University General Course Catalog 2021-2022 
    Nov 26, 2022  

Environmental Science (Soil Biogeochemistry Specialization), B.S.

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Biogeochemists study the physical, chemical, and biological processes that occur in soils and ecosystems. This includes flows of energy, mass, carbon, nutrients, and water and how these flows regulate ecosystem processes and ecosystem services. The Soil Biogeochemistry specialization prepares students for careers in soil science, including its sub-disciplines soil ecology, soil physics, soil morphology and soil chemistry. Students learn about the role of soils in ecosystem processes related to nutrient cycling, carbon sequestration, and other ecosystem services.

The courses that are part of this specialization provide theoretical and practical training in soil science with students acquiring skills needed for:

  1. field investigations of soils;
  2. chemical and physical soil analyses and interpretation of data; and
  3. reporting, including writing and presentation.

After completing the necessary coursework, students are prepared for graduate study or may enter employment with state and federal agencies, private firms, and non-profit organizations.

The curriculum provides students with enough credits to meet the requirements for federal positions as a soil scientist (OPM 0470 Series: 

Student Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • demonstrate critical thinking skills by assessing a problem, gathering and analyzing relevant information associated with that problem, and proposing possible solutions.
  • demonstrate effective oral and written communication skills.
  • demonstrate technical competency within their respective discipline.

Contact Information

217 Fleischmann Agriculture
(775) 784-4020 / (775) 784-4835

Incoming students, freshmen and sophomores should contact:
CABNR Advising Center, in FA 236  
(775) 784-1634

Juniors and seniors should contact their faculty advisor directly:
Erica Bigio (A-L) -
Julie Stoughton (M-Z) -

Transfer to the University of Nevada, Reno

Use the transfer agreement and the degree planner (available by clicking  at the top right of this page) to build your plan for graduation with your advisor. Course substitutions not identified on the transfer agreement require UNR advisor approval.

If a major-to-major agreements  is not available for your transfer institution, please check the General Core Agreement  if available. If neither is available, access Transferology to assist in your planning.

Graduation Requirements

  • Total Units | 120
  • Cumulative GPA | 2.0
  • University GPA | 2.0
  • Major GPA | 2.0
  • Residency Requirement | 30 Upper-Division Units at UNR
  • Major Residency Requirement | 15 Upper-Division Units in the major at UNR
  • Upper-Division Requirement | 40 Upper-Division Units
  • Half Program Units/4 Year Institution | 60 Units

I. Core General Education Requirements (27-36 units)

NOTE: Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter of this catalog for information regarding the “Core English and Math Completion Policy  ”.

Students in this major must meet all Core Objectives (CO1 through CO14). Courses satisfying Core Objectives are designated (e.g., CO9) in General Catalog curricula and course descriptions.

A. Composition & Communication; Critical Analysis & Use of Information (3-6 units) - CO1, CO3

B. Quantitative Reasoning (4-10 units) - CO2

C. Physical & Natural Phenomena (8 units) - CO4, CO4L

D. Cultures, Societies, & Individuals (3 units) - CO6

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO6  courses

E. Artistic Composition, Interpretation, & Expression (3 units) - CO7

Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO7  courses.

F. History & Culture; Constitution (6 units) - CO5, CO8

Refer to the Core Curriculum  chapter in this catalog

II. Additional Core Requirements (0 units)

Students must take courses that satisfy the following Core Objectives. Some or all of these Core Objectives may be satisfied in the Major Requirements (Section IV). Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter in this catalog.

A. Science, Technology & Society - CO9

B. Diversity & Equity - CO10

C. Global Contexts - CO11

D. Ethics - CO12

E. Capstone Integration & Synthesis - CO13

F. Application - CO14

III. Additional College Requirements (0 units)

IV. Major Requirements (72-73 units)

B. Soil Biogeochemistry Specialization (27 units)

C. Technical Electives (9 units)

Select 9 units from the following courses. Courses used to satisfy other Core or major requirements may not be reused here:

V. Minor Requirements (0 units)

VI. Electives (11-21 units)

VII. Recommended Schedule

A. First Year

Fall Semester (15 units)

B. Second Year

C. Third Year

Fall Semester (15 units)

Spring Semester (15 units)

D. Fourth Year

Fall Semester (15 units)

Spring Semester (12 units)

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