Environmental and Sustainability Studies (ENSS)
Thomas Guthrie, Professor, Chair
Tony VanWinkle, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Food Systems
Browyn Tucker, Visiting Instructor
The Department of Environmental and Sustainability Studies provides students with a range of knowledge, skills and values essential to effective professional and social engagement that advances and improves understandings of sustainability, food systems, and human relationships to the environment within diverse cultural communities. The department provides majors in sustainable food systems (SFS) and environmental studies (ENVS) that focus on justice, equality, stewardship and other Core Values of the College through practical problem-solving. The department and its programs represent and encourage diverse interdisciplinary learning through high-impact practices such as learning communities, collaborative assignments and projects, practical skills courses, undergraduate research, global learning across cultures, service and community-based learning, and internships.
The Bachelor of Arts is offered in environmental studies and sustainable food systems.
An introductory course to the interdisciplinary approach as it relates to environmental studies. Intended to introduce students to a broad array of environmental issues and conflicts; uses a case study, problem-solving approach. Fulfills social justice/environmental responsibility requirements (1998). Evaluating systems and environments requirement (2019).
May also be offered at 250, 350 and 450 levels.
A two-part exploration. First, students undertake traditional academic inquiry, reading and discussion. Second, they engage in experiential learning through an extended field trip and a direct photographic exploration of some of the landscapes and environments that have shaped American culture. Fulfills arts and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements (1998). Arts/humanities and evaluating systems and environments requirements (2019).
Studies of the biology, geology, ecology and natural history of different field areas, including the American Southwest, the Galapagos, East Africa, Brunnenburg, North Carolina and other areas. Includes a one- to three-week trip to the area being studied, depending on when the course is offered; trip includes research project. When course is offered for a minimum of 4 semester credits, the course will fulfill natural science/mathematics and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements (1998); natural science/mathematics, evaluating systems and environments requirements, and embodied and creative engagement requirements (2019).
May also be offered at 360 and 460 levels. Independent student projects are dependent upon the student’s initiative in shaping the terms of investigation. The supervising instructor and the coordinator of environmental studies must approve a proposal describing the project.
Recommended for all majors. College requirements apply. Details to be arranged between a student and a faculty member; schedules and nature of the work to be accomplished is at the discretion of the instructor. May also be offered at the 390 level.
This junior seminar dives deeply into systems thinking, resilience, and sustainability while guiding students to develop meaningful problem statements, focus area designations and descriptions, and proposals for their senior projects. Fulfills social justice/environmental responsibility requirement (1998). Evaluating systems and environments requirement (2019).
Recommended for all students planning to attend graduate school. A written senior thesis may be undertaken as a separate project or as the culmination of independent study; the senior thesis must represent serious research and independent thought.
This senior seminar is designed as a time and place for students to discuss, critique, and work on their capstone projects, and to develop and practice presentations associated with their projects as they prepare for public presentations at GUS, the Environmental and Sustainability Studies Annual Forum, and/or professional conferences.
For seniors with a 3.5 G.P.A. students may complete a senior thesis and obtain program honors at graduation.
This course develops skills and knowledge in sustainable agriculture through practical experience on the Guilford College Farm or partner sites abroad. The heart of the course is a weekly three-hour work day on the College Farm. During the work time, we’ll also discuss the week’s readings, and students will reflect and write on their experiences in a weekly journal. This course can be taken multiple times for up to 4 credits total, and it is a prerequisite for the upper level SFS 310 Advanced Practicum in Sustainable Agriculture.
Interdisciplinary overview of food systems, and the challenges facing them; introduces food insecurity issues facing the region. Fulfills social justice/environmental responsibility requirement (1998). Evaluating systems and environments requirement (2019).
These hands-on courses provide students with practical skills in areas of food production, preparation and use. Topics may include urban farming, season extension, preservation and canning, farm management, fermentation and pickling, cheese making, beer making, wine making, food and culture courses, grant writing, beekeeping, farm machinery operation and repair, market management, basic carpentry, business planning, pruning, seed saving, grafting, etc. Can be repeated multiple times with different content.
Place-based, interdisciplinary look at solutions to the challenges facing food systems and regional innovations. Prerequisite or corequisite: SFS 120, or permission of instructor.
The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the complex legal web comprising our food system and to cultivate a “systems thinking” approach for our analysis, and, from there, to effectively apply that knowledge and analysis in food and agriculture advocacy endeavors. Prerequisite or corequisite: SFS 120, or permission of instructor.
This course has been designed as a student-driven, project based capstone for Sustainable Food Systems majors, and can serve as a student’s signature work. ENVS students or others with a background in sustainable food may also be eligible to take the course. Students will decide on, research, and develop a hands-on project involving the Guilford College farm and/or other sustainable food-related issues in the greater community. Students will present their projects at the annual ENSS Forum, and/or at GUS.