Environmental Studies Major Requirements

2016 - 2017 Catalog

Environmental Studies major leading to BA degree

A major in environmental studies leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree requires completion of at least 41 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, ENV 111, BIOL 111, BIOL113, INTR 201
  2. Social Science Fundamentals: take one course chosen from: ECON 101, POL 100, POL 105
  3. Geology Fundamentals: take one course chosen from: GEOL 100, 101, 105
  4. Statistics: take either BIOL 201 or INTR 202
  5. Advanced Quantitative Skills: take one course chosen from BIOL 282, 325; ECON 203; GEOL 260
  6. Electives: take six courses from the following with at least one from each category and at least one at the 300 level. Note that a course cannot count in more than one category

A. Systems: take one course chosen from BIOL 217, BIOL 245, BIOL 332, or GEOL 240
B. Interdisciplinary Approaches: take one course chosen from ECON 186 (SOAN 186); ECON 259; ENV 250, 390; or, when approved in advance, BIOL 195 or ENV 295
C. Humanities: take one course chosen from BUS 335; ENGL 207; PHIL 150, 282; REL 207, 224; SOAN 224, 286; or, when approved in advance, ENV 395 or PHIL 395
D. Social Sciences: take one course chosen from ECON 255, ECON 259, or POL 233
E. Free electives: additional courses not used in the above requirements chosen from the following, or from other courses approved in advance by the head of the major:
BIOL 217, 245, 322, 325, 330, 332, or, when approved in advance, BIOL 195, 398
BUS 335
ECON 186, 255, 259 or, when approved in advance, ECON 288
ENGL 207
ENV 207, 250, 390, 395, 493 or, when approved in advance, ENV 295 OR 395
GEOL 141, 150, 240, 247 or, when approved in advance, GEOL 373
PHIL 150, 282 or, when approved in advance, PHIL 395
POL 233
REL 207, 224, 285
SOAN 186, 224, 285, 286

  1. Capstone: Take either ENV 397 or 493
  2. 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

      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

      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.


    • BIOL 111 - Fundamentals of Biology

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

      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.

      Winter 2017, BIOL 111-01: Fundamentals of Biology: Biology of Marine Organisms (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. In this section, we examine specific examples of the unique biology of marine organisms and ecosystems, building upon fundamental concepts to explore advanced topics and research. Why are coral reefs dying? Why don't sharks get cancer - or do they? We follow lines of scientific inquiry that have brought us to the current state of understanding on these and other specific examples. In the process, we progress through different levels of organization, generally starting with molecular / cellular biology and moving up through population and community ecology. This course, and its companion laboratory, are prerequisites for all higher level biology courses. (SL when taken with BIOL 113). Humston.

      Winter 2017, BIOL 111-02: Fundamentals of Biology: Human Genetic Testing (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. The explosive growth of genetics and genomics offers unprecedented possibilities for genetic testing in humans.  In medicine, are we entering an age of "personal genomics?"  Why are tests done, and what do the results mean?  How can forensic testing give compelling answers in a legal context?  We will explore the basics of molecular genetics, and use this foundation to understand human genetic testing in medical, forensic, and ancestry applications. This course, and its companion laboratory, are prerequisites for all higher level biology courses. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Cabe.

      Winter 2017, BIOL 111-3: Fundamentals of Biology: Drugs of Abuse (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. In this section, we use addiction as a model for understanding basic principles of genetics, cell biology, anatomy, and physiology. An in-depth discussion of the common mechanisms of action of addictive substances is included, as well as relevant information about treatment and recovery strategies. This course, and its companion laboratory, are prerequisites for all higher level biology courses. (SL when taken with BIOL 113). Blythe.

      Winter 2017, BIOL 111-04: Fundamentals of Biology: Disease Ecology (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This course gives a holistic view of disease and its effects on human and animal populations throughout history. We learn about disease dynamics from the genetic level to the epidemiological level by focusing on pathogens such as Ebola, lyme disease, and MRSA. This course, and its companion laboratory, are prerequisites for all higher-level biology courses. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Marsh.

      Fall 2016, BIOL 111-01: Fundamentals of Biology: Biological Clocks and Rhythms (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. From cell division to bird migration, clock-like rhythms control the activities of every living organism. In this section we investigate recent advances in chronobiology, the area of biology that studies internal biological clocks. Our topics include the measurement of rhythmic activity, the molecular mechanisms underlying daily rhythms, and the integration of internal and environmental rhythms in complex physiological processes, such as the sleep and reproductive cycles. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Toporikova.

      Fall 2016, BIOL 111-03: Fundamentals of Biology: Rapid Communication in Animals (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, regulation, growth, and metabolism. This section examines the structure and function of nerve cells with an emphasis on electrical excitability, synaptic transmission, and sensory transduction. As part of the background, we study the processes of replication, transcription, and translation. In addition, we study the anatomy of the brain and examine the cellular mechanisms underlying simple behaviors and the pathology of degenerative CNS diseases. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Watson.

       


    • BIOL 113 - Biology Laboratory

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

      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.


    • INTR 201 - Information Technology Literacy

      Credits: 1
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter

      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.


  2. Social Science Fundamentals:
  3. take one course chosen from:

    • ECON 101 - Principles of Microeconomics

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

      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.


    • POL 100 - American National Government

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

      A study of the constitutional origins and historical development of the national government with special attention to Congress, the presidency, the judiciary, and the role of political parties, interest groups, and the media in the policy process.


    • POL 105 - Introduction to Global Politics

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

      A survey of the comparative study of national and international politics and the interaction between the two. Topics may include power relations among and within states, changes in the conduct of international affairs and conflict resolution, contrasting ideas about democracy, economic development, justice, globalization, terrorism, causes and alternatives to war, social movements and the role of the nation-state.


  4. Geology Fundamentals:
  5. take one course chosen from:

    • GEOL 100 - General Geology with Field Emphasis

      FDR: SL
      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall

      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. Laboratory course. Lab fee required.


    • GEOL 101 - General Geology

      FDR: SL
      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Winter

      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. Lab fee required.


    • GEOL 105 - Earth Lab

      FDR: SL
      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring

      The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Most course activity involves outside field work with a series of multi-day to multi-week field trips. The primary goal of this course is an in-depth introduction to a particular region or field of geological study for introductory level science students. Information about the course is made available prior to the end of the fall term. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different but only four credits may be used toward major requirements. Lab fee required.

      Spring 2017, GEOL 105-01: Earth Lab: Dinosaurs (4). Prerequisite: First-Year or sophomore standing only. A multidisciplinary investigation into the morphology, classification, and ecology of the dinosaurs and their close relatives; the environmental, climatic, and geographic conditions on earth during the time of the dinosaurs and how geologists make those paleo-environmental interpretations; and the biological principles involved in understanding the origin, evolution, and extinction of the dinosaurs. In addition, students discuss how scientific investigations proceed, how science is conveyed to a larger audience, and why dinosaurs in the media are often portrayed with so many scientific errors. (SL) Leonard-Pingel.

      Spring 2017, GEOL 105-02: Earth Lab: Energy, Resources, and the Environment (4). Prerequisite: First-Year, sophomore, or junior standing only. Energy from natural resources is used in many aspects of daily life, powering homes, schools, farms, businesses, and vehicles. In this modern industrial society, affordable energy is integral to sustaining our economic, social, and political standings. Most of our energy comes from the use of fossil fuels which come with a significant environmental impact. This course surveys the production and efficiency of a wide range of energy resources (including oil, gas, coal, solar, and wind), and studies the environmental impacts of obtaining energy and natural resources via each of these systems. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each energy resource and how we might improve our current energy system. (SL) Axler.


  6. Statistics:
  7. take either:

    • BIOL 201 - Statistics for Biology and Medicine

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Winter

      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: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter

      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.

       


  8. Advanced Quantitative Skills:
  9. take one course chosen from:

    • BIOL 282 - Dynamics of Biological Systems

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Fall

      This course discusses how biological systems, ranging from single cells to entire human populations, change over time. Students learn to describe a biological system quantitatively, create a model of the system's dynamics, and make testable predictions. Topics covered include, but are not limited to, cell metabolism, scaling laws for biological systems, population dynamics, and epidemiological modeling. Students learn how to develop and analyze their own models in the lab component of this course where all necessary mathematical and programming background are developed as needed.  Laboratory course.


    • BIOL 325 - Ecological Modeling and Conservation Strategies

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Spring 2012 and alternate years

      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 203 - Econometrics

      Credits: 3
      Planned Offering: Fall, Winter

      Explorations of regression models that relate a response variable to one or more predictor variables. The course begins with a review of the simple bivariate model used in INTR 202, and moves on to multivariate models. Underlying model assumptions and consequences are discussed. Advanced topics include non-linear regression and forecasting. Examples in each class are drawn from a number of disciplines. The course emphasizes the use of data and student-directed research.


    • GEOL 260 - GIS and Remote Sensing

      Credits: 4
      Planned Offering: Winter 2017 and alternate years

      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.


  10. Electives:
  11. take six courses from the following with at least one from each category and at least one at the 300 level. Note that a course cannot count in more than one category.

    • Systems:

      take one course chosen from:

      • BIOL 217 - Aquatic Ecology

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Fall 2013 and alternate years

        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

        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 332 - Plant Functional Ecology

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring

        The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Information regarding the specific course topic and field trip schedule is made available in the fall. Through novel research projects in a variety of field settings (e.g., on-campus, Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains, The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem), this field-based laboratory course covers topics which investigate the vital roles that plants play in shaping Earth's ecosystems. Topics focus on the responses of native plants to environmental stresses, such as global climate change (elevated temperature and carbon dioxide and drought), herbivory, and invasive species. Field and laboratory exercises focus on testing hypotheses through experiments using a variety of species from intact plant communities. A review of the pertinent literature is used to develop and conduct a term research project. Laboratory course.


      • GEOL 240 - Hydrology

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Winter 2018 and alternate years

        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.


    • Interdisciplinary Approaches:

      take one course chosen from:

      • ECON 186 - Land in Lakota Culture, Economics, and History

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring. Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources exist

        A review of the history of Lakota land from 1851 to present and its importance to Lakota cultural identity, political sovereignty, and economic development. We examine specific federal policies including the treaties of 1851 and 1868, the extermination of the buffalo herds, the confiscation of the Black Hills, the creation of the reservation system, and the Dawes Act among others. Students spend nine days off-campus to participate in workshops at the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies and to visit sites in and around the Pine Ridge Reservation, the Rosebud reservation, and the Black Hills.


      • ECON 259 - Supervised Study Abroad: The Environment and Economic Development in Amazonas

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring. Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources exist

        Spring Term Abroad course. Amazonas is a huge Brazilian state of 1.5 million sq. kilometers which retains 94 percent of its original forest cover. This course examines the importance of the forest for economic development in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy, and how policies can be develop to promote both environmental protection and an increase in the quality life in both the urban and rural areas of Amazonas. The learning objectives of this course integrate those of the economics and environmental studies majors. Students are asked to use economic tools in an interdisciplinary context to understand the relationships among economic behavior, ecosystems and policy choices. Writing assignments focus on these relationships and look towards the development of executive summary writing skills.


      • ENV 250 - Ecology of Place

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring 2013 and alternate years

        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 390 - Special Topics: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Environmental Issues

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

        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.


      • SOAN 186 - Land in Lakota Culture, Economics, and History

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring. Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources exist

        A review of the history of Lakota land from 1851 to present and its importance to Lakota cultural identity, political sovereignty, and economic development. We examine specific federal policies including the treaties of 1851 and 1868, the extermination of the buffalo herds, the confiscation of the Black Hills, the creation of the reservation system, and the Dawes Act among others. Students spend nine days off-campus to participate in workshops at the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies and to visit sites in and around the Pine Ridge Reservation, the Rosebud reservation, and the Black Hills.


      •  or, when approved in advance,
      • BIOL 195 - Topics in Biology

        Credits: 3 credits in Fall and Winter, 4 credits in Spring

        Topics vary with instructor and term. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Winter 2017, BIOL 195A-01: The Ecology of National Parks (3). An introduction to the ecology of the Earth's national parks starting with the first national park, Yellowstone National Park (YNP). Students learn the ecology of the temperate ecosystem that is YNP from soils to top predators. The course covers modern molecular techniques in biology and classical ecological approaches for quantifying the connections that exist within intact and broken ecosystems. Using YNP as a model, students investigate five other national parks across the Earth and conduct assessments of their biological integrity. (SC) Hamilton.

        Winter 2017, BIOL 195B-01: Breaking Bugs: Managing Insect Pests (4). All over the world, pest insects pose a huge threat to quality of life due to their impact on agriculture and human health. The constant struggle against pests has led historically to some desperate control strategies, such as mass spraying of DDT. Advances in our understanding of insects have led to novel and more responsible control techniques, but the troubled past of pest management has led to public distrust. As we explore the science, history, economics, and ethics of integrated pest management, students evaluate the issue from the perspectives of farmers, consumers, and global health. (SL) Pask.

        Fall 2016, BIOL 195A-01: The Ecology of National Parks (3). An introduction to the ecology of the Earth's national parks starting with the first national park, Yellowstone National Park (YNP). Students learn the ecology of the temperate ecosystem that is YNP from soils to top predators. The course covers modern molecular techniques in biology and classical ecological approaches for quantifying the connections that exist within intact and broken ecosystems. Using YNP as a model, students investigate five other national parks across the Earth and conduct assessments of their biological integrity. (SC) Hamilton.


      • ENV 295 - Special Topics in Environmental Studies

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

        This courses examines special topics in environmental studies, such as ecotourism, the environment and development, local environmental issues, values and the environment, global fisheries, global climate change, tropical deforestation and similar topics of importance, which could change from year to year. This is a research-intensive course where the student would be expected to write a significant paper, either individually or as part of a group, of sufficient quality to be made useful to the scholarly and policy communities. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Winter 2016, ENV 295: Special Topic: Ecology of Amazonia (3) . Second six weeks. Prerequisite: ENV 110 or BIOL 111. Origins of the Amazon Basin. The course covers geological and hydrological aspects of this huge basin, including basic concepts of biodiversity and its measures and concepts of "river continuum" and "flood pulse". We also cover the origins and key factors of aquatic biodiversity in the Amazon basin and the natural and human threats to Amazonian biodiversity. Freitas.


    • Humanities:

      take one course chosen from:

      • BUS 335 - Ethics of Globalization

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall or Winter

        This seminar examines a number of ethical issues raised by the phenomenon of globalization. Though globalization is not new, recent business, technological, and policy developments have made the world more integrated and interdependent than ever before. Increasing economic, cultural, and political interconnections have created a host of new questions about how to conceive of the moral rights and responsibilities of individuals, multi-national corporations, nation-states, and global institutions within this new global framework. This course identifies and clarifies some of these questions, and considers how they have been addressed from a variety of different disciplinary perspectives. Questions concerning the ethics of globalization are approached through an analysis of a few specific topics, such as immigration, humanitarian intervention, and global poverty and inequality. Because the issues raised by the phenomenon of globalization cross disciplinary boundaries, readings are drawn from a wide variety of fields, including philosophy, business, economics, political science, and anthropology.


      • ENGL 207 - Eco-Writing

        FDR: HA
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring 2018 and alternate years

        An expeditionary course in environmental creative writing. Readings include canonical writers such as Frost, Emerson, Auden, Rumi, and Muir, as well as contemporary writers such as W.S. Merwin, Mary Oliver, Janice Ray, Gary Snyder, Annie Dillard, Tich Nhat Hanh, Wendell Berry, and Robert Hass. We take weekly "expeditions" including creative writing hikes, a landscape painting exhibit, and a Buddhist monastery. "Expeditionary courses" sometimes involve moderate to challenging hiking. We research the science and social science of the ecosystems explored, as well as the language of those ecosystems. The course has two primary aspects: (1) reading and literary analysis of eco-literature (fiction, non-fiction, and poetry) and (2) developing skill and craft in creating eco-writing through the act of writing in these genres and through participation in weekly "writing workshop."

         


      • PHIL 150 - Ethics and the Environment

        FDR: HU
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Yearly

        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.


      • PHIL 282 - Philosophy of Biology

        FDR: HU
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Yearly

        An examination of philosophical issues raised by biology, with an emphasis on current evolutionary theory. Topics include the structure of the theory of evolution by natural selection, an examination of the concepts of fitness and adaptation, the role of teleological explanation in biology, reductionism, the nature of biological species, individuality, levels of selection, and sociobiology.


      • REL 207 - Nature and Place

        FDR: HU
        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

        FDR: HU
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter 2018 and alternate years

        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.


      • SOAN 224 - American Indian Religions, Landscapes, and Identities

        FDR: HU
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter 2018 and alternate years

        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's 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.


      • SOAN 286 - Land in American Indian Culture, Religion, and History

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring 2018 and alternate years

        This class focuses on the religious, cultural, and historical dimensions of a selected American Indian nation and ties to its lands as they found expression in the beliefs and practices of its pre- and post-reservation communities. The specific themes that the seminar will address are: 1) Lands, Culture, and Cosmology; 2) Lands, Subsistence, and Ceremony; and 3) Land in the Nation's History; and 4) Sacred Landscape and Contestation.  The course may cover the Lakota Sioux, Cherokee, or other Indian nation. Topic for 2014:


      • or, when approved in advance,
      • ENV 395 - Special Topics in Environmental Ethics

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter, Spring

        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.

        Fall 2016, ENV 395A-01: Advanced Seminar: Environmentalism in the Anthropocene (3). Many people believe we have entered a new geological epoch: The Anthropocene, or Age of Human Domination. Some of the central questions explored in this seminar include: What does it mean to be an environmentalist in the Anthropocene? Are the traditional goals of wilderness preservation and conservation of biodiversity still appropriate? Should conservation biology shift its goals in the direction of conserving valuable ecosystem goods and services? Should our attitudes towards introduced and/or invasive species be transformed?  Should we assist the migration of species that are unable to respond on their own to the habitat shifts that will result from global warming? Has the planet become, in effect, one large human garden to be managed as best we can?  (HU) Cooper.


      • PHIL 395 - Advanced Seminar

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

        An intensive and critical study of selected issues or major figures in philosophy. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

        Fall 2016, PHIL 395A-01: Advanced Seminar: Environmentalism for the Anthropocene (3). Many people believe we have entered a new geological epoch: The Anthropocene, or Age of Human Domination. Some of the central questions explored in this seminar include: What does it mean to be an environmentalist in the Anthropocene? Are the traditional goals of wilderness preservation and conservation of biodiversity still appropriate? Should conservation biology shift its goals in the direction of conserving valuable ecosystem goods and services? Should our attitudes towards introduced and/or invasive species be transformed?  Should we assist the migration of species that are unable to respond on their own to the habitat shifts that will result from global warming? Has the planet become, in effect, one large human garden to be managed as best we can?  (HU) Cooper.


    • Social Sciences:

      take one course chosen from:

      • ECON 255 - Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter

        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.


      • ECON 259 - Supervised Study Abroad: The Environment and Economic Development in Amazonas

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring. Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources exist

        Spring Term Abroad course. Amazonas is a huge Brazilian state of 1.5 million sq. kilometers which retains 94 percent of its original forest cover. This course examines the importance of the forest for economic development in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy, and how policies can be develop to promote both environmental protection and an increase in the quality life in both the urban and rural areas of Amazonas. The learning objectives of this course integrate those of the economics and environmental studies majors. Students are asked to use economic tools in an interdisciplinary context to understand the relationships among economic behavior, ecosystems and policy choices. Writing assignments focus on these relationships and look towards the development of executive summary writing skills.


      • POL 233 - Environmental Policy and Law

        FDR: SS2
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter

        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.


    • Free electives:

      additional courses not used in the above requirements chosen from the following, 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

        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

        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 330 - Experimental Botany: Global Climate Change

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Fall

        Lectures focus on the major impacts of global climate change (elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and elevated temperatures) on plant function (photosynthesis and respiration) and plant communities. Additional topics include global carbon budgets, plant carbon sequestration, and agricultural impacts. Participants review the pertinent primary literature and conduct a term-long laboratory research project. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 332 - Plant Functional Ecology

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring

        The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Information regarding the specific course topic and field trip schedule is made available in the fall. Through novel research projects in a variety of field settings (e.g., on-campus, Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains, The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem), this field-based laboratory course covers topics which investigate the vital roles that plants play in shaping Earth's ecosystems. Topics focus on the responses of native plants to environmental stresses, such as global climate change (elevated temperature and carbon dioxide and drought), herbivory, and invasive species. Field and laboratory exercises focus on testing hypotheses through experiments using a variety of species from intact plant communities. A review of the pertinent literature is used to develop and conduct a term research project. Laboratory course.


      • BIOL 325 - Ecological Modeling and Conservation Strategies

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring 2012 and alternate years

        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.


      • BUS 335 - Ethics of Globalization

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall or Winter

        This seminar examines a number of ethical issues raised by the phenomenon of globalization. Though globalization is not new, recent business, technological, and policy developments have made the world more integrated and interdependent than ever before. Increasing economic, cultural, and political interconnections have created a host of new questions about how to conceive of the moral rights and responsibilities of individuals, multi-national corporations, nation-states, and global institutions within this new global framework. This course identifies and clarifies some of these questions, and considers how they have been addressed from a variety of different disciplinary perspectives. Questions concerning the ethics of globalization are approached through an analysis of a few specific topics, such as immigration, humanitarian intervention, and global poverty and inequality. Because the issues raised by the phenomenon of globalization cross disciplinary boundaries, readings are drawn from a wide variety of fields, including philosophy, business, economics, political science, and anthropology.


      • ECON 186 - Land in Lakota Culture, Economics, and History (SOAN 186)

        FDR: SS4
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring. Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources exist

        A review of the history of Lakota land from 1851 to present and its importance to Lakota cultural identity, political sovereignty, and economic development. We examine specific federal policies including the treaties of 1851 and 1868, the extermination of the buffalo herds, the confiscation of the Black Hills, the creation of the reservation system, and the Dawes Act among others. Students spend nine days off-campus to participate in workshops at the Center for American Indian Research and Native Studies and to visit sites in and around the Pine Ridge Reservation, the Rosebud reservation, and the Black Hills.


      • ECON 255 - Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter

        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.


      • ECON 259 - Supervised Study Abroad: The Environment and Economic Development in Amazonas

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring. Offered when interest is expressed and departmental resources exist

        Spring Term Abroad course. Amazonas is a huge Brazilian state of 1.5 million sq. kilometers which retains 94 percent of its original forest cover. This course examines the importance of the forest for economic development in both the formal and informal sectors of the economy, and how policies can be develop to promote both environmental protection and an increase in the quality life in both the urban and rural areas of Amazonas. The learning objectives of this course integrate those of the economics and environmental studies majors. Students are asked to use economic tools in an interdisciplinary context to understand the relationships among economic behavior, ecosystems and policy choices. Writing assignments focus on these relationships and look towards the development of executive summary writing skills.


      • ENGL 207 - Eco-Writing

        FDR: HA
        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring 2018 and alternate years

        An expeditionary course in environmental creative writing. Readings include canonical writers such as Frost, Emerson, Auden, Rumi, and Muir, as well as contemporary writers such as W.S. Merwin, Mary Oliver, Janice Ray, Gary Snyder, Annie Dillard, Tich Nhat Hanh, Wendell Berry, and Robert Hass. We take weekly "expeditions" including creative writing hikes, a landscape painting exhibit, and a Buddhist monastery. "Expeditionary courses" sometimes involve moderate to challenging hiking. We research the science and social science of the ecosystems explored, as well as the language of those ecosystems. The course has two primary aspects: (1) reading and literary analysis of eco-literature (fiction, non-fiction, and poetry) and (2) developing skill and craft in creating eco-writing through the act of writing in these genres and through participation in weekly "writing workshop."

         


      • ENV 207 - Nature and Place

        FDR: HU
        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 250 - Ecology of Place

        Credits: 4
        Planned Offering: Spring 2013 and alternate years

        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 390 - Special Topics: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Environmental Issues

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

        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

        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.

        Fall 2016, ENV 395A-01: Advanced Seminar: Environmentalism in the Anthropocene (3). Many people believe we have entered a new geological epoch: The Anthropocene, or Age of Human Domination. Some of the central questions explored in this seminar include: What does it mean to be an environmentalist in the Anthropocene? Are the traditional goals of wilderness preservation and conservation of biodiversity still appropriate? Should conservation biology shift its goals in the direction of conserving valuable ecosystem goods and services? Should our attitudes towards introduced and/or invasive species be transformed?  Should we assist the migration of species that are unable to respond on their own to the habitat shifts that will result from global warming? Has the planet become, in effect, one large human garden to be managed as best we can?  (HU) Cooper.


      • ENV 493 - Honors Thesis in Environmental Studies

        Credits: 3-3
        Planned Offering: Fall-Winter

        Honors Thesis.


      • GEOL 141 - Global Climate Change

        FDR: SC
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter

        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: Fall 2016

        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 2018 and alternate years

        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 2017

        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 150 - Ethics and the Environment

        FDR: HU
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Yearly

        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.


      • PHIL 282 - Philosophy of Biology

        FDR: HU
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Yearly

        An examination of philosophical issues raised by biology, with an emphasis on current evolutionary theory. Topics include the structure of the theory of evolution by natural selection, an examination of the concepts of fitness and adaptation, the role of teleological explanation in biology, reductionism, the nature of biological species, individuality, levels of selection, and sociobiology.


      • POL 233 - Environmental Policy and Law

        FDR: SS2
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Winter

        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

        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
        Planned Offering: Winter 2018 and alternate years

        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.


      • REL 285 - Introduction to American Indian Religions (SOAN 285)

        FDR: HU
        Credits: 3
        Planned Offering: Fall

        This class introduces students to some of the dominant themes, values, beliefs, and practices found among the religions of North America's Indian peoples. The first part of the course explores the importance of sacred power, landscape, and community in traditional Indian spiritualities and rituals. It then examines some of the changes that have occurred in these traditions as a result of western expansion and dominance from the 18th through early 20th centuries. Lastly, the course considers some of the issues and problems confronting contemporary American Indian religions.


      • or, when approved in advance:
        • BIOL 195 - Topics in Biology

          Credits: 3 credits in Fall and Winter, 4 credits in Spring

          Topics vary with instructor and term. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

          Winter 2017, BIOL 195A-01: The Ecology of National Parks (3). An introduction to the ecology of the Earth's national parks starting with the first national park, Yellowstone National Park (YNP). Students learn the ecology of the temperate ecosystem that is YNP from soils to top predators. The course covers modern molecular techniques in biology and classical ecological approaches for quantifying the connections that exist within intact and broken ecosystems. Using YNP as a model, students investigate five other national parks across the Earth and conduct assessments of their biological integrity. (SC) Hamilton.

          Winter 2017, BIOL 195B-01: Breaking Bugs: Managing Insect Pests (4). All over the world, pest insects pose a huge threat to quality of life due to their impact on agriculture and human health. The constant struggle against pests has led historically to some desperate control strategies, such as mass spraying of DDT. Advances in our understanding of insects have led to novel and more responsible control techniques, but the troubled past of pest management has led to public distrust. As we explore the science, history, economics, and ethics of integrated pest management, students evaluate the issue from the perspectives of farmers, consumers, and global health. (SL) Pask.

          Fall 2016, BIOL 195A-01: The Ecology of National Parks (3). An introduction to the ecology of the Earth's national parks starting with the first national park, Yellowstone National Park (YNP). Students learn the ecology of the temperate ecosystem that is YNP from soils to top predators. The course covers modern molecular techniques in biology and classical ecological approaches for quantifying the connections that exist within intact and broken ecosystems. Using YNP as a model, students investigate five other national parks across the Earth and conduct assessments of their biological integrity. (SC) Hamilton.


        • BIOL 398 - Selected Topics in Ecology and Evolution

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

          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

          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.


        • ENV 295 - Special Topics in Environmental Studies

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

          This courses examines special topics in environmental studies, such as ecotourism, the environment and development, local environmental issues, values and the environment, global fisheries, global climate change, tropical deforestation and similar topics of importance, which could change from year to year. This is a research-intensive course where the student would be expected to write a significant paper, either individually or as part of a group, of sufficient quality to be made useful to the scholarly and policy communities. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

          Winter 2016, ENV 295: Special Topic: Ecology of Amazonia (3) . Second six weeks. Prerequisite: ENV 110 or BIOL 111. Origins of the Amazon Basin. The course covers geological and hydrological aspects of this huge basin, including basic concepts of biodiversity and its measures and concepts of "river continuum" and "flood pulse". We also cover the origins and key factors of aquatic biodiversity in the Amazon basin and the natural and human threats to Amazonian biodiversity. Freitas.


        • OR
        • ENV 395 - Special Topics in Environmental Ethics

          Credits: 3
          Planned Offering: Winter, Spring

          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.

          Fall 2016, ENV 395A-01: Advanced Seminar: Environmentalism in the Anthropocene (3). Many people believe we have entered a new geological epoch: The Anthropocene, or Age of Human Domination. Some of the central questions explored in this seminar include: What does it mean to be an environmentalist in the Anthropocene? Are the traditional goals of wilderness preservation and conservation of biodiversity still appropriate? Should conservation biology shift its goals in the direction of conserving valuable ecosystem goods and services? Should our attitudes towards introduced and/or invasive species be transformed?  Should we assist the migration of species that are unable to respond on their own to the habitat shifts that will result from global warming? Has the planet become, in effect, one large human garden to be managed as best we can?  (HU) Cooper.


        • GEOL 373 - Regional Geology

          Credits: 4
          Planned Offering: Spring

          The emphasis and location of the study area differs from year to year. Most course activity involves outside fieldwork with a series of multi-day to multi-week field trips. Information about the course is available prior to the end of the fall term. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different but only four credits may be used toward major requirements.


        • PHIL 395 - Advanced Seminar

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

          An intensive and critical study of selected issues or major figures in philosophy. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.

          Fall 2016, PHIL 395A-01: Advanced Seminar: Environmentalism for the Anthropocene (3). Many people believe we have entered a new geological epoch: The Anthropocene, or Age of Human Domination. Some of the central questions explored in this seminar include: What does it mean to be an environmentalist in the Anthropocene? Are the traditional goals of wilderness preservation and conservation of biodiversity still appropriate? Should conservation biology shift its goals in the direction of conserving valuable ecosystem goods and services? Should our attitudes towards introduced and/or invasive species be transformed?  Should we assist the migration of species that are unable to respond on their own to the habitat shifts that will result from global warming? Has the planet become, in effect, one large human garden to be managed as best we can?  (HU) Cooper.


  12. Capstone:
  13. Take either:

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