EVSP501 Environmental Management (3 semester hours)
This course focuses on the analysis and resolution of complex environmental management issues. Environmental Management investigates the use of management tools and strategies to resolve complex environmental problems and controversies, including application of adaptive management, structured decision-making, and negotiation principles, and incorporating stakeholders, economic drivers, and the human element. Environmental leadership, collaboration, and conflict resolution will be emphasized, with due consideration to the use of sound scientific data in environmental decision making. Students will be expected to use critical thought, innovation, and creativity to formulate an adaptive management plan for a highly controversial environmental issue or policy as their course final project.
EVSP502 Environmental Economics (3 semester hours)
This course is a qualitative and quantitative study of the public and private economic costs and effects of environmental programs, industrialization, regulation, and international and national environmental policies, among other issues.
EVSP503 Environmental Policy, Regulation, and Law (3 semester hours)
This course is a study of the major legal, regulatory, and policy framework that encompasses environmental programs and projects in the United States and with international political, commercial, and non-governmental institutions. The primary learning approach used in this course will be case studies.
EVSP504 Fisheries Management (3 semester hours)
This course examines the principles and theory of fisheries management with major emphasis on the human dimension in fisheries management, fishery assessment, population dynamics, and common management practices.Course Objectives:• Apply ecological concepts and principles to problems in fisheries management.• Select and apply the quantitative methods of fisheries assessment.• Assess the habitat requirements of both common and threatened and endangered fisheries resources.• Apply a variety of methods and techniques used to manage fish populations and their habitats.• Apply the concept of ecosystem management to fisheries management activities.• Analyze the regulations and issues (social, economic, ethical, and ecological) in the management and conservation of fisheries resources.
EVSP505 Wildlife Management (3 semester hours)
This course examines the principles of managing wildlife resources with emphasis on the history of wildlife resources in the United States, population ecology, wildlife values, and the administration of wildlife resources and resources agencies.Course Objectives:• Apply ecological concepts and principles to problems in wildlife management and conservation.• Discriminate between the various methods of estimating population abundance, growth, and survivorship.• Assess the habitat requirements of both common and threatened and endangered species.• Assess the role of collaborative efforts in the management of wildlife populations.• Apply the concept of ecosystem management to wildlife conservation and management activities.• Analyze regulations and issues (social, economic, ethical, and ecological) in the management and conservation of wildlife populations.
EVSP506 Restoration Ecology (3 semester hours)
This course will examine the concept of restoration ecology, which employs science, applied techniques, and environmental design principles to restore ecological processes and biological communities on disturbed, degraded, or altered landscapes. Students will conduct scientific study and explore techniques used in restoring endangered species, native prairie, rare plants, riparian areas, streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, watersheds, woodlands, and wildlife habitat.Course Objectives:• Explain the philosophy, scientific foundation, and challenges of restoration ecology.• Apply the principles of restoration ecology through the development of a detailed restoration plan. • Analyze habitat requirements, ecosystem function, and anthropocentric influences to determine the restoration approach for a species or population.• Assess the various scales of restoration (organism to landscape) to develop a holistic approach to ecosystem restoration and management.• Analyze the impacts and threat of climate change on ecosystems.
EVSP507 Conservation Biology (3 semester hours)
This course examines the development of major areas in conservation-oriented research that include patterns of biodiversity, extinction, conservation genetics, conservation of populations, communities and landscapes, and ecological sustainability.Course Objectives:• Describe the processes of extinction, species conservation, and biodiversity.• Analyze the regulations, policies, and treaties that support biological conservation.• Assess the role of conservation genetics theory in the preservation of biodiversity.• Select and apply quantitative methods to conduct for population viability analyses.• Identify potential management strategies that incorporate the human dimensions in conserving species.• Develop defendable strategies for conservation of a species or a system of concern.
EVSP508 Environmental Ethics (3 semester hours)
This course is an advanced study of environmental issues from a moral and philosophical approach. Issues raised in the course and through student research and writing will include: the moral obligation or lack thereof, to preserve and protect the environment; the ethical presumptions that underlie environmental policy; the traditional theories of moral philosophy applicable to contemporary environmental problems; and the potential for a new concept of the relationship between humanity and nature.
EVSP509 The National Environmental Policy Act (3 semester hours)
This course consists of an in-depth review of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), its legislative background and history, significant case law, and Council of Environmental Quality (CEQ) Guidelines. Students will review examples of agency Categorical Exclusions, Environmental Assessments, and Environmental Impact Statements to become familiar with the documents as a building block for EVSP629 Environmental Impact Analysis. Students will evaluate whether specific documents "meet the intent or spirit" of NEPA, compare state vs. federal NEPA regulations, and review at least one federal agency’s NEPA procedures. Prerequisite: EVSP503.
EVSP558 Watershed Management (3 semester hours)
In recent years, water resource management in the United States has begun a shift away from top-down, government agency-directed decision processes toward a collaborative approach of negotiation and problem solving. Rather than focusing on specific pollution sources or specific areas within a watershed, this course will present this new process, considering the watershed as a whole, and seeking solutions to an interrelated set of social, economic, and environmental problems. Through readings, discussions, and current and historical case studies, students will explore a wide range of threats to the productivity and health of watersheds and explore new, collaborative approaches to watershed management.
EVSP560 Environmental Risk Assessment (3 semester hours)
An overview of the concepts of risk assessment. Topics include the four core parts of a risk assessment, as denoted by the National Academy of Sciences: hazard assessment, dose-response assessment, exposure assessment and risk characterization. Methods of measurement and modeling are discussed, along with key questions concerning uncertainty. Differences in the risk characterizations of substances under different use conditions and legal requirements are studied. Case studies will serve to illustrate the risk assessment and site remediation processes.
EVSP561 Elements of Sustainable Design (3 semester hours)
This course is an introduction to the philosophical and practical principles of green and sustainable design through the exploration of environmental issues, sustainable materials and methods, and public policy and decision making. Sustainability principles, policies, and programs that encourage and guide current initiatives are analyzed. Innovative strategies for implementing sustainable projects, programs, and practices are investigated through the review of case studies and completion of a final course project.
EVSP594 Environmental Toxicology (3 semester hours)
This course presents an introduction to the dynamics of ecosystems and the effects of toxic substances on its living and nonliving components, and incorporating human health issues and concerns. Students will examine the regulatory framework for environmental contaminants issues and detail the federal regulations, policies, and guidelines under which current environmental remediation is done. A key aspect of the course will be the application of risk assessment principles through case studies to gain an understanding of how to develop remediation plans and restoration alternatives that meet or exceed established regulatory guidelines.
EVSP601 Capstone Proposal (3 semester hours)
This course prepares the student to understand materials and issues associated with but not limited to the scientific method, research design, and qualitative and statistical analysis of data. This course is intended to guide the student through selection of a suitable topic for the capstone project or thesis. Once an approved topic is selected, the student will prepare a formal proposal to be used in the capstone course.
EVSP605 Energy Policy and Sustainability (3 semester hours)
This course is an introduction to energy policy and decision making, primarily in the United States. Students will examine the nature and scope of environmental, energy, and resource problems, analyze the goals and strategies of the renewable energy movement, investigate ideological, political, and institutional forces that shape policymaking and implementation, and conduct in-depth analyses of the various approaches to U.S. energy needs. An exploration of renewable energy technology, feasibility, and implementation is incorporated through the analysis of case studies and current events.
EVSP620 Political Ecology (3 semester hours)
Political ecology is an interdisciplinary field of research that integrates the methods and materials of anthropology, economics, geography, history, political theory, and sociology. This course will present political ecological perspectives in the context of the study of the history and politics of American and global environmentalism. Political ecology examines the historical role of economic systems, science, language and discourse, ideology, gender, property systems, and the everyday politics and culture of the community and the household in shaping human relationships with nature.
EVSP627 Landscape Ecology and Planning (3 semester hours)
Landscape planning and ecology is a rapidly developing area of study that explicitly examines the effects of spatial pattern and scale on ecological processes that unfold over areas of several square miles or larger. Thus, landscape ecology and planning provides many concepts, tools, and approaches that will enhance the effectiveness of endeavors such as watershed management, ecosystem management, design of conservation reserves and green infrastructure, and smart growth. The goal of this course is to give students a firm grasp of the concepts of landscape ecology and planning and how they can be applied to enhance the effectiveness of environmental policy, management, regulation, and assessment.
EVSP628 Global Environmental Change (3 semester hours)
The study and consideration of global environmental and climate change are of increasing significance to society. In this course, students will examine the evidence for and causes of global environmental change and will analyze potential impacts on environmental policy and society. Emphasis will be on the implications of environmental change for environmental managers, including management decision-making, the adequacy of the current regulatory framework in addressing these problems, and the effect on future policy and legislation.
EVSP629 Environmental Impact Analysis (3 semester hours)
This course focuses on the study and review of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA) and related environmental legislation. Emphasis will be on the practical, rather than the theoretical, application of NEPA requirements. Students will conduct detailed analyses of the environmental assessment process, and assess the environmental, societal, and economic impacts of large-scale federal projects and programs. Course assignments will require students to write and review environmental impact documents, formal letters of comment, and procedural documents.(Prerequisite: EVSP503)
EVSP639 Intermediate Environmental Impact Analysis (3 semester hours)
This course will focus on in-depth writing of the Affected Environment and Environmental Consequences sections of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Students will propose and research a project as the basis for the EIS sections to be developed and determine the resources or issues that should be evaluated in the EA/EIS. Students will conduct detailed analyses of the environmental assessment process, and assess the environmental, societal, and economic impacts of large-scale federal projects and programs. The final product of the course will be fully developed sections of a Draft EIS (DEIS). Prerequisite: EVSP629.
EVSP640 Advanced Environmental Impact Analysis (3 semester hours)
This course will focus on in-depth writing of the Affected Environment, Environmental Consequences, and the Executive Summary sections of an EIS. The completed Final Draft EIS (DEIS) from the Intermediate and Advanced Environmental Impact Analysis courses combined as the final product for this course. Prerequisite: EVSP639.
EVSP695 Capstone Portfolio (3 semester hours)
This course steps students through the construction of a professional portfolio that highlights major skills gained through their academic course work. The professional digital portfolio will be built using portfolio software and will include both scholarly work and writing geared towards the general audience. The final course output may include the digital portfolio, discipline relevant blog articles, and an oral defense of the portfolio presented to an audience of faculty and peers. NOTE: This is intended to be the final course in the degree program. Students must have a 3.0 GPA to enroll. This course is 8 weeks in length.
EVSP696 Capstone Project (3 semester hours)
This course gives students the opportunity to address real-world issues relevant to their profession, plan and execute a project, and contribute to their discipline while developing mastery of selected skills. Capstone projects may originate from a wide variety of options such as standard operating procedures, training manuals, comprehensive land management plans, designing sustainable communities, communication plans, remediation site plans, proposals for changes to environmental regulations, or other environmental policy and management solutions. The capstone project option is suggested for students wishing to terminate their formal studies with the MS degree, and who have an interest in the application of solutions to real-world concerns. The format will be proposed by the student and approved by the instructor. The capstone project must demonstrate originality and will follow the style requirements set by the department. NOTE: This is intended to be the final course in the degree program. Students must have a 3.0 GPA to enroll. This course is 16 weeks in length. Prerequisite: EVSP500 or EVSP601)
EVSP697 Fish and Wildlife Seminar (3 semester hours)
This course will consist of an internship or practicum at a park, refuge, or other land managed for fish and wildlife or at an approved non-profit organization that allows the student to gain field experience in the discipline. The experiential or practical component of the class aims to apply learning in an aspect of interest related to the field of fish and wildlife management. It is understood to be a supervised practicum that requires approval by APUS before entering into a relationship with the organization. The selection of an organization or site for the practicum must relate to the content of the student’s course. Goals of the applied practicum seminar will be submitted by the student for approval to the Instructor and Program Director. The practicum will serve as an opportunity to experience the practice of an area of fish and wildlife management related to the focus of the student’s degree. This seminar should be completed in one of the student’s last few semesters.Course Objectives:• Apply ecological concepts of fish and wildlife management in applied situations.• Collaborate with professional fish and wildlife managers to implement a project or program.• Demonstrate scientific writing and professional speaking skills.• Analyze contemporary fish and wildlife management problems and develop appropriate approaches to conservation of species and habitats.• Critique fish and wildlife management techniques and methods in a field context.• Exhibits professionalism in the field of fish and wildlife management.
EVSP698 Comprehensive Exam in Environmental Policy and Management (0 semester hours)
Comprehensive final examination for students in the Master of Science in Environmental Policy and Management program. IMPORTANT: You must have COMPLETED all other courses in the program and have a GPA of 3.0 in order to register for this course. As an Environmental Policy student, you must pass this comprehensive exam in order to have your degree conferred. The comprehensive exam must be taken by the course end date or a failing grade will be posted. If you fail your first course attempt to pass the comprehensive exam, you will need to get approval to register for a second attempt of the course and BOTH final course grades will show in your transcript.
EVSP699 Environmental Policy and Management Capstone (3 semester hours)
Designed specifically for students with an interest in scholarly research or continuing their academic career in doctoral studies, this course requires students to present original scholarly research. The capstone thesis must have a substantial research component, which will include research questions and presentation of an original argument using proper academic writing conventions. Students writing a capstone thesis will collect and analyze data from carefully documented primary and/or secondary sources, and will develop a rigorous research paper in the style of a traditional scientific paper (i.e., abstract, introduction, methods, results, discussion, references). The capstone thesis must represent an original contribution to the body of knowledge within the broad field of environmental policy and management. The theories, research methods, analytical skills, and substantive knowledge obtained through the Environmental Policy and Management curriculum provide the basis for the thesis project. This course may not be taken until 30 credit hours have been successfully completed and student has a 3.0 GPA. This course is 16 weeks in length. (Prerequisite: EVSP500 or EVSP601)