Professors Wenzel (Chemistry; chair) and Costlow (Russian); Associate Professors Lewis (Economics), Johnson (Art and Visual Culture), and Sommer (Biology); Assistant Professors Ewing (Environmental Studies), Skinner (Environmental Studies), and Pieck (Environmental Studies); Lecturer Parrish (Environmental Studies)
Environmental studies encompasses a broad range of issues that arise from the interaction of humans with the natural world. To understand these issues, students must think across and beyond existing disciplinary boundaries. The environmental studies major provides a framework for students to examine how humans experience, investigate, and interact with their natural environment. The curriculum includes, first, an interdisciplinary core that encourages students to explore the social, aesthetic, ethical, scientific, and technical aspects of environmental questions, and second, a disciplinary-based major concentration that allows students to approach these questions with more focused knowledge and methodological tools. More information on the environmental studies program including the course requirements for each major concentration is available on the Web site (www.bates.edu/ENVR.xml).
Major Requirements. Students majoring in environmental studies must fulfill core requirements of seven courses, a major concentration, a one- or two-semester thesis, and a 200-hour internship. Students may apply designated Short Term units toward fulfilling their major requirements. It is recommended that students complete Environmental Studies 203, 204, and 205 as early as possible. Beginning with the class of 2010, these courses are not open to seniors.
Students should note that there may be flexibility in requirements due to changes in the curriculum.
The environmental studies committee recommends that all students interested in environmental studies take a department-designated set in biology, chemistry, or geology during their first year. Chemistry/Environmental Studies 107B-108B is a set designed specifically for students interested in environmental studies.
Students interested in environmental education are advised to take a minor in education in addition to their major in environmental studies. Students are encouraged to consider study abroad. However, the program reserves the right to restrict study abroad to one semester.
1) The following courses are required of all majors:
ENVR 203. Scientific Approaches to Environmental Issues.
ENVR 204. Environment and Society.
ENVR 205. Environment and Culture.
ENVR 457, 458. Senior Seminar and Thesis.
2) Each student must take at least one course from each of the following groups of courses. These courses cannot be counted as part of a major concentration.
A. Aesthetic and Cultural Studies of Human-Environment Relationships
EN/ES 395Q. Nature and Culture in European Art Film.
ENVR 200. Imagining Open Spaces.
ENVR 213. Reading the Watershed: Nature and Place in Literature.
ES/RU 216. Nature and Russian Culture.
ES/JA 290. Nature in East Asian Literature.
ENVR 300. Posthuman Science Fictions.
ES/JA 320. Haiku and Nature in Japan.
ENVR 332. Environmental Nonfiction: Theory and Practice.
ENVR 334. The Question of the Animal.
ENVR s36. Ecopoetics.
INDS 228. Caring for Creation: Physics, Religion, and the Environment.
INDS 320. Afroambiente: Writing a Black Environment.
B. Ethics and Social Justice within Environmental Issues
AN/ES 242. Environment, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples.
AN/ES 337. Social Movements, NGOs, and the Environment.
ES/HI 211. Environmental Perspectives on United States History.
ES/PL 214. Ethics and Environmental Issues.
HI/WS 210. Technology in United States History.
PLTC 293. Environmental Justice.
PLTC 380. Climate Change and Public Policy.
SOC 235. Global Health: Sociological Perspectives.
WGST 355. Gender and Technology.
C. Quantitative and Scientific Reasoning with Respect to Environmental Problems
BIO 260. Environmental Toxicology.
BIO 265. Invasive Plant Ecology.
CH/ES 107B. Chemical Structure and Its Importance in the Environment.
ES/GE 217. Mapping and GIS.
ECON 222. Environmental Economics.
ENVR 240. Water and Watersheds.
ENVR 310. Soils.
ENVR s38. Field Methods in Environmental Science.
GEO 109. Global Change.
GEO 240. Environmental Geochemistry.
PHYS 106. Energy and Environment.
3) Each student must take a specified 300-level seminar in the environmental studies curriculum. This course cannot count toward the student's major concentration.
The Major Concentration. Major concentrations focus on a particular aspect of environmental studies. Students interested in environmental studies should consult the program's Web site or a member of the environmental studies committee for more information regarding the content of these major concentrations. The major concentrations are:
The Environment and Human Culture.
Gobal Environment and Social Change.
Nature in the Literary and Visual Arts.
Regional Perspectives on Environment and Society.
The Thesis. All students must complete a one- or two-semester thesis. Theses must build in some significant way upon the courses that students take as part of their major concentration. Students write proposals for thesis in the winter semester of the junior year.
The Internship. Every student must complete a 200-hour internship in an environmentally oriented organization off the Bates campus by the end of the fall semester of their senior year. Internships at academic research organizations, those requiring only physical labor, and those at summer camps are generally unacceptable.
Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major.
General Education Information for the Classes of 2009 and 2010. Students should be aware that courses listed only in environmental studies, without being cross-listed in another department, cannot be counted toward requirements in General Education, except for 203, which may fulfill the quantitative requirement. Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or A-Level credit awarded by the program may not be used toward fulfillment of any General Education requirements.
CH/ES 107B. Chemical Structure and Its Importance in the Environment.Fundamentals of atomic and molecular structure are developed with particular attention to how they relate to substances of interest in the environment. Periodicity, bonding, states of matter, and intermolecular forces are covered. The laboratory (three hours per week) involves a semester-long group investigation of a topic of environmental significance. Not open to students who have received credit for Chemistry 107A. Enrollment limited to 60 per section. [S] [L] [Q] Normally offered every year. T. Wenzel. Concentrations
CH/ES 108B. Chemical Reactivity in Environmental Systems.A continuation of Chemistry/Environmental Studies 107B. Major topics include thermodynamics, kinetics, equilibrium, acid/base chemistry, and electrochemistry. Biogeochemical cycles provide examples for course topics. The laboratory (three hours per week) analyzes the chemistry of marine environments. Prerequisite(s): Chemistry 107A or Chemistry/Environmental Studies 107B. Not open to students who have received credit for Chemistry 108A. Enrollment limited to 60. [S] [L] [Q] Normally offered every year. R. Austin. Concentrations
ENVR 200. Imagining Open Spaces.This interdisciplinary course explores the evolving practice of urban open space. Frederick Law Olmsted's contribution to the design of American urban parks, as well as their contested legacy in the civil rights movement, form a core study, along with some introduction to urbanist theories of space. Discussion of bioregional and cultural contexts focuses on issues around reclaimed and constructed landscapes. Study of the literature of open spaces, and of the interventions of contemporary artists and composers, develops an "expanded field" of aesthetics. Students are asked to pursue a creative-critical project, involving onsite investigation, in spaces at once social and natural. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Offered with varying frequency. J. Skinner. Concentrations
EN/ES 201. African and Diasporic Ecological Literature.While it has always been part of global culture and politics, Africa is now recognized as a continent of import in a most necessary global conversation about ecological change. This course examines ecological influences on literature by Anglophone authors of African descent. The study of the aesthetic and cultural imprint of individual authors is informed by readings that detail broader issues affecting ecological perceptions in human groups. Students also examine interpretations of human biodiversity that have contributed to the neglect of African and African diasporic artistic and philosophic perspectives on ecological issues. Prerequisite(s): one 100-level English course. Recommended background: course(s) in African American studies and/or environmental studies. Enrollment limited to 25. Normally offered every year. K. Ruffin. Concentrations
ENVR 203. Scientific Approaches to Environmental Issues.An introduction to central concepts in environmental science—the function and interrelationship of physical, chemical, and biological systems—through the study of specific environmental issues. The laboratory links field studies of environmental systems to the scientific concepts and tools environmental scientists use. This course serves as the foundation for further study of environmental science at Bates. Recommended background: one laboratory course in biology, geology, chemistry, or physics. Enrollment limited to 40. [S] [L] [Q] Normally offered every year. H. Ewing. Concentrations
ENVR 204. Environment and Society.Environmental issues rarely have only physical dimensions. They most often also have social and political aspects. This course familiarizes students with some of the major social scientific contributions to understanding how and why environmental problems arise, how they are defined, and how different groups are affected by and respond to them. The course first outlines the contemporary world system in which environmental debates take place and then identifies drivers of environmental change. Students then apply these ideas to a variety of ongoing environmental controversies, including climate change, oil dependency, agriculture, urbanization, biodiversity conservation, pollution, and environmental justice. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. Normally offered every year. S. Pieck. Concentrations
ENVR 205. Environment and Culture.The course explores dynamics between natural environments and human cultures. Methods in environmental and cultural studies inform case studies drawn from animist cultures, philosophy after Darwin, the literature of walking, the wilderness concept in Western culture, Romantic and transcendentalist writings, and art on and of the landscape. Additional topics include soundscape, site-specific dance, ecofeminism, "nature" in the media, disaster movies, and selected postcolonial works from the contemporary literary and visual arts. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 25 per section. Normally offered every year. J. Skinner.
ES/HI 211. Environmental Perspectives on U.S. History.This course explores the relationship between the North American environment and the development and expansion of the United States. Because Americans' efforts (both intentional and not) to define and shape the environment were rooted in their own struggles for power, environmental history offers an important perspective on the nation's social history. Specific topics include Europeans', Africans', and Indians' competing efforts to shape the colonial environment; the impact and changing understanding of disease; the relationship between industrial environments and political power; and the development of environmental movements. Recommended background: History 140, 141, or 142. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. J. Hall. Concentrations
ENVR 213. Reading the Watershed: Nature and Place in Literature.Environmental thinkers from Gary Snyder to Wendell Berry have linked environmental responsiveness to localness and an intimate knowledge of place and home. What role does literature, oral and written, play in producing, recording, and transmitting such knowledge? How are nature and the landscape around us remembered, imagined, shaped, mourned, and possibly protected by the stories, songs, and poems that humans create? In what ways do writers assign personal or spiritual significance to the landscape? This course uses Northern New England and the watershed of the Androscoggin as a base to investigate these questions. Readings include stories from Abenaki oral literature, poems, and stories by contemporary local writers, as well as other selected American writers who have given a strong voice to regionalism in their work. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every other year. S. Strong. Concentrations
ES/PL 214. Ethics and Environmental Issues.A study of selected issues in environmental ethics, including questions about population growth, resource consumption, pollution, the responsibilities of corporations, environmental justice, animal rights, biodiversity, and moral concern for the natural world. The course explores debates currently taking place among environmental thinkers regarding our moral obligations to other persons, to future generations, to other animals, and to ecosystems and the Earth itself. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every other year. T. Tracy. Concentrations
ES/RU 216. Nature in Russian Culture.How does a given culture understand and represent its relationship to the specific geography of its place in the world? This course explores the cultural landscape of Russia through a broad range of literary works, visual images, and ethnographic studies. Students examine some of the following issues: the relationship between geography and national identity; the political uses of cultural landscape; the interaction of agriculture, official religion, and traditional belief in peasant culture; and the role of class and revolutionary reimaginings of nature in the Soviet era. Conducted in English. Not open to students who have received credit for Environmental Studies/Russian 314. Not open to students who have received credit for ES/RU 314. Open to first-year students. [W2] Normally offered every other year. J. Costlow. Concentrations
ES/GE 217. Mapping and GIS.Geographical information systems (GIS) are computer-based systems for geographical data presentation and analysis. They allow rapid development of high-quality maps, and enable sophisticated examination of spatial patterns and interrelationships. In this course students learn the principles of GIS through extensive computer use of ArcGIS (ESRI). Geological and environmental projects introduce students to cartography, common sources of geographic data, methods for collecting novel spatial data, and data quality. Finally, students learn to extend the capabilities of GIS software to tackle more advanced spatial analysis tasks by completing an independent project. Lectures supplement the laboratory component of the course. Prerequisite: one 200-level course in environmental studies or one 100-level course in geology. Not open to students who have received credit for Environmental Studies 217. Enrollment limited to 20. [S] [L] [Q] Offered with varying frequency. J. Eusden, C. Parrish. Concentrations
INDS 228. Caring for Creation: Physics, Religion, and the Environment.This course considers scientific and religious accounts of the origin of the universe, examines the relations between these accounts, and explores the way they shape our deepest attitudes toward the natural world. Topics of discussion include the biblical Creation stories, contemporary scientific cosmology, the interplay between these scientific and religious ideas, and the roles they both can play in forming a response to environmental problems. Cross-listed in environmental studies, physics, and religious studies. Enrollment limited to 40. [S] Normally offered every other year. J. Smedley, T. Tracy. Concentrations
ENVR 240. Water and Watersheds.Where does water go and what does it do? Humans across the globe extract, enjoy, use, waste, and conserve water and hence affect its distribution, movement, and quality. In this course students follow water from atmosphere to land to aquatic systems, emphasizing the controls on the movement and chemistry of water. They investigate not only the need of organisms for water but also the ways in which organisms, including humans, influence the distribution and chemistry of water. Some class meetings involve field and lab work. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: Environmental Studies 203; Chemistry 107A or Chemistry/Environmental Studies 107B and Geology 103; Chemistry 107A or Chemistry/Environmental Studies 107B and Biology 101 or 112. Recommended background: Chemistry 107A and 108A, or Chemistry/Environmental Studies 107B and 108B. Enrollment limited to 30. [S] Offered with varying frequency. H. Ewing. Concentrations
AN/ES 242. Environment, Human Rights, and Indigenous Peoples.For decades environmentalists have used the image of the "ecological native" in their critique of industrialization while indigenous activists have framed their struggles for land rights and self-determination in environmental terms. Why and how have environmental and indigenous concerns merged? How are these connections used strategically? This course examines the struggles of the world's indigenous peoples in the context of an accelerating ecological crisis. Topics include Western ideas of indigenous people, indigenous self-representation, indigenous relations to modern nation-states, the World Bank and the United Nations, and the impacts of oil and mining, bio-prospecting, and biodiversity conservation. Prerequisite(s): Anthropology 101, Environmental Studies 204, Anthropology/Environmental Studies 337, or Politics 250. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. S. Pieck. Concentrations
ES/JA 290. Nature in East Asian Literature.How have poets and other writers in Japan and China portrayed, valued, and responded to the myriad phenomena that Western tradition calls "nature"? What ideas have they used to construct the relationship between human beings and the environment? Do their views offer the modern world a possible antidote to its environmental ills? This course looks closely at several works from Japanese and Chinese traditions whose authors pay particular attention to the relationship between the self and the physical world the self observes. Specific writers may include Hitomaro, Saigyô, Kamo no Chomei, Bashô, Li Po, and Wang Wei. Conducted in English. Open to first-year students. Offered with varying frequency. S. Strong. Concentrations
ENVR 300. Posthuman Science Fictions.Science fiction endures as the privileged genre for exploring the big questions—ethical, philosophical, scientific—of the "posthuman" era. What does it mean to be human when biotechnology muddles inheritance and blurs the boundaries between species? Does obsession with virtuality presage the "end of nature"? What do the troubling identities of I, Robot have to do with animal rights? Can we learn from utopian exercises in "terraforming" and apocalypse? In this reading- and writing-intensive course, a range of science fiction works of literature and film are paired with philosophical texts, from Plato to Haraway, and discussed in the light of environmental issues. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: English 121, Philosophy 150, or Environmental Studies 205. Recommended background: Environmental Studies 205. Enrollment limited to 25. [W2] Offered with varying frequency. J. Skinner. Concentrations
ENVR 310. Soils.Depending on one's point of view, soils are geological units, ecosystems, the foundation of plant life, a place for microbes to live, building material, or just dirt. This course takes a scientific perspective and explores the genesis of soils, their distribution and characteristics, and their interaction with plants. Field studies emphasize description of soils, inferences about soil formation, and placement within a landscape context. Labs investigate the chemistry of soils and their role in forestry and agriculture. Prerequisite(s): Environmental Studies 203; or one chemistry set (Chemistry 107A-108A or Chemistry/Environmental Studies 107B-108B) and one 200-level biology or geology course. Recommended background: one 200-level geology course. [S] [L] Normally offered every other year. H. Ewing. Concentrations
ES/JA 320. Haiku and Nature in Japan.The concise, seventeen-syllable verse form known today as haiku rose to prominence in the popular culture of seventeenth-century Japan. With its emphasis on the experience of the present moment and its use of clear natural imagery, haiku is seen by many as defining the way generations of Japanese have perceived and related to the natural world. This seminar examines the poetics of haiku and linked verse (renku) and looks at the expression of their aesthetics in recent Japanese literature and culture from architecture to the novel to Zen. Prerequisite(s): at least one course in Japanese or one course in environmental studies. Conducted in English. Normally offered every other year. S. Strong. Concentrations
INDS 320. Afroambiente: Writing a Black Environment.This course studies the response of black writers and intellectuals of the Spanish-speaking world to issues related to the natural environment. In three countries, Ecuador, Puerto Rico, and Equatorial Guinea, modernity has brought serious challenges to notions of economic progress, human rights, and national sovereignty, as well as individual and communal identity. Course materials include written texts from local newspapers and magazines, as well as other sources of information such as Internet sites that discuss issues related to the environment and the arts. Prerequisite(s): one 200-level Spanish course. Cross-listed in African American studies, environmental studies, and Spanish. Not open to students who have received credit for Interdisciplinary Studies 218 or 220. Open to first-year students. Offered with varying frequency. B. Fra-Molinero. Concentrations
ENVR 332. Environmental Nonfiction: Theory and Practice.The course examines the "nonfiction" impulse — in prose or verse — in relation to environmental concerns about place, science, history, advocacy, or social justice. Equal attention is paid to the practice of writing in a workshop environment and to critical and theoretical reflection. Students explore techniques particular to nonfiction including poetic forms and various approaches to science, documentary, and investigative writing, with considerations of narrative, metaphor, persona, and audience. Critical reflection focuses on constructions of "nonfiction," on theorizing connections between writing and environment, and on testing the genre's boundaries. The central concerns of "environmental literacy" run through both the practice and theory. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: English 291, 292, 395O, Environmental Studies 205, 213, s36, Interdisciplinary Studies 220. Recommended background: Environmental Studies 203, 204, or 205. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] Normally offered every other year. J. Skinner.
ENVR 334. The Question of the Animal.In an age of mass extinction, the meanings of human being and the uses of technology seem drawn into a circle bounded by the question of the animal. Through philosophical, artistic, literary, cultural, religious, and scientific studies, this course focuses on the trouble animals bring to human self-understanding. The investigation proceeds both as an inquiry from within the Western tradition, which locates humanity in an expulsion of the animal, and as an examination of traditions in which the differences between humans and animals are more varied and integrated. Themes include the wild and the tame, meat, religion, animal rights, sex and gender, race, languages, companion animals, and animal representations and performances. Discussions focus around cultural cases drawn from literature, the arts, and contemporary media. Enrollment limited to 18. Normally offered every other year. J. Skinner.
AN/ES 337. Social Movements, NGOs, and the Environment.As emerging transnational actors, social movements and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) challenge state-centered paradigms with regard to environmental and other issues. But why do environmental movements arise in the first place? Do NGOs necessarily "do environmental good"? What solutions to the environment-development quandary do these forms of activism offer? The course first locates the context for NGOs and social movements within neoliberal globalization and the resource conflicts that emerge from its processes. Students consider topics and case studies in developed and developing countries, using them as a lens through which to understand the complexities of social and environmental change. Prerequisite(s): Anthropology 101 or Environmental Studies 204. Enrollment limited to 20. [W2] Normally offered every year. S. Pieck.
ENVR 360. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every semester. Staff.
EN/ES 395Q. Nature and Culture in European Art Film.European art film tends to be more realistic than Hollywood film, yet at the same time it is more conscious of its artifice. What does nature look like when framed in these art-conscious, self-reflexive terms? This course considers challenging masterworks of European cinema from the 1950s until today, with special attention to the place of nature in cinematic narrative and representation. Students watch two films each week and read several theoretical essays. Directors may include Ingmar Bergman, Andrei Tarkovsky, Jean-Luc Godard, Roberto Rossellini, and Claire Denis. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. [W2] Offered with varying frequency. S. Dillon.
ENVR 457. Senior Thesis.This course involves research for and writing of the senior thesis, under the direction of a faculty advisor, and participation in a weekly seminar with other environmental studies seniors under the supervision of an environmental studies faculty member. The seminar supplements students' one-on-one work with their advisor and provides a space for students to learn about each other's work. Guidelines for the thesis are published on the program Web site and are available from the program chair. Students register for Environmental Studies 457 in the fall semester and for Environmental Studies 458 in the winter semester. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
ENVR 457, 458. Senior Thesis.This course involves research for and writing of the senior thesis, under the direction of a faculty advisor, and participation in a weekly seminar with other environmental studies seniors under the supervision of an environmental studies faculty member. The seminar supplements students' one-on-one work with their advisor and provides a space for students to learn about each other's work. Guidelines for the thesis are published on the program Web site and are available from the program chair. Students register for Environmental Studies 457 in the fall semester and for Environmental Studies 458 in the winter semester. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.
ENVR 458. Senior Thesis.This course involves research for and writing of the senior thesis, under the direction of a faculty advisor, and participation in a weekly seminar with other environmental studies seniors under the supervision of an environmental studies faculty member. The seminar supplements students' one-on-one work with their advisor and provides a space for students to learn about each other's work. Guidelines for the thesis are published on the program Web site and are available from the program chair. Students register for Environmental Studies 457 in the fall semester and for Environmental Studies 458 in the winter semester. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff.Short Term Courses
INDS s17. Wake Up!.The unit weds academic inquiry with a rigorous experiential journey to self-awareness, nature, and social engagement. It pursues four interrelated avenues of inquiry: small seminar examination of texts to provide historical, cultural, and philosophical context (German literature, New England transcendentalism, native peoples, Zen and engaged Buddhism, deep ecology); outdoor experiential activities; a week-long meditation retreat; and a week in the wilderness. Papers in response to readings, journalling, and a student-designed project are required. Two weeks are spent offcampus. Cross-listed in environmental studies, German, and religious studies. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. D. Sweet.
ES/RU s20. Environment and Culture in Russia.This unit introduces a broad range of environmental issues in contemporary Russia and invites students to consider those issues in cultural and historical context. Students spend three and one-half weeks at different locations in European Russia and the Urals, visiting sites ranging from privatized farms and peasant markets to industrial centers and conservation areas. A period of intensive preparation at Bates is followed by visits and conversations in Russia that acquaint students with ecologists, activists, governmental officials, and ordinary Russian citizens. Recommended background: one course in Russian studies or environmental studies. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. J. Costlow.
INDS s24. Shetland Islands: Archeological Field Course.The main element of this unit is the excavation of a late medieval/early modern farmstead at Brow, Shetland (Scotland). Early settlement in Shetland was on the margin of successful medieval colonization of the North Atlantic. The Brow site is a revealing "laboratory" in which to explore the interaction of climate change and human settlement in a fragile coastal zone. A series of field trips in mainland Scotland place the Brow excavation in the wider context of settlement, environment, archeology, and the history of Scotland and the North Atlantic. Recommended background: courses in medieval history or archeology. Cross-listed in classical and medieval studies, environmental studies, and history. Not open to students who have received credit for Interdisciplinary Studies s28. Enrollment limited to 10. Instructor permission is required. (Premodern.) Offered with varying frequency. M. Jones. Concentrations
ENVR s28. Contemporary Maine Environmental Issues.This field research unit gives students an opportunity to explore important local environmental issues and to begin the development of social science field research skills. Student research focuses on identifying relevant stakeholders and describing relations between stakeholders in terms of a specific environmental issue. Examples of relevant issues include, but are not limited to, urban planning and sprawl, wildlife management, impacts of recreational use, water quality, and brownfields redevelopment. During the first week the unit introduces students to topics and research methods. Student groups then undertake research under the supervision of the instructor. Research results and methodological lessons learned occupy the last week. Prerequisite(s): Environmental Studies 204. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 15. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. Staff.
EC/ES s30. Visualizing Environmental Justice Using GIS.This unit offers experience with spatial environmental and economic analysis by using geographical information systems technology (GIS) to explore case studies on environmental and social change. Topics in environmental justice such as hazardous waste facility sitings, urban density, poverty, disaster management, and others are examined. Students use mapping technology and available data sources including census and landuse data to learn to apply visual technology for economic analysis. They study how the visualization and presentation of data can inform economic decision making and policy making. Prerequisite(s): Economics 101 or 103 and 250. Enrollment limited to 20. Offered with varying frequency. L. Lewis.
ES/GE s32. Environmental Change in the Australian Outback.This field-based unit explores the geology and environmental change that has occurred in central Australia over the last 125,000 years. Students spend four weeks exploring the millennial-scale global climate events that are recorded in the sediments of the large interior playa lakes, dune fields, and fluvial systems. Evidence for environmental change coincident with colonization by the first human immigrants beginning 60,000 years ago and the expansion of the European pastoralists into the Australian Outback beginning 200 years ago is explored in the context of this unique geologic setting. Prerequisite(s): Geology 103 or 104. Enrollment limited to 8. Instructor permission is required. [S] [L] [Q] Offered with varying frequency. B. Johnson. Concentrations
EC/ES s33. Valuation of Human-Altered Ecosystems.How is the value of an ecosystem altered by human development? Answering this question requires an understanding of both economics and ecosystem structure and function. In this interdisciplinary unit, students explore the structure and function of ecosystems before and after human modification and the relationship of these characteristics to their economic value. Students focus on river systems in Maine from source to sea. This unit involves many day trips and two longer trips off campus. Prerequisite(s): Environmental Studies 203 or Economics 222. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission is required. Offered with varying frequency. H. Ewing, L. Lewis. Concentrations
INDS s34. The Soundscape.Can deeper listening make us better citizens of the natural environment? This unit explores what composer R. Murray Schafer calls the soundscape "unfolding around us ceaselessly. We are simultaneously its audience, its performers, and its composers." Students discuss key writings about sound, and practice deep listening outdoors, extended through performance and composition—whether in music, words, or visual media. The unit includes an introduction to field recording and digital editing techniques, to the spring songs of amphibians and birds, and to some key recordings in the history of soundscape composition. A listening notebook, including responses to readings, and a final project are required. Cross-listed in English, environmental studies, and music. Enrollment limited to 12. Normally offered every other year. J. Skinner. Concentrations
ENVR s36. Ecopoetics.The unit seeks to provoke innovative responses to the environmental crisis. If poetics entails all-of-making, including literary, visual, musical and design arts, as well as reflections on making, what are the available creative and critical responses? Through the journal ecopoetics and beyond, students are exposed to a range of "eco" methodologies: soundscape, walking, and field guide practices, including methods for writing other species, biome investigations, edge studies, and ethnographic translation techniques. The course involves an extensive fieldwork component and critical reflection, as well as collaborative publication, installation, and/or performance works. Submission of a sample of critical or creative work, or a prospectus of such work, is required for admission to the course. Recommended background: Environmental Studies 205. Enrollment limited to 12. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every other year. J. Skinner. Concentrations
ES/GE s37. Introduction to Hydrogeology.Hydrogeology is the study of the interactions between water and earth materials and processes. This unit uses hydrogeology as a disciplinary framework for learning about groundwater processes, contamination, supply, use, and management. Students are engaged in class research projects along the Maine coast and within the Androscoggin River basin. Field and laboratory methods are learned in the context of these projects for determining groundwater flow and aquifer properties, collecting samples, and analyzing water quality. The final research project is both written and presented to the College community. Prerequisite(s): any 100-level geology course or Environmental Studies 203. Enrollment limited to 16. [S] [L] [Q] Offered with varying frequency. B. Johnson. Concentrations
ENVR s38. Field Methods in Environmental Science.Evaluating environmental problems often requires the collection of air, water, or soil samples from field sites. Knowing how to gather information and samples and how to be sure that they help address the questions at hand is challenging. In this unit, students consider approaches for matching sampling design to study objectives, dealing with spatial and temporal heterogeneity in field materials, utilizing previously published approaches, insuring utility of data, and replication of studies. Students design and carry out their own study utilizing approaches learned in class. A one-week stay off campus at a field site may be required. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: Biology 101, 125, Biology/Geology 112, Chemistry 107A, 107B, Environmental Studies 203, or Geology 103. Recommended background: a second of the prerequisite courses. Enrollment limited to 18. [L] Offered with varying frequency. H. Ewing. Concentrations
ENVR s46. Internship in Environmental Studies.Projects may include hands-on conservation work, environmental education, environmental research, political advocacy, environmental law, or other areas related to environmental questions. Specific arrangement and prior approval of the Committee on Environmental Studies is required. Instructor permission is required. Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations
ENVR s50. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Open to first-year students. Normally offered every year. Staff.