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Course Offerings

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.

Course List

EVST 101 - ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE: SYSTEMS AND SOLUT

A natural science-based introduction to many of today's most pressing and significant issues regarding the environment, including energy and resource use, 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 104 - ECOSPHERE & ENVIRONMENT

Climate change, deforestation, and water pollution all impact natural ecosystems. This class will cover ecological concepts such as biogeochemical cycles, speciation, and biodiversity in the context of current environmental issues. Hours credit: 3. Alternate years.

EVST 104L - ECOSPHERE & ENVIRONMENT LAB

Students will gain scientific knowledge about ecological principles and see how scientific theory can be applied to environmental issues. Hours credit: 1. Corequisite or prerequisite: EVST 104. Alternate years.

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 issues. Students will learn practical applications of methods used to assess environmental problems including estimation techniques, box modelling, and visual displays of data. 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. Prerequisite: 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 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 - RESEARCH DESIGN & GEOGRAPHIC INFO SYSTEM

This course provides students with a basic understanding of measurement and analysis techniques in environmental science. The course is focused on experimental design, data analysis, and sampling techniques, and introduction to ARCGIS. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: one of the following EVST 101, EVST 104-104L, or other introductory class in natural science, or PSYC 105, or permission of the instructor. Alternate years.

EVST 215 - WATER RESOURCES

Water is critical for human health, agriculture, electricity generation and more and many of our water resources are threatened by climate change, pollution and overuse. In this class, students will study how water moves in the environment, water policy, water use and threats to water supply. The class will also look at the history of water use and water use conflicts. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. Alternate years.

EVST 250 - SUSTAINABILITY PRINCIPLES & PRACTICE

This course surveys the three areas of sustainability: economic, environmental, and social equity. Students will examine current global trends in these areas, interrelationships among them, and tools for implementing and assessing sustainability. The course incorporates current case studies evaluated in all three realms of sustainability and a focused project in an area of sustainability practice. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: EVST 101 or permission of the instructor.

EVST 288 - SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES

This course explores recent trends in sustainable urban planning. Through readings, discussion and investigation of examples of sustainable communities in Europe and the U.S., students will examine elements of sustainable development and the influence of urban design in promoting sustainable behavior. Focus will be on the city as a complex urban ecology and on strategies for creating more sustainable communities. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: EVST 101 and 250 or permission of the instructor. One time only.

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 as needed.

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, and climatological data. 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. Students evaluate the origin, scientific significance, and challenges of some of today’s most pressing environmental concerns. Special attention is given to the role and contribution of women in environmental history. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisite: EVST 101; 102; junior standing; or permission of the instructor. 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 I

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 practical preparation for graduate school and professional employment in environmental studies and science. Hours credit: 3. Prerequisites: senior standing.

EVST 496 - SENIOR SEMINAR II

A forum on the environmental realm. Guest speakers include environmental professionals from government, non-profit organizations, and consulting firms. Students gain practical experience to prepare for employment in environmental studies and science. Certification programs, training modules, and continuing education options will be discussed. Hours credit: 1. Prerequisite: senior standing.

EVST 497H - HONORS IN THE MAJOR

EVST 498H - HONORS IN THE MAJOR

EVST 509 - ROCKS & MINERALS AS NATURAL RESOURCES

Human civilization has been thriving on utilizing rocks and minerals since early days. Think of the fire ignited by rubbing together pieces of flint stones by early man, or that tiny piece of platinum, concentrated naturally in specific rocks occurring in definite geological structures and then extracted and embedded in the mobile phone that you may be using today. The importance of rocks and minerals in our lives can never be exaggerated but, often go unnoticed. This course will focus on understanding the rocks and minerals around us in terms of their formation and uses, leading to identifying means of utilizing them sustainably in terms of conservation, recycling and best mining practices. Practical classes will be held to give an introduction to common rocks and minerals around us. Hours credit: 3.

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