Environmental Studies Courses
Current Offerings: Fall 2015 12-Week session
Humans and the Environment (INTD 22500), ES
The impact of humans on the environment is examined, relating patterns of natural ecosystems to human ecosystems, their functions, inter-relationships, problems and limitations. The global perspective is studied, as well as population growth, resource use patterns, food production, wildlife and other natural resource depletion, climate change and economic, theological and legal issues related to environmental problems and solutions. Offered annually.
**Those considering an EVST major or minor generally take this in the first or second year.
SEED Scholars Workshop (EVST 20000)
Meeting time will be devoted to coordinating SEEDS activities, including: blog post critique and editing, discussion of priorities and steps related to select projects, research and progress updates, event planning and development of communication and dissemination strategies. Permission Only.
Human Settlements: Urbanization, Sprawl, and Transitions (EVST 21500), CA
For the vast majority of human history, people have lived in small groups. Urbanizing processes, which began millennia ago, have accelerated rapidly in recent centuries and have brought about some dramatic changes in how people live. With reference to biological evolution, we will establish a basis for assessing the degrees to which different kinds of settlements (e.g., foraging societies, early and industrial cities and sprawl) meet those needs and for discerning the ways they influence quality of life. We give special consideration to the environmental and social consequences of settlement design and land use and explore some novel alternatives intended to aid the transition to a more sustainable model. Prerequisites: INTD 22500 or SOAN 15500. Cross-listed with SOAN.
Ecology, with lab (EVST 27800)
In this introductory course we explore the relationships of organisms to one another and their environment. Topics may include climatology, biomes, terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, biogeography, species interactions, population biology, community structure and dynamics, niche theory, energy flow and nutrient cycles, landscape ecology and other relevant concepts that provide a basis for ecological understanding and investigation. The course includes lecture and laboratory components. Labs emphasize the application of the scientific method and the development of skills related to sampling and data interpretation, and will include outdoor fieldwork. Cross-listed with BIOL 27800. Prerequisites: INTD 22500 or BIOL 15100 or instructor permission. Offered annually.
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems, GIS (EVST 31000), MM
This course provides an introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) computational systems that manage, analyze and display geographic knowledge. The course covers fundamental concepts in geography, mapping and spatial analysis as applied to GIS. It combines lectures, associated readings and discussions with practical lab-based instruction on basic tools and techniques for managing, processing, displaying and interpreting spatial data using the current ArcGIS software suite of tools from ESRI (Environmental Systems Research Institute). The broad applicability of this technology to analyze processes occurring on the surface of the planet make this course particularly useful for students who are interested in investigating natural (e.g., environmental, biological, geological) and human-driven (demographic, economic, historical, transportation, etc.) processes.
Environmental Activism and Policy (EVST 33800)
While the direct environmental impacts of certain human activities are obvious, the effects of social policies are less visible. Environmental policies, however, exerts powerful environmental influences by shaping the social context within which people act—encouraging certain behaviors and discouraging others. Environmental policies, like all social policies, are shaped by competing interests and forms of activism. In this course, we will explore the relationships between various rival interests and the kinds of activism they motivate, the creation and modification of environmental policies and the socio-environmental consequences of those interacting processes. Prerequisite: INTD 22500 or permission of instructor. Offered alternating years.