science and Engineering is committed to the support of students seeking to become science, mathematics and technology educators at all levels. The Science, Mathematics and Technology Education (SMTE) program offers content courses for students seeking K-12 science, mathematics and technology education. SMTE classes are also an integral part of the course work for degrees preparing students for Teacher Certifications. The SMTE program does not offer a degree; rather, degrees leading to Teacher Certification are offered by other Science and Technology programs and by the College of Education and Human Development. Students seeking to teach in the elementary and secondary schools of Texas must meet degree requirements as well as certification requirements. The requirements and procedure to become a science, mathematics or technology teacher in Texas are outlined below. Undergraduate students who are graduating from the College of Science & Engineering or the College of Liberal Arts who are seeking initial teacher certification at the 4-8, 7-12 and EC-12 levels prior to graduation, automatically qualify for the Minor in Education.

How to Become a Science, Mathematics or Technology Teacher in Texas

In order to be recommended for teacher certification at this university, a candidate must fulfill three basic requirements:

  1. have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university that includes an academic major and teacher training courses,
  2. complete teacher training through an approved program, and
  3. successfully complete the appropriate teacher certification tests for the subject and grade level that the candidate wishes to teach.

Additional information on the requirements to become a teacher in Texas can be obtained at the State Board of Educator Certification (SBEC) website: http://www.sbec.state.tx.us/SBECOnline/certinfo/becometeacher.asp. This website also provides information on the resources available to help students pay for a teacher training program.

SBEC has approved three levels of teacher certification for regular educators:

  1. Early childhood to grade 6 which includes foundation subjects and enrichment areas such as art, PE, and music,
  2. Grade 4-8 which includes the foundation areas only, and
  3. Grade 7-12 certification.

Students can find information on the different certifications at the official Texas Examinations of Educator Standards (TExES) Web site: http://www.texes.ets.org. Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi offers several degrees leading to a number of these teacher certifications. The College of Education and Human Development offers several degrees leading to teacher certification. The College of Science and Engineering offers bachelor’s degrees leading to teacher certification in the sciences, mathematics and technology at the 4-8 and the 7-12 levels. These bachelor’s degrees are the following:

Mathematics 7-12 teacher certification is also possible with an undergraduate major other than mathematics. Details can be found in the Mathematics, Grades 7-12 Teacher Certification Without a Mathematics Major section.

The individual programs, Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, and Mathematics offer these degrees and courses.

Students seeking Teacher Certification are also strongly urged to contact the Certification Officer in the College of Education and Human Development about current requirements and procedures that must be met to obtain the certificate. In particular, students following a degree plan leading to teacher certification must be admitted to the Teacher Education Program at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi prior to enrolling in any 4000 level EDCI or EDUC courses. Application forms for admission to the teacher education program may be obtained from the Undergraduate or Certification Office, room FC 201. The students are referred to the College of Education and Human Development section of this catalog for more information on the Teacher Education Program.

Grade Point Average for Admission to Teacher Education

A minimum grade point average of 2.75 (4.0 = A) in all work attempted, a minimum grade point average of 2.75 in all science, math, or specialization areas, and no grade below “C” in any science or mathematics course on a student’s degree plan and/or education courses within the professional block of courses are required. (See College of Education and Human Development, “Admission to Teacher Education” and “Admission to Student Teaching” for other requirements.)

Alteration of a Certification Plan

Any amendment to a degree plan originally filed must be approved by the student’s academic advisor, the Department Chair, the Dean of the College of Science and Engineering, and the Certification Officer of the College of Education and Human Development for the degree to be granted.

General Requirements

The minimum requirement for a Bachelor of Science Degree in Environmental Science with a science education concentration is a total of 120 hours. The concentration is designed for those students who plan on obtaining a 4-8 Science certificate. The degree requirements are divided among the following areas:

Requirements Credit Hours
Core Curriculum Program 42
First-Year Seminars (when applicable)1 0-2
Science Content Courses 38
Mathematics Courses 3
Professional Development and Reading Sequence 30
Electives as Required 7
Total Credit Hours 120-122

Program Requirements

Full-time, First-year Students
UNIV 1101First-Year Seminar I *1
UNIV 1102First-Year Seminar II *1
Core Curriculum Program
University Core Curriculum42
Science Education Concentration must take:
Statistics for Life
Biology I
General Chemistry I *
Environmental Science I: Intro to Environmental Science
General Psychology
Science Content Courses
PHYS 1304Introduction to Astronomy: Solar System3
Biology I (included in University Core) 1
BIOL 1407Biology II4
General Chemistry I (included in University Core) 1
ESCI 1401Environmental Science I: Intro to Environmental Science (included in University Core) 11
ESCI 4202Issues in Environmental Science2
GEOL 1403Physical Geology4
GEOL 1404Historical Geology4
PHYS 1401General Physics I4
SMTE 4217Secondary Approaches to the Life Sciences2
SMTE 4270Science Education Topics I ^2
SMTE 4320Secondary Science Laboratory Techniques3
ESCI 3351Oceanography3
or ESCI 3403 Introduction to Meteorology
SMTE 3315Foundational Approaches to the Physical Sciences3-4
or PHYS 1402 General Physics II
Select one of the following:2-4
Environmental Biology
Environmental Chemistry
Oceanography
Introduction to Meteorology
Oil Spill Prevention and Response Theory
Climate and Climate Variability
Physical Oceanography
Environmental Geology
Mathematics Courses
Statistics for Life (included in University Core) *,^
Select one of the following:3
Trigonometry
Precalculus
Calculus I
Professional Development Sequence
Preliminary Courses
EDUC 3311School and Society ^3
READ 3320Principles and Practices of Reading Instruction3
READ 3351Reading Assessment and Intervention3
Field-Based Semester
EDUC 4605Planning, Teaching, Assessment and Technology6
EDUC 4321Instructional Design for Special Populations3
Student Teaching Semester
EDUC 4995Clinical Teaching9
EDUC 4311Classroom Management3
Electives as Required
Electives as needed to fulfill university graduation requirements7
Total Hours121-124

Professional Development Sequence

Students who seek a 4-8 level Science teaching certificate should contact a Certification Officer in the College of Education and Human Development about requirements and procedures that must be met to obtain the certificate. The professional development sequence must be taken in a specific order and it is recommended that students contact the College of Education and Human Development early in their academic careers for specific details on these courses. 

Courses

ESCI 1401  Environmental Science I: Intro to Environmental Science  
4 Semester Credit Hours (4 Lecture Hours)  

PRINCIPLES OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD AND CRITICAL THINKING PROVIDE A FOUNDATION FOR SUBSEQUENT CONSIDERATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES THROUGH A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH. LABORATORY EXERCISES AND LOCAL FIELD EXPERIENCES REINFORCE CONCEPTS INTRODUCED IN THE LECTURES.

Co-requisite: SMTE 0096.  
TCCNS: ENVR 1401  
ESCI 1490  Selected Topics  
1-4 Semester Credit Hours (1-4 Lecture Hours)  

SUBJECT MATERIALS VARIABLE. MAY BE REPEATED FOR CREDIT WHEN TOPICS ARE SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT. FACULTY APPROVAL REQUIRED.

ESCI 3202  Professional Skills  
2 Semester Credit Hours (2 Lecture Hours)  

PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF SELECTED TOPICS RELATING TO THE PROFESSIONAL SKILLS OF PRACTICING ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENTISTS INCLUDING LITERATURE SEARCHES, REVIEWS, PAPER PRESENTATION, PROFESSIONAL AND CAREER OPPORTUNITIES, PROFESSIONAL ETHICS.

ESCI 3351  Oceanography  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

METHODS AND PRINCIPLES OF OCEANOGRAPHY. A SURVEY OF OCEANOGRAPHY WITH EMPHASIS PLACED ON THE PHYSICAL PROCESSES AFFECTING WATER AND WATER MASSES OF THE WORLD OCEANS.

Prerequisite: CHEM 1412, ESCI 1401 or GEOL 1403.

ESCI 3403  Introduction to Meteorology  
4 Semester Credit Hours (4 Lecture Hours)  

THIS COURSE IS AN INTRODUCTION TO METEOROLOGY AND THE DYNAMICS OF PLANETARY ATMOSPHERES. EMPHASIS ON ATMOSPHERIC ACCRETION, COMPOSITION, EVOLUTION, STRUCTURE, AND DYNAMICS. LAB EXERCISES COVER BASIC MEASUREMENT TECHNIQUES, WEATHER MAPS, AND FORECASTING.

Co-requisite: SMTE 0096.  
ESCI 3443  Environmental Biology  
4 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours, 2 Lab Hours)  

HISTORICAL, CONTEMPORARY, AND PROJECTED CONCERNS OF HUMAN ACTIVITIES ON BIOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF ECOSYSTEM FUNCTIONING.

Prerequisite: BIOL 1407.

Co-requisite: SMTE 0096.  
ESCI 4130  Oil Spill Prevention and Response Lab  
1 Semester Credit Hour (1 Lab Hour)  

PRACTICAL TECHNIQUES FOR CONTROL, CONTAINMENT, COUNTERMEASURES, REMOVAL, AND DISPOSAL OF OIL SPILLS IN AN ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE MANNER. FIELD EXERCISES WILL INCLUDE USE OF BOATS, BOOMS AND SKIMMERS. FALL, SPRING, SUMMER ON SUFFICIENT DEMAND.

Prerequisite: ESCI 4320.

Co-requisite: ESCI 4230, SMTE 0096.  
ESCI 4170  Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Lab  
1 Semester Credit Hour (1 Lab Hour)  

PRACTICAL TECHNIQUES FOR HANDLING, REDUCING, AND DISPOSING OF HAZARDOUS WASTES IN AN ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE MANNER. LAB EXERCISES IN USE OF PERSONAL PROTECTIVE GEAR AND SAFE HANDLING OF HAZARDOUS SUBSTANCES. FALL, SPRING, SUMMER (ON SUFFICIENT DEMAND).

Prerequisite: ESCI 4270.

Co-requisite: ESCI 4270, SMTE 0096.  
ESCI 4201  Scientific Diving Techniques  
2 Semester Credit Hours (2 Lecture Hours)  

THEORY, SCIENCE, AND ART OF UNDERWATER DIVING TECHNOLOGY AND ITS APPLICATION TO SCIENTIFIC OBJECTIVES. COURSE HELPS FULFILL SOME TRAINING REQUIREMENTS OF THE TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY-CORPUS CHRISTI GUIDELINES FOR SCIENTIFIC DIVING.

ESCI 4202  Issues in Environmental Science  
2 Semester Credit Hours (2 Lecture Hours)  

EXPLORATION OF MAJOR ISSUES IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE POSING PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE CHALLENGES. SELECTED READINGS, STUDENT PRESENTATIONS AND PAPERS. PREREQUISITES:  JUNIORS/SENIORS ONLY AND ESCI 1401 - ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE I: INTRO TO ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR.

Prerequisite: ESCI 1401.

ESCI 4230  Oil Spill Prevention and Response Theory  
2 Semester Credit Hours (2 Lecture Hours)  

HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE OF LAWS AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING OIL SPILL PREVENTION AND RESPONSE. CURRENT METHODS FOR CONTROL, CONTAINMENT, COUNTERMEASURES, REMOVAL, AND DISPOSAL OF OIL SPILLS IN AN ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE MANNER.

ESCI 4270  Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response Theory  
2 Semester Credit Hours (2 Lecture Hours)  

STUDY OF THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS OF HAZARDOUS WASTE MANAGEMENT FROM AN HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE FOLLOWED BY CURRENT TECHNIQUES FOR HANDLING, REDUCING, AND DISPOSING OF HAZARDOUS WASTES IN AN ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE MANNER.

Co-requisite: ESCI 4230.  
ESCI 4301  Environmental Regulations  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

A SURVEY OF STATE AND FEDERAL ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS AND REGULATIONS, AND THEIR IMPACT ON THE ENVIRONMENT. CASE STUDIES OF ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES AND LEGISLATED REGULATIONS.  PREREQUISITES:  POLS 2305 - U.S. GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS*^ AND POLS 2306 - STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT*^. 

Prerequisite: POLS 2305 and 2306.

ESCI 4320  Environmental Health  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

OVERVIEW OF THE TOXICOLOGY AND EPIDEMIOLOGY OF POLLUTANTS IN THE AIR, WATER AND SOIL. ASSOCIATIONS OF ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE WITH ADVERSE HEALTH EFFECTS SUCH AS CANCER, CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASE, AND REPRODUCTIVE OUTCOMES; ALSO CHEMICAL MARKERS AND SYMPTOMS OF DISEASE. POLLUTANTS STUDIED INCLUDE LEAD, ASBESTOS, RADIATION, RADON, NOISE, METALS, HALOGENATED HYDROCARBONS, AROMATIC HYDROCARBONS, SILICA, INDOOR AIR QUALITY, FORMALDEHYDE, AND OUTDOOR AIR POLLUTANTS.

ESCI 4321  Introduction to Soil and Groundwater Restoration  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

INTRODUCTION TO METHODS FOR RESTORING CONTAMINATED SOIL AND GROUNDWATER BY EXAMINING THE FACTORS AND PROCESSES INFLUENCING THE EFFICACY OF REMEDIATION SYSTEMS. AN EMPHASIS WILL BE PLACED ON THE SCIENTIFIC PRINCIPLES UPON WHICH SOIL AND GROUNDWATER REMEDIATION IS BASED. CROSS LISTED WITH GEOL 4321.

ESCI 4322  Introduction to Industrial Hygiene  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

INTRODUCTION TO HEALTH PROTECTION PRACTICES IN THE INDUSTRIAL ENVIRONMENT. HEALTH BASIS FOR OSHA LAWS, REGULATIONS. SAMPLING AND TESTING PROCEDURES.

ESCI 4324  Introduction to Industrial Toxicology  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

REVIEW OF HUMAN PHYSIOLOGY, GENERAL CONCEPTS OF TOXICOLOGY: DOSE-RESPONSE RELATIONSHIP, INTERACTIONS BETWEEN THE HOST AND THE AGENTS, RISK ASSESSMENT, TO PROVIDE AN INTRODUCTORY UNDERSTANDING OF TOXICOLOGY RELATED TO THE CHEMICALS IN THE WORKPLACE.

ESCI 4332  Wetlands and Water Quality  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

INTRODUCTION TO WETLAND ECOSYSTEMS (NATURAL, CONSTRUCTED AND RESTORED) WITH AN EMPHASIS ON THE ROLE OF WETLANDS IN WATER QUALITY. TOPICS INCLUDE WETLAND SYSTEMS, THEIR HISTORY AND ROLE IN SOCIETY, RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN BIOLOGY, GEOLOGY, ECOLOGY, HYDROLOGY AND CHEMISTRY IN WETLAND ENVIRONMENTS.

Prerequisite: BIOL 3428 and CHEM 4443 or ESCI 3443.

ESCI 4335  Climate and Climate Variability  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

COURSE INTENDED TO GUIDE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE MAJORS IN DEVELOPING A CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING OF EARTH'S GLOBAL CLIMATE AND ITS VARIABILITY. REVIEW OF PAST CLIMATES, PRESENT MEAN STATE OF THE CLIMATE SYSTEM, CLIMATE VARIABILITY FROM SEASONAL TO MULTIDECADAL TIME SCALES, AND CLIMATE CHANGE. SPECIAL ATTENTION GIVEN TO CLIMATES OF THE GULF OF MEXICO, CARIBBEAN SEA AND SURROUNDING LAND REGIONS. PLAUSIBLE CLIMATE-CHANGE SCENARIOS, AS WELL AS MITIGATION AND ADAPTATION STRATEGIES ARE ALSO DISCUSSED. CROSS LISTED WITH ATSC 4335.

Prerequisite: (ESCI 3351 or 3403) and (PHYS 1401 or 2425).

ESCI 4340  Severe Weather  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

INTRODUCTION TO MESOSCALE WEATHER SYSTEMS INCLUDING THUNDERSTORMS, SQUALL LINES AND HURRICANES, AS WELL AS THE MECHANISMS OF TORNADO AND LIGHTING. METHODS OF OBSERVING, ANALYZING, AND PREDICTING THESE SEVERE WEATHER SYSTEMS WITH THE INTERPRETATION OF SATELLITE AND RADAR IMAGES WILL ALSO BE INTRODUCED IN THIS CLASS.

Prerequisite: ESCI 3403.

ESCI 4344  Air Pollution and the Clean Air Act  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

INTRODUCTION TO THE CHEMISTRY AND PHYSICS OF AIR POLLUTION AND REGULATIONS. TOPICS INCLUDE PHOTOCHEMISTRY, ACID RAIN, AIR POLLUTION METEOROLOGY AND DISPERSION, GLOBAL CHANGE, AND THE CLEAN AIR ACT.

ESCI 4360  Physical Oceanography  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE SEA, PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF SEAWATER AND SEA ICE, METHODS AND MEASUREMENTS, WIND-DRIVEN OCEAN CIRCULATION, THERMOHALINE OCEAN CIRCULATION, BOUNDARY PROCESSES, WAVES, TIDES AND MIXING. SEASONAL AND INTERANNUAL VARIABILITY SUCH AS EL NIÑO/SOUTHERN OSCILLATION PHENOMENA. IMPLICATIONS FOR MARINE BIOLOGY, MARINE GEOLOGY, HUMAN IMPACTS, OTHER TOPICS.

Prerequisite: PHYS 1401 or 2425.

ESCI 4365  Occupational Safety and Accident Prevention  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

THIS COURSE PROVIDES STUDENTS WITH FUNDAMENTAL KNOWLEDGE OF REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS ON OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND PRACTICAL TECHNIQUES ON ACCIDENT PREVENTION IN THE WORK ENVIRONMENT.

ESCI 4370  HAZARDOUS WASTE OPERATIONS AND EMERGENCY RESPONSE  
3 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours)  

Study of the laws and regulations of hazardous waste management from an historical perspective followed by current techniques for handling, reducing, and disposing of hazardous wastes in an environmentally safe manner. Lab exercises in use of personal protective gear and safe handling of hazardous substances. SMTE 0096 is a co-requisite for this course. Documented completion of this safety training is required early in the semester for continued participation in this course. Safety training given during a laboratory meeting early in the semester is required for continued participation in this course.

Co-requisite: SMTE 0096.  
ESCI 4408  Environmental Microbiology  
4 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours, 2 Lab Hours)  

RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN MICROORGANISMS AND THEIR BIOTIC AND ABIOTIC ENVIRONMENT. CURRENT TOPICS SUCH AS AIR QUALITY (I.E., MOLDS), WATER QUALITY AND BIOREMEDIATION WILL BE DISCUSSED. LABORATORY WILL INCLUDE TECHNIQUES FOR SAMPLING FROM SOIL, AIR AND WATER.

Prerequisite: BIOL 2421.

Co-requisite: SMTE 0096.  
ESCI 4480  Environmental Site Assessment  
4 Semester Credit Hours (3 Lecture Hours, 2 Lab Hours)  

INTERDISCIPLINARY APPLICATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS, RISK ASSESSMENT TO SPECIFIC EXAMPLES. KNOWLEDGE OF UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS ASSUMED; ESCI 4301 ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATIONS RECOMMENDED.

ESCI 4490  Selected Topics  
4 Semester Credit Hours (4 Lecture Hours, 4 Lab Hours)  

SUBJECT MATERIALS VARIABLE. MAY BE REPEATED FOR CREDIT WHEN TOPICS ARE SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT.

ESCI 4496  Directed Independent Study  
1-4 Semester Credit Hours  

REQUIRES A FORMAL PROPOSAL OF STUDY TO BE COMPLETED IN ADVANCE OF REGISTRATION AND TO BE APPROVED BY THE SUPERVISING FACULTY, THE CHAIRPERSON, AND THE DEAN OF THE COLLEGE.

ESCI 4498  Internship in Environmental Science  
1-4 Semester Credit Hours (4 Lecture Hours)  

TWO TO FOUR SEMESTER HOURS OF CREDIT MAY BE EARNED BY WORKING IN AN INTERNSHIP POSITION IN A GOVERNMENTAL AGENCY OR INDUSTRY. PREREQUISITE: SENIOR ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE MAJORS ONLY; REQUIRES APPROVAL OF THE FACULTY. MAY BE REPEATED FOR CREDIT. FALL, SPRING, SUMMER.