Environmental Studies

 
COURSE OFFERINGS
 
[113]    Women Working for the Environment    An exploration of how women and the environment intersect globally, using the actions and voices of prominent women environmentalists, including Rachel Carson, Terry Tempest Williams, Wangari Maathai, Vandana Shiva, Lois Gibbs, and Sandra Steingraber. Topics include how women interact with their environment, participate as environmental activists to influence social and political systems, and change our understanding of science, economics, and public policy. Important themes are that women are disproportionately affected by environmental degradation and that understanding their experiences will help us effectively address environmental problems. Three credit hours.  S.    

118s    Environment and Society    Interdisciplinary course focusing on the human relationship with and impact on the environment. A look at some of the environmental problems that have arisen as a result of the growth of society in various areas of the world. The causes of each problem, methods for investigating the problem, and possible solutions investigated from a scientific and a public-policy perspective. Lecture and discussion. Four credit hours.    ASHCRAFT, NYHUS, YU

126f    Environmental Activism    An introduction to the history, theory, and practice of environmental activism, incorporating both global and local perspectives. Students explore what drives people to act, how environmental activism has evolved, and how it can lead to meaningful social and political change. Examples of environmental activists include individuals, groups, indigenous people, passionate intellectuals, scientists, so-called extremists, and the students themselves. Part of the three-course Integrated Studies 126, "The Green Cluster." Prerequisite: Concurrent enrollment in Biology 131 (lab section C) and Philosophy 126. Four credit hours.  S.    CARLSON

131f    Biodiversity    Listed as Biology 131. Four credit hours.  N.    INSTRUCTOR

173j    Environmental Law and Indian Tribes: The "Rez" and the "Hood"     An examination of environmental decision making in the context of the most regulated lands in the United States--Indian reservations. An overview of Indian law and policy will be followed by a look at layers of government involved in federal environmental regulation. Environmental justice issues in the context of a solid-waste proposal for a reservation. Readings include edited judicial opinions that illustrate the historic threads of national environmental and Indian policies. Final project considers an environmental issue involving a selected tribe and its neighbors. Three credit hours.  S, U.    SLY

197j    Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems    Listed as Biology 197A. Three credit hours.  N.    MARSHALL

197Aj    Climate Change and the Oceans    Human activities are changing the composition of the atmosphere and ocean. An exploration of the connections between the oceans and climate, examining how the oceans are changing, and placing these changes within the context of past climate cycles. Topics will range from ocean physics, marine chemistry, and biological oceanography to paleoceanography and international climate policy. Through lectures, group discussions, weekly homework assignments, and written and oral presentations, students will be challenged to explore the primary literature, improve oral and written presentation skills, and work collaboratively in groups. Three credit hours.  N.    TWINING

[197B]    Environmental Journalism: Reporting for Print and Radio    An introduction to environmentalism journalism, with an emphasis on building writing and research skills. Covers the mechanics of print and broadcast reporting -- interviewing, researching, developing ideas, translating science for a public audience, working with editors, and writing concise, compelling copy. Students will complete several writing assignments, including at least one article suitable for publication in a class-prepared newspaper. Three credit hours.    

197Cj    Landscapes and Meaning: An Exploration of Environmental Writing    An exploration of the works of selected 20th-century environmental writers and how their life experiences contribute to a sense of connection with and action on behalf of the earth. Through readings, film, writing assignments, group discussion and journaling, students will develop critical thinking and communication skills while reflecting on their own personal relationship with nature. Three credit hours.  L.    MACKENZIE

197Dj    Energy Tax Policy    Through lectures, discussions, and a group research project, examines the use of tax policy as a crucial method for shaping US energy policy. Introduces concepts and theories that are fundamental to understanding these tax policies. Examines how current policy attempts to encourage the development and growth of renewable energy resources, and the use of financial incentives and disincentives by the federal government. Also discusses the development of a cap and trade system to curb greenhouse gas emissions, as well as other methods, such as a carbon tax. Three credit hours.  S.    WANG

212s    Introduction to GIS and Remote Sensing     A comprehensive theoretical and practical introduction to the fundamental principles of geographic information systems and remote sensing digital image processing. Topics include data sources and models, map scales and projections, spatial analysis, elementary satellite image interpretation and manipulation, and global positioning systems. Current issues and applications of GIS, with emphasis on environmental topics. Students develop and carry out independent projects using GIS. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. Four credit hours.    NYHUS

215f    Weather, Climate, and Society    Listed as Science, Technology, and Society 215. Four credit hours.  N.    FLEMING

217s    Environmental Chemistry    Listed as Chemistry 217. Three credit hours.    KING

231f    Environmental and Natural Resource Economics    Listed as Economics 231. Three credit hours.    YU

233f    Environmental Policy     A comprehensive and interdisciplinary introduction to the process and challenges of developing, implementing, and evaluating environmental policy. The roles of costs and benefits, uncertainty and risks, science and technology, and attitudes and ethics are explored. Historic and contemporary case studies are used to examine major institutions and actors, laws and regulations, incentives and enforcement approaches, and their role in addressing our nation's most pressing environmental problems. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 118. Four credit hours.    NYHUS

235f    International Environmental Human Rights    Global environmental governance and human rights issues at national and international levels, and multilateral conventions and nongovernmental alliances that have emerged in response. Reviews key international processes on human rights and the environment, and assesses some of the global commodity chains that link northern consumers with adverse environmental impacts in far-off places. Examines why some international processes have made significant advances and the role of corruption and poor governance in resource-rich countries. Specific topics include market-based mechanisms in forestry, mining, the international diamond trade, and the sports apparel industry and the underlying philosophies behind principal human rights and environmental organizations. Formerly listed as Environmental Studies 297. Four credit hours.  S, I.    BULKAN

236s    Tropical Forests and Sustainable Development    Reviews the linkages between forest-dependent peoples and tropical forest ecosystems. Examines customary forest uses, including rotational agriculture, fuelwood, and the bushmeat trade. Considers measurements of sustainability and the proximate and underlying drivers of unsustainable forest uses. Assesses industrial-scale forestry, mineral and coal mining, and collaborative management of forests and protected areas. Topics also include land use competition, legal and illegal natural resource extraction, and responses to globalized commodity trades following neoliberal policies from the 1980s. Four credit hours.  S, I.    BULKAN

[259]    Plants of the Tropics    Listed as Biology 259. Three credit hours.    

266s    The Environment and Human Health    How human health is affected by our physical, chemical, biological, and social environments; how we measure the effects of these determinants at the level of the cell, tissue, individual, and population; and how we assess these determinants in order to make regulatory decisions. Topics include basic concepts of toxicology, epidemiology, and risk assessment, specific human health effects of various forms of pollution, synthetic chemicals, and climate change; and major laws and policies of the United States, at the state and federal levels, and of the European Union and other countries. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 118 or Biology 131 or 164. Four credit hours.  N.    CARLSON

268s    Hazardous Waste and Environmental Justice     An introduction to the problems of hazardous waste in the United States, including the production, disposal, and tracking of various waste forms, federal and state policies regulating waste, and health hazard databases. Analysis of case studies that illustrate how race, ethnicity, class, and gender affect the risk of exposure to hazardous pollutants. Methods used to measure inequities and responses by governments and civil society to environmental justice claims will be discussed. Case studies include Love Canal, "Cancer Alley," waste disposal on Native American lands, and the exposure of U.S. farm workers to hazardous agricultural chemicals. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 118. Four credit hours.  U.    CARLSON

271f    Introduction to Ecology    Listed as Biology 271. Four credit hours.  N.    COLE, FIRMAGE

319s    Conservation Biology    Concepts of conservation biology are examined in detail. Topics include patterns of diversity and rarity, sensitive habitats, extinction, captive propagation, preserve design, and reclamation of degraded or destroyed ecosystems. Interdisciplinary solutions to the challenges of protecting, maintaining, and restoring biological diversity are discussed. Offered in alternate years. Prerequisite: Biology 271 or Environmental Studies 118 and sophomore or higher standing. Four credit hours.    COLE

328f    Radical Ecologies    Listed as Philosophy 328. Four credit hours.    PETERSON

331s    Natural Resource Economics    Listed as Economics 341. Prerequisite: Economics 223. Four credit hours.    YU

334s    International Environmental Regimes    An examination of the politics of international environmental cooperation. Topics include negotiation of, compliance with, and effectiveness of international environmental treaties; sustainable development; trade and environment; international financial institutions; and the role of non-state actors. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 118 or Government 131 (may be taken concurrently) or Economics 231. Four credit hours.  I.    ASHCRAFT

339f    Development, Trade, and the Environment     A project-based seminar that explores the interactions between the environment and multilateral development and trade institutions. Complex issues, such as climate change and food security, are leading to a growing awareness of the need to consider the impact of the environment on policies made in forums with mandates outside of the traditional environmental arena. In-depth case studies draw on examples from the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme, and the United Nations Environment Programme. Formerly offered as Environmental Studies 397A (Fall 2008). Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 118 or Government 131. Four credit hours.  I.    ASHCRAFT

340s    Conflict, Cooperation, and the Environment     Investigates environmental security, disputes, and cooperation over natural resources as ways of understanding existing environmental policies. Project-based approach introduces students to the physical and social characteristics of transboundary natural resources that are often central to disputes, and to the strategies we draw on to resolve disputes when they arise. Empirical examples include domestic and international disputes over transboundary water, climate change, air pollution, forests, wildlife, and fisheries. Formerly listed as Environmental Studies 398 (Spring 2009). Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 118 or Government 131. Four credit hours.    ASHCRAFT

341f    Environmental Negotiation and Dispute Resolution     An understanding of negotiation and dispute resolution as applied to a variety of environmental issues, both domestic and international. Valuable to students with a wide range of interests and objectives, with materials drawn from a range of disciplines. Introduces the mutual-gains approach to negotiation, facilitation, mediation, and dispute systems design. Students grapple with the challenging features typical of environmental negotiations, such as the large number of stakeholders involved, scientific uncertainty, and disputes involving differences in values. Formerly offered as Environmental Studies 397B. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 118 or Government 131. Four credit hours.    ASHCRAFT

352s    Advanced and Applied Ecology    Listed as Biology 352. Four credit hours.    COLE

[357]    Physiological Ecology    Listed as Biology 357. Three credit hours.    

358j    Ecological Field Study    The biological diversity and ecological relationships among the fauna and flora of selected tropical ecosystems in Belize. Qualitative and quantitative field investigations of the ecology of coral reefs and tropical rainforests, and the environmental challenges impacting these ecosystems. Identification of flora and vertebrate fauna indigenous to the area. The culture and environmental ethic of Kekchi and Mayan Indian villages. Lectures, films, and discussions of assigned readings during the first week will be followed by a 20-day field trip. Cost to be determined. Financial aid is available for qualified students. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructors. Three credit hours.    COLE, FIRMAGE

401f, 402s    Environmental Studies Colloquium    Attendance at selected program colloquia during the fall and spring semesters; written evaluations to be submitted. Required of all senior environmental studies majors. Prerequisite: Senior standing. One credit hour for the year.     COLE

484js    Honors in Environmental Studies     Majors approved for admission into the Environmental Studies Honors Program may elect this for the January Program or for spring semester. Requires research conducted under the guidance of a faculty member and focused on an approved topic leading to the writing of a thesis. A maximum of eight credits (including Environmental Studies 491 in the fall semester) may be earned in honors work. Upon successful completion of the thesis, an oral presentation, and all requirements for the major, the student will graduate "With Honors in Environmental Studies." Prerequisite: Senior standing and a 3.50 grade point average in the major at the end of the junior year or permission of the program. One to four credit hours.    FACULTY

491f, 492s    Independent Study    Independent study devoted to a topic chosen by the student with the approval of the program committee. Prerequisite: Senior standing as environmental studies major or minor. One to four credit hours.    FACULTY

493f    Environmental Policy Practicum    An in-depth analysis of current issues and policies affecting the environment. Students work individually and collaboratively on a project with a common theme and are assigned unique roles as researchers, editors, and technical coordinators. Reading and discussion of primary literature is augmented with invited speakers, field trips, and student presentations. Prerequisite: Senior standing as an environmental studies major with a policy concentration. Four credit hours.    NYHUS

494f    Problems in Environmental Science    Listed as Biology 493. Five credit hours.    COLE, FIRMAGE