Faculty Meeting

School of Science and Engineering

243 Lindy Boggs
November 29, 2006
4:00 PM – 5:00 PM



Altiero, Alvarez, Ashbaugh, Bundy, Burdsal, Christianson, Colombo, Corey, Cunningham, Daniel, Darwin, De Kee, Diebold, Dohanich, Flowers, Godbey, Grayson, Y. Han, Hebert, Herman, Inglis, John, Kalka, Koplitz, Lacey, Lawson, Leclair, Liukkonen, Lockman, Mao, McGuire, McPherson, Mislove, Mitchell, Mullin, Muneoka, Nelson, O’Brien, Overby, Overstreet, Parsley, Perdew, Reed, Rice, Rogers, Rosencrans, Sherry, Szechter, Tasker, Törnqvist, Walker, Wang, Wee, Wietfeldt, Wilson, Wyland

Minutes of the School of Science & Engineering faculty meeting

The Minutes of last SSE meeting were approved.

Undergrad studies committee (USC) - Darwin.

It is the general responsibility of the SSE faculty, stated in the Constitution, to make and approve changes in curriculum. See USC motions below. Motions 1-6 passed with no changes or amendments to the motions.

Promotion and tenure committee guidelines

These passed with no changes, although there was some concern about how to deal with tenure when the faculty member under consideration has a role and makes contributions to units outside SSE. The Dean stated he would consult with administrators outside of SSE on this issue. (According to M. Herman, Section H is not to be considered in the document as presented and passed at today’s meeting.)

Dean’s announcements

There will be a unified Tulane Commencement ceremony on May 19. After this, in the afternoon, there will be a single undergraduate degree ceremony. The Commencement will be in the Arena this year, not the Superdome.

The School of Science and Engineering will partner with the School of Liberal Arts to conduct a joint Graduate Ceremony for recipients of masters and doctoral degrees, including hooding of the doctoral degree recipients. This will be held on the morning of May 18 followed by a buffet brunch.

Friday evening before Commencement there will be a Newcomb/Tulane awards ceremony (4-6pm), followed by the Wave Goodbye party. Departments are strongly urged to hold departmental events at which departmental awards can be conferred.

The Dean will work with chairs to ensure departmental representation at the various Commencement and awards functions.

Dec. 5th at 4pm there will be presentations by Joseph Lasky and Donald Gaver as part of the Renewal Seminar Series for Biomedical Research from uptown and downtown campuses. Room 6001, 1430 Tulane Ave.

Meeting adjourned at 5:05pm. (Notes by W. Reed)

Undergraduate Studies Committee Motions

The following motions were submitted by the Undergraduate Studies Committee:
  • Motion to approve the following new courses:

CENG 446/646 Applied Biochemistry II (3)
MATH 123 Statistics for Scientists (MATH 121 prerequisite) (4)
MATH 326 Algorithms and Complexity (3)
MATH 657 Stochastic Differential Equations (3)

  • Motion to establish curriculum procedures as follows:

a. The Undergraduate Studies Committee is empowered to act for the faculty of the School of Science and Engineering with respect to approving routine curriculum changes. These include but may not be limited to: new courses; discontinuance of courses; change of course title, number, description, and academic credit; credit in fulfilling undergraduate core- and school requirements (proficiencies, capstone, laboratory science, etc.); changes to course requirements for undergraduate programs (majors, minors, and coordinate majors).

b. All curriculum changes approved by the committee shall be reported annually to the SSE faculty.

c. More substantive curriculum changes (e.g., new programs of study or their discontinuance, and changes to degree requirements) shall be approved by the SEE faculty after consideration by the Undergraduate Studies Committee.

d. The Undergraduate Studies Committee shall establish its own procedures for receiving and considering proposed curriculum changes.

  • Motion to change the B.S. mathematics requirement as follows:

Beginning Fall Semester 2007, MATH 111 Probability and Statistics will no longer fulfill the mathematics requirement for the B.S. degree.

  • Motion to approve a new major program (B.S.) in Environmental Science (see addendum).

  • Motion to discontinue the Environmental Geoscience major in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

  • Motion to discontinue the Science Track within the Environmental Studies coordinate major, and transfer the program to the School of Liberal Arts.

Proposal for an Environmental Science Major School of Science and Engineering Submitted by the Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences


Presently, undergraduate students must double major if they wish to receive a degree in environmental science. Examination of the major programs above indicates that within the Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences sufficient intellectual resources exist to offer a stand-alone, collaborative major in environmental science. Because "The Environment" is one of the pillars of excellence designated by President Cowen, Tulane should offer a rigorous degree program in environmental science.

EES and EEB have collaborated to develop such an interdisciplinary major, which will provide students with broad exposure to environmental problems, as well as provide training in essential problem-solving skills, such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Environmental Informatics (EI). As part of our efforts to enhance educational opportunities in environmental sciences, we plan ultimately to expand the program to a 4+1 Master of Science program. This undergraduate program should link up well with our existing 4+1 Master of Science degree program. If the undergraduate program is approved, we will review the 4+1 degree program to insure a seamless transition and a comprehensive course of study for the combined degrees. Students completing the terminal masters program should be able to enter environmental scientist positions in private industry, environmental consulting, and regulatory agencies. In addition, the program will provide an excellent science background for individuals seeking to practice environmental law.    Approval of the program will have the additional benefit of consolidating environmental science programs of study in the School of Science and Engineering (SSE). The Environmental Studies Education Committee and EES have
already elected upon approval of the new major to discontinue the environmental science track, and the environmental geoscience, and environmental biology majors, respectively. Because the environmental policy track will remain in Environmental Studies Program, students majoring in environmental science can elect to complete it as a coordinate major. We recommend, however, that this program be transferred to the School of Liberal Arts. Course requirements for the proposed environmental science major as given below:

Environmental Science (B.S.) Program

I. Courses Required Outside EES and EEB (five courses)

MATH 121 Calculus I
MATH 123 Statistics for Scientists and Engineers
CHEM 107/117 General Chemistry I and General Chemistry Laboratory I
CHEM 108/118 General Chemistry II and General Chemistry Laboratory II
CHEM 241/243 Organic Chemistry I and Organic Chemistry Laboratory I or CHEM 250 Environmental Chemistry

II. Foundational Courses (two courses)
EBIO 101/111 Diversity of Life and laboratory
EENS 111/113 Physical Geology and laboratory

III. Core Courses (six courses)
EBIO 205 Global Change Biology
EENS 207 Weather and Climate
EENS 310 Geomorphology
EBIO 404/414 General Ecology
EBIO 408 Biostatistics and Experimental Design
EENS 603 Geospatial Analysis (GIS)

IV. Elective Tracks (five courses)

Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Track

1. Any four EBIO courses, two of which must be designated laboratory or field courses.
2. Capstone experience: approved independent study (EBIO 491) or honors thesis (EBIO 499-500).

Earth and Environmental Science Track

1. Any four EENS courses.
2. Capstone experience: approved independent study (EENS 491) or honors thesis (EENS 499-500).

The proposed major is not unlike current majors in EES and EEB in that it requires a broad background in the natural sciences, as well as a core curriculum that provides students with tools and skills. Some of our students complain that they complete an undergraduate degree without acquiring skill sets that will aid them in their professions. The core curriculum and required ancillary science and mathematics courses provide students with a good background in basic and applied statistics, computer modeling, global cycles, and map making (GIS). Both departments have ample electives at the 600-level that will further enhance the degree, including EENS 605 Natural Disasters, EENS 616 Fluvial Responses to Allogenic Controls, EENS 621 Global Biogeochemical Cycles, EENS 625 Isotopes in the Environment, EENS 626 Paleoclimatology, EENS 630 Groundwater Hydrology, EENS 634 The Earth, EBIO 405 Ecosystem Ecology, EBIO 604 Marine Ecology, EBIO 607 Restoration Ecology, EBIO 634 Ecological Analysis, EBIO 659 Limnology, EBIO 671 Historical Ecology of the Amazonia, EBIO 702 Plant Ecology, EBIO 706 Stream Ecology, and EBIO 727 Population Ecology, among others.

School of Science and Engineering, 201 Lindy Boggs Center, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5764