Water Science

(Bachelor of Science)

Overview of the Program

The UW-Green Bay Water Science program will be an integrated program designed to provide students with the tools necessary to solve the water related challenges of today and tomorrow. Students may complete program requirements in four years. The curriculum will be interdisciplinary, with a core set of courses drawn from geoscience, chemistry, environmental science, biology, physics, math and statistics, and public and environmental affairs. In addition, a diverse set of elective courses will allow students to focus on subdisciplines in water science that can meet their career needs and interests. The major requirements will be comprised of 71 credits, which will include 33 credits of supporting courses, 25 credits of upper level core courses, and 13 credits of upper level electives. The anticipated comprehensive major (71 credits) will have a principal focus on water’s role in natural processes in Earth’s systems. These skills include a solid understanding of the chemistry, surface water hydrology, groundwater, and biology of freshwater systems. UW-Green Bay Water Science majors will have opportunities to work as research assistants on faculty projects, develop internships, or to conduct their own independent projects. UW-Green Bay faculty members are very active in research on water and wastewater treatment, runoff pollution, stream hydrology, groundwater quality, limnology, and aquatic ecology.

Student Learning Outcomes and Program Objectives

  1. Students will be able to describe the role water plays in the lithosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere, with emphasis on interactions between these reservoirs.
  2. Students will apply the scientific method to investigations of hydrologic processes, Earth systems, and interactions among the various physical and biological realms utilizing standard scientific field and laboratory methods.
  3. Students will demonstrate an understanding of the hydrology of streams and lake systems and the role water has in landscape‑forming processes that act on the Earth's surface.
  4. Students will be able to describe the processes of and importance of groundwater flow and aquifer systems.
  5. Students will be able to compare chemical interactions that occur in various hydrologic settings and their importance to water resources, geological and biological systems, and water/wastewater treatment.
  6. Students will be able to describe the role water plays in atmospheric systems and the climate system.
  7. Students will be able to describe the interactions between water systems and ecosystems.
  8. Students will be able to describe the challenges of maintaining surface and ground water quality.
  9. Students will apply their knowledge base and research skills to current issues pertaining to water resources, management, and remediation, with emphasis on related economic, social, and public policy dimensions.
  10. Students will analyze, interpret, and report on laboratory and field findings using appropriate statistical techniques and computer applications.
Supporting Courses33
Introduction to Water Science
Principles of Biology: Organisms, Ecology, and Evolution
and Principles of Biology Lab: Organisms, Ecology, and Evolution
Physical Geology
Ocean of Air: Weather and Climate
Principles of Chemistry I
and Principles of Chemistry I Laboratory
Principles of Chemistry II
and Principles of Chemistry II Laboratory
Introductory Statistics
Fundamentals of Physics I
Principles of Physics I
Upper-Level Required Courses24
Environmental Systems
Water and Waste Water Treatment
Environmental GIS
Geochemistry of Natural Waters
Stream Ecology
Ground Water: Resources and Regulations
Water Resources Policy and Management
Upper-Level Elective Courses: (Choose from the following)13
Environmental Microbiology
Analytical Chemistry
Instrumental Analysis
Natural Resources Economic Policy
The Soil Environment
Pollution Prevention
Environmental Modeling
Stream Ecology
Hazardous and Toxic Materials
Global Climate Change
Ground Water: Resources and Regulations
Senior Thesis/Research in Environmental Science
Practicum in Environmental Science
Regional Climatology
Water Resources Policy and Management
Environmental Law
Natural Resources Policy, Law, and Administration
Stable Isotopes in the Environment
Senior Thesis/Research in Water Science
Independent Study
Freshwater University 1
Total Credits70
Plan of Study Grid
WATER 201 Introduction to Water Science 3
add classes  
add classes  
add classes  
add classes  
add classes  
add classes  
add classes  
 Total Credits3

John A Luczaj; Professor; Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, chair*


WATER 201. Introduction to Water Science. 3 Credits.

Water Science is the interdisciplinary study of water and its interaction with solids, liquids, gases, and organisms in various Earth systems. Water is essential to life, and it plays a critical role in nearly every natural process in Earth’s lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and cryosphere. The world faces significant challenges regarding water quantity, quality, and ecological function that are expected to worsen during the 21st century. It is rare to find a real-world system in which water does not play a significant role.
Fall Only.

WATER 321. Stable Isotopes in the Environment. 1 Credit.

Stable isotope analysis has become a standard tool in modern science. The natural variability in non-radioactive (stable) isotopes corresponds to specific physical and biological processes throughout the global Earth System. This course explores the basics of stable isotope chemistry, with most of the course dedicated to examples of their application across several scientific fields.
P: CHEM 211 or consent of instructor
Spring Odd.

WATER 444. Geochemistry of Natural Waters. 3 Credits.

This class will explore the theory and application of aqueous geochemistry principles to the study of surface and groundwater systems at low to moderate temperatures. The class will focus on inorganic processes including the hydrologic cycle, chemical weathering, chemical activities in natural waters, thermodynamics, kinetics, acid/base equilibria, carbonate chemistry, acid water systems, heavy metals, redox reactions, saline waters, and ancient fluids preserved in fluid inclusions.
P: GEOSCI 202, CHEM 211 & CHEM 212
Fall Even.

WATER 491. Senior Thesis/Research in Water Science. 3 Credits.

A project-based capstone experience where individual students address a specific aspect of water science through the use of scientific and mathematical skills.
P: Senior standing, MATH 260 with C or better, instructor consent. REC: Geoscience/Env Sci 432, Water 330, or other appropriate course depending upon focus of thesis project
Fall and Spring.

WATER 497. Internship. 1-12 Credits.

Supervised practical experience in an organization or activity appropriate to a student's career and educational interests. Internships are supervised by faculty members and require periodic student/faculty meetings. All internships must be taken P-NC. Course is repeatable for credit.

WATER 498. Independent Study. 1-4 Credits.

Independent study is offered on an individual basis at the student's request and consists of a program of learning activities planned in consultation with a faculty member. A student wishing to study or conduct research in an area not represented in available scheduled courses should develop a preliminary proposal and seek the sponsorship of a faculty member. The student's advisor can direct him or her to instructors with appropriate interests. A written report or equivalent is required for evaluation, and a short title describing the program must be sent early in the semester to the registrar for entry on the student's transcript. Course is repeatable for credit.
P: fr or so st with cum gpa > or = 2.50; or jr or sr st with cum gpa > or = 2.00.
Fall and Spring.