Spatial Sciences - BS

A degree in Spatial Sciences offers students the opportunity to obtain a career in a cutting-edge discipline at the intersection of environmental and spatial sciences. The spatial sciences combine multidisciplinary fields of scientific study with geospatial technologies including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Remote Sensing. A spatial sciences graduate will possess an advanced knowledge of these technologies, experience in interpretation of aerial photographs and processing of satellite images, as well as a broad understanding of computer applications and database management. Graduates are capable of working as environmental and natural resource managers and possess the necessary skills to map geographical features, patterns, and changes. Furthermore, these individuals will be able to lead and conduct modern environmental management activities.

Through core and supporting coursework, students will learn to utilize the full potential of the spatial sciences in real-world problem solving. From real-time wildfire risk assessment to crime analysis, habitat mapping for endangered species, and evaluating environmental damage from natural disasters, the spatial sciences are an integral part of modern resource management.

Students in this degree program receive guidance from faculty advisors in their areas of interest and meet regularly to discuss courses and career opportunities. 

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallSemester Credit Hours
AGEC 105 Introduction to Agricultural Economics 3
ESSM 201 Exploring Ecosystem Science and Management 1
RENR 205
RENR 215
Fundamentals of Ecology
and Fundamentals of Ecology--Laboratory
4
Select one of the following: 4
Botany  
Essentials in Biology  
Horticultural Science and Practices
and Horticultural Science and Practices Laboratory
 
Communication 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
CHEM 119 Fundamentals of Chemistry I 4
ESSM 281 Seminar in Ecosystem Science and Management 1
American history 1 3
Communication 1 3
Mathematics 3
 Semester Credit Hours14
Second Year
Fall
ESSM 351/RENR 405 Geographic Information Systems for Resource Management 3
American history 1 3
Government/Political science 1,3 3
Mathematics 3
Emphasis area elective 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
ESSM 301 Wildland Watershed Management 3
ESSM 306
Plant Functional Ecology and Adaptation
or Biogeochemistry and Global Change
3
ESSM 313 Vegetation Sampling Methods and Designs in Ecosystems 3
Government/Political science 1,3 3
Emphasis area elective 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Summer
SCSC 301 Soil Science 4
Language, philosophy and culture 1 3
 Semester Credit Hours7
Third Year
Fall
ESSM 203
Forest Trees of North America
or Wildland Plants of North America
3
ESSM 444 Remote Sensing of the Environment 3
ESSM 461 Spatial Databases for Data Storage, Manipulation and Analysis 3
Select one of the following: 3
Coupled Social and Ecological Systems  
Changing Natural Resource Policy  
Natural Resources Policy  
Environmental and Natural Resource Economics  
Environmental Impact Assessment  
Emphasis area elective 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring
ESSM 459 Programming for Spatial Data Applications 3
Select one of the following: 3
Environmental and Natural Resource Economics  
Coupled Social and Ecological Systems  
Natural Resources Policy  
Environmental Impact Assessment  
Select one of the following: 3
Vegetation Management  
Principles of Forestry  
Ecosystem Restoration and Management  
Creative arts 1 3
Emphasis area elective 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours15
Fourth Year
Fall
ESSM 481 Senior Seminar 1
Emphasis area elective 2 3
Emphasis area elective 2 3
General elective 3
General elective 2
 Semester Credit Hours12
Spring
ESSM 462/GEOG 462 Advanced GIS Analysis for Natural Resource Management 3
ESSM 464 Spatial Project Management 3
Emphasis area elective 2 3
Emphasis area elective 2 3
 Semester Credit Hours12
 Total Semester Credit Hours120