The ENTS Major
The central mission of Carleton’s Environmental Studies Program is to educate the next generation of environmental scholars and professionals in the fundamental scientific, ecological, social, ethical, political, and economic forces that govern environmental issues and the long-term quality and viability of society. The complexities of environmental problems dictate that study of the environment be based in multiple disciplines to provide students with skill sets and knowledge bases in the following areas: scientific principles as applied to the environment, the political, economic, social and cultural dimensions of environmental problems, the historical and ethical context for environmental problems and policy, and literary and artistic explorations of the environment. Students who major in Environmental Studies can gain a broad grounding in all of these areas, which is intended to help them understand the complex environmental issues faced by societies around the world.
The major is also designed to help students make connections across these key knowledge bases, which traditionally have been pursued largely in disciplinary isolation. In order to facilitate making these connections, the major is organized into a multidisciplinary set of core courses and four more narrowly defined areas of concentration, called foci. Students are required to complete all of the core courses and to select one of the foci as an area of concentration. The four foci are:
- Food and Agriculture: This track covers such topics as American agricultural policy, food security, the effects of climate change on agriculture, and food ethics. Relevant science courses include agroecology, plant biology, ecology, and geology of soils and hydrology.
- Conservation and Development: This is a broad track that covers conservation biology, issues of economic development (including climate and energy policy), management of natural resources and preservation of natural wonders. The chief scientific foundations for this focus are ecology and the courses on climate.
- Landscape and Perceptions: This track allows students to explore the complex meanings of the landscape. In addition to the ecology and geology courses that help them interpret the natural forces shaping the landscape, students may examine religious, ethical, historical, and aesthetic values embedded in the landscape.
- Water Resources: The track appears narrower in focus––it examines the management of water resources, building primarily on courses in geology and economics. But the topic is of central importance to virtually all environmental policy areas. Students interested in this track are advised to take Microeconomics and to plan ahead so that they can complete their science electives.
The Environmental Studies major prepares students for meaningful involvement in a wide array of environmental and governmental organizations, as well as for graduate study in many environmental fields, law, public policy, and other areas of inquiry.
Key for course coding listed in Comments on ENROLL for fulfilling ENTS major requirements:
ENTSFASCP: Satisfies designated credits for Food and Agriculture's Society, Culture and Policy elective
ENTSCDSCP: Satisfies designated credits for Conservation and Development's Society, Culture and Policy elective
ENTSLPSCP: Satisfies designated credits for Landscapes and Perception's Society, Culture and Policy elective
ENTSWRSCP: Satisfies designated credits for Water Resources' Society, Culture and Policy elective
ENTSFAES: Satisfies designated credits for Food and Agriculture's Environmental Science elective
ENTSCDES: Satisfies designated credits for Conservation and Development's Environmental Science elective
ENTSLPSES: Satisfies designated credits for Landscapes and Perception's Environmental Science elective
ENTSWRES: Satisfies designated credits for Water Resources' Environmental Science elective
- A link to the Registrar's web site, explaining the requirements for the ENTS major. ADD: Note: This page gets updated only once a year, and contains ghost courses (courses that were offered in the past and won’t be offered again). For updated information about electives, click on “Advice on Choosing Courses.”
- This page contains useful advice for navigating the ENTS major, including which courses count for which tracks (and why).