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International Science Studies

This interdisciplinary minor in International Science Studies will introduce College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences students to global issues, which affect their major disciplines in the current world, and also provide an opportunity to gain first hand experience abroad when appropriate. The goal of this minor is to enable our college students to develop greater international competence and to enhance their employability.

Insect Ecology and Evolution

This minor emphasizes the diversity, ecology and evolution of insects. Not only are insects fascinating creatures, but they have multiple effects on the earth’s biota (including humans). Insects influence numerous ecosystem functions, vector pathogens, consume and pollinate plants, support various predators and more. In turn, the natural world drives insect evolution and diversification.

This minor supports students pursuing careers in the biological sciences, wildlife management, environmental sciences, conservation and more.

Insect Biology

Insects play key roles in ecosystems and in human endeavors due to their immense variety of forms and functions. The goal of this minor is for students to learn about the different types of insects, and it emphasizes the traits that make them such important and successful animals. Insects share many traits with other organisms, and so are widely used as model systems for understanding biology. Their adaptations also determine how they interact as pests, pollinators, recyclers of organic material and vectors of pathogens (among other roles).


Geophysics is the study of the physical properties and processes within and surrounding the Earth. Many problems in the Earth Sciences require geophysical techniques for study. The interdisciplinary minor in geophysics is for students with backgrounds in the physical sciences, engineering and other fields who are interested in pursuing a graduate or professional career in geophysics, or those who desire a career in the energy, minerals, or environmental industries.

The minor is sponsored by the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Geographic Information Systems

The Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering offers a minor in Geographic Information Systems with an emphasis on spatial analysis. This minor is ideal for students interested in information processing of spatial data related to remote sensing, land information systems, marine cartography, thematic mapping, surface modeling, environmental modeling resources management, public utility planning, emergency response, geomarketing, geotechnics, precision agriculture, archaeology, military exercises and computer-aided design.

Forensic Entomology

Students interested in forensic science and/or legal careers will benefit from this minor. The taxonomy, development, behavior and distribution of arthropods can provide insight and evidence relevant to criminal activity and other matters of litigation. Students will learn basic ecological concepts plus several areas of insect biology and taxonomy. This knowledge will be combined with detailed, ‘hands-on’ lab and field activities in forensic entomology that cover collection and use of insects as evidence in legal cases and forensic entomology research.

Environmental Horticulture

The Environmental Horticulture minor focuses the student on the identification, taxonomy, propagation, production and maintenance of ornamental plants in commercial production or urban landscapes. The goal of the minor is to broaden students understanding of the science behind the identification, propagation and maintenance of plants for human use, whether in a landscape or production setting.

Environmental Geology

The minor in Environmental Geology examines the multidisciplinary factors of geology and related earth science fields, and planning and resources oriented programs. Students in the minor are encouraged to participate in internship programs that assist them in solidifying the Environmental Geology minor with their Geology major or other major field areas that include geologic components.

The minor is sponsored by the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences.

Energy Science and Technology

There is an urgent need to develop and commercialize technologies for the sustainable conversion and use of energy. The goal of these minors is to prepare students for careers that require training in energy science and technology, efficiency, and policy. Clean technologies and green technologies including energy are some of the fastest growing markets for new investments. Well-trained individuals in all related fields are needed to provide the level of expertise required to advance technology and policy and to satisfy national and global objectives for greater energy sustainability.