Elective class details

GIS 512: Introduction to Remote Sensing (GIS Certificate Elective)
Principles and hands-on techniques for processing and analyzing remotely sensed data for natural resource applications. Topics include review of the electromagnetic spectrum, pre-processing [georectification, enhancements and transformations], processing [visual interpretation, indices, supervised and unsupervised classification] and post-processing [masking, change analysis and accuracy assessment] of digital image data. This course will provide students with fundamental concepts and skills needed to pursue further studies in digital processing of remotely sensed data. Offered in the Fall and Spring semesters.

GIS 515: Cartographic Design (GIS Certificate Elective)
Principles of cartographic design and how to apply them to produce high-quality geographic information system [GIS] based maps. Successful students will acquire an understanding of map design and experience applying it with GIS software. Students produce project maps in both print and web media. Offered  in the Fall and Spring semesters.

GIS 520: Spatial problem solving (GIS Certificate requirement)
Focus on spatial problem solving from a geographic information perspective. Students learn to solve spatial problems through advanced analysis using geospatial technologies, learn to integrate and analyze spatial data in various formats, and explore methods for displaying geographic data analysis results to guide decision making. All course materials are delivered through the Internet, with optional weekly on-campus and synchronous online help sessions. Offered  in the Fall and Spring semesters.

GIS609:  Geospatial Forum
The Geospatial Forum brings together researchers, educators, practitioners, and students of the geospatial sciences in an exciting, weekly series of lively presentations and facilitated discussions centered upon frontiers in geospatial analytics and geospatial solutions to complex challenges. Live discussions are recorded and made available online for students. Offered  in the Fall and Spring semesters.

EA 505: Environmental Assessment Law & Policy
This course provides students with an appreciation and understanding of the principles of environmental law and policy. Emphasis is on the US legal system and litigation process relevant to environmental law, covering topics such as: the National Environmental Policy Act [NEPA], the Pollution Prevention Act [PPA], the Clean Water Act, and the Clean Air Act. Throughout the course, a case study is integrated into the conceptual lecture material with the intent of providing practical examples to conceptual material. Offered in the Spring Semester.

EA 550: Environmental Policy
Focus on formation and impact of environmental policy in the U. S. Examination on decision-making processes at all levels of government. Comparisons between political, economic, social and technological policy alternatives. Emphasis upon applicationof policy analysis in environmental assessment and consideration on theoretical perspectives on nature of the environmental crisis. Offered  in the Fall and Spring semesters.

CE 578: Energy and Climate
Interdisciplinary analysis of energy technology, natural resources, and the impact on anthropogenic climate change. Topics include basic climate science, energetics of natural and human systems, energy in fossil-fueled civilization, the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on climate, and technology and public policy options for addressing the climate challenge. The course is quantitative with a strong emphasis on engineering and science. But is open to non-engineering students. Offered in the Spring semester.

BAE 528 Biomass to Renewable Energy Processes
This course will introduce fundamental principles and practical applications of biomass-to-renewable energy processes, including anaerobic digestion of organic wastes for biogas and hydrogen production, bioethanol production from starch and lignocellulosic materials, biodiesel production from plant oils, and thermoconversion of biomass and waste materials. Restricted to engineering seniors and graduate standing in COE, CALS, PAMS or CNR. Offered in the Fall semester.

PS 536: Global Environmental Law and Policy
International organizations, laws and policies addressing global environmental problems including: population growth, atmospheric pollution, climate change, use of oceans, forests and biodiversity. Relationship between environment and Third World economic development.. Offered  in the Spring semester.

COM 538: Risk Communication
Comprehensive review of principles, theory, research, and practices involving consensus building; associated with environmental, health and safety; enabling analysis and management of risks. Emphasis on risks associated with emerging science and technology. No quantitative experience necessary. Graduate standing required. Offered in the Fall semester.

COM  562: Communication and Social Change
Examine persuasive theories and methods including compliance gaining techniques. Evaluate effectiveness of public communication campaigns directed at social change. Offered in the Fall semester.

PA 513: Public Organization Behavior
Major conceptual frameworks developed to understand organization behavior. Motivation, leadership, group dynamics, communication, socio-technical systems, work design and organizational learning. Application of theories and concepts to public sectororganizations. Offered in the Spring semesters.

CRD 703: Communication Networks
Intensive study of theories, histories, and practices of networked communication. Emergence, development, acceptance, and dissolution of a variety of networks organized around information and communication technologies. Survey of network theory and methods for studying networks, networked communication practices, and their effects on issues such as identity, labor, organization, power, etc. Research/applications project developed in consultation with the instructor.  Offered in the Spring semester.

FOR 531: Wildland Fire Science
Physical, chemical, biological, and ecological processes associated with wildland fire, particular emphasis on fire behavior, fuels, weather, climate and the associated effects on ecology, management, fire suppression, prescribed fire, and smoke emissions and exposure. Fire’s effect on national policy, social and natural history of North America. In-depth exercises in fire and smoke modeling using established predictive systems. Offered in the Spring semester.

AEC 561: Conservation Biology
Conservation Biology applies principles from ecology, genetics, and other biological disciplines to the conservation of biological diversity. This course will train students in techniques in population ecology such as population viability analysis; community ecology and theories of biodiversity; and reserve selection algorithms. The class will examine threats to biodiversity such as habitat fragmentation and loss, climate change, and invasion by exotic species. These issues will be considered within the context of economic, social, and legal constraints. Offered in the Fall semester on alternate odd years.

EA 502: Environmental Risk Assessment
This course provides students with an appreciation and understanding of the principles of environmental risk assessment including: Hazard Identification, Toxicity Assessment, Exposure Assessment, and Risk Characterization. Emphasis is placed on contemporary problems in human health and the environment, and it will be based on the most current methodologies described in the “Risk Assessment Guidance for Superfund.” Enrollment in the course requires graduate standing or consent of the instructor.  Offered in the Spring semester.

FOR 575: Advanced Terrestrial Ecosystem Biology
Views organisms and physical environment as integrated system. Outlines processes governing assimilation and cycling of energy, carbons, nutrients, and water. Evaluates ecosystem responses to intensive management, global climate change, air pollution, biofuels production, fragmentation, large-scale land use change. Illustrates application of ecosystem science approach to important regional and global questions through scaling of empirical, ecosystem-level data, ongoing research. Provides experience in hypothesis testing and experimental design, data analysis and interpretation, proposal development, and publication for research professionals. Offered in the Spring semester.

AEC 519: Freshwater Ecology
The course explores the structure and function of streams, lakes, and wetlands, including physical, chemical and biological controls of productivity and species composition of aquatic plants and animals and effects of pollution on organisms and water quality. The laboratory emphasizes modern, hands-on techniques for answering fundamental and applied questions. One local weekend field trip required.

NR 520: Watershed and Wetlands Hydrology
Principles of hydrologic science; classification and assessment of watersheds and stream networks; hydrologic, erosion, and water quality processes in natural and managed watersheds; wetlands hydrology; hydrologic measurements and data analysis; applications of hydrology and water quality management for forest agriculture, and urban ecosystems; watershed restoration. Emphasis field study of watersheds and hydrologic measurements. Two weekend field trips are required.

MEA 540: Principles of Physical Oceanography
Introduction to principles and practice of physical oceanography. The equation of state of seawater; energy transfer to the ocean by thermal, radiative and mechanical processes; the heat budget; oceanic boundary conditions; geographical distributionof oceanic properties; observational methods; conservation equations; simple waves and tides; physical oceanography of North Carolina coastal zone. Application of Fourier analysis techniques to interpretation of low-frequency motions in ocean and atmosphere. Review of Fourier method. Filtering of tidal signals. Spectral estimates and calculation of current ellipses. Identification of coherent motions and their empirical orthogonal modes. Data from field experiments used in lectures and homework assignments. Offered in the Spring semester.

MEA 549: Principles of Biological Oceanography
Environmental dependencies, biological productivity, and trophic relationships in plankton, nekton and benthos; Sampling methods and experimental design; Human impacts on marine systems. Offered in the Fall semester.

BAE 572:  Irrigation and Drainage
Design, management and evaluation of irrigation and drainage systems; concepts and processes of system design. Offered in the Spring semester.

BAE 576: Watershed Monitoring and Assessment
Water measurement and structure sizing. Identification of water quality problems and water quality variable selection. Monitoring design, water quality sampling equipment, and sample collection and analysis. Statistical analysis and presentation of water quality data. Offered in the Fall semester.

NR 571: Current Issues in Natural Resource Policy (Seminar)
Seminar providing an overview of current natural resource issues for the world and the U.S. Population, sustainable development, food and agriculture, forests, rangelands, biodiversity, energy resources, water resources, atmosphere and climate, international policies and instructions. Offered in the Fall semester.

MEA 750: Marine Benthic Ecology
Marine benthic systems in deep sea and in shallow waters, focusing upon abiotic and biotic processes regulating density, diversity and taxonomic and functional composition. Discussions of benthic-pelagic coupling, predation, interspecific competition, biogeography, sampling problems, evolutionary trends, trophic structure and community organization. Offered  in the Fall and Spring semesters.