Please note: The information displayed here is current as of Sunday, June 20, 2021, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.
This catalog was created on Sunday, June 20, 2021.
|Professors:||M. Bjornerud (Walter Schober Professor of Environmental Studies Geosciences), J. Clark (Geosciences) (on leave term(s) III), B. De Stasio (Dennis and Charlot Nelson Singleton Professor of Biological Sciences Biology), A. Knudsen (Geosciences), M. Rico (History) (on leave term(s) I, II), C. Skran (Edwin & Ruth West Professorship of Economics and Social Science Government), T. Troy (J. Thomas and Julie E. Hurvis Professor of Theatre and Drama Theatre Arts)|
|Associate professors:||J. Brozek (Stephen Edward Scarff Professor of International Affairs Government, chair), D. Donohoue (Chemistry), D. Gerard (The John R. Kimberly Distinguished Professor of the American Economic System Economics), A. Hakes (Biology) (on leave term(s) II), W. Hixon (Gordon R. Clapp Chair of American Studies Government), S. Purkey (Bee Connell Mielke Professor of Education Education), J. Sedlock (Biology)|
|Assistant professors:||C. Armstrong (Philosophy), I. Del Toro (Biology), D. Joyner (Art History), C. Kervin (English), R. Ribbons (Geosciences)|
|Instructor:||S. Colon (Hurvis NEH Fellow in the Humanities)|
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.
Required for the major in environmental studies
Students who major in environmental studies will learn how to understand the multiple ways humans attribute meaning to the environment, apply methods and/or concepts from multiple disciplines to analyze environmental problems, evaluate the quality of data and arguments, and communicate environmental science to a variety of audiences.
The major in environmental studies requires the following:
- Core courses:
- ENST 150: Introduction to Environmental Science with Lab
- ENST 151: Introduction to Environmental Policy
- ENST 300: Symposium on Environmental Topics
- ENST 650: Environmental Studies Senior Seminar
- One of the following:
- MATH 107: Elementary Statistics
- STAT 107: Principles of Statistics
- MATH 217: Applied Statistical Methods
- BIOL 170: Integrative Biology: Experimental Design and Statistics
- ANTH 207: Quantitative Analysis in Anthropology
- GOVT 271: Research Methods in Political Science
- Perspectives from science:
Three additional 6-unit 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.
- Perspectives from policy:
- ECON 280: Environmental Economics
- GOVT 270: Global Environmental Politics or GOVT 380: Introduction to Public Policy
- Perspectives from history, society, and culture:
One course selected from the following courses (ENST 200: Topics in Environmental Studies may be used to satisfy this requirement with approval of the student's advisor).
- ENST 127: Environmental Justice and Citizenship
- RLST 205: Religion and the Biosphere
- ANTH 310: Ecological Anthropology
- HIST 355: History of the American Environment
- PHIL 360: Environmental Ethics
- THAR 387: Let Us Arise: Ireland's Deep Time
- EDST 400: The Environment, Community, and Education
- ENGL 522: Literature and the Environment
- Disciplinary focus:
Three additional six-unit courses numbered 200 or above in a single department--government, economics, anthropology, biology, chemistry, geosciences, physics, or philosophy, selected in consultation with the advisor. Units earned in independent study may not be used to satisfy this requirement.
- 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 approved by the advisor.
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.
Required for the minor in environmental studies
- Required core courses:
- ENST 150: Introduction to Environmental Science with Lab
- ENST 151: Introduction to Environmental Policy
- ENST 300: Symposium on Environmental Topics
- One 6-unit natural science course cross-listed with ENST and one course each from the following two categories:
- Perspectives from policy: ECON 280, GOVT 270, or GOVT 380
- Perspectives from history, society, and culture: ANTH 310, EDST 400, HIST 355, or PHIL 360
Environmental studies courses taken through Lawrence-approved off-campus programs may also fulfill this requirement with approval of the environmental studies program.
No more than one course 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.
Courses - Environmental Studies
ENST 115: Energy Technology, Society, and the EnvironmentExplores energy production, storage, and usage as they are currently practiced. Certain emerging technologies will also be addressed. Environmental and socio-economic impact will be discussed in the context of limitations imposed by the laws of physics.
ENST 127: Environmental Justice and CitizenshipEnvironmental degradation impacts some individuals and communities more than others: the poor, people of color, and certain nonhuman species and landscapes bear the brunt of our collective actions. This seminar pairs literary texts (novels, short stories and poems) with nonfiction essays on topics ranging from food production to indigenous rights. We will discuss and write about how these texts impact our understanding of fairness, justice, rights and responsibility.
ENST 150: Environmental SciencePresents principles of biology, chemistry, geology, and physics that relate to such environmental issues as resource limitation, pollution, and environmental degradation. Designed to foster understanding of scientific measures of environmental quality. One laboratory per week. This course may not be taken on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis.
ENST 151: Introduction to Environmental PolicyThis course applies principles of economics and political science to environmental issues, including pollution, resource limitation, and environmental degradation. It is designed to foster an understanding of the environmental policy-making and regulatory process in the United States and globally.
ENST 191: Directed Study in Environmental StudiesDirected study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work.
ENST 195: Internship in Environmental StudiesAn opportunity for environmental studies students to gain practical experience in the commercial, government, or nonprofit sectors. The internship is supplemented by readings and discussions with a supervising faculty member. At the conclusion of the internship, the student must submit a summative report that considers the internship experience in the context of the student’s other academic work. The academic component of the internship includes readings related to the substance of the internship, discussions with the faculty supervisor, and a written report appropriate to the discipline. Course grades are based on this academic work.
ENST 200: Topics in Environmental StudiesStudy of a particular topic of current interest in environmental studies. Topics will vary with each offering of the course, and may include field research, community engagement, or other experiential learning opportunities. Course may be repeated when topic is different.
ENST 202: Geology and HealthA course investigating the links between geology and health, with a particular focus on environmental issues in urban areas and ties to the field of environmental justice. The course considers issues such as human lead exposure from soil and water, and the links between air pollution and asthma. This course includes a lab component in which students will be collecting and analyzing soil, air, and water samples.
ENST 208: Sustainable China: Environment and EconomyThis course integrates environmental and economic topics relevant for understanding sustainability in the Chinese context, including economic development, natural resource management, urban growth, and environmental policy. It is a prerequisite for a December study trip to China.
ENST 210: Animal BehaviorA lecture and field-study course examining the principles and problems of animal behavior. Subjects include orientation, feeding, locomotion, communication, escape in time and space, biological rhythms, mate choice, and aspects of social behavior, examined from evolutionary, ontogenetic, physiological, ecological, and ethological perspectives. Lecture and laboratory.
ENST 213: Evolutionary BiologyA study of biological evolution, including natural selection, adaptation, the evolution of sex, speciation, extinction, and constraints on evolutionary change. Reading primary literature is emphasized. Two lectures and one discussion per week.
ENST 220: General EcologyAn introduction to the interactions between organisms and the environment. Explores the role of physical, chemical and biotic processes--including human activities--in determining the structure and function of populations, communities, and ecosystems. Topics include resource availability, competition, predation, symbiosis and natural and anthropogenic disturbances such as disease, biological invasions, pollution and climate change. Lecture and laboratory.
ENST 222: Atmospheric & Environmental ChemistryThis course focuses on the fundamental chemical processes that control Earth's atmosphere, ocean, soil, and climate. The course emphasizes the mechanisms that regulate the flow of energy in different ecosystems, the environmental role of particulate matter and solar radiation, chemistry-climate relationships, and the anthropogenic impact on the environment.
ENST 229: General Ecology (Lecture Only)An introduction to the interactions between organisms and the environment. Explores the role of physical, chemical and biotic processes--including human activities--in determining the structure and function of populations, communities, and ecosystems. Topics include resource availability, competition, predation, symbiosis and natural and anthropogenic disturbances such as disease, biological invasions, pollution and climate change. Lecture only.
ENST 230: History of the Earth and LifeA study of the physical, chemical, and organic evolution of the Earth since its origin 4.5 billion years ago, with emphasis on times of change and crisis. The course also examines the evolution of ideas about Earth’s history, illustrating how science and culture are inherently entangled.
ENST 235: Climate and Climate ChangeIn this class we will cover the fundamental scientific knowledge about climate, and the long-term patterns and variation in climates over Earth’s history. Students will be able to evaluate and explain major climate drivers in the past, and how past and future human activities are altering climates at both local and global scales.
ENST 237: Environmental Remote Sensing and GIS ApplicationsFundamentals of electromagnetic radiation and the interaction of radiation with matter are introduced as the basis of remote sensing. Interpretation and manipulation of remotely sensed images are used to demonstrate the wealth of information remote sensing provides. Applications and case studies from geology, environmental science, ecology, agronomy, and urban planning will be explored. High school physics recommended. Lecture and laboratory.
ENST 240: The Material World: Geochemistry of Minerals, Rocks and WatersLow-temperature geochemical processes drive the formation, weathering, and alteration of rocks and minerals and govern the composition of waters at the Earth’s surface. In studying these principles, we will investigate questions about the Earth’s environment from both modern systems and deep geological time. Course includes a three-day field trip to northern Wisconsin in the middle of the term. One lab per week.
ENST 245: Conservation BiologyThis course explores scientific concepts related to the conservation and restoration of Earth's biological diversity. Topics include patterns of species and ecosystem diversity, the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, causes of extinction, assessing extinction risk, behavioral indicators, in-situ and ex-situ management strategies for endangered species, and ecosystem restoration. Lecture only.
ENST 250: Analytical ChemistryA course in the quantitative description of chemical equilibria in solution (acid-base, complexation, redox, solubility) using classical, separation, electrochemical, and spectrochemical methods of analysis. This course covers methods of quantification, statistics, and data analysis as applied to modern chemistry. Students will have the opportunity to individually design projects. Three lectures and two laboratory periods per week.
ENST 252: Sustainable CitiesHow can cities be sustainable? The increasing urbanization of the world's population, shift to service-driven economies, and growing diversity of cities make this question pressing and complicated. This course introduces economic, environmental, and social dimensions of the urban sustainability problem and explores responses to it through a two-week December study trip to London and Amsterdam and winter term studies and poster presentations. Program fee is required. Students pay their own airfare.
ENST 260: Research Methods in ArchaeologyPresents the research process in archaeology and offers an overview of essential data-collection and analysis techniques, including site survey and excavation, settlement pattern analysis, lithic analysis, and ceramic analysis. Students will take part in field research.
ENST 265: BiogeochemistryThis course explores fundamental cycles between earth's major reservoirs of nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon and water. Through lecture and group presentations, students will gain a solid understanding of the fundamentals of biogeochemical cycles and the mechanism underlying the biological transformations of those elements. Lecture and laboratory.
ENST 270: Global Environmental PoliticsThis course provides an examination of the environment as an issue in world politics. Emphasis will be placed on the role of both state and non-state actors (i.e., the UN, NGOs) in global environmental regimes that are designed to deal with global warming, ozone depletion, and other environmental issues. Particular attention will be paid to the positions taken by both developed and developing countries. As part of the course, students will participate in a simulation of an international negotiation on an environmental issue.
ENST 280: Environmental EconomicsThe course shows how economists analyze environmental problems and the types of solutions they propose (if any). Topic coverage includes property rights and externalities, cost-benefit analysis, regulatory policy instruments, the interplay between policy and innovation, and basic models of political economy.
ENST 300: Symposium on Environmental TopicsThe heart of this course is an annual symposium organized around a well-defined topic with both scientific and policy components — e.g., nuclear waste disposal, global warming. Each year, two or three nationally recognized experts on the selected topic are brought to campus. In the weeks before a visit by one of the major speakers, students, together with environmental studies faculty, read and discuss papers suggested by the speaker. The speakers meet with students in the seminar following their public lecture, providing students with an opportunity to interact directly with scientists and policy makers at the forefront of environmental issues.
ENST 305: Medieval Ecologies: Art, Nature, and the EnvironmentThis class investigates intersections among people, arts, and the environment in European regions during the Middle Ages (c. 400-1400). Readings draw broadly from primary sources in translation, ecocritical studies, and environmental histories and dovetail with close examinations of images, objects, monuments, and sites across varied medieval landscapes. We question what constitutes medieval ecologies and consider their profound relevance for today's world.
ENST 310: Aquatic EcologyThe principles of the ecology of fresh waters, developed through discussions, laboratory, and field investigations of the functional relationships and productivity of biotic communities as they are affected by the dynamics of physical, chemical, and biotic parameters. Lecture and laboratory.
ENST 311: Field Experience in DevelopmentStudents engaged in this course will have the opportunity to do field research in a developing country. Each student will develop and implement a project that concerns a political, economic, social, or environmental issues that is important in the country visited. Past Field Experiences have taken place in Sierra Leone, Ghana, Jamaica, and Morocco. Students will also have the opportunity to learn from both national and local leaders in the country of research, and to participate in community engaged learning through volunteer activities. Class members will actually travel during either winter or spring break. Students should register for GOVT 401 in the term prior to the planned travel. They should also register in the subsequent term, when they will present their research to the wider Lawrence community. [ Note: two terms of GOVT 401 are considered the equivalent of a six unit 400-level GOVT course].
Planned Location for 2020-21: West Africa (Sierra Leone and Gambia)
ENST 320: Seminar in Selected Topic in Environmental StudiesA course designed to offer students an opportunity to study important issues in environmental studies not covered in other regularly offered courses. Activities may include the reading and analysis of material from primary literature, consideration of interdisciplinary connection, and field and laboratory activities.
Topic for Spring 2020: Community Read: Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants
Robin Wall Kimmerer is a Plant Ecologist and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. In this collection of writings about the natural world, she weaves together stories from both Indigenous and scientific teachings to foster a wider ecological consciousness in the reader and challenge us to re-imagine and heal our broken relationship with nature. Join us in small group discussion of the book over the course of the term.