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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. Students explore important literature and ideas in the field to complement the lectures, conduct an original, semester-long, group research project, and complete a variety of writing assignments.     Four credit hours.    COLE, MCCLENACHAN, NYHUS
ES120f    Losing Ground: Community Responses to Environmental Hazards      An introduction to community-level environmental problems related to hazardous waste and the impacts on and responses of affected communities. Explores the concept of environmental justice and how the risk of hazardous exposures is related to race, ethnicity, class, and gender. We discuss U.S. policy debates on hazardous waste regulation and environmental injustice claims, and we consider the evidence for the inequitable distribution of environmental quality and adverse health impacts, the mechanisms for environmental and public health decision-making, and community access to informational resources and empowerment.     Four credit hours.  W1, U.    CARLSON
ES126f    Environmental Activism      An introduction to the history, theory, and practice of environmental activism, incorporating both global and local perspectives. Students explore the social phenomena that underlay human action in the environmental arena, taking an interdisciplinary approach that encompasses history, social movement and political theory, media studies, gender studies, psychology, and first-person narratives. Goals include 1) developing effective skills in critical reading, analysis, and communication; 2) developing an appreciation for the vastness and diversity of human responses to environmental challenges; and 3) providing the opportunity for students to apply their emerging leadership and organizing skills to the design of a student environmental group. Part of the three-course Integrated Studies 126, "The Green Cluster." Prerequisite:  Concurrent enrollment in Biology 131 (lab section B) and English 126. (Elect IS126.)     Four credit hours.  S.    CARLSON
ES131f    Biodiversity      Listed as Biology 131.     Four credit hours.  N,Lb.    BEVIER
ES197Aj    Sustainable and Socially Responsible Business      Provides students with a broad overview of sustainable and socially-responsible business principles and the ways in which companies have incorporated them into their organizations. Through a series of readings, lectures, guest speakers, and real-world case studies, students will be exposed to the issues and opportunities facing "green businesses". Includes small group and individual presentations.     Three credit hours.    PENNEY
ES197Cj    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
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. Not open to students who have completed Environmental Studies 214.     Four credit hours.    NYHUS
ES214f    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.     Four credit hours.    GIMOND
ES214Jj    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
[ES215]    Weather, Climate, and Society      Listed as Science, Technology, and Society 215.     Four credit hours.  N.  
ES217s    Environmental Chemistry      Listed as Chemistry 217.     Three credit hours.    KING
ES231s    Environmental and Natural Resource Economics      Listed as Economics 231.     Three credit hours.    DISSANAYAKE
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.    REYNOLDS
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
[ES259]    Plants of the Tropics      Listed as Biology 259.     Three credit hours.  
ES265j    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 or one course in the natural sciences.     Three credit hours.  I.    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      An introduction to ecological concepts and theory applied to ecosystems, communities, populations, and individuals. Concepts related to ecosystem structure and function, patterns of plant and animal diversity, population dynamics, and adaptations of organisms to their physical environment are studied and applied to current environmental problems. Ecological sampling techniques are practiced during field trips taken to local terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. Identification of common plant and animal species, and investigation of ecological relationships are emphasized. A research assignment helps enhance writing skills. Prerequisite:  Biology 131 or 164. Not open to students who have completed Biology 263.     Four credit hours.  N,Lb.    COLE
ES279j    Geology of Bermuda      Listed as Geology 279.     Three credit hours.    RUEGER
[ES281]    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.  
ES285j    Reefs to Red Tides: Ocean Diversity, Function, and Management      Listed as Biology 285.     Three credit hours.  N.    HEIL
ES287j    Oceans in a Changing Climate      Oceans provide important ecosystem services that humans depend upon, and they play critical roles in Earth's climate. They are changing in response to human activity and natural cycles. We examine causes and consequences of these changes and how the ocean will mediate them. Topics include cycling of chemical elements necessary for life, rising sea level, melting icecaps, changing ocean pH, changing circulation, the impact on ecosystems and fisheries, and possible climate change mitigation strategies. How humans might respond on global scales and in a timely manner through policy, politics, and social and cultural means. Includes lectures, student-led presentations, and discussions. Prerequisite:  Biology 131 or 163 or Environmental Studies 271.     Three credit hours.  N.    SIERACKI
[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:  Environmental Studies 118 or 271, and sophomore or higher standing.     Four credit hours.  
[ES328]    Radical Ecologies      Listed as Philosophy 328.     Four credit hours.  
ES331f    Natural Resource Economics      Listed as Economics 341. Prerequisite:  Economics 223.     Four credit hours.    DISSANAYAKE
ES336f    Endangered Species Conservation      An interdisciplinary course that uses biological, social, and policy approaches to understand the causes of and solutions to species extinction. Students are introduced to influential literature and ideas in endangered species conservation, policy, and management, including strategies for and constraints to implementing effective conservation. Case studies, assignments, and a research paper allow students to explore the role of interdisciplinary research and analyses and to ask questions, think critically, and communicate effectively about these issues. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 118 or 271, and sophomore or higher standing.     Four credit hours.    NYHUS
[ES340]    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.  
[ES342]    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 and sophomore or higher standing.     Four credit hours.  
ES343f    Environmental Change      Investigation of the relationship between past environmental history and current ecosystem condition. Landscape change and ecological restoration across a range of Maine ecosystems including forests, wetlands, rivers, marine environments, with an emphasis on ecological theory. The impacts of past and present human activities including forestry, fishing, and industrial and residential development. Students will read scientific literature, practice ecological field and laboratory methods, enhance data analysis and writing skills, and complete a research project designed to evaluate environmental change and recovery potential in a local landscape, riverscape, or seascape. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 271 and sophomore or higher standing.     Four credit hours.    MCCLENACHAN
ES344s    Marine Fisheries Management      Managing marine fisheries represents one of the most significant challenges in the conservation of global resources. We explore political, cultural, and ecological factors essential for successful management. Through lectures, discussions, and readings, students become familiar with global fisheries issues, including high seas management, initiatives to protect the food security and biodiversity of tropical island nations, and management of marine and anadromous fish in the United States. Through a field-based, group research project, students will investigate challenges involved with managing marine fish populations in Maine. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 118 or Biology 164, and sophomore or higher standing.     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 and sophomore or higher standing.     Four credit hours.  I.    REYNOLDS
ES347s    Tropical Forests and Rural Livelihoods      Examines the environmental, economic, and cultural roles of tropical forests in rural communities. Lectures and readings underscore the environmental justice implications of global, national, and local forest management regimes, emphasizing benefits and costs of deforestation, afforestation, reforestation, restoration, and conservation in tropical regions. Through case studies and independent research we critically analyze current tropical forest issues, contrasting traditional, private-sector, state-based, and international approaches to contemporary forest management problems. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 118 and sophomore or higher standing.     Four credit hours.  I.    REYNOLDS
ES352s    Advanced and Applied Ecology      An examination of theoretical and applied aspects of ecology at the organism, population, and community levels. Study of environmental tolerance and adaptation of plant and animal species; population dynamics; population competition, trophic relationships, and coevolutionary interactions; community structure and organization; succession; and biogeography. Emphasis on the relevance of theory and concepts to solving environmental problems. Laboratory exercises explore principles of experimental design and ecological sampling techniques. A research assignment helps to enhance writing and presentation skills. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 271 and sophomore or higher standing.     Four credit hours.    COLE
ES354f    Marine Ecology      Listed as Biology 354.     Three or four credit hours.    WILSON
ES356s    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 lecture, discussion, 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 employed in local lakes, streams, and rivers, as well as in the laboratory to investigate topics of concern in freshwater ecosystems, including eutrophication, pollution, biomagnification and bioaccumulation, invasive species, and the impact of climate change. Prerequisite:  Environmental Studies 271, and sophomore or higher standing.     Four credit hours.    BRUESEWITZ
[ES357]    Physiological Ecology      Listed as Biology 357.     Three credit hours.  
ES358j    Ecological Field Study      The biological diversity, ecology, and conservation of marine ecosystems in Moorea, French Polynesia. Involves qualitative and quantitative field studies of the biological diversity and ecology of coral reef ecosystems; field-based investigation of the environmental challenges facing these ecosystems; discussions with conservation practitioners about innovative conservation solutions and the efficacy of local marine protected areas; exposure to the culture and history of Polynesian Islanders, including pre-European ecosystem management practices and traditional ecological knowledge of marine biodiversity and ecosystem function. Lectures, films, and discussions of assigned readings during the first week followed by a 20-day field trip. Cost: $3,475. Financial aid available for qualified students. Prerequisite:  Biology 131 or 164 or Environmental Studies 118, and permission of the instructor.     Three credit hours.    MCCLENACHAN
ES366s    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 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 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, and sophomore or higher standing.     Four credit hours.  N.    CARLSON
ES397f    Geologic Environments in the Marine Realm      Listed as Geology 397.     Three credit hours.    RUEGER
ES398s    Conservation Paleobiology      Listed as Geology 398.     Four credit hours.  N,Lb.    KOSLOSKI
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. Typically taken in addition to a normal four-course semester. 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. Section A has an international emphasis while section B focuses on domestic issues. Prerequisite:  Senior standing as an environmental studies policy major.     Four credit hours.    NYHUS, 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. Focuses on completion of a group research project with methods used by private consulting firms and governmental agencies to investigate aquatic environmental problems such as eutrophication or the spread of invasive species. Research results are presented in a public forum at the end of the semester. Civic engagement component provides useful information to the community and the state, and gives 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 science major.     Five credit hours.    BRUESEWITZ