Environmental Studies Courses (ENV)

ENV-160   Environmental Science I 3 credits

Corequisites: ENV-160L

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.

ENV-160L   Environmental Science I Laboratory 1 credit

Corequisites: ENV-160

This is the lab section for ENV-160.

ENV-200   Nature and Culture: Introduction to Environmental Studies 3 credits

Prerequisites: FYS-101

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.

ENV-260   Environmental Science II 3 credits

Prerequisites: ENV-160

Corequisites: ENV-260L

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.

ENV-260L   Environmental Science II Laboratory 1 credit

Prerequisites: ENV-160

Corequisites: ENV-260

This is the lab section for ENV-260.

ENV-294   Independent Study 1 - 3 credits

Prerequisites: Permission

A special research project on a selected topic. Independent studies cannot substitute for specific course requirements in the major or minor. See independent study guidelines.

ENV-324   Environmental Studies Overseas Preparation 1 credit

Prerequisites: 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.

ENV-325   Natural History of Costa Rica 3 credits

Prerequisites: Permission

Corequisites: ENV-326

Recommended: previous or concurrent Spanish study. 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 College of Idaho overseas study trips, or immersion study abroad" (3 credits) 3. Biology major: "Elective upper-division courses" (3 credits).

ENV-326   Environmental Sustainability in the Tropics 3 credits

Prerequisites: Permission

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.

ENV-350   Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) 2 credits

Corequisites: ENV-350L

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.

ENV-350L   Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Laboratory 1 credit

Corequisites: ENV-350

This is the lab section for ENV-350.

ENV-402   Senior Capstone 3 credits

Prerequisites: Permission

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.

ENV-494   Independent Study 1 - 3 credits

Prerequisites: 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. See independent study guidelines.

ENV-497   Environmental Internship 1 - 3 credits

Prerequisites: 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. See internship guidelines.