Land, Air & Water Resources Concentration

Studies in the Land, Air and Water Resources (LAWR) concentration provide students with a foundation in physical and chemical processes and how these interact in ecosystems. The concentration emphasizes viewing ecosystems as integrated systems through coursework in ecosystem ecology and environmental informatics. Typically, students in the LAWR concentration develop a strong quantitative background in the physical and biological sciences. Students with interests in hydrology, climate change, soil and air pollution, and similar topics are encouraged to choose the LAWR concentration.

Course requirements

Semester Key: F=Fall, S=Spring, Su=Summer

Core curriculum required choices

  • BIOEE 1610 - Introductory Biology: Ecology and the Environment (F, S, Su, 3-4 cr)
  • EAS 1600 - Environmental Physics (or Equivalent) (F, S, 3 cr)

Note: Some of the courses in this concentration require more than the minimum math and physics requirements for the E&S major. Upon selecting the LAWR concentration, students should identify the set of concentration courses that best satisfies their goals, to assure they can meet any additional calculus and physics prerequisites.

Additional courses beyond the E&S core requirements

Choose four courses beyond the E&S core requirements consisting of the following:
 

One biological sciences course from the following (or equivalent):

  • BIOG 1440 - Introductory Biology: Comparative Physiology (F, S, Su, 3 cr)
  • BIOEE 1780/1781 - An Introduction to Evolutionary Biology and Diversity (F, S, Su, 4-5 cr)
  • BIOMG 1350 - Introductory Biology: Cell and Developmental Biology (F, S, Su, 3 cr)

One chemistry course from the core curriculum (or equivalent)
 

One quantitative course from the following:

  • Math 1106 - Calculus for the Life and Social Sciences (S, 3 cr ) 
  • Math 1110 - Calculus 1 (F, S, Su, 4 cr)

One biogeochemistry course from the following:

  • EAS 3030 - Introduction to Biogeochemistry (F, 4 cr)
  • PLSCS 3650 - [Environmental Chemistry: Soil, Air and Water] (S, 3 cr, not offered S22)

LAWR electives

Choose five additional courses from the LAWR elective lists:

  • One course from LAWR List 1: Chemical/Physical environmental science
  • One course from LAWR List 2: Environmental informatics
  • One course from LAWR List 3: Integrated ecosystems/ecology
  • One additional elective from LAWR List 1, 2 or 3
  • One additional elective from LAWR List 1, 2 or 3

Other Cornell University courses similar in content and level (3000-level or above), but not on these lists, may be chosen in consultation with your advisor.

LAWR List 1 – Chemical/Physical environmental science

  • Water management/hydrology
    • BEE 3500 - Heat and Mass Transfer in Biological Engineering (F, 4 cr)
    • BEE 3710 - [Physical Hydrology for Ecosystems] (S, 3 cr, not offered S22)
    • BEE 4110 - Hydrologic Engineering (F, 3 cr)
    • BEE 4270 - Water Measurement and Analysis Methods (F, 3 cr)
    • BEE 4710 - Introduction to Groundwater (S, 3 cr)
    • CEE 3310 - Fluid Mechanics (F, Su, 4 cr)
    • CEE 4320 - [Hydrology] (S, 3 cr, not offered S22)
    • EAS 3530 - Physical Oceanography (S, 3 cr)
    • EAS 4720 - Dynamics of Marine Ecosystems in a Changing Ocean (F, 3 cr)
    • NTRES 3240 - Sustainable, Ecologically Based Management of Water Resources (S, 3 cr)
  • Atmosphere/climate
    • BEE 4800 - Our Changing Atmosphere: Global Change and Atmospheric Chemistry (F, 3 cr)
    • EAS 1310 - Basic Principles of Meteorology (F, 3 cr)
    • EAS 2680 - Climate and Global Warming (S, 3 cr)
    • EAS 3050 - Climate Dynamics (F, 3 cr)
    • EAS 3340 - Microclimatology (F, 3 cr)
    • EAS 3420 - Atmospheric Dynamics (S, 3 cr)
  • Terrestrial/soil science/geology
    • EAS 2250 - The Earth System (F, S, 4 cr)
    • EAS 3010 - Evolution of the Earth System (F, 4 cr)
    • EAS 3030 - Introduction to Biogeochemistry (F, 4 cr)
    • PLSCS 2600 - Soil Science (F, 4 cr)
    • PLSCS 3210 - Soil and Crop Management for Sustainability (S, 3 cr)
    • PLSCS 3630 - [Soil Genesis, Classification, and Survey] (F, 4 cr, not offered F21)
    • PLSCS 3650 - Environmental Chemistry: Soil, Air, and Water (S, 3 cr)

LAWR List 2 – Environmental informatics

  • CEE 4110 - [Applied Remote Sensing and GIS for Resource Inventory and Analysis] (F,  3 cr, not offered F21)
  • CRP 4080 - Introduction to GIS (F, S, 4 cr)
  • EAS 2900 - Computer Programming and Meteorology Software (F, 3 cr)
  • PLSCS 2200 - Introduction to Mapping and Spatial Analysis with GIS (F, 3 cr)
  • PLSCS 4200 - Geographic Information Systems (S, 3 cr)

LAWR List 3 – Integrated ecosystems/ecology

  • BIOEE 4570 - [Limnology: Ecology of Lakes, Lectures] (S, 3 cr, next offered Sp22)
  • BIOEE 4620 - Marine Ecosystem Sustainability (F, 3 cr)
  • BIOEE 4780 - [Ecosystem Biology] (S, 4 cr, not offered S22)
  • NTRES 3220 - Global Biodiversity (F, 3 cr)
  • NTRES 4200 - Forest Ecology, Lectures (F, 3 cr)
  • NTRES 4560 - Stream Ecology (F, 4 cr)
  • PLHRT 4730 - Ecology of Agricultural Systems (F, 4 cr)
  • PLSCS 4660 - Soil Ecology (S, 4 cr)
  • PLSCS 4720 - [Nutrient and Carbon Cycling and Management in Ecosystems] (F, 3 cr, not offered F21)

More information

Students who complete the LAWR concentration will:

  1. Obtain in-depth understanding of the chemical, physical, and biological processes that govern the composition of natural and managed ecosystems. Emphasis is on the integration of these processes and systems.
  2. Gain proficiency with the methods used to obtain, analyze, interpret, and evaluate environmental information.
  3. Be able to apply this knowledge to solve environmental problems and address sustainability issues that cross disciplines and affect policy and planning decisions.