Environmental Studies

The goals of the environmental studies program are to:

  1. Increase understanding of how the world as a bio-physical system works, foster awareness of the earth's vital signs and sharpen the ability of students to understand the nature and results of science
  2. Encourage a critical understanding of the various historical, political, economic, ethical, and religious forces that have shaped and continue to shape our world
  3. Nurture an ecological frame of mind which is willing and able to see things whole and thus resist the narrow specialization that can blind us to the connections between disciplines and bodies of knowledge
  4. Cultivate people who have sufficient knowledge, care and practical competence to live in an ecologically responsible way
  5. Provide opportunities for students to explore the connections between environmental issues and different religious and philosophical traditions, and to encourage students who are Christian to reflect on their faith and its vision of shalom.

Minors

The student who minors in environmental studies may major in anything. For students who major in one of the natural sciences, one of the environmental studies GEMS courses may be replaced by other appropriate science courses, with the permission of the program director. For a student who decides to minor in both environmental science and environmental studies, such a double minor does not constitute a major.

Environmental Studies

The minor consists of a minimum of 20 credits.

  • Eight credits are required in the Natural Sciences, with courses taken from a particular set of GEMS courses for students who are not natural science majors.
  • Four credits are required in the Social Sciences: either Environmental Sociology, Environmental Public Policy, or Managing for Environmental Sustainability.
  • Four credits are required in the Humanities: either American Literature and the Environment or Environmental Philosophy and History.
  • The final four credits, typically taken in the senior year, consist of a two credit internship in a local work setting (business, non-profit organization, governmental agency) and  a two credit research project of the student's choosing.

In addition to the courses in the minor, there are a number of general education courses that address various environmental issues and themes and thus may be of interest for Environmental Studies students.

Requirements

Required Courses (20 credits)
  1. Natural Sciences: choose 8 credits from the following courses

    GEMS 130: Intro to Environmental Science, 4 credits

    GEMS 153: Populations in Changing Environments, 4 credits

    GEMS 157: The Planet Earth, 4 credits

    GEMS 160: The Chemistry of Our Environment, 4 credits

    GEMS 204: Regional Flora and Fauna, 2 credits

    GEMS 295: Abrupt Climate Change, 2 credits

  2. Social Sciences: choose 4 credits from the following courses

    SOC 395: Environmental Sociology, 4 credits

    GES 310: Environmental Public Policy, 4 credits

    BUS 356: Managing for Environmental Sustainability, 4 credits

  3. Humanities: choose 4 credits from the following courses

    ENGL 375 (topical course - fulfills requirement when title is American Literataure and the Environment), 4 credits

    ENVR 377: Environmental Philosophy and History, 4 credit

    REL 365: Ecological Theology and Ethics, 4 credits

  4. Senior Integration Experience: 4 credits

    ENVR 490: Research Project, 2 credits

    ENVR 499: Internship, 2 credits (minimum)

    Thematically Related Courses in the Core Curriculum

    IDS 100: First Year Seminar, 2 credits
    The topics will vary depending on the section, but there may be  sections with a focus on environmental themes.

    REL 100: Earth and Ethics, 2 credits

    ENGL 113: Expository Writing, 4 credits
    The topics will vary depending on the section, but there may be sections with a focus on environmental themes.

    IDS 492: God, Earth, Ethics 4 credits

Environmental Studies

295. Topics Environmental Studies — A course offered in response to student and instructor interest. Topics are not generally covered in the regular course listings. Course may be taken multiple times if topics are different.
1-4 Credits | As Needed

377. Environmental Philosophy and History — An in-depth study of classic and contemporary texts in environmental philosophy and history, including primary sources by Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Thoreau, Berry, Carson, and Leopold, as well as secondary studies by Crosby, Ponting, and Steinberg. The cultural heritage general education requirement is highly recommended prior to this course.
4 Credits | As Needed

395. Topics Environmental Studies — A course offered in response to student and instructor interest. Topics are not generally covered in the regular course listings. Course may be taken multiple times if topics are different.
1-4 Credits | As Needed

490. Research Project — An in-depth investigation of some issue or problem of the student's choosing. All minor requirements except for the internship are highly recommended prior to this course.
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor
0-3 Credits | Spring, Fall

493. Independent Study in Environmental Studies — An independent study project investigating an issue or problem of the student’s choosing. All minor requirements except for the internship are highly recommended prior to this course.
1-4 Credits | As Needed

499. Internship — A supervised practical experience in a local work setting, e.g., business, non-profit organization, governmental agency, educational institution. All minor requirements except for the research project are highly recommended prior to this course.
2-4 Credits | Fall, Spring

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