Environmental Studies Major Requirements

Environmental Studies major leading to BA degree

A major in environmental studies leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree requires completion of at least 44 credits, as follows, including at least two 300-level courses. Students also undertake an experiential-learning activity. A student may not complete both a major and a minor in environmental studies.

  1. Required courses: ENV 110, 111; ECON 101, 255; PHIL 150 and either BIOL 325 or GEOL 260
  2. Fundamentals: BIOL 111/113 and either GEOL 100 or 101
  3. Technology preparation: INTR 201
  4. Quantitative preparation: BIOL 301 or INTR 202
  5. Interdisciplinary Approaches: One course chosen from BIOL 230, ENV 250, 381, 390, and 395
  6. Systems: One course chosen from among BIOL 217, 245, 246, and GEOL 240
  7. Electives: Two courses in addition to those used for the above requirements and chosen from the following, one of which must be at the 300 level, or from other courses approved in advance by the head of the major:
    BIOL 217, 230, 245, 246, 325
    ECON 356
    ENGL 294
    ENV 207, 212, 295, 381, 390, 395, 493
    GEOL 141, 150, 240, 247
    HIST 336
    PHIL 280
    POL 233
    REL 207, 224 (SOAN 224)
    or, when appropriate, BIOL 398; ECON 288, 289;
    ENGL 293, 380; GEOL 376, 397
  8. Capstone: ENV 397 or 493
  9. Experience: A relevant internship, study abroad, research project, or other experiential learning activity approved in advance by the head of the major.
  1. Required courses:
    • ENV 110 - Introduction to Environmental Studies

      FDR: SS5
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: First-year or sophomore standing or instructor consent.

      An interdisciplinary introduction to environmental studies with an emphasis on how societies organize themselves through their social, political and economic institutions to respond to environmental problems. The course begins with a discussion of the development of environmental thought, focusing on the relationship between humans and the environment. Participants then discuss alternative criteria for environmental decision making, including sustainability, equity, ecological integrity, economic efficiency, and environmental justice. The course concludes with an examination of contemporary environmental issues, including global warming, invasive species, energy and the environment, tropical deforestation, and the relationship between the environment and economic development in developing countries.

    • ENV 111 - Environmental Service Learning

      Credits: 1
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter, Spring
      Credits: 1


      Prerequisites: ENV 110 and instructor consent.

      Practical application of student knowledge of environmental issues based on supervised volunteer work in the greater Rockbridge community. Students will participate in a service-learning environment. Topics will include environmental education, campus sustainability, conservation and sustainable agriculture in the surrounding region. The course culminates with a paper integrating students' knowledge with practical application throughout the term.

    • ECON 101 - Principles of Microeconomics

      FDR: SS1
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Survey of economic principles and problems with emphasis on analysis of consumer behavior, firm behavior, market outcomes, market structure, and microeconomic policy. The first half of a two-term survey of economics. Should be followed by ECON 102.

    • ECON 255 - Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: ECON 101. Economics and environmental studies majors/minors will have priority during the initial registration.

      The course serves as an introduction to environmental and natural resource economics. Economic principles are used to evaluate public and private decision making involving the management and use of environmental and natural resources. Aspects pertaining to fisheries, forests, species diversity, agriculture, and various policies to reduce air, water and toxic pollution will be discussed. Lectures, reading assignments, discussions and exams will emphasize the use of microeconomic analysis for managing and dealing with environmental and natural resource problems and issues.

    • PHIL 150 - Ethics and the Environment

      FDR: HU
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Yearly
      Credits: 3


      This course is a philosophical exploration of one's responsibilities to the natural world. It has three main objectives: first, to provide an understanding of different dominant ethical theories and their application to animals, plants, and ecosystems; second, to provide an understanding of major environmental issues in current political debates, such as climate change, species preservation, and sustainable development; and third, to facilitate the development of a student's own ethic towards the environment.

    • and either
    • GEOL 260 - GIS and Remote Sensing

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Winter 2015 and alternate years
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: GEOL 100, GEOL 101 or GEOL 105. For GEOL or ENV majors only, or by instructor consent.

      A laboratory course introducing the use of a Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing in geological/environmental analyses and decision making. Students use state-of-the-art software with a wide variety of spatial geologic, environmental, economic and topographic data derived from satellites; remote databases and published maps to evaluate geologic conditions; local landscape processes; environmental conditions; and hypothetical land-use cases.

    • or
    • BIOL 325 - Ecological Modeling and Conservation Strategies

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring 2012 and alternate years
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: MATH 101 or higher and BIOL 111 and 113, or instructor consent.

      This course is an intensive introduction to foundational methods in ecological modeling and their application, with emphasis on the dynamics of exploited or threatened populations and developing strategies for effective conservation. Topics include managing harvested populations, population viability analysis, individual based models, and simulation modeling for systems analyses. Laboratory course.

  2. Fundamentals:
    • BIOL 111 - Fundamentals of Biology

      FDR: SL: BIOL 113 is a corequisite for students seeking laboratory science credits
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: For BIOL 111/113: Limited seating available for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Interested upper-division students should contact Helen I'Anson, in the Biology department, for consent as soon as the class schedule is available and before registration begins. Suitable for First-Years interested in pursuing a major in biology, neuroscience or environmental studies or the pre-health curriculum.

      Corequisite: BIOL 113.

      An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication applied to topics that vary among sections and terms. Specific subjects, chosen from within the scope of modern biological investigation according to the expertise of individual instructors, are examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This course, and its companion laboratory, are prerequisites for all higher level biology courses.

    • BIOL 113 - Biology Laboratory

      FDR: SL: see note in BIOL 111
      Credits: 1
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 1


      Prerequisites: For BIOL 111/113: Limited seating available for sophomores, juniors and seniors. Interested upper-division students should contact Helen I'Anson, Head of the Biology department, for consent as soon as the class schedule is available and before registration begins. Suitable for First-Years interested in pursuing a major in biology, neuroscience or environmental studies or the pre-health curriculum.

      Corequisite: BIOL 111.

      A laboratory course to accompany BIOL 111. Students are trained in basic techniques of biological research by demonstrations and investigatory exercises, including data analysis and scientific communication.

    • GEOL 100 - General Geology with Field Emphasis

      FDR: SL
      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: Open to First-years or sophomores only. Instructor consent for juniors and seniors is rarely given. GEOL 100A is open to FY students only.

      The study of our physical environment and the processes shaping it. The materials and structure of the Earth's crust, the origin of the landforms, the concept of geologic time, and the nature of the Earth's interior are considered, with special emphasis on field study in the region near Lexington. No credit for students who have completed GEOL 101. Offered on occasion as a First-Year Seminar. Contact the instructor for additional information. Laboratory course.

      GEOL 100 FS: General Geology with Field Emphasis (4): First-Year Seminar.

    • or
    • GEOL 101 - General Geology

      FDR: SL
      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: Instructor consent required. Preference given to First-years and sophomores.

      The study of our physical environment and the processes shaping it. The materials and structure of the Earth's crust, the origin of the landforms, the concept of geologic time, and the nature of the Earth's interior are considered. No credit for students who have completed GEOL 100. Laboratory course.

  3. Technology preparation:
    • INTR 201 - Information Technology Literacy

      Credits: 1
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 1


      Prerequisite: First-year or sophomore standing

      Through the use of interactive online tutorials, students gain proficiency in and a working knowledge of five distinct areas of information technology literacy: Windows Operating System, spreadsheets (Microsoft Excel), word processing (Microsoft Word), presentation software (Microsoft PowerPoint), and basic networking (the Washington and Lee network, basic Web browsing, and Microsoft Outlook). Lessons, exercises, practice exams and exams mix online efforts and hands-on activities.

  4. Quantitative preparation:
    • BIOL 301 - Statistics for Biology and Medicine

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

      This course examines the principles of statistics and experimental design for biological and medical research. The focus is on the practical and conceptual aspects of statistics, rather than mathematical derivations. Students completing this class will be able to read and understand research papers, to design realistic experiments, and to carry out their own statistical analyses using computer packages.

    • or
    • INTR 202 - Applied Statistics

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: INTR 201.

      An examination of the principal applications of statistics in accounting, business, economics, and politics. Topics include descriptive statistics, probability, estimation, hypothesis testing, and regression analysis.

  5. Interdisciplinary Approaches:
  6. One course chosen from:

    • BIOL 230 - Field Biogeography and Species Conservation

      FDR: SL
      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring, when departmental resources permit
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113 or instructor consent. Corequisite: English 294.

      This course emphasizes the patterns of diversity encountered during visits to different regional plant communities where we use professional floristic works to identify vascular plants. In addition, evolutionary and ecological explanations for patterns of distribution and extinction, and the lessons these teach for conservation, are explored. (SL) Laboratory course.

    • ENV 250 - Ecology of Place

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring 2013 and alternate years
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: Instructor consent.

      Think globally, study locally. This course explores globally significant environmental issues such as biodiversity conservation, sustainable delivery of ecosystem goods and services, and environmental justice, as they are manifested on a local/regional scale. We examine interactions among ethical, ecological, and economic concerns that shape these issues. Students are fully engaged in the development of policy recommendations that could guide relevant decision makers. The course incorporates readings, field trips, films, and discussions with invited experts.

    • ENV 381 - Global Environmental Governance: Law, Policy, and Economics

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      This seminar examines challenges to the integrity and well-being of the global environment. Its approach is interdisciplinary, drawing from economics, law, political science, and ecology. Through a series of case studies, this seminar examines the tragedy of the commons, open-access resources, the place of markets, intergenerational equality, distributive ethics, environmental racism, and the role of "law" in promoting sustainable economic regimes. The case studies are introduced on a modular basis and include, but are not limited to, climate change; trade and globalization; biodiversity and intellectual property; deforestation and poverty; marine resources; and transboundary movement of hazardous substances. Throughout, an attempt is made to understand the economic and ecological effects of extant international legal regimes and to explore how these can be improved.

    • ENV 390 - Special Topics: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Environmental Issues

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENV 110 and 9 credits at the 200 level or above in the environmental studies major.

      This course examines causes of, consequences of, and solutions to contemporary environmental problems. Though topics vary from term to term, the course has a specific focus on the integration of environmental science, policy, and thought so students understand better the cause and effect relationships that shape the interaction between human and environmental systems. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

    • ENV 395 - Special Topics in Environmental Ethics

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter, Spring
      Credits: 3


      This course explores areas of topical concern within the field of environmental ethics. The issues explored may vary from year to year. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

  7. Systems:
  8. One course chosen from among:

    • BIOL 217 - Aquatic Ecology

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall 2013 and alternate years
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: BIOL 111 and 113; MATH 101 or higher; or instructor consent.

      This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the ecology of freshwater systems, with laboratory emphasis on streams and rivers in the local area. It includes a review of the physical and biological properties of freshwater ecosystems as well as current issues relating to their conservation. Laboratory activities focus around monitoring the impacts of current stream restoration efforts in local watersheds.

    • BIOL 245 - Ecology

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

      An introduction to the study of interactions between organisms and their environments. Topics are arranged hierarchically: a) evolution and elementary population genetics; b) population dynamics and regulation; c) interspecific competition, predation, parasitism and symbiosis; d) community structure, energy and material flux in ecosystems. Laboratory is field oriented and investigative. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 246 - Biological Diversity: Patterns and Processes

      FDR: SC
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Offered when interest if expressed and faculty resources permit
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113 or instructor consent.

      How are plants and animals distributed on Earth, and how do important biogeographical patterns reflect ecological and evolutionary processes? The answers to these questions are crucial to conservation efforts and to predicting changes in "biodiversity" during a time of unprecedented, rapid global environmental change.

    • GEOL 240 - Hydrology

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Winter 2015
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: GEOL 100, GEOL 101 or GEOL 105.

      Systems and processes of water movement on and below the Earth's surface. Encompasses the theoretical and applied aspects of soil moisture, runoff, flooding, groundwater movement, and water-well use. Numerical evaluation of flow properties from field and lab data describing water movement in soils, aquifers, and streams. Laboratory course.

  9. Electives:
  10. Two courses in addition to those used for the above requirements and chosen from the following, one of which must be at the 300 level, or from other courses approved in advance by the head of the major:

    • BIOL 217 - Aquatic Ecology

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall 2013 and alternate years
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: BIOL 111 and 113; MATH 101 or higher; or instructor consent.

      This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the ecology of freshwater systems, with laboratory emphasis on streams and rivers in the local area. It includes a review of the physical and biological properties of freshwater ecosystems as well as current issues relating to their conservation. Laboratory activities focus around monitoring the impacts of current stream restoration efforts in local watersheds.

    • BIOL 230 - Field Biogeography and Species Conservation

      FDR: SL
      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring, when departmental resources permit
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113 or instructor consent. Corequisite: English 294.

      This course emphasizes the patterns of diversity encountered during visits to different regional plant communities where we use professional floristic works to identify vascular plants. In addition, evolutionary and ecological explanations for patterns of distribution and extinction, and the lessons these teach for conservation, are explored. (SL) Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 245 - Ecology

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113.

      An introduction to the study of interactions between organisms and their environments. Topics are arranged hierarchically: a) evolution and elementary population genetics; b) population dynamics and regulation; c) interspecific competition, predation, parasitism and symbiosis; d) community structure, energy and material flux in ecosystems. Laboratory is field oriented and investigative. Laboratory course.

    • BIOL 246 - Biological Diversity: Patterns and Processes

      FDR: SC
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Offered when interest if expressed and faculty resources permit
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: BIOL 111 and 113 or instructor consent.

      How are plants and animals distributed on Earth, and how do important biogeographical patterns reflect ecological and evolutionary processes? The answers to these questions are crucial to conservation efforts and to predicting changes in "biodiversity" during a time of unprecedented, rapid global environmental change.

    • BIOL 325 - Ecological Modeling and Conservation Strategies

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring 2012 and alternate years
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisites: MATH 101 or higher and BIOL 111 and 113, or instructor consent.

      This course is an intensive introduction to foundational methods in ecological modeling and their application, with emphasis on the dynamics of exploited or threatened populations and developing strategies for effective conservation. Topics include managing harvested populations, population viability analysis, individual based models, and simulation modeling for systems analyses. Laboratory course.

    • ECON 356 - Economics of the Environment in Developing Countries

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ECON 101 and 102, and either ECON 255 or 280.

      This course focuses on the unique characteristics of the relationship between the environment and the economy in developing nations. Differences in economic structure, political structure, culture, social organization and ecosystem dynamics are emphasized as alternative policies for environmental and resource management are analyzed.

    • ENGL 294 - Topics in Environmental Literature

      FDR: HL
      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: Completion of the FW requirement.

      Studies in the literature of natural history, exploration, and science pertaining to the fundamental relationships between nature and human culture. Versions of this course focus on particular periods and national literatures, or they concentrate on a specific theme or problem. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

    • ENV 207 - Nature and Place

      FDR: HU
      Credits: 3
      Credits: 3


      This course explores a variety of ideas about and experiences of nature and place Through a consideration of work drawn from diverse disciplines including philosophy, religious studies, literature, art, and anthropology. Questions to be Considered may include: what is the nature of place in our societies, and is there a place for nature in our cultures? How have human beings made places for themselves to dwell in or out of nature? What might make a place a sacred place? Are there any sacred places? (

    • ENV 212 - Land Use and Aquatic Ecosystems in the Chesapeake Watershed

      FDR: SC
      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring 2013 and alternate years
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: ENV 110 or instructor consent.

      This field-based course examines Chesapeake aquatic ecosystems from the headwaters through the estuary and how they are affected by human land use. Emphasis is placed on current research and management practices aimed at restoring degraded habitats and promoting sustainable land use and environmental stewardship in coastal watersheds.

    • ENV 381 - Global Environmental Governance: Law, Policy, and Economics

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      This seminar examines challenges to the integrity and well-being of the global environment. Its approach is interdisciplinary, drawing from economics, law, political science, and ecology. Through a series of case studies, this seminar examines the tragedy of the commons, open-access resources, the place of markets, intergenerational equality, distributive ethics, environmental racism, and the role of "law" in promoting sustainable economic regimes. The case studies are introduced on a modular basis and include, but are not limited to, climate change; trade and globalization; biodiversity and intellectual property; deforestation and poverty; marine resources; and transboundary movement of hazardous substances. Throughout, an attempt is made to understand the economic and ecological effects of extant international legal regimes and to explore how these can be improved.

    • ENV 390 - Special Topics: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Environmental Issues

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENV 110 and 9 credits at the 200 level or above in the environmental studies major.

      This course examines causes of, consequences of, and solutions to contemporary environmental problems. Though topics vary from term to term, the course has a specific focus on the integration of environmental science, policy, and thought so students understand better the cause and effect relationships that shape the interaction between human and environmental systems. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

    • ENV 395 - Special Topics in Environmental Ethics

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter, Spring
      Credits: 3


      This course explores areas of topical concern within the field of environmental ethics. The issues explored may vary from year to year. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

    • ENV 493 - Honors Thesis in Environmental Studies

      Credits: 3-3
      Planned Offering: Fall-Winter
      Credits: 3-3


      Prerequisite: Senior standing, honors candidacy, and consent of the environmental studies faculty.

      Honors Thesis.

    • GEOL 141 - Global Climate Change

      FDR: SC
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Not offered in 2014-2015
      Credits: 3


      A study of Earth's complex climate system and the impact of human activities on future climates. Through readings, discussions, data analyses and modeling exercises, the past and future changes in temperature, ocean circulation, rainfall, storminess, biogeochemistry, glacial ice extent and sea level are explored.

    • GEOL 150 - Water Resources

      FDR: SC
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter 2015
      Credits: 3


      An examination of the quality and quantity of water resources as a limiting factor for life on earth. Issues include resource depletion, pollution, historical use and over-use, remediation, habitat maintenance, and water supply mechanisms. Resource constraints are analyzed from a scientific perspective in order to understand water resource problems and envision solutions.

    • GEOL 240 - Hydrology

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Winter 2015
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: GEOL 100, GEOL 101 or GEOL 105.

      Systems and processes of water movement on and below the Earth's surface. Encompasses the theoretical and applied aspects of soil moisture, runoff, flooding, groundwater movement, and water-well use. Numerical evaluation of flow properties from field and lab data describing water movement in soils, aquifers, and streams. Laboratory course.

    • GEOL 247 - Geomorphology

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall 2014
      Credits: 4


      Prerequisite: GEOL 100, GEOL 101 or GEOL 105.

      Investigation of landforms from maps, aerial photographs, digital data, and the analysis of the surficial processes by which they are formed. Laboratory activities include identification and interpretation of topography, field measurements of landscape form and process, and a required weekend field trip. Laboratory course.

    • PHIL 280 - Philosophy of Nature

      FDR: HU
      Credits: 3
      Credits: 3


      An examination of various understandings of nature and the natural from the ancient Greeks to the present. The course includes exploration of basic philosophical issues regarding the concepts "nature," "wild," and "wilderness." The focus is on the relationship between landscapes and conceptualizations of time, self, and community.

    • POL 233 - Environmental Policy and Law

      FDR: SS2
      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisite: ECON 101 or POL 100.

      A study of major environmental laws and the history of their enactment and implementation. Discusses different theoretical approaches from law, ethics, politics, and economics. Reviews significant case law and the legal context. Emphasis is on domestic policy with some attention to international law and treaties.

    • REL 207 - Nature and Place

      FDR: HU
      Credits: 3
      Credits: 3


      Through a consideration of work drawn from diverse disciplines including philosophy, religious studies, literature, art, and anthropology, this course explores a variety of ideas about and experiences of nature and place.

    • REL 224 - American Indian Religions, Landscapes, and Identities (SOAN 224)

      FDR: HU
      Credits: 3
      Credits: 3


      Drawing on a combination of scholarly essays, native accounts, videos, guest lectures, and student presentations, this seminar examines the religious assumptions and practices that bind American Indian communities to their traditional homelands. The seminar elucidates and illustrates those principles concerning human environmental interactions common to most Indian tribes; focuses on the traditional beliefs and practices of a particular Indian community that reflected and reinforced the community understanding of the relationship to be maintained with the land and its creatures; and examines the moral and legal disputes that have arisen out of the very different presuppositions which Indians and non- Indians hold regarding the environment.

    • or, when appropriate:
      • BIOL 398 - Selected Topics in Ecology and Evolution

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit
        Credits: 3


        Prerequisites: BIOL 220, and at least junior standing.

        Topics include ecology, behavior, evolution, and natural history of selected taxonomic groups. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

      • ECON 288 - Supervised Study Abroad

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring
        Credits: 4


        Prerequisites: ECON 101 and 102, instructor consent, and other prerequisites as specified by the instructor(s).

        For advanced students, the course covers a topic of current interest for which foreign travel provides a unique opportunity for significantly greater understanding. Emphasis and location changes from year to year and is announced each year, well in advance of registration. Likely destinations are Europe, Latin America, Africa, or Asia. This course may not be repeated.

      • ENGL 293 - Topics in American Literature

        FDR: HL
        Credits: 3-4
        Planned Offering: Fall, Winter, Spring
        Credits: 3-4


        Prerequisite: Completion of the FW requirement.

        Studies in American literature, supported by attention to historical contexts. Versions of this course may survey several periods or concentrate on a group of works from a short span of time. Students develop their analytical writing skills in a series of short papers. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Fall 2014 topic:

        ENGL 293-01: Topics in American Literature: Spectatorship and Sexuality (3). How might we come to understand the relationship between image, spectatorship and gender? For the past 40 years, cinema has been a principle terrain upon which feminist debates over representation and identity have emerged. Through a sampling of key films and texts, this course charts those debates. Beginning with the psychoanalytic discussions of the 1970s and '80s, we venture through to the postcolonial and "postmodern" responses of the late 1990s and conclude with an extended consideration of femininity in contemporary popular film. Through class discussion and written critique, students are invited to become discerning spectators of their own visual landscapes. (HL) Renault-Steele

      • ENGL 380 - Advanced Seminar

        FDR: HL
        Credits: 3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring
        Planned Offering: Fall, Winter, Spring
        Credits: 3 in fall or winter, 4 in spring


        Prerequisite: ENGL 299. Enrollment limited.

        A seminar course on a topic, genre, figure, or school (e.g. African-American women's literature, epic film, Leslie Marmon Silko, feminist literary theory) with special emphasis on research and discussion. The topic will be limited in scope to permit study in depth. Student suggestions for topics are welcome. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Fall 2014 topics:

        ENGL 380-01: Advanced Seminar: Cormac McCarthy (3). A study of selected works by one of America's most renowned post-modern authors, who treats shocking subjects in an inimitable style. McCarthy has developed gradually over the last 50 years from a struggling writer and auto parts worker too poor to buy toothpaste to a number one box office draw, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, eager candidate for the Nobel Prize, and author of a major motion picture. Our key questions: Why is McCarthy so famous now? How does he do it? What do his works say to us that we are drawn to hear? (HL) Smout. Fall 2014

        ENGL 380-02: Advanced Seminar: Celluloid Shakespeare (3). The films adapted from or inspired by William Shakespeare's plays are a genre unto themselves. We study a selection of films, not focused on their faithfulness to the original playscript, but on the creative choices and meanings of the distinct medium of film. We see how the modern era has transmuted the plays through the lens of contemporary sensibility, politics, and culture--and through this new visual mode of storytelling. This course is very much an exploration of how to interpret and appreciate film broadly, as we learn the concepts and lexicon of film with Shakespeare as our case study. Our methods vary: sometimes we study the play in detail and compare several film versions; or we see a film fresh--without having read the play--to approach it as a work of art on its own terms; or we hear individual reports from students about additional films to expand the repertoire of films we study and enjoy. The films we view range from multiple versions of Hamlet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night's Dream, to adaptations of As You Like It and Henry V, to original Shakespeare-inspired films such as Forbidden Planet, A Thousand Acres, and My Own Private Idaho. (HL) Dobin. Fall 2014

        ENGL 380-04: Thrilling Tales: New North American Fiction (3). A study of 21st-century novels and short stories by North American authors. We examine the recent movement of literary fiction into genres traditionally limited to pulp writing. Texts may include: McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales edited by Michael Chabon; Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake; Isabel Allende's Zorro; Sherman Alexie's Flight; Octavia Butler's Fledgling; Cormac McCarthy's The Road; Junot Diaz's The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao; Colson Whitehead's Zone One, and Austin Grossman's Soon I Will Be Invincible. (HL) Gavaler. Fall 2014

      • GEOL 376
      • GEOL 397 - Seminar

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources permit
        Credits: 3


        Prerequisite: GEOL 100, 101 or 105. Open to GEOL majors only.

        The title, term of meeting, and credits for seminars will be announced to all geology majors. May be repeated for degree credit with permission and if the topics are different.

  11. Capstone:
    • ENV 397 - Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter
      Credits: 3


      Prerequisites: ENV 110 and completion of any two of the three remaining areas for the Program in Environmental Studies, and instructor consent.

      An interdisciplinary capstone course intended for students in the environmental studies program. Students analyze a particular environmental issue and attempt to integrate scientific inquiry, political and economic analysis and ethical implications. The particular issue changes each year.

    • or
    • ENV 493 - Honors Thesis in Environmental Studies

      Credits: 3-3
      Planned Offering: Fall-Winter
      Credits: 3-3


      Prerequisite: Senior standing, honors candidacy, and consent of the environmental studies faculty.

      Honors Thesis.

  12. Experience:
  13. A relevant internship, study abroad, research project, or other experiential learning activity approved in advance by the head of the major.