Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Tyler graduated from Saline High School in Saline, Michigan. He has been an active leader at Anchorhouse Christian Fellowship. He completed his senior research on the use of microreactors to produce pharmaceutical precursors. He was the recipient of a GRO Fellowship for Undergraduates sponsored by the EPA. Tyler completed a summer working in Cinncinati for the EPA's National Risk Management Research Laboratory, and spent a summer in San Francisco with the American Chemical Society's Nuclear Summer School. Tyler will be pursuing his PhD at Washington State University in the Fall.

Tyler O'Dell
2010 Outstanding Graduate
Chemistry

Department of Environmental Sciences

Selecting a Degree Program and/or Concentration

All of our degree programs offer flexible career opportunities, and are excellent preparation for graduate studies. However, certain programs may be better preparation for some careers than others. It is recommended that you discuss your career goals with your faculty advisor: However, to assist you, a brief description of each program is included here.


B.S. Degree Options

Environmental Science: Physical Sciences Concentration

The physical sciences concentration is a well rounded option for study in the environmental sciences. Students will be well prepared across the scientific disciplines (Environmental Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math, and Earth Sciences), for a wide variety of careers and graduate programs. This degree program contains embedded minors in Biology & Chemsitry.

Environmental Science: Chemistry Concentration

The Chemistry concentration is primarily for students interested in fate and effects of pollutants, environmental analytical chemistry, aquatic chemistry, degradation pathways of contaminants, ecotoxicology, etc. This program makes significant use of our wide variety of modern instrumentation, and can be certified by the American Chemical Society upon completion successful completion of an appropriate senior research project. Graduates of this program are well prepared for advanced study in any of the above fields. This degree program contains an embedded minor in Chemsitry, and can be certified as an ACS approved chemistry degree with the completion of an appropriate senior project.

Environmental Science: Policy & Management Concentration

This degree option is a good choice for students interested in sustainability, resource management, planning, and public policy. This program has a stronger emphasis on coursework in natural resources, GIS, political science, communications, and the social sciences than our other programs. Additionally, the directed electives offer an opportunity to select additional courses that best complement the individual student's area of interest. Students considering graduate study are best prepared for programs such as environmental policy or environmental management. With the proper selection of electives, this program is also appropriate as a pre-law degree fro students interested in environmental law. This degree program contains embedded minors in Biology & GIS.

Environmental Health

This degree option is a designed for students interested the impacts of the environment on human health, and is accredited by EHAC. Most graduates of this program go on to careers in public heath (federal, state, and local agencies), or enter graduate programs in areas such as such as human exposure, risk assessment, public health, etc. Due to our status as an accredited program, graduates are eligible to apply for the Registered Environmental Health Specialist (REHS) credential through NEHA immediately upon graduation. See Dr. Wright for details on this program.

A Note on Environmental Science vs. Conservation Biology/Fisheries & Wildlife Management Degrees

Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary degree program, whereas the Conservation Biology and Fisheries & Wildlife Management programs are applied biology degrees, with a focus on the management of biological resources. As a general rule of thumb, students interested in careers with the DNR or similar organizations managing biologic resources, wildlife populations, biodiversity etc. should consider either Conservation Biology or Fisheries & Wildlife Management (Biology offers excellent programs in both). Students interested in interdiscliplinary careers in resource management & sustainability (water, energy resources, air quality, etc.) pollution fate & transport, ecotoxicology, envirormnetal law/policy or similar areas should consider majoring in Environmental Science. Environmental Science graduates are likely to work for government agencies such as US EPA, MI-DEQ, NOAA, etc. or to be employed by private industry/consulting, or environmental research. Students interested in laboratory research should consider either the Physical Sciences or Chemistry concentration.


Departmental Minors

Environmental Science Minor

The environmental science minor provides students the opportunity to gain additional coursework in the environmental sciences, while pursuing a BS degree in their major area of study. The environmental science minor can complement a variety of degrees, and pairs particularly well with other science degrees such as Chemistry, Geology, Biology, Conservation Biology, and Fisheries and Wildlife Management. See an advisor for help deciding if the environmental science minor is a good option for you.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Minor

The GIS minor builds technical skills in GIS and the use of GPS for scientifc data collection. GIS has become a vital tool in resource management, environmental modelling, planning, and policy analysis. The GIS minor builds on the basic and intermediate GIS skills developed in the Environmental Science core requirements, teaching advanced skills in spatial data analysis, modelling, and automation.


Environmental Science Core Requirments

NSCI103 Environmental Science 3     

EVRN131 Introduction to GIS/GPS 3 

EVRN231 Intermediate GIS 2           

EVRN311 Environmental Law 3        

EVRN313 Solid & Hazardous Waste 3           

EVRN395 Junior Seminar 1               

EVRN499 Senior Seminar 1              

BIOL131 General Biology: Cells 4     

BIOL132 General Biology: Organisms 4        

BIOL337 General Ecology 3              

BIOL204 General Microbiology 4      

CHEM115 General Chemistry I 5       

CHEM116 General Chemistry II 5     

GEOL121Physical & Hist. Geology I 4

 

Complete one course from the following two:

*NSCI116 Intro. to Oceanography 4  

*GEOG108 Physical Geography: Meteorology & Climatology 4       

        

Complete one course from the following two:

*MATH112 Calc for Business & Life Sciences 4                                                       

*MATH151 Calculus I 4              

 

Complete one course from the following two:

*MATH207 Principles of Statistics 3          

*BUSN211 Business Statistics 3     

 

Complete one course from the following two:

*GEOL411 Hydrologic Systems: Surface and Groundwater 4                             

* BIOL286 Principles of Watersheds 3        

Physical Sciences Concentration

The Physical Sciences option includes additional coursework in:

CHEM225 Organic Chemistry I 4
CHEM231 Quantitative Analysis 4
CHEM332 Instrumental Analysis 4
EVRN317 Environmental Health App 4
EVRN341 Environmental Chemistry 4
EVRN425 Environ. Systems Analysis 4

PHYS221 or PHYS231 (4)
PHYS222 or PHYS232 (4)

Directed Electives (8 cr. minimum from the following)
BIOL126 Interpretation of Maps and Aerial Photographs 2
BIOL230 Introduction to Soils 4
BIOL304 The Human Environment 3
CHEM226 Organic Chemistry II 4
CHEM261 Inorganic Chemistry 4
ECON 307 Environmental Economics
FIRE312 Hazardous Materials Mgmt 4
GEOL122 Physical& Hist Geology II 4
Any 300 level or higher BIOL, CHEM, or EVRN

Chemistry Concentration

The Chemistry Concentration includes additional coursework in:

PHYS221 or PHYS231 (4)
PHYS222 or PHYS232 (4)
CHEM225 Organic Chemistry I 4
CHEM226 Organic Chemistry II 4
CHEM231 Quantitative Analysis 4
CHEM261 Inorganic Chemistry 4
CHEM332 Instrumental Analysis 4
CHEM341 Environmental Chemistry 4
CHEM351 Introductory Biochemistry 4
CHEM353 Introductory Toxicology 3
Complete one course from following two:
*CHEM361 Physical Chemistry I 4
*CHEM362 Physical Chemistry II 3
EVRN425 Environ. Systems Analysis 4
Complete one of the following math options:
*ENGR140 Linear Algebra & Numerical
Methods 2 AND
*ENGR245 Calculus App. For Technology 3
OR
*MATH152 Calculus II 4
For American Chemical Society certified degree,
additionally required (total lab hours must be at
least 400 hours). See Department Chair for
special rules regarding ACS certification:

EVRN495 Senior Project 2

Policy & Management Concentration

The Policy & Management Concentration includes additional coursework in:

BIOL203 Fund. of Natural Resources 3
BIOL287 Conservation Biology 3
BIOL304 The Human Environment 3
EVRN317 Environmental Health App 4
EVRN325 Geospatial Analysis 3
EVRN345 Advanced Spatial Statistics 4
EVRN355 GIS Program & App 4
ECON202 Princ. of Microeconomics 3
ECON307 Environmental Economics 3
POLI342 International Environ. Policy 3


Directed Electives (13 cr. minimum)
BIOL126 Interpretation of Maps and Aerial Photographs 2
BIOL230 Introduction to Soils 4
BIOL284 Princ of Forest Conservation 4
BIOL470 Restoration Ecology 3
BUSN308 Managing Cultural Diff 3
COMM302 Argument. & Advocacy 3
COMM320 Public Relations 4
CSCI105 Intro to Computer Program. 3
EVRN495 Senior Project 2
FIRE312 Hazardous Materials Mgmt. 4
GEOG 302 Economic Geography 4
GEOG306 Cultural Geography 3
POLI110 Intro American Gvt & Poltcs 4
POLI201 Intro to Public Admin. 3
POLI301 Policy Analysis & Eval. 4
SOCY227 Population and Ecology 3

 

Alternative Management of Anaerobic Landfill Bioreactors for Improved Energy Potential

Josh Kuzimski

Converting municipal solid waste to usable energy is an emergent and growing method for modern waste management. Through microbial facilitation of methanogenesis, methane gas can be extracted from landfill bioreactors to yield a significant amount of usable energy. The hypothesis was that a sufficient addition of sodium acetate to a controlled bioreactor environment would promote larger growth of methanogenic microbes and subsequently promote a greater amount of methane relative to a control (Madigan et al, 2003). In order to simulate an anaerobic bioreactor environment, the method for the study took place in modular sections to cover the design, construction and operation of laboratory scale bioreactors. Upon completion of bioreactor engineering, the biological and chemical components were scrutinized to match ideal conditions of a landfill. Methanosarcina was the chosen genus of the methanogen family to seed the bioreactors, and a total elemental analysis of the waste source was analyzed to approximate methane yield. Over 557 hours, each bioreactor produced approximately 1.3 liters of biogas with less than 1% containing methane. Given analysis through gas chromatography, the bioreactors may have had stunted methane production do to presence of argon gas in the headspace and/or low C/N ratio of the waste. The presence of argon should have been replaced with nitrogen, and the waste source should have contained more carbon per nitrogen. The generation-3 design of constructed bioreactors was successful in containing all gasses, liquids, and solids internally, however did not produce enough methane biogas to accept or reject the hypothesis.

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