Professors: Girdler, Hussen (Co-Directors)
The concentration in environmental studies is based upon the recognition that environmental and resource problems are not just biological, geological, economic, or political. Therefore, the concentration is structured as an interdisciplinary study by selecting appropriate courses from the natural and social sciences, as well as the humanities, in order to pool knowledge from across traditional disciplinary lines. This information is essential for an interdisciplinary assessment, analysis, and evaluation of environmental problems.
Number of Units
Six units are required.
One from each group is required of all concentrators:
BIOL 115 Environmental Science or BIOL 224 Ecology & Conservation with Lab
CHEM 101 Chemistry and Society or CHEM 105 The Physical Earth or CHEM 120 Chemical Reactivity
ECON 235 Environmental and Resource Economics
(pre-requisite of ECON 101)*
ENVS 490 Environmental Studies Senior Seminar
At least two of the following courses*:
BIOL 115 Environmental Science (if not used above)
BIOL 312 Population and Community Ecology with Lab
BIOL 322 General Microbiology with Lab
CHEM 105 The Physical Earth (if not used above)
CHEM 240 Analytical Chemistry with Lab
CHEM 420 Instrumental Analysis with Lab
ENGL 151 RTW: Environments
ENGL 217 World Indigenous Literature: The People and the Land
HIST 212 American Environmental History
HIST 217 History of Leisure and Recreation in America
PHIL 108 Ecological Philosophy
PHYS 105 Energy and the Environment
SEMN 401 Energy Policy & Use Worldwide
*Additional special topics one-time course offerings may count as electives depending on content (e.g. ENGL, RELG); please discuss the suitability of these courses with Dr. Girdler or Dr. Hussen.
The concentration in environmental studies is open to students regardless of their majors and prepares students for graduate work and/or careers in a variety of areas including resource economics and management, city and regional planning, natural resource conservation, aquatic or terrestrial environments, environmental law, environmental education, environmental journalism, public administration, agribusiness, and food and population. For general advice and effective planning of their schedules, all students desiring this concentration are encouraged to see one of the directors as early as possible, preferably no later than the sophomore year.
Students interested in environmental studies are urged to keep this interest in mind when selecting a site for study abroad. If approved ahead of time by the codirectors, up to one course from study abroad can count toward the completion of the concentration. Moreover, pursuing these interests abroad emphasizes the important international dimensions of many environmental issues while often permitting students to gain familiarity with some problems (and their possible solutions) in other countries. Courses from study abroad sites in Costa Rica, Ecuador, Kenya, and Thailand are particularly suitable.
Additional courses that may be relevant to students interested in this concentration include BIOL 232, 296; COMP 105, 110; ECON 240, 412; MATH 260, 360.