Water Resources Focus

Students choosing the water resources focus area study physical and chemical aspects of water as well as the geological and biological processes that influence its distribution, supply, quality, and ecological functions.

Numerous governmental agencies and private consulting firms hire graduates to work in the fields of water quality assessment, groundwater monitoring, and lake or stream management.

Some focus courses available include:

  • limnology
  • organic chemistry
  • physical hydrogeology
  • chemical hydrogeology
  • microbiology
  • soil science
  • geomorphology
  • environmental geology

Recommended Focus Courses

ARCH 340 - Urban Design (3 units; U/G)
Survey of urban design, including the study of precedents, recent philosophy, design vocabulary, behavioral responses, and implementation strategies. Prereq: jr st; acceptance to Level 2 or arch studies minor & Arch 300(P); or grad st.
BIO SCI 383 - General Microbiology (4 units; U)
Nature and properties of microorganisms. Molecular biology and genetics of bacteria and viruses. Major groups, ecological relationships, and taxonomy. 3 hrs lec, 4 hrs lab. Cell & Molec Bio; Microbio. Prereq: Chem 341(P) or 343(P); Bio Sci 325(P) or cons instr.
BIO SCI 406 - Marine Biology (3 units; U/G)
Marine biology with a strong ecological focus; physical and chemical constraints that marine environments impose on organisms; specialized adaptations of marine organisms in response. 2 hrs lec, 1 hr dis. Prereq: jr st; Bio Sci 152(P) & 310(C).
BIO SCI 475 - Tropical Biology: (3 units; U/G)
Ecology and biogeography of various types of tropical forests, including required field trip to area being studied. Required field trip at participants' expense. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Prereq: jr st; BioSci 310(P); cons instr.
BIO SCI 511 - Ichthyology (3 units; U/G)
The diverse biology of fishes focusing on behavioral, biomechanical, genetic, and physiological adaptations to diverse ecological systems. Bio Sci 511 & FrshWtr 511 are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: jr st; grade of C or better in Bio Sci 310(P); or cons instr.
BIO SCI 512 - Limnology I (3 units; U/G)
The ecology of freshwater ecosystems as influenced by physical and chemical processes. Prereq: jr st; Bio Sci 150(P) & 152(P), course in chem; or cons instr.
BIO SCI 611 - Seminar on Recent Advances in Limnology and Oceanography: (2 units; U/G)
Lectures and discussion of current issues in limnology and oceanography; focus on a specific issue or research topic. Retakable w/chg in topic to 6 cr max. Prereq: jr st; Bio Sci 512(P) or cons instr.
CHEM 341 - Introductory Survey of Organic Chemistry (3 units; U)
Intended for students who expect to take only one semester of organic chemistry. Not open for cr to students who have credit in Chem 343. Prereq: grade of C or better in Chem 104(P); conc reg in Chem 342(R).
CHEM 342 - Introductory Organic Chemistry Laboratory (2 units; U)
6 hrs lab. Prereq: a grade of C or better in Chem 104(P); conc reg in 341(R).
CHEM 343 - Organic Chemistry (3 units; U)
For students who intend to take more than one semester of organic chemistry. Not open for cr to students who have credit in Chem 341. Prereq: grade of C or better in Chem 104(P).
CHEM 344 - Organic Chemistry Laboratory (2 units; U)
6 hr lab. Not open for cr to students who have credit in Chem 342. Prereq: grade C or better Chem 343(P); conc reg Chem 345(R).
CHEM 345 - Organic Chemistry (3 units; U)
Continuation of Chem 343. Prereq: grade of C or better in Chem 343(P); conc reg Chem 344(R).
CHEM 501 - Introduction to Biochemistry (3 units; U/G)
The chemistry of biological systems. Does not count toward graduate degree in chemistry. Prereq: jr st; grade of C or better in Chem 341(P) or 345(P).
CHEM 560 - Biophysical Chemistry (3 units; U/G)
General course designed for majors in fields other than chemistry. Does not count toward a graduate degree in chemistry. Prereq: jr st; grade of C or better in Chem 104(P); Math 211(P) or equiv.
CHEM 603 - Introduction to Biochemistry Laboratory (2 units; U/G)
Experiments in biological preparations, colorimetry, chromatography, and radioisotope techniques. Prereq: jr st; grades of C or better in Chem 221(P) or 223(P) & in Chem 501(P).
CIV ENG 492 - Environmental Impact Assessment (3 units; U/G)
Study and evaluation of the impacts of large scale projects on the quality of the environment with emphasis on the assessment of physical and community impacts. Impact statement preparation. Prereq: sr st.
ECON 328 - Environmental Economics (3 units; U)
Evaluating public policy of environmental and natural resources. Regulation of pollution, endangered species, natural resources, and other case studies. Prereq: Econ 103(P).
ECON 525 - The Economics of Water (3 units; U/G)
Comprehensive development of water resource economics for engineers, scientists, and economists; analysis of the public and private sector economics of water resources. Prereq: jr st; Econ 103(P); Math 231(P); a statistics course; or cons instr.
FRSHWTR 502 - Aquatic Ecosystem Dynamics (3 units; U/G)
Interdisciplinary, quantitative approach to understanding large lake dynamic processes, including geological formation, hydrology, hydrodynamics, chemistry and the dynamics of plankton and fish communities. Prereq: jr st; 1 sem calculus or algebra; 2 sem Physics, Chem, or Bio Sci; or cons instr.
FRSHWTR 504 - Quantitative Freshwater Analysis (3 units; U/G)
A fundamental set of tools for the quantitative analysis of environmental data sets, with an emphasis on the calculation of reservoirs, residence times and rates in aquatic systems. Prereq: jr st; 1 sem calculus, Physics, Chem, & Bio Sci; or cons instr.
GEOG 415 - Hydrogeography (3 units; U/G)
Role of water in geographic systems. Interaction of water with physical and human systems, key hydrological processes, spatial and temporal variations of water, data collection, modeling. Prereq: jr st, Geog 120(P) or 125(P), & Geog 215(P); or grad st.
GEOG 515 - Watershed Analysis and Modeling (3 units; U/G)
Theories and applications of analytical and modeling techniques for watershed processes, including geographic information systems (GIS), statistics, and computer simulations. Prereq: jr st; working knowledge of GIS; Geog 415(R) or Geo Sci 463(R) or 562(R); or grad st.
GEO SCI 400 - Water Quality (3 units; U/G)
Water availability and water quality in surface and subsurface water bodies; management of water as a resource. 2 hrs lec, 3 hrs lab. Prereq: jr st; Chem 102(P); Math 232(P); or cons instr.
GEO SCI 409 - Process Geomorphology (3 units; U/G)
Study of geological processes and their effect on the formation and evolution of land forms. Lec, lab, field trips for which fee is assessed. Prereq: jr st; Geo Sci 100(P), Geog 120(P), or 121(P).
GEO SCI 463 - Physical Hydrogeology (3 units; U/G)
Study of ground water occurrence, its interrelationship with surface water, aquifer properties, groundwater flow and water supply development, including well hydraulics, water quality, and groundwater law. Lec, lab, & field trip for which fee is assessed. Prereq: jr st; Geo Sci 100(P) or 101(P); Math 232(P).
GEO SCI 464 - Chemical Hydrogeology (3 units; U/G)
Natural chemical processes that occur in groundwater systems, how they are modified by human activity and contamination, and attempts to regulate them. Lec, lab. Frshwtr 464 & Geo Sci 464 are jointly-offered; they count as repeats of one another. Prereq: jr st; Chem 102(P).
GEO SCI 562 - Environmental Surface Hydrology (3 units; U/G)
Land-atmosphere interactions, modeling of runoff generation, and water movement in the vadose zone. 3 hrs lec. Prereq: jr st; Math 232(P); or cons instr.
GEO SCI 563 - Field Methods in Hydrogeology (3 units; U/G)
Introduction to current equipment and methodology used in field evaluation of hydrologic systems. Well installation and monitoring, stream gaging, indirect surface observations. Lab, field trip for which fee is assessed. Prereq: jr st; Geo Sci 463(P).
GEO SCI 697 - Seminar in the Geological Sciences: (1-3 units; U/G)
Specific credits and add'l prereqs announced in Schedule of Classes each time course offered. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Prereq: jr st.