Program Description

The Environmental Studies Program provides students with the most innovative preparation in urban environmental issues and sustainability. The ES program engages a diverse student body with a strong foundation in environmental and geosciences. It includes relationships between humans, society, and the environment. In addition to core courses in environmental science, environmental courses emphasizing the humanities and social sciences provide necessary balance for addressing physical Earth issues in a societal context. Undergraduate students gain essential life skills, an appreciation for complex environmental processes, and respect for the diversity of environmental challenges in both Environmental Studies BA and Environmental Science BS degrees.

The department has offered geography and geology courses since 1934. The department also offers a master of science degree in environmental and urban geosciences. Students who designate geosciences as their coordinating discipline for the interdisciplinary doctoral program must meet admission and other requirements available from the department. See the School of Graduate Studies section of the graduate catalog for more information about doctoral programs.

Program Director:
Caroline P. Davies

Participating Architecture, Urban Planning and Design Faculty:
Joy Swallow, Michael Frisch, Sungyup Kim, and Jacob Wagner

Participating Biology Faculty:
Aaron Reed

Participating Business Faculty:
Sandy Price, David Renz, and Li Sun

Participating Chemistry Faculty:
Kathleen Kilway, and J. David VanHorn

Participating Engineering Faculty:
ZhiQiang Chen, John Kevern, Deborah O'Bannon, and Jerry Richardson

Participating Economics Faculty:
Mathew Forstater and Michael Kelsay

Participating Education Faculty:
A. Louis Odom

Participating Geosciences Faculty:
Jimmy Adegoke, Caroline Davies, Steven Driever, Syed Hasan, Alison Graettinger, Wei Ji, Jejung Lee, James Murowchick, Tina Niemi, and Fengpeng Sun

Participating History Faculty:
Brian Frehner and John Herron

Participating Law Faculty:
John Ragsdale and Irma Russell

Participating Philosophy Faculty:
James Sheppard

Participating Political Science Faculty:
Reginald Bassa


ENV-STDY 325 Cultural Perspectives on the Environment Credits: 3

This course explores the history of conservation practices in American agriculture from the 1700s through the present. Additionally, the course examines the past and present legal implications of environmental statutes for minority farmers from a social and environmental justice perspective.

ENV-STDY 334 Gender and the Environment Credits: 3

This course provides a survey of different ways women relate to nature. The objectives of the course are: to understand historical relationships between women and nature in the western world, to understand different theoretical approaches to studying women and nature, to explore the geography of women's activism on behalf of the environment, and to understand how women's health is linked to the environment.

ENV-STDY 412 Global Tourism Credits: 3

This course is a regional survey of world tourism. Topics include the uniqueness of place, the marketing of tourist destinations, and the cultural, economic, and environmental impacts on host societies.

Prerequisites: GEOG 105 or GEOG 200 or GEOG 202.

ENV-STDY 430 Soil and Groundwater Remediation Credits: 3

Review of basic geoenvironmental concepts. Nature, cause, and occurence of contaminated soil and groundwater. Principles of remediation, discussion of cleanup goals and various remediation alternatives and technologies. Design a remediation system: Project planning, data requirements, cost considerations, and implementation. A class project is required.

Prerequisites: GEOG 335 (or GEOLOGY 335).

ENV-STDY 450 Ecotoxicology Credits: 3

This course addresses the fundamentals of ecotoxicology, integrating the sciences of ecology and toxicology. Students will learn the biological basis for pollutant effects on individuals and populations of plants and animals, how pollutant intensity varies as a function of bioavailability, the basics of risk assessment, and how pollutant effects are modified by ecological interactions within communities and ecosystems. The ultimate goal of ecotoxicology is to predict the effects of pollution within an ecological context.

Prerequisites: BIOLOGY 108, CHEM 211, CHEM 212R.

ENV-STDY 499WI Environmental Studies Practicum Credits: 3

Students conduct research, participate in discussions, and prepare written reports on selected topics concerning the environment.

Prerequisites: Senior standing, RooWriter.