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Minor in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences (AESMIN)


A 7-course sequence

Coursework will focus on the challenges and complexities of earth system processes that sustain our growing human population.  Students completing the minor in AES will build a strong foundation in the following:

  • physical science of Earth systems
  • the fundamental processes of the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere
  • the flux of materials and energy through these systems 

The understanding of these physical processes will prepare students to address challenges that human populations face in a changing world, such as sustainable development of energy and natural resources and assessment of adaptation and mitigation strategies for potential natural hazards, such as intense storms and flooding. Climate change and the dispersal and movement of pollutants through systems are also critical areas of study. The minor will integrate classroom and field-based instruction with opportunities to conduct research with faculty.

This minor within Environmental Sciences will provide a foundation for undergraduates who plan to pursue graduate work in earth and atmospheric sciences. This minor will also fulfill a need for students majoring in the natural sciences, such as Chemistry or Physics, with an interest in earth systems dynamics and in the social sciences, for students who are focused on natural resource or energy policy. 

CURRICULUM NOTE: If you are an ENVS major and elect a minor in AESMIN, please note that you may NOT count any courses toward both the ENVS major and the AES minor requirements, with the exception of ENVS 130 or ENVS 120 and ENVS 131.

Foundation Courses

(3 courses)

  • ENVS 130 (3hrs): Environmental Sciences or ENVS 120: Living in the Anthropocene (3 credits) or AP credit designated on transcript
  • ENVS 131 (2 hrs): Intro to ENVS Field Studies*

 *ENVS_OX 131 fulfills the requirement of both ENVS 130 and ENVS 131

  • ENVS 331: Earth Systems Science

Intermediate (200 Level) Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Course

(1 course)

  • ENVS 222: Evolution of the Earth w/lab (ENVS_OX 222)
  • ENVS 229: Atmospheric Science w/lab (ENVS_OX 229)
  • ENVS 230: Introductory Geoscience w/lab (ENVS_OX 230)

Upper level elective courses

(3 courses)

  • Must be 200 level or above and at least 3 credit hours
  • A current list of AES electives is provided below
  • Courses should be selected in consultation with your ENVS faculty advisor
Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Electives (three additional courses)Pre-approved
  • ENVS 222: Evolution of the Earth with Lab [ENVS_OX 222: Evolution of the Earth w/Lab]
  • ENVS 229: Atmospheric Science with Lab [ENVS_OX 229: Meteorology w/Lab]
  • ENVS 239: Physical Oceanography
  • ENVS 230: Introductory Geoscience with Lab [ENVS_OX 230: Fundamentals of Geology with Lab]
  • ENVS 235: Environmental Geology
  • ENVS 239: Physical Oceanography
  • ENVS 241/242: Modern and Ancient Tropical Environments [ENVS_OX 243]
  • ENVS 250: Cartography and GIS
  • GEOL OX 250: Mineral Resources, Energy and Power with Lab
  • ENVS 321: Geology and Human Health
  • ENVS 325: Energy and Climate Change
  • ENVS 326: Climate Change and Society
  • ENVS/CHEM 328: Introduction to Atmospheric Chemistry
  • ENVS 330: Climatology
  • ENVS 342: Barrier Islands
  • ENVS 346: Geological Origins of Landscapes with Lab
  • ENVS 347: Landscapes & Geomorphology
  • ENVS 348: Sustainable Water Resources with Lab
  • ENVS 361: Ecosystems Through Time
  • ENVS 362: Mineralogy & Petrology
  • ENVS 410: Extinctions
  • Special Topics (ENVS 285, 286, 287, ENVS 385, 386, 387, ENVS 485, 486, 487)

One of the following courses (3-4 credit hours) may also be used to fulfill an elective for the minor (must be pre-approved).

  • ENVS 399/399W: Intro to Independent Research (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Topics)
  • ENVS 494/494W:  Individual Research (Earth and AtmosphericSciences Topics)
  • ENVS 498/498W: Individual Directed Reading (Earth and AtmosphericSciences Topics)
  • ENVS 499/499W:  Advanced IndependentResearch (Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Topics)

*ONE pre-approved study abroad course may count toward the AESMIN minor requirements (Students must have completed ENVS 131 before earning minor credit for advanced courses)