For the college’s course catalog, please visit the Courses section. For courses currently offered, please visit the Schedule of Classes.

ENVS-101 People and the Environment
A systematic introduction to multifaceted environmental problems facing the world today, primarily through the lenses of both the social science and humanities. The course provides an overview of solutions to present challenges through governmental action, collective effort, and personal initiative. We engage in the interdisciplinary study of the relationship between humans and the environment, looking at local, regional, and global scales. At the local level, the class may explore campus-level environmental issues, such as local food sources, recycling and energy use. We develop ideas about campus "greening," new technologies, and behavioral factors. At a global scale, we might investigate global climate change and the human dimension of its causes and solutions. Students will undertake research projects, debate topical issues, sleuth for information, think critically, and present findings to disparate audiences. Fulfills the "I" Interdisciplinary requirement. Note: Does not fulfill the "Q" or "Y" General Education Requirement.
ENVS-102 Science and the Environment
This course provides an introduction to the biogeochemical aspects of environmental problems. Students will gain an understanding of the structure and function of ecological communities, as well as the non-living factors that regulate ecological change. Global chemical cycles are presented as a unifying theme for human interactions with nature and are the basis for discussion of environmental problems associated with agriculture, water use, global climate change, energy source, atmospheric change, land and resource use, and waste disposal. The laboratory component of the course exposes students to methods of measuring and monitoring environmental quality. Labs include experiential introductions to ecological relationships, toxicology, water and soil analysis, and geographic information systems. Students will apply concepts of experimental design, statistical sampling, and data analysis to evaluate environmental questions. Fulfills the "QY" General Education Requirements. Note: A score of 4 or 5 on the AP Environmental Sciences waives this requirement for the ENVS Major or Minor.
ENVS-190 Special Topics Environmental Studies
ENVS-199 Topics in Environmental Science
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
ENVS-200 Environmental Geology
A broad survey of the geologic aspects of environmental issues, emphasizing human interactions with the geologic environment. Topics include geologic hazards, such as earthquakes, landslides and flooding; global water supply and water quality issues, especially groundwater contamination and remediation; and global environmental change, with emphasis on climate change and global warming. Prerequisites: A 100-level course taught by a Geoscience faculty. (Normally offered Spring Semester) ENVS Natural Science.
ENVS-202 Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability
Economic growth is traditionally perceived as the solution to the socio-economic ills of poverty, unemployment and more generally underdevelopment. However, economic growth is also accompanied by increased pressure on and, over time, deterioration of the natural environment. The objective of this course is to explore the relationship between economic growth and the natural environment. While the concept of economic growth occupies a central place in economic policy-making, we will discuss whether economic growth is compatible with the sustainable-development worldview adopted by the UN and many other global and local economic actors. Sustainable development emphasizes the need to embark upon a development path that not only takes into account the environmental, social and economic needs of the present generation, but also those of future ones. Prerequisites: 101 and 102.
ENVS-205 Religion and Nature
An investigation of the religious value of nature in Christianity and Buddhism, particularly in America and Japan. We look at how people in these cultures have viewed the place of humanity within the world of nature, and the relationships among humanity, God and nature. ENVS Humanities.
ENVS-212 Environmental Chemistry
A study of the chemistry of the atmosphere, natural water, and soils with a special focus on acid precipitation, greenhouse gases, ozone depletion, urban and indoor air pollution, water and soil pollution, solid and hazardous waste disposal and risk assessment. Prerequisites CHEM 121-122. Three class periods and one laboratory weekly. This course can count towards a minor in chemistry. Safety glasses required. (Offered every other year in spring semester only) ENVS Natural Science.
ENVS-215 Renewable Energy Systems
Renewable Energy Systems provides students with a comprehensive overview of the different alternative energy systems that are in use today. The course will introduce the basic scientific and engineering concepts used in designing and analyzing different energy technologies. Some emphasis will be placed on real-world applications of such technologies through the introduction of several case studies related to the field.
ENVS-220 Approaches to Environmental Education
Environmental education is a broad term encompassing a large array of ideas concerned with the purpose of and approach to engagement with the physical environment that should ultimately lead to environmental stewardship. This course addresses the "what" and "how" of environmental education. Students will be exposed to the various definitions and purposes of environmental education as well as the multiple approaches used to achieve these purposes. Through readings and hands-on experiences we will explore multiple practices in the field. Finally, we will develop our own environmental education curriculum based on our experiences in the class. ENVS Methods or Social Science.
ENVS-222 Geographic Information Systems I
This course is an introduction to the concepts and uses of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with particular application to environmental issues. The course consists of laboratory exercises on GIS data structures and sources of data, on the use of specific GIS tools, and on practical applications of GIS to real-world tasks. The student will gain skills in spatial data analysis, map generation, and data presentation using ArcGIS software. (Also offered as GEOS 222). After successful completion of this course, students who wish to develop advanced GIS skills may enroll in ENVS/GEOS 223. Satisfies half of an Environmental Methods requirement.
ENVS-223 Geographic Information Systems II
This course is intended to give the student experience with advanced GIS applications. The focus will be on novel analyses of spatially explicit data pertaining to real-world environment issues (Also offered as GEOS 223). Prerequisite: ENVS/GEOS 222. Completion of 222 & 223 satisfies Environmental Methods requirement.
ENVS-225 Environmental Psychology
An examination of the relationship between the environment and psychological processes. Topics examined in this course include how the character and the design of our environments can affect psychological well-being, and how certain ways in which we perceive and think can constrain our efforts to comprehend and confront environmental problems. Other topics explored are early environmental experiences and development, environmental stressors such as crowding and noise, territoriality and privacy, environmental aesthetics, cognitive maps and way-finding behavior, effects of institutional size on performance, and attitudes toward the natural environment. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. ENVS Social Science.
ENVS-230 Ecology and Evolution
This course explores the fundamental concepts of ecology and evolution and integrates them in a study of the interactions between organisms and their environment and how those interactions shape the history of life on Earth. With a thorough understanding of population genetics and natural selection, this course addresses ecological questions at the level of the individual, popoluation community and ecosystem. A common thread that binds the course is the role of deterministic and stochastic processes in shaping ecological systems and macroevolutionary patterns. Prerequisite two of the three BIOL core courses or Consent of Instructor
ENVS-236 Political Ecology
What really causes deforestation? How is a fish 'cultural?' Why do Americans spend so much time and money on their lawns? Should we be saving people or endangered species? Why are ecosystem services so hard to privatize? Is obesity truly just a question of consuming too many calories? These are all questions that political ecology can help us to answer. Political ecology is an interdisciplinary field that situates environmental change within broader networks of political, economic, and social relations. It differs from other environmental approaches in that it views power, material nature, everyday struggles and practices, social justice, and discourse to be critical components of human-environment interactions. In this course, we will: (a) study the theoretical foundations of political ecology, (b) evaluate some of the theses it puts forward, and (c) apply political ecology insights to contemporary environmental issues. No prerequisites.
ENVS-240 Environmental Politics and Decision Making
This course gives students a chance to explore the realm of proactive change in the environmental arena. It combines the theories of policy, the tools of problem solving, and the practice of dealing with environmental challenges in the real world of American government. The premise of the course is this: if you want to improve the state of the planet, you have to propose a solution. To make a solution happen, you should understand the process of getting an idea through the decision-making system. Effecting change requires a background in the system(s) that make things happen, whether you ultimately want to work within the system or outside it. This course is divided into two main components: an overview and implementation of problem solving techniques, and an in-depth examination of the U.S. Congress' role in environmental policy formation. The latter section culminates in a "Moot Congress" undertaken by students at the end of the semester. Prereq: ENVS 101. This is a core course in the ENVS major and minor. Not recommended for first year students. Fulfills the "R" Oral Communication requirement. ENVS Methods or Social Science.
ENVS-244 Environment, Technology and Society
This course analyzes the social causes and consequences of environmental change. We explore the relationship among production, consumption, population, technology, and environment. We ask: do the social benefits of economic growth outweigh environmental costs? Does population growth lead to environmental problems? Can technical "fixes" solve environmental problems? Are "indigenous" technologies superior to "western" technologies? We'll also analyze human responses to change: policy and regulation, "green" capitalism, environmental movements, and environmental countermovements. We ask, how can we shape our future? What alternatives are likely and possible? Will the U.S. experience ecotopia or ecocide in the years to come? Will the Third World become the First World's dumping ground or will sustainable development provide environmental equity? This course is cross-listed with Sociology/Anthropology and has a prerequisite of either S/A 100 or ENVS 101. ENVS Social Science.
ENVS-256 Farmscape: Visual Immersion in the Food System
Every human being has an intimate relationship with food, often with deep emotional facets. Yet we in the U.S. know very little about the food system that sustains us - it is a mysterious and often invisible set of processes, organizations, and people. This remarkably complex web of inputs, labor, machinery, laws, subsidies, mergers, and so many other components is one that we take largely for granted. This class seeks to align that reality with another: we are an intensely visual species. A critical part of our existence that we experience through all of our senses is one we fail to comprehend through our primary sense. And we have this occasion to use sight in a formalized way - photography - to tell new stories, and to bring an artistic sensibility to our understanding of food, and perhaps ourselves. Through imagery, writing, and the curatorial process of exhibiting our work in a public setting, we have a truly unique opportunity. Our immersion in these critical issues can bring full circle the understanding we gain through many eyes to enhance awareness in other people about the ways in which our food system connects us all together. No prerequisites. Satisfies arts/humanities or methods component of the ENVS major.
ENVS-260 Environmental Ethics
This course investigates the question of our ethical relations and responsibility to objects and systems in the natural world, including animals, other living beings, non-living entities, ecosystems, and "nature" as a whole. It also asks about nature as such: what nature is, what the place in it is of humans, the role of human action in transforming nature, etc. The question of the relation of the natural to the social will receive special attention. Prerequisite: One previous course in Philosophy or Environmental Studies or consent. (Fall) ENVS Humanities.
ENVS-262 Environmental Dispute Resolution
An in-depth investigation of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as an improved means to affect change in environmental conflict. Both an intellectual and hands-on introduction to the theory and practice of ADR, relying on research into theoretical aspects of conflict, attendance at both conventional litigatory and ADR hearings, and actual participation in ADR exercises. Fulfills University's "R" general education requirement. ENVS Methods or Social Science.
ENVS-263 World Views: Spatial Imagination in East Asia
This course engages the question: 'How are images used to imagine our place in the world?' Students are invited to study fascinating practices of spatial image-making in East Asia from the inside out, by exploring these world-views from the perspective of their makers. You will be asked to pay special attention to how social and economic power structures inflect these representations: to envision and decode spatial imagery as a site of imagination, control and resistance. Artists and patrons in China, Japan, and Korea have for centuries produced elaborate maps and landscape imagery, photographs and film to imagine the world in a variety of ways. This course invites you to approach modern and contemporary representations of space in East Asia both in theoretically and historically informed ways. In the first part of the course, students build a frame of reference for their analysis of post-war case studies, by reading core texts in spatial theory, and exploring important visual representations of space from pre-modern East Asia. In the second part of the course, students apply these theoretical and historical approaches to select cases that exemplify more recent struggles over space and its imagination in East Asia.
ENVS-265 Human Rights, Indigenous Rights, Environmental Rights
This course explores two on-going global debates among academics, activists and policy-makers within the concept of human rights: (1) To what extent should human rights be limited to a narrow range of clearly defined individual rights, and to what extent should they be expanded to cover a larger range of individual and collective rights? (2) Are indigenous communities necessarily better environmental stewards, and so does the extension of rights to these communities lead to better environmental protection? ENVS Social Science
ENVS-274 Ecosystem Management
Many of Earth's ecosystems are stressed and degraded as a result of human activities. Ecosystem management is the process of evaluating the biotic and abiotic features of ecosystems and stressors and manipulating those features toward a defined goal, such as conservation or restoration. In this course, students will apply aspects of systems ecology to management scenarios in particularly stressed ecosystems. Students will gain an understanding of systems ecology and will learn how ecological communities function within ecosystems and landscapes. After establishing this foundation, students will lead the exploration of some of our planet's greatest ecological systems. Lab sessions will give the students an opportunity to construct a computer-based simulation of an ecosystem and to apply ecological modeling as a management tool in both lab and field settings. ENVS Natural Science.
ENVS-284 Environmental Planning and Design
This course examines a variety of local environmental planning processes and issues, focusing primarily on the communities surrounding Denison (Granville, Licking County), as well as the theories, concepts and tools of design, both at a community level and for individual buildings. Particular attention will be paid to controversial models of architecture and planning in order to understand some of the negative implications of conventional approaches. Field trips, group exercises, research and project competitions will form the basis for course evaluation. Prerequisite: ENVS 101 or 102 or consent. ENVS Methods or Social Science.
ENVS-290 Special Topics in Environmental Studies
This course provides students with an opportunity to investigate particular environmental issues from diverse perspectives within the discipline. Environmental challenges and solutions of local, national and/or global scales are addressed, often with a hands-on and interactive format. This course is offered on an irregular basis with unique topics in each version: students may enroll in this course more than once.
ENVS-291 Nature and the Literary Imagination
A study of humanity's relationship with and shifting conceptions of the nonhuman world. Reading selections vary, but generally include past and contemporary writers who reflect different ethnic and regional outlooks and who work in various modes, including literature, memoir, natural history and science. ENVS Humanities.
ENVS-301 Environmental Practicum
This keystone course is primarily for ENVS majors; minors are welcome. This course provides the opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience working on real-world environmental problems. As a group, students work in an intensive format with a real "client" and real deadlines to research a problem, assess options, recommend solutions, and evaluate outcomes. Examples of projects include energy and water conservation, local land use planning, wetlands managements, reuse/recycling programs, agriculture preservation, and environmental education. (should be taken junior year). Prerequisites: ENVS 101 and 102; ENVS major or minor.
ENVS-310 Wetland Ecology
This course is a comprehensive study of wetland ecology, management, and policy. The main emphasis is on biological, chemical, and physical aspects of major wetland ecosystems found in North America. The course also deals with valuation, classification, and delineation of wetlands. A significant portion of the course focuses on local and regional wetland ecosystems: their history, ecology, and current status. Labs will be field-based explorations of the biology, chemistry, and ecology of these regional wetlands. Prerequisite: BIOL 202 or BIOL 230 or consent. ENVS Elective.
ENVS-328 Politics of the Global Environment
This course is about the theoretical, political, and practical problems associated with environmental action. Course materials analyze various theoretical perspectives on the relationship between humans and nature, and they illustrate how different ethics lead to widely different prescriptions for personal and political action. Course materials also offer examples of how environmental problems have in fact been addressed or not by governmental, non-governmental, and international institutions. This is not a course on the physical processes of environmental problems, but rather it emphasizes the political, economic, and theoretical contexts within which efforts are made to act on environmental threats. No prior knowledge of environmental or political science is required. However, students should be prepared to read and interpret detailed social science texts, to formulate and articulate cogent arguments, and to conduct independent research. ENVS Social Science.
ENVS-334 Sustainable Agriculture
This course will expose student to the purposes and methods associated with sustainable agriculture. We will do this through readings, discussion and actual experience on local and sustainable farms. Throughout the semester we will reflect on the social, economic and environmental aspects associated with sustainable agriculture as well as actual practices affiliated with the modern sustainable agriculture movement. Students must be prepared to commit to working on farms each week as part of the lab rquirement of this course.
ENVS-361 Directed Study
ENVS-362 Directed Study
ENVS-363 Independent Study
ENVS-364 Independent Study
ENVS-399 Advanced Topics in Environmental Studies
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
ENVS-401 Environmental Senior Project
This course is required for ENVS majors with senior standing unless they are pursuing senior research (ENVS 451/452). This course provides an integrating and culminating experience for students, individually or in small groups, to engage with an environmental issue, either by conducting research related to this issue or by taking action on it in a way that is informed by their academic understanding. The primary objective is to integrate their study of environmental issues at Denison and to develop skills in critically analyzing environmental problems and promoting environmental change. Prerequisite: ENVS 301 or consent of the instructor.
ENVS-427 Environmental Economics
This course provides an examination of various economic issues facing business and government regarding the use of natural resources and the management of environmental quality. Students will develop an understanding of both the economic nature of environmental problems and the economic tools necessary to explore and devise potential policy solutions for environmental problems. In addition, students will examine the institutional framework within which environmental problems exist in order to understand those factors which may mitigate against economic solutions. Prerequisite: ECON 302. ENVS Social Science.
ENVS-451 Senior Research
ENVS-452 Senior Research