Degree Essentials

Environmental Studies

Faculty

Associate Professor Abram Kaplan, Director

ENVS faculty:

Olivia Aguilar (Environmental Studies), Monica Ayala-Martinez (Modern Languages), Michael Brady (Political Science), John Cort (Religion), Quentin Duroy (Economics), Annabel Edwards (Chemistry), Tod Frolking (Geosciences), David Goodwin (Geosciences), David Greene (Geosciences), Amanda Gunn (Communication), Harry Heft (Psychology), Erin Henshaw (Psychology), Rebecca Homan (Biology), Abram Kaplan (Environmental Studies), Jordan Katz (Chemistry), Rebecca Kennedy (Classics), Erik Klemetti (Geosciences), Justine Law (Environmental Studies), Jonathan Maskit (Philosophy), Sandra Mathern-Smith (Dance), Andrew McCall (Biology), Gill Miller (Dance), Trey Proctor (History), Joe Reczek (Chemistry), Jessica Rettig (Biology), Karl Sandin (Art), Tom Schultz (Biology), Rusty Shekha (Sociology Anthropology), Geoff Smith (Biology), Ahmed Soliman (Environmental Studies), Douglas Spieles (Environmental Studies), Catherine Stuer (Art History), Kate Tierney (Geosciences), Steve Vogel (Philosophy), Wes Walter (Physics and Astronomy), James Weaver (English), Andrea Ziegert (Economics); Academic Administrative Assistant Brenda Franks

Departmental Guidelines and Goals

Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary inquiry into the relationship between humans and the environment. Both a major and a minor are available to students with an interest in the rigorous study of these issues. The major requires students to develop a specific environmental focus as a concentration in addition to the environmental core and distribution courses. The minor in ENVS allows students to integrate an environmental perspective with their major field of study.

As an interdisciplinary area, Environmental Studies draws on work in the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the arts. It endeavors to bridge these many intellectual approaches and perspectives in the hope that students will gain deeper understanding both of the environmental problems facing the world and of proactive opportunities for change. Among issues of concern and investigation are resource utilization, the impact of technology on ecosystems, relationships between the environment and sociocultural systems, geographic information systems analysis, environmental economics and policy, conservation of biological diversity, nature writing, alternative dispute resolution, environmental psychology, political ecology, environmental photography, sustainable agriculture and environmental ethics, among many others. See the Program web site www.denison.edu/academics/departments/environmental-studies for details.

Environmental Studies Major

The Environmental Studies MAJOR requires nine courses as part of a three-prong program:

  1. Four required core courses: ENVS 101 People and the Environment; ENVS 102 Science and the Environment; ENVS 301 Junior Practicum Seminar; ENVS Senior Experience (either ENVS 401 Senior Project or ENVS 451-452 Senior Research)

  2. Five distribution courses: Students are to take at least one course from each of the five categories listed below. No double counting is permitted among these distribution categories. Regular offerings are listed here for each category; check with the ENVS Program office for a list of special offerings that may be allowed to fulfill distribution categories. Also note that some of these courses have prerequisites.

    1) One environmental methods course from among this list: e.g., ENVS 220 Approaches to Environmental Education; ENVS 222 and 223 Geographic Information Systems I and II; ENVS 230 Introduction to Environmental Mapping; ENVS 240 Environmental Politics and Decision Making; ENVS 256 Farmscape; ENVS 262 Environmental Dispute Resolution; ENVS 274 Ecosystem Management; ENVS 290 Sustainable Agriculture.

    2) One environmental course from the Humanities or Arts Divisions: e.g., ENGL 291 Nature and the Literary Imagination; ENVS 256 Farmscape; PHIL 260 Environmental Ethics; REL 205 Religion and Nature.

    3) One environmental course from the Social Science Division: e.g., ECON 202 Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability; ECON 427 Environmental Economics; ENVS 196 Varieties of Environmentalism; ENVS 220 Approaches to Environmental Education; ENVS 240 Environmental Politics and Decision Making; ENVS 262 Environmental Dispute Resolution; ENVS 284 Environmental Planning and Design; ENVS 290 Sustainable Agriculture; POSC 328 Politics of the Global Environment; PSYC 225 Environmental Psychology; SA 244 Environment, Technology, and Society.

    4) One environmental course from the Natural Science Division: e.g., BIOL 202 Ecology and Evolution; CHEM 212 Environmental Chemistry; ENVS 274 Ecosystem Management; GEOS 200 Environmental Geology; GEOS 240 Earth Resources.

    5) One elective from any of the four distribution categories above.

  3. A concentration: Generally concentrations consist of 6-8 courses that can be completed in one of three ways: a disciplinary minor (with demonstrable relevance to ENVS); a second major (with demonstrable relevance to ENVS); a self-designed concentration (typically 6 courses and a full year of senior research). One course may double count between distribution (category II) and concentration (category III).

The Concentration Proposal Process All ENVS majors must complete a concentration as part of their degree requirements. The concentration gives students the opportunity to select a particular area of interest within Environmental Studies and to pursue a sequence of advanced coursework within it. Sophomores who have officially declared or expressed interest in ENVS as a major will be contacted in late fall or early spring semester in order to initiate the concentration proposal process. In brief, this process involves working with an ENVS faculty advocate to identify an area of concentration, which may be disciplinary or self-designed. In the case of the former, the concentration requirement can be satisfied by completing a second major or one of the existing minors in Denison's curriculum (in addition to your ENVS major). When choosing the self-designed route, students will work with their faculty advocate to create a logical course of study with classes drawn from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. After consulting with an ENVS faculty advocate, students will submit a formal concentration proposal to the ENVS committee for consideration. Typically, the proposal is due in mid-February. It is very important for students to communicate regularly with their ENVS faculty advocate so that the concentration process can be concluded in a timely fashion.

Environmental Studies Minor

The Environmental Studies MINOR requires six courses.

  • 1) ENVS 101 - People and the Environment

    2) ENVS 102 - Science and the Environment

  • Four distribution courses: Students are to take at least one course from each of the four categories listed below.

    3) One environmental methods course from the approved distribution list.
    Some examples of these courses are:

    • Approaches to Environmental Education
    • Geographic Information Systems
    • Introduction to Environmental Mapping
    • Environmental Politics and Decision Making
    • Environmental Dispute Resolution
    • Ecosystem Management
    • Sustainable Agriculture

    4) One environmental course from the Humanities or Arts Divisions.
    Some examples of these courses are:

    • Nature and the Literary Imagination
    • Farmscape
    • Environmental Ethics
    • Religion and Nature

    5) One environmental course from the Social Science Division.
    Some examples of these courses are:

    • Environmental Economics
    • Varieties of Environmentalism
    • Environmental Planning and Design
    • Politics of the Global Environment
    • Environmental Psychology
    • Environment, Technology and Society

    6) One environmental course from the Natural Science Division.
    Some examples of these courses are:

    • Ecology and Evolution
    • Environmental Geology
    • Earth Resources

Additional Points of Interest

Study Abroad Programs Students are encouraged to participate in study abroad programs when appropriate to enhance the concentration area or otherwise supplement course offerings at Denison. Students wishing to study abroad should plan to do so during the spring semester of their junior year. Courses taken abroad that serve as substitutes for courses listed above or which are otherwise used to satisfy elements of the Environmental Studies major must be approved in advance of the student's departure for the off-campus program by the Environmental Studies Director. A maximum of two off-campus courses may be used to satisfy requirements in the major for students who spend one semester off-campus, and a maximum of three off-campus courses may be used to satisfy requirements in the major for students who spend two semesters off-campus.