The material on this page is from the 1997-98 catalog and may be out of date. Please check the current year's catalog for current information.
Professors Straub (Religion) and Wenzel (Chemistry)(on leave, fall semester); Associate Professors Kinsman (Biology),
Smedley (Physics), Chair, Richter (Political Science), Eusden (Geology), and Hughes (Economics); Assistant Professors
Ongley (Geology), Austin (Chemistry), and Bohlen (Environmental Studies)
Major Requirements. A student majoring in environmental studies must fulfill "core" course requirements, as well as the requirements of a "track." Students may choose one of the following four tracks: Culture, Society and Environment; Earth and Ecosystems; Environmental and Natural Resource Policy; or Geochemistry.
2. Quantitative Requirement. Students must take:
3. Internship Requirement. Students must take an internship in environmental studies, with prior approval of the Environmental Studies Committee. The internship may be fulfilled through a Short Term unit (ENVR s46), an independent study (ENVR 360), or a summer experience.
4. One of the following sets of natural science courses:
5. One social science course from the following list:
6. One humanities course from the following list:
I. Culture, Society, and the Environment The interrelationships between humankind and the natural environment are conditioned in large part by cultural and social contexts. To study the environment requires studying the traditions and present dynamics of the human interpretations of the natural world. Religious, philosophical, literary, and artistic traditions, and above all, science inform our understandings, appreciations, and evaluations of nature. So also do the political and economic ideologies and policies of our communities.
Students choosing this track must satisfactorily complete eight courses from the following lists. When combined with the core requirements, students must have a total of at least fifteen courses to satisfy the environmental studies major.
1) Required Courses/Units:
2) Laboratory Science. Students must take one of these:
3) Elective Courses. Students must complete two courses in one of these groups, and one course in another of the groups:
II. Earth and Ecosystems Students selecting this track seek an understanding of the scientific interdependence between the earth's lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. The geological and biological sciences form the core of this track, which stresses field oriented and laboratory-supported inquiry of the interrelationships between the functioning of the earth's systems and ecosystems. An understanding of how these two systems together affect and are affected by humans is an integral part of this track. Areas of field study include the forests, rocky coastline, and rugged Alpine zones of Maine and New England, the rainforests of Latin America, and the lakes, glaciers, and oceans of the Arctic. Students may explore a variety of phenomena which include but are not limited to the following: relationships between plant or animal communities and rocks or sediments or soils, limnological studies, global climate change, coastal processes and environments, oceanography, terrestrial and wetland ecology and geology, water resources, and watershed processes.
Requirements: Chemistry 107,108, Economics 222, and at least six courses from the two groups below, with at least two courses from each group:
III. Environmental and Natural Resource Policy Forming a coherent environmental policy requires many types of expertise. The process must be informed by the history and cultural context of resource use. Policy-makers must understand the affected ecosystems, and their relation to the human political, economic, and social systems that rely on them. Environmental policy must also be consonant with the values of the society that enacts it. Because of the number and complexity of these interrelationships, students in this track are encouraged to study widely in the curriculum to develop the understanding and the analytical tools required for uncovering these connections between human activity and the natural world.
Students must take a total of eight courses from the following lists. When combined with the core requirements, students must have a total of at least 15 courses to satisfy the environmental studies major.
1. Required Courses (students must take all of these courses):
3. 300-Level Courses (students must take two of these):
IV. Geochemistry The transport and interaction of chemicals in the lithosphere and hydrosphere, including those involving anthropogenic substances, have important environmental effects, both benign and deleterious. Understanding and predicting the effect of these changes requires knowledge of the relevant chemistry and geology. The core courses in this track provide the scientific background needed to understand this aspect of environmental science; the required thesis provides an opportunity for a practical synthesis of the two sub-fields via the application of basic chemical and geological skills to the study of a practical geochemical problem.
Requirements. All students must take Economics 222 plus any seven of the courses from the list below, with no more than four courses in geology to meet the minimum number of courses:
Biology 110 (Biology 210). Oceanography.
General Education. The quantitative requirement may be satisfied by Environmental Studies 181. Environmental studies courses that are cross-listed with a department may count toward general education, such as Environmental Studies/Physics/Religion 228, or Chemistry/Environmental Studies s24. Environmental Studies 190, 202, 302, and s11 do not fulfill general education requirements.
190. Age of Ecology. Over the past half-century, the environmental movement has prompted reflection on humans' rightful place within nature. The evolution of ecological ethics and values can be traced through the works of pioneering environmental writers such as Aldo Leopold, Rachel Carson, Wendell Berry, Edward Abbey, and Donella Meadows. In this course we explore how their lives and writings represent diverse responses to the moral and practical challenges of living in an ecological age. Not open to students who have received credit for Environmental Studies 210. F. Schauffler.
202. Introduction to Environmental Studies. This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to environmental studies. Perspectives from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities are used to explore the human environment relationship. Lectures, discussions, laboratory exercises and field trips are used to provide a technical understanding of selected environmental issues and to provide an analytic framework for examining environmental problems as reflections of underlying social, economic, and political processes. The course addresses human population and resource consumption as drivers for environmental change and examines the effects of environmental change on human economic and social systems. Course content varies to reflect current issues. Prerequisite(s): Any natural-science set except physics sets, and Anthropology 102. C. Bohlen.
228. Caring for Creation: Physics, Religion, and the Environment. This course considers scientific and religious accounts of the origin of the universe, examines the relations between these accounts, and explores the way they shape our deepest attitudes toward the natural world. Topics of discussion include the Biblical creation stories, contemporary scientific cosmology, the interplay between these scientific and religious ideas, and the roles they both can play in forming a response to environmental problems. This course is the same as Religion 228 and Physics 228. Enrollment limited to 30. T. Tracy, J. Smedley.
302. Wetland Science and Policy. This course is an introduction to wetland ecosystems, wetland management, and current controversies over wetland policy. The course emphasizes hydrological, geological, and ecological processes that structure wetland ecosystems, the connections between wetlands and adjacent ecosystems, and how those ecological relationships affect wetland management. The emphasis is on wetlands as dynamic components of a complex landscape that may itself be changing in response to human actions. Prerequisite(s): One natural-science set except physics sets. C. Bohlen.
360. Independent Study. This course provides an opportunity, on a tutorial basis, for a student to investigate a selected topic of individual interest. A report is required at the end of each semester of work. Topics are selected jointly by the student and tutor, and must be approved by the Program Chair. Students are limited to one independent study per semester. Open to first-year students. Written permission of the instructor is required. Staff.
Short Term Units
s40 Ecological Restoration. This unit examines ecological restoration, rehabilitation, and recovery within a broad environmental management context. Field trips, case studies, and a class project planning a restoration effort are used to explore why restoration is undertaken, how it is carried out, how one can assess the value or benefits of restoration, and how it fits into larger environmental and social contexts. Students see restoration efforts from forests, wetlands, lakes, estuaries, and flowing waters, as well as sites at which recovery processes are occurring without human intervention. Landscape-scale restoration efforts from the Chesapeake Bay and Mississippi watersheds are also examined. Recommended background: one of the following: Biology 270 (170), or Geology 103 or 106. Enrollment limited to 15. C. Bohlen.
s24. Seminar in Sustainable Development. The concept of sustainable development is examined and the implications this concept has for a number of areas of human interest are investigated. These areas include population, ethics, equity, food supply, water supply, pollution, radioactivity, energy, and economics. The relationship between scientific uncertainty and sustainable development is highlighted. Questions relating to social, cultural, and political feasibility are addressed. Students present and discuss selected topics, in a seminar format, drawing from the U.N. Report which culminated in the publication of Our Common Future as well as from primary literature and other selected textbooks. This unit is the same as Chemistry s24. Enrollment limited to 20. R. Austin.
s38. Environmental Issues in Developing Economies. Is poverty a cause of environmental degradation in developing countries? Or is the quest for economic growth to alleviate poverty the source of these countries' environmental problems? How does the interaction between the developed and developing worlds affect the environment? What role can developing countries play in addressing global environmental problems? Can a modern economy develop in a sustainable way? In this unit, students examine the link between economic development and the environment from a number of perspectives. Using case studies of particular countries, and cross-country comparisons of certain industries, students examine the prospects and problems facing the developing world. Prerequisite(s): Economics 101. This unit is the same as Economics s38. Enrollment limited to 20. J. Hughes.
s46. Internship in Environmental Studies. Projects could include engaging in hands-on conservation work, environmental education, environmental research, political advocacy, environmental law, or other areas related to environmental questions. Specific arrangement and prior approval of the Committee on Environmental Studies is required. Staff.
s50. Individual Research. Registration in this unit is granted by the Environmental Studies Program Committee only after
the student has submitted a written proposal for a full-time research project to be completed during the Short-Term and has
secured the sponsorship of a faculty member to direct the study and evaluate results. Students are limited to one individual
research unit. Open to first-year students. Staff.