Environmental Studies

This interdisciplinary course explores the connection between food choices and food production systems and their impact on public health and the environment. Considering social, political, economic, and ethical factors, students will compare different agricultural systems and assess the ecological footprint and sustainability of our daily decisions of what to eat. Fall, Spring.

Students will gain a basic scientific understanding of the Earth's major physical and biological systems within the context of global environmental issues, and will also explore global environmental change and potential solutions from interdisciplinary economic, ethical, political, and social perspectives. Fall, Spring.

Introduces the geology and ecology, the natural and human history, and the social systems and governance structures that shape our regional environment. Explores the concept of place using interdisciplinary approaches, including hands-on field work, to prepare students to become responsible environmental stewards of the places where they live. Fall.

Students evaluate worldviews and assumptions that brought us to the current crisis in worldwide environmental degradation and social injustice, and examine the more harmonious and sustainable relationship between humans and nature using systems-thinking, critical reflection, writing and contemplative practices. Prerequisites: ITW 101 and either IIENST 150 or IIENST 151. Spring.

Introduces fundamental concepts governing the distribution of matter and energy in the Earth systems that determine our environment. Field and laboratory exercises emphasize the basics of sampling and experimental design, hypothesis formation, data analysis, and interpretation. Prerequisites: IIENST 150 or IIENST 151, and IQL 101 or MATH 141. Spring.

This integrated lecture-lab course will provide an understanding of biological and ecological principles and relate them to different environmental issues, such as global climate change, conservation of habitats and biodiversity, land use change, and pollution. Field and lab exercises emphasize sampling and experimental design, hypothesis formation, data analysis, and interpretation. Prerequisites: IIENST 150 or IIENST 151 and IQL 101 or MATH 141. Fall.

Making environmental decisions is extremely challenging due to the complex interaction of science, politics, associated uncertainties, conflicting individual/social values, and decision urgency. This course provides an overview of the current and emerging processes by which communities, businesses, and governments make decisions relating to environmental governance. Prerequisites: IIENST 150 or IIENST 151 and ITW 101. Spring.

Study of selected topics related to Environmental Studies. May be repeated as topics change. Occasionally.

Develops an understanding of the system of laws and regulations that protect the environment, human health, and natural resources. The role of science in the legal/regulatory process will be emphasized, as will federal/state regulatory processes and requirements. Cross-listed as SAFE 304. Prerequisite: ENST 253 or SAFE 302 or permission of instructor. Fall.

Environmental professionals frequently confront issues involving high levels of uncertainty in contentious political environments. This course covers the methods for informing the public and engaging stakeholders in addressing environmental problems. Students create and critique environmental messages, public participation strategies, and information dissemination styles for multiple audiences and purposes. Prerequisite: ENST 253. Spring.

This course will examine the impact of environmental factors on human health. Basic principles of toxicology will be reviewed. Conceptual understanding of chemical, biological, and physical hazards and their associated health effects will be emphasized. Contemporary challenges of environmental health policy-making will be discussed. Prerequisite: ENST 251 or INCHEM 103 or CHEM 112. Spring, alternate years.

Many significant world problems can be attributed to our use of energy. To ensure a livable future, we need to understand energy and be able to effectively evaluate different options, including new energy technologies as well as changes in the way we live our lives. Prerequisites: ENST 250 and ENST 251. Spring, alternate years.

Examines the relationships between humans and our geological environment, including resources, hazards, and human impacts. Field methods in obtaining geologic information for resource evaluation and protection, risk reduction, and environmental remediation. Three-hour lecture, three-hour lab. Required field trips. Cross-listed as GEOL 315. Prerequisite: INGEOL 151. Fall.

This course focuses on the practical and theoretical aspects of conservation and restoration biology through lectures, discussions, and student projects. It examines the degradation and loss of biodiversity and ecosystems due to human activity and considers alternatives for avoiding and/or mitigating these impacts. Prerequisite: ENST 252. Spring.

This course traces environmentalism as a social movement in relation to the development of environmental writing. Students will consider the relationship between literature and social change, the development of literary strategies in environmental writing, and commentaries on the environmental movement by cultural critics and environmental historians in developing countries. Cross-listed with AMST 363. Prerequisites: IIAMST 250 or ENST 250 or permission of instructor. Fall, odd years.

In-depth analysis of environmental research literature and methodologies. Emphasis on proposal writing and oral presentation. Development of a project proposal to be completed in ENST 495. Exploration of postgraduate opportunities. Field trips and field work required. Prerequisite: 76 credits and grade C or higher in ENST 250, ENST 251, ENST 252, and ENST 253. Spring.

Risk decision-making regarding the environment involves multiple stakeholders and is often controversial. This course examines the theory and practice of environmental risk assessment and management, with an emphasis on the social, political, and technical dimensions of risk decision-making. Prerequisite: ENST 253. Spring, alternate years.

This course examines the chemistry of pollution in the environment. Conceptual understanding of significant natural and manmade chemical processes in air, water, and soil will be emphasized. Pollution fate and transport, monitoring, control technologies, and remediation strategies are explored. Lab component. Prerequisite: ENST 251 or INCHEM 103 or CHEM 112. Spring, alternate years.

Examination of the principles and mechanisms governing distribution of the chemical elements and their isotopes in natural environments, with application to selected problems and geochemical analysis research projects. Three-hour lecture, three-hour lab. Prerequisites: ENST 251 or INGEOL 151, and INCHEM 103 or CHEM 112. Spring, alternate years.

This course provides a framework for navigating the complex dimensions of environmental policy and reconciling scientific information with the often divergent social values and perspectives associated with environmental issues. Students examine environmental problems at multiple scales and propose common interest solutions based on an in-depth interdisciplinary case study analysis. Prerequisite: ENST 253. Fall.

This course focuses on the controls and dynamics of ecosystem function and community structure. A central theme in this course is to apply the concepts learned to human-caused environmental problems such as global climate change, industrial farming, loss of biodiversity, invasion by nonnative species, and acid rain. Prerequisite: ENST 252. Fall.

Examines the occurrence and movement of groundwater as it relates to the hydrologic cycle, the environment and ecosystems, water resources, and the transport and fate of contaminants. Theoretical and practical aspects. Three-hour lecture, three-hour lab. Field trips may be required. Prerequisite: ENST 251 or INGEOL 151. MATH 151 and INPHYS 141 are desirable but not required. Fall, alternate years.

Study of selected topics related to environmental studies at an advanced level. May be repeated as topics change. Occasionally.

Sequential work-learning experience for which compensation may be received. Positions arranged by students, with sponsorship, approval, and evaluation by full-time faculty. Elective credit (normally 120 hours per credit) for a total of 12 credits per degree program. Prerequisites: 2.0 cumulative GPA, declaration of major, and permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit. Graded Pass/Fail.

In this capstone course, students explore in-depth environmental issues, integrating science and policy aspects. Completing the research project developed in ENST 395, students further enhance their research, critical thinking, and oral and written communication skills. The seminar prepares students for professional careers or postgraduate opportunities. Field trips or field work required. Prerequisites: ENST 395. Fall.

Advanced work in various fields of environmental science through individual reading, writing, laboratory work, and/or field investigation. Requires research project and a written report. One-hour conference. May be repeated for a total of 6 credits.