In this course you will (1) build a basic understanding of the physical and natural systems that make up the biosphere on Earth (land, water, atmosphere, and life) stressing the dynamics of these interconnected systems; (2) develop a scientific understanding of the causes and consequences of several of the major environmental problems facing today’s society; (3) acquire the tools to enable you to think critically about other current and future environmental challenges you will face as a member of contemporary society. One weekend field trip is
required. Intended for non-majors.
Introduction to principles of organism-environment interaction, how organisms meet environmental requirements, and community and ecosystem dynamics. Recommended Prerequisite: BIOL 112.
Study of the economic perspective of environmental and resource problems and issues; the management and allocation of renewable and nonrenewable resources; the trade-off between economic growth and environmental amenities; and the impacts of natural resource availability on economic growth. Emphasis on the development and application of economic theory to contemporary natural resource issues. AOS (SS) Prerequisite: ECON 101.
Consideration of the main tenets of Victorian culture as reflected in important works of the period. Special attention will be given to reaction to the industrial revolution and its impact on in natural and social environment, racial and gender relation, and organized religion.
BIOL 312 Population and Community Ecology with Lab
This course will build upon principles studied in BIOL 124. Using both
theoretical and empirical approaches, we will explore in greater depth: population ecology, demography, life history strategies, species interactions, community structure and dynamics for both aquatic and terrestrial communities. Labs will focus on the methods ecologists use to answer questions about the distribution and abundance of organisms; students will explore local habitats and conduct independent research. Prerequisite: BIOL 124. Recommended: BIOL 112.
PHIL 108 Ecological Philosophy
This course investigates the question of our understanding of, and ethical responsibility to, animals, plants, microorganisms, non-living beings, ecosystems, and “nature” as a whole. The first part of the course critically
assesses whether traditional ethical theories adequately capture our ethical responsibilities to the environment. The second part surveys traditional Western conceptualizations of nature, reason, body, and space, which ecologists severely
criticize as detrimental to developing an ecological ethic. Special emphasis will be placed upon developing a philosophical conception of life (bios) that is appropriate for both evolutionary biology and the development of a normative
theory of environmental care. Contemporary positions such as anthropocentrism, deep ecology, radical ecology, ecofeminism, and social environmentalism will be studied. AOS (PHIL) Recommended for environmental studies and biology students.
Application of scientific concepts and analyses to the study of the production, conversion, and consumption of energy, and an understanding of the associated environmental and societal implications. Designed primarily for students not
majoring in the physical sciences; especially appropriate for those in the environmental studies concentration. QR; AOS (NS)
POLS 232 Environmental Policy and Politics
Study of the role of American politics and culture in the formation and
implementation of environmental protection, natural resource, and energy policies. The course will critically evaluate American government’s effectiveness in protecting the quantity and quality of natural resources required for sustainable development. AOS (SS)
ENVS 490 Environmental Studies Senior Seminar
Examination and analysis of selected contemporary environmental and resource problems and issues from an interdisciplinary perspective. In addressing these issues, special attention is given to the application and integration of principles, theories, and analytical techniques introduced in the core courses. Topics covered in the seminar are likely to vary annually as new problems, policies, and solutions develop. Does not satisfy the Area of Study requirement in either the social sciences or the natural sciences. Prerequisite: Core courses plus senior standing, or permission.