Course Descriptions

NSC 1100 INTRODUCTION TO ECOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES (3 credits)
This course is designed as an introductory course presenting the main concepts of ecosystem function and ecological interrelationships. Students will develop an understanding of the complex relationships between physical, chemical and biological components of ecosystems. This understanding will provide the basis for later application of human interaction and sustainability concepts to the natural world.

NSC 2100 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (3 credits)
Designed to give an overview of basic environmental principles. Concepts central to the biological and physical sciences will be covered to provide a background for understanding the environment. The basic environmental issues of human population growth, biodiversity, natural resources and energy use, and their role in the wellbeing of the environment will be highlighted. Ethical, social, economic, and political interrelationships will also be discussed. This material will provide a good foundation for sound decisions regarding environmental issues.

NSC 2200 CURRENT TOPICS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (3 credits)
This course will familiarize students with the current and predicted environmental issues facing the human population and the global ecosystem. Emphasis will be placed on the ecosystem approach to environmental problem-solving, highlighting the interrelationships between scientific, social, political, economic and ethical viewpoints. Emphasis will be placed on critical and global thinking. This course will provide the basis for current environmental issues and problems, and prepare students for more in-depth analysis of global sustainability topics in later courses .
Prerequisite: NSC 1100

NSC 3100 CLIMATE CHANGE (3 credits)
Examines the current scientific knowledge of climate change and its implications for society as a whole. Specific topics include: energy balance, components of climate, measuring climate, and modeling climate. The consequences of climate change from biological, social, and economic perspectives will be examined, as well as political, corporate, and individual responses to this issue.
Prerequisites: NSC 2100 and 60 credit hours completed

NSC 3200 UNDERSTANDING BIOTECHNOLOGY (3 credits)
Biotechnology is the latest technological revolution to transform many facets of our society. Its impacts on the environment, agriculture, nutrition, industry, and health will advance social and individual health and technology beyond anything imaginable. This course reviews the science behind biotechnology including cell biology, genetics, genetic behavior, and genetic manipulation. It presents the technologies and laboratory processes that enable biotechnology discovery and development. Finally, it explores specific applications of biotechnology including food, human health, industrial, and environmental applications.
Prerequisites: NSC 2100 and 60 credit hours completed

NSC 3250 BIODIVERSITY (3 credits)
Examines the three components of biodiversity: species diversity, genetic diversity, and ecosystem diversity, including the implications and impacts that human activities are having on each of them. Specific concepts of evolution, speciation, adaptive radiation, biogeography, and ecology are also addressed. The value of biological diversity is examined from both an economic as well as an ecological perspective.
Prerequisites: NSC 2100 and 60 credit hours completed

NSC 3330 TROPICAL NATURAL HISTORY (3 credits)
Examines the various tropical ecosystems of the world with a primary focus on the neotropical rainforests. Examines the climate, geology, geography, ecology, biodiversity, economic potential, and environmental concerns of these ecosystems. Their values, including ecological, economic, and cultural, will be examined in order to establish a framework to understand the urgent need for their conservation for future generations and the health of the planet in general.
Prerequisites: NSC 2100 and 60 credit hours completed

NSC 3400 ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY IN MEXICO (3 credits)
A broad presentation of environmental science, integrating technical and social concepts and issues as they relate to the Mexican environment. The ecological, economic, social, and ethical aspects of current issues are scrutinized from a scientific base.
Prerequisites: NSC 2100 and 60 credit hours completed

NSC 3450 ENVIRONMENTAL STUDY IN SOUTHEAST ASIA (3 credits)
A broad presentation of environmental science, integrating technical and social concepts and issues in the Southeast Asian environment. The ecological, economic, social, and ethical aspects of current issues are scrutinized from a scientific base.
Prerequisites: NSC 2100 and 60 credit hours completed

NSC 3850 SPECIAL TOPICS (1-3 credits)
Various topics in natural science. These may be one-time or occasional course offerings.
Prerequisite: Dependent on specific course content

NSC 4020 OCEANOGRAPHY (3 credits)
A broad presentation of oceanographic concepts and processes, including exploration, physical, chemical, and biological aspects. Current societal issues pertaining to the world's oceans will also be covered.
Prerequisites: NSC 2100 and 60 credit hours completed

NSC 4030 FIELD ORNITHOLOGY (3 credits)
An overview of the scientific study of birds and the important contributions to the field made by amateur birders. The course focuses on the field identification of local and regional species plus an overview of worldwide groups. In addition, this course includes ecological, behavioral, and biological topics including anatomy, territoriality and nesting, migration, trophic interactions, and conservation. The recreational and economic impacts of bird watching and feeding are addressed.
Prerequisites: NSC 2100 and 60 credit hours completed

NSC 4040 ECOLOGY (3 credits)
Students study and become familiar with the geology, indigenous plants, animals, and various ecosystems representative of the region, and identify the relationships involved between the living and nonliving factors in their environment.
Prerequisites: NSC 2100 and 60 credit hours completed

NSC 4060 SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (3 credits)
A science course aimed at the non-science major. An overview of various scientific disciplines and processes, the creation and commercialization of scientific knowledge, and the impact of scientific discovery on business and society. The course provides students with basic information necessary to work in a technology-based environment.
Prerequisites: NSC 2100 and 60 credit hours completed