Environmental Studies Program
Chair: Richard B. Howarth
Professors D. T. Bolger, A. J. Friedland, R. B. Howarth, A. R. Kapuscinski, C. S. Sneddon, R. A. Virginia; Associate Professor D. G. Webster; Assistant Professors M. E. Cox, N. J. Reo; Adjunct Professors M. B. Burkins, B. D. Roebuck; Visiting Professor T. T. Williams; Senior Lecturers C. A. Fox, R. T. Jones, T. S. Osborne; Lecturers S. Ahmed, L. E. Culler, D. A. Lutz.
To view Environmental Studies courses, click here.
In the Environmental Studies Program (ENVS) we seek to motivate and prepare students to rise to the challenges and opportunities associated with human-environment interactions. Environmental degradation is an escalating problem from local to global scales. Training students to understand and address these environmental problems is our core mission and is why we believe that environmental studies is an essential component of a modern liberal arts education.
The field of Environmental Studies views the earth, and our place in it, as a set of complex, interacting socio-ecological systems. To understand this complexity, ENVS draws on concepts and methods from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities, as complementary lenses through which to view these systems. But we also seek to overcome the limitations of any one of these perspectives by applying innovative approaches that integrate the traditional disciplines in new and productive ways. Research and teaching strengths in the program include environmental governance, ecosystem science, environmental and ecological economics, biodiversity conservation, climate change, and sustainable food systems.
A defining element of environmental studies is active engagement with real-world environmental problems. One contemporary concept we employ to frame this practical engagement is sustainability. The quest for sustainability asks the difficult question, how can humans live well on the planet without compromising the ability of current and future generations to do the same? A number of our courses have a specific focus on “hands-on” engagement with sustainability (ENVS 3: Environment and Society: Towards Sustainability, ENVS 50: Environmental Problem Analysis and the Africa Foreign Study Program).
To meet the needs of our students, we offer a major in Environmental Studies and three minors: Environmental Studies, Environmental Science, and Sustainability. We also offer the Africa Foreign Study Program that travels to South Africa, Lesotho and Namibia where we explore the themes of environmental studies within the particular environment, culture and history of the southern Africa region.
Requirements for the Major, Modified Major, and Minor
The Environmental Studies Major
Prerequisites (3 courses): (a) Math 3 or Math 10 or the equivalent statistics course; (b) Chemistry 3 or 5 or Physics 3 or Biology 16 or Earth Sciences 1; (c) Economics 1 or Economics 2
Requirements (2 courses): (a) ENVS 2 or the equivalent (It is possible to substitute other course combinations for ENVS 2 on a two-for-one basis. The following may be combined with Biology 16: EARS 1, 6, ENVS 12 or GEOG 3. If BIOL 16 is taken as a partial substitute for ENVS 2, it may not be used as a prerequisite.); (b) ENVS 3 (It is possible to substitute other course combinations for ENVS 3 on a two-for-one basis.)
Core Courses (3 courses): Please choose one from each group
(a) Environmental Science: ENVS 20, ENVS 25 or ENVS 30;
(b) Economy and Environment: ENVS 55 or ENVS 56
(c) Environmental Governance: ENVS 61, ENVS 65 or ENVS 67
Critical Issues in Environmental Studies: ENVS 11; ENVS 12; ENVS 15; ENVS 17; ENVS 18; ENVS 28.
Elective Focus Courses (3 courses): Three related and relevant non-introductory (i.e., 10 or above) courses, at least one from ENVS.
Culminating Experience: ENVS 50, ENVS 84 or ENVS 91
The Environmental Studies Honors Program
A candidate for the Honors Program in Environmental Studies must satisfy the minimum College grade requirements and complete Environmental Studies 91 (Thesis Research). Environmental Studies 91 may be taken two times, both for course credit, but can only count once toward the major. The minimum requirement for admission is a grade point average of 3.0 in the major and a 3.0 general College average at the beginning of the senior year or at any other time that an application for admission is made. Those students who satisfactorily complete the Honors Program with a ‘B+’ average or better will earn Honors recognition in their major or, in appropriate cases, High Honors. High Honors will be granted only by vote of the ENVS faculty on the basis of outstanding independent work. An interim evaluation of honors students will be made after one term and continuation recommended for those students whose work demonstrates the capacity for satisfactory (B+) work. Enrollment in Environmental Studies 91 does not imply admissions into the Honors Program nor does completion of a senior thesis require the awarding of Honors in the major.
The Culminating Experience
The culminating experience requirement for the major in Environmental Studies may be met by completing either ENVS 50, ENVS 84, or conducting Honors Research (ENVS 91).
The Environmental Studies Minor
Prerequisites (1): ENVS 2 or equivalent
Requirements (1): ENVS 3 or ENVS 11
Four other related non-introductory Environmental Studies Courses, two of which are normally from ENVS. Courses from outside ENVS may be used with permission of the Chair.
This track is an option under the Environmental Studies Minor.
Prerequisites: ENVS 2 or the equivalent. Requirements: ENVS 3; one course on sustainability problem-solving, either ENVS 50, ENGS 44, or another appropriate course with permission; and three other courses (numbered 10 and above) as follows: one course examining specific society-environment interactions, chosen from a number of options; and two courses, each from a number of options within a different elective cluster, either (1) courses addressing how ecosystems and earth systems influence sustainability challenges, or (2) courses addressing governance, social justice, and decision-making in pursuit of sustainability goals, or (3) courses addressing how discourse, ethics and identity shape approaches to sustainability challenges, or (4) courses on creative expression, design, and engineering for communicating and solving sustainability problems.
The Environmental Science Minor
Prerequisites: (a) ENVS 2 or equivalent; (b) CHEM 3 or 5 or PHYS 3 or BIOL 16 or EARS 1
Requirements: (a) ENVS 3 or 11 or 42, (b) ENVS 20 or 25 or 28 or 30
Three other related non-introductory Environmental Studies science courses (numbered 10 and above). One class from outside ENVS may be used if from an approved list or with permission of the Chair.
Another Major Modified with Environmental Studies
Requirements (2): ENVS 2 or 3; ENVS 50
Three additional Environmental Studies non-introductory courses, not including 2, 3,
or 7. One of these may be substituted by an appropriate course from another department,
with permission from the ENVS Chair.
Africa Foreign Study Program
Prerequisites: ENVS 2 or the equivalent; ENVS 39 or ENVS 65, with permission; and at least one of the following courses (availability subject to change; check the ENVS website and with the Environmental Studies Program office for updated list):
AAAS 14 / HIST 5.01: Pre-Colonial African History
AAAS 15/HIST 66: History of Africa since 1800
AAAS 19/HIST 5.08: Africa and the World
AAAS 40/WGST 34.02: Gender Identities and Politics in Africa
AAAS 42/REL 66/WGST 44.03: Women, Religion and Social Change in Africa
AAAS 44/ANTH 36: Anthropology and Contemporary Africa: Exploring Myths, Engaging Realities
AAAS 46/HIST 67: History of Modern South Africa
AAAS 50/ENVS 45/HIST 75: Colonialism, Development, and the Environment in Africa and Asia
AAAS 51/COLT 51: African Literatures: Masterpieces of Literatures from Africa
AAAS 54/THEA 23: Topics in African Theater and Performance
AAAS 85.01: South African Literature in English
AAAS 87.05/GOVT 42: Politics of Africa
AAAS 88.02/WGST 38.02/HIST 6.30: Women & Gender in the African Diaspora
GEOG 6/INTS 16: Introduction to International Development
ENVS - Environmental Studies Courses