2016-2017 Environmental Studies Courses

ENVI 101 Environment: Science, Society, and Culture (4)
Interdisciplinary exploration of the fundamental principles of Environmental Studies. Students will consider influential approaches to understanding nature, and investigate local environmental issues. This course draws on ideas from the natural sciences, the social sciences and the humanities.
ENVI 300 Special Topics in Environmental Studies (1–4)
A changing topics course addressing environmental issues, especially reserved for those approaches that cross disciplinary boundaries delineated by ENVI 340, 350, and 360. Prerequisites: ENVI 101 or instructor permission.
ENVI 301 Field Study (1-4)
This course takes students into the environment. Academically structured weekend trips and carefully guided service learning opportunities are powerful tools for meeting learning-goals like active learning, teamwork, global consciousness, social responsibility and leadership. ENVI 301 offers our students short, intense learning opportunities where they travel to engage contemporary environmental debates or learn about significant environmental issues. Prerequisites: ENVI 101 or instructor permission.
ENVI 305 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (4)
This course has cross-disciplinary appeal for students from Computer Science to Geology to Environmental Studies as well as a range of other disciplines. Maps and other geographic information are increasingly present in myriad applications in our data-rich, digital world.  Environmental studies in particular make extensive use of “spatial data”, i.e., information involving locations. Working with spatial data is best accomplished with the extensive capabilities provided by geographic information systems (GIS). GIS includes a combination of hardware and software that allow us to collect, store, manage, analyze and present spatial data. Such data are increasingly available, are easily collected with GPS tools or even with smart phones, and are used to address issues in many fields.  In this class, students will learn how GIS systems work and, in a series of labs, will work with GIS software using various data types to query and analyze it, present it as maps and graphs, and collect data concerning environmental topics.  Students will also learn spatial analysis techniques, some principles of cartography, essential principles of how geographic information is used to solve problems.
ENVI 340 Special Topics in Environmental Science (1–4)
Upper-division courses exploring influential ideas, texts, and practices from the intersection of science and environment. Prerequisites: ENVI 101 or instructor permission.
ENVI 350 Special Topics in the Civic Environment (1–4)
Upper-division courses exploring influential ideas, texts, and practices from the intersection of the civic realm and the environment. Prerequisites: ENVI 101 or instructor permission.
ENVI 351 The Global Environment (4)
This course presents students with an opportunity to study the global implications of contemporary environmental issues and relationships between nature and society. Students will approach these issues with attention to cross-cultural interactions and ideas that shape environmental awareness. With attention to the different ways that communities respond to environmental and humanitarian concerns in light of global processes of social and ecological transformation, students will study the global nature of many environmental issues, their impacts on local communities, and ways those communities have responded. Global environmental issues such as energy, agriculture, or water use will be considered through specific local changes with an emphasis on communities in Asia, Africa, and South America. Prerequisites: ENVI 101 or instructor permission.
ENVI 355 Topics in Environmental Humanities and Social Sciences  (1–4)
This is a course for cross-listed offerings that include ideas and content from the Environmental Humanities and the Civic Environment. Prerequisites: ENVI 101 or instructor permission.
ENVI 360
Special Topics in Environmental Humanities
(1–4)
Upper-division courses exploring influential ideas, texts andpractices at the intersection of the humanities and the environment. Prerequisites: ENVI 101 or instructor permission.
ENVI 361 Writing the Environment (4)
This course will ask students to develop their written communication skills through a carefully focused series of writing assignments. Students will build their confidence in written expression by engaging multiple genres including the research essay, the argumentative essay, the editorial, the cover letter and the personal reflection. Prerequisites: ENVI 101 or instructor permission.
ENVI 370 Theories of Nature (4)
This course is designed to introduce students to the field of Nature and Society. This course covers the fundamental integrative theories that explore nature and society interactions, including key contributions from economics, literature, sociology, political science as well as political, social, and cultural ecology. The focus is on learning how to assess the complex interactions between natural and built environments, technology, institutions, social groups and individuals, and value/ethical systems which shape the context for social policy-analysis and decision-making. The goal is to promote among students thoughts and practice that facilitate sustainable development both at the community and national level. Prerequisites: ENVI 101 or instructor permission.
ENVI 401 Directed Studies (1–4)
A tutorial-based course used only for student-initiated proposals for intensive study of topics not otherwise offered in the Environmental Studies Program. Hours are arranged. Prerequisite: consent of instructor and school dean.
ENVI 405 Senior Seminar (4)
A capstone course for Environmental Studies majors ordinarily taken during one of the last two semesters of undergraduate study. The Senior Capstone will challenge students take the learning they’ve done in the classroom and apply it to the real world.  Students will work in partnership with local community organizations, government agencies and individuals to identify and address environmental needs through community-based action. This work can take different shapes for students from the different concentrations, and will give students the chance to develop their ability to grapple with complex environmental issues and conduct efforts in preparation for future careers, graduate school, and more.
ENVI 410RR Applied Conservation Biology (3)
Conservation biology focuses on the application of scientific principles to inform and guide the protection and management of Earth’s biological diversity. This course covers major topics that fall under applied conservation biology, with an emphasis on large-scale conservation and local case studies. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this course, topics are drawn from fields including population ecology, landscape ecology, community ecology and genetics, as well as social, economic, and community aspects of conservation. This field course is offered by Round River Conservation Studies. Contact the Environmental Studies program chair for more information.
ENVI 415RR Applied Restoration Ecology (3)
Applied Restoration Ecology provides the theoretical and conceptual bases for the practice of ecological restoration, which involves active attempts to initiate or accelerate the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded, damaged, altered, or entirely destroyed as the direct or indirect result of human activities. This course covers major topics in restoration ecology, including restoration techniques, and focuses on local case studies. This field course is offered by Round River Conservation Studies. Contact the Environmental Studies program chair for more information.
ENVI 420RR Human Impacts on Ecology (3)
Much of southern Africa has adopted Community-Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) approaches to conservation, led and implemented by community organizations, traditional leaders, conservation NGO’s, private-sector investors, and government authorities. The goal of CBNRM is for local communities and private landowners to benefit directly from both consumptive and non-consumptive natural resource utilization strategies. This course covers major approaches to CBNRM focusing on evaluating the success of local strategies. This field course is offered by Round River Conservation Studies. Contact the Environmental Studies program chair for more information.
ENVI 425RR Humans and the Environment (3)
Understanding a culture’s relationship to the natural world provides insight into successful conservation strategies. Successful approaches to community-based conservation often incorporate local knowledge and necessitate perceiving humans as part of the environment. Drawing on disciplines such as anthropology and geography, and this reading and discussion-based course covers topics such as Human Wildlife Conflict, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, impacts of protected areas on local people, ecosystem services, and the methods and problems associated with applying research to conservation and development efforts. This field course is offered by Round River Conservation Studies. Contact the Environmental Studies program chair for more information.
ENVI 430RR Biological Field Methods (3)
Conservation biology and ecology are based on a solid foundation of skills related to field methodology and the observation, recording, and reporting of plants and wildlife in their natural environments. This course provides an introduction to a variety of field methodologies and natural history observation techniques, and will provide students with the information and tools needed to understand the scientific process: formulating a research question, collecting data, compiling and analyzing data, writing a scientific paper, and presenting research results. This course gives students practical research skills and field experience that cannot be gained in a classroom setting. This field course is offered by Round River Conservation Studies. Contact the Environmental Studies program chair for more information.
ENVI 435RR Introduction to Natural History (3)
Natural history is the study of plants and animals in their natural environments and is the basis of all scientific learning. The concepts of conservation biology and ecology are enhanced by a solid foundation in natural history. No great technical knowledge is necessary to comprehend the practice of natural history, but it is necessary to practice these skills in the field. Students will become familiar with the flora and fauna native to their program area, and will learn standardized methods to record observations, patterns, and experiences in the field. Students will also read and discuss a variety of natural history-related essays. This field course is offered by Round River Conservation Studies. Contact the Environmental Studies program chair for more information.
ENVI 440 Internship (1–4)
Students receive credit for meeting pre-arranged learning objectives while working for a business, a non-profit, a government program or some other organization that engages the environment. Hands-on experience is especially important to Environmental Studies students, and the faculty will work to support internship opportunities for all students. Students must have junior or senior standing (for transfer students, at least 15 hours completed at Westminster or permission of instructor), minimum 2.5 GPA, and consent of Program Chair and Career Center internship coordinator.
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