Below is a list of available courses offered by the Environmental Studies Department. Consult the Registrar’s Office and the College Catalog for registration information.
EVST 101 - INTRO ENVIRONMENTAL STUD I:NATURAL SCIE
A broad, natural science-based introduction to many of today's most pressing and significant issues regarding the environment, including energy and resource use, loss of biodiversity, population growth, air and water pollution, human-induced climate change, and sustainable development. The course combines informational lectures, readings, and media with in-class activities, discussion, and field trips designed to highlight the diversity of environment-related problems and views. Hours credit: 3.
EVST 102 - INTRO ENVIR STUD II: SOCIAL SCI & HUMAN
This course considers environmental issues through the perspectives of the social sciences and humanities. Through such lenses as history, literature, philosophy, religion, art, psychology, economics, politics, etc., students explore ways of thinking about the interrelationship of nature and culture and examine how human systems-from language to landscaping to law-impact the natural world. Each semester incorporates the expertise of various faculty and guest speakers as arranged by the lead instructor. Hours credit: 3.
EVST 176 - PHYSICAL GEOLOGY
Physical Geology is the study of the earth, its structure and composition, and the processes which shape it. This course offers an overview of geologic time, plate tectonics, volcanism, earthquakes, mountain building, weathering, erosion, soils, and the origin of minerals and rocks. Identical with PHYS 176. Hours credit: 3. Alternate years.
EVST 176L - PHYSICAL GEOLOGY LAB
The laboratory provides hands-on exploration of physical geology topics and concepts, and will include the use of geologic maps and remote sensing, and field trips in the Blue Ridge Mountains and other environs. Identical with PHYS 176L. Hours credit: 1. Offered alternate years.
EVST 201 - QUANT ASPECTS OF GLOBAL ENVIRMTL PROBLEM
An interdisciplinary, quantitative approach to understanding environmental problems. Students will learn practical applications of methods used to assess environmental problems including estimation techniques and box modelling. Topics include transport and fate of persistent pollutants, impact of human activities on climate, climate feedbacks, air pollution, acid deposition and other disruptions of biogeochemical cycles. Hours Credit: 3. Prerequisites: EVST 101 or permission of the instructor. Recommended: MATH 113 or 119R and/or an introductory course in biology, chemistry, or physics. Offered second semester.
EVST 202 - ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
Students will evaluate the policy options for addressing a variety of contemporary global, national, and local environmental problems. Topics include energy policy, clean air, clean water and water rights, nuclear safety, toxic contaminants, climate change, ozone depletion, endangered species and biodiversity, and sustainable development. Special attention will be given to the difficulty in translating scientific knowledge into workable policies, ecosystem valuation, and the challenge of policy-making in the face of risk and scientific uncertainty. Hours Credit: 3. Prerequisites: EVST 101 or sophomore standing.
EVST 203 - PSYCHOLOGY & ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE
In this course the principles of psychology are applied to understand the role of human behavior in environmental problems. Concepts from social, cognitive, and behavioral psychology are used to explore ways to promote more environmentally responsible attitudes and behavior and more sustainable communities. Hours Credit: 3. Prerequisites: EVST 101,102 or permission of the Instructor. Offered alternate years.
EVST 205 - ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE METHODS
This course provides students with a basic understanding of measurement and analysis techniques for soils, rocks, air, and water. The course is focused on physical methods such as geophysical, geotechnical, and hydrological. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: one of the following: EVST 101, CHEM 105, PHYS 105, or PHYS 115 or permission of the instructor. Alternate years.
EVST 205L - ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE METHODS LAB
The laboratory provides students with hands-on experience in using geophysical and geotechnical methods for characterizing the near surface environment. Both field and laboratory methods will be offered, including grain size distribution for soil analysis, seismic refraction, and ground penetrating radar. Hours credit: 1. Prerequisite or corequisite: EVST 205. Alternate years.
EVST 306 - ENVIRONMENTAL WRITING
An advanced creative-nonfiction workshop for students interested in using "creative" writing as a means of thinking about and evoking the natural world. Students explore nature writing in its various forms from personal narrative and memoir to green journalism and researched essays striving with each piece for imaginative engagement, freshness, clarity, and insight. Readings from Rachel Carson, Mary Austin, and Loren Eiseley. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: EVST 101 or 102 or permission of the instructor. Offered alternate years.
EVST 315 - ENERGY & SOCIETY
An interdisciplinary survey of human energy use, including its origins, constraints, consequences, and possible future scenarios. Students will develop analytical skills for addressing questions about energy, and we will examine issues of sustainable energy futures, electric utility deregulation and restructuring, transportation policy, energy efficiency, and environmental impacts of energy and resource use. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisites: EVST 101 and 201 or permission of instructor. Offered alternate years.
EVST 325 - CLIMATE DYNAMICS AND GLOBAL CHANGE
In this course students examine the structure and dynamics of the earth's atmosphere, ocean, and biosphere, and how they interace to drive changes in weather and climate. Topics include weather systems and forecasting, general circulation of the ocean and the atmosphere, paleoclimatological methods, historical climate change, natural climate forcing, regional climate variability such as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation, anthropogenic climate change, and mathematical modeling of climate. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisites: EVST 101 and 201 or permission of instructor. Offered alternate years.
EVST 325L - CLIMATE DYNAMICS AND GLOBAL CHANGE LAB
The laboratory provides a hands-on approach to field work and scientific inquiry, including use of weather forecasting products and instrumentation, climatological data, and an introduction to geographic information systems (GIS). Hours credit: 1. Corequisite: Environmental Studies 325. Offered alternate years.
EVST 326 - ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS: HISTORY &CULTURE
The course grounds students in the literature of environmental history in order to provide a cultural and historical framework for analysis of contemporary environmental problems, from the local to the global. A case study approach is used to evaluate the origin, scientific significance, and challenges of some of today's most pressing environmental concerns. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: EVST 101 or 102 or I ST 202 and junior standing or permission of instructor. Offered alternate years.
EVST 394 - RESEARCH TOPICS
The student will participate in a research project in environmental science in conjunction with a faculty member, in an area of mutual interest. Research projects will vary from semester to semester, and with different faculty members. The student will gain experience in research and problem solving methods, and refine laboratory and field techniques. Research results are written up in formal lab reports and in some cases will be published and/or presented at local, regional, or national conferences. Hours credit: 1, 2, or 3. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit up to a maximum of nine hours.
EVST 495 - SENIOR SEMINAR
Students critically evaluate scholarly articles from pre-eminent environmental science journals, gain expertise in researching and writing literature reviews, and hone oral presentation skills. The seminar also provides comprehensive, practical preparation for graduate school and professional employment in environmental studies and science. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisites: senior standing.
EVST 496 - SENIOR RESEARCH
In combination with the senior seminar, this course completes a capstone experience for students pursuing the B.S. degree in environmental science. Students design and implement an independent laboratory, field, literature, or computer research project in consultation with a faculty member in environmental studies or one of the natural sciences or mathematics. Students also attend research presentations by environmental studies faculty and invited guests. The culmination of the senior research semester is a written report and public presentation of research, and in ideal situations, publication of original work. Hours credit: 2. Prerequisite: senior standing.
EVST 497H - DEPARTMENTAL HONORS
EVST 498H - DEPARTMENTAL HONORS