Rackham Academic Programs (Online Bulletin)
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Department of Natural Sciences
Master of Environmental Science
This is a two-year M.S. degree program for about 30 students at any given time, in an active research-oriented environment. It stresses personalized, individual attention to graduate student education and research. The program provides a choice between emphasizing the environmental aspects of biology, chemistry or geology or a more broadly focused approached involving courses in each of the above fields. Graduate classes are offered in the late afternoon, early evening and occasionally on Saturdays to accommodate the full-time working student. Part-time students are welcome and special programs have been established for in-service teachers seeking a science-oriented Masters Degree.
Faculty and students are engaged in the research of a variety of environmental issues ranging from the population dynamics of turtles in local lakes, to the toxic effects of copper in benthic macroinvertebrates from streams in Michigan's copper country, to the impacts of land use on groundwater and surface water quality, to the use of phytoremediation in the cleanup of brownfield sites.
Dearborn is located in an urban setting in southeast Michigan along the main branch of the Rouge River. About one-third of the campus, more than 70 acres, is maintained as one of the largest natural areas in metropolitan Detroit, serving as a research and teaching facility for students and school teachers on campus and throughout southeast Michigan.
A focal point for the environmental program on the Dearborn campus will be the new Environmental Interpretive Center, now under construction with completion expected by the Winter Term 2001.
RESEARCH FACILITIES: The Department of Natural Sciences has extensive networked computing facilities, including scanners, digitizers and plotters, GIS and groundwater modeling software, GPS equipment, and labs for preparation and chemical analysis of environmental, biological and geological samples. We also have extensive mineralogic and paleontologic collections as well as the Merritt Geode Collection, one of the finest private geode collections in the world.
PROGRAM PREREQUSITES: Bachelors Degree in biology, chemistry, environmental science or geology, including the completion of a field course in biology or geology. College course work in mathematics (two semesters of calculus and one of statistics) and working knowledge of computers. Any deficiencies may be satisfied by completing prerequisite courses at UM-Dearborn or at another school with the approval of the Director of the Graduate Program.
THESIS/PROJECT REQUIREMENTS: The requirements for the M.S. degree in Environmental Science can be satisfied by one of three options:
Plan A--Thesis Option: 24 credits of graduate course work, all of which must be at or above the 500 level, plus ESCI 699: A thesis based on original field/laboratory research (6 credit hours).
Plan B--Project Option: 27 credits of graduate course work, all of which must be at or above the 500 level, plus ESCI 698: A project designed for classroom use based on appropriate library/field/laboratory research, or, a publishable scientific paper based on original laboratory/field research, demonstrating the candidate's ability to analyze and interpret scientific data (3 credit hours).
Plan C--Coursework Option: 30 credits hours of graduate course work, all of which must be at or above the 500 level (not recommended for students interested in pursuing a doctoral degree).
Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, University of Michigan