Environmental Studies Courses
This course introduces students to environmental studies by focusing on social science approaches to understanding the human causes of environmental change. Sociological, psychological, anthropological, historical, economic, political, and moral perspectives are examined. The concept of the "tragedy of the commons" is used to highlight the social factors underlying environmental problems. Offered every spring.
This course serves as an introduction to and covers broad aspects of environmental science and environmental studies. For all cases, the resulting environmental impacts are studied in detail. Specifically, this course examines the risks associated with growth in a developing world; environmental impact of population growth on natural resources; mineral and resource extraction; water resource uses; and renewable and non-renewable sources for power generation. Emphasis is placed on a holistic approach to environmental science using laboratory exercises, environmental surveys, and class discussions to reinforce scientific principles. Cross-listed With: ENVS 110.
This is an introductory course to the art, science and practical implementation of community gardening techniques. Students study local community-supported agriculture programs, analyze different models for urban garden projects, and develop and hold community garden design meetings. Based on research, field trips, first-hand study of the university garden site and hosting of university-wide meetings, students will produce a draft proposal for the university garden by the end of the semester.
This is the second semester of a year-long introductory course on the art, science and practical implementation of community garden design and techniques. In the first term students studied local community supported agriculture programs, analyzed different models for urban garden projects, and organized and held community garden design meetings. Based on research, field trips, first hand study of the university garden site and the hosting of university-wide meetings, students produced a draft proposal for the university garden at the end of the semester. In the spring semester students will implement the Community Garden design while simultaneously engaging in Service-Learning with non-profit organizations working on food security issues.
Students explore food security issues through semester-long Service Learning internships with organizations involved in the production, use, distribution and/or promotion of locally grown organic produce. Students engage in on-going reflection on their Service Learning internship experience.
An interesting introduction to a topic in the field of Environmental Studies.
Computer Aided Design and Drawing 1 is an introductory course in Computer Aided Design and Drawing in VectorWorks, a CADD program for both the Mac and PC platforms that integrates 2D, 3D, and hybrid objects in the same drawing . The class will cover both line drawing and 3D modeling techniques. Cross-listed with ARCD 250.
This course introduces students to biological and ecological aspects of environmental science. It will include lectures, laboratory exercises and field exercises. The goal of the course is to give the student an overview of basic ecology, ecological management issues, and ecosystem policy with special emphasis on local issues in the San Francisco Bay Area. Cross-listed with ENVS 210.
This course covers broad physical and chemical aspects of the atmosphere and water resources. Specifically, this course considers atmospheric composition, weather processes, and air pollution; water resources, regulations, and defining water quality based on intended use. For all cases, the resulting environmental impacts are studied in detail. Emphasis is placed on a holistic approach to environmental science using field trips and sampling exercises, laboratory exercises, environmental surveys, and class discussion to reinforce scientific principles. Cross-listed with ENVS 212.
Introduction to global, national, and local urban agriculture.
An introduction to the historical development and social structure of cities; their changing historical importance in the growth of social, economic, and political life; and their crucial role in the political economy of a global society. Offered in Fall. Cross Listed With: SOC 230.
Globalization has become a buzzword in our society. But what is globalization? In this class we will examine what it is, how it shapes our lives and where it happens by looking at both the theory and reality of globalization.
Significant changes to the world environment have been brought on by increasing levels of economic industrialization. This course studies both broad trends at the macro level in the quality of air, water, and land resources as well as the underlying causes of these changes at the micro level. Students will learn to apply basic economic theory to better understand phenomena such as the "tragedy of the commons", environmental pollution and resource degradation, and how we can become better stewards of creation.
A survey of poetry, fiction and nonfiction across centuries and cultures. We will examine the philosophies that underpin ideas of nature, culture and 'the wild'; and examine the nature and place of creative literature in addressing environmental issues.
This course critically analyzes ethical arguments and various positions on contemporary ethical issues. The course will be composed of three focus areas: Ethical Theory, Social Issues, and Ethics of Everyday life. Approximately one-third of the course will be devoted to each area. This section focuses on the more specific ethical issue, Environmental Issues.
This course provides students with two types of mathematical tools for environmental problem solving; estimating tools and statistical tools. Students will learn how to characterize environmental problems with mathematical relationships, find necessary data and make assumptions, and estimate quantitative answers. We will use statistical tools to gather meaning from environmental data, by examining data patterns (distributions), determining relationships among data (correlations), and checking data quality. The course will address such problems as water contamination, toxic waste, noise pollution, air emissions, and climate change. Cross-listed With: ENVS 250.
This course develops students' analytical and research skills in environmental sustainability as preparation for upper-division electives in the major. Emphasis is placed on critical reading of research as well as formulation, practice, and communication of research. Skills span the full range of social science and humanities fields, including use of statistics, survey and interview techniques, field research/participant observation, historical methods, media and content analysis, and qualitative data analysis. Lectures, individual and small-group assignments, and course project.
This 17-day, 4-credit Arrupe Justice immersion course in
anthropology and environmental studies examines the relationship between
culture and the environment in the unique island setting of Sitka,
Alaska. Students will learn about the region’s terrestrial and marine
environments, its occupation and use by the indigenous Tlingit
population and by non-Native peoples, and contemporary controversies
surrounding the appropriate use of its natural resources – its fish,
timber, and natural beauty. The focus will be on experiential learning,
beginning with a 3-day trip up the Inland Passage abroad an Alaska
Marine Highway ship. All students are welcome to apply; especially suited for Anthropology and Environmental Studies students.
This course will develop an understanding of digital tools and strategies, which engage and expand the design process, with the primary goal of utilizing the computer as a fluid, critical investigative tool. We will examine the impact of digital strategies, methodologies and practices on the work of contemporary architects, with individual research into modes of representation and its impact on tectonic development. Cross-listed with ARCD 300.
and learn at BMES, a 22-acre off-the-grid homestead, while undertaking
hands-on fieldwork focused on permaculture design principles.
This course stresses the comprehension and assessment of research methods in sociology. Students critically consider the logic and variety of methods that sociologists use to observe the social world by examining the most common qualitative and quantitative techniques. The focus is on assessing how well research strategies address the underlying sociological question(s), how the evidence provides tenable knowledge of social phenomena, and how the evidence can be used in developing new theories or testing the adequacy of existing theories. Offered every semester.
This course lays out some of the critical
questions involving definitions, histories and mythologies having to do with
the concept of “the commons” such as land, water and air. At the center of the
course is the intellectual history of the notion of the “commons” and how this
affects our general understanding of resources we all hold and share in common.
The course engages in a multi-disciplinary inquiry involving fields including
economics, politics, history, theology and religious studies, ecology, philosophy,
geography, and psychology. Prerequisite: ENVA 109.
This sophomore-level course encourages students to synthesize theories, perspectives, issues and problems in the interdisciplinary field of environmental sustainability. Through reflection on their progress through the major thus far, students will articulate their emerging understanding and interests in environmental sustainability for the purpose of designing a 20-unit "Environmental Sustainability Pathway" that will be completed during the junior and senior years. Students will also create an e-Portfolio that will serve pedagogical and professional development purposes as it evolves to represent all of the knowledge and skills acquired in the major.
This course explores illness due to environmental pollution. An overview of sociological perspectives on health and illness is followed by examination of the role of scientific knowledge and other social factors in identifying, treating, and preventing environmental illness. Cross-listed with SOC 319.
This course explores how characteristics of human societies influence human uses of, and our relationship to, the environment. Topics include: the roles of science and technology, government, the economy, and culture in shaping human impacts on the environment; the environmental movement; and environmental justice. Cross-listed with SOC 320.
This course examines social, economic, political and cultural dimensions of globalization from a sociological perspective. Theoretical approaches to the globalization thesis, neo-liberalism, and the decline of the nation-state are analyzed along with case studies of transnational movements of resistance that include workers, students, women, indigenous peoples, and environmentalists. Offered intermittently.
Introduction to the environmental history of Africa from 1800 to the present. Topics examined include Africa's physical environment, role of natural resources in the development of African societies, demography, agriculture, desertification, deforestation, conservation, famine, and economic development. Offered every other Spring. Cross-listed with HIST 342.
In this course, students will examine energy production and consumption as an underlying cause of multiple environmental problems. Beginning with an overview of energy-environment connections, the course will cover major fuel types and energy sources--from coal and natural gas to solar, and advanced energy carriers and storage systems (e.g., hydrogen and fuel cells). Prerequisites: ENVA 212 and ENVA 250.
Study of the politics of ethnicity and nationalism in the contemporary world and ramifications for state sovereignty, international cooperation and security. Case studies from a wide variety of settings (i.e., South-Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Canada, Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union, Yugoslavis) will be used to illustrate conceptual and empirical issues. Offered every other year. Cross-listed with POLS 360.
Explores the religious underpinnings of contemporary attitudes and practices concerning the environment. Both historical and contemporary understandings of nature as expressed in various religious traditions. Offered intermittently.
Environmental Law examines the basic legal setting for the protection and management of the environment. It discusses how environmental law is created and applied. This course reviews how the common law traditionally addressed environmental issues before entering the new era of federal environmental regulation. Major statutes covered include the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Superfund (CERCLA), and the Endangered Species Act. During the course we will discuss how many of the areas studied may play a role in the current efforts to address climate change. We will finally address formal legal efforts to address climate change on the international level as well as local California initiatives. The course also includes material on economic analysis, scientific and legal causation, and expert testimony.
This course examines some of the major factors that contribute to urban development in post-industrial and newly industrializing countries. It will cover issues of de-industrialization, labor and capital mobility, immigration, the logic of spatial location, metropolitanization, and the growth and political economy of global cities. Offered in Spring.
This course provides socio-historical approaches to contemporary Brazilian culture and society from a race, class, and gender/sexuality perspective. Case-studies of popular/political cultures, social movements, inequalities and identities illustrate major developments in Brazilian culture and society within the context of democratization and globalization. Offered intermittently.
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the processes, participants, and institutions that surround the making and implementing of environmental policy. It combines lectures, case studies, and some "hands on" field exercises to illustrate how these elements interact. Cross Listed With: ENVA - 366.
This course examines how environmental 'goods "like clean air and water' and environmental 'bads "like hazardous waste and industrial pollution' come to be unequally distributed in societies, often along lines of race, class, and gender.
This course immerses students in two wildernesses over 21 days: The Sierra Nevada Mountains and Pt. Reyes National Seashore. Students will explore the diversity of ecosystems found while also contemplating the profound questions that wilderness immersion prompts: What is nature? What is the human relationship tonature? Includes 12 days fo backpacking in the the High Sierras. No prerequisites.
Internship in an organization related to Environmental Studies.
Provides an overview of ethical responsibilities for the natural world. The course explores the diverse ethical responses to environmental problems including contemporary philosophical and religious beliefs regarding nature. Cross-listed with THRS 404.
Capstone field and laboratory methodologies class that draws upon materials presented in the foundation courses. Prerequisites: ENVA 210, ENVA 212 and ENVA 250.
Topics will be announced before the seminars are offered, and range from Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Early Modern period, to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Offered once per year. Cross-listed with HIST 410.
An upper division seminar that serves as a capstone to the program. Students explore diverse environmental issues from the perspectives of the humanities as well as the natural and social sciences. The student's environmental portfolio is reviewed during this seminar.
Original research supervised by a member of the staff, with credit to be fixed in each case. Designed to give students an acquaintance with, and an appreciation of, the principles and methods of original scientific investigation. A research report must be filed.