Environmental Studies Major Requirements and Courses

Major Declared Before 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 environmental studies major requires the following courses from each of the following four areas: environmental studies, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.

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

Environmental Studies Courses

The following courses are required of all Environmental Studies majors:

ENVS 120 Introduction to Environmental Studies
ENVS 220 Internship
ENVS 479 Environmental Citizenship and Leadership
ENVS 488 Senior Project or 498 Honors Project

The credits for ENVS 488 or 498 will be adjusted to make the total credits for research courses equal 3 to 6, depending on the discipline, and whether or not the thesis is for honors.

 

Humanities Courses

Take a minimum of 2 of the following:

ENVS 247 The Literature of Nature
ENVS 340 Environmental Radicals in Literature
ENVS 347 The Nature Essay
ENVS 349 Regional Literatures of Place: The West and the South

PHIL 241 Environmental Aesthetics
PHIL 255 Environmental Ethics
PHIL 345 Animals and Philosophy
Spanish 437/World Literature 339 Eco-Literature in the Americas

 

Natural Sciences

Take a minimum of 3 of the following courses from 3 different departments, including 2 with a laboratory:

BIOL 115 Regional Natural History
BIOL 130 Conservation Biology (or BIOL 111 AND 112)
CHEM 100 Introduction to Environmental Chemistry (most Environmental Studies science majors substitute Chem 125 or 126 or 140)
GEOL 210 Environmental Geology (or GEOL 110 or 120)
PHYS 105 Energy and the Environment (or PHYS 155 and 156, 165 or 166)

Social Sciences

Take a minimum of 2 of the following courses from 2 different departments:

Economics 177 Principles of Microeconomics and the Environment (or Economics 101 Principles of Microeconomics)
Politics 119 Whitman and the Global Food System
Politics 124 Introduction to Politics and the Environment

Politics 287 Natural Resource Policy and Management
Politics 309 Environment and Politics in the "New West"
Politics 339 Nature, Culture, Politics

Sociology 309 Environmental Sociology
Sociology 349 Environment Social Movements
Sociology 353 Environmental Justice

 

 

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 a written comprehensive examination administered by the Environmental Humanities Steering Committee and an hour long oral examination of the senior thesis.

Environmental Humanities major requirements:

Take 2 foundation courses from the following list (courses satisfying this requirement cannot also satisfy the elective requirement below):

ENGL 347 American Literature to 1865
ENVS 247 The Literature of Nature
ENVS 349 Regional Literatures of Place: The West and the South
ENVS 358 Ecocriticism

PHIL 207 Foundations of American Romanticism
PHIL 209 Contemporary American Romanticism
PHIL 408A Studies in American Philosophy: Emerson
PHIL 408B Studies in American Philosophy: Thoreau

To fulfill the writing requirement take ENVS 347: The Nature Essay

To fulfill the critical thinking requirement take 1 course from:

PHIL 107 Critical Reasoning
PHIL 117 Problems in Philosophy
PHIL 127 Ethics
PHIL 230 History and Philosophy of Science

Take 3 elective courses, 2 of which must be 300 or above, from:

ARTH/PHIL 241 Environmental Aesthetics
ARTH 248 Ways of Seeing: An Introduction to Japanese Art and Aesthetics
ENGL 347 American Literature to 1865
ENVS 247 The Literature of Nature
ENVS 340 Environmental Radicals in Literature
ENVS 349 Regional Literatures of Place: The West and the South
PHIL 255 Environmental Ethics
PHIL 345 Animals and Philosophy
PHIL 408A Studies in American Philosophy: Emerson
PHIL 408B Studies in American Philosophy: Thoreau
Spanish 437/World Literature 339 Eco-Literature in the Americas

 

 


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 (in addition to the ENVS requirements previously described) appear below.

Biology—Environmental Studies:

Biology 111 Biological Principles
Biology 112 The Biological World
Biology 205 Genetics
Biology 215 Plant Ecology or Biology 277 Ecology
Biology 309 Cell Biology or Biology 305 and Biology 306 Cellular Physiology and Signaling
Biology 310 Physiology or Biology 330 Pathophysiology
Biology 350 Evolutionary Biology
Biology 488 Research Preparation
Biology 489 Senior Research
Biology 490 Senior Research or Biology 498 Honors Thesis
Chemistry 125 General Chemistry I (Chemistry 140 can substitute for Chem 125, 126, 135, and 136)
Chemistry 126 General Chemistry II

Chemistry 135 General Chemistry Lab I
Chemistry 136 General Chemistry Lab II
Chemistry 245 Organic Chemistry I
Math 125 Calc I or higher calculus or Math 128 Elementary Statistics or higher statistics
Courses in physics are recommended

Chemistry-Environmental Studies:

Chemistry 125 General Chemistry I (Chemistry 140 can substitute for Chem 125, 126, 135, and 136)
Chemistry 126 General Chemistry II
Chemistry 135 General Chemistry Lab I
Chemistry 136 General Chemistry Lab II
Chemistry 240 Quantitative and Chemical Equilibrium or Chem 145/146 Adv. Gen Chem.
Chemistry 245 Organic Chemistry I
Chemistry 246 Organic Chemistry II
Chemistry 251 and 252 Organic Laboratory Techniques I and II
Chemistry 346 Physical Chemistry II
Chemistry 388 Environmental Chemistry or Chem 320 Instrumental Methods of Analysis
Math 125 Calculus I
Math 126 Calculus II
Physics 155 General Physics I or Physics 165
Physics 156 General Physics II or Physics 166

Geology--Environmental Studies:

Geology 210 Environmental Geology or Geology 110 or Geology 120
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 Addition 3 or 4 credit geology course numbered 250 or above
Chemistry 125 General Chemistry I
Chemistry 126 General Chemistry II
Chemistry 135 General Chemistry Lab I
Strongly recommend are courses in meteorology, physics, calculus and statistics
Additional courses in biology and chemistry also strongly recommended

Physics--Environmental Studies

Physics 155 General Physics I or Physics 165
Physics 156 General Physics II or Physics 166
Physics 245 and 246 Twentieth-Century Physics
Physics 255 and 256 Twentieth-Century Physics Lab
Physics 335 and 336 Advanced Laboratory
Physics 357 Thermal Physics
Math 125 Calculus I
Math 126 Calculus II
Math 225 Calculus III
Math 235 and 236 Calculus Laboratory
Math 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.

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 (Math 128 Elementary Statistics or Math 338 Probability and Statistics)
Economics 307 Intermediate Microeconomics (must earn a 'C' (2.0) or better)
Economics 308 Intermediate Macroeconomics (must earn a 'C' (2.0) or better)

Economics 477 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
One additional courses in economics

Politics--Environmental Studies

Select one of the following courses:

Politics 124 Introduction to Politics and the Environment
Politics 287 Natural Resource Policy and Management
Politics 309 Environment and Politics in the "New West"
Politics 339 Nature, Culture, Politics

Politics 490 Senior Seminar
20 additional credits in politics (at least 8 in 100-200 level courses, 8 credits in 300-400 level)
No more than 4 credits at the 100/200 or 300/400 levels can be earned off-campus/transferred

Sociology--Environmental Studies

Sociology 117 Principles of Sociology
Sociology 207 Social Research Methods
Sociology 309 Environmental Sociology
Sociology 367 History of Sociological Theory
Sociology 490 Current Issues in Sociology
Sociology 492 Directed Research or Sociology 498 Honors Thesis
One of the following courses:

Sociology 307 Human Communities
Sociology 348 Technology, Environment and Society
Sociology 349 Environmental Social Movements
Sociology 353 Environmental Justice

One additional 4 credit course in Sociology

 


Environmental Studies Course Descriptions

 

ENVS 120 Introduction to Environmental Studies
4,4
Staff

An introduction to interdisciplinary themes in environmental studies, including perspectives from the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Emphasis is placed on understanding local and regional environmental problems as well as issues of global environmental concern. Students enrolling in this course will also be required to enroll in Environmental Studies Excursions (ES 120L). The weekly afternoon excursions cover the length of the Walla Walla drainage basin, from the Umatilla National Forest to the Columbia River. Excursions may include the watershed, the water and wastewater treatment plants, energy producing facilities, a farm, a paper mill, different ecosystems, and the Johnston Wilderness Campus. This course is required of all environmental studies majors. All environmental studies majors must pass the course with a minimum grade of C (2.0). Freshmen and sophomores only (or consent of instructor).

ENVS 220 Internship
1,1
Staff

Either an internship with a college, local , regional, national, or international environmental organization or an independent project devoted to an appropriate topic or problem, for example, developing a green residence hall at Whitman College. The specific internship must be approved in advance by the instructor. Past examples include Earth Day, Environmental Education for Kids, Greenpeace, Kooskooskie Commons, the Tri-State Steelheaders, Walla Walla 2020, the Walla Walla Basin Watershed Council, the Walla Walla District of the Corps of Engineers, the Walla Walla Ranger District of the Umatilla National Forest, the Whitman College Conservation and Recycling Committee, and many others. Interns must write a final report. Required of environmental studies majors during their sophomore or junior year. Students are encouraged to pursue an internship for an entire academic year and earn 2 credits. May be repeated for a maximum of 4 credits. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

ENVS 247 The Literature of Nature
4,x
Snow

Students will examine the tradition of nature-writing and literary natural history. Readings will be drawn from classics in the field (Gilbert White, Darwin, Emerson and Thoreau, Burroughs and Muir, Leopold, Rachel Carson, Loren Eiseley, Mary Hunter Austin), and from the best contemporary nature-writers (Terry Tempest Williams, Ed Abbey, Annie Dillard, Ellen Meloy, Wendell Berry, David Quammen). Lectures and discussions will trace how nature-writing has mirrored the evolution of social, cultural, political and scientific perspectives on nature.

ENVS 260 Regional Studies
1-3

A study of a specific geographical region using a multidisciplinary approach. Regions covered may include Alaska, western Canada, the northwest or southwest US, Hawaii, or Latin America. Lectures, readings, and discussions in various disciplines, concentrating mainly in the natural and social sciences, will precede a one- to three-week field trip. One or more examinations or papers will be required. May be repeated for credit with focus on a different region. Fee: variable. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. The current offering follows.

ENVS 260W Northwestern Wyoming

x, 1
Carson

A seminar on and field trip to the greater Yellowstone ecosystem in northwestern Wyoming and adjacent Montana. Focus on forests, wildlife, and the geologic record from Precambrian through the Cenozoic, including glaciation and volcanism. Field trip in late May/early June.

ENVS 340 Environmental Radicals in Literature

x,4
Snow

Much contemporary environmental thought provides a radical critique of industrial and post-industrial society, but in earlier times, the first true environmental thinkers challenged systems of agriculture, economics and urbanism. What was once radical moved toward the center. In this course, students will examine the radical tradition of environmental thought as it has been expressed in literary and other texts. Bioregionalism, ecofeminism, agrarian communalism, Luddism, Deep Ecology, eco-centrism, and other radical environmental expressions will be examined critically. Works by Hawthorne, Thoreau, Ed Abbey, Kirk Sale, Gary Snyder, Susan Griffin, Barbara Kingsolver, Paul Shepard, David Abram and others may be included.

ENVS 347 The Nature Essay

x, 4
Snow

The class will be conducted as a non-fiction prose writing workshop in which students read and comment on each others' writing. After examining published works chosen as models, students will write essays in the nature-writing tradition, selecting approaches from a broad menu. Nature-writing includes literary natural history; "science translation writing"; essays on current environmental issues; personal essays based on engagement with land, water, wildlife, wilderness; travel or excursion writing with a focus on nature; "the ramble"; and other approaches. Students will learn how contemporary nature-writers combine elements of fiction, scientific descriptions, personal experience, reporting and exposition into satisfying compositions.

ENVS 349 Regional Literature of Places: The West and the South

4;x
Snow

The literatures of both the American West and the American South often reflect political struggles. Issues of federalism and states rights, economic dependency on the land, the rapid and radical transformation of an indigenous economy and ecology, and the stain of history stand in the foreground. This seminar will examine literary regionalism by focusing on southern and western writers whose works emanate from and reinforce the ethic and spirit of place. Several of the "Southern Agrarians" may be included along with William Faulkner, Eudora Welty and Flannery O'Connor. Western writers may include Bernard DeVoto, Wallace Stegner, Mary Clearman Blew, John Nichols, Larry Watson and William Kittredge. In addition, films will be used to illustrate the peculiar burden of the contemporary western writer. Offered in alternate years.

ENVS 358 Ecocriticism

4;x
Snow

This course explores the emergence of ecocriticism in the 1990s and its subsequent evolution as a recognizable school of literary and social criticism. Students will analyze foundational texts underpinning ecocritical theory, beginning with Joseph Meeker's The Comedy of Survival, then move on to more recent texts that seek to expand ecocriticism beyond the boundaries of nature-writing. Students will discuss, present, and write ecocritical analyses of various literary works. Offered alternate years. Distribution area: humanities.

ENVS 367, 368 Special Topics

1-4, 1-4
Staff

An investigation of environmentally significant issues centered on a common theme. The course may include lectures by off-campus professionals, discussions, student presentations, and field trips.

ENVS 367A Special Topics: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

3,3
Molitor

An introductory course to provide students with an overview of the general principles of GIS and practical experiences with environmental applications. Specifically, this course seeks to provide students with (1) an overview of the basic uses of GIS in the environmental arena, (2) a basic understanding of the concepts central to GIS, (3) knowledge of the basics of ArcGIS 9 through hands-on experience, and (4) practical experience in design and implementation of a simple GIS project. Students are not expected to have prior experience with GIS, however an understanding of basic computer applications is required. One lecture and one three-hour lab meeting per week. Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor.

ENVS 390 Independent Study

1-4,1-4
Staff

A series of readings or a program of individual research of approved environmental topics. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.

ENVS 479 Environmental Citizenship and Leadership

2, 2
Staff

An intensive course in environmental problem solving, with an emphasis on developing skills necessary for effective environmental citizenship and leadership. Students will first engage in readings and discussions to enhance their understanding of environmental decision-making processes and institutions. Then they will work individually and in teams to study the active environmental disputes, with the ultimate aim of recommending formal solutions. This course is required of, and only open to, environmental studies majors in their senior year. Field trips and guest presentations may be included.

ENVS 488 Senior Project or 498 Honors Project

1-3, 1-3
Staff

The student will investigate an environmental issue of his or her own choice and prepare a major paper. The topic shall be related to the student's major field of study and must be approved by both major advisers. Required of all senior environmental studies majors, with the exception of those completing an honors project. ES 490 Honors Project provides an opportunity for qualified environmental studies senior majors to complete a senior project of honors quality. Requires the student to follow application procedures following the guidelines for honors in major study. Students enrolled in this course must also participate in and meet all requirements of the Environmental Studies 488 course.

For a listing of senior projects completed in 1994-2010, go to Projects.

Visit the course catalog for more information on any of these courses.

 

Courses Required and/or Recommended of Environmental Studies Majors

Art History 248 Ways of Seeing: Japanese Art and Aesthetics
4

The literary, visual, and performing arts of Japan. A survey of the traditional arts of Japan from prehistoric times (before 522 C. E.) to the Tokugawa period (1600-1868). What it means to be a craftsman, an artist, a performer, or any person who has developed the skill "to see." Buddhist ideas that form the foundation for a uniquely Japanese vocabulary of aesthetics.

 
Biology 111 Biological Principles
4

The general principles common to all life. Topics are: chemical basis of life and cellular metabolism, cell and tissue structure and function, mitosis and meiosis, information storage and retrieval, and life support mechanisms.

Biology 112 The Biological World
4

The six biological kingdoms: Archaebacteria, Eubacteria, Protista, Fungi, Plantae, and Animalia. The evolutionary history of living organisms is traced from the most simple prokaryotes to the highly complex plants and animals. Parallel trends and adaptations are discussed in addition to the unique features of each group.

Biology 115 Regional Natural History
4

The natural history of environments near Walla Walla. The course will emphasize applying basic ecological principles to the interpretation of the processes shaping biological communities. The core of the class will be weekly trips in which we develop and apply skills in observing and interpreting local environments from the Columbia River to the Blue Mountains. Through this process, students will become familiar with common plants, animals, and ecological communities of the region.

 
Biology 122 Plant Biology
3

A predominantly field-oriented course for the non-major that covers basics of plant biology, ecological adaptations to different habitats, current plant issues, and the identification of local plants to the family; a plant collection is required.

Biology 125 Genes and Genetic Engineering
3

An introduction to the principles of genetics, and to how genetics is applied in medicine, agriculture, forensics, and biotechnology. Social, ethical, political, and economic issues related to genetics and genetic engineering will be discussed.

Biology 127 Nutrition
3

An introduction to the required nutrients and their food sources, their metabolism and eventual functions and fates in the body. Principles will then be applied to specific life stages and circumstances. Psychological, cultural, agricultural, economic, local and global issues surrounding food will be discussed.

Biology 130 Conservation Biology
4

An introduction to the dynamic and interdisciplinary world of biological conservation. Fundamental principles from genetics, evolution, and ecology will be discussed and then applied to problems including extinction, species preservation, habitat restoration, refuge design and management, human population growth and its myriad impacts on our environment.

Biology 205 Genetics
3

The principles which underlie the hereditary processes observed in microbes, plants, and animals. Selected topics include structure, organization, function, regulation, and duplication of the genetic material; protein synthesis and its control; mechanisms and patterns of inheritance.

Biology 215 Plant Ecology
4

The diverse adaptations of plants to their abiotic and biotic environments from ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Topics will include the effects of climatic factors (water, light, temperature) and soils on plant morphology, physiology, growth, and reproduction, and the complex relationships of plants with other forms of life.

Biology 277 Ecology
4

The interdependent relationships of organisms to one another and to their environment. The concepts and principles of the following subjects are dealt with in the course: the ecosystem, energy in the ecosystem, biogeochemical cycles, abiotic factors, communities, biomes, population dynamics, behavior, conservation, and pollution.

Biology 309 Cell Biology
4

The ultrastructure and function of cells. A detailed examination of the major cellular processes in eucaryotic cells to include: biological molecules, membranes and cell surfaces, cellular energetics, motility, protein processing and transport, etc.

Biology 310 Physiology
4

An advanced level examination of the biological functions that allow self-maintenance, reproduction, and regulation in various environments. Animals in general will be covered, but with emphasis on mammals.

Biology 350 Evolutionary Biology
3

Designed for the upper-level biology major, this course emphasizes the importance of evolutionary theory to biology. Using modern examples in population biology, molecular evolution and phylogenetics, students will gain a firm foundation in the mechanisms of evolution, speciation, and extinction, and an appreciation of the applicability of evolutionary principles to current issues in areas such as conservation, medicine, and social behavior.

Biology 488 Research Preparation
1

Prepares biology majors for their senior thesis and research project.

Biology 489 Senior Research
1

Students develop methodologies and begin data collection associated with their research projects developed in Biology 488.

Biology 490/498 Senior/Honors Thesis and Seminar
2/3

Continuation of Biology 489. Students complete the process of writing a thesis (honor students will conduct more extensive research than students in 490). Each student will give a seminar presentation of their research results.

Chemistry 100 Introduction to Environmental Chemistry
3

An introduction to environmental chemistry and engineering. Emphasis will be placed on environmental law, sources of pollutants, water quality, water and wastewater treatment, pollutant fate and transport, and risk assessment. No chemistry background presumed.

Chemistry 125 General Chemistry I
3

First semester of the year-long course in introductory chemistry for science majors. Atomic and molecular structure, bonding, physical states of matter, stoichiometry, aqueous chemistry and introductory organic and biochemistry.

Chemistry 126 General Chemistry II
3

Second semester of the year-long course in introductory chemistry for science majors. Thermodynamics, equilibria, kinetics, oxidation-reduction, elemental properties, nuclear chemistry.

Chemistry 135 General Chemistry Lab I
1

Qualitative, gravimetric and volumetric analyses, molecular structure, synthesis, acids and bases, and thermochemistry

Chemistry 136 General Chemistry Lab II
1

Kinetics, synthesis, analysis, spectrophotometry and discovery-based experiments

Chemistry 140 Advanced General Chemistry
4

An accelerated course in introductory chemistry designed for students with a strong high school background in chemistry. Topics similar to those in Chem 125 and 126 will be covered at a faster rate and a deeper level.

Chemistry 240 Quantitative Analysis and Chemical Equilibrium
4

Principles of chemical equilibrium and methods of quantitative analysis. Topics include statistical analysis of data, activities, and the systematic treatment of acid-base, precipitation, complexation, and oxidation-reduction equilibria.

Chemistry 245 Organic Chemistry I
3

First semester of a yearlong course. Topics include reaction mechanism, nomenclature, stereochemistry, spectroscopy, and the synthesis and reactions of alkyl halides, alkenes, alcohols, ethers, and alkynes.

Chemistry 246 Organic Chemistry II
3

Continuation of Chemistry 245. Topics include spectroscopy, aromatic chemistry, carbonyl compounds, and biomolecules such as carbohydrates and amino acids.

Chemistry 251-252 Organic Laboratory Techniques
2

Laboratory exercises covering the full range of material in the yearlong organic chemistry sequence. Topics include recrystallization, distillation, chromatography, simple and multistep synthesis, mechanisms, and spectroscopy.

Chemistry 320 Instrumental Methods of Analysis
3

A course designed to familiarize students with the theories and methods in instrumental procedures and significant developments in modern chemical analysis and separation techniques.

Chemistry 346 Physical Chemistry II
3

Exploration of the fundamental behavior of chemical systems in terms of the physical principles which govern their behavior. The specific focus is on system behavior to explain spontaniety, energy transformations, chemical and physical equilibrium and the rates of chemical reactions.

Chemistry 388 Environmental Chemistry
4

This course will examine the reactions and transport of chemical species in aquatic, terrestrial and atmospheric environments. The laboratory portion will concentrate on sampling design, field sampling methods, and data analysis.

Economics 101 Principles of Microeconomics
4

An course provides basic theoretical tools to enable students to analyze contemporary economic society.

Economics 177 Principles of Microeconomics and the Environment
4

This course provides the same coverage of topics in Economics 101, but special emphasis is placed on applying concepts to environmental and natural resource issues. Students pursuing an environmental studies combined major and others interested in the environment are encouraged to take this course. Students who receive credit for Economics 101 cannot receive credit for this course.

Economics 227 Statistics for Economics
4

An introductory course which surveys everyday economic statistics, topics in descriptive and inferential statistics, and regression analysis. The concentration is on applications to problems in economics. Topics include: techniques for organizing and summarizing economic statistical data; random variables and probability distributions; sampling distributions; estimation and hypothesis testing, and simple and multiple regression theory.

Economics 277 Global Environmental and Resource Issues
4

The tools of economic analysis are applied to global environmental and natural resource issues such as global pollution, the relationship of trade and the environment, sustainable economic growth and resource scarcity, economic growth and the environment, and natural resource conflicts.

Economics 347 Transportation and the Environment
4

The transportation sector has experienced extraordinary growth in the last fifty years. After reviewing measures and estimates of the environmental costs not reflected in the prices of transport services, we consider the efficiency of policies to contain these costs and some important side effects of the policies.

Economics 477 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
4

A course providing a general framework for understanding how market failure contributes to pollution and inefficient resource use, and how policies might remedy these problems. The framework is then applied to domestic environmental and natural resource settings.

English 347 American Literature to 1865
4

A study of the major authors in the American literary tradition from the Colonial period to the Civil War, with emphasis on the writers of the American Renaissance. Authors covered may include Jonathan Edwards, James Fenimore Cooper, Benjamin Franklin, Edgar Allen Poe, Margaret Fuller, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, and Walt Whitman.

Geology 110 The Physical Earth
4

Physical geology including earth materials, the processes responsible for uplift and erosion, landforms, plate tectonics and the earth's interior.

Geology 120 Geologic History of the Pacific Northwest
4

An examination of the geologic history of the Pacific Northwest, including Washington, Idaho, Oregon, northern California, and southern British Columbia. Fundamental geologic processes that have shaped the Pacific Northwest will be examined through detailed study of different locales in the region.

Geology 130 Weather and Climate
3

An introductory course in meteorology that emphasizes interactions between Earth's atmosphere and humans. Subjects include: global atmospheric circulation patterns, weather analysis and forecasting, origins of destructive weather phenomena, world climates, and human alteration of the atmosphere.

Geology 210 Environmental Geology
4

Geologic aspects of the environment: human effects upon and interaction with such phenomena as landslides, erosion and deposition of sediments, surface waters, groundwater, volcanism, earthquakes, and permafrost. Environmental effects of land use, waste disposal, and mineral and petroleum usage as they relate to geologic processes and materials.

Geology 227 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
4

Fundamental principles of analysis pertaining to sedimentary rock and rock sequences. Fluid flow; weathering; sediment transport; sedimentary structures; depositional systems. Geologic time and chronostratigraphy. Principles of Lithostratigraphy.

 

Geology 250 Late Cenozoic Geology and Climate Change
3

The geology of the last few million years of earth history, including changes in flora and fauna. What are the causes of ice ages and the alternating glaciations and interglaciations within them? What are the roles of nature and humans in the current global climate change?

 

Geology 301 Hydrology
3

A study of water resources, including surface and ground water. Emphasis on the hydrologic cycle, ground water depletion, and water pollution.

 

Geology 343 Minerals and the Nuclear Fuel Cycle
4

Intermediate level course which will investigates mineral structure, composition, and identification within the context fo the nuclear fuel cycle and geologic disposal of nuclear waste. Skills emphasized include discussing scientific literature, hand sample and optical microscope identification of minerals and analysis of crystal structures by X-ray Diffraction.

Geology 346 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
4

Identification, classification, and interpretation of igneous and metamorphic rock. Development of the chemical and physical background necessary to study rocks as chemical systems of equilibrium. Emphasis on using observed features, chemistry, and experimental results to interpret rock origin and evolution.

Geology 350 Geomorphology
4

Description, origin, development, and classification of landforms. Relationships of soils, surficial materials, and landforms to rocks, structures, climate, processes and time. Maps and aerial photographs of landscapes produced in tectonic, volcanic, fluvial, glacial, periglacial, coastal, karst, and eolian environments.

Geology 358 Field Geology of the Northwest
1

The geology of part of the Pacific Northwest, with emphasis on geologic history including petrology, stratigraphy, tectonics, and mineralogy. Geologic mapping, paleontology, and mineralogy may also be involved. Most field trips will take place on long weekends.

Geology 420 Structural Geology
4

The description and analysis of intermediate- to large-scale rock structures. Topics include the analysis and graphical representation of stress and strain in rocks, deformation mechanisms and fabric development, the geometry and mechanics of folding and faulting, and structures related to intrusive bodies. Geologic map interpretation and cross-section construction are used to analyze the structural geology of selected regions.

Geology 470 Senior Seminar
1

Seminar on various topics in the earth sciences. Topics to be chosen by the instructors, but are likely to include discussions of the history of geology, controversial principles of geology (such as uniformitarianism), and the ethics of the profession of geology.

History 262 People, Nature, Technology: Built and Natural Environments in US History
4

This course will focus on the ways people in North America — primarily in the area eventually claimed by the United States — have interacted with and sought to control their environments from the colonial era through the 20th century. As we explore these centuries, we will focus on a set of interrelated questions in a range of historical contexts: How have physical environments influenced human choices? How have human choices, assumptions, and cultural practices shaped physical environments? How have people at different places and times understood “nature” and their relationship to it? When do they see “nature” and when “natural resources” and when “technology,”
what kinds of control have they found acceptable or problematic, and why? How and why have different Americans understood the role of government and
the individual in relation to concepts of “property” or “natural resources” or the protection of “nature”? This course will make use of primary and secondary
sources, and will emphasize reading, writing, and discussion as well as lecture.

Philosophy 107 Critical Reasoning
4

Focuses on principles and standards applicable to thinking critically on any topic. Arguments and their analyses, the nature and use of evidence, fallacies both formal and informal, are included.

Philosophy 117 Problems in Philosophy
4

An introductory study of some of the major problems of philosophy. Among those general problems considered will be the nature of philosophy, problems of knowledge (epistemological questions concerning the origin, nature, and limits of knowledge), and the problem of a world view (metaphysical questions concerning materialism, idealism, and naturalism).

Philosophy 127 Ethics
4

This course consists of the careful reading and discussion of several classical texts of moral philosophy. The aim is to introduce students to moral philosophy, rather than to solve practical problems in ethics as important as these are. Nonetheless, this philosophical study should, as a by-product, enhance the students' ability to deal intelligently with ethical issues in their personal and social lives.

 

Philosophy 207 Foundations of American Romanticism
4

Is there an American difference in philosophy? We will examine the roots of American Romanticism in Coleridge and Wordsworth to prepare reading selected essays by Emerson and Thoreau and then Hawthorne's Scarlett Letter. Prerequisite: One prior course in Philosophy or consent of instructor.

Philosophy 209 Contemporary American Romanticism
4

Is there an American difference in philosophy? We will examine contemporary developments of the founding of American thought in Emerson and Thoreau through a close reading of selected essays, autobiography, and short fiction by Stanley Cavell and Barry Lopez. Prerequisite: Philosophy 207 or consent of instructor.

Philosophy 210 Epistemology
4

This course focuses critically on theories of knowledge, truth, and justification, and the issues and problems they raise.

Philosophy 230 History and Philosophy of Science
4

An historical look at the philosophical development of method and at philosophical issues in conflicts (theoretical, evidentiary, and social) in science.

Philosophy 241 Environmental Aesthetics
4

Beginning with an examination of the relation between concepts of "beauty" and the "sublime" in Edmund Burke, Kant, Emerson, Thoreau, and Heidegger, we will explore the work of art as constituting an interface between nature and culture. We will then move on to the work of specific artists that articulate this interface, including the "land art" movement and Maya Lin. We will conclude by exploring how a garden can be a work of art. The final project will be designing your own garden. May be elected as ArtH 241.

Philosophy 255 Environmental Ethics
4

Does the non-human world have any intrinsic value or is it valuable only because of its relation to human interests? That is, does anything besides humanity have "moral standing"? If so, what is its basis? Should we, for instance, accord rights to all those creatures that are sentient? If we do, will we have gone far enough, morally speaking? What about those creatures that lack sentience? What about the environment in which all creatures, human and non-human, live? Does it have moral standing? In answering these questions, we will consider the works of Aldo Leopold, Peter Singer, Karen Warren, Arne Naess, and Julian Simon, among others.

Philosophy 270 Metaphysics
4

A study of the nature of reality. Possible topics include existence, causation, personal identity, determinism, and the mind/body relationship.

Philosophy 345 Animals and Philosophy
4

Many people's lives are intertwined with animals,. But while animals are clearly very important, few wonder about what kinds of creatures they are. Are they merely organic machines or are they conscious in some way? Do they think? Do they feel pain? Can they have beliefs? Moreover, do animals have rights to oblige us to protect them from harm? These are the questions we will be addressing in this class. Prerequisite: At least one other course in a related field.

Philosophy 408A Studies in American Philosophy: Emerson
4

Philosophy 408B Studies in American Philosophy: Thoreau
4

Physics 105 Energy and the Environment
3

An examination of the physical principles that govern energy transformations. It will focus on the use of energy in the world, specifically its production, transportation, consumption, and the implications this use has for the environment. Topics addressed will range from the mechanical to electricity and magnetism and from thermodynamics to atomic/nuclear physics. Energy resources both new and traditional (fuel cells versus oil) will be addressed as well as environmental issues ranging from global warming to the disposal of radioactive waste. This course assumes a basic familiarity with algebra.

Physics 155 and 156 General Physics I and II
4 per course

This sequence is intended for all students seeking a firm understanding of basic physical principles. Topics covered include: classical mechanics (kinematics, Newtonian mechanics, energy and momentum conservation, and waves), electricity and magnetism, circuits, optics, special relativity, quantum physics.

Physics 246 and 246 Twentieth-Century Physics
3 per course

Probability, topics in kinetic theory, basic experiments and concepts in quantum physics, introduction to quantum mechanics, atoms, molecules, solids, nuclei, particles, special relativity, topics in mechanics.

Physics 255 and 256 Twentieth Century Physics Laboratory
1 per course

Experimental investigations of a variety of phenomena, including the motion of charged particles in electric and magnetic fields, physical electronics, scattering and selected quantum effects.

Physics 335 and 336 Advanced Laboratory
2 per course

Linear circuits, including transistors and other solid state devices, techniques of electrical measurement, and application of electrical measurement techniques in experiments in modern physics, including the study of semiconductor properties.

Physics 357 Thermal Physics
3

Thermodynamics, entropy, thermodynamic potentials, phase changes, chemical reactions, kinetic theory, distributions, phase space, transport phenomena, fluctuations; classical and quantum statistical mechanics, application to solids, radiation, superfluids, lasers and astrophysics.

Politics 119 Whitman and the Global Food System
4

This community-based course moves between the historical and theoretical study of the global food system and engaged research projects in the Walla Walla region. Topics range from debates over US farm subsidies to the gender, class, and ecological dynamics of export agriculture in the Third World; from the causes of famine to the politics of obesity.

Politics 124 Introduction to Politics and the Environment
4

An introduction to key concepts in the study of politics, using environmental issues as illustrations. Designed for first- and second-year students, this course encourages critical thinking and writing about key political concepts, such as power, equality, liberty, and community.

 

Politics 147 International Politics
4

An introduction to the variety of approaches useful in understanding international politics and international political problems, including war, global environmental degradation, poverty, and ethnic conflict.

Politics 287 Natural Resource Policy and Management
4

An introduction to the basic problems in natural resource policy making in the American West. Focus will be on the legal, administrative, and political dimensions of various natural resource management problems, including forests, public rangelands, national parks, biodiversity, energy, water, and recreation. The role of environmental ideas and non-governmental organizations will also be explored as well as conservation strategies, including land trusts, various incentive-based approaches, and collaborative conservation.

Politics 309 Environment and Politics in the "New West"
4

This seminar explores the changing political landscape of the American West, with emphasis on changing environmental values and on conflicts over natural resource policy. What are the causes of these conflicts, and what kinds of approaches will be necessary to address them? A field trip is required. One meeting per week.

Politics 339 Nature, Culture, Politics
4

A seminar exploring the changing understandings of nature in American culture, the role of social power in constructing these understandings, and the implications these understandings have for the environmental movement. Topics discussed will include wilderness and wilderness policies, management of national parks, ecosystem management, biodiversity, place, and the political uses of nature in contemporary environmental literature.

Politics 373 Political Ecology of Latin America
4

This course examines the environmental politics of Latin America. It focuses on struggles over different natural resources-- water, land, minerals, forests, and genetic material-- with an eye toward understanding the complex relations between nature and society.

Politics 400A ST: Sustainability
4

In this discussion and research seminar we will explore both critical and practical approaches to the concept of sustainability, which encompasses a key set of environmental principles and animates a remarkably wide spectrum of environmental practices. We will devote the first part of the semester to a critical analysis of the concept itself: what does sustainability mean? What political assumptions are built into sustainability? Who is empowered by the concept, and who is rendered invisible? The remainder of the semester will be devoted to individual and collaborative research on current or proposed sustainability projects, including energy, climate, development, water, design, agriculture, natural resources, and so on. Our objective will be to link our critical discussions with our empirical research, resulting in a more nuanced understanding of sustainability and the wide range of political claims and environmental practices that are made in its name.

Religion 227 Christian Ethics
4

This course explores the nature of Christian ethical judgment (ethical norms, the nature of ethical reasoning and argument) and a number of contemporary ethical issues, such as medical ethics (including abortion and genetic research), war, and pacifism.

Sociology 257 Sociology of the Family
4

A sociological investigation of the modern family. This course will consider the unique position which the family occupies within the larger society, and the particular patterns of social interaction which typically characterize individual family units. Specific topics which will be looked at in some depth include: 1) the reciprocal relationships between the family institution and the other aspects of modern society; 2) the various stages of the family life cycle; 3) the structural positions of men and women, both within the family and in society more generally; and 4) the stresses, problems, and conflicts which often develop within and affect families in various ways. In considering these and other topics, particular emphasis will be placed upon the various theoretical perspectives which have informed the work fo family scholars in recent years.

Sociology 307 Human Communities
4

An investigation of the relationship between nature and community by raising questions such as: which forms of community best support the resolution of environmental problems? The course draws from sociological theories of community and the city, case studies taken from the developed and developing worlds, and contacts with local community organizations.

Sociology 309 Environmental Sociology
4

What social structural conditions produce ecological decline? What agricultural, extractive, and industrial technologies have driven global ecological problems? How are societies around the world impacted? This course reviews sociological theory on the causes and consequences of ecological degradation and resource scarcity. Topics include: specific local and global ecological problems, theories on political economy of the environment, the treadmill of production, environment and risk, the sociology of environmental science, globalization and environmental movements.

Sociology 347 Complex Organizations
4

This course is designed to provide the student with the theoretical concepts, practical methods, and historical background for the study of modern complex organizations. This focus will be on an analysis of social conditions of organization from a variety of sociological perspectives -- classical, critical, interactionist, functionalist, and post-structuralist-- combining primary readings with critical discussions of each area's contributions and limitations. Basic issues examined include the origins and functions of specialization, decision-making, and structures of administrative domination in contemporary society.

Sociology 348 Technology and Society
4

A critical approach to the social culture and history of technology. Topics vary from war and mass communications technologies to the impacts of bio-research and power generation. A number of interdisciplinary materials will be used, ranging from technical, ethnographic, and historical studies, to literature, science fiction, and philosophy.

Sociology 349 Environmental Social Movements
4

Why do social movements happen? Why do some social movements succeed in producing change while others fail? What are differences between environmental movements in the U.S. and other nations? How do different experiences across gender, race and class inform the emergence, goals and dynamics of environmental social movements? This course will use micro and macro sociological theory to study social change, reform and collective behavior using environmental movements and environmental backlash movements as case studies. We will bring both national and global focus to our study of collective action and social change. The course will be reading intensive. We will view and discuss films. Evaluation will be based on reading discussion, research papers and individual projects. This course is open to all students but previous course work in sociology or related topics is strongly advised.

Sociology 353 Environmental Justice
4

Ecological degradation from deforestation to declining salmon runs has human consequences: people lose jobs, face toxic exposure and are caught in the midst of conflicts over scarce resources. The concepts of environmental racism and environmental justice represent the disproportionate exposure to environmental degradation faced by the poor, women, people of color and citizens of the South. This course will examine environmental justice movements, and local and worldwide ecological problems from toxic exposure to global warming.

Sociology 369 Social Stratification
4

An examination of the division of society into classes and strata which are arranged in a hierarchy of wealth, prestige, and power. This examination will include both theoretical and empirical studies and will focus primarily, although not exclusively, on modern industrial society.

Spanish 437/World Literature 339 Eco_Literature in the Americas
4

This seminar addresses different aspects of nature and the environment as represented in fictional and nonfictional texts from the different regions of this Hemisphere. The seminar seeks to address environmental issues in literature in a comparative manner and therefore will examine texts from a variety of literary traditions. Topics to be discussed include: construction and decay, border issues, urban and rural spaces, utopia and dystopia, and natural history and narration. Writers to be studied may include: Borges, Mike Davis, DeLillo, Faulkner, Garcia Marquez, Hemingway, Sonia Nazario, Mary Oliver, Rulfo, Saer, and Sam Witt. Taught in English. Distribution area: Humanities and Alternative Voices.

 

Visit the course catalog for more information on any of these courses.

 

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