Each semester, the Environmental Fellows steering committee evaluates the University's course offerings and selects courses that meet the program criteria.
For more details on the program's coursework requirements, please see the handbook.
For students who intend to pursue an environmental career as a graduate, the following are additional recommended courses that would be helpful, but do not count toward the course requirements for the Environmental Fellows Program.
- One or more courses in chemistry (CHEM 120, CHEM 130, CHEM 170)
- A course on statistics (BIO 275, ECON 350, MATH 141, PSY 214, SOC 401)
SPRING Semester 2014
Category I: Social Sciences/Humanities/Arts
CFT 290A Environmental Conflict and Conflict Resolution
Environmental conflict, as it relates to public policy, is relatively new, an explicit focus of concern in the U.S. for only the last few decades (for instance the EPA first opened its doors in 1970). Environmental conflict resolution also began in the 70’s. This class will introduce students to the sector of the conflict resolution field often called EPP or Environmental/Public Policy conflict resolution, as well as the broader conflicts to which it responds. EPP conflicts offer challenges that are different from other kinds of conflicts in that they usually involved multiple parties, multiple levels of government, deeply held values, and take place in the public arena.
This class will help students understand both the sources of environmental conflict and different ways to address it, including an understanding of why and how some of the classic approaches do not work, as well as strategies that do. Students will also learn processes and skills that can positively engage these kinds of conflicts. Students will engage the complexity of balancing human and environmental needs through a study of key environmental issues, and apply them to real world solutions focusing on the Greencastle or Indianapolis area.
ENG 255 Wilderness Tales
“Wilderness was the basic ingredient of American Culture. From the raw materials of the physical wilderness, Americans built a civilization. With the idea of wilderness they sought to give their civilization identity and meaning.” –Roderick Frazier Nash
In this course, we will examine the conception of “wilderness” in the American imagination through an exploration of a wide variety of literary texts. By investigating human relationships to and representations of the non-human world, in a range of genres and time periods, we will seek to understand the social, political, cultural, and personal contexts that shaped, and continue to shape, a distinctly American conception of wilderness. How do we define “wilderness,” and how has Americans’ understanding of its significance changed? Who goes into the wilderness, and to what end? Do we, as Henry David Thoreau suggests, “need the tonic of wildness?” We will investigate these and other questions as we read works in which humans feel compelled to enter the “wild” and to share that story with others; such texts might include Cheryl Strayed’s Wild; Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild; Eddy Harris’s Mississippi Solo; Linda Hogan’s Solar Storms; or Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. In addition to these longer texts, we will read relevant shorter pieces of fiction and non-fiction. The course will also give you the opportunity to explore your own relationship with and attitude toward the natural world. Given that this is a W course, you will develop essays across several genres in response to course texts and themes and practice writing as a process by devoting a significant portion of your energy toward drafting, revising, and polishing your work.
ENG 390 Advanced Topics: Women & Lit: Science, Nature, Environment
In this Women and Literature class, we will investigate what women writers have to say about science, scientists, and the natural environment. We will focus primarily on poetry and fiction, with some excursions into critical theory and creative nonfiction. Preliminary list of readings for the course includes works by poets Mary Oliver, Elizabeth Bishop, Marianne Moore, Gjertrud Schnackenberg, and Anne Carson; novels and short stories by Sarah Orne Jewett, Barbara Kingsolver, and Andrea Barrett; and nonfiction by Rachel Carson and Sandra Steingraber.
HIST 290A Tps: Latin American Environmental History
The diversity of people, geography, and ecology in Latin America combine to make it one of the most diverse environments on the planet. Complementing the diversity is a rich history of human interactions with the environment. Knowing this history informs us about indigenous economic and cultural practices that offer alternative ways of thinking about how people relate to their environment. The history of conquest and colonization illustrate the dramatic, if not catastrophic, impact of European environmental practices, which helps us to further understand how modernity attempted to control nature, as well as the consequences of this effort. Learning the history also shows the troubled relationship between capitalism and the planet's resources, and how the troubles were important in shaping Latin America's social, political, economic, and cultural landscapes. The history is important for our thinking about the contemporary and future challenges we face, especially in the areas of climate change, resource extraction, food sovereignty, and disease, and energy. This course is discussion based, and will emphasize short analytical writing (take home essays) for evaluation. Students can expect between 50-75 pages of reading per class session.
PHIL 469A Environmentalism: Ancient-Modern
It is widely thought that the history of philosophy, particularly the classical period, is responsible for the intellectual justification of the degradation of nature. We will challenge this widespread assumption. We will explore classic and contemporary philosophical thought on issues pertaining to the environment and our relation to it. We will examine various views of nature and we shall try to determine what attitudes the ancients may have had given their philosophies of nature. We shall engage specific environmental concerns and conceptual problems from the perspective of ancient thinkers.
POLS 290A Tps: Environmental Public Policy
This course introduces students to the international politics of the global environment. It advances a social science framework for analyzing global environmental politics and then applies that framework to examine a number of specific environmental issues. Analytic topics include: (1) making and defending causal claims in political science, (2) defining global environmental problems, (3) sources of global environmental problems, (4) the international policy process, (5) the design and effectiveness of global institutions, and (6) ongoing challenges in global environmental governance. The course has no formal prerequisites, though previous coursework in international politics, international organization/law, and environmental politics may be helpful. Preference will be given to third- and fourth-year political science majors.
POLS 390B Tps: Pol Economy Global Environment
This seminar focuses on the ways in which international economic processes shape global environmental governance. The first half of the course is a survey of global political economy, with a specific focus on the environment. Topics will include (1) the environmental consequences of current patterns of consumption, (2) the effect of international trade on global environmental issues, (3) the influence of foreign direct investment on environmental regulation (is there a "race to the bottom" in environmental regulation?), (4) the compatibility of environmental protection and economic growth, (5) whether current understandings of sustainable development are tenable, and (6) the effect of development finance on the environment.
We then examine a number of specific topics in greater detail, including (1) the political economy of the international climate regime, (2) the effectiveness of corporate self- governance (e.g., corporate social responsibility), (3) the use of market mechanisms to promote environmentally-beneficial behavior (e.g., eco-labelling), and (4) the conditions under which corporate interests can or cannot be harnessed to promote environmentally- beneficial outcomes.
This course has no formal prerequisites, though previous coursework in international politics, international trade, international development, and environmental politics may be helpful. Preference will be given to third- and fourth-year political science majors.
Category II: Sciences
BIO 145 Ecology and Evolution
This course examines the principles and practice of evolutionary biology, Mendelian and population genetics, and ecology at the individual, population, community, and ecosystem levels.
BIO 190 Environmental Biology
Students interested in environmental science and environmental studies need to have an understanding of the ways that the biosphere functions. How are the populations regulated? How can interspecies interactions maintain the integrity of biological communities? What factors control energy flow through ecosystems? The answers to all of these ecological questions are important to anyone wanting to understand and regulate the effects that human activities have on ecosystems. The goal of Environmental Biology is to give students a basic understanding of the field of ecology as well as some hands-on experience at field biology research. There are no prerequisites other than a desire to explore and understand the biosphere.
GEOS 110 Earth and the Environment
Includes laboratory. An introduction to the materials that make up the earth and the interplay between constructive and destructive processes that shape the earth, including plate tectonics. Laboratories include mineral and rock identification, field trips, and topographic map interpretation.
GEOS 190 Energy and the Environment
An introduction to energy resources and the environmental impacts of their use. The importance of nonrenewable fossil fuels in modern industrialized societies is examined and the effects of changing rates and costs of energy production on modern lifestyles are explored. The potential economic costs and societal impacts of transitioning to renewable and sustainable sources of energy are discussed.
UNIV 170A Intro EnvScience Seminar
In this discussion-based course, students learn the interdisciplinary science behind environmental problems by reading current and classic papers from a variety of scientific journals. The specific topic or topics are chosen by the class during the first session and then are explored over the course of the semester. Scientific writing and speaking skills are developed throughout the semester.