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Sustainability in the Built Environment

The built environment plays an integral role in meeting society’s most basic needs of shelter, security, mobility, community, and water and waste treatment, but it also contributes significantly to the sustainability challenges of climate change, pollution, resource consumption and land use.

As society and government policy increase pressure to reduce the environmental impacts of our everyday activities, individuals must increasingly understand how the built environment they design and maintain fits into the complex environmental and human systems in which we live.

Soil Science

The Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, Soils and Biogeochemistry Program offers a minor program in soil science. The minor is especially geared toward students in the environmental sciences including Hydrologic Science, Environmental Science and Management, Environmental Toxicology, Ecological Management and Restoration, International Agricultural Development, Crop Science and Management, Environmental Horticulture and Urban Forestry, Geology and Plant Biology.

Science and Society

Science and Society is an interdepartmental teaching program administered by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences that offers students throughout the campus the opportunity to discover the connections that link the social, biological, and physical sciences with societal issues and cultural discourses.

Coursework examines discovery processes in relation to societal values, public policy and ethics, including issues associated with cultural diversity. Whenever possible, opportunities outside the classroom are included as part of the learning experience.


Oceanography is the study of the earth's oceans, investigating connections between geological, biological, chemical and physical processes in the marine realm, and the interactions between the Earth's ocean/atmosphere system. The interdisciplinary minor in oceanography is for students with backgrounds in any of these fields, as well as those interested in marine policy and conservation.


Are you interested in the function of the nervous system in animals and humans? The neuroscience minor allows students who are unable to major in the NPB neuroscience track to learn about the importance of the nervous system. The large breadth of neuroscience courses available include molecular and cellular neurobiology, developmental neurobiology, neurobiology of addictive drugs, and cell signaling in health and disease. Students who obtain a neuroscience minor would be able to demonstrate knowledge of the neurobiological processes in animals and humans.


Nematodes, or roundworms, live in practically all habitats. They influence soil fertility, food safety, and other aspects of animal or plant health. They are also valuable model organisms in biological research. Thus, it is important to learn about these often overlooked, but widespread and abundant animals.

The Nematology minor supports careers in plant and agricultural nematology, and provides valuable information for careers in animal, plant and soil health.

Medical-Veterinary Entomology

Due to the pathogens and parasites they carry, some of the world’s most dangerous animals are arthropods — mosquitoes, ticks, lice and others. There is a pressing need for people trained in the biology of vector-borne diseases, due to the persistence and global spread of vectored pathogens of humans and animals. These include protists that cause malaria, viruses such as Zika and West Nile, Lyme and other bacterial diseases, filarial worms and many others.

Landscape Restoration

This minor is of particular interest to students majoring in Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology; Environmental Science and Management; Landscape Architecture; Biological Sciences; Evolution and Ecology; Plant Biology; and Sustainable Environmental Design.

The minor is sponsored by the Department of Plant Sciences.