Fall. This interdisciplinary course introduces physical principles as they apply to understanding environmental problems and issues. Topics include: human dependence on natural resources; energy; climate, nutrient cycles and soils; chemistry of the atmosphere and air pollution; chemistry of water pollution; solid and hazardous wastes; and the power, limitations, and roles of science and technology in society. (NATURAL SCIENCE LAB)
Prereq.: ENG-100.1, ENG-101, WRI-102 or permission. An investigation of the relationships among nature, self, and community, with special emphasis given to the interdisciplinary nature of environmental studies. The course is writing-intensive and pursues analysis of environmental issues and concepts. Students interested in the Environmental Studies major should complete this course during their freshman or sophomore years.
Spring. Prereq. or coreq.: MAT-112, ENV-160. This course explores biological and ecological principles as a means of understanding the behavior of complex environmental systems, including biotic communities, and ecosystems, such as forests, coral reefs, and agricultural ecosystems. We investigate human population dynamics and human impacts on these systems and consider issues in areas such as climatology, biodiversity, conservation biology, sustainable agriculture, toxicology, and risk assessment using various models, problem-solving approaches, and interdisciplinary perspectives. (Fulfills the entire NATURAL SCIENCE Liberal Arts Core requirement when taken with ENV-160).
Fall. Prereq.: ENV-200 or permission. This course serves to prepare students for winter study abroad and provides an introduction to the cultural and natural history, ecology, and specific environmental concerns of the winter term trip destination.
Winter. Prereq.: ENV-200 or permission and successful application and interview. Recommended: previous or concurrent Spanish study. Requires concurrent enrollment in ENV-326. This course introduces students to the geography, ecology, and natural history of selected Costa Rican ecosystems, with an emphasis on identifying, describing, and interpreting natural phenomena such as the behavior of birds and spatial and temporal changes in plant and animal communities. Readings will include selections from such writers as Janzen, Kricher, and Kingsolver. Students will keep extensive journals of their natural history observations and interpretations, and will produce their own creative nonfiction based on their journals. Note: Completion of this course of study will satisfy the following elective categories in the following majors: 1. Environmental Studies major, Conservation Biology focus: one lab course in Systematics or one lab course in Ecology (4 credits) 2. Environmental Studies major, Global Studies focus: The elective category of "winter session classes, winter C of I overseas study trips, or immersion study abroad" (3 credits) 3. Biology major: "Elective upper-division courses" (3 credits). (CULTURAL DIVERSITY and NON-LAB NATURAL SCIENCE)
Winter. Prereq.: ENV-200 or permission, successful application and interview and concurrent enrollment in ENV-325. Recommended: previous or concurrent Spanish study. In this course, students explore the difficulties and rewards of pursuing an environmentally sustainable culture, while focusing especially on two of Costa Rica's most pressing challenges: tourism and agriculture. Students will both be ecotourists by engaging in some of the typical tourist activities (e.g., zip-lining, rafting, canopy walks) and analyze the effects of their tourist activities. They will also explore the complexities of an economy and national identity based on ecotourism. In addition, students will observe and investigate the complexities of agriculture by studying both the implications of unchecked grazing and industrial agriculture, and the movement toward sustainable practices such as organic and polyculture farming. Students will complete a research project based on their studies. (CULTURAL DIVERSITY)
Winter. Alt. years. A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer-based data processing tool used to manage and analyze spatial information. This course introduces students to the theory and techniques of GIS including spatial data acquisition and input, data management, data analysis, and map output. Students will gain hands-on experience with Geographic Information System software (ArcGIS) through laboratory activities. This course is especially useful for students pursuing majors in Environmental Studies, Biology, or Political Economy. Two hours lecture and four hours laboratory weekly.
Prereq.: Senior standing. An integration and synthesis of different disciplinary perspectives as they relate to a specific local or regional environmental issue. Students will bring to the seminar their expertise from their disciplinary foci, pursue independent research, and collaborate on a formal written project. (INDEPENDENT WORK)
Fall, winter, spring. Prereq.: Permission. A guided research project (library, field, or both) culminating in a research paper written according to program guidelines. May also result in a website, poster, audiovisual presentation or other public report. (INDEPENDENT WORK)
Fall, winter, spring. Prereq.: Junior standing or permission. Supervised work in an environmental field in an approved firm, agency or office. A written summary or other product and an oral presentation are presented at the conclusion of the internship. (INDEPENDENT WORK)