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2014-2016 COURSE CATALOGUE : ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
Earth's environment is maintained through complex feedback mechanisms which, over geologic time, have operated to keep that environment within a range appropriate for life. Humans have always affected the environment, but since industrialization the nature and scope of their impact has increased dramatically.
Our current use of natural resources is spiraling due to exponential population growth. Due largely to the destruction of the tropical rain forests, we appear to be losing species at a rate that equals or exceeds anything in the earth's history. Human activities create smog, cause acid rain, introduce poisonous substances to the hydrosphere, and change the composition of the atmosphere in ways that are of great concern. Poverty and racism, in their environmental dimension, threaten global survival and a sustainable future.
Environmental concerns will be with us for generations as we work toward a sustainable way of life. The environmental studies program structures a liberal arts education around these concerns and prepares students for entry-level positions in environmental fields as well as for graduate programs in environmental areas.
Environmental Studies is a multidisciplinary field, thus the program offers an interdisciplinary major and an interdisciplinary minor. The natural sciences offer an understanding of how the environment works and how human activities affect it. The social sciences consider the social and political implications of environmental policy and the economic tradeoffs involved. The humanities offer an understanding of the concepts and values involved in our perception of, and interaction with, the environment. These approaches are combined explicitly in our introductory integrative course and the senior integrative experience. Program faculty and graduates of the program also highly recommend two majors, a major in environmental studies along with a major in a discipline to benefit from the breath of environmental studies and the focus of a discipline. All courses counting toward an environmental studies major or minor must be passed with a grade of C- or higher.
Environmental Studies Program Majors and Minors
Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary program. Careful selection of core and elective courses is key to developing a coherent area of concentration within the student's program of study.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES MAJOR (B.A.)
interdisciplinary, 13 courses
ENV 110 or ENV 101; ENV 400 or ENV 401; two ES Core courses from different departments in each division; one ES Tools course; and four ES Elective courses from the ES Core and/or ES Elective course lists at the 200-level or above. The ES Tools course cannot also count as an ES Core or Elective. Students are asked to carefully select ES Core and Elective courses to define a focus, such as environmental science, public policy, aquatic studies, social ecology, or natural resources, and compliment your program with another major in a discipline. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. No more than one course with a CR grade may be counted towards the major.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES MINOR
interdisciplinary, 6 courses
ENV 110, ENV 101 or substitute one additional ES Core course; one ES Core course from each division; and two ES Elective courses from the ES Core and/or ES Elective course lists at the 200-level or above. All courses must be passed with a grade of C- or higher. No more than one course with a CR grade may be counted towards the minor.
Environmental Studies Core Courses
ENV 202 Human Values and the Environment
ENV 237 American Indians & Environmentalism
ENV 240 Environmental Justice in Film
ENV 245 Radical Environmentalism
ENV 333 Environmental Justice and American Literature
ENV 335 Food Justice: Literature, Art and Activism
AFS 211 Black Earth
ENG 213 Environmental Literature
HIST 151 Food Systems in History
HIST 215 American Urban History
HIST 246 American Environmental History
HIST 286 Plants and Empire
PHIL 154 Environmental Ethics
REL 226 Religion and Nature
WMST 309 Ecofeminism
WRRH 325 Rhetoric and Place
Natural Sciences Core
ENV 200 Environmental Science
BIOL 167 Introductory Topics in Biology
CHEM 110 Molecules that Matter
GEO 140 Environmental Geology
GEO 141 Science of Climate Change
GEO 142 Earth System Science
GEO 143 Earth and Life Through Time
GEO 144/PHYS 115 Astrobiology
GEO 182 Intro to Meteorology
GEO 184 Intro to Geology
GEO 186 Intro to Hydrogeology
Social Sciences Core
ENV 201 Environment and Society
ENV 204 The Geography of Garbage
ENV 205 Intro to Environmental Law
ENV 215 Environment and Development in East Asia
ENV 330 Sustainability, Commodities and Consumption
ENV 340 Water and Energy in China
ANTH 210 Prehistoric Ecology
ANTH 280 Environment and Culture
ECON 212 Environmental Economics
ECON 245 Economics of Food & Agriculture
EDUC 360 Teaching for Sustainable Environment
PPOL 101 Democracy and Public Policy
PPOL 328 Environmental Policy
SOC 249 Technology and Society
SOC 271 Sociology of Environmental Issues
WMST 212 Gender and Geography
ENV 203 Fundamentals of GIS
ENV 310 Advanced GIS
ENV 351 Sustainable Community Development Methods
BIOL 212 Biostatistics
CPSC 225 Intermediate Programming
ECON 202 Statistics
MATH 232 Multivariable Calculus
MATH 237 Differential Equations
PHYS 285 Math MethodsPOL 261 Research Methods
PSY 210 Statistics and Research Methods
SOC 211 Research Methods
WMST 305 Food, Feminism and Health
WRRH 300 American Print Journalism
WRRH 308 Reporting Online
WRRH 351 Writing in the Natural Sciences
WRRH 352 Writing in the Professional Workplace
Environmental Studies Elective Courses
ANTH 206 Early Cities
ANTH 228 Physical Anthropology
ANTH 247 Urban Anthropology
ANTH 285 Primate Behavior
ANTH 290 Pharaohs, Fellahin & Fantasy
ANTH 296 Africa: Beyond Crisis, Poverty, and Aid
ANTH 297 Peoples and Cultures of Latin America
ANTH 326 Patterns and Processes in Ancient Mesoamerican Urbanism
ANTH 340/440 Anthropology of the Global Commons
ANTH 354/454 Food, Meaning, Voice
ARCH 311 History of Modern Architecture
ARCH 312 Theories of Modern Architecture and Urbanism
ARCH 313 History of Modern Landscapes
ARCS 301 Design II: The Immediate Environment
ARCS 302 Design III: The Wider Environment
ARCS 400 Geneva Studio
ARTH 336/436 Arts of the Landscape and the Garden in China and Japan
ARTS 265 Intermediate Imaging
ARTS 365 Imaging Workshop
BIOL 212 Biostatistics
BIOL 215 Population Genetics
BIOL 225 Ecology
BIOL 227 Behavioral Ecology
BIOL 228 The Biology of Plants
BIOL 238 Aquatic Biology
BIOL 316 Conservation Biology
BIOL 320 Agroecology
BIOL 336 Evolution
CHEM 240 Introduction to Organic Chemistry
CHEM 241 Intermediate Organic Chemistry
CHEM 260 Environmental Chemistry
CHEM 280 Chemical Reactivity
CHEM 310 Quantitative Chemical Analysis
CHEM 318 Inorganic Chemistry
CHEM 448 Biochemistry I
ECON 202 Statistics
ECON 213 Urban Economics
ECON 221 Population and Society
ECON 232 U.S. Economy: A Critical Analysis
ECON 301 Microeconomic Theory and Policy
ECON 316 Labor Market Analysis
ECON 348 Natural Resources and Energy Economics
EDUC 348 Our National Parks
ENG 241 English Romantic Poets
ENG 250 American Literature to Melville
ENG 257 Dickens and His World
ENG 350 Poe, Dickinson, Frost
GEO 210 Environmental Hydrology
GEO 220 Geomorphology
GEO 230 Problems in Earth History
GEO 240 Mineralogy
GEO 255 Global Climates
GEO 260 Weather Analysis
GEO 270 Paleoclimatology
GEO 280 Aqueous Geochemistry
GEO 290 Paleontology
GEO 299 Geoscience Field Studies
GEO 320 Sediments and Sedimentary Rocks
GEO 330 Limnology
GEO 360 Applied Climatology
GEO 365 Environmental Meteorology
HIST 204 History of American Society
HIST 208 Women in American History
HIST 253 Renaissance and Reformation
HIST 256 Technology and Society in Europe
HIST 264 Modern European City
HIST 310 Rise of Industrial America
HIST 311 20th Century America: 1917-1941
HIST 313 Darwin and the Darwinian Revolution
HIST 341 Beyond Sprawl
HIST 397 Seminar: Environmental History
MATH 214 Applied Linear Algebra
MATH 232 Multivariable Calculus
MATH 237 Differential Equations
MATH 350 Probability
MATH 353 Mathematical Models
PHIL 232 Liberty and Community
PHIL 234 What Should I Do?
PHIL 235 Morality and Self Interest
PHIL 236 Philosophy of Law
PHIL 238 Philosophy of Natural Science
PHIL 321 Environmental Theory and Public Policy
PHIL 372 Early Modern Philosophy
PHYS 270 Modern Physics
PHYS 285 Mathematical Methods
POL 215 Minority Group Politics
POL 236 Urban Politics
POL 320 Mass Media
PPOL 219 Sexual Minority Movements and Public Policy
PSY 305 Psychological Test Development
SOC 202 Agriculture, Food and Society
SOC 221 Race and Ethnic Relations
SOC 222 Social Change
SOC 223 Inequities
SOC 225 Sociology of Family
SOC 244 Religion in American Society
SOC 251 Sociology of the City
SOC 258 Social Problems
SOC 275 Social Policy
SOC 290 Sociology of Community
SOC 300 Classical Sociological Theory
SOC 325 Moral Sociology and the Good Society
WMST 372 Peace
ENV 101 Sustainable Communities This course surveys and introduces students to the concept of sustainable development as applied to real world communities. It will not only focus on the United Nation’s three “interdependent and mutually reinforcing pillars” of sustainable development—economic development, social development, and environmental protection—but will also touch on intertwined subjects such as culture, education, public policy, landscape design, architecture, ecology, urban planning, and historic preservation. Rochester, Geneva, and other local communities in the Finger Lakes area will serve as case studies to discern how cities and towns are working to become more sustainable; students will learn about various opportunities to become civically engaged and involved within these communities. Evening lectures by local, regional and national experts are planned. This course can substitute for the ENV 110 requirement. (Staff, offered annually)
ENV 110 Topics in Environmental Studies Our introductory requirement emphasizes the interdisciplinary nature of selected pressing environmental issues. Each semester a variety of sections of this introductory requirement is available, each with its own environmental topic. The current topics include: Biodiversity, Energy, Sense of Place, Water, and Global Climate Change. Their individual descriptions are found below. ENV 110 is not open to juniors and seniors. Juniors and seniors who have not taken this course are required to replace this required course with any other ES Core course. (Staff, offered each semester)
- Biodiversity Biologists estimate that Earth is populated by between 10 million and 100 million species. Each is unique and these differences constitute biodiversity. In this course students explore the origins and history of all that diversity, including Earth’s history of extinctions, as a context in which to consider today’s world. How bad is today’s biodiversity “crisis”? How does it compare with past events? What are its causes? Are there solutions? How do we as individuals fit into the picture, making ethical, social and scientific decisions about biodiversity? Students explore these questions through reading, discussion, writing and original research. (Brubaker, Lewis, Arens, offered annually)
- Energy Life cannot exist without energy. Life on earth harnesses energy from the sun and other plants and animals. Society harnesses energy from fossil and modern organic matter, from atoms, the sun, wind, and tides, and from the earth’s interior. Each energy source harnessed by society has a set of environmental, technologic, geologic, economic, social, and moral advantages and disadvantages. Which source of energy is better? What does “better” mean? Which source of energy is, over the long term, sufficient, environmentally safe, and adaptable to many applications? In this course, students examine various aspects of the energy question to arrive at answers to these and other questions. (Halfman/Drennen, Magee/Penn, offered annually)
- Sense of Place This course emphasizes the importance of understanding and embracing sense of place from diverse perspectives across a range of environmental issues. We will begin by exploring what it means to have a “sense of place” and then examine the vast ecological consequences that are tied to a person’s or community’s sense of place. Readings from the course textbook will offer examples of the central debates on particular issues so that we build a foundation of knowledge for environmental studies. Supplemental readings and films will enhance our understanding of these issues by adding social justice perspectives and challenging us to consider the importance of place—and, more importantly, responsibility to place and our communities—in the face of ecological devastation. Our approach will be interdisciplinary, involving scientific, social, political, economic, and humanistic study that accurately reflect the complexity and interconnectedness of environmental issues.(Crawford, Mauer, offered annually)
- Water This course examines water as a critical, renewable resource using several different perspectives. Initially, students seek a scientific understanding of how water moves and the aquatic ecosystems it supports. Then students look at water use and development in the arid western U.S. as a case history of water scarcity and the policies that help address such problems. Finally, students apply both the scientific and historical perspectives to current water issues, both regional and global. Note that this course includes a mandatory laboratory period which is used for field trips and special class activities. (Magee, Kinne, offered annually)
- Global Climate Change This class addresses numerous questions and perspectives regarding global change. What is global change? What causes it? What are the consequences? Is there natural variability in global climate and, if so, how much? What influence do/can/have humans have (had) on global climate? How do we know the difference between short- and long-term climate trends? Does the Earth have the ability to moderate climate regardless of the cause? What are our responsibilities, as an individual, a nation, to the Earth? How does population growth, industrialization, economic status, social, ethical, and political beliefs affect an individual’s/country’s perspective or role in experiencing/dealing with the consequences of global climate change? A number of out-of-classroom activities are required, involving field trips and supporting the local community on issues related to global change. (Curtin, offered occasionally)
ENV 120 Human Geography and Global Economy This course introduces students to the systematic examination of patterns and processes that shape the spatial organization of activities on a global scale, including agriculture, industries, international trade, population growth and migration, resource and environmental degradation, and development and underdevelopment. Students learn where and why various human activities are located on the Earth, why those activities are moving from one place to another, and the theories developed to explain changes in the landscape. The course addresses current issues of national and international importance such as globalization of culture and the economy, underdevelopment, pollution and environmental degradation, population growth and conflicts. (Lewis, Magee, offered occasionally)
ENV 200 Environmental Science This is rigorous course for the Environmental Studies major focusing on the science behind and plausible scientific solutions to pressing environmental issues. Students will learn about the science behind and the complex scientific interrelationships of issues like population growth, ecosystems, exotic species, resource use, e.g., soil, mineral, water and energy resources, and the impact of their use on the planet, i.e., global warming, acid rain, pollution, toxicity, and waste disposal. (Brubaker, Halfman, offered each semester)
ENV 201 Environment & Society This course introduces students to the study of relationships between people and the environment from a critical geographic perspective, and provides a context for thinking about the social causes and consequences of environmental changes in different regions of the world. It focuses on how and why the human use of the environment has varied over time and, more importantly, space; analyzes different approaches to decision-making about environmental issues; and, examines the relative roles of population growth, energy consumption, technology, culture and institutions in causing and resolving contemporary environmental problems. (Lewis, Magee, Mauer offered annually).
ENV 202 Human Values and the Environment This course emphasizes the role of the humanities in imagining a just and sustainable planet. Through the study of literature, art, and critical/cultural theory, students will uncover the workings and origins of human values that shape how we relate to the environment. We will read well-known authors of U.S. environmental literature, including Aldo Leopold, Henry David Thoreau, Rachel Carson, and Edward Abbey. In addition to the classics, students will be introduced to lesser-known works by environmental thinkers writing from the margins of society. Topics will include environmental ethics, nature and culture, industrialization, and globalization, ecotheology, environmental justice, ecofeminism, and queer ecology. (Crawford, offered annually).
ENV 203 Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems Geographic Information Systems (GIS) has been used in a multitude of environmental applications because it aids in the collection, storage, analysis, and visualization of spatial information and it helps users to make informed decisions regarding the use, management, and protection of the environment. This course will cover the theory of GIS with hands-on-experience in a multitude of environmental applications including: geographical data entry and acquisition, database query and site selection, vector and raster modeling, and integration with global positioning system (GPS). (Brubaker, offered each semester)
ENV 204 Geography of Garbage You probably know where your t-shirt or computer was made, but do you know where they go when you throw them “away”? Each night, trucks bring tons of New York City waste to processing and storage facilities near Geneva. Meanwhile, boatloads of computers “recycled” in North America sail for Asia and Africa to be dismantled in dangerous conditions so that small amounts of valuable metals may be recovered. This course will introduce students to the global geography of garbage (garbography?) with a particular focus on environmental, human health, and human rights implications. (Magee, offered annually)
ENV 205 Introduction to Environmental Law Since the 1970s, environmental law in the United States has become increasingly integrated into natural resource management, municipal land use decisions and corporate development strategies. This course will provide students with an overview of major federal environmental laws including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, CERCLA (Superfund Act) and the National Environmental Policy Act. In addition, we will cover some basics of property law and the Administrative Procedure Act, which provide the foundation for environmental law theory and enforcement. The course would be a good course for students considering a legal career, a career in environmental studies, municipal planning or land use, or just a general interest in law. (Kinne, offered annually)
ENV/GEO 206 Scientific Communication
Scientists communicate to two primary audiences: other scientists and non-scientists. Each audience has different needs and successful communication requires that the writer keep the audience in mind. Scientists communicate in a variety of media: technical reports, non-technical articles, literature reviews, research proposals, technical posters, abstracts, and presentations both technical and non-technical. Each of these modes integrates verbal and visual elements. This course will explore each of these eight modes to help students already familiar with scientific content to become better communicators. We will begin by a close reading of examples of each mode of scientific communication to examine its elements, style and the ways in which the writer addresses the needs of the audience. Then students will compose in that mode.
ENV 210 Qualitative Research & the Community Qualitative data is an increasingly important part of research in the fields of business and public service as well as in the nonprofit sector and academia. Yet familiarity with the data collection and analysis methods of qualitative research remains low for many students in fields like environmental studies. This course will introduce students to the various tools of qualitative researchers through readings, discussions, and methodological critiques. In this course, we will learn to approach research as a process of knowledge construction and focus on developing the skills necessary to contribute new ( or more Nuances ) knowledge concerning the intricacies of human-environment interactions in our everyday lives. Over the course of our semester together, we will engage in a semester-long collaborative research project that will allow us to gain greater proficiency with qualitative research skills, including how to collect data through interviews and participant-observation and how to analyze interview transcripts and interpret field notes. ( Lewis, offered annually, fall)
ENV 215 Environment and Development in East Asia Rapid development in East Asia has brought prosperity to many but has also created serious environmental problems. Rivers and lakes suffer from pollution and algal blooms; water tables have dropped dramatically; farmland has been polluted by industrial chemicals and over-fertilization; and cities choke on pollution from industry and automobiles. This course explores the environmental challenges facing East Asia as well as how governments and other groups are addressing them through various approaches to “sustainable development.” Special emphasis is placed on China, given its regional and global importance, and the Four Little Dragons (Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea). (Lewis, Magee, offered annually)
ENV 234 Sustainable China The three-week summer study-abroad course will allow a small group to examine China's environmental challenges. In Beijing, students will learn of the work on the Ministry of Environment, the Legal Aid Center for Pollution Victims, and other organizations to address environmental health concerns. In Yunnan, students will conduct participant observation with Yunnan EcoNetwork regarding rural biogas and watershed protection, and learn of the challenges of hydropower development in one of China's most biologically and culturally diverse provinces. Finally, in Shanghai, students will visit China's largest steel manufacturing facility to understand BaoSteel's efforts to reduce energy and water consumption. Prerequisite: A demonstrated interest in Environmental Studies and Asian studies as evidenced by coursework or independent research; students with some language training will be given priority consideration. (Magee, occasional summers)
ENV 237 American Indians and Environmentalism American Indians have since "time immemorial" has an immediate relationship to the natural world and their physical surroundings. Many native peoples are rooted to place. This course explores American Indian relationships to nature and eco-political responses to contemporary environmental issues. Beginning with the history of American Indian political relationships with the U. S. federal government, we will consider the various and complex ways in which this history has affected- and continues to affect- American Indian ecology, agricultural land use, natural resource conservation, urban pollution, and modern environmental movements. Topics may include: land struggles regarding sacred and ecologically unique places; uranium mining and other resource struggles; fishing and whaling; dam removal; the "crying Indian" in the Keep America Beautiful Public Services announcement; and genetics and the patenting of indigenous foods such as wild rice. We will pay close attention to the alliances and conflict between Native and non-Native peoples. Students in this course will be introduced to study the writings and ideas of Native and non-Native scholars and activists such as Vine Deloria, Jr., Winona LaDuke, William Cronon, among many others. (Staff, offered annually)
ENV 240 Environmental Justice through Film This course focuses on issues and questions surrounding environmental racism and political participation, through readings, documentary films, and movies. This course will explore the scope of the environmental justice movement and its efforts to build alliances with struggles against poverty and racism to build a sustainable society. In particular, students will learn about people of color and working people's struggles against hazardous conditions in their neighborhoods, communities, and work places and their strategies to protect and revitalize natural and human resources in creative ways. The topic -environmental justice-raises the core themes regarding conservation, environmental politics and ethics, sustainable development, and ordinary people's struggles for democratization and citizenship. Topics include federal-state environmental policy, empowerment, health hazards, Native American perspectives, Superfunds, and Brownfields. Students in this course will be introduces to topics that enable students to learn problem-solving skills and approaches, both in writing and in their day -to-day activities. (Helfrich, offered annually).
ENV 245 Radical Environmentalism This course investigates the emergence, societal impacts, and significance of radical environmentalism, with special attention to the historical and moral dimensions, as well as the ecological and political perceptions that provide a firm basis for its controversial efforts to halt environmental degradation. Through readings, films, and discussion, students will learn about various and diverse forms of radical environmentalists. Students will examine topics such as tree-sits in the Pacific Northwest; monkey-wrenching; animal liberation; eco-terrorism; groups such as Earth First!, ELF,PETA, and ALF; deep ecology ;eco-warriors; and attempts by the government to subvert and infiltrate environmental organizers and groups. (Helfrich, offered annually).
ENV 309 (Re) Imagining Indigeneity: Place-Based Struggles in a Global World Indigenous identity, culture, community, and politics are inextricably bound to place. Place-based cultures and identities, however, may be threatened in a world increasingly connected through the spatial expansion and deeper integration of capitalist markets, the coordination and exchange of technological developments, the movement of people, ideas, language, and symbols across borders, and the extension and homogenization of modes of governance and regulation. The imagining and re-imagining of Indigenous sovereignty is thereby tied to issues of territoriality, land and resource rights, dispossession/displacement, and environmental change. In this seminar, we will critically examine the effects of global processes on Indigenous environments and on Indigenous efforts to resist and revitalize. Specifically, we will investigate key discourses of Indigenous identity formation and negotiation, neo-colonialism, sovereignty, models of nation-rebuilding, sustainability, food security, and livelihoods.
ENV 310 Advanced Geographic Information Systems Geographic Information Systems (GIS) modeling capabilities have been used to inform and support decision-making in the management of watersheds and parks, in the design of emergency evacuation plans, among others. Advanced GIS will cover a wide range of modeling applications using rasters, including watershed drainage analysis, ecological corridors and least cost path analysis. Students will also be introduced to analytical tools such as spatial data interpolation techniques, point pattern and density analysis, and error assessment. Hands-on experience will be provided through weekly labs and final project. (Brubaker, offered annually)
ENV 312 Energy Governance Energy challenges are complex. Energy decision making and policy development takes thoughtful analysis and a problem solving approach. This course analyzes energy policy, planning, and management at local, regional, and global scales. Topics include an examination of energy system perspectives and goals; sustainable energy transitions framing; policy mechanisms (e. g. carbon tax, cap and trade systems, renewable portfolio standards, renewable energy credits, subsidies ); socio-technical system innovation; international agreements; behavior change; strategic energy planning; and community energy. The primary goal of the course is to critically analyze energy decision making in different contexts, focusing on ways that public policy and planning can affect energy system change in societally and environmentally beneficial directions.
ENV 320 Natural Resource Law Natural Resource Law is a broad category of law that includes the law of public lands (state and federal), private lands, parks, monuments and roadless areas, tribal lands, and laws governing water, forests, minerals, rangelands, wildlife, and other environmental resources. After completing this course, students will have a well-developed sense for the complexity of the laws that govern our natural resources, and an understanding of the respective roles or state and federal governments, agencies and courts in managing natural resources. They will be able to make a well-researched and well-articulated legal argument in support of or against an existing or proposed law that governs (or may govern) one or more natural resources in the United States. In the process, students will learn how to do legal research, how to form a legal argument, and how to write and speak persuasively. (Kinne, offered annually)
ENV 330 Sustainability, Commodities & Consumption In light of increasing calls for sustainable development, complex geographies of production and consumption continue to emerge from global economic relationships. In tracing a range of everyday commodities from their points of origin to the consumers who purchase these products, this course introduces students to the relationship between consumption trends, market forces, and natural resource extraction. In addition to different theoretical perspectives on “ethical” and “green” consumerism, special attention will also be paid to major eco-labeling programs like “Fair Trade” and “organic.” (Lewis, offered alternate years)
ENV 333 Environmental Justice and American Literature Environmental justice scholars explain that people of color, the poor, and women suffer disproportionately from environmental hazards. The course will study literary works grounded in this material reality of simultaneous ecological and human devastation specific to U. S. minority groups and raise questions about the power of literature to document , illustrate, arouse, and instruct in the face of environmental crisis. Topics will include ecofeminism, environmental racism, urban ecology and planning, sexuality and environment, and U. S. environmental imperialism. We will read critical theory alongside poetry and prose from a diverse range of 19th-and 20th-century American writers. The course will also emphasize activism; we will explore the role of the arts in environmental justice activism and apply what we learn by creating our own activist projects. (Crawford, offered alternate years).
ENV 335 Food Justice: Lit, Art, Activism Mahatma Gandhi once said, "Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed." In a world of diminishing resources, the complex balance of the global food supply calls into question issues of justice and human values. Why is it that certain groups of people-namely people of color, women, and the poor-suffer disproportionately from food scarcity and contamination? How do we ensure affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food for all in the face of overconsumption, climate change, and population growth? The course will explore these questions through a humanist lens. We will study a diverse range of contemporary media-including novels, poems, visual art, and film- as we engage in critical discussion of the production, distribution, and consumption of food. Topics will include food sovereignty and security; food disparities related to race, class and gender; and new food technologies. (Crawford, offered alternate years).
ENV 340 Water and Energy in China Water and energy are at the heart of China's environmental challenges, and addressing those challenges (or failing to) has very real human and ecological implications now and in the future. This is so not only for the people of China, the most populous country on Earth, but also for the rest of the world: pollution from China's coal-fired power plants brings acid rain and heavy metals to the Koreas, Japan, and even the western US, and manufactured products (including foodstuffs) tainted with industrial toxins have made their way to store shelves around the world. Yet the roots of many of China's environmental challenges are global: just as more developed countries have outsourced many of their manufacturing activities to China, so, too, have they outsourced the pollution of water, air, soil, and bodies resulting from those activities, along with the energy and other resource demands necessary to carry them out. This course explores the challenges and opportunities of sustainability in China - from ecological, socioeconomic, and geopolitical perspectives - through a close examination of the country's water and energy resources. (Magee, offered annually)
ENV 351 Sustainable Community Development Methods This course surveys practices and processes of sustainable community development planning, its application, methods and implementation. It will survey the myriad of approaches to sustainable development undertaken by a variety of disciplines, using disparate methods with differing degrees of success. Students will evaluate the successes and failures of not only the methods but the outcomes of these efforts in achieving social equity, environmental and economic sustainability. Through a service-learning project with local organizations, students will navigate through the process of developing a sustainable community development plan by applying the skills and knowledge developed throughout the course. Following this spring course, summer community development internship opportunities will solicit students from this course. (Lewis, offered annually).
ENV 352 Green Energy: Understanding Sustainable Energy Production and Use The climate change crisis has spurred the need for and interest in sustainable energy technologies. In this course we will study the major green energy technologies: efficiency, wind, solar ( photovoltaic and thermal ), geothermal, current/wave energy, smart grids and decentralized production. The class will study each technology from the basic principles through current research. In parallel, students will work together on a green energy project. Project ideas include: developing a green energy production project on campus, or a campus/Geneva self-sufficiency study.
ENV 400 Group Senior Integrative Experience The group senior integrative experience (SIE) involves a multidisciplinary project or seminar. It enables a group of ES seniors to investigate an interdisciplinary topic of environmental interest with a focus on the local HWS and Geneva community. The topic is selected at the beginning of the semester and students work both independently and in groups toward the completion of an overall class goal. Completion of the group senior integrative experience requires preparation of a substantial individual paper demonstrating the student’s project focus as well as the integration of their work with the others within the class, and a public (group or individual) presentation at a brown bag seminar. (Staff, offered each semester)
ENV 401 Senior Integrative Experience The senior integrative experience (SIE) involves a multidisciplinary project or seminar, independent study, or an off-campus internship. Ideally an internship should have both an academic and an experiential component. Students must register for ENV 300 during their senior year even if they are fulfilling this requirement by completing an independent study. A student should discuss the SIE project with his or her adviser, as well as with the faculty member supervising the work if other than the student’s adviser. Completion of the senior integrative experience requires preparation of a substantial paper demonstrating integration of all three perspectives of study, and a public presentation at a brown bag seminar. (Staff, offered each semester)
ENV 499 Environmental Studies Internship (Staff, offered each semester)