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Environmental Studies

Dr. Dane KuppingerThe Environmental Studies program focuses on the study of natural systems and our relationship with them as a basis for taking action to support sustainability. Its mission is to deepen student understanding of environmental issues and principles of conservation ecology, while preparing students to develop and manage environmentally sustainable processes and shape public opinion and policy in support of sustainable environmental systems.

Your Program

Environmental Science 4-Year Plan
The Environmental Studies program focuses on the study of natural systems and our relationship with them as a basis for taking action to support sustainability. Its mission is to deepen student understanding of environmental issues and principles of conservation ecology, while preparing students to develop and manage environmentally sustainable processes and shape public opinion and policy in support of sustainable environmental systems.

Environmental Studies Major (B.A.)

The interdisciplinary major in environmental studies consists of 16 courses: A required core of ten courses and a concentration of six courses. The major offers four concentration options: 1) environmental management; 2) computational environmental analysis; 3) environmental policy and advocacy; and 4) conservation ecology.  Students unfamiliar with both word processing and spreadsheet applications are encouraged to take CINS 10 (Computer Applications) as an elective in their first year. All students are strongly encouraged to complete an environmental studies internship.

Environmental Studies Courses (ENVS)

100. Introductory Environmental Studies One course

This course is an interdisciplinary exploration of environmental issues and challenges faced by human societies. As an interdisciplinary course, it draws extensively from the natural sciences(ecology, physics, chemistry and geology), the social sciences (economics, history, government, psychology and sociology) and the humanities (religion, philosophy, English, and the arts). The course reviews the scientific basis of these challenges and critically examines the social, cultural, political, and ethical issues related to the environment. The concept of environmental sustainability serves as a key organizing concept for this course. Fall.

120. Earth Sciences One course

A study of the geological features and processes that shape the earth's surface and subsurface and their underlying origins in plate tectonics. In addition to addressing processes such as mineral, magma, and mountain formation, discussions will focus particularly on the effects of geological and climactic factors on our global environment, including earthquakes, landslides, volcanic activity, groundwater contamination, coastal and stream erosion, oceanic and atmospheric control of climate patterns, and evolutionary changes in forms and distributions of organisms.

200. Independent Study in Environmental Studies One-quarter to one course

Independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to students with a 2.0 cumulative G.P.A. and permission of the coordinator of the Environmental Studies program. Independent study may take the form of readings, research, conference, project, and/or field experience. Prerequisite: ENVS 100.

210. Global Information Systems One course

This course will introduce students to the basic concepts, tools, and applications of geographic information systems (GIS). Topics include geographic data acquisition, data management, cartography, and methods of geospatial analysis. Through hands-on exercises students will learn how to use GIS software and how these tools can be used to address questions in many fields. Two lectures, one two-hour lab. Prerequisites: ENVS 100; and CINS 20 or higher or permission of the instructor. Fall.

220. Special Topics in Environmental Studies One course

An investigation of a topic of importance in Environmental Studies. The specific course content and methods of study will vary in response to recent developments in the field and current needs of students. The topic will be announced prior to registration for the course. Prerequisites: ENVS 100 or permission of the instructor.

270. Internship in Environmental Studies One course

An opportunity to use the knowledge and skills the student has learned in coursework to solve problems in a real work setting; the apprenticeship aspect of the internship implies that the student has some base of knowledge and will increase her knowledge and skills by direct contact with an experienced, knowledgeable mentor. Open to sophomores, juniors and seniors with at least a 2.0 cumulative G.P.A.; maximum credit per term is one course; admission by application only. Prerequisite: ENVS 100 or permission of the instructor.

290. Honors Independent Study in Environmental Studies One course

Advanced independent study under the guidance of a faculty advisor. Open to junior and senior environmental studies majors with a 3.5 or greater average in the major, subject to the approval of the coordinator of the environmental studies program. Prerequisite: ENVS 100.

390. Senior Seminar One course

Completion of an advanced level investigation of a topic related to environmental studies. Students must focus their project within their major concentration (Computational Analysis, Conservation Biology, Management or Policy and Advocacy). Open to seniors only. Prerequisites: ENVS 120, PLCY 100, NFPM 100, BIOL 210 and a statistics course. Spring.

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