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Ecological Engineering Undergraduate Major (BS, CRED, HBS)

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College of Engineering | Biological and Ecological Engineering

Ecological engineering is the design of sustainable systems consistent with ecological principles that integrate human activities into the natural environment to the benefit of both. This approach emphasizes diversity, resilience, and adaptation to maintain sustainability. Ecological engineering deals with both fundamental processes and engineering applications on scales that range from microscopic to watersheds and beyond. This discipline is rapidly developing as an important new area of engineering based on the science of ecological systems, with a number of dedicated journals, national and international professional societies, and new application areas emerging over the last decade. The Biological and Ecological Engineering Department at OSU has considerable expertise in this area and is among the national leaders in this discipline.

The ABET Inc. Accredited Bachelor of Science degree in Ecological Engineering (EcoE) program is the first of its kind nationally, reflecting Oregon’s leadership in this new and exciting multidisciplinary field. The curriculum is divided into an ecological engineering core and a set of upper-division science and engineering electives. The ecological engineering core contains the introductory and upper-division course work that provides the common engineering and scientific basis for our students. The core consists of pre-professional courses, baccalaureate core requirements, required upper-division engineering courses, and required science courses. The upper-division engineering and science electives are presented in elective clusters. Selections are made to a total of 21 credits of engineering electives and 10 credits of science/public policy electives. This organization provides students with considerable flexibility in selecting their degree path.

Graduates with an Ecological Engineering degree will work to optimize the interface between humankind and the environment. Specific activities undertaken might include riparian restoration, optimizing sensor arrays for ecological monitoring, improving agricultural water quality, mitigating toxic materials migration from landfills, developing sustainable industrial systems (agricultural and otherwise), developing closed systems for space travel, or dealing with issues associated with global climate change. Oregon State University has strong programs in many of the basic and engineering sciences that underpin the Ecological Engineering degree program.

Graduates with an ecological engineering skill set may find employment with industrial clients, engineering consulting companies, governmental agencies, and entrepreneurial start-ups.

For further information, please contact:

John P. Bolte
116 Gilmore Hall
Oregon State University
Corvallis, OR 97331-3906

Core Requirements

Pre-Professional Courses

(Pre-Ecological Engineering, major code 654)
BEE 101. Ecological Engineering I (3)
BEE 102. Ecological Engineering II (3)E
BEE 221. Fundamentals of Ecological Engineering (3)
BI 211, BI 212, BI 213. *Principles of Biology (4,4,4)
CH 231. *General Chemistry (4)E and CH 261. Laboratory for Chemistry 231 (1)
CH 232. *General Chemistry (4) and CH 262. Laboratory for Chemistry 232 (1)
CH 233. *General Chemistry (4) and CH 263. Laboratory for Chemistry 233 (1)
COMM 111. *Public Speaking (3)E
or COMM 114. *Argument and Critical Discourse (3)E
ENGR 211. Statics (3)E
ENGR 213. Strength of Materials (3)E
HHS 231. *Lifetime Fitness for Health (2)
   and *HHS 241. *Lifetime Fitness (1) or any PAC course (1–2)
MTH 251. *Differential Calculus (4)E
MTH 252. Integral Calculus (4)E 
MTH 254. Vector Calculus I (4)E
MTH 256. Applied Differential Equations (4)E
MTH 306. Matrix and Power Series Methods (4)E
or MTH 253. Infinite Series and Sequences (4)E and MTH 341. Linear Algebra I (3)E or equivalent
PH 211, PH 212, PH 213. *General Physics with Calculus (4,4,4)E
ST 314. Introduction to Statistics for Engineers (3)
   or ST 421, ST 422. Introduction to Mathematical Statistics (4,4)
WR 121. *English Composition (3)
WR 327. *Technical Writing (3)

*Cultural Diversity (3)
*Difference, Power, and Discrimination (3)
*Literature and the Arts (3)
*Western Culture (Dependent on Ethics Selection) (3)
*Social Policies and Institutions—AEC 250. *Introduction to Environmental Economics and Policy (3)
*Synthesis—Science, Technology, and Society (3)
*Synthesis—Contemporary Global Issues (3)


IE 380. *The Responsible Engineer (3) (Meets Synthesis—Science Technology and Society)
   or PHL 205. *Ethics (4) (Meets Perspectives—Western Culture)

Professional Skills

BEE 415. Professional Development (1)
ENGR 391. Engineering Economics and Project Management (3)
FE 257. GIS and Forest Engineering Applications (3)

Science and Public Policy Courses

ATS 210. Introduction to Atmospheric Sciences (3)
BI 370. Ecology (3)
SOIL 205. *Soil Science (3)

Professional Courses

BEE 311. Ecological Fluid Mechanics (4)
BEE 312. Ecohydraulics (4)
BEE 313. Ecohydrology (4)
BEE 320. Biosystems Analysis and Modeling (4)
BEE 322. Ecological Engineering and Thermodynamics and Transfer Process (4)
BEE 361. Ecological Engineering Laboratory (3)
BEE 468. Bioremediation Engineering (4)
BEE 469. ^Ecological Engineering Design I (4)
BEE 470. Ecological Engineering Design II (4)
Engineering Electives (See Elective Clusters) (21)
Science and Public Policy Option Electives (See Elective Clusters) (9)

Engineering and Science Elective Clusters (30 Credits)

Pick one from each of the Engineering and Science Elective Clusters:

Engineering I Elective (3 Credits)
BEE 433. Irrigation System Design (4)
BEE 446. River Engineering (4)
BEE 458. Nonpoint Source Pollution Assessment and Control (3)

Engineering II Elective (4 Credits)
ENVE 422. Environmental Engineering Design (4)
FE 208. Forest Surveying (4)
FE 315. Soil Engineering (4)
Selection in consultation with advisor (4)

Engineering III Elective (4 Credits)
CE 463. Control Surveying (4)
ENVE 421. Water and Wastewater Characterization (4)
FE 316. Soil Mechanics (4)
FE 422. Forest Geomatics (4)
Selection in consultation with advisor (4)

Engineering IV Elective (4 Credits)
CE 465. Oregon Land Survey Law (3)
ENVE 431. Fate and Transport Chemicals in Environmental Systems (4)
FE 209. Forest Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (4)
Selection in consultation with advisor (4)

Engineering V Elective (3 Credits)
BEE 401. Research (1–3)
   or BEE 405. Reading and Conference (3)
ENVE 456. Sustainable Water Resources Development (3)
Selection in consultation with advisor (3)

Engineering VI Elective (3 Credits)
BEE 401. Research (3)
   or BEE 405. Reading and Conference (3)
BEE 458. Nonpoint Source Pollution Assessment and Control (3)
CE 461. Photogrammetry (3)
CE 469. Property Surveys (3)
ENVE 425. Air Pollution Control (3)

Pick one from each of the Science and Public Policy Elective Clusters (9 Credits)

Science I Elective
BOT 313. Plant Structure (4)
BOT 331. Plant Physiology (4)
BOT 341. Plant Ecology (4)
CH 331. Organic Chemistry (4)
GEO 202. *Earth Systems Science (4)
GEO 444. Remote Sensing (4)
   or GEOG 480. Remote Sensing I: Principles and Applications (4)
FW 456. Limnology (5)
MTH 351. Introduction to Numerical Analysis (3)
RNG 341. Rangeland Ecology and Management (3)
RNG 355 Desert Watershed Management (4)
RNG 421. Wildland Restoration and Ecology (4)
ST 422. Introduction to Mathematical Statistics (4)

Science II Elective
BOT 442. Plant Population Ecology (3)
CH 332. Organic Chemistry (4)
FES/FW 445. Ecological Restoration (4)
FOR 441. Silviculture Principles (4)
FW 479. Wetlands and Riparian Ecology (3)
GEO 301. Map and Image Interpretation (4)
   or GEOG 201. *Foundations of Geospatial Science and GIS (4)
GEO 322. Surface Processes (4)
GEO 481. Glacial Geology (4)
GEO 483/GEOG 423. Snow Hydrology (3)
MTH 481. Applied Ordinary Differential Equations (3)
RNG 455. Riparian Ecohydrology and Management (4)
TOX 430. Chemical Behavior in the Environment (3)
Z 477. Aquatic Entomology (4)

Science III or Public Policy Elective

Science III Elective
BEE 410. Ecological Engineering Internship (3)
FE 209. Forest Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing (4)
GEO 301. Map and Image Interpretation (4)
  or GEOG 201. *Foundations of Geospatial Science and GIS (4)
GEO 360. Cartography (4)
   or GEOG 370. Geovisualization: Cartography (4)
GEO 432. Applied Geomorphology (3)
MTH 482. Applied Partial Differential Equations (3)
RNG 351. Range Ecology I-Grasslands (3)
RNG 352. Range Ecology II-Shrublands (3)
SOIL 455. Biology of Soil Ecosystems (4)

Public Policy, Economics, Communications
AEC 351. *Natural Resource Economics and Policy (3)
AEC 432. Environmental Law (4)
BA 362. Social Entrepreneurship and Social Initiatives (4)
COMM 440. Theories of Conflict and Conflict Management (3)
COMM 442. Bargaining and Negotiation Processes (3)
COMM 444. Third Parties in Dispute Resolution: Mediation and Arbitration (3)
ECON 201. *Introduction to Microeconomics (4)
FOR 330. Forest Resource Economics I (4)
SOIL 335. *Introduction to Water Science and Policy (3)
   or GEOG 340. *Introduction to Water Science and Policy (3)
WSE 455 Marketing and Innovation in Renewable Materials (4)

Total Credits for Ecological Engineering Degree=192


* Baccalaureate Core Course (BCC)
^ Writing Intensive Course (WIC)
E Required for entry into Professional School

Pre-Ecological Engineering Major Code: 654

Major Code: 450

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