Environmental Studies Minor Requirements

2019 - 2020 Catalog

Environmental Studies minor

A minor in environmental studies requires completion of the following 24 or 25 credits. In meeting the requirements of this interdisciplinary minor, a student must use at least nine credits that are not also used to meet the requirements of any other major or minor. A student may not complete both a major and a minor in environmental studies.

  1. Required courses: ENV 110, 201, 202, 203, 397
  2. Social Sciences: one course from ACCT 303, ECON 255, 257, 259; ENV 295; POL 233
  3. Natural and Physical Sciences: complete one of the following:
    a: one course chosen from BIOL 217, 245, 322, 330, 332; GEOL 231, 240, 311;
    b: students who have previously completed BIOL 111/113, GEOL 100, or GEOL 101 may choose one course from BIOL 398; ENV 250; or GEOL 141, 150.
  4. Humanities: one course chosen from ARTS 233, 234; BUS 345; ENGL 207; PHIL 150, 282; REL 207, 224, 285; SOAN 224, 285, 286 (ECON 286).

Additional topic-based courses will be allowed by substitution only when approved in advance, and will be announced when offered.

  1. Required courses:
  2.  

    • ENV 110 - Introduction to Environmental Studies
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteFirst-year or sophomore standing or instructor consent
      FacultyKahn

      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 201 - Environmental Science
      FDRSC
      Credits3
      Prerequisiteor corequisite: ENV 110. Restricted to ENV majors or minors, or others by instructor consent
      FacultyHamilton

      A foundation in the natural sciences for environmental studies students, this course introduces foundational concepts in earth ecological sciences and their application in understanding human-environment relationships. Local, regional, and global environmental case studies are considered.


    • ENV 202 - Society and Natural Resources
      FDRSS1
      Credits3
      Prerequisiteor co-requisite: ENV 110 and declared major or minor in environmental studies
      FacultyKahn

      A foundation in the natural sciences for environmental studies students, this course emphasizes understanding how socio-economic conditions are studied to inform and shape environmental policy. Local, regional, and global environmental case studies are considered.


    • ENV 203 - Environmental Humanities
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      Prerequisiteor co-requisite: ENV 110 and declared major or minor in environmental studies
      FacultyStaff

      An introduction to the examination of human-environment relationships arising from the humanities, this course draws broadly upon the fields of philosophy, history, cultural anthropology, eco-criticism, art and art history, and the emerging interdisciplinary field of environmental humanities. Students receive a broad introduction to humanist perspectives on environmental challenges and solutions and preparation for examining specific fields in greater depth later in their studies.


    • ENV 397 - Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteENV 110 and completion of any two of the three remaining areas for the Program in Environmental Studies, and instructor consent. ENV 396 is strongly encouraged as preparation
      FacultyStaff

      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.


  3. Social Sciences:
  4. one course chosen from:

    • ACCT 303 - Sustainability Accounting
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteACCT 201. Prerequisite or corequisite: ACCT 202
      FacultyM. Hess

      This course examines best practices and key debates in sustainability accounting and corporate social responsibility (CSR) reporting. Sustainable business practices meet the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future. Increasingly, accountants are playing an important role in measuring, reporting, and auditing corporate impacts on society and the environment so that corporations can be held accountable and more sustainable business practices can be implemented.


    • ECON 255 - Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
      Credits3
      Prerequisite

      Prerequisite: ECON 100 or 101 and instructor consent.

      FacultyCasey, Kahn

      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 257 - Economics of the Chesapeake Bay: Agriculture, Recreation, Fisheries and Urban Sprawl
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteECON 100 or 101 or instructor consent
      FacultyKahn

      This course examines the causes of, consequences of, and solutions to the environmental problems of the Chesapeake Bay, using economic tools in an interdisciplinary context. The course will spend approximately four days in the Chesapeake Bay area. Students work as a group to develop a plan to recover the Chesapeake Bay to promote its ecological health and the ecological services that it provides for the watershed.


    • ECON 259 - Supervised Study Abroad: The Environment and Economic Development in Amazonas
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteECON 100, ECON 101 or ENV 110, and instructor consent
      FacultyKahn

      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 295 - Special Topics in Environmental Studies
      Credits3
      Prerequisite

      Prerequisites: ENV 110 or BIOL 111.

      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 2020, ENV 295A-01: Special Topics in Environmental Studies: Water Policy and Politics (3). Current dynamics of conflict over water resources, and their influence on local and international policy, politics, and economics. We discuss the legality of water rights trade, conflicts of agriculture and conservation, water pollution, and the Super-PAC solution. Students investigate the ecology of susceptibility of freshwater systems to biological invasions. And we study the way the global community tackles the refugee problem stemming from diminishing fresh water in the developing world. Students follow three major international case studies to guide our investigation of water resources: (1) water rights on the Colorado, (2) industry and pollution in the Great Lakes, and (3) desertification and refugees in Sub-Saharan Africa. Bleicher.

      Fall 2019, ENV 295A-01: Special Topics in Environmental Studies:Food, Drink, and the Holocene (3). Prerequisites: ENV 110, BIOL 111, or instructor consent. How can the lessons of the last 12,000 years of human history help us make our food systems more sustainable today? This course investigates the ways people eat and drink in the Holocene (approximately 10,000 BC to now) to understand how human-environment interactions have changed through time. Using approaches drawn from archaeology and history, students examine the foodways of past societies --like the Maya, Vikings, Aztecs, early Virginians, and more -- and learn the complex stories of how and why some food systems work and why others collapse. Fisher.


    • POL 233 - Environmental Policy and Law
      FDRSS2
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteECON 100, ECON 101, or POL 100
      FacultyHarris

      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.


  5. Natural Sciences:
  6. complete one of the following:

    • a:

      one course chosen from:

      • BIOL 217 - Aquatic Ecology
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113; MATH 101 or higher; or instructor consent
        FacultyHumston

        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
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteBIOL 111 and 113
        FacultyHurd

        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 322 - Conservation Genetics
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 220 or instructor consent
        FacultyCabe

        A study of the central issues of population genetics and their application to species preservation and conservation. Topics include genetic surveys of rare or threatened species; population structure and dispersal; inferring population histories from genetic data; phylogenetics of threatened species' groups; hybridization between species; the use of genetic data in captive breeding programs and the prosecution of endangered species legislation; and the use of biotechnologies, such as cloning.


      • BIOL 330 - Experimental Botany: Global Climate Change
        Credits4
        FacultyHamilton

        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
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteAdditional course fee required, for which the student is responsible after Friday of the 7th week of winter term
        FacultyHamilton

        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 231 - Environmental Field Methods
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent and either GEOL 100 or 101
        FacultyHinkle

        An introduction to the study of standard methods, equipment and tools used in environmental field investigations. Special attention is given to methods used by geologists to measure, record, and report field observations associated with groundwater, surface water, soil and air. Focus is given to the validity of data obtained using various investigative strategies as well as data handling and presentation. The course has an intensive field component using the local watershed as a model environmental system.


      • GEOL 240 - Hydrology
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteGEOL 100 or GEOL 101
        FacultyHinkle

        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 311 - Earth and Environmental Geochemistry
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteGEOL-100 or GEOL-101. GEOL 211 is NOT a prerequisite for this course
        FacultyHinkle

        A laboratory course emphasizing the principles and tools of the chemical composition of Earth materials to interpret petrogenesis. The course focuses on processes occurring below and at the Earth's surface. Topics include: crystal chemistry, magmatic and metamorphic processes, trace element and isotope geochemistry, oxidation and reduction, and water-rock interactions. The laboratory includes both a local field and laboratory component and focuses on using analytical techniques to evaluate chemical composition including electron microscopy, ion chromatography, X-ray diffraction, and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry.


    • b:

      students who have previously completed BIOL 111/113, GEOL 100, or GEOL 101 may choose one course from:

      • BIOL 398 - Selected Topics in Ecology and Evolution
        Credits3
        Prerequisite

        Prerequisites: Vary with topic.

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

        Winter 2020, BIOL 398-01: Topics in Ecology and Evolution: Biodiversity and Conservation (3). Prerequisites: BIOL 220 and at least junior standing, or instructor consent.  The recognition late during the 20th century that global biological diversity is threatened with precipitous decline of a magnitude similar to the past five mass extinctions, has stimulated a great deal of research, as well as the emergence of a new scientific discipline: conservation ecology.  The aim of this course is to introduce you to some of the major ideas and research efforts in ecology, especially as they relate to preservation of biodiversity. Hurd

        Winter 2020, BIOL 398A-01: Topic: Modern Computational Biostatistics (3). Prerequisites: BIOL 201 or CBSC 250 or INTR 202. Instructor consent required. This second course in applied statistics focuses on modern methods for fitting models to data. The course begins with multiple regression and proceeds through random effects/mixed models, hierarchical Bayesian models, and machine learning.  Students have the opportunity to analyze their own research data where appropriate, or alternatively to choose a new data analysis project. Marsh.


      • ENV 250 - Ecology of Place
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteInstructor consent
        FacultyCooper, Hurd

        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.


      • GEOL 141 - Global Climate Change
        FDRSC
        Credits3
        FacultyGreer

        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
        FDRSC
        Credits3
        FacultyHinkle

        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.


  7. Humanities:
  8. one course chosen from:

    • ARTS 233 - Eco Art
      FDRHA
      Credits3
      FacultyTamir

      This course treads on the uncharted territory that lies between contemporary art practices and environmental activism, thus redefining cultural norms about the objectives and potential instrumental values of contemporary art. Eco artists replace conventional art store supplies with living plants and microbes, mud and feathers, electronic transmissions and digital imagery, temperature and wind. Through artworks and artists working within the vast scope of environmental concerns. students learn about energy, waste, climate change, technology, sustainability, etc., as well as about creative ecological processes and the relationships between materials, tools, and ecosystems.


    • ARTS 234 - Permasculpture
      FDRHA
      Credits4
      FacultyTamir

      This course is designed to appropriate the principles of sustainable agriculture (permaculture) into the field of environmental installation. Through the process of designing an environmental sculptural system, the entire ecology of the environment is taken into account, including the flora and fauna, the community, and any other defining feature of the chosen location. Students propose and realize a project that integrates collaborative partnerships with the community and the natural environment, while experiencing all stages of production of an outdoor sculptural installation: the research, the design, the partnerships, and all aspects of the fabrication process. Laboratory fee.


    • BUS 345 - Business Ethics
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteINTR 201 or both MS Word Specialist and MS Word Expert certification; and at least junior standing. Preference to BSADM, ACCT, or JMBC majors during first round of registration. See go.wlu.edu/MOS-testing and contact the department head for Microsoft testing details
      FacultyReiter

      An examination of the moral and ethical issues associated with management policy and executive decisions. The course examines the basic approaches to moral reasoning, macro-moral issues concerning the justice of economic systems, and micro-moral issues, such as the following: conflict of interest, whistle blowing, discrimination in employment, product safety, environment, and advertising.


    • ENGL 207 - Eco-Writing
      FDRHA
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteCompletion of FW FDR. Every Tuesday expeditions involve moderate to challenging hiking
      FacultyGreen

      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, Thich 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
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyCooper

      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
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyCooper

      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
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyKosky

      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
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyMarkowitz

      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
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyMarkowitz

      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.


    • SOAN 224 - American Indian Religions, Landscapes, and Identities
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyMarkowitz

      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 285 - Introduction to American Indian Religions
      FDRHU
      Credits3
      FacultyMarkowitz

      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.


    • SOAN 286 - Lakota Land Culture, Economics and History

      (ECON 286)

      FDRSS4
      Credits4
      PrerequisiteECON 100 or 101 or instructor consent
      FacultyGuse, Markowitz

      This class focuses on the cultural, economic, and historical dimensions of the Lakotas' (Titonwan tawapi) ties to their lands as expressed in their pre- and post-reservation lifeways. It includes a 10 day field trip to western South Dakota to visit and meet with people in the Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations and the Black Hills.