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

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. Course fulfills the Interdivisional (I) GE requirement.
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. Course fulfills the Quantitative Reasoning (Q) and Science (Y) GE requirements. Note: A score of 4 or 5 on the AP Environmental Sciences waives this requirement for the ENVS major or minor.
Energ y, Environment and Climate is an introductory course that provides a comprehensive overview of the current energy systems that are in use today; including fossil, nuclear and renewable. The course introduces the basic scientific and physical concepts associated with the origins, the use and the environmental/climate impact of these energy systems. Empahsis is placed on real world examples through the introduction of several related case studies including oil exploration and hydro-fracking. Course fulfills ENVS elective and Quantitative Reasoning (Q) GE requirement.
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
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. Prerequisite: A 100-level course taught by a Geoscience faculty. Course fulfills ENVS natural science and Writing (W) GE requirement. Cross-listed with GEOS 200.
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. Prerequisite: ENVS 101 and 102. Course fulfills the ENVS Social Science requirement. Cross-listed with ECON 202.
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. Course fulfills the ENVS Humanities requirement. Cross-listed with REL 205.
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. Course fulfills the ENVS Methods requirement.
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. Course fulfills the ENVS Methods or Social Science requirement. Cross-listed with EDUC 220.
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 ENVS Methods requirement.
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 ENVS Methods requirement.
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. Course fulfills the ENVS Social Science requirement. Cross-listed with PSYC 225.
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, population 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. Course fulfills the ENVS Natural Science requirement. Cross-listed with BIOL 230.
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. Course fulfills the Writing (W) GE and ENVS Social Science requirement.
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. Prerequisite: ENVS 101. This is a core course in the ENVS major and minor. Not recommended for first year students. Course fulfills the Writing (W) GE requirement and the ENVS Methods or Social Science requirement.
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. Course fulfills the ENVS Humanities requirement.
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. Course fulfills the ENVS Humanities requirement. Cross-listed with PHIL 260.
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 Oral Communiction general education requirement. Course fulfills the ENVS Methods or Social Science requirement.
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. Course fulfills the ENVS Humanities requirement.
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? Course fulfills the ENVS Social Science requirement.
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. Course fulfills the ENVS Natural Science requirement.
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. Course fulfills the ENVS Methods or Social Science requirement.
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 covers with unique topics in each version for example, Forest Ecosystems, Ancient Identities, World Regional Geography and Nature's Nation. Students may enroll in this course more than once. Courses may fulfill different ENVS requirements depending on content; please consult course pre-registration materials for the particular semester when offered.
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. Course fulfills the ENVS Humanities requirement.
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). Prerequisite: ENVS 101 and 102; ENVS major or minor. Core course in the major.
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: Biology core or consent. Course fulfills the ENVS Natural Science requirement. Cross-listed with BIOL 310.
This course will expose students 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 requirement of this course. Course fulfills the Writing (W) GE, and the ENVS Social Science or Methods requirement.
A general category used only in the evaluation of transfer credit.
This course is required for ENVS majors with senior standing unless they are pursuing senior research (ENVS 451/452 or equivalent). 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 for each student to integrate their study of environmental issues at Denison and to develop skills in critically analyzing environmental problems and promoting environmental change. A primary focus is on writing: crafting a project proposal, communicating objectives and cogent arguments, reviewing and incorporating relevant literature, analyzing results and synthesizing conclusions. Students will have the opportunity to hone a major written work through several stages and to provide and receive peer review on written work. Prerequisite: ENVS core and ENVS 301, or consent.
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. Course fulfills the ENVS Social Science requirement. Cross-listed with ECON 427.
Senior. ENVS 452 is the continuation of ENVS 451; see information above.

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