2014–2015 Environmental Studies Courses

 

ENVI 101 Introduction to Environmental Studies (4)
Interdisciplinary exploration of the fundamental principles of Environmental Studies. Students will consider influential approaches to understanding nature, and investigate local environmental issues. This course draws on ideas from the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities.
       
ENVI 300 Special Topics in Environmental Studies (1–4)
A changing topics course addressing environmental issues, especially reserved for those approaches that cross disciplinary boundaries delineated by ENVI 340, 350, and 360.
       
ENVI 301 Field Study (1-4)
This course takes students into the environment. Academically structured weekend trips and carefully guided service learning opportunities are powerful tools for meeting learning-goals like active learning, teamwork, global consciousness, social responsibility and leadership. ENVI 301 offers our students short, intense learning opportunities where they travel to engage contemporary environmental debates or learn about significant environmental issues.
       
ENVI 305 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (4)

This course has cross-disciplinary appeal from Computer Science to Geology to ENVI. Maps and other geographic information are increasingly present in myriad applications in our data-rich, digital world.  Environmental studies in particular make extensive use of “spatial data”, i.e., information involving locations. Working with spatial data is best accomplished with the extensive capabilities provided by geographic information systems (GIS). GIS include a combination of hardware and software that allow us to collect, store, manage, analyze and present spatial data. Such data are increasingly available, are easily collected with GPS tools or even with smart phones, and are used to address issues in many fields.  In this class, students will learn how GIS systems work and, in a series of labs, will work with GIS software using various data types to query and analyze it, present it as maps and graphs, and collect data concerning environmental topics.  Students will also learn spatial analysis techniques, some principles of cartography, essential principles of how geographic information is used to solve problems.

       
ENVI 340 Special Topics in Environmental Science (1–4)
Upper-division courses exploring influential ideas, texts, and practices from the intersection of science and environment.
       
ENVI 350 Special Topics in Civic Environment (1–4)
Upper-division courses exploring influential ideas, texts, and practices from the intersection of the civic realm and the environment.
       
ENVI 351 The Global Environment (4)
This course presents students with an opportunity to study the global implications of contemporary environmental issues and relationships between nature and society. Students will approach these issues with attention to cross-cultural interactions and ideas that shape environmental awareness. With attention to the different ways that communities respond to environmental and humanitarian concerns in light of global processes of social and ecological transformation, students will study the global nature of many environmental issues, their impacts on local communities, and ways those communities have responded. Global environmental issues such as energy, agriculture, or water use will be considered through specific local changes with an emphasis on communities in Asia, Africa, and South America.
       
ENVI 355 Topics in Environmental Humanities and Social Sciences  (1–4)
This is a course for cross-listing offerings that satisfy either our Humanities or Civic track. We occasionally offer courses that fit the goals of both tracks, but such courses presently require advisor and registrar’s office to pencil in changes to the requirements for graduation. The goal of 355 is to simplify advising and make the Registrar’s job easier by offering a number that can fit either track. So this course number helps our program administrate the mechanics of apportioning credit to students in the BA.
       
ENVI 360

 

Special Topics in Environmental Humanities

(1–4)

Upper-division courses exploring influential ideas, texts and practices at the intersection of the humanities and the environment.

       
ENVI 361 Writing the Environment (4)
This course will ask students to develop their written communication skills through a carefully focused series of writing assignments. Environmental Humanities majors will build their confidence in written expression by engaging multiple genres including the research essay, the argumentative essay, the editorial, the cover letter and the personal reflection. Prerequisites: ENVI 101
       
ENVI 370 Theories of Nature (4)
This course is designed to introduce students to the field of Nature and Society. This course covers the fundamental integrative theories that explore nature and society interactions, including key contributions from economics, literature, sociology, political science as well as political, social, and cultural ecology. The focus is on learning how to assess the complex interactions between natural and built environments, technology, institutions, social groups and individuals, and value/ethical systems which shape the context for social policy-analysis and decision-making. The goal is to promote among students thoughts and practice that facilitate sustainable development both at the community and national level. The course will survey key issues in the philosophy of this field of study, specifically the various schools of thought that use the ecological paradigm.
       
ENVI 401 Directed Studies (1–4)
A tutorial-based course used only for student-initiated proposals for intensive study of topics not otherwise offered in the Environmental Studies Program. Hours are arranged. Prerequisite: consent of instructor and school dean.
       
ENVI 405 Senior Seminar (4)
A capstone course for Environmental Studies majors ordinarily taken during one of the last two semesters of undergraduate study. The Senior Seminar will take different shapes for students from the different concentrations, and will give students the chance to develop their ability to grapple with complex environmental issues and conduct advanced research in preparation for graduate school or careers.
       
ENVI 440 Internship (1–4)
Students receive credit for meeting pre-arranged learning objectives while working for a business, a non-profit, a government program or some other organization that engages the environment. Hands-on experience is especially important to Environmental Studies students, and the faculty will work to support internship opportunities for all students. Students must have junior or senior standing (for transfer students, at least 15 hours completed at Westminster or permission of instructor), minimum 2.5 GPA, and consent of Program Chair and Career Center internship coordinator.