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Environmental Studies Course Descriptions


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ES118s    Environment and Society      An interdisciplinary study of the human relationship with and impact on the environment. Examination of important local, national, and global environmental issues by exploring causes and methods for investigating these problems, as well as possible solutions, from scientific and public-policy perspectives. Discussion sections that explore important literature and ideas in the field complement the lectures. Students conduct an original group-research project on a topic of their choosing.     Four credit hours.  W1.    COLE, MCCLENACHAN, NYHUS
ES126f    Environmental Activism      Examines how communities, nations, and international organizations govern the use of natural resources including water, land, forests, fisheries, and the global climate. Through case studies and international environmental treaty analyses we will develop an understanding of global environmental issues, explore complementarities and tradeoffs among local, national, and global approaches to environmental governance, highlight the environmental justice implications of various resource management regimes, and assess the effectiveness of policies to address major environmental problems. Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in Biology 131 (lab section C) and English 126. (Elect IS126.)     Four credit hours.  S,W1.    CARLSON
ES131f    Biodiversity      Listed as Biology 131.     Four credit hours.  N,Lb.    BEVIER
[ES173]    Environmental Law and Indian Tribes: The "Rez" and the "Hood"      An examination of environmental decisions that affect the most regulated lands in the United States—Indian reservations. An overview of Indian law and policy will be followed by a look at the many layers of government involved in federal environmental regulation. Readings include edited judicial opinions that illustrate the historic threads of national environmental and Indian policies. Final project considers the environmental justice aspects of a solid-waste proposal affecting a current tribe and its neighbors.     Three credit hours.  S, U.  
ES198s    From Darwin to Dillard: Nature Writing Through Time      Focusing on broad themes such as observing and exploring, encountering animals, working the land, and dwelling in place, we thoughtfully and critically engage a century of excellent nature writing by authors worldwide. Students learn about and practice nature writing using the personal journal, the essay, word pictures and figurative language, story telling, poetry, and activism. Through reading, writing, art, music, video, and time outdoors, students encounter nature using all their senses, and gain an appreciation of the content and process of nature writing.     Four credit hours.  W1.    MACKENZIE
ES212s    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
ES214j    Introduction to GIS and Spatial Analysis      An introduction to Geographic Information Systems' (GIS) data management and visualization capabilities as well as the theory and application of spatial analysis techniques. Topics covered include spatial data representation in a GIS, effective map making, coordinate systems and projections, exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA), and spatial statistical analysis. Prerequisite:  Not open to students who have completed Environmental Studies 212.     Three credit hours.    GIMOND
ES215s    Weather, Climate, and Society      Listed as Science, Technology, and Society 215.     Four credit hours.  N.    FLEMING
ES217s    Environmental Chemistry      Listed as Chemistry 217.     Three credit hours.    KING
ES231s    Environmental and Natural Resource Economics      Listed as Economics 231.     Three credit hours.    EDWARDS
ES233f    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. Students complete a semester-long research assignment. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 118.     Four credit hours.    NYHUS
ES234s    International Environmental Policy      Examines how communities, nations, and international organizations govern the use of natural resources including water, land, forests, fisheries, and the global climate. Through case studies and international environmental treaty analyses we will develop an understanding of global environmental issues, explore complementarities and tradeoffs among local, national, and global approaches to environmental governance, highlight the environmental justice implications of various resource management regimes, and assess the effectiveness of policies to address major environmental problems. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 118.     Four credit hours.  I.    REYNOLDS
ES241f    Environment and Social Inequality      Drawing upon social concepts—stratification, race relations, power dynamics, collective action, social conflict, and social identity—we will discuss the emergence and perpetuation of environmental injustices in the United States. Through the use of case studies, films, and independent research projects, we will explore how and why inequalities arise, why some communities organize around these issues and others do not, and why some communities are able to more effectively work towards environmental justice. Previously offered as Environmental Studies 297C (Fall 2010). Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 118 or Sociology 131.     Four credit hours.  U.    LASHLEY
ES259j    Plants of the Tropics      Listed as Biology 259.     Three credit hours.    JOHNSON
ES265f    Global Public Health      An introduction to the principles and measures of global health, disease burdens, and environmental determinants of health, including poverty, climate change, pollution, population, violence, and lack of safe food, clean water, and fuels. We will also study international health institutions, key actors, and environmental regimes for the regulation of environmental health hazards. Through small-group presentations and discussion we will explore global case studies that highlight the complex relationship between human health and the environment. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 118.     Four credit hours.    CARLSON
ES266s    The Environment and Human Health      How human health is affected by physical, chemical, biological, and social environments; how we use science to measure effects of these determinants at the level of cell, tissue, individual, and population; how we assess these determinants to make regulatory decisions. Topics include introductions to toxicology, epidemiology, and risk assessment; health effects of various forms of pollution, synthetic chemicals, consumer products, climate change, and the built environment; the etiology of health outcomes including cancer, obesity, endocrine disruption, and respiratory diseases. Students use primary scientific literature for independent research on topics related to environmental health and, when appropriate, engage in environmental health policy debates in Congress and/or the Maine legislature. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 118 or Biology 131 or 164.     Four credit hours.  N.    CARLSON
[ES268]    Hazardous Waste and Environmental Justice      An interdisciplinary exploration of environmental justice as it relates to hazardous waste in the United States. Covers the production, disposal, tracking, and regulation of waste, and how race, class, ethnicity, and gender affect the risk of exposure. Methods used to measure inequities and responses by governments and civil society to environmental justice claims are discussed. Case studies emphasize the experiences of minority groups. Students will develop an understanding of the key factors that put groups at disproportionate risk of environmental burdens and the proximal and ultimate causes of these inequities. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 118.     Four credit hours.  U.  
ES271f    Introduction to Ecology      Introduction to ecological principles, structure and function of ecosystems, patterns of distribution, population growth and regulation, energy flow, nutrient cycling, and adaptations of organisms to their physical environment. Application of these principles to current environmental problems is discussed. Field trips are taken to sites representative of local terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. Identification of common flora and fauna and their ecological relationships is emphasized. A research assignment helps enhance student writing skills. Prerequisite:  Biology 131 or 164.     Four credit hours.  N,Lb.    COLE
[ES279]    Geology of Bermuda      Listed as Geology 279.     Three credit hours.  
ES281j    Marine Microbiology: From Viruses to Whales      Introduction to marine microbiology. The diversity of marine microbes, including single-celled algae, protozoa, archaea, viruses, with special focus on bacteria. The relationship of oceans with microbial communities, which are the basis of the marine food web. How tools of science, including genomics, are used to study this invisible world and its evolution. Effects of climate change on marine microbes and effects of microbes on oceans and human health. Biotechnological potential of marine microbes. The essentiality of microbes to planetary health. Prerequisite:  Biology 131 or 163 or Environmental Studies 271.     Three credit hours.  N.    EMERSON
ES297Bf    Sustainable Development      How can we meet the needs of current and future human generations while sustaining the integrity of the complex, interdependent, and interconnected ecological systems upon which all life depends? We will examine the theory and practice of sustainable development as one way to engage that challenge. Through readings, discussion, group projects, and independent research, students will become familiar with the ecological, political, and social-cultural dimensions of sustainable development, using examples from across the globe. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 118.     Four credit hours.    MACKENZIE
ES297Jj    Environmental Issues in Latin America      Listed as Global Studies 297J.     Three credit hours.    BURKE
[ES319]    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.  
ES328s    Radical Ecologies      Listed as Philosophy 328.     Four credit hours.    PETERSON
[ES331]    Natural Resource Economics      Listed as Economics 341. Prerequisite:  Economics 223.     Four credit hours.  
ES336f    Endangered Species Conservation      Goals include enabling students to apply fundamental ecological, management, and policy principles to understand the causes of and solutions to species extinction; introducing influential writers and practitioners working in endangered species conservation, policy, and management; exposing students to complexities of endangered species conservation and increasing their understanding of the role of interdisciplinary research and analyses; and enhancing students' ability to ask questions, think critically, and communicate effectively about these issues. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 118 or 271.     Four credit hours.    NYHUS
ES340s    Conflict, Negotiation, and Environmental Justice      Examines the opportunities and challenges of using alternative dispute resolution processes to manage environmental justice conflicts. Through the use of negotiation simulations, case studies, films, and independent research projects, we will discuss the important social functions of conflicts, identify and explore the unique dimensions of environmental justice conflicts, examine how these unique dimensions impact collaborative problem-solving processes, and develop our own abilities to assess conflicts and effectively negotiate. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 118 or Sociology 131.     Four credit hours.  U.    LASHLEY
ES342s    Marine Conservation and Policy      Human activities and effects including overfishing, water pollution, climate change, and benthic habitat destruction have all had major impacts on ocean ecosystems. Through lectures and discussions we will investigate global, regional, and local threats to marine biodiversity and ecosystem function. Potential conservation solutions will be considered. Independent and group research projects will investigate the science and policy of marine conservation issues and will evaluate and synthesize information from scientific literature, popular media, and online discussions. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 118.     Four credit hours.    MCCLENACHAN
ES346s    Global Food Policy      Examines the emergence and development of global food systems and food policies starting with the earliest agricultural societies and continuing to the present day. We explore the economic, nutritional, and environmental justice implications of agricultural systems and critically analyze the intended and actual outcomes of food policies for nations and agricultural communities. Case studies, films, and independent research further highlight the role of food and food policy in degrading the environment, exacerbating ethnic tensions and social inequities, and even spurring conflict. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 118.     Four credit hours.  I.    REYNOLDS
ES352s    Advanced and Applied Ecology      The theoretical aspects of population and community ecology, emphasizing population regulation, demography, trophic relationships, community structure and organization, and succession. Co-evolutionary interactions between plants and animals. Relevance of ecological theory to the solution of environmental problems. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite:  Biology 271 or Environmental Studies 271, and sophomore or higher standing.     Four credit hours.    COLE
[ES356]    Aquatic Ecology      Concern over the impact of human activities on aquatic communities and ecosystems has brought aquatic ecology to the forefront of public attention. Through lectures, discussions, writing assignments, and laboratory work, students will explore the major ecological principles that influence aquatic ecosystems. Experimental approaches and sampling techniques used by limnologists will be used in the field and laboratory to investigate topics of recent and long-standing concern in freshwater ecosystems, including eutrophication, pollution, biomagnification and bioaccumulation, invasive species, and the impact of climate change. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 118.     Four credit hours.  
[ES357]    Physiological Ecology      Listed as Biology 357.     Three credit hours.  
ES358j    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 of 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:  Biology 131 or 164 or Environmental Studies 118, and permission of the instructor.     Three credit hours.    COLE, RUEGER
ES382f    Ecological Modeling      Listed as Biology 382.     Four credit hours.    COLLINS
ES398s    World Religions and the Environment      Religious and spiritual traditions are presumed to express the highest values of a culture and a people. If so, what role does religion play in the way people value and relate to the environment? We will explore the tenets of major Eastern and Western religions and Earth-centered spiritual traditions and will consider how each promotes or impedes the safeguarding of the environment, historically and in the present time. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 118 recommended, but not required.     Four credit hours.  I.    MACKENZIE
ES401f, 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. One credit hour for the year. Prerequisite:  Senior standing in environmental studies.         COLE
ES484s    Honors in Environmental Studies      Majors approved for admission into the Environmental Studies Honors Program may elect this for the January Program or the 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
ES491f, 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
ES493f    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.    REYNOLDS
ES494f    Problems in Environmental Science      Causes of and solutions to selected environmental problems are investigated through lectures, laboratory and fieldwork, discussions, and guest presentations. Completion of a group research project with methods used by private consulting firms and governmental agencies to investigate aquatic environmental problems. The research results are presented in a public forum at the end of the semester. Civic engagement component provides useful information to the community and gives the students experience interacting with interested stakeholders. Skill development includes research, communication (both oral and written), and collaborative work skills. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 271 and senior standing as a biology or environmental studies major.     Five credit hours.    SCHMIDT