THE UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA AT ASHEVILLE

 

FACULTY SENATE

 

Senate Document Number 2610S

 

Date of Senate Approval 01/21/10

 

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Statement of Faculty Senate Action:

 

APC Document 14: Change in the number of required hours for the

Concentration in Ecology and Environmental Biology

 

 

Effective Date: Fall 2010

 

 

1.     Delete: On page 134, under Concentration in Ecology and Environmental Biology:

 

2935 hours distributed as follows: BIOL 123 and 124 or the equivalent; BIOL 210 or

211; one course from ATMS 103, ENVR 105, 338, 385, CHEM 231 or PHYS 131; one 3-4 hour advanced ENVR elective; 19 hours of Ecology and Biology electives chosen from BIOL 210 or211 (whichever is not selected above), 331, 332, 333, 334, 335, 337, 340, 342, 350, 360; or ENVR 322, 341, 343, 346, 348, 360, 364, 390, 442. At least 11 of the 19 hours must be in ENVR.

 

 

Add: On page 134, in place of deleted entry:

 

2834 hours distributed as follows: BIOL 123 and 124 or the equivalent; BIOL 210 or

211; one course from ATMS 103, ENVR 105, 338, 385, CHEM 231 or PHYS 131; one 3-4 hour advanced ENVR elective; 18 hours of Ecology and Biology electives chosen from BIOL 210 or 211 (whichever is not selected above), 331, 332, 333, 334, 335, 337, 340, 350, 351, 356, 360, 442; or ENVR 322, 323, 341, 343, 346, 348, 360, 364, 390, 442. The 18 hours must include at least three 4-credit courses; and at least 11 of the 18 hours must be taken in ENVR.

 

 

Impact statement:

1. We are already teaching several new 3-credit courses (both regular and special topics courses), and students are taking them, so no new classes will be required. Enrollment may shift slightly, with more students feeling free to enroll in a 3-credit course, versus a 4-credit course. However, since most of our 4-credit courses have smaller class sizes and end up with waiting lists during pre-registration, we anticipate that the waiting lists will be shorter if some students enroll in 3-credit courses instead.

 

2. All of the courses in the updated list of acceptable ecology/biology electives are already in the course catalogue.

 

 

Rationale:

1. The 19-hour requirement was implemented at a time when only one 3-credit ecology course was offered in our department. That meant that students taking that 3-credit course also took four, 4-credit courses, for a total of five courses. With a larger faculty and a more diverse set of electives, we now offer several 3-hour courses that are acceptable advanced ecology electives, and we also allow students to substitute 3-credit special topics ecology courses. However, students who take two, or even three 3-credit courses often need to take six courses to get the minimum of 19 hours. Changing the required hours of advanced ecology courses to 18 hours will allow students to take as many as two 3-credit courses, along with three 4-credit courses. We think that a total of five courses is reasonable and does not place an undue burden on student schedules or faculty teaching loads. However, all of our 4-credit courses include a field and/or laboratory experience, whereas only some of the 3-credit courses include field work. Therefore, we would prefer that all students take a minimum of three 4-credit courses to ensure that our students gain sufficient field and lab experience.

 

2. The list of acceptable ecology/biology electives in both the Biology and Environmental Studies Departments has been updated, to better reflect the courses that our faculty have been allowing to count towards the concentration in Ecology and Field Biology.