• ENTS 100: Precious Metal Jewelry: The Arts, Mining, and the Environment

    Gold, silver, and diamond--we wear these metals and others on our bodies every day. We will explore, from cradle to final product, the lifecycle of gold and other precious metals used in jewelry. One gold ring leaves behind 20 tons of toxic rubble on a mining site. Is this acceptable? We will critically consider these objects from perspectives that include the chemical, environmental, wilderness protection and recreation, artistic, social justice, and cultural. The course will include a focus on local copper-nickel mines proposed by PolyMet and Twin Metals near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in northern Minnesota. 6 credit; Argument and Inquiry Seminar, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2015 · T. Ferrett
  • 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 2016 · 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 2015 · T. Nega
  • ENTS 200: Food and Agriculture

    The production and consumption of food is a seemingly mundane activity in our lives. Yet, how we respond to food and our consumptive practices mirror our sense of place, our capacity for self-control, our health, the ways in which we impact the world food production system, and the natural environment. In this course, students will study modern agro-food systems and their social and ecological impacts in Ethiopia. The group will visit various sites throughout the program, including large and small scale farms, agro-forestry systems, and examples of urban agriculture. 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; not offered 2015–2016
  • 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 2015–2016
  • 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 2015–2016
  • 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; not offered 2015–2016
  • 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 Winter 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 2016 · 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; offered Winter 2016 · T. Nega
  • 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; offered Winter 2016 · T. Nega
  • 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; not offered 2015–2016
  • ENTS 247: Agroforestry Systems: Local and Global Perspectives

    This course will examine the principles and practices of tropical and temperate agroforestry systems. Focus will be given to the ecological structure and function of agroforests, the economic costs and benefits of agroforests, and the social context in which agroforests operate. Specific topics include plant/soil relationships, competition and complementarity, biogeochemical cycling, design principles, and the synergies and tradeoffs among economic, social, and ecological management goals. 6 credit; Social Inquiry; not offered 2015–2016
  • 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; not offered 2015–2016
  • 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; offered Fall 2015 · D. Hougen-Eitzman
  • 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; offered Winter 2016 · D. Hougen-Eitzman
  • 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: Physics 151, 152, 153, 161, 162 or 165 or Chemistry 123 or 128 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Writing Requirement; not offered 2015–2016
  • ENTS 264: Ethiopia and Tanzania Program: Agriculture and Rural Livelihoods in Sub-Saharan Africa

    Smallholder agriculture is the mainstay of livelihoods in much of Sub Saharan Africa. In east Africa, for example, smallholder farming accounts for about seventy-five percent of agricultural production and over seventy-five percent employment. Yet the productivity of the sector is very low to the point that famine is a recurrent phenomenon. In this course, students will study the structure of the smallholder farming communities, the economic and institutional constraints under which these farmers operate, and current efforts to address them. The group will explore these issues at various sites throughout the program. 6 credit; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; not offered 2015–2016
  • ENTS 265: Modeling Environmental Systems

    Different scientific disciplines are good at characterizing environmental systems. In this class, biogeochemical cycles relating to the rates of transport of matter and energy among water, soil, and the atmosphere will be studied as one way to sort out major local, regional, and global environmental issues. However, complex interactions among components forbid a detailed understanding of systems as they change over time. Rate modeling activities will be used in order to develop a better sense of the ways that systems change over time. Prerequisites: Chemistry 128, Biology 210, or another introductory science class with instructor's permission 6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2015–2016
  • 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 2015–2016
  • 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 2015–2016
  • 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; offered Winter 2016 · T. Nega
  • 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; S/CR/NC; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2016 · T. Nega
  • 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; offered Fall 2015 · D. Gross
  • 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 2015–2016
  • 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 2015–2016
  • 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; not offered 2015–2016
  • 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 2015–2016
  • 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 2015 · T. Nega
  • 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 2016