Science Education and Environmental Studies

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Vincent Breslin
Jennings 342
(203) 392-6600 – Fax (203) 392-6614

Vincent Breslin, Professor
Susan Cusato, Associate Professor
Scott Graves, Associate Professor
Catherine Koehler, Assistant Professor
James Tait, Professor

The Department of Science Education and Environmental Studies coordinates secondary education science certification courses and certification advisement, in addition to the programs in marine studies, environmental studies, and environmental education.  The department offers undergraduate minors in environmental studies and marine studies. The interdisciplinary environmental studies program includes areas related, but not limited to, land use planning, pollution prevention and controls, and societal, political, and economic pressures in the environment. The department has close associations with a number of environmental programs and centers throughout Connecticut. Students are encouraged to become involved in research projects, internships, and independent studies in their areas of interest.

Minor in Marine Studies

The marine studies minor may be taken as a planned and structured sequence of courses in addition to a chosen major or as one of the minor programs in fulfillment of the requirements for the B.A. degree in liberal studies. Any undergraduate interested in the scientific, environmental, policy and management, geographic, historical, or literary aspects of the coasts and ocean can participate in the minor.

The program provides for flexibility and accommodation of individual interests so students should consult with the program coordinator to optimize her/his course of study. The marine studies minor is well suited for science and non-science majors interested in learning more about the Connecticut coastline, Long Island Sound, coastal and marine processes and environmental issues. Courses provide students an opportunity to learn science and its application to environmental problems using a "hands on" approach at field sites including marshes, estuaries, beaches, rocky intertidal zones, urban harbors, and regional aquaria. Students are encouraged to become involved in research projects, internships, and independent studies in their areas of interest. The minor could lead to graduate study in marine affairs, or to entry level jobs in coastal zone management, environmental planning, or maritime recreation; or to careers in local, state, and federal agencies dealing with the coastal and marine environment. In combination with a science major, the minor would help to prepare students for graduate studies in marine science. This minor program is also well suited for non-science majors pursuing degrees in education, journalism, and pre-law. Students should consult with the marine studies coordinator before planning this minor.

Minor in Environmental Studies

Many students have expressed a desire to relate their major program of study to their concern for the environment. In response to this interest, the University offers an interdisciplinary minor in environmental studies, which students may pursue in consultation with the Environmental Studies Coordinator and their major adviser. Students also may elect a freestanding minor in environmental studies in conjunction with any major, or they may concentrate in environmental studies as part of a major in biology, chemistry, earth science, or geography.

Secondary Science Certification

Catherine Koehler
(203) 392-6608 – Fax (203) 392-6614

Students interested in teaching science in grades 7-12 may become certified in biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, and/or general science. Students should inform their academic adviser by the beginning of their sophomore year. It is important that students apply and be accepted as certification candidates by the School of Education prior to the completion of more than two certification courses. Students who successfully receive the B.S. degree and pass Praxis II will be recommended for Initial Teaching Certification.

Criteria for Acceptance:

  • Students must have a cumulative grade point average of 2.7 or above.
  • Provide evidence of having passed or been waived from Praxis I
  • Complete the entrance essay*
  • Submit two letters of recommendation*
  • Complete the interview requirement with the coordinator.

*The essay and letters of recommendation have a required format that can be obtained from the coordinator at the time of the interview.

Professional Coursework

All academic content and professional courses must be completed prior to student teaching. The specific professional requirements for Initial Teaching Certification in Connecticut are listed in the secondary education section of the School of Education.

The department offers the following:

Minor in Environmental Studies
Minor in Marine Studies

MAR 140 - The World Ocean

Introduction to contemporary marine environmental science, focusing on the relationship between basic marine systems and processes and current marine environmental concerns. Open to non-science majors.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

MAR 250 - Introduction to Coastal and Marine Pollution

Examination of sources, transport, and fate of toxic and non toxic contaminants in the ocean. Physical, chemical, and biological processes that control distribution and cycling of contaminants are considered along with relevant state, federal, and international water pollution control policies. Emphasis placed on case studies in Long Island Sound.

Prerequisite(s): MAR 140 or MAR 210 or ESC 320 or CHE 120 or BIO 100 or BIO 102.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

MAR 340 - Coastal Processes/Environment

Various coastal environments, their origins, and the processes that shape them including impacts of humans.

Prerequisite(s): ENG 111, MAT 100 or MAT 102 or higher, and one of the following: MAR 140, MAR 150, ESC 320.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

MAR 460 - Field and Laboratory Techniques in Marine Studies

Investigations of regional environmental processes and problems using state-of-the-art instrumentation and techniques.

Prerequisite(s): MAR 250 or MAR 340.

4 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2014

MAR 491 - Environmental Problem Solving

Systematic analysis of a topic in environmental or marine studies selected by the student with prior instructor approval. Students learn effective research, writing, and oral communication skills culminating in the preparation of a research paper and a formal seminar presentation.

Prerequisite(s): MAR 210 or [ENV 100 and ENV 200].

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2015

MAR 499 - Independent Study and Research

Provides properly qualified students an opportunity for independent study and/or research in selected topics in marine studies.

Prerequisite(s): Departmental permission.

1 to 3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Summer 2015

MAR 398 - Special Topics in Marine Studies

Topics vary.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Summer 2016

SCE 490 - Science (Secondary School)

General science concepts are presented through assigned readings, lecture demonstrations, and discussions for teaching grades 7-12. For teaching certification only.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

SCE 494 - Student Teaching (Science)

Guided observation and supervised student teaching in grades 7-12 in cooperating schools.Ten-week course.

Prerequisite(s): SCE 490.

8 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

SCE 496 - Student Teaching Seminar-Science

Discussion of educational issues, in particular those raised by students’ experiences in the field. To be taken concurrently with SCE 494.

Prerequisite(s): SCE 490.

1 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

SCE 498 -

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016