Science Minor

This minor is an opportunity to explore what science has revealed about human biology and environmental science and to experience with more depth how science contributes to this body of knowledge. Students may pursue a minor in Science to satisfy curiosity about how the natural and physical world works, to hone approaches for acquiring reliable knowledge, and to inform interests in science as content and context for media-making.

The minor requires a minimum of four courses, three of which must be taken at Emerson and at least one of which must be at the 300 level.


  • CD 315 - Autism* 
  • CD 403 - Speech Science
  • HS 201 - Sophomore Honors Seminar
  • SC 210 - Human Health and Disease 
  • SC 211 - Food and Nutrition 
  • SC 212 - Evolution of Human Nature 
  • SC 213 - The Brain and Behavior
  • SC 214 - Plagues and Pandemics
  • SC 215 - Personal Genetics and Identity
  • SC 216 - DNA and Society 
  • SC 220 - Energy and Sustainability
  • SC 221 - Meteorology 
  • SC 222 - Earth Science: Natural Disasters
  • SC 223 - Climate Change
  • SC 224 - Ecology and Conservation
  • SC 226 - Plants and People
  • SC 232 - Physics in Everyday Life
  • SC 235 - The Science of Mindfulness
  • SC 290 - Topics in Science
  • SC 291 - Topics in Human Biology and Health 
  • SC 292 - Topics in Environmental Science
  • SC 310 - Science in Translation: Health and Genetics*
  • SC 312 - Visual and Spatial Perception*
  • SC 313 - Animal Behavior
  • SC 320 - Science in Translation: Environmental Science*
  • SC 321 - Environments, Ecosystems, and Cultures of the Past*
  • SC 390 - Advanced Topics in Science*
  • SC 391 - Advanced Topics in Human Biology and Health*
  • SC 392 - Advanced Topics in Environmental Science*
  • SC 498 - Directed Study in Science*

* Note prerequisites


Nancy Allen, senior executive-in- residence in Health and Society, is a public health professional with teaching and research interests in health communication, HIV/AIDS, human sexuality, and the opioid epidemic. She teaches a course on plagues and pandemics.

Beatriz Gonzalez-Flecha, affiliated faculty member in Interdisciplinary Studies, is a biomedical scientist with a wide variety of research interests and teaches courses in nutrition, human health and disease, and the science of mindfulness.

Jon Honea, associate professor in Environmental Science, is an ecologist interested in the response of communities, populations, and individual species to environmental change, as well as how humans use and influence ecosystem services such as clean water provisioning. He teaches courses in the science and politics of water, science in translation: environmental science, and energy and sustainability.

Vinoth Jagaroo, associate professor in Cognitive Neuroscience, holds research interests in the areas of visuospatial function and spatial cognition—how the brain is involved in the processing and perception of space and higher order vision. He is currently studying the application of information technology to neuropsychology, specifically in developing a computerized system to map large-scale visual fields. He teaches courses in the brain and behavior and visual and spatial perception.

Wyatt Oswald, professor in Environmental Science, is interested in climate change and its impacts on ecosystems and human societies. His research analyzes lake-sediment records to reconstruct past changes in climate, vegetation, and fire. He teaches courses in natural disasters, plants and people, and climate change.

Benjamin Papandrea, affiliated faculty in Interdisciplinary Studies, is a senior meteorologist at IBM/The Weather Company, specializing in aviation weather forecasting with a focus on tropical cyclones and major winter storms. He has 20 years of experience in operational weather forecasting and teaches a course in meteorology.

Jennifer Ramstetter, professor emerita, is a biologist with a passion for both basic biological processes and cross-disciplinary questions related to today’s environmental concerns. Her expertise is in the area of plant reproductive biology and plant rarity. She teaches a course on climate change.

Jamie Rosenblum-Lichtenstein, affiliated faculty in Interdisciplinary Studies, is a biologist with teaching and research interests spanning cell and molecular biology, physiology, genetics, and immunology. Her research focuses on pulmonary and cellular inflammatory responses to the toxic mold Stachybotrys chartarum and its mycotoxins. She teaches courses in human health and disease and DNA and society.

Sara Salimbeni, associate professor, is a physicist and astronomer whose interests span from the evolution of galaxies to the gender dynamics in science classrooms. Her astronomical research has focused on the physical mechanisms that trigger and shut down the star-formation in galaxies and drive galaxies’ stellar mass assembly through cosmic time. For this minor, she teaches energy and sustainability and physics of everyday life. 

Todd Smith*, associate professor, has research interests in protein biochemistry that include heat-shock proteins in Atlantic salmon to antifreeze glycoproteins in cod fish. He has taught a variety of chemistry, biochemistry, and environmental studies courses and continues to develop others related to environmental chemistry. He has worked with students on a wide range of studies related to environmental studies and sustainability, including projects with students on multiple trips to Vietnam and Cambodia. 

Jaime Tanner, associate professor, has research focused on the relationship between feeding behavior and skull morphology, primarily in carnivorous mammals. Her work takes an integrative approach, combining behavioral field work, performance data, and work with museum collections to understand the shifting relationship between form and function throughout development and in response to environmental changes. She teaches Plants and People and a topics course on animal behavior.

Amy Vashlishan Murray, associate professor in Human Biology, is a molecular biologist with research and teaching interests at the intersection of genetics, neurobiology, and public understanding of science. Her current laboratory work utilizes genetic approaches to explore how neurons can adjust their activity in response to changes in the environment, leading to alterations in behavior. She teaches courses in DNA and society, personal genetics and identity, science in translation: health and genetics, and the sophomore Honors seminar.

Please note this may not be a comprehensive list, as our affiliated faculty rotate on a semesterly basis. Please refer to the semester registration listings to identify any additional faculty participating in the minor.

* Minor Coordinator