Earth Systems / Environmental Science

The Earth Systems / Environmental Science Track at Mount Wachusett Community College provides students with the opportunity to earn an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences.  Upon completion of the program students are prepared to transfer to a four-year institution to complete a baccalaureate degree.  This pathway offers students the opportunity to explore geology, environmental science, ecology and meteorology while completeing a core curriculum used for transfer.  Students will gain knowledge in a variety of disciplines including math, science, the humanities and the social sciences.  The Liberal Arts and Sciences includes the MassTransfer Block.

Please click here for the MassTransfer information.

Earth Systems / Environmental Science Track (LAES)

A Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences

This program is designed for students who wish to transfer to a four-year college or university to pursue a bachelors 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, meterologist, soil scientist, atmospheric scientist, or earth science teacher.

Year 1
ENG 101College Writing I 3
CHE 107General Chemistry I 4
MAT 162Introduction to Functions Modeling (Formerly MAT 134) 4
EAS 125Physical Geology of the Earth 4
ENG 102College Writing II 3
CHE 108General Chemistry II 4
MAT 163Pre-Calculus 4
Earth Science Elective (any EAS course) 1 3-4
PSY 105Introduction To Psychology 3
Year 2
PHY 105College Physics I 4
EAS 130Fundamentals of Geospatial Technologies 3
Culturally Diverse Humanities Elective (see list below)  3
Behavioral Social Science Elective 2 3
Non-behavioral Social Science Elective 3 3
PHY 106College Physics II 4
BIO 116Ecology 4
Culturally Diverse Literature Elective (see list below)  3
HUM 283Honors Colloquium: Environmental Ethics 3
 Total Credits: 62-63

Environmental Science students should take EAS 110 as their Earth Science elective.


Behavioral Social Sciences: See Elective Courses by Abbreviation.


Non-behavioral Social Sciences: See Elective Courses by Abbreviation.

Culturally Diverse Humanities Electives

ART 109Art History I3
ART 110Art History II3
ART 251Two-Dimensional Design3
ART 252Three-Dimensional Design3
ART 259Ceramics I3
ART 263Drawing I3
ASL - Any American Sign Language course3
DAN 133Hip Hop/Street Dance Foundation3
ENG 221Women's Literature3
ENG 235Children's Literature3
ENG 236Modern Drama3
ENG 237Special Topics: Queer American Drama3
ENG 261The Short Story3
FRE - Any French course3
HUM 240Comparative Religion3
HUM 260The Art Of Being Human I3
MUS 106History Of Jazz3
MUS 160History of Rock and Roll3
PHL 201Introduction To Philosophical Issues3
PHL 210Levels Of Being3
PHL 250Ethics3
SPA - Any Spanish course3

Culturally Diverse Literature Electives

ENG 221Women's Literature3
ENG 235Children's Literature3
ENG 236Modern Drama3
ENG 237Special Topics: Queer American Drama3
ENG 261The Short Story3

See Earth Science program student learning outcomes and technical standards

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.

Program Student Learning Outcomes for LAES

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, the humanities, and the social sciences — and gather, assess, and interpret information to reach well-reasoned conclusions and solutions.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of complex written texts that demand an appreciation of subtext, irony, metaphor, and the subtlety and nuances of language.
  • 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 historic, social, and cultural backgrounds necessary for understanding their own society and other societies, with an emphasis on 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.
  • Demonstrate a broad exposure to, and an understanding of, the differences and similarities in the various academic disciplines within their Liberal Arts education.
  • 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 LAES 

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, 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 six major 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. 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. 3 Credits.

This course deals with the what and how of the various aspects of geospatial technologies. Topics to be covered include the theory and techniques 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, and others to establish a basic understanding and the skills needed to use these applications in the broad field of Natural Resources. Prerequisites: ENG 098, MAT 092, RDG 098 or placement. Fall.