Environmental Studies (ENVS)

Course Descriptions (Per Subject)

ENVS 101.  Environmental and Society
This course is a broad introduction to the historical, cultural, political, economic, and ecological dimensions of human-environment interaction. We will ask big questions that seek to understand how humans and human social formations relate to nature and ecological processes through time and space. We will examine the consequences of those relations and trajectories for possible futures of increased human disturbance and/or the conditions for the mutual flourishing for all species. Course topics include belief systems and the environment, environmental justice, the politics of climate change, sustainable (and unsustainable) food systems, urban ecologies, and the environmental impacts of economic growth, development, and consumerism.

ENVS 150.  Special Topics.  1-8. 
May also be offered at 250, 350 and 450 levels.

ENVS 212.  Environmental Science. 4.  
Study of the structure and function of ecosystems with reference to energy flow, nutrient cycling, population growth and regulation, and community organization and dynamics. Particular emphasis on the relationship between humans and the environment. Fulfills natural science and mathematics and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements (1998). Fulfills the natural science/mathematics and evaluating systems and environments requirements (2019).

ENVS 220.  The American Landscape (ART 220).  6. 
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).

ENVS 242.  Natural Science Seminars.  4. 
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).

ENVS 250.  Special Topics.  1-8.  

ENVS 260.  Independent Study.  1-8. 
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.

ENVS 290.  Internship.  1-8. 
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.

ENVS 350.  Special Topics.  8.  

ENVS 360.  Independent Study.  1-8.  

ENVS 380.  Inquiry and Practice in Environmental and Sustainability Studies.  4. 
This course will introduce students to the theories, methods, and practices commonly used by both scholars and practitioners in the interdisciplinary field(s) of environmental and sustainability studies. We will hear from a wide variety of researchers, professionals, and activists about how they approach their work and their assessment of the future of the field. Students will explore the application of particular methods and theories in the development of a senior project proposal.

ENVS 390.  Internship.  1-8.  

ENVS 450.  Special Topics.  1-8.  

ENVS 460.  Independent Study.  1-8.  

ENVS 470.  Senior Thesis.  1-8. 
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.

ENVS 480.  Senior Capstone.  1-4. 
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.

ENVS 490.  Departmental Honors.  1-8. 
For seniors with a 3.5 G.P.A. students may complete a senior thesis and obtain program honors at graduation.