Environmental Studies Minor Requirements

2018 - 2019 Catalog

Environmental Studies minor

A minor in environmental studies requires completion of the following 25 or 26 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, 397
  2. Social Sciences: one course from each of the following two areas
    Group 1: ECON 100, 101; POL 100, 105
    Group 2: ACCT 303; ECON 255, 259; ENV 295; POL 233
  3. Natural and Physical Sciences: one course from each of the following two areas.
    Group 1: BIOL 101, 111; GEOL 100, 101,105
    Group 2: BIOL 217, 245, 322, 330, 332, 398; ENV 250, GEOL 141, 150
  4. Humanities: two courses chosen from ARTS 233; BUS 335; ENGL 207; ENV 395; PHIL 150, 282; REL 207, 224, 285; SOAN 224, 285, 286 (ECON 286); and, when appropriate, CLAS 295

Most of these courses fulfill certain general education or foundation and distribution requirements and may be applicable to the majors in each of the departments.

  1. Required courses:
    • 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 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.


  2. Social Sciences:
  3. one course from each of the following two areas:

    • Group 1:
      • ECON 100 - Introduction to Economics
        FDRSS1
        Credits3
        FacultyStaff

        Open only to students who have not taken ECON 101 and/or ECON 102. Economics is the study of how a society (individuals, firms, and governments) allocates scarce resources. The course includes a survey of the fundamental principles used to approach microeconomic questions of consumer behavior, firm behavior, market outcomes, market structure, and microeconomic policy, and macroeconomic questions of performance of the aggregate economy, including unemployment, inflation, growth, and monetary and fiscal policies.


      • ECON 101 - Principles of Microeconomics
        FDRSS1
        Credits3
        FacultyStaff

        (No longer offered. See ECON 100 ) 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
        FDRSS2
        Credits3
        FacultyStaff

        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
        FDRSS2
        Credits3
        FacultyStaff

        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.


    • Group 2:
      • 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
        PrerequisiteECON 100 or 101. Economics and environmental studies majors/minors will have priority during the initial registration. Other majors are encouraged to add to the waiting list after registration re-opens for all class years
        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 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
        PrerequisiteENV 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.


      • 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.


  4. Natural and Physical Sciences:
  5. one course from each of the following two areas:

    • Group 1:
      • BIOL 101 - Environmental Biology: Endangered Plants of the Appalachians
        FDRSL
        Credits4
        FacultyWinder

        Using case studies in plant endangerment as a focal point for understanding ecological and evolutionary processes and the impact of human activities on biodiversity, students gain fundamental insight into their relationship with the living world and the importance of preserving biological diversity through a combination of targeted readings, intensive discussions, and basic research in the field, Field activities take place in regional hotspots of plant endemism and give students experience in applied conservation research. Field sites and subject species vary from year to year.


      • BIOL 111 - Fundamentals of Biology
        FDRSL: BIOL 113 is a corequisite for students seeking laboratory science credits
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteCorequisite: BIOL 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. During pick one you must choose a lecture (BIOL 111) and a lab section (BIOL 113). Securing a lab section (BIOL 113) only does not save a space in a lecture section (BIOL 111)

        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.

        Fall 2018, BIOL 111-01: FS: Fundamentals of Biology: Environmental Microbiology (3). Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as genetics, molecular mechanisms, and environmental relationships.  In this section we investigate the interactions among humans, microbes, and their shared environments. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits). Lanier.

        Fall 2018, BIOL 111-02: Fundamentals of Biology: Bacterial Genetics (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 is an introduction to the genes and the mechanisms of gene expression by bacterial cells. It focuses on the current issues of bacterial infections in humans, for example: virulence, antibiotic resistance, or emerging diseases. (SL: BIOL 113 is a co-requisite for students seeking laboratory science credits.) Simurda.
         
        Fall 2018, BIOL 111-03: 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.
         
        Fall 2017, BIOL 111-04: 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.
         
        Fall 2018, BIOL 111-05: Fundamentals of Biology: Biological Rhythms (3).Corequisite: BIOL 113. An intensive investigation of scientific thought and communication, examined in the context of major concepts such as evolution, ecology, physiology, population dynamics, and biochemistry. From cell division to bird migration, clocklike 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. Toporikova.


      • GEOL 100 - General Geology with Field Emphasis
        FDRSL
        Credits4
        FacultyStaff

        Preference given to first-years and sophomores. GEOL 100A: First-Year seminar, 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. Laboratory course. Lab fee required.


      • GEOL 101 - General Geology
        FDRSL
        Credits4
        FacultyStaff

        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. Lab fee required.


      • GEOL 105 - Earth Lab
        FDRSL
        Credits4
        PrerequisiteAdditional course fee required, for which the student is responsible after Friday of the 7th week of winter term

        Preference given to first-years and sophomores. 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.


    • Group 2:
      • 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.


      • BIOL 398 - Selected Topics in Ecology and Evolution
        Credits3
        PrerequisiteBIOL 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.

        Fall 2018, BIOL 398-01: Topics in Ecology and Evolution: Biodiversity and Conservation (3). Prerequisites: BIOL 220 and at least junior standing. The recognition, late in the 20th century, that biological diversity is threatened with precipitous decline, 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 conservation of biodiversity. We sample research papers from the primary literature to see how scientific hypothesis testing is conducted in the messy laboratory of the great outdoors. Hurd.


      • 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.


  6. Humanities:
  7. two courses 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.


    • BUS 347 - Ethics of Globalization
      Credits3
      PrerequisiteAt least junior standing
      FacultyReiter and Smith

      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
      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, 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 395 - Special Topics in Environmental Ethics
      Credits3

      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 2018, ENV 395A-01: Environmental Values and Environmental Policy (3). What values shape environmental decisions? In economic terms, we seek to allocate resources so as to maximize social utility. However, our policy decisions regarding the environment also pursue certain ecological goals, such as the preservation of biodiversity and the maintenance of healthy and functioning ecosystems. In addition, environmental policy is constrained by ethical concerns such as the pursuit of environmental justice and our responsibilities to future generations. This course addresses such questions as: To what degree are these three kinds of policy goals in tension with one another? How can we clarify our thinking about these policy goals so as to harmonize them where possible and reasonably negotiate the tradeoffs when they come into conflict? Cooper.

       


    • 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.


    • and, when appropriate,
    • CLAS 295 - Topics in Classical Civilization
      Credits3 credits in Fall or Winter; 4 credits in Spring

      Selected subject areas in classical civilization. The topic selected varies from year to year. May be repeated for degree credit if the topics are different.