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English 399 Thoreau Then and Now class at Walden Pond, Fall 2017

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The Environmental Studies major curriculum

The Environmental Studies (ENVS) major is a challenging multidisciplinary program of study that involves 14 courses from at least five departments. Each student tailors the major to her/his own interests and strengths within curricular guidelines. 

Many of these courses are not offered every year, so careful planning is a must. We recommend that potential Environmental Studies majors complete most of the required 100-level courses by the end of their second year. Environmental Studies majors are required to successfully complete all prerequisite courses, particularly Bio 163 and Econ 199, to be admitted into upper-level courses. Once a major, students will be given preferential placement in some Environmental Studies courses.

After reviewing the course requirements, students should also review the information in the Guide for Prospective Students page. 

Students seeking to major in Environmental Studies are required to meet with the Director of Environmental Studies (currently Prof. Sara Mitchell) to devise an initial plan of study. Please see the Procedures for Enrolling in Environmental Studies page for more details.

All majors must complete the following six courses:

  1. BIOL 117 Environmental Science
  2. BIOL 163 Introduction to Biological Diversity and Ecology w/Lab
  1. CHEM 181 Atoms and Molecules w/Lab
  2. GEOS 150 Introduction to Geology w/Lab
  1. ECON 110 Core Principles of Economics (prerequisite for ECON 224)
  1. ECON 224 Environmental Economics

Majors must also complete courses in each of the following categories:
7.     One Environmental Politics or Policy Course:

  POLS 257 Politics of Development
  POLS 285 Global Environmental Politics
  POLS 286 Comparative Environmental Policy

  POLS 259 Natural Resource Conflicts in Latin America

8.    One Environmental History or Environmental Philosophy Course:

  HIST 140 Nature and Society
  HIST 230 Environmental History
  HIST 299 Europe's First Global Age

  HIST 305 America’s First Global Age

  PHIL 249 Environmental Ethics
  PHIL 247 Environmental Political Philosophy

 
9.    One upper level Geology or Biology course with a Lab:
       BIOL 233 Freshwater Ecology w/Lab
       BIOL 235 Marine Biology w/Lab
       BIOL 250 Field Botany w/lab
       BIOL 280 General Ecology w/Lab
       GEOS 210 Geomorphology w/Lab
       GEOS 270 Watershed Hydrology w/Lab

10.    One upper level Geology or Biology course (lab optional). Students may choose a second course under requirement 9 or one of the courses listed below:
         BIOL 331 Ecosystem Ecology
         BIOL 361 Toxicology
         BIOL 381 Conservation Biology
         GEOS 310 Paleoclimatology         

         GEOS 350 Oceanography
   
11.    One environmental arts, social science or humanities course. Students may choose an additional course under requirements 7 or 8 or one of the courses listed below:

   CHIN 251 China and the Environment

   CLAS 233 Nature in the Classical World

   ENGL 344 Romantic Revolutions

   ENGL 399 Georgic and Pastoral 

   ENGL 399 Environmental Poetics

   ENGL 399 Thoreau Then and Now

   ENGL 399 Reading Nature

   GERM 299 German Environmentalism

   RELS 255 Ecology and Religion

   RELS 260 Comparative Mysticism and Human Ecology
   RELS 353 Theology and Ecology

   RELS 340 Gardens and World Religions

   SOCL 210 Consumer and Corporate Sustainability
   SOCL 236 Environmental Sociology

   SOCL 238 Cities and Environment

   SOCL 399 Disaster Sociology

   SOCL 399 Social Disruption and the City

   VAHI 250 Making the Modern City

   VAHI 299 American Landscapes

   VAST 206 Drawn to Nature

 

12.    One course with a major quantitative or spatial analysis component:
         BIOL 275 Biological Statistics
         ENVS 247 Introduction to Geographical Information Systems
         GEOS 270 Watershed Hydrology w/Lab (if used for quantitative component then doesn’t count for 
         requirement 9 above)
         MATH 220 Statistics

13.    And 14. Two additional upper-level (200 or higher) ENVS courses in any discipline (categories 7-12 above).
         One of the upper level course requirements can be fulfilled by undergraduate research for academic credit with prior permission of the ENVS Director.

This list is frequently updated, and new courses (199, 299, and 399 courses) are added as appropriate. A small number of specific humanities courses may be taken for ENVS credit if class papers and projects are done on environmental topics; speak to the Director for more information.

Advanced Placement Credit in the ENVS major

AP credits may be used for advanced placement in the Environmental Studies curriculum but do not reduce the number of courses required. If you have AP credit in Chemistry or Environmental Science, we suggest that you contact the ENVS director to discuss your options prior to enrolling in either BIOL 117 or CHEM 181.

  • AP Chemistry: Students scoring a 4 or 5 on the AP Chemistry exam may opt to skip CHEM 181 and take CHEM 231 (Equilibrium and Reactivity) instead.
  • AP Environmental Science: Students scoring a 5 on the AP Environmental Science exam may opt to skip BIOL 117 and take an additional Environmental Studies elective in any discipline.
  • AP Statistics or AP Microeconomics: Talk to the Director.

AP credits cannot be applied toward the ENVS minor.

The Environmental Studies minor curriculum

The Environmental Studies Minor is a multidisciplinary program of study that involves 7 courses from at least 3 departments. Each student tailors the minor to his/her own interests and strengths within the curricular guidelines. Students may apply for an Environmental Studies Minor in conjunction with any major. 

Students seeking to minor in ENVS are required to meet with the Director of ENVS (currently Prof. Mitchell) to devise a list of available courses that complement the student’s major.

All ENVS minors are required to have successfully completed all of the pre-requisite courses to be admitted into upper-level courses. 

Students majoring in the natural sciences must take 4 courses in the social sciences and humanities and 3 courses in the natural sciences.  Students majoring in the social sciences and humanities must take 4 courses in the natural sciences and 3 courses in the social sciences and humanities. We strongly recommend that all non-science ENVS minors take BIOL 117 and consider taking BIOL 163.

Only two courses can count toward both a major and the ENVS minor.

Examples of ENVS Arts, Social Science, and Humanities Courses:

  • ECON 224 Environmental Economics (highly recommended for ENVS minors)
  • ENGL 399 Thoreau Then and Now
  • HIST 230 Environmental History
  • HIST 305 America’s First Global Age
  • PHIL 240 Environmental Ethics
  • PHIL 247 Environmental Political Philosophy
  • POLS 257 Politics of Development
  • POLS 285 Global Environmental Politics
  • POLS 286 Comparative Environmental Policy
  • RELS 255 Ecology and Religion
  • RELS 353 Theology and Ecology
  • SOCL 210 Consumer and Corporate Sustainability
  • SOCL 236 Environmental Sociology
  • VAHI 299 American Landscapes

 
Examples of ENVS Natural Science Courses

  • BIOL 114 Biological Principles: Oceans and People
  • BIOL 114 Biological Principles: Plants and Human Affairs
  • BIOL 117 Environmental Science (highly recommended for ENVS minors)
  • BIOL 163 Introduction to Biological Diversity and Ecology w/Lab
  • BIOL 233 Freshwater Ecology w/Lab
  • BIOL 235 Marine Biology w/Lab
  • BIOL 250 Field Botany
  • BIOL 280 General Ecology w/Lab
  • BIOL 331 Ecosystem Ecology
  • BIOL 361 Toxicology
  • BIOL 381 Conservation Biology
  • CHEM 141 Environmental Chemistry
  • CHEM 181 w/Lab Atoms & Molecules
  • ENVS 247 Introduction to Geographical Information Systems
  • GEOS 150 Introduction to Geology w/Lab
  • GEOS 210 Geomorphology w/Lab
  • GEOS 270 Watershed Hydrology w/Lab

 
Students may also use study abroad courses and courses at other colleges and universities to fulfill Minor requirements with the prior permission of the Environmental Studies Director.

The courses listed above are regularly offered.  Departments frequently offer additional courses that may be counted for ENVS credit.  The Director will publicize other courses and how they may be used to fulfill Minor requirements.

Environmental Studies courses planned for 2018-2019 (subject to change)

Department Fall 2018 Spring 2019
Biology

117 Environmental Science

163 Intro to Div.& Ecol. with lab

233 Freshwater Ecology with lab

235 Marine Biology with lab

280 General Ecology with lab

275 Biostatistics*

GEOS 150 Intro to Geology with lab

117 Environmental Science

163 Intro to Div. & Ecol. with lab

275 Biostatistics*

331 Ecosystem Ecology

381 Conservation Biology

GEOS 210 Geomorphology with lab

GEOS 199 Geohazards (for minors only)

 

Chemistry

181 Atoms & Molecules with lab

181 Atoms & Molecules with lab

231 Equilbrium and Reactivity with lab

Modern Languages    
Classics    
Economics

110 Core Principles of Microeconomics (all seats held for 1st and 2nd year students)

 

110 Core Principles of Microeconomics (all seats held for 1st and 2nd year students)

224 Environmental Economics

English

 

 

399 Environmental Poetics

ENVS   247 Intro to Geographic Information Systems
History 230 Environmental History  
Mathematics 220 Statistics 220 Statistics
Philosophy 249 Environmental Ethics  
Political Science 259 Natural Resource Conflicts in Latin America  
Religious Studies  

260 Comparative Mysticism and Human Ecology

340 Gardens and World Religions

 
Sociology 210 Consumer and Corporate Sustainability

 

Visual Arts VAHI Making the Modern City VAHI 299 American Landscapes
     

 

 

Montserrat courses that count towards ENVS requirements

Each year, several Montserrat courses are approved for ENVS credit. Montserrat courses only count as a single course for either the major or the minor, even if both semesters are "environmental."

2014-2015

Me and the Environment/The Environment and Me (Prof. Hess), counts toward major as an environmental philosophy course and towards the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course

The Idea of Wilderness/The Last Wilderness (Prof. Bunke), counts toward major as an environmental history course and towards the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course

2015-2016

The Idea of Wilderness/Environmentalism 1940-2010 (Prof. Bunke), counts toward major as an environmental history course and towards the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course

I Mean, Therefore I Eat/I Esteem, Therefore I Eat (Prof. Borghini), counts toward the major as an environmental philosophy course and towards the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course

2016-2017

Energy and the Environment/Nanotechnology and Energy (Profs. Hupp and Farrell), counts toward major as a non-lab science course and towards the minor as a science course

I Mean, Therefore I Eat/I Esteem, Therefore I Eat (Prof. Borghini), counts toward the major as an environmental philosophy course and towards the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course

Me and the Environment/The Environment and Me (Prof. Hess), counts toward major as an environmental philosophy course and towards the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course

The Idea of Wilderness/The Last Wilderness (Prof. Bunke), counts toward major as an environmental history course and towards the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course

Go West, Young Man and Woman/Bright Lights, Big Cities (Prof. Reents), counts toward major as an environmental arts/social science/humanities course and towars the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course

2017-2018

Wilderness and Environmentalism (Bunke), counts toward major as an environmental history course and towards the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course

Habitat Explorations (Schmitz-Burgard), counts toward major as an environmental humanities course and towards the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course

Environmental Mathematics (Little), counts toward major as a quantitative course and towards the minor as a science course

Writing/Reading Place (Reents), counts toward major as an environmental humanities course and towards the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course

Global Imagery (Raguin), counts toward major as an environmental humanities course and towards the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course

2018-2019

*Better Living (Dustin and Mills), counts toward major as an environmental philosophy course and towards the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course (*pending ENVS approval)

Environmental Justice (Hess), counts toward major as an environmental philosophy course and towards the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course

Environmental Mathematics (Little), counts toward major as a quantitative course and towards the minor as a science course

Nature in the City (Luria), counts toward the major as an environmental humanities course and towards the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course

Wilderness and Environmentalism (Bunke), counts toward major as an environmental history course and towards the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course

Writing/Reading Place (Reents), counts toward major as an environmental humanities course and towards the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course

Global Imagery (Raguin), counts toward major as an environmental humanities course and towards the minor as an arts/humanities/social science course

 

Other information



After reviewing the course requirements, students should also review the information on the Guide for Prospective Students page.  If a student wished to enroll in the program, please see the Procedures for Enrolling in ENVS page.

Advice for potential ENVS majors and minors:

Students contemplating the ENVS major or minor should be advised to take BIO 117 Environmental Science during their 1st year (and no later than Spring of 2nd year), and potential majors should plan to take ECON 112/199 before the end of their 2nd year. Performance and interests in these courses will help you in contemplating majoring or minoring in ENVS.  

Students interested in ENVS must meet with the Director to discuss the program’s curriculum and to determine their level of interest and aptitude.  Below are a series of questions we use to help potential ENVS students find the best major and level of involvement in the program.  We encourage students to pursue majors in traditional departments and be involved in ENVS as either a minor or "friend of the program." 

OPTION #1:  Are you really best served by majoring in Biology or Chemistry? Students who aspire to attend graduate school or careers in environmental science should be advised to fully consider Biology or Chemistry as a major and Environmental Studies as a minor.

OPTION #2:  Are you really best served by majoring in a social science discipline with a traditional department (e.g., Economics, Political Science, or Sociology) and minoring in ENVS?  Students who aspire to pursue graduate school in the social sciences or environmental policy or work at an economic firm are advised to fully consider this option.

OPTION #3:  Are you really best served by majoring in a humanities department (e.g., English, History, Philosophy, or Religion) and minoring in ENVS?

OPTION #4:  Finally, are you perhaps really best served by majoring in ENVS?  A) Are your interests in Environmental Studies and post-graduate aspirations well defined?  B) Do you have a sufficient academic record and strong performance in Environmental Science, suggesting that you will succeed in the other required science courses? C) Are you likely to flourish in a multidisciplinary program?
 
Revised 1/3/18