Skip Navigation

Environmental Studies

IIENST110 Food, Health, and the Environment

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.

IIENST150 Global Environmental Change

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.

IIENST151 The Environment of Central New England

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.

ENST250 Principles of Sustainability

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. Fall.

ENST251 Matter and Energy in the Environment

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. Fall.

ENST252 Ecology of a Changing Planet

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.

ENST253 Environmental Governance

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. Fall.

ENST290 Special Topics

1-4 credits

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

ENST298 Independent Study

1-4 credits

An opportunity for a qualified student to explore work in an area of individual interest, selected and pursued in consultation with a faculty member. Consent required of the instructor who will supervise the independent study. May be repeated for a total of 4 credits.

ENST301 Environmental Research Methods

Students explore methods and skills fundamental to understanding environmental issues. Guided field and laboratory projects emphasize the basic tools of science including observation, questioning, data collection and interpretation. Students learn basic techniques to survey and describe landscapes, biota, soil, water and air. Prerequisites: IIENST 150 or IIENST 151, and INCHEM 103 or INPHYS 141. Fall.

ENST304 Environmental Law and Regulation

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.

ENST311 Environmental Health

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.

ENST312 Energy Resource Science

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.

ENST315 Environmental Geology

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.

ENST344 Community Solutions to Climate Change

Increasingly, communities across the world are reaching the conclusion that they need to act on their own to prepare for climate change. We examine what motivates and empowers action and take in-depth looks at case studies of individuals and communities on the front lines of climate adaptation and mitigation. Prerequisites: ENST 250 and ENST 253 or permission of instructor. Fall.

ISENST350 Energy Policy and Politics

Covers the policies and politics that shape the energy system of today. We examine legislation, policy, and political controversies about fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables. Our focus is both historical and contemporary and primarily centered on the United States. This course is offered completely on-line. Prerequisites: 24 credits in ISP including ITW 101 and QL.

ENST352 Conservation of Ecological Systems

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.

ENST353 Restoration Ecology

Introduces ecological principles used in restoration and applies those principles to local case studies. By the end of this class, students will be able to: describe the state of this emerging field; describe restoration successes and failures; and provide an ecological analysis of a restoration project. Required field trips. Prerequisites: 44 credits completed, and either ENST 252 or BIO 111. Spring, odd years.

ENST363 Writing in An Endangered World

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.

ENST371 Environmental Ethics

This course provides an overview of environmental ethics, exploring the ethical basis of our responsibilities for the natural world in the context of environmental thought. Discussions incorporate contemporary environmental perspectives, including animal rights, eco-feminism, deep ecology and environmental justice; and specific issues: wilderness preservation, species conservation, climate change and sustainability. Prerequisite: ENST 250 or ENST 253. Spring.

INENST381 Farming With Nature in Mind

Through the lens of agroecology, we consider ecological and social conditions that influence the healthy functioning of food production systems and the effect of varying farming methods on the environment. Students will investigate models from the U.S. and around the world and have opportunities for hands-on experimentation in agroecological methods. Prerequisites: 24 credits in ISP, including ITW 101 and QL. Fall.

ISENST382 Environmental Advocacy

This course explores how environmental advocates work to implement changes to protect the natural world and the public. Theories of social power and personal empowerment, ethical perspectives, diverse models of mobilization, advocacy roles and tools, and various forms of media will be studied as ways to support an advocacy campaign. Prerequisites: 24 credits in ISP, including ITW 101 and QL. Fall.

INENST383 Rethinking Energy

As fossil fuel energy sources have high environmental impact, we need to understand ways that cleaner, renewable alternatives can be more broadly available. This course develops a basic understanding of the physical laws of energy and explores the connections between energy sources, needs, politics, policies, environmental impact, and sustainability. Prerequisites: 24 credits in ISP, including ITW 101 and QL.

ENST393 Sustainability for Organizations

As social animals, humans form collective organizations in order to accomplish their goals. These organizations take many forms in the public/private sector, but they all offer opportunities to engage in sustainable practice. This course explores how to drive sustainability innovation within both new and existing organizations, and associated benefits. Prerequisite: ENST 250 or permission of instructor. Occasional.

ENST395 Junior Seminar

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, ENST 253, and ENST 301. ENST 301 can be taken as a co-requisite. Fall, Spring.

ENST404 Risk and the Environment

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.

ENST405 The Clean Energy Revolution

Fossil fuels and climate change are pushing us toward a lower carbon future. We examine the transition underway to renewable energy, conservation, and smart efficiency. We also evaluate the disruptive and positive consequences of the technological, political, economic, and social forces that are driving the changes today. Prerequisites: INGEOS 201 or ENST 253, or permission from the instructor. Spring.

ENST412 Environmental Geochemistry

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.

ENST452 Ecosystems and the Environment

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.

ENST460 Groundwater in the Environment

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.

ENST461 Freshwater Science and Management

This applied interdisciplinary course examines the physical factors that control freshwater aquatic systems. Principles of hydrology, geomorphology, and aquatic ecology will be discussed and applied to issues of aquatic system management and restoration. Labs include indoor and field skill development. Prerequisites: ENST 252 or INGEOL 151 or permission of instructor.

ENST490 Advanced Special Topics

1-4 credits

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

ENST491 Adv Topics in Environmental Science

Study of selected topics related to environmental science at an advanced level. May be repeated as topics change. Prerequisites: ENST 251 or ENST 252 or permission of instructor. Occasionally.

ENST492 Advanced Topics in Human Dimension

Study of selected topics related to human dimension of environmental studies at an advanced level. May be repeated as topics change. Prerequisites: ENST 250 or ENST 253 or permission of instructor. Occasionally.

ENST494 Advanced Cooperative Education

1-6 credits

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.

ENST495 Senior Seminar

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. Spring.

ENST498 Independent Study

1-6 credits

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.