Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Thursday, July 18, 2019, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.

2017-2018 Course Catalog


This catalog was created on Thursday, July 18, 2019.

Environmental Studies

The field of environmental studies addresses some of the most critical and complicated issues of our time: those regarding environmental change and the future of humanity. The systems that make up planet Earth are simultaneously comprehensible and complex, predictable and chaotic, robust and fragile. Changes in one part of this system of systems may have far-reaching implications for other parts. As citizens of Earth, we cannot afford to remain ignorant of the global environmental consequences of our daily activities.

A degree in environmental studies prepares students for a wide spectrum of careers, including environmental law, consulting, policy making, technical innovation, wildlife management, teaching, natural resource management, and fundamental research. Students in the major share a common sequence of core courses, beginning with introductions to environmental science and policy through an intermediate level practicum and culminating with the senior capstone. Throughout the curriculum, majors are exposed to different perspectives on and tools for understanding the environment including those from the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. In addition, all students are required to take advanced courses in one department to provide disciplinary depth. Students have considerable choice in their courses and work with their advisor to select courses that fit individual interests and career goals. The field experience requirement ensures that students get out of the classroom to put their academic work into practice.

The minor in environmental studies is designed to complement a major in any field.

Environmental Studies Major

  1. Required core courses (30 Units)
    1. ENST 150: Introduction to Environmental Science with Lab (6 units)
    2. ENST 151: Introduction to Environmental Policy (6 units)
    3. ENST 300: Symposium on Environmental Topics (6 units)
    4. ENST 650: Environmental Studies Senior Seminar (6 units)
    5. MATH 107, 117 or 207; Statistics or BIOL 170: Integrative Biology: Experimental Design and Analysis or ANTH 207: Quantitative Analysis in Anthropology (6 units)
  2. Perspectives from science (18 Units)
    Three additional natural science courses from at least two different departments, one of which must be lab-based and one of which must be 200 or above.
  3. Perspectives from policy (12 Units)
    1. ECON 280 or ECON 285
    2. GOVT 270 or GOVT 380
  4. Perspectives from history, society, and culture (6 Units)
    • HIST 355
    • EDST 400
    • PHIL 360
    • ANTH 310
  5. Disciplinary focus (18 units)
    Eighteen units from courses numbered 200 or above in a single department GOVT, ECON, CHEM, BIOL, GEOL, ANTH, and PHYS, selected in consultation with advisor.
  6. Field experience
    Not necessarily for credit; typically about 50 hours of work outside the classroom or participation in an ENST-related internship or off-campus program.

Environmental Studies Minor

  1. Required core courses (18 Units)
    1. ENST 150: Introduction to Environmental Science with Lab (6 units)
    2. ENST 151: Introduction to Environmental Policy (6 units)
    3. ENST 300: Symposium on Environmental Topics (6 units)
  2. Courses with significant emphasis on environmental topics (30 units)
    Any five environmental studies cross-listed courses. Environmental studies courses taken through Lawrence-sponsored off-campus programs, such as the Semester in Environmental Science may also fulfill this requirement, with approval of the Environmental Studies Steering Committee. Special note: No more than three courses may be applied simultaneously toward completion of this minor and a student's major.

Teacher Certification in Environmental Science or Broad-Field Science

Students can seek certification to teach environmental science at the secondary level. Students must take EDST/ENST 400 and should fulfill the science-track requirements of the environmental studies major or, preferably, major in one of the natural sciences and minor in environmental studies. Students also have the option of seeking broad-field science certification by completing the major and a minimum of two courses in each of two other science disciplines and at least one course in each of the remaining sciences. Students who plan to seek teacher certification should review the requirements in the Education section of the catalog and meet with the director of teacher education, preferably before the end of the sophomore year.

Senior Experience in Environmental Studies

The Senior Seminar (ENST 650) is the culmination of the environmental studies major and serves as the program's Senior Experience. Through discussions of primary literature and guest lectures, students are engaged with cutting-edge scholarship in the natural sciences, social sciences, and the humanities. Students also complete individual projects, which consist of developing temporal or spatial models of environmentally relevant phenomena. In the course of modeling, students must find and acquire relevant data, determine functional relations between model elements, perform sensitivity analyses, and justify their choices and assumptions. Results and conclusions are presented orally and in a written document. The 6-unit course is offered once a year and has ENST 150, ENST 151 and ENST 300 as prerequisites. Students may elect, with the approval of their ENST advisor, to identify a different project, such as an independent research project, as their Senior Experience. Completion of ENST 650, however, is required for all environmental studies majors.