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Environmental Studies and Sciences
 

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SPRING 2017 COURSES

Courses for the Environmental Studies Major
Courses for the Environmental Science Major
Courses for the ESS Minor
Special Topics Course Descriptions

COURSES FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES MAJOR

Foundation Courses

Core Courses

Cluster A Courses

Cluster B1 Courses

Capstone

Methods

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COURSES FOR THE ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE MAJOR

Foundation Course

Disciplinary Foundation Courses

Note: We are waiving BI 106 for majors.

Core Courses:

Cluster A Courses

Cluster B2 Courses

Capstone

Methods

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COURSES FOR THE ESS MINOR

Foundation Courses

Cluster A Courses

Cluster B1 Courses

Cluster B2 Courses

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SPECIAL TOPICS COURSE DESCRIPTIONS:

AN 252C Archaeology of the American Southwest    K. Baustian

Students in this course are exposed to archaeological discoveries in the ancient American Southwest. Topics to be covered range from Paleoindians to pre-contact Puebloan populations, hunter-gatherers to agriculturalists, and northern Mexico to northern Utah. The origins of agriculture, architectural and ritual change, and conflict will be addressed. Activities will include group discussion, short writing assignments, exams, and class presentations.

BI 136 Ecology of the Adirondacks        E. Schielke

An introduction to the basic principles of ecology through the lens of the Adirondacks. We will explore the habitats of the Adirondack region, how organisms adapt to these environments, how they interact with one another, and the flow of energy and nutrients through these systems. Particular emphasis will be paid to the way in which environmental issues such as acid rain, invasive species, and climate change affect the ecology of the Adirondacks. Students will become comfortable interpreting and applying findings from the scientific literature, and analyzing coverage of ecology and environmental issues in the popular media. We will focus on interpreting and presenting ecological data, and communicating research findings to the scientific community and the public. Prerequisites: QR1

BI 352 Global Change Biology              J. Ness (lecture and associated lab)

Explores five major facets of recent, ongoing global change and their interaction as they relate to living organisms in their current and emerging environments. These are: 1) the redistribution of greenhouse gases and limiting nutrients, 2) climate change, 3) urbanization and associated novel contaminants, 4) habitat modification and fragmentation, and 5) the redistribution of biodiversity. Students will study ongoing change in terrestrial, marine, and freshwater environments; explore responses by microbes, protists, plants, invertebrates and vertebrates, as well as the processes that link the taxa; and make significant use of predictive and descriptive quantitative models. Prerequisites: BI 106 and any two 200-level biology courses except BI 299 or BI 275. ES 205 or ES 206 may be substituted for one of the 200-level Biology courses.

ES 252D Environmental Engineering and the Science of Sustainability    K. Kellogg

As a complement to ES 205-Conservation and Use of Forested Landscapes, this course explores the application of ecological and ecosystem-based concepts and principles to the design of regenerative solutions for water-, waste-, soil-, and energy-related environmental problems. Using natural science methods as a foundation and Life Cycle Assessment and Cradle-to-Cradle Analysis/Design as additional frameworks, we will quantitatively and critically evaluate and construct systems for a range of case studies, including waste water treatment, brownfield restoration, composting, anaerobic digestion, and biofabrication. The overall goals of the course are to contemplate the complexity of both environmental problems and potential solutions, as well as understand how discoveries in the primary scientific literature can be applied to help us design more efficient and sustainable closed-loop systems. Prerequisites, if any: ES 100 and BI 105

ES 352C Urban Planning         T. Fabozzi

This course will examine the theory and practice of urban planning in the United States, the evolving structure of cities and suburbs and the ways they can be designed and developed. It will include a review of the dominant planning paradigms and how they have changed over time in response to social, economic and environmental conditions within the American political framework. The course will examine planning as a community process and professional activity, including an evaluation of its successes, failures and possibilities for shaping sustainable metropolitan regions. Prerequisite: ES 100

GE 251C Introduction to Natural Resources             J. Cholnoky

“If it’s not grown, it must be mined.” A survey of the formation, distribution, and extraction of mineral (i.e. metals, gems, building materials) and energy (i.e. natural gas, petroleum, uranium) resources on Earth. Energy and mineral resources are the foundation of many national economies and also the underpinning of many of major environmental and geopolitical conflicts throughout history. Understanding Earth’s resources from cradle to grave is an important component for an informed citizenry that is able to meet the challenges of an Earth with a growing population and ever changing technologies. Prerequisites: GE 101, GE 102, GE 112, or instructor permission.

MB 351D Business and the Natural Environment        J. Kennelly

This case-based course aims to foster awareness, sensitivity and literacy concerning the major forces and challenges at the intersection of business activities and the natural environment. It broadly examines and appraises the role of business enterprise in relation to the current (and future) state of the planet, particularly in the context of the global economy. The course reviews the major ecological and socio-economic challenges confronting the planet, including population growth, human poverty, climate change, toxic pollution, loss of biodiversity, etc., paying particular attention to the impacts of business enterprise upon each issue. The course then turns to an assessment of sustainable development and biophysically and socially sustainable business practices, concluding with an assessment of the varied ways that business enterprises may become proactive forces in achieving economic, social and environmental sustainability. Prerequisites: MB 107 or EC 103 or EC 104, or permission of instructor

Other Courses of Interest:

GE 351C Science Communication     A. Frappier

Scientific information relates to many current issues with important ethical, political and economic implications. How can science majors communicate more effectively to peers and the public? Constructive critical analysis of case studies of popular science materials in a variety of media, such as books and posters, op-eds and blogs, storytelling and data visualization, will enable students to become more astute consumers of scientific information. Class projects develop students’ abilities to communicate science effectively to different audiences in various real-world contexts. We examine balance, accuracy, framing, treatment of uncertainty, and reporting about risk for science-related issues such as water and air pollution; climate change and ocean acidification; nuclear and wind energy; hurricane warnings; genetic engineering; exercise and nutrition; drones and self-driving cars; the Anthropocene.

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