Earth / Environmental Science

The Earth Systems / Environmental Science Associate of Science Degree at Mount Wachusett Community College prepares students for the rigors of a four-year institution to complete a baccalaureate degree.  This program offers students the opportunity to explore geology, environmental science, ecology and meteorology while completing a core curriculum.  Students will gain knowledge in a variety of disciplines including math, science, and technology.  

Earth / Environmental Science (EAES)

The Earth Systems/Environmental Science Associate of Science Degree is designed for students to transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue a bachelor's degree in earth systems, geology, meteorology, or environmental science.  With a bachelor's degree, students may pursue careers as a geologist, seismologist, environmental consultant, environmental safety consultant, meteorologist, soil scientist, atmospheric scientist, or earth science teacher.  Embedded within the MWCC Associate Degree is a Geospatial Technologies course (EAS 130), which provides the student with current technology skills crucial to this field of study. 

Year 1
ENG 101College Writing I 3
EAS 125Physical Geology of the Earth 4
MAT 162Introduction to Functions Modeling (Formerly MAT 134) (or higher) 4
CHE 107General Chemistry I 4
ENG 102College Writing II 3
PSY 105Introduction To Psychology 3
MAT 163Pre-Calculus (or higher) 4
Professional Elective (students planning on studying environmental science are encouraged to take EAS 110) (see list below)  3-4
CHE 108General Chemistry II 4
Year 2
PHY 105College Physics I (or PHY 120) 4
EAS 130Fundamentals of Geospatial Technologies 4
Humanities Elective 1 3
Professional Elective (see list below)  4
PHL 235The Philosophy of Nature, Science, and Mathematics 3
Social Science Elective 2 3
Professional Elective (see list below)  4
Professional Elective (see list below)  4
 Total Credits: 61-62

Humanities Electives: See Elective Courses by Abbreviation


Social Science Electives: See Elective Courses by Abbreviation

Professional Electives

BIO 109Biology I4
BIO 110Biology II4
BIO 116Ecology4
BIO 130Botany: Plant Science4
CHE 207Organic Chemistry I4
CHE 208Organic Chemistry II4
EAS 110Introduction to Environmental Science3
EAS 120Soil Science (formerly BIO 220)4
EAS 126Weather and Climate4
MAT 211Calculus I4
MAT 212Calculus II4
PHY 106College Physics II4
PHY 121Physics for Engineering and Science II4

See Earth / Environmental Science program student learning outcomes and technical standards.


This program is offered at the Gardner campus only.

Transfer Options

For transfer options, please click here. It is recommended that you also consult with your academic advisor.



Students who plan to transfer to a Massachusetts state university or a University of Massachusetts campus may be eligible to transfer under the MassTransfer agreement, which provides transfer advantages to those who qualify.

Please click here for the MassTransfer information.

Program Student Learning Outcomes for EAES

Upon graduation from this program, students shall have the ability to:

  • Formulate clear and precise questions about complex problems and ideas relevant to a variety of disciplines — math, science, technology— and gather, assess, and interpret information to reach well-reasoned conclusions and solutions.
  • Successfully complete a substantial scientific research paper that demonstrates the ability to formulate a research question, conduct research using the library’s databases, and synthesize information from a variety of sources into a cohesive and in-depth analysis of a topic.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of important ideas and events that have shaped, and continue to shape, their world.
  • Demonstrate scientific literacy, which can be defined as the matrix of knowledge needed to understand enough about the universe to deal with issues that come across the horizon of the average citizen, in the news or elsewhere.
  • Demonstrate the ability to collect, record and organize scientific data correctly.
  • Demonstrate the ability to work safely in a laboratory environment.
  • Demonstrate the ability to manipulate and use scientific tools, such as the microscope, pH meter, measurement tools, glassware and other scientific instrumentation. This would include independently conducting an experiment using written directions such as lab manuals or Standard Operating Procedures as a guide.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use mathematical tools as applied to science. This could include building and interpreting graphs, using equations and formulas to solve problems, and fitting data to a mathematical model.
  • Demonstrate the ability to search scientific literature and use the information.
  • Successfully transfer to a baccalaureate degree-granting institution if desired, with the proper educational foundation for transition into a chosen field of study.

Technical Standards for EAES

Students entering this program must be able to demonstrate the ability to:

  • Comprehend textbook material at a college level.
  • Communicate and assimilate information either in spoken, printed, signed, or computer voice format.
  • Gather, analyze, and draw conclusions from data.
  • Stand for a minimum of two hours.
  • Differentiate by touch: hotness/coldness, wetness/dryness, and hardness/softness.
  • Use the small muscle dexterity necessary to do such tasks as gloving, gowning, and operating controls on laboratory instrumentation.
  • Respond promptly to spoken words, as well as monitor signals and instrument alarms.
  • Identify behaviors that would endanger a person’s life or safety and intervene quickly in a crisis situation with an appropriate solution.
  • Remain calm, rational, decisive, and in control at all times, especially during emergency situations.
  • Manipulate small parts, and make fine hand adjustments to machines and test equipment.
  • Operate a computer.

EAS 110. Introduction to Environmental Science. 3 Credits.

This is an introductory course to the interdisciplinary field of environmental studies. Emphasis in this course will focus on the natural world and how it is influenced by human activities. Topics discussed will include: biodiversity, conservation, human populations, resources and sustainability, energy production, toxicology, as well as global change. Prerequisite: ENG 098, MAT 092, RDG 098 or placement.

EAS 115. Paleontology: Evolution of Life. 4 Credits.

In this course, students will be introduced to basic biologic principles of ecology and natural selection that have influenced the evolution of modern species. Examination of fossil and geologic records will illustrate how climate changes and major evolutionary developments over the earth's history have culminated in the domains and kingdoms of life. Students will also study what role humans are playing in the evolution and extinction of species today. Lab work will complement topics discussed during lectures. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, or placement.

EAS 120. Soil Science (formerly BIO 220). 4 Credits.

Soils are the anchors of biological systems. This is a study of the physical, chemical, and biological nature of the soil. This four-credit laboratory course will study the substrate of the ecosystem. Emphasis will be placed on the role of the soil in plant pathology. Lab sessions will be hands-on experiences revolving around and applying the topics listed in the lab section of the syllabus. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, MAT 092, RDG 098 or placement. Spring.

EAS 125. Physical Geology of the Earth. 4 Credits.

This is an introductory course concerning the geology of both the earth's interior and surface. The geology of the earth's interior deals with its structure, the rock cycle, the formation and characteristic of igneous sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, as well as their mineral composition. The theory of plate tectonics will be used to discuss earthquakes, volcanoes, and mountain building. Surface geology encompasses soil and its formation, rivers, lakes, deserts, glaciers, topographic maps, and oceans. The process of physical and chemical weathering will be discussed in relation to these topics. Laboratory sessions will involve hands on experience with rocks, minerals, and measuring techniques used in geology, as well as online exercises. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101, RDG 098, MAT 092 or placement.

EAS 126. Weather and Climate. 4 Credits.

This is a 4-credit on-line laboratory science course. This course describes the basic structure of the atmosphere, and atmospheric processes. Students will develop an understanding of meteorological principles and concepts in order to understand the weather phenomena that affect our daily lives. Climate and the distinction between climate and weather will also be discussed. Prerequisite: ENG 098, MAT 092, RDG 098 or placement.

EAS 127. Introduction to Astronomy. 3 Credits.

This course is a general introduction to the field of astronomy. Students will study topics such as telescopes, the history of astronomy, tides and the moon, the planets of our solar system, properties of stars, our sun, solar formation and evolution, as well as galaxies. Students will be expected to make astronomical observations from their homes, as well as collect relevant data from the internet. Prerequisite: ENG 098, RDG 098, MAT 092 or placement.

EAS 130. Fundamentals of Geospatial Technologies. 4 Credits.

This course introduces students to relevant aspects of geospatial technologies. Topics to be covered include mapping techniques, the theory and application of Geospatial Data and GPS, Geographic Information Systems, Remote Sensing, and Geospatial Applications. Students will gain hands-on experience with geospatial software such as Google Earth, ArcGIS Online, ArcGIS Pro and other applications to establish a basic understanding and the skills needed in the broad field of Natural Resources as well as other related disciplines. Prerequisites: ENG 098, MAT 092, RDG 098 or placement. Fall.