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Environmental Studies Courses (ENVS) College of Arts and Sciences


Subject Area Course # Course Title Semester Credit Hours Expand
ENVS 1100 Environmental Studies Introductory Seminar Fall 1
Course Description

Environmental studies connects the scientific, political, and cultural aspects of the world's environmental challenges. This twelve-week, one-credit seminar is an orientation and introduction to interdisciplinary scholarship for the cohort of new sophomore Environmental Studies majors each fall. The course will include reading and discussions of classic texts in environmental studies, planning of individual pathways through the major (including selection of thematic or disciplinary concentrations), and several writing assignments. Collaborative and cross-disciplinary work is emphasized throughout. The course ends at Thanksgiving.


Instructor(s): Noah Snyder

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

ENVS 2256 Environmental Law and Policy Spring 3
Course Description

The course introduces students to the structure, doctrines, and logic of environmental law and of the American legal system. Includes environmental protection issues of air and water pollution, toxics, parks, wildlife, energy, natural resources, historic preservation, environmental justice, and other timely issues. Covers virtually all elements of the legal system, including basic common law lawsuits, constitutional litigation, complex agency regulations, creation and enforcement of international legal norms, and ethics and policy issues.


Instructor(s): Zygmunt Plater

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with: UNAS2256

Comments: This course is intended for undergraduates interested in environmental law, legal process, and environmental policy. For pre-law and non-pre-law students. The course is team-taught under the supervision of BC Law Professor Zygmunt Plater.

ENVS 3315 Sustainable Agriculture Spring 3
Course Description

Over the past 50 years, the industrial agriculture complex has led to amazing increases in grain yields which has met the basic calorie needs of much of the world’s population. However intensive production practices have come at a high environmental and social cost and climate change now presents many new challenges to farmers. A new approach to food production is needed—one that not only restores the ecosystem services on farmland and reduces fossil fuel inputs, but also one that supports farm families, builds communities of cooperation, and promotes human health. This course explores the historical basis of agriculture, the concept of sustainability, the agricultural practices that lead to improved ecosystem services, and alternative marketing approaches and cultural relationships. Students will come away from this course with an in-depth understanding of what sustainable agriculture is and how it can be applied to various situations in the world.


Instructor(s): Tara Pisani-Gareau

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

ENVS 3320 Urban Agriculture in Detroit Summer 3
Course Description

With more than 1400 farms and gardens, Detroit has become a global leader in urban agriculture and symbol of urban sustainability. In this course we will investigate the contemporary urban condition through the eyes of Detroit farmers and gardeners who are creating more equitable communities and sustainable relationships with the land. Daily urban agricultural fieldwork, class discussions, environmental media, and workshops with community partners will facilitate our engagement with Detroit as we reflect on our own relationship to food, ecology, and cities. Course themes include urban planning and racial politics, problems and possibilities of deindustrialization, rise of the environmental justice movement, and community-based strategies for urban transformation.


Instructor(s): Michael Cermak and Matthew Delsesto

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with: SOCY3320

Comments:

ENVS 3340 Alternative Energy Fall 3
Course Description

A story of energy in the 21st century is the replacement of non-renewable sources (such as oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear) with renewable sources (such as solar, wind, tidal and geothermal). This course will explore the science and policy of this transition. A more complete description of this course will be available in summer 2017.


Instructor(s): Noah Snyder

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

ENVS 3345 Environmental and Public Health Spring 3
Course Description

This course will explore the relationships between human health and environmental issues, from a global perspective. A more complete description of this course will be available in fall 2017.


Instructor(s): Noah Snyder

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

ENVS 3350 Climate Change and Phenology Spring 3
Course Description

As societies look to adapt to changes in sea level, biodiversity and the availability of energy and water we seek means to understand and quantify the changes occurring to the natural world. This course will explore the impacts of climate change at the organismal level through the study of phenology (the timing of cyclical and seasonal natural phenomena). In this course we will examine the history of phenology, the science behind contemporary phenological research and explore the increasing role of everyday citizens in data collection. We will explore how this research can help to inform climate change mitigation and adaptation policy. While our treatment of the topics will be global, emphasis will center on regional examples and will explore the role of historical figures.


Instructor(s): Colleen Hitchcock

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

ENVS 3356 Seminar in Environmental Law Fall 3
Course Description

Topics to be covered include: (1) the Clean Water Act and the Boston Harbor cleanup; (2) the RCRA hazardous waste regulations; (3) contaminated (brownfield) site cleanups; and (4) the Flint water crisis, so as to understand how environmental protection still can fail and how more still needs to be done. This course will emphasize the practical aspects of environmental law and policy, including by having several written exercises and a term paper. This course will be useful both for pre-law students and also for any student with a serious interest in environmental policy. This seminar is for juniors and seniors, and sophomores with permission of the instructor.


Instructor(s): Jeffry Fowley

Prerequisites: Must have successfully completed ENVS/UNAS2256 Environmental Law & Policy.

Cross listed with:

Comments: Will count as an elective for Environmental Studies majors and minors. Will count toward the Food and Water Sustainability concentration in the Environmental Studies major.

ENVS 4901 Readings and Research Spring/Fall 3
Course Description

In rare cases where regular courses do not meet the needs of students, independent research may be arranged by a student with a faculty member.


Instructor(s): Tara Pisani-Gareau

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

ENVS 4902 Advanced Topic: Agroecology Spring/Fall 3
Course Description

Advanced reading and research in Agroecology.


Instructor(s): Tara Pisani Gareau

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

ENVS 4921 Advanced Independent Research Fall/Spring 6
Course Description

Independent study in the Environmental Studies Department under the direction of a faculty member for undergraduate students qualifying for the University's Scholar of the College Program.


Instructor(s): Noah Snyder

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

ENVS 4941 ENVS: Senior Research Seminar I Fall 2
Course Description

This year-long seminar is for seniors who are majors in the Environmental Studies Program. To assist with the transition from college to the next stage of one’s career, the seminar focuses on the further development of applied multidisciplinary research, accessible writing, project coordination, and public speaking skills. Students spend the first semester engaging with scholarly materials and developing a proposal for a research project, and during the second semester the students complete their research project, potentially collaborating with a campus or community organization to address an environmental problem.


Instructor(s): Andrew Jorgenson

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: For ENVS majors and seniors only. This is a year-long course continued by ENVS4942.

ENVS 4942 ENVS: Senior Research Seminar II Spring 2
Course Description

This year-long seminar is for seniors who are majors in the Environmental Studies Program. To assist with the transition from college to the next stage of one’s career, the seminar focuses on the further development of applied multidisciplinary research, accessible writing, project coordination, and public speaking skills. Students spend the first semester engaging with scholarly materials and developing a proposal for a research project, and during the second semester the students complete their research project, potentially collaborating with a campus or community organization to address an environmental problem.


Instructor(s): Andrew Jorgenson

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: For ENVS majors and seniors only. This is the second-half of a year-long course.

ENVS 4943 Environmental Seminar Spring 3
Course Description

This seminar is for seniors who are minors in the Environmental Studies Program. With the goal to serve as a bridge between the college experience and the next stage of one’s career, students fine-tune their critical writing, research, project coordination, facilitation, and public speaking skills. We investigate, actively discuss, and write about contemporary environmental issues and solutions with the aid of weekly reading assignments and the knowledge and experiences each student brings to class. Students also engage in a semester-long research project, collaborating with a campus or community mentor organization to address a specific environmental problem.


Instructor(s): Gabrielle David, Garland David and Tara Pisani-Gareau

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

ENVS 4951 Senior Thesis I Fall 3
Course Description

Students interest in writing a senior thesis may do so over two semesters in their senior year. Students are encouraged to think about their senior thesis topic in the second semester of their junior year, and they are encourged to contact individual faculty members about their topic.


Instructor(s): Noah Snyder

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

ENVS 4952 Senior Thesis II Spring 3
Course Description

Students interested in writing a senior thesis may do so over two semesters (Fall and Spring) in their senior year.


Instructor(s): Noah Snyder

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

ENVS 4961 Senior Honors Thesis I Fall 3
Course Description

TBA


Instructor(s): David Deese

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments:

ENVS 4962 Senior Honors Thesis II Spring 3
Course Description

TBD


Instructor(s): David Deese

Prerequisites: None

Cross listed with:

Comments: