SSE Curriculum Committee Meeting

September 20, 2013
Meeting began at 8:30 AM

In Attendance: Beth Wee, Janet Ruscher, George Flowers, Mark Sulkes, Paul Colombo, Carola Wenk, Caz Taylor, David Yu (for Al Vitter), Dayna Gessler, Tudie Gleason, Carol Pizer, Gary Dohanich, Tim Schuler, Lars Gilbertson, WT Godbey, Nancy Hopkins (for final 15 minutes), Eleanor Berault taking minutes.

George Flowers was elected chairperson of the committee.

Approval of minutes from last meeting, January 28, 2013


The following have been approved by Committee Chairperson George Flowers and Associate Deans Beth Wee and Janet Ruscher:

Change to Course Description, Course Number, Title:

  1. SCEN 6000: Title and Description Change:
    Old Title: Entrepreneurship in Bioscience: A New Way of Inventing
    New Title: Entrepreneurship in Engineering and Bioscience: A New Way of Inventing

Another pre-approved change that should have been presented to the committee:

  1. EBIO 2330 (Natural History of Louisiana) lab changed from “optional” to required, so lecture and lab are co-requisites of each other. Approved by dept. chair, David Heins.

Cross-listed Courses:

  1. EBIO 4090 Invertebrate Paleontology to be cross-listed with EBIO 6090, EENS 4090, EENS 6090

Discontinued Courses:

  1. All NSIP courses (NSIP are the old call letters, and these have been changed to NSCI) (requested by Jeff Tasker for Neuroscience Program)
  2. SCEN 1020 – Communicating Science: Robotics (formerly taught by Annette Oertling who retired in 2013)
  3. SCEN 3020 – Leadership in Lego Robotics (formerly taught by Annette Oertling who retired in 2013)
  4. Approved

New Course Proposals:

  1. CENG 2505 Introductory Biotechnology Laboratory (Russell) (1 cr lab to supplement to CENG 2500 lecture) — Discussion about removing checks for “quantitative reasoning” and “SSE Lab” before sending to the Registrar

  2. EBIO 3160/3170 Email from Tom Sherry described the semester long program in Costa Rica. There was discussion about the duration of the course and whether it should be a 3 credit course or less. As well as discussion about making sure that no one tries to take it as a stand-alone course – that all of the courses taken in Costa Rica are co-requisite. It should be clear that this is a single part of a larger whole semester in Costa Rica and that the whole semester integrates all of the courses taught through a paper and presentation at the end of the semester. It was suggested that it be numbered as a 3000 level course. Motion to approve, seconded, passed.

  3. EENS 4960 Environmental Sampling, Analysis and Practice (Env Sci Capstone) (Flowers) Designed as a capstone course, team taught with Jeff Sigler. It prepares students to become an Environmental Professional and integrates all courses taught previously.

  4. SCEN 4110/GBCH 6110 Basic Medical Biochemistry (Landry from School of Medicine) taught downtown for undergrads – needs to be specific about not being acceptable for CELL, CHE, CHEM, or BIOCHEM majors. Should be cross-listed with SCEN for 4000 level. On course proposal: “Does not count toward major requirements for CELL, CHE-, CHEM, BIOCHEM” Prerequisites: CHEM 2410, Jr/Sr standing only.

  5. NSCI 1015 Basic Neuroscience with Lab (Hebert) extending the 1 credit TSSP course to a 3 credit course for high school students in the summer through TSSP. Credits will not count toward major, nor would they count as their lab science.

  6. NSCI 4130/6130 Applied Neuroscience: Sport Related Brain Injury (Juengling) Partnering with the Institute of Sports Medicine to teach the class. Has been taught as special topics previously. Geared toward Masters students but open to Undergrads as well. Should be listed as Staff in the catalog.

  7. PHYS 3450/6450 Elementary Particle Physics (Wietfeldt) It was noted that the perquisites should be added to the course description so they are clear in catalog. It was noted by the department that the course is really just filling a gap that needed filling for a well-rounded program.

Motion made to accept all new courses with discussed changes, seconded and passed.


  1. Change in requirement for Environmental Science major – effective for all students Fall 2013
    **EENS and EEB (the contributing departments to the Environmental Science major) have approved the following change, and would like a SSE-CC vote

    - Under “Elective Tracks,” the requisite number of courses now is FIVE (any 4 electives plus a capstone) rather than SIX (any 5 electives plus a capstone).

    **Rationale: The addition of EBIO2020 to the “Core Courses” (per Sept 28, 2011) increased the number of required courses by one course, so it is desirable to eliminate a course somewhere (i.e., in electives).

    **By electronic ballot on July 9, 2013, this change was approved
    See appendix notation for Environmental Science Major

  2. Change in requirement for Neuroscience major – effective for incoming catalog students Fall 2013
    Neuroscience will require Genetics, CELL 2050, as a co-requisite course for the major. Request approved in May, 2013, by Genetics course instructors Dotson and Vijayaraghavan.

Motion to accept change to Neuroscience requirement made, seconded and passed.

Old Business

  1. SSE capstones and SL courses – annual review – please review handouts and submit changes to Eleanor so that the attachments on the website can be updated.

  2. Review of registrar’s course listing as of May 2013 was done by each department and program in summer, 2013; will be done again next summer!

  3. Newcomb-Tulane Catalog updates also completed in summer, 2013, any additional changes will appear in the 2014-15 catalog; send changes to Lisa Lord in N-T (; 865-5720)

New Business

  1. Specifics of required approvals by curriculum committee (Tudie) – discussion about at what point the minutia needs to be brought to the committee. It was suggested that if there are changes to pre-requisites that affect another department that those changes should be discussed with the committee. Also if description changes become more substantial than just a line or two difference that it should be discussed and voted on by the committee.

  2. Template for catalog entries (Tudie) – it was suggested that there should be a common template for all undergraduate courses for the catalog with a maximum number of words.

  3. Updating course proposal form - please review the cover page of the course proposal form with a mind toward updating. Should include information about what a SACS accredited syllabus should look like (including outcomes, objectives, textbook, policy, honor code).

  4. Self-Designed majors – some discussion on this. Asked group to review sheet given out so that it can be discussed in more detail later. What is in place has not changed since before the renewal.

Motion for adjournment made, seconded and passed.

Adjourned 10:07 am.

Post Meeting addition:

BMEN 4900 changed from a 2 credit course to a 3 credit course. The course is to help students do their research projects or honors theses. The proposal is to change the course from 2 credits to 3 credits to add scheduled lab time. Each student will attend a one hour lecture on Wed. and two 2- hour labs (on Monday and Friday).

They also do a lot of research on their own time. The course had been a two hour lecture one time/week for two credits, and the students did their research on their own. By adding these extra lab times, it allows students to do their research in a more supervised fashion.


Environmental Science Major

I. Courses Required Outside EBIO and EENS (five courses)
MATH 1210 Calculus I
MATH 1220 Calculus II
CHEM 1070/1075 General Chemistry I and General Chemistry Laboratory I
CHEM 1080/1085 General Chemistry II and General Chemistry Laboratory II
CHEM 2410/2415 Organic Chemistry I and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I OR CHEM 2500 Environmental Chemistry

II. Foundational Courses (two courses)
EBIO 1010/1015 Diversity of Life and Diversity of Life Laboratory
EENS 1300/1305 Earth as a Living Planet and Earth as a Living Planet Laboratory

III. Core Courses (seven courses)
EBIO 2020 Theory and Methods in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
EBIO 2050 Global Change Biology OR EBIO 2040 Conservation Biology
EENS 2070 Weather and Climate
EENS 3170 Geomorphology
EBIO 3040/3045 General Ecology and General Ecology Laboratory
EENS 3150/3151 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and GIS Laboratory
EBIO 4080 Biostatistics and Experimental Design OR EENS 4020 Geostatistics

IV. Elective Tracks (five courses)

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Track

  • Any four EBIO courses, two of which must be designated laboratory or field courses
  • Capstone experience: EBIO 4930 Capstone Independent Study OR EBIO 4990/5000 Honors Thesis OR EBIO 5970 Research Seminar Capstone

Earth and Environmental Science Track

  • Any four EENS courses
  • Capstone experience: EENS 3980 Environmental Field Study OR EENS 4940 Environmental Science Capstone OR EENS 4950 Environmental Science Research Capstone OR EENS 4990-5000 Honors Thesis

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