Requirements

Environmental Studies Major Requirements

Click Here if following old Major Requirements (pre-Fall 2010)

 

Environmental studies courses deal with a wide range of contemporary problems associated with the interactions between humans and nature. Coursework is designed to meet the needs of two groups of students: those who choose to major in environmental studies and those who desire knowledge in this area as part of their general education.

A primary objective of the program is to aid the student in understanding that environmental problems are multi-causal phenomena, and to develop skills necessary for effective environmental citizenship and leadership.

The environmental studies major develops a common core of knowledge through extensive interdepartmental course work, complemented by a concentration in a specific area in either the environmental humanities, sciences, or social sciences. The student may elect one of eight areas of concentration—biology, chemistry, economics, geology, humanities, physics, politics, sociology, or an individually planned major—psychology, for example—in the environmental studies major.

Environmental Studies Courses for the Major

The following course of study is required of all environmental studies majors. Students earn a minimum of 29 credits in environmental studies (including foundation courses), and combine these credits with an area concentration. No more than eight transfer credits may be applied to the environmental studies requirements. Semester in the West and Whitman in the Wallowas are programs run by Whitman College and count as credit earned on campus. Courses taken P-D-F may not be used to satisfy requirements for the environmental studies major.

For a spreadsheet of Environmental Studies combined major requirements click here.

Introductory coursework:

Take the following courses:

Foundation coursework:

Satisfy requirements in the two areas listed below that are outside the area of your declared environmental studies major. Course substitutions for foundation area courses must be approved by the Environmental Studies Committee.

Humanities area coursework

Take a minimum of two of the following:

Classics 217/Environmental Studies 217 Classical Foundations of the Nature Writing
Classics 226 / Environmental Studies 226 Conceptions of Nature in Greek and Roman Thought
Environmental Studies 247 The Literature of Nature
Environmental Studies 340 Environmental Radicals in Literature
Environmental Studies 347 The Nature Essay
Environmental Studies 349 Regional Literatures of Place: The West and the South
Environmental Studies 358 Ecocriticism
Environmental Studies 360 Environmental Writing and the American West*
Environmental Studies 368 ST Mothers, Witches, and Nymphs: Concepts of Women and Nature in the Ancient World
Geology 338 Pages of Stone: The Literature of Geology
Philosophy 120 Environmental Ethics

Philosophy 207 Foundations of American Romanticism
Philosophy 208 Food: What’s for Dinner?
Philosophy 209 Contemporary American Romanticism
Philosophy 212 Environmental Thinking

Philosophy 241 Environmental Aesthetics
Philosophy 345 Animals and Philosophy
Spanish 437/World Literature 339 Eco-Literature in the Americas
World Literature 319 Environmentalism and Nature in German Culture
World Literature 328 Haiku and Nature in Japan

* Offered only to students admitted to Semester in the West

Natural/physical science area coursework:

Take a minimum of two of the following courses from different departments, including at least one course with a laboratory:

Social science area coursework:

Take a minimum of two of the following courses from different departments:

Interdisciplinary coursework:

Take a minimum of one of the following courses. Course substitutions for interdisciplinary coursework must be approved by the Environmental Studies Committee.

Environmental Studies 327 Biodiversity
Environmental Studies 353 Environmental Justice
Environmental Studies 367ST Land in America
Environmental Studies 367ST Raw Geographies
Environmental Studies 369 Food, Agriculture, and Society
Environmental Studies 387 Sustainability
Environmental Studies 408 Western Epiphanies: Integrated Project*
Environmental Studies 459 Interdisciplinary Fieldwork

* Offered only to students admitted to Semester in the West

Senior coursework:

Additional senior year requirements vary by combined major. For majors where a thesis is required, students must complete an interdisciplinary research project with a grade of C- or better. In addition, all environmental studies majors must pass an oral examination within their area or department of concentration. For majors that do not require a senior thesis, or if a student’s senior thesis is deemed insufficiently interdisciplinary by the Environmental Studies Committee, an oral examination in Environmental Studies also is required.

Environmental studies majors are encouraged to study for a semester or a year in a program with strong environmental relevance. Particularly appropriate are Whitman College’s field program in environmental studies, Semester in the West; and the School for Field Studies. See Special Programs section in this catalog. Also, consider the University of Montana’s Northwest Connections Field Semester.

Environmental Humanities

Inquiry in environmental humanities is guided by two questions: What is the relation between nature and culture? What should this relation be? These questions have become ever more important in the face of growing environmental problems. The environmental humanities major uses the traditions of nature writing and environmental philosophy, most especially the ongoing American Nature Writing tradition, to give direction and focus to inquiry into the values and concepts that an appropriate relation to nature calls for.

The environmental humanities major is governed by a subcommittee of the Environmental Studies Committee. In order to insure an intellectually cohesive program, the Environmental Humanities Steering Committee will review and approve each major’s plan for coursework leading to a senior thesis.

The senior-year assessment will include an hour-long oral examination of the senior thesis.

In addition to the courses required of all environmental studies majors, the following are required for the environmental humanities major:

Foundation coursework:

Take two foundation courses from the following list (courses satisfying this requirement cannot also satisfy the elective requirement):

Classics 217/Environmental Studies 217 Classical Foundations of the Nature Writing Tradition
English 339ST: Romantic Literature: Romantic Poetry
English 348 The American Literary Emergence, 1620-1920
Environmental Studies 247 The Literature of Nature
Environmental Studies 349 Regional Literatures of Place: The West and the South
Environmental Studies 358 Ecocriticism
Environmental Studies 368ST Mothers, Witches, and Nymphs: Concepts of Women and Nature in the Ancient World
Geology 338 Pages of Stone: The Literature of Geology
German Studies/World Literature 319 Environmentalism and Nature in German Culture
Philosophy 207 Foundations of American Romanticism
Philosophy 209 Contemporary American Romanticism
Philosophy 300 Emerson

Writing requirement:

Take one of the following:

Environmental Studies 347 The Nature Essay
Environmental Studies 360 Environmental Writing in the American West*

*Offered only to students admitted to Semester in the West

Critical thinking requirement:

To fulfill the critical thinking requirement take one course from:

Classics 226/Environmental Studies 226 Conceptions of Nature in Greek and Roman Thought
Philosophy 107 Critical Reasoning
Philosophy 117 Problems in Philosophy
Philosophy 120 Environmental Ethics
Philosophy 127 Ethics
Philosophy 208 Food: What’s for Dinner?
Philosophy 212 Environmental Thinking
Philosophy 230 History and Philosophy of Science
Philosophy 345 Animals and Philosophy

Electives:

Take three elective courses, two of which must be 300 or above, from:

Art History/Philosophy 241 Environmental Aesthetics
Art History 248 Ways of Seeing: Japanese Art and Aesthetics
Classics 217/Environmental Studies 217 Classical Foundations of the Nature Writing Tradition
Classics 226/Environmental Studies 226 Conceptions of Nature in Greek and Roman Thought
English 339ST: Romantic Literature: Romantic Poetry

English 348 The American Literary Emergence, 1620-1920
Environmental Studies 247 The Literature of Nature
Environmental Studies 340 Environmental Radicals in Literature
Environmental Studies 349 Regional Literatures of Place: The West and the South
Environmental Studies 358 Ecocriticism
Environmental Studies 360 Environmental Writing and the American West*
Environmental Studies 368ST Mothers, Witches, and Nymphs: Concepts of Women and Nature in the Ancient World
Philosophy 120 Environmental Ethics

Philosophy 207 Foundations of American Romanticism
Philosophy 209 Contemporary American Romanticism
Philosophy 212 Environmental Thinking
Philosophy 300 Emerson
Philosophy 345 Animals and Philosophy
Spanish 437/World Literature 339 Eco-Literature in the Americas
World Literature 328 Haiku and Nature in Japan

*Offered only to students admitted to Semester in the West

Senior Assessment:

Take Environmental Studies 488 Senior Project or Environmental Studies 498 Honors Project. The senior assessment will also include an hour-long oral examination of the senior thesis.


Environmental Sciences

The natural and physical sciences provide foundational theories for understanding environmental phenomena in the physical world and support environmental studies by gathering and analyzing baseline data to inform policy decisions. Issues ranging from the effects of pollution, optimal land- or water-use practices, protections of biodiversity, and effective energy consumption all benefit from insights provided by the natural and physical sciences. Available majors and required courses appear below.

These requirements are in addition to courses required of all environmental studies majors.

Biology-Environmental Studies:

Take the following courses:

Biology 111 Biological Principles
Biology 112 The Biological World
Biology 205 Genetics

Three Credits from the Molecular/Cell Category

Biology 303 Cell Biology
Biology 304 Cell Biology Laboratory
Biology 305 Cellular Physiology and Signaling
Biology 306 Cellular Physiology and Signaling Lab
Biology 319 Developmental Biology Seminar
Biology 320 Neurobiology
Biology 329 Developmental Biology
Biology 339 Microbiology and Immunology
BBMB 325 Biochemistry
BBMB 326 Molecular Biology
BBMB 335 Biochemistry Laboratory
BBMB 336 Molecular Biology Laboratory

Four credits from the Organismal Biology Category

Biology 259 Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy
Biology 310 Physiology
Biology 330 Pathophysiology

Eight credits from the Ecology/Evolution category

Biology 212 Natural History of the Inland Northwest
Biology 215 Plant Ecology
Biology 229 Plant Biology Lab
Biology 256 Regional Biology
Biology 277 Ecology
Biology 288 Plants and People
Biology 327 Biology of Amphibians and Reptiles
Biology 350 Evolutionary Biology

Additional Requirements:

Biology 489 Thesis Research and Data Analysis
Biology 490 Senior Thesis and Seminar OR Biology 498 Honors Thesis and Seminar
Chemistry 125 General Chemistry
Chemistry 126 General Chemistry
Chemistry 135 General Chemistry Lab I
Chemistry 136 General Chemistry Lab II
(Chemistry 140 Advanced General Chemistry I can substitute for Chem 125, 126, 135, and 136)
Chemistry 245 Organic Chemistry I
Mathematics 125 Calculus I or a statistics course (Mathematics 128 or 247, Biology 228, Economics 227, Psychology 210, Sociology 208)

Courses in physics are recommended.

Chemistry-Environmental Studies:

Chemistry 125 General Chemistry (Chemistry 140 Advanced General Chemistry I can substitute for Chem 125, 126, 135, and 136)
Chemistry 126 General Chemistry
Chemistry 135 General Chemistry Lab I
Chemistry 136 General Chemistry Lab II
Chemistry 240 Quantitative Analysis and Chemical Equilibrium
Chemistry 245 Organic Chemistry I
Chemistry 246 Organic Chemistry II
Chemistry 251 Organic Lab Techniques I
Chemistry 252 Organic Lab Techniques II
Chemistry 346 Physical Chemistry II: Statistical Thermodynamics, Classical Thermodynamics and Kinetics
Chemistry 388 Environmental Chemistry and Science or Chemistry 320 Instrumental Methods of Analysis
Mathematics 125 Calculus I
Mathematics 126 Calculus II
Physics 155 General Physics I or Physics 165 Advanced General Physics I
Physics 156 General Physics II or Physics 166 Advanced General Physics II
Chemistry 490 Research or Chemistry 498 Honors Thesis

Geology-Environmental Studies:

Geology 210 Environmental Geology OR Geology 110 The Physical Earth OR Geology 120 Geological History of Pacific NW
Geology 227 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
Geology 343 Minerals and the Nuclear Fuel Cycle
Geology 346 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
Geology 350 Geomorphology
Geology 358 Field Geology of the Northwest
Geology 420 Structural Geology
Geology 470 Senior Seminar
One additional 3 or 4 credit geology course numbered 250 or above

Take one of the following:

Biology 115 Regional Natural History
Biology 130 Conservation Biology
Biology 177 Ecology of the American West*
Biology course approved by the geology department

Chemistry 125 General Chemistry (Chemistry 140 Advanced General Chemistry I can substitute for Chem 125, 126, 135, and 136)
Chemistry 126 General Chemistry
Chemistry 135 General Chemistry Lab I

Strongly Recommended:

Geology 480 Field Mapping or approved summer field course
Courses in meteorology, physics, calculus, and statistics, and additional courses in biology and chemistry.

Physics-Environmental Studies:

Physics 155 General Physics I or Physics 165 Advanced General Physics I
Physics 156 General Physics II or Physics 166 Advanced General Physics II
Physics 245 Twentieth Century Physics I
Physics 246 Waves, Electronics, and Quantum Mechanics
Physics 255 Twentieth Century Physics Lab
Physics 256 Electronics and Wave Lab
Physics 325 Electricity and Magnetism
Physics 339 Advanced Lab
One additional physics course numbered from 300-480 or BBMB 324 Biophysics
Mathematics 125 Calculus I
Mathematics 126 Calculus II
Mathematics 225 Calculus III
Mathematics 235 Calculus Lab
Mathematics 244 Differential Equations

 

Environmental Social Sciences

Human activities are at the root of most aspects of environmental degradation from global climate change to toxic waste to habitat loss. Applying social science theories and methods, environmental social science majors explore how human systems affect the natural environment, how decisions to utilize natural resources are made, and how various political strategies might address environmental concerns. Available majors and required courses appear below.

These requirements are in addition to courses required of all environmental studies majors.

Economics-Environmental Studies:

Economics 177 Principles of Microeconomics and the Environment or Economics 101 Principles of Microeconomics
Economics 102 Principles of Macroeconomics
Economics 227 Statistics for Economics (or Mathematics 128 Elementary Statistics or Mathematics 338 Probability and Statistics)
Economics 307 Intermediate Microeconomics
Economics 308 Intermediate Macroeconomics
Economics 477 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
One additional course in economics

Additional relevant coursework in other social sciences is strongly recommended (see social science area of the environmental studies major requirements). A minimum requirement of C (2.0) is required in Economics 307 and 308. Economics 493, 494 Directed Reading and other economics courses taken P-D-F may not be used to meet the 27-credit requirement. The senior assessment consists of the Major Field Test (MFT) and an oral exam in economics and (for those not writing a suitably interdisciplinary honors thesis) an oral exam in environmental studies.

Politics-Environmental Studies:

Introductory courses:

Take at least one of the following:

Politics 119 Whitman in the Global Food System
Politics 124 Introduction to Politics and the Environment
Politics 228 Political Ecology
Politics 287 Natural Resource Policy and Management

Political economy:

Take at least one of the following:

Economics 177 Principles of Microeconomics and the Environment
Politics 363 Genealogies of Political Economy

Global politics:

Take at least one of the following:

Politics 147 International Politics
Politics 232 The Politics of Globalization
Politics 331 Politics of International Hierarchy
Politics 338 North-South Relations
Politics 378 Transnationalism

Electives:

Take 12 additional credits in politics. At least eight of these must be 300- and 400-level courses.

Senior year requirements:

Take the following:

Politics 490 Senior Seminar
Politics 497 Senior Thesis or Politics 498 Honors Thesis
Environmental Studies 488 Senior Project or Environmental Studies 498 Honors Project

No more than eight credits earned in off-campus programs, transfer credits, and/or credits from cross-listed courses may be used to satisfy major requirements. Of these eight credits, no more than four may count toward 300- and 400-level courses. Courses taken
P-D-F may not be used to satisfy the course and credit requirements for the major.

Sociology-Environmental Studies:

Sociology 117 Principles of Sociology
Sociology 207 Social Research Methods
Sociology 309 Environmental Sociology
Sociology 367 History of Sociological Theory
One additional four-credit course in Sociology

Take one of the following:

Sociology 348 Technology and Society
Sociology 349 Environmental Social Movements
Sociology 353 Environmental Justice

Take one course chosen from:

Economics 177 Principles of Microeconomics and the Environment
Politics 119 Whitman in the Global Food System
Politics 124 Introduction to Politics and the Environment
Politics 228 Political Ecology
Politics 309 Environment and Politics in the American West*

Sociology 490 Current Issues in Sociology
Sociology 492 Thesis or Sociology 498 Honors Thesis
Environmental Studies 488 Senior Project or Environmental Studies 498 Honors Project