Introduction to Environmental Sciences
(3.5 Cr.) (LER-ENV)
This course explores current environmental issues with the goal of evaluating how the integration of biological, chemical, geological, and physical principles is vital for identifying and understanding environmental problems and for shaping policies for effective solutions. The laboratory centers on the application of scientific principles and protocols to investigate both natural and urban environments. Discussions will focus on global environmental issues, including global warming, water and air quality, urbanization, biodiversity, human population growth, and food production. This course involves required field trips. Four hours lecture/laboratory. Prerequisite: score of M on the math placement test. Fall and spring semesters. Mora.
Intermediate Reading in Spanish and Environmental Studies in Ecuador
(6 Cr.) (LER-ENV, LER-SA, LER-FL)
This interdisciplinary course allows students to study environmental sustainability issues and Spanish in Ecuador, which is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. This course encompasses a pre-program course and an international field experience that includes field trips to the rain-forest and the San Cristobal Island in the Galapagos Islands. Using current environmental problems in Ecuador and elsewhere, this course focuses on environmental politics, economic development, and/or ethical considerations about the relationship between human populations and their surrounding ecosystems. This course also examines the intellectual history of the idea and discipline of ecology, including Darwin's legacy and the importance of the Galapagos Islands in shaping Darwin's thought. Credits will be distributed as follows: 3 credits during the pre-program course in the Spring semester at Goucher (2 Environmental Studies and 1 Spanish), and 4 credits during the three week intensive course in Ecuador (1 Environmental Studies and 3 Spanish). This course will be offered every other year in the Spring semester at Goucher, in combination with a three week intensive course in Ecuador during May/early June. Offered May/June 2012 and every other year. Department.
Intermediate Reading in Spanish: Environmental Studies
(6 Cr.) (LER-ENV, LER-SA, LER-FL)
This interdisciplinary course allows students to study environmental sustainability issues and Spanish in Ecuador, which is one of the most bio-diverse countries in the world. This course encompasses a pre-program course and an international field experience that includes living on San Cristóbal Island, visiting several other islands in the Galapagos, and visiting Otavalo (an indigenous community) in Ecuador. This course will examine the tensions that exist in the Galapagos between preserving one of the world's most pristine ecosystems and sustaining the people who live and depend on the islands' resources. We will also consider the role of the indigenous cultures in helping the government of Ecuador advance progressive sustainability initiatives in the face of demands to extract the non-renewable resources that exist in this bio-diverse country. 3 credits during the pre-program course in the Spring semester at Goucher (2 Spanish and 1 Environmental Studies), and 3 credits during the three week intensive course in Ecuador (2 Environmental Studies and 1 Spanish). Prerequisite: SP 130. Students will receive credit for SP 229 or for independent work in Spanish (1-3 credits, the equivalent to SP 299). Spring/summer. Offered 2014 and alternate years. Cortes-Conde and Kasniunas.
Introduction to Environmental Studies
(3 Cr.) (LER-ENV)
There is no relationship more important to society than the one we have with our natural environment. From the extraction of resources necessary for everyday life to where we put our waste products, from where we get our food to where we go on vacation, our dependence on and perceptions of the environment are fundamental to every aspect of our lives. Resource use and environmental management, in addition to being scientific and technological problems, are also inseparable from our political, economic, and cultural systems. Resource use practices and efforts to control nature are closely tied to power at every scale: local, national, and global. This course focuses on the social aspects of resource management across the globe. We begin by reading about and discussing some conceptual issues that are central to our understanding of environmental management. These include political economy, social construction of nature, and environmental economics. We then examine the interaction of these processes and problems through in-depth study of several issues, including energy use, agriculture and food, and conservation. Offered every semester.
(3 Cr.) (LER-ENV only if taken prior to Fall 2015)
This course examines the interconnectivity of geologic processes, climate change, and life on Earth. Topics include rock formation, soils, earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, floods, and river and groundwater pollution. Emphasis will be placed on the application of geologic principles to solve some environmental problems. Prerequisite: score of M on math placement test. Variable semesters. Mora.
The South China Seas: A History
The South China Sea is one of the most hotly contested bodies of water in the world today, but how the current disputes arose is not well understood. This class will explore the historic origins of contemporary problems by taking a very long-term approach to the study of human interactions with, and knowledge of, the South China Sea. It will adopt the approach and methodology of environmental history, and will incorporate GIS mapping technology so that the students will be able to show how ideas about, and territorial claims upon, the sea have changed over the past 1000 years by creating overlapping digital map layers. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Dawley.
Agriculture and the Environment
This course explores the application of scientific principles as they relate to plants, animals, soil and food in agriculture. The impacts of agricultural practices, such as animal breeding, genetics, aquaculture, forestry, organic farming, pest and disease control, genetically modified organisms and their effects on the environment will be discussed. Throughout the course, students will examine the complexity of agricultural systems and how to address the global need for sustainable practices. Prerequisite: BIO 104 or BIO 105 or ES 100. Offered 2018. Jozwick.
Biosphere and Society
This course employs interdisciplinary inquiry and mixed methodological approaches towards understanding current environmental issues. Built around critical evaluation and analysis of current scientific reports and other primary materials, the course focuses on topical issues at the intersection of ecological questions and social institutions. Emphasis is placed on cultivating the ability to understand disciplinary abstraction and apply such knowledge to context-dependent explanations of environmental challenges. The course is intended to support development of key intellectual and practical tools for upper division work and future careers in environmental studies. Enrollment restricted to Environmental Studies majors and minors. Prerequisite: ES 100 and ES 140. Fall semester.
Political Ecology of Extractive Industries
In this course students will focus on global resource extraction regimes and related energy and environmental implications. We will examine these pressing issues from ecological, social, and political perspectives. The political context for extractive industries will frame discussions regarding efforts to make extraction ecologically and socially responsible. This review is grounded in an understanding of energy demand which frequently shapes how and where energy and minerals are extracted. The course will examine global mining considerations, sustainability, and corporate transparency efforts through various case studies, including oil extraction and mining in Latin America and Nigeria, and hydraulic fracturing in Pennsylvania and Maryland. We will pay close attention to the social, economic and health impacts of communities directly impacted by mining, and examine the relationships of power that produce particular models of resource governance. Prerequisite: ES 140. Variable semesters.
Qualitative Environmental Research
The research process encompasses a wide continuum, from the articulation of a research theme or question to the determination of how to collect data to considerations about what to "count" as evidence. This class focuses on the process of knowledge production within human-environment interactions through an in-depth engagement with qualitative research methods. We will examine the epistemological, methodological, and political implications of specific methods as well as learn and practice the techniques for conducting qualitative social-science research. Prerequisite: ES 140 or sophomore standing. Fall semester. Billo.
Directed Readings in Environmental Studies
Directed reading permits a student to learn a topic or area within the field of environmental studies at a deeper level. Under the direction of a faculty member, readings tailored to a topic or area are selected, and a formal written report is submitted by the student at the end of the semester. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing as an environmental studies major and permission of instructor. Fall and spring semesters.Department.
Political Ecology: Culture, Politics, and Environmental Change
This course examines various interpretations of political ecology, outlining the crucial theoretical and methodological problems in the field. Emphasis will be placed on the interpretation that views political ecology as an analytical tool that seeks both to unravel the political and cultural forces at work in environmental change and to provide for a more comprehensive understanding of how global and local environmental issues relate to each other. Prerequisite: ES 140 or permission of instructor. Spring semester. Billo.
Understanding Historic Buildings
This course seeks to develop an understanding of and the vocabulary to describe historic buildings: the elements of a building, traditional construction techniques and building materials, and architectural style. The course will also focus on historic building preservation issues, with special attention on the ways in which the historic preservation movement supports and advances the environmental sustainability agenda as well as areas where the two movements diverge. Offered Fall 2015 and every other year. Sheller.
(3 Cr.) (LER-ENV)
An introduction to the diverse terrestrial, marine, and aquatic habitats of the Earth and how the organisms found these habitats interact with their biotic and abiotic environment. Individual, population, community, and ecosystem levels of ecology will be discussed, with an emphasis on environmental sustainability and how climate change and other human induced activities may impact the ecology of organisms. Lecture, discussion, and some fieldwork. Course not open to students enrolled in BIO 240 or biological science majors or minors. Prerequisite: BIO 104. Spring semester. Offered 2016-2017 and alternate years. Kicklighter.
Psychology of Environmental Problems
(4 Cr.) (LER ENV)
This course outlines current environmental problems and their historical bases. The course then explores how different psychological perspectives view the relationship between individuals and the environment, as well as reviews psychological research related to environmental sustainability. Guidance is provided for improving environmental sustainability based on the different psychological perspectives. A major goal of this course is for students to develop an understanding of how psychology can contribute to promoting sustainability of the environment. A community-based learning experience is required. Prerequisite: ES 140 or PSY 111. Fall semester. Mills.
Transnational Security & Sustainability
The course will examine non-traditional threats to the national security of the United States or any other nation. New threats arising from changing environmental and social conditions are no less dangerous than armies, and no less applicable to the field of international relations and environmental studies. This course will examine the effect that climate change, resource availability, demographics, and globalization are having on the foundation on which nations build their security. Prerequisite: ES 140 or permission from instructor. Variable semesters.
Special Topics in Environmental Studies
This course explores selected topics of current interest. Subjects change from year to year, and they may include food, agriculture, conservation, environmental governance and policy, land-use transformation, sustainable development, or environmental activism. Course may be repeated for credit if a different topic is offered. Prerequisite: ES 140. First offered Spring 2016.
Internship in Environmental Studies
Students hone their critical and problem-solving skills by addressing issues in environmental studies through positions in non-profit, academic, governmental, or industrial institutions. Prerequisite: ES 100 or ES 140. Fall and Spring semesters.
This course critically examines the science of climate change, the predicted effects of this change on the planet, and the proposed approaches to address it. This examination also involves an analysis of both domestic and international policy debates and an evaluation of the ecological, social, and economic costs and benefits of the leading solutions that have been proposed to mitigate or to adapt to climate change. Prerequisites: ES 100 or ES 200, and junior standing, or permission of instructor. Variable semesters. Mora.
With over half of the world's population living in cities and with an increasing trend toward urbanization to continue for the foreseeable future, it is imperative that we evaluate different approaches to make cities sustainable. This course examines the economic, social, and environmental dimensions of urban sustainability in an effort to examine resource consumption in cities and to assess critically the urban policies designed to reduce environmental damage and improve quality of life. Emphasis will be placed on the use of ecological principles on both the biophysical environment of a city and its societal dimensions to provide a novel context to the functioning and structure of cities and to create a useful framework upon which different policies can be evaluated. Prerequisites: Junior standing, ES 100, and ES 140. Variable semesters. Mora.
Globalization & Environmental Sustainability
This course explores the international dimensions of environmental issues, including the effect of economic globalization on the environment and globalization of environmental conservation. The course is grounded in histories of globalization, particularly as a process of uneven development. We will explore the rise of "sustainable development", a term that links economic globalization and global conservation. By studying the ongoing linkages between globalization, environment, and inequality, students will better understand why mainstream environmentalism fails to achieve sustainability. Prerequisite: ES 140 and junior standing. Spring, every other year. First offered 2014. Billo.
Advanced Topics in Environmental Studies
This course examines advanced topics in environmental studies through an in-depth evaluation of contemporary environmental concerns. Topic varies from year to year, and they may include political ecology, environmental justice, conservation, environmental governance and policy, land-use transformation, sustainable development, or environmental activism. Course may be repeated for credit if a different topic is offered. Prerequisites: Junior standing and ES 140. Fall semester.
Environmental Studies Senior Capstone
This course for majors and minors integrates concepts covered in the Environmental Studies curriculum by providing students with opportunities to synthesize knowledge and to apply skills and methods learned throughout their study in the major. Emphasis will be placed on developing skills that are critical for students in their future careers, including communication, analytical, research, critical thinking, and problem solving. Students work on individual and group projects to further their understanding of a particular environmental problem, issue, or subject area. The central activities of the course are a semester long project designed to further integrative thinking and a series of exercises designed to hone students' preparedness for careers and/or further studies in the environmental field. Students will have the option to embed service-learning opportunities into their semester project. Prerequisite: Senior standing, ES 230, and a methodology course. Spring semester.
Independent Research in Environmental Studies
Library research work and/or laboratory-based project carried out under the supervision of a faculty member affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program. Results of the research will be presented in the form of an annotated bibliography, an oral presentation/examination, a formal written report, a public presentation, or a combination of the above. The type of research presentation will be established in consultation with the faculty member supervising the research. Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing as an environmental studies major and permission of instructor. Fall and spring semester.
Senior Thesis - ES
Fall and Spring semesters.