Courses

Please scroll down to view Major Requirements.

  • ENTS 100: Science, Technology & Public Policy

    Science and technology have led to profound effects upon public life over the past century. This course will study the social and political impacts of scientific and technological developments on modern life. We will investigate particular cases drawn from across the sciences, such as genetics, energy production and consumption, nuclear weapons, and the information revolution. The relationship between government, the public, and the science/technology enterprise will be examined. What is, and what should be the role of the practitioners themselves?

    6 credit; Writing Requirement, Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2016 · J. Weisberg
  • ENTS 110: Environment and Society

    This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to a number of the pressing environmental changes currently facing human societies around the world. We will seek to understand and integrate the social, economic, scientific and political dimensions of these challenges. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the complexity of environmental issues and the interdisciplinary nature of the search for appropriate solutions. Topics will include global warming, population pressures, energy use, industrial waste and pollution, biological diversity, and sustainable agriculture. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Spring 2017 · K. Smith
  • ENTS 120: Introduction to Geospatial Analysis

    Spatial data analysis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, global positioning, and related technologies are increasingly important for understanding and analyzing a wide range of biophysical, social, and economic phenomena. This course serves as an overview and introduction to the concepts, algorithms, issues, and methods in describing, analyzing, and modeling geospatial data over a range of application areas. Prerequisites: Concurrent registration in ENTS 120L 6 credit; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2016 · T. Nega
  • ENTS 203: Ethics and Ecology

    This course is designed to investigate the ethical questions raised by the topics explored in Global Change Biology (Biology 210), concurrent registration is required. We will consider how environmental ethicists have engaged topics such as species loss, global warming, invasive species, resource consumption and overharvesting, and pollution. The course will meet once a week to discuss ethical literature around such questions as whether we have duties to animals, ecosystems, and future generations and to examine how ethicists make use of ecological concepts. Prerequisites: Concurrent registration in Biology 210 3 credit; Humanistic Inquiry; not offered 2016–2017
  • ENTS 209: Public Rhetoric and Environmental Science

    In this course, students will pursue projects based in environmental science and aimed at public audiences. Forms may include grant proposals, articles for the popular press, talks aimed at peer scientists, the general public, or school groups, and posters for various audiences. In all cases, purpose, audience, and form will be carefully considered for effective communication of science. Students can expect frequent revision, assiduous peer review responsibilities, and presentation of individual projects orally and in more than one form of writing. 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2016–2017
  • ENTS 212: Global Food Systems

    The course offers a survey of the world's food systems--and its critics--from the initial domestication of plants and animals to our day. We will begin by examining the critical theoretical and foundational issues on the subject, and then turn to a series of case studies that illuminate major themes around the world. Topics will include land and animal husbandry, the problem of food security, food politics, the Green Revolution, biotechnology, and the implications of global climate change. Throughout the course, students will assess and seek to integrate differing disciplinary and methodological approaches. The class will include field experiences. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Spring 2017 · T. Nega
  • ENTS 215: Environmental Ethics

    This course is an introduction to the central ethical debates in environmental policy and practice, as well as some of the major traditions of environmental thought. It investigates such questions as whether we can have moral duties towards animals, ecosystems, or future generations; what is the ethical basis for wilderness preservation; and what is the relationship between environmentalism and social justice. 6 credit; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Fall 2016 · K. Smith
  • ENTS 232: Research Methods in Environmental Studies

    This course covers various methodologies that are used to prosecute interdisciplinary academic research relating to the environment. Among the topics covered are: identification of a research question, methods of analysis, hypothesis testing, and effective rhetorical methods, both oral and written. 3 credit; Formal or Statistical Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2017 · M. Kanazawa
  • ENTS 238: Ethiopia and Tanzania Program: Urbanization and Conservation

    This course will examine biodiversity conservation in an urban context. It will focus on the link between biodiversity and human well being, look closely at mechanisms for conserving biodiversity, and examine how context and scale matter when thinking about the different approaches to conservation. Students will explore these issues in Addis Ababa and Arusha. Through readings, discussions with local experts, and independent research they will develop a better understanding of the opportunities and obstacles towards creating livable cities. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; not offered 2016–2017
  • ENTS 239: Ethiopia and Tanzania Program: Urban Agriculture

    In this course students learn about the role of urban agriculture in meeting the demand of urban population as well as explore the role of urban agriculture in the community building process. Case studies and conversations with figures from various components of the city agriculture structure make up the core of the course. Through readings, conversations, and brainstorming sessions with visits to farm sites, and independent research, students learn about aspects of urban agriculture and community building. Students learn how to effectively use their vast networks and community to gain perspectives of their role in the world. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2016–2017
  • ENTS 244: Biodiversity Conservation and Development

    How can the need for intensive human social and economic development be reconciled with the conservation of biodiversity? This course explores the wide range of actions that people take at a local, national, and international level to address this question. We will use political ecology and conservation biology as theoretical frameworks to examine the role of traditional and indigenous approaches to biodiversity conservation as well as contemporary debates about integrated conservation development across a spectrum of cultures in North America, Africa, Latin America, and Asia. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; offered Winter 2017 · T. Nega
  • ENTS 254: Topics in Landscape Ecology

    Landscape ecology is an interdisciplinary field that combines the spatial approach of the geographer with the functional approach of the ecologist to understand the ways in which landscape composition and structure affects ecological processes, species abundance, and distribution. Topics include collecting and referencing spatial data at broad scales, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), landscape metrics, simulating change in landscape pattern, landscape connectivity and meta-population dynamics, and reserve design. Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 6 credit; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Social Inquiry, International Studies; offered Winter 2017 · T. Nega
  • ENTS 260: Comparative Agroecology

    As the world human population continues to expand, while at the same time the arable land base and fossil fuel supply shrink, the need for a sustainable food system is imperative. This course explores factors influencing food production and distribution at both local and national levels, with an eye towards how these factors affect choices made by the ultimate stewards of the land--the farmers. While the course focuses on the scientific aspects of agroecosystem sustainability, comparisons will be made among various production models both in the U.S. and China, bringing in social, economic and policy issues. This course is part of the OCS winter break China program, involving two linked courses in fall and winter terms, this class is the first class in the sequence. 

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 or 126 or Chemistry 123 or 128 or Geology 110 or 120 and instructor permission 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2016–2017
  • ENTS 261: Field Investigation in Comparative Agroecology

    This course is the second part of a two-term course sequence beginning with Environmental and Technology Studies 260. The course begins with a two-week visit in December to Beijing and Sichuan province. Field work will include visits to Chinese farms at the forefront of an incipient sustainable agriculture movement in China, as well as discussions with Chinese sustainable agriculture researchers. In regular weekly meetings during the winter term on campus, data will be analyzed and presented in oral and written reports. Prerequisites: Environmental and Technology Studies 260 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2016–2017
  • ENTS 262: Materials Science, Energy, and the Environment

    Drawing on chemistry and physics principles, this course will focus on the relationship between the structure and physical properties of materials, how materials science can address environmental and energy challenges, and the technological and societal impacts of materials development. Topics to be covered will vary from year to year, but may include material life cycle assessment, traditional plastics and biodegradable alternatives, materials and technologies for solar energy conversion, and the role of materials in developing energy efficient buildings. Students who have taken Physics 260 may not take Environmental and Technology Studies 262. Prerequisites: Two five-week or one ten-week Physics course numbered 151-165 or Chemistry 123 or 128 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Writing Requirement; not offered 2016–2017
  • ENTS 265: The Science of the Earth System

    An interdisciplinary approach will be employed to understand the science behind major environmental issues such as pollution and climate change. The initial focus of the class will be to develop a good general understanding of the movement of energy and matter among the global biogeochemical cycles. Case studies will draw from recent literature.   

    Prerequisites: One introductory course in Biology (125 or 126), Chemistry 123 or 128 or any 100-level Geology or Physics (two five-week courses or one ten week course from 131 through 165) or instructor's permission. 6 credit; S/CR/NC; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2017 · W. Hollingsworth
  • ENTS 272: Remote Sensing of the Environment

    This course provides an introduction to the use of remotely sensed imagery and the application of remote sensing in environmental and natural resources management. Topics include raster-vector integration, geometric and atmospheric correction, spatial and spectral enhancement, image classification, change detection, and spatial modeling. This course will involve both lecture classes that will be used for presentation of fundamental topics and theory and sessions devoted to providing hands-on experience in the processing and interpretation of remotely sensed imagery. Prerequisites: Environmental Studies 120 is recommended not required 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2016–2017
  • ENTS 275: Urban Ecology

    This course will examine the interdisciplinary field of urban ecology, seeking to address such questions as: How do cities function as social-ecological systems? What makes cities sustainable and resilient? How are urban dwellers implicated in the environmental processes around them? Topics include urban metabolism, cities as social-ecological systems, land use planning and design principles, and the hydrological, biogeochemical, and atmospheric processes of urban environments. 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2016–2017
  • ENTS 280: Ethiopia and Tanzania Program: Research Projects on Conservation and Development

    The aim of this course is to equip students with the necessary research, evaluation and communication skills in order to carryout their research projects successfully. Topics covered includes understanding of the frameworks within which knowledge is communicated and gained as well as the particular skills and techniques that make that possible. 4 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2016–2017
  • ENTS 284: Ethiopia and Tanzania Program: Cultural Studies

    The course is intended to expose students to the cultural heritages of Tanzania and Ethiopia. Among the cultural activities involved in the course include visits to historical cultural sites and museums, guest lectures, and lessons in local cuisines. 2 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2016–2017
  • ENTS 287: Climate Science

    In this course, we will explore the state of the science of the modern global climate. The course will include a discussion of the impact of greenhouse gases and aerosol particles on the global climate system, and attention will be paid to understanding global cycles as well as global climate models. In order to understand the underlying science, geoengineering schemes to "fix" the global climate system will be investigated. Throughout the course, our emphasis will be on a quantitative, scientifically rigorous understanding of the complex climate system. Prerequisites: One introductory course in Biology 125 or 126, Chemistry 123 or 128, any 100-level Geology, or Physics (two five-week courses or one ten week course from 131-165) and Math 111 or 215, or consent of the instructor 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2016–2017
  • ENTS 288: Abrupt Climate Change

    The field of abrupt climate change seeks to understand very fast changes, or "tipping points," in historical climate records. Course topics include interpretation of historical climate data, methods of measuring abrupt changes in ancient climates, theories for abrupt change, the role of complex earth systems, and the connection to trends in global climate change. The course will directly address our future vulnerability to abrupt climate change through cases studies of past human civilizations. Includes a term-long multimedia team project, with an academic civic engagement component, at the intersection of abrupt climate change and an issue of human concern. Prerequisites: One introductory course in Biology 125 or 126, Chemistry 123 or 128 or any 100-level Geology, or Physics (two five-week courses or one ten week course from 131 through 165) 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Writing Requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2016–2017
  • ENTS 301: Science and Society

    Science today is hardwired into virtually every aspect of our lives and the world we inhabit so much so that there is no 'space' outside science. Our societies can equally well die of the production of science (e.g., global warming, species extinction) or safeguard itself from them. In such a context, how we understand science and with what tools is a key question. The aim of this course is to explore major approaches for understanding and explaining scientific knowledge and the implications of these approaches for understanding the place and importance of science in an age of global environmentalism. Prerequisites: Sociology/Anthropology 110, 111 or instructor permissionnot offered 2016–2017
  • ENTS 310: Topics in Environmental Law and Policy

    This seminar will examine topical issues in domestic and international environmental law and policy. We will aim to understand how environmental laws work to achieve policy objectives, with attention also to debates about the role of markets and community-based environmental management. The specific topics may change from year to year, but may include approaches to sustainable development, sustainable agriculture, protection of endangered species, and conservation and management of water resources. This course has no prerequisites and is suitable for students of environmental studies, political science, international relations and political economy. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Winter 2017 · K. Smith
  • ENTS 372: Coffee Ecologies and Livelihoods

    This course presents an overview of the environmental, social and economic dimensions of coffee production, commercialization and consumption. Specifically, we will cover the following topics: 1) How coffee is produced and the challenges and opportunities that affect the livelihoods of coffee producers; 2) How coffee is marketed in the global economy, including a comparison of conventional and alternative markets (fair trade, organic, shade grown, etc.); 3) The opportunities and challenges to integrate coffee production with environmental conservation initiatives. The course will be run as a seminar with regular discussions and presentations by students. 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Writing Requirement; not offered 2016–2017
  • ENTS 395: Senior Seminar

    This seminar will focus on preparing Environmental Studies majors to undertake the senior comprehensive exercise. The seminar will be organized around a topic to-be-determined and will involve intensive discussion and the preparation of a detailed research proposal for the comps experience. The course is required for all Environmental Studies majors choosing the group comps option. Prerequisites: Completion of all other Environmental and Technology Studies core courses except comps 3 credit; Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2016 · A. Swoboda
  • ENTS 400: Integrative Exercise

    In this course, ENTS majors complete a group-based comprehensive exercise. Each group is expected to research and execute a group project on the topic chosen by the group, under the guidance of an ENTS faculty member. Toward the end of winter term, all groups present their research at a symposium sponsored by ENTS. Prerequisite: Environmental and Technology Studies 395. 1-6 credit; S/NC; offered Winter 2017

Major Requirements

In most cases, majors must complete 78 credits in the course categories listed below, which includes nine credits devoted to a group-based comprehensive exercise. This comprehensive exercise is described in detail on the Environmental Studies website. In exceptional circumstances, majors may do an individual comprehensive exercise for six credits, in which case they must complete 75 credits for the major.

I. Introductory Courses (6 credits): Pick any one of the following:

  • Introductory Lab Science Course (6 credits): Pick any one of the following:
    • BIOL 126 Energy Flow in Biological Systems
    • CHEM 128 Principles of Environmental Chemistry
    • GEOL 110 Introduction to Geology
    • GEOL 115 Climate Change in Geology
    • GEOL 120 Introduction to Environmental Geology (not offered in 2016-17)
    • PHYS 152 Introduction to Physics: Environmental Physics
    and one of its prerequisites (Physics 131, 132, 141, 142, 143 or 145)
  • Introductory Economics (6 credits)
    • ECON 111 Principles of Microeconomics. This requirement may be waived with an Economics AP score of 5.

II. Quantitative Methods (12 credits): Take both of the following:

  • ENTS 120 Introduction to Geospatial Analysis
  • MATH 215 Introduction to Statistics or MATH 245 Applied Regression Analysis or MATH 265 Probability or MATH 275 Introduction to Statistical Inference (6 credits). This requirement may be waived with a MATH Stats AP Score of 5.

III. Research Design and Methods (3 credits)

  • ENTS 232 Research Design and Methods

IV. Core Courses (18 credits): Take all of the following:

  • BIOL 210 Global Change Biology
  • ECON 271 Economics of Natural Resources and the Environment
  • HIST 205 American Environmental History

V. Focus Electives (24 credits): All students must choose an area of specialization, or focus. Completion of a focus involves taking the required course for that focus, listed below. The other 18 credits should consist of one additional Society, Culture, Policy elective and two Environmental Science electives. Any one of these courses may be used to satisfy the 300-level topical seminar requirement in section VI, below.

a. Focus required course (6 credits): Take the course required for your declared focus area:

  • Food and Agriculture
    • ENTS 212 Global Food Systems
  • Conservation and Development
    • ENTS 244 Biodiversity Conservation and Development
  • Landscapes and Perception
    • HIST 306 American Wilderness
  • Water Resources
    • ECON 273 Water and Western Economic Development
  • Environmental Justice
    • POSC 212 Environmental Justice

b. Focus Electives (18 credits):

  • Society, Culture and Policy: Take any one of the following:
    • AMST 230 The American Sublime: Landscape, Character & National Destiny in Nineteenth Century America
    • AMST 240 The Midwest and the American Imagination (not offered in 2016-17)
    • ARTH 267 Gardens in China and Japan (not offered in 2016-17)
    • ARTS 113 Field Drawing
    • ARTS 212 Studio Art Seminar in the South Pacific: Mixed-Media Drawing
    • ARTS 275 Studio Art Seminar in the South Pacific: The Physical and Cultural Environment
    • ECON 240 Microeconomics of Development
    • ECON 268 Economics of Cost Benefit Analysis (not offered in 2016-17)
    • ECON 269 Economics of Climate Change
    • ECON 272 Economics, Property and Institutions in Natural Resources (not offered in 2016-17)
    • ECON 273 Water and Western Economic Development (not offered in 2016-17)
    • ECON 275 Law and Economics (not offered in 2016-17)
    • ENGL 236 American Nature Writing
    • ENGL 247 The American West (not offered in 2016-17)
    • ENGL 248 Visions of California (not offered in 2016-17)
    • ENTS 203 Ethics and Ecology (not offered in 2016-17)
    • ENTS 215 Environmental Ethics
    • ENTS 244 Biodiversity Conservation and Development
    • ENTS 275 Urban Ecology (not offered in 2016-17)
    • ENTS 284 Ethiopia and Tanzania Program: Cultural Studies (not offered in 2016-17)
    • ENTS 301 Science and Society (not offered in 2016-17)
    • ENTS 310 Topics in Environmental Law and Policy
    • ENTS 372 Coffee Ecologies and Livelihoods (not offered in 2016-17)
    • HIST 227 The American West (not offered in 2016-17)
    • HIST 306 American Wilderness (not offered in 2016-17)
    • HIST 307 Wilderness Field Studies: Grand Canyon (not offered in 2016-17)
    • HIST 308 American Cities and Nature (not offered in 2016-17)
    • PHIL 197 Climate Matters
    • PHIL 243 Animal Ethics: The Moral Status of Animals
    • POSC 212 Environmental Justice
    • POSC 268 Global Environmental Politics and Policy
    • POSC 333 Global Social Changes and Sustainability*
    • POSC 379 Political Econ & Ecology of S.E. Asia: Diversity of Social Ecological Systems in Southeast Asia (not offered in 2016-17)
    • RELG 243 Native American Religious Freedom
    • SOAN 203 Anthropology of Good Intentions
    • SOAN 233 Anthropology of Food (not offered in 2016-17)
    • SOAN 234 Ecology, Economy, and Culture
    • SOAN 251 Guatemala Prog: Resource Management and Sustainable Development in the Maya World (not offered in 2016-17)
    • SOAN 302 Anthropology and Indigenous Rights (not offered in 2016-17)
    • SOAN 323 Mother Earth: Women, Development and the Environment (not offered in 2016-17)
    • SOAN 333 Environmental Anthropology (not offered in 2016-17)
    • SPAN 260 Forces of Nature (not offered in 2016-17)
  • Environmental Science: Take any two of the following:
    • BIOL 238 Entomology (not offered in 2016-17)
    • BIOL 250 Australia/New Zealand Program: Marine Ecology
    • BIOL 252 Environmental Animal Physiology
    • BIOL 321 Ecosystem Ecology
    • BIOL 344 Seminar: The Molecular Basis of Plant Development (not offered in 2016-17)
    • BIOL 350 Evolution
    • BIOL 352 Population Ecology
    • BIOL 374 Seminar: Grassland Ecology
    • ENTS 254 Topics in Landscape Ecology
    • ENTS 260 Comparative Agroecology (not offered in 2016-17)
    • ENTS 262 Materials Science, Energy, and the Environment (not offered in 2016-17)
    • ENTS 265 The Science of the Earth System
    • ENTS 272 Remote Sensing of the Environment (not offered in 2016-17)
    • ENTS 287 Climate Science (not offered in 2016-17)
    • ENTS 288 Abrupt Climate Change (not offered in 2016-17)
    • GEOL 205 Geology of Energy and Mineral Resources (not offered in 2016-17)
    • GEOL 210 Geomorphology
    • GEOL 258 Geology of Soils (not offered in 2016-17)
    • GEOL 270 Topics: Tasmania Geology and Natural History
    • GEOL 271 Tasmania: Geology, Natural History and Conservation Research
    • GEOL 340 Hydrology
    • GEOL 370 Geochemistry of Natural Waters (not offered in 2016-17)
    • PHYS 210 Sustainable Energy Principles and Design
    • PHYS 211 Sustainable Energy Practice and Prospects (India)

VI. Topical Seminar (6 credits):

All students must take one 300-level seminar that includes an individual research paper. This course may also count as a focus elective. Courses that fulfill this requirement are:

  • BIOL 374 Seminar: Grassland Ecology
  • ENTS 310 Topics in Environmental Law and Policy
  • ENTS 372 Coffee Ecologies and Livelihoods (not offered in 2016-17)
  • GEOL 340 Hydrology
  • HIST 306 American Wilderness (not offered in 2016-17)
  • HIST 307 Wilderness Field Studies: Grand Canyon (not offered in 2016-17)
  • HIST 308 American Cities and Nature (not offered in 2016-17)
  • POSC 333 Global Social Changes and Sustainability*
  • SOAN 323 Mother Earth: Women, Development and the Environment (not offered in 2016-17)

VII. Senior Seminar/Comprehensive Exercise (9 credits): Most students will take a 3-credit senior seminar, which is normally offered fall term, and then pursue a 6-credit group-based comprehensive exercise the following term. In exceptional circumstances, students may pursue an individual comprehensive exercise.

  • ENTS 395 Senior Seminar
  • ENTS 400 Integrative Exercise
  • ENTS 400 Integrative Exercise: Individual option