This course is a junior-level, undergraduate, three-credit course in environmental studies. It is suitable for students who are interested in environmental and sustainability issues but have little or no background in these areas. This survey course presents an overview of key concepts related to environmental analysis, such as resilience, carrying capacity, and environmental justice, as well as a range of topics related to contemporary environmental issues such as water, biodiversity, and ecological design.
Environmental Studies 243/Global Studies 243: Environmental Change in a Global Context is devoted to the study of the interactions between human society and the rest of the ecological world. The course introduces the methodology needed for that study and examines topics such as atmospheric change, biodiversity loss, resource use, and agriculture. The course also explores how societies can move toward sustainable development and moderate their effects on the biosphere.
ENVS 361 is not an introduction to environmental studies or ecology. Students taking it should have taken ENVS 252 or ENSC 200 or have equivalent background or training. These prerequisites are necessary so that students have at least one course in ecology, biology, or conservation science. A secondary recommendation is that students have taken at least one other environmental studies course or are familiar with at least some environmental issues. You might have this knowledge from a university course, but you could also gain such information through involvement in environmental groups or participation in local environmental issues. This must be more than simply having a membership with Greenpeace; you have to have been actively involved in the issue(s). If you have had experience negotiating politics and other social factors that play a role in determining our response to environmental issues, then you meet this requirement. So, for example, if you have been active in trying to get a local environmental issue (maybe the location of a garbage dump or the protection of green spaces in a city) dealt with by the municipality, you should have some experience navigating some of the social factors that are influential in environmental issues. While not required, some knowledge of postmodernism would be a benefit as well. These three areas (ecological science, environmentalism, and postmodernism) form the foundation of this course, so the more background you have in them, the easier you will find the material. If you are new to university level courses, this course is not for you.
Welcome to Environmental Studies 461: The History and Politics of Ecology. This is a senior level undergraduate course designed to acquaint you with ecological theory and how that knowledge has been applied to environmental issues. ENVS 461 is an interdisciplinary course dealing with ecological science, social studies of science, and environmental studies. It is also a mixed media course—on paper and online. For this reason, access to the Internet is a requirement for taking this course.