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Environmental Science and Studies

Current Courses

  • ENV 392. People in the Environment

    This course examines the relationship between people and the environment in two very different ways. The first part of the course looks at both rural and urban environments in sub-Saharan Africa; the second part examines how geographic information systems can be used in environmental management. Note: this course may not be taken with Education 311. Offered at Rhodes University Geography Department

  • ENV 292. Natural Systems, Processes, Resources and Management

    This course examines the basic processes operating in the physical environment and the resulting resource base, with particular reference to South Africa. Offered at Rhodes University Geography Department.


  • ENV SCE. Senior Capstone Experience

    See instructors for more information.


  • ENV 197, 297, 397, 497. Independent Study

    Courses in this category are currently available in most disciplines. The course consists of an individualized research project chosen by the student in consultation with a faculty member. The student will, with the help of the faculty mentor, design a project to be implemented during the course of the semester. The student will conduct an appropriate literature search, carry out the research, and submit a written report by the end of the semester.


  • ENV 196, 296, 396, 496. Off-campus Research

    See instructors for more information.


  • ENV 190, 290, 390, 490. Special Topics

    See instructors for more information.


  • ENV 190, 290, 390, 490. Internships

    A number of these have recently been offered. Students have received academic credit for summer work carried out at the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, The Wildfowl Trust of North America, The Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, and the Joint Cooperative National Marine Fisheries Service/Maryland Department of Natural Resources Laboratory at Oxford, Maryland. Available to declared Environmental Studies majors only. Not open to first-year students. Internships receiving academic credit must first be approved by the Director of the Program.


  • ENV 399. Environmental Studies Seminar

    This is an interdisciplinary special topics course that extensively examines any number of current environmental issues utilizing both texts and original sources. The course is available to junior and senior Environmental Studies majors only.


  • ENV 195, 295, 395, 495. On-campus Research

    On-campus courses currently available in this category are offered by the Biology, Chemistry, Physics, and Psychology Departments. The course is comprised of a ten-week summer project guided by a faculty member. The student and the faculty mentor develop a research project, supported by a reading list and involving theoretical laboratory or field investigations supervised by the faculty mentor. Participants will produce a final report detailing the findings of their research.


  • ENV 370/SOC 370. Environmental Sociology

    This class explores the human dimension of ecosystem science. Use of environmental sociology as a framework for understanding the dynamic relationship between humans and the environment, trends in environmental policy and public opinion, environmentalism as a social movement, human-induced environmental decline, and environmental justice. Students will explore how changes in ecosystems influence the achievability and sustainability of societal values such as security from natural disasters, health, good social relations, and freedom to pursue personal and cultural interests. 


  • ENV 335/POL 335. Environmental Politics

    This course explores public policy and the policy process in American politics, and specifically focuses on the development and enactment of environmental policies over the past several decades in the United States. Attention is given to how political actors have responded to environmental problems, what creates a favorable landscape for environmental policies to be implemented, and how effec- tive such policies are at achieving their goals.


  • ENV 318/ECN 318. Natural Resource Economics

    This course surveys the economic theory behind, and the management of, renewable and non-renew- able resources including fisheries, minerals, timber, water, and biodiversity. Analysis of management options is at the local, regional, and national levels. Analysis includes trade-offs of policies and the effect of property rights regime on resource use. 


  • ENV 317/ECN 317. Environmental Economics

    This course is a survey of the application of economic analysis to environmental problems. Analysis will focus on: policy options available to lawmakers and citizens, methods for assigning value to the environment, and air and water pollution and the laws meant to control these problems.  


  • ENV 308. Reconstructing Past Environments

    The study of scientific principles and methods in archaeology, with special emphasis upon earth sciences. Environmental reconstruction and site formation processes will be explored, along with methodologies such as remote sensing, geophysical prospecting, soil science, palynology, floral and faunal analysis, and radiometric dating. Pleistocene and post-Pleistocene geomorphology and environmental change in the Chesapeake will be examined, with field trips to local sites and local research projects. (Also ANT 308.) Prerequisite: Anthropology 208, Environmental Studies 101, or permission of instructor.


  • ENV 302. Conservation and Wildlife Management

    This course will focus on current conservation concerns of both national and international importance. The course covers such topics as biodiversity and its preservation, ecosystem management and habitat destruction, designing and managing protected areas, values and ethics in conservation, and wildlife management and its many facets. The course will have two to three required scheduled off campus field trips that may occur on a Saturday. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 101, BIO 111-112.


  • ENV 301. Birds of the Chesapeake Bay

    This course will emphasize the natural history, ecology, and conservation concerns of the major groups of birds (both residential and migratory) that can be found associated with the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. It will provide students a rigorous overview of the study of birds from ecological and environmental perspectives. Students will be expected to keep a field journal for the duration of most of the semester. There will be weekly mandatory off-campus four-hour Saturday field trips. These field trips will focus on identification, ecology, natural history, the use of mist nets, and banding. Students are expected to provide their own binoculars. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 101, BIO 111-112.


  • ENV 241/ART 241. Environment and Public Art

    This course introduces students to the basic concepts of environmental and public art through team projects in the field and studio. Students concentrate on the development of one artwork created at Stepne Manor, a 77-acre farm owned by Washington College and adjacent to the College’s waterfront campus. The curriculum centers on the production of a site specific work created by students working in two-person teams. Students regularly engage in class discussions about the projects being pursued by its participants, readings, screenings, and research papers directed toward the work of specific art- ists. Prerequisite: 1 course of Studio Art or permission of the instructor. 


  • ENV 222. Summer Environmental Studies in Ecuador

    This three-week-long summer course, offered in conjunction with the Universidad San Francisco de Quito, will investigate many of the world’s most distinctive species of plants, animals, and marine life that inhabit the richly diverse ecosystems of Ecuador. Students will gain an understanding of Ecuador’s social and economic issues and the challenges it faces as a developing country while attempting to conserve its natural resources. Topics investigated include conservation of the Amazon rain forest and oil exploration, ecotourism, biodiversity concerns, mangrove conservation and the fate of Galapagos tortoises and the Galapagos fisheries. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 101 or permission of the instructor.


  • ENV 221/BIO 221. The Bermuda Environment

    This summer course will investigate the complex ecology of the Bermuda Islands, the impact that human habitation has had on their natural history, and current environmental concerns and means of mitigating those concerns. Major areas of study will include (but not be limited to) coral reef ecology/symbioses, mangrove community ecology and environmental relevance, architectural and military influences during colonization, fisheries practices (past, present and future) and current concerns and problems, and ecotourism and associated environmental impacts.(Also BIO 221) Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 101, or Biology 111-112, or permission of the instructor.


  • ENV 210/CHE 210. Environmental Chemistry

    The cycling of natural chemical species and pollutants in the water, soil and air of our earth system is a major component of our complex ecosystem. In this environmental chemistry course, we will develop an understanding of the transport and reactions controlling natural chemical species in our environment, as well as the cycling of pollutants. We will focus primarily on current issues of water, soil and air pollution and will study how scientists are cleaning up currently polluted sites, such as through bioremediation, and then look forward to how society is working towards reducing the movement of pollutants through our environment. In the laboratory portion of the class, we will investigate the water quality of local water bodies, including the Chester River, as well as conduct hands-on experiments related to the environmental issues studied in class. Three hours of lecture and three hours of laboratory each week. Prerequisite: Chemistry 112. (Also CHE 210)


  • ENV 140/PHY 140. Exploring the Solid Earth

    This course investigates the composition, structure, and dynamics of the solid Earth. The course reviews prominent theories for the origin of matter, the accretion and differentiation of the planets, and the structure of the Earth’s interior. The role of plate tectonics in driving the exchange of matter and energy between Earth systems is a central theme of the course, providing the theoretical context for understanding geological phenomena such as seismic activity, volcanism and mountain building. The course is designed to provide the necessary scientific and intellectual background for understanding a wide range of Earth phenomena, and to give students a greater appreciation for the origin and evolution of their planet. Includes three lecture-hours per week plus lab. (Also PHY 140)


  • ENV 137/ANT 137. Cultures and Environments of the Chesapeake

    An examination of prehistoric and historic societies in the Chesapeake Region. Archaeological, historical, and environmental evidence is used to understand cultural development and the relationships between people and their environment. Topics include the arrival of humans in the region, Native American groups, colonial settlement in the Tidewater, and the 19th Century. (Also ANT 137)


  • ENV 117/ECN 117. Introduction to Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

    Environmental and natural resource economics focuses on the economic sources of environmental prob- lems and natural resource use in a market economy and the evaluation of the alternative policies for deal- ing with these problems. This analysis extends to the examination of regional issues (local air and water pollution, recycling programs, and fisheries) and global issues (climate change and waste disposal). The course is intended for students not planning to major in economics.

  • ENV 110/CHE 110. Chemistry of the Environment

    An introductory course focusing on the chemical dimensions of current environmental problems such as global warming, ozone depletion, water and soil contamination, and non-renewable fuel consumption. Fundamental principles of chemical bonding, equilibrium and kinetics are studied as they arise in connection with each environmental issue. Inter-disciplinary aspects are explored to further understand the multiple dimensions of the problems. Intended for students planning to major outside the sciences. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory each week.

  • ENV 107/ANT 107. Introduction to Environmental Archaeology

    Exploration of the variety of past human societies and cultures through archaeology, with an emphasis upon the interplay between environment and culture. The course covers a wide time span, from the biological evolution of hominids and the origins of culture to the development of complex civilizations and the more recent historical past.

  • ENV 101: Introduction to Environmental Studies

    This course is an introduction to the discipline of environmental studies. A multidisciplinary, international view of human responsibility toward the natural world will be emphasized, focusing on significant contemporary environmental issues. Topics to be covered include environmental literature (both historical and current), economic and ethical environmental concerns, scientific methods of assessment and analysis of environmental problems, and possible solutions to representative environmental problems. The laboratory/recitation section will be utilized for field trips, guest lectures, demonstrations, and discussions. This course is a prerequisite for all upper-level courses entitled environmental studies. The course should be completed by the end of the sophomore year if it is going to be counted toward the major.