Associate Professor Doug Spieles, Director
Ron Abram (Art), Olivia Aguilar (Environmental Studies), , Monica Ayala-Martinez (Modern Languages), Stafford Berry (Dance), Robin Brown (Environmental Studies), John Cort (Religion), Susan Diduk (Soc/Anthro), Quentin Duroy (Economics), Annabel Edwards (Chemistry), Tod Frolking (Geosciences), David Goodwin (Geosciences), David Greene (Geosciences), Amanda Gunn (Communication), Harry Heft (Psychology), Erin Henshaw (Psychology), Rebecca Homan (Biology), Abram Kaplan (Environmental Studies), Jordan Katz (Chemestry), Erik Klemetti (Geosciences), Jonathan Maskit (Philosophy), Andrew McCall (Biology), Kristina Mead (Biology), Jim Pletcher (Political Science), Joe Reczek (Chemistry), Jessica Rettig (Biology), Karl Sandin (Art), Tom Schultz (Biology), Geoff Smith (Biology), Douglas Spieles (Environmental Studies), Kate Tierney (Geosciences), Ann Townsend (English), Steve Vogel (Philosophy), Wes Walter (Physics and Astronomy), James Weaver (English), Andrea Ziegert (Economics); Academic Administrative Assistant Brenda Franks
Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary inquiry into the relationship between humans and the environment. Both a major and a minor are available to students with an interest in the rigorous study of these issues. The major requires students to develop a specific environmental focus as a concentration in addition to the environmental core and distribution courses. The minor in ENVS allows students to integrate an environmental perspective with their major field of study.
As an interdisciplinary area, Environmental Studies draws on work in the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the arts. It endeavors to bridge these many intellectual approaches and perspectives in the hope that students will gain deeper understanding both of the environmental problems facing the world and of proactive opportunities for change. Among issues of concern and investigation are resource utilization, the impact of technology on ecosystems, relationships between the environment and sociocultural systems, geographic information systems analysis, environmental economics and policy, conservation of biological diversity, nature writing, alternative dispute resolution, environmental psychology, and environmental ethics, among many others. See the Program web site www.denison.edu/academics/departments/environmental for details.
The Environmental Studies MAJOR requires nine courses as part of a three-prong program:
Four required core courses : ENVS 101 People and the Environment; ENVS 102 Science and the Environment; ENVS 301 Junior Practicum Seminar; ENVS Senior Experience (either ENVS 401 Senior Project or ENVS or INTD 451-452 Senior Research)
Five distribution courses : Students are to take at least one course from each of the five categories listed below. No double counting is permitted among these distribution categories. Regular offerings are listed here for each category; check with the ENVS Program office for a list of special offerings that may be allowed to fulfill distribution categories. Also note that some of these courses have prerequisites. 1)One environmental methods course from among this list: ENVS 220 Approaches to Environmental Education; ENVS 222 and 223 Geographic Information Systems I and II; ENVS 230 Introduction to Environmental Mapping; ENVS 240 Environmental Politics and Decision Making; ENVS 262 Environmental Dispute Resolution; ENVS 274 Ecosystem Management; ENVS 290 Sustainable Agriculture. 2)One environmental course from the Humanities or Arts Divisions: ENGL 291 Nature and the Literary Imagination; ARTS/ENVS 256 Farmscape; PHIL 260 Environmental Ethics; REL 205 Religion and Nature. 3)One environmental course from the Social Science Division: ECON 202 Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability; ECON 427 Environmental Economics; ENVS 196 Varieties of Environmentalism; ENVS 220 Approaches to Environmental Education; ENVS 240 Environmental Politics and Decision Making; ENVS 262 Environmental Dispute Resolution; ENVS 284 Environmental Planning and Design; ENVS 290 Sustainable Agriculture. POSC 328 Politics of the Global Environment; PSYC 225 Environmental Psychology; SA 244 Environment, Technology, and Society. 4)One environmental course from the Natural Science Division: BIOL 202 Ecology and Evolution; CHEM 212 Environmental Chemistry; ENVS 274 Ecosystem Management; GEOS 200 Environmental Geology. 5)One elective from any of the four distribution categories above.
A concentration : Generally concentrations consist of 6-8 courses that can be completed in one of three ways: a disciplinary minor (with demonstrable relevance to ENVS); a second major (with demonstrable relevance to ENVS); a self-designed interdisciplinary concentration (typically 6 courses and a full year of senior research). One course may double count between distribution (category II) and concentration (category III).
The Concentration Proposal Process. All ENVS majors must complete a concentration as part of their degree requirements. The concentration gives students the opportunity to select a particular area of interest within Environmental Studies and to pursue a sequence of advanced coursework within it. Sophomores that have officially declared or expressed interest in ENVS as a major will be contacted in late fall or early spring semester in order to initiate the concentration proposal process. In brief, this process involves working with an ENVS faculty advocate to identify an area of concentration, which may be disciplinary or interdisciplinary. In the case of the former, the concentration requirement can be satisfied by completing a second major or one of the existing minors in Denison’s curriculum (in addition to your ENVS major). When choosing the interdisciplinary route, students will work with their faculty advocate to create a logical course of study with classes drawn from a variety of disciplinary perspectives. After consulting with an ENVS faculty advocate, students will submit a formal concentration proposal to the ENVS committee for consideration. Typically, the proposal is due in mid-February. It is very important for students to communicate regularly with their ENVS faculty advocate so that the concentration process can be concluded in a timely fashion.
The Environmental Studies MINOR requires six courses. Regular offerings are listed here for each category: check with the ENVS program office for a list of special offerings that may be allowed to fulfill each requirement. Also note that some of these courses have prerequisites.
1) ENVS 101 - People and the Environment
2) ENVS 102 - Science and the Environment
3) One environmental methods course from among this list: ENVS 220 Approaches to Environmental Education; ENVS 222 and 223 Geographic Information Systems I and II; ENVS 230 Introduction to Environmental Mapping; ENVS 240 Environmental Politics and Decision Making; ENVS 262 Environmental Dispute Resolution; ENVS 274 Ecosystem Management; ENVS 290 Sustainable Agriculture.
4) One environmental course from the Humanities or Arts Divisions: ENGL 291 Nature and the Literary Imagination; ARTS/ENVS 256 Farmscape; PHIL 260 Environmental Ethics; REL 205 Religion and Nature.
5) One environmental course from the Social Science Division: ECON 202 Economic Growth and Environmental Sustainability; ECON 427 Environmental Economics; ENVS 196 Varieties of Environmentalism; ENVS 220 Approaches to Environmental Education; ENVS 240 Environmental Politics and Decision Making; ENVS 262 Environmental Dispute Resolution; ENVS 284 Environmental Planning and Design; POSC 328 Politics of the Global Environment; PSYC 225 Environmental Psychology; SA 244 Environment, Technology, and Society; ENVS 290 Sustainable Agriculture.
6) One environmental course from the Natural Science Division: BIOL 202 Ecology and Evolution; CHEM 212 Environmental Chemistry; ENVS 274 Ecosystem Management; GEOS 200 Environmental Geology.
Study Abroad Programs. Students are encouraged to participate in study abroad programs when appropriate to enhance the concentration area or otherwise supplement course offerings at Denison. Students wishing to study abroad should plan to do so during the spring semester of their junior year. Courses taken abroad that serve as substitutes for courses listed above or which are otherwise used to satisfy elements of the Environmental Studies major must be approved in advance of the student's departure for the off-campus program by the Environmental Studies Director. A maximum of three off-campus courses may be used to satisfy requirements in the major.
People and the Environment (ENVS-101). A systematic introduction to multifaceted environmental problems facing the world today, primarily through the lenses of both the social science and humanities. The course provides an overview of solutions to present challenges through governmental action, collective effort, and personal initiative. We engage in the interdisciplinary study of the relationship between humans and the environment, looking at local, regional, and global scales. At the local level, the class may explore campus-level environmental issues, including the ecological renovation of Barney. We develop ideas about campus "greening," new technologies, and behavioral factors. At a global scale, we might investigate global warming, and the human dimension of its causes and solutions. Students will undertake research projects, debate topical issues, sleuth for information, think critically, and present findings to disparate audiences. Fulfills the "I" Interdisciplinary requirement. Note: Does not fulfill the "Y" General Education Requirement. 4
Science and the Environment (ENVS-102). This course provides an introduction to the biogeochemical aspects of environmental problems. Students will gain an understanding of the structure and function of ecological communities, as well as the non-living factors that regulate ecological change. Global chemical cycles are presented as a unifying theme for human interactions with nature and are the basis for discussion of environmental problems associated with agriculture, water use, atmospheric change, land and resource use, and waste disposal. The laboratory component of the course exposes students to methods of measuring and monitoring environmental quality. Labs include experiential introductions to ecological relationships, toxicology, water and soil analysis, and geographic information science. Students will apply concepts of experimental design, statistical sampling, and data analysis to evaluate environmental questions. Fulfills the "QY" General Education Requirements. Note: A score of 4 or 5 on the AP Environmental Sciences wavies this requirement for the ENVS Major or Minor. 4
Varieties of Environmentalism (ENVS-196). What is environmentalism? How is environmentalism practiced in the developed First World (the North) and the developing Third World (the South)? What are the similarities and differences of environmentalism in the North and the South? How is environmentalism related to issues of human inequality on bases such as race, class, gender, caste, and nationality? What are the causes and consequences of environmental change: who pays the costs and who receives the benefits? How do intra-human questions of justice intersect with inter-species questions of justice? ENVS Social Science. 4
Environmental Geology (ENVS-200). A broad survey of the geologic aspects of environmental issues, emphasizing human interactions with the geologic environment. Topics include geologic hazards, such as earthquakes, landslides and flooding; global water supply and water quality issues, especially groundwater contamination and remediation; and global environmental change, with emphasis on climate change and global warming. Prerequisites: A 100-level course taught by a Geoscience faculty. (Normally offered Spring Semester) ENVS Natural Science 4
Ecology and Evolution (ENVS-202). This course explores the fundamental concepts of ecology and evolution and integrates them in a study of the interactions between organisms and their environment and how those interactions shape the history of life on Earth. With a thorough understanding of population genetics and natural selection, this course addresses ecological questions at the level of the individual, population, community and ecosystem. A common thread that binds the course is the role of deterministic and stochastic processes in shaping ecological systems and macroevolutionary patterns. Prerequisite: BIOL 150 or Consent of Instructor. Three class periods and one laboratory weekly. ENVS Natural Science. 4
Religion and Nature (ENVS-205). An investigation of the religious value of nature in Christianity and Buddhism, particularly in America and Japan. We look at how people in these cultures have viewed the place of humanity within the world of nature, and the relationships among humanity, God and nature. ENVS Humanities. 4
Environmental Chemistry (ENVS-212). A study of the chemistry of the atmosphere, natural water, and soils with a special focus on acid precipitation, greenhouse gases, ozone depletion, urban and indoor air pollution, water and soil pollution, solid and hazardous waste disposal and risk assessment. Prerequisites 121-122. Three class periods and one laboratory weekly. This course can be used to satisfy minor in chemistry. Safety glasses required. (Offered every other year in spring semester only) ENVS Natural Science. 4
Approaches to Environmental Education (ENVS-220). Environmental education is a broad term encompassing a large array of ideas concerned with the purpose of and approach to engagement with the physical environment that should ultimately lead to environmental stewardship. This course addresses the "what" and "how" of environmental education. Students will be exposed to the various definitions and purposes of environmental education as well as the multiple approaches used to achieve these purposes. Through readings and hands-on experiences we will explore multiple practices in the field. Finally, we will develop our own environmental education curriculum based on our experiences in the class. ENVS Methods or Social Science. 4
Geographic Information Systems I (ENVS-222). This course is an introduction to the concepts and uses of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with particular application to environmental issues. The course consists of laboratory exercises on GIS data structures and sources of data, on the use of specific GIS tools, and on practical applications of GIS to real-world tasks. The student will gain skills in spatial data analysis, map generation, and data presentation using ArcGIS software. (Also offered as GEOS 222). After successful completion of this course, students who wish to develop advanced GIS skills may enroll in ENVS/GEOS 223. 2
Geographic Information Systems II (ENVS-223). This course is intended to give the student experience with advanced GIS applications. The focus will be on novel analyses of spatially explicit data pertaining to real-world environment issues (Also offered as GEOS 223). Prerequisite: ENVS/GEOS 222. 2
Environmental Psychology (ENVS-225). An examination of the relationship between the environment and psychological processes. Topics examined in this course include how the character and the design of our environments can affect psychological well-being, and how certain ways in which we perceive and think can constrain our efforts to comprehend and confront environmental problems. Other topics explored are early environmental experiences and development, environmental stressors such as crowding and noise, territoriality and privacy, environmental aesthetics, cognitive maps and way-finding behavior, effects of institutional size on performance, and attitudes toward the natural environment. Prerequisite: PSYC 100. ENVS Social Science. 4
Environmental Politics and Decision Making (ENVS-240). This course gives students a chance to explore the realm of proactive change in the environmental arena. It combines the theories of policy, the tools of problem solving, and the practice of dealing with environmental challenges in the real world of American government. The premise of the course is this: if you want to improve the state of the planet, you have to propose a solution. To make a solution happen, you should understand the process of getting an idea through the decision-making system. Effecting change requires a background in the system(s) that make things happen, whether you ultimately want to work within the system or outside it. This course is divided into two main components: an overview and implementation of problem solving techniques, and an in-depth examination of the U.S. Congress' role in environmental policy formation. The latter section culminates in a "Moot Congress" undertaken by students at the end of the semester. Prereq: ENVS 101. This is a core course in the ENVS major and minor. Not recommended for first year students. Fulfills the "R" Oral Communication requirement. ENVS Methods or Social Science. 4
Environment, Technology and Society (ENVS-244). This course analyzes the social causes and consequences of environmental change. We explore the relationship among production, consumption, population, technology, and environment. We ask: do the social benefits of economic growth outweigh environmental costs? Does population growth lead to environmental problems? Can technical "fixes" solve environmental problems? Are "indigenous" technologies superior to "western" technologies? We'll also analyze human responses to change: policy and regulation, "green" capitalism, environmental movements, and environmental countermovements. We ask, how can we shape our future? What alternatives are likely and possible? Will the U.S. experience ecotopia or ecocide in the years to come? Will the Third World become the First World's dumping ground or will sustainable development provide environmental equity? This course is cross-listed with Sociology/Anthropology and has a prerequisite of either S/A 100 or ENVS 101. ENVS Social Science. 4
Farmscape: Visual Immersion in the Food System (ENVS-256). Every human being has an intimate relationship with food, often with deep emotional facets. Yet we in the U.S. know very little about the food system that sustains us – it is a mysterious and often invisible set of processes, organizations, and people. This remarkably complex web of inputs, labor, machinery, laws, subsidies, mergers, and so many other components is one that we take largely for granted. This class seeks to align that reality with another: we are an intensely visual species. A critical part of our existence that we experience through all of our senses is one we fail to comprehend through our primary sense. And we have this occasion to use sight in a formalized way – photography – to tell new stories, and to bring an artistic sensibility to our understanding of food, and perhaps ourselves. Through imagery, writing, and the curatorial process of exhibiting our work in a public setting, we have a truly unique opportunity. Our immersion in these critical issues can bring full circle the understanding we gain through many eyes to enhance awareness in other people about the ways in which our food system connects us all together. No prerequisites. Satisfies arts/humanities component of the ENVS major, and counts as an Art GE course. 4
Environmental Ethics (ENVS-260). This course investigates the question of our ethical relations and responsibility to objects and systems in the natural world, including animals, other living beings, non-living entities, ecosystems, and "nature" as a whole. It also asks about nature as such: what nature is, what the place in it is of humans, the role of human action in transforming nature, etc. The question of the relation of the natural to the social will receive special attention. Prerequisite: One previous course in Philosophy or Environmental Studies or consent. (Fall) ENVS Humanities. 4
Environmental Dispute Resolution (ENVS-262). An in-depth investigation of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) as an improved means to affect change in environmental conflict. Both an intellectual and hands-on introduction to the theory and practice of ADR, relying on research into theoretical aspects of conflict, attendance at both conventional litigatory and ADR hearings, and actual participation in ADR exercises. Prerequisite: ENVS 101 or 102. ENVS Methods or Social Science. 4
Ecosystem Management (ENVS-274). Many of Earth's ecosystems are stressed and degraded as a result of human activities. Ecosystem management is the process of evaluating the biotic and abiotic features of ecosystems and stressors and manipulating those features toward a defined goal, such as conservation or restoration. In this course, students will apply aspects of systems ecology to management scenarios in particularly stressed ecosystems. Students will gain an understanding of systems ecology and will learn how ecological communities function within ecosystems and landscapes. After establishing this foundation, students will lead the exploration of some of our planet's greatest ecological systems. Lab sessions will give the students an opportunity to construct a computer-based simulation of an ecosystem and to apply ecological modeling as a management tool in both lab and field settings. ENVS Natural Science. 4
Environmental Planning and Design (ENVS-284). This course examines a variety of local environmental planning processes and issues, focusing primarily on the communities surrounding Denison (Granville, Licking County), as well as the theories, concepts and tools of design, both at a community level and for individual buildings. Particular attention will be paid to controversial models of architecture and planning in order to understand some of the negative implications of conventional approaches. Field trips, group exercises, research and project competitions will form the basis for course evaluation. Prerequisite: ENVS 101 or 102 or consent. ENVS Methods or Social Science. 4
Special Topics in Environmental Studies (ENVS-290). This course provides students with an opportunity to investigate particular environmental issues from diverse perspectives within the discipline. Environmental challenges and solutions of local, national and/or global scales are addressed, often with a hands-on and interactive format. This course is offered on an irregular basis with unique topics in each version: students may enroll in this course more than once. 4
Nature and the Literary Imagination (ENVS-291). A study of humanity's relationship with and shifting conceptions of the nonhuman world. Reading selections vary, but generally include past and contemporary writers who reflect different ethnic and regional outlooks and who work in various modes, including literature, memoir, natural history and science. ENVS Humanities. 4
Environmental Practicum (ENVS-301). This keystone course is primarily for ENVS majors; minors are welcome. This course provides the opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience working on real-world environmental problems. As a group, students work in an intensive format with a real "client" and real deadlines to research a problem, assess options, recommend solutions, and evaluate outcomes. Examples of projects include energy and water conservation, local land use planning, wetlands managements, reuse/recycling programs, agriculture preservation, and environmental education. (Fall only; should be taken junior year). Prerequisites: ENVS 101 and 102; ENVS major or minor. 4
Wetland Ecology (ENVS-310). This course is a comprehensive study of wetland ecology, management, and policy. The main emphasis is on biological, chemical, and physical aspects of major wetland ecosystems found in North America. The course also deals with valuation, classification, and delineation of wetlands. A significant portion of the course focuses on local and regional wetland ecosystems: their history, ecology, and current status. Labs will be field-based explorations of the biology, chemistry, and ecology of these regional wetlands. Prerequisite: BIOL 202 or consent. ENVS Elective. 4
Politics of the Global Environment (ENVS-328). This course is about the theoretical, political, and practical problems associated with environmental action. Course materials analyze various theoretical perspectives on the relationship between humans and nature, and they illustrate how different ethics lead to widely different prescriptions for personal and political action. Course materials also offer examples of how environmental problems have in fact been addressed or not by governmental, non-governmental, and international institutions. This is not a course on the physical processes of environmental problems, but rather it emphasizes the political, economic, and theoretical contexts within which efforts are made to act on environmental threats. No prior knowledge of environmental or political science is required. However, students should be prepared to read and interpret detailed social science texts, to formulate and articulate cogent arguments, and to conduct independent research. ENVS Social Science. 4
Environmental Senior Project (ENVS-401). This course is required for ENVS majors with senior standing unless they are pursuing senior research (ENVS 451/452). This course provides an integrating and culminating experience for students, individually or in small groups, to engage with an environmental issue, either by conducting research related to this issue or by taking action on it in a way that is informed by their academic understanding. The primary objective is to integrate their study of environmental issues at Denison and to develop skills in critically analyzing environmental problems and promoting environmental change. Prerequisite: ENVS 301 or consent of the instructor. 4
Environmental Economics (ENVS-427). This course provides an examination of various economic issues facing business and government regarding the use of natural resources and the management of environmental quality. Students will develop an understanding of both the economic nature of environmental problems and the economic tools necessary to explore and devise potential policy solutions for environmental problems. In addition, students will examine the institutional framework within which environmental problems exist in order to understand those factors which may mitigate against economic solutions. Prerequisite: ECON 302. ENVS Social Science. 4