Courses

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

ENVS 0112 - Natural Science & Environment      

Natural Science and the Environment
We will explore in detail a series of current environmental issues in order to learn how principles of biology, chemistry, geology, and physics, as well as interdisciplinary scientific approaches, help us to identify and understand challenges to environmental sustainability. In lecture, we will examine global environmental issues, including climate change, water and energy resources, biodiversity and ecosystem services, human population growth, and world food production, as well as the application of science in forging effective, sustainable solutions. In the laboratory and field, we will explore local manifestations of global issues via experiential and hands-on approaches. 3 hrs. lect., 3 hrs. lab. SCI

Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

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ENVS 0120 - Spatial Thinking with GIS      

Spatial Thinking with Geographic Information Systems
This course applies spatial thinking (integrating spatial concepts, spatial representations, and spatial reasoning) using geographic information systems (computer systems for processing location-based data). Students will learn to frame and solve a sequence of applied problems with GIS across a wide range of topics, including environmental planning, biogeography and conservation biology, environmental justice, political geography, and urban geography. Fundamental concepts and methods of GIS will include raster and vector data structures and operations, geographic frameworks, error and uncertainty, and principles of cartographic design. (First semester first year students and second semester seniors by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab. DED SOC

Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

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ENVS 0150 - ENV Geography with GIS      

Environmental Geography with GIS
How do geographers study spatial interactions between humans and the natural world? How do patterns and processes of climate, hydrology, biogeography, geology, and geomorphology interact with human societies? How can geographic information systems (GIS) help geographers describe, understand, and explain these spatial interactions? In this course we will study applications of GIS in environmental geography from local to global scales. Case studies will introduce methods for using elevation models, remotely sensed imagery, and environmental data for inquiries of environmental change, environmental hazards, and natural resource conservation. Students will learn how to gather geographic data, perform spatial analyses, critically interpret results, and communicate findings with cartographic layouts. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab. DED

Spring 2019

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ENVS 0208 - Anthropocene Environ. Justice      

Environmental Justice in the Anthropocene
We live in a moment defined by environmental change. Yet the causes and consequences of these transformations are profoundly uneven. Across race, class, gender, and other forms of difference, “environmental problems” manifest in radically unequal ways, disproportionately burdening some while benefiting others. In this class we will dwell on this central tension in thinking about present socio-environmental crises and what to do about them, from toxic landscapes and biodiversity loss to global hunger and a warming climate. Certainly, these problems pose urgent, even existential problems that demand intervention. Yet common refrains about ‘how to save the environment’ always come with baggage. They have deep histories and hidden assumptions about causes and solutions, justice and inequality, politics and social change, which we will wrestle with together in this course. 3 hrs. lect. CMP SOC

Fall 2018

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ENVS 0209 - Gender Health Environment      

Gender Health Environment
Growing concern for the protection of the environment and human health has led policy makers and scholars to consider ways in which gender, class, and race and other forms of identity mediate human-environment interactions. In this course we will explore how access to, control over, and distribution of resources influence environmental and health outcomes both in terms of social inequities and ecological decline. Specific issues we will cover include: ecofeminism, food security, population, gendered conservation, environmental toxins, climate change, food justice, and the green revolution. We will draw comparisons between different societies around the globe as well as look at dynamics between individuals within a society. The majority of case studies are drawn from Sub Saharan Africa and Asia, however some comparisons are also made with the United States. (National/Transnational Feminisms) 3 hrs. lect. AAL CMP SAF SOC

Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2018

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ENVS 0210 - Social Class & the Environment      

Social Class and the Environment
In this course we will explore the consequence of growth, technological development, and the evolution of ecological sacrifice zones. Texts will serve as the theoretical framework for in-the-field investigations, classroom work, and real-world experience. The Struggle for Environmental Justice outlines resistance models; Shadow Cities provides lessons from the squatters movement; Ben Hewitt's The Town that Food Saved describes economy of scale solutions, and David Owen's The Conundrum challenges environmentalism. Texts will guide discussions, serve as lenses for in-the-field investigations, and the basis for writing. We will also travel to Hardwick and Putney, Vermont, to explore new economic-environmental models. (Not open to students who have taken ENVS/WRPR 1014) AMR NOR SOC

Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017, Spring 2019

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ENVS 0211 - Conservation & Env Policy      

Conservation and Environmental Policy
This course examines conservation and environmental policy in the United States. In order to better understand the current nature of the conservation and environmental policy process, we will begin by tracing the development of past ideas, institutions, and policies related to this policy arena. We will then focus on contemporary conservation and environmental politics and policy making—gridlock in Congress, interest group pressure, the role of the courts and the president, and a move away from national policy making—toward the states, collaboration, and civil society. 3 hrs. lect./disc. (crosslisted with PSCI 0211 Fall 2018 only) AMR NOR SOC

Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

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ENVS 0215 - Contested Grounds      

Contested Grounds: U.S. Cultures and Environments
Throughout the history of the United States, Americans have created a complex set of meanings pertaining to the environments (wild, pastoral, urban, marine) in which they live. From European-Native contact to the present, Americans’ various identities, cultures, and beliefs about the bio-physical world have shaped the stories they tell about “nature,” stories that sometimes share common ground, but often create conflicting and contested understandings of human-environment relationships. In this course we will investigate these varied and contested stories from multi-disciplinary perspectives in the humanities—history, literature, and religion--and will include attention to race, class, gender, and environmental justice. 3 hrs. lect./disc. AMR NOR

Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

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ENVS 0227 - Nature, Culture, Potery      

Encounters With the Wild: Nature, Culture, Poetry (I)
Civilization is often defined against wilderness. The two ideas are not exclusive but mutually constitutive, for wilderness and the wild turn out to be central to notions of the civil and the civilized. Poets have long been preoccupied by the boundaries and connections between these ideas. The word "poetry" itself comes from a Greek word for "craft" or "shaping"; thus, poetry implies the shaping of natural elements into an artful whole. In this course we will examine the literary history of this ongoing dialectic by reading and discussing masterpieces of Western literature, from ancient epics to modern poetry and folklore. As we do so we will rethink the craft of poetry, and the role of the poet, in mapping the wild. Readings will include Gilgamesh, The Odyssey, sections of The Bible and Ovid's Metamorphoses, Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Tempest, and poems by Wyatt, Marlowe, Jonson, Donne, Marvell, Pope, and Thompson. (This course counts toward the ENVS Literature focus and the ENVS Environmental Non-Fiction Focus) lect./disc. CMP EUR LIT

Spring 2018

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ENVS 0231 - Architecture & Environment      

Architecture and the Environment
Architecture has a dynamic relationship with the natural and cultural environments in which it operates. As a cultural phenomenon it impacts the physical landscape and uses natural resources while it also frames human interaction, harbors community, and organizes much of public life. We will investigate those relationships and explore strategies to optimize them, in order to seek out environmentally responsive architectural solutions. Topics to be covered include: analysis of a building's site as both natural and cultural contexts, passive and active energy systems, principles of sustainable construction, and environmental impact. Our lab will allow us to study on site, "off-the-grid" dwellings, hay-bale houses, passive solar constructions and alternative communities, meet with "green" designers, architects, and builders, and do hands-on projects. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab. ART

Spring 2018

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ENVS 0240 - The Science of Climate Change      

The Science of Climate Change
In its 2013 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change declared that "warming of the climate system is unequivocal” and that "human influence on the climate system is clear.” Why do human activities affect climate? What future climatic changes can we expect, and what will be their impacts? Answers to these questions lie in processes that govern the flows of energy to and from Earth and its atmosphere, in changing atmospheric composition, and in cycling of materials among Earth, atmosphere, and oceans. In this course we will explore these processes and their implications for human-induced climate change, giving students solid grounding in climate science. We will also explore the latest IPCC report and other current literature, work with climate data, and develop simple climate models for exploring future scenarios. The climate-modeling workshop of ENVS 0240 qualifies it for the lab science requirement of the ENVS major. (MATH 0121 or waiver for high-school calculus) 3 hrs. lect. and workshop DED SCI

Fall 2014, Fall 2016

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ENVS 0243 - Maritime Literature & Culture      

Maritime Literature and Culture (II)
Writers have long found the sea to be a cause of wonder and reflection. A mirror for some and a desert for others, the sea has influenced the imaginations of writers throughout history in vastly different ways. In this course we will read a variety of literary works, both fiction and non-fiction, in which the sea acts as the setting, a body of symbolism, an epistemological challenge, and a reason to reflect on the human relationship to nature. Readings will be drawn from the Bible, Homer's Odyssey, Old English Poetry, Shakespeare, Tennyson, Kipling, Conrad, Melville, Hemingway, Walcott, O'Brian, and others. 3 hrs. lect./disc. LIT

Fall 2017

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ENVS 0245 - Human Environment: Middle East      

Human-Environment Relations: Middle East
In this course we will begin with an environmental history of Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon, asking such questions as: How does politics affect conservation practice? To what extent are formulations of nature constructed socially and politically? Whose rights are affected by protected areas and who decides governance criteria? The objectives of this course include providing students with an understanding of human-environment relations theory by addressing the regional specifics of modern environmental and social histories of these countries. We will look at animals, water, and forests in the literature of NGOs, UNEP reports, media, policy papers, and the academic literature. (One of the following: ENVS 0112, GEOG 0100, IGST 0101, SOAN 0103; Or by approval) (not open to students who have taken FYSE 1523) 3 hrs. lect. AAL MDE SOC

Fall 2015, Spring 2017, Winter 2018

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ENVS 0277 - Body & Earth      

Body and Earth
This course has been designed for students with an interest in the dialogue between the science of body and the science of place. Its goals are to enhance movement efficiency through experiential anatomy and to heighten participants' sensitivity to natural processes and forms in the Vermont bioregion. Weekly movement sessions, essays by nature writers, and writing assignments about place encourage synthesis of personal experience with factual information. Beyond the exams and formal writing assignments, members of the class will present a final research project and maintain an exploratory journal. 3 hrs. lect. 1 hr. lab. AMR ART NOR PE

Spring 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2017, Spring 2018

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ENVS 0303 - Shakespeare, Nature Poet      

William Shakespeare, Nature Poet (Pre-1800)
In this course we will explore the works of William Shakespeare through an ecocritical lens, paying particular attention to the representation of the natural world in a sampling of the plays and poems. Topics will include the European culture of early modern natural history and natural philosophy, the boundary between humans and beasts, the transformative power of the forest, the alterity of the sea, the dialectic of pastoral and georgic, the malleability of gender, and the complexity of sexual identities. Readings will include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, The Winter’s Tale, and The Tempest, and several of the sonnets and narrative poems. 3 hrs. lect. EUR LIT

Fall 2018

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ENVS 0311 - Nature's Renaissance      

Nature’s Renaissance: Ecostudies and Early English Literature
In this course we will study a wide variety of literary and non-literary texts (from lyric poetry to proto-scientific and philosophical essays) that highlight both traditional and changing conceptions of “nature” pre-dating the genre of nature-writing as it has evolved over the last two hundred years. We will read these works using the tools of modern ecocriticism (with an emphasis on class, race, gender, ecology, and environmental justice) while also striving to understand these works in historical context. Topics include the microscopic and the macrocosmic, “freaks” of nature, the human/animal, bestiaries and early zoography, angling, hunting, hawking, the pastoral, country houses, harvest festivals, fair land use and enclosure, poetic inspiration, human anatomy, biological determinism, and artifice. Readings may include Spenser, Jonson, Marvell, Lanyer, Herrick, Walton, Milton, Finch, Montaigne, and Bacon, among others. 3 hrs. lect. EUR LIT

Spring 2016

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ENVS 0327 - Photography & the Environment      

Photography and the Environmental
Since the invention of photography in 1839, photographers have turned their gaze toward the world around them. Working on the land, they have considered issues of land management and natural resources in a variety of ways. In this course we will explore the question of how American photographers from the 19th century to the present have used their photographs as a way of raising awareness about a variety of environmental questions. Artists to be considered may include: Timothy O'Sullivan, William Henry Jackson, Carleton Watkins, Annie Brigman, Ansel Adams, Laura Gilpin, Richard Misrach, and Edward Burtynsky. 3 hrs. lect/disc. ART HIS NOR

Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2017

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ENVS 0330 - Conserving Endangered Species      

Conserving Endangered Species
The planet is in the midst of the sixth mass extinction event. In this course we will examine the science of species endangerment and recovery and how human society, through its political and legal systems, seeks to conserve endangered species. We will explore several case studies, primarily focused on species recovery efforts in the United States. The course will culminate in a student group project. (BIOL 0140 or ENVS 0112 or ENVS 0211) 3 hrs. sem.

Fall 2014, Fall 2018

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ENVS 0332 - The Perennial Turn, Ag/Culture      

The Perennial Turn in Ag and Culture
Can new forms of thinking help shift humanity from destructive and unjust practices to compatible partnerships with all life? Blending insights from physics, philosophy, and life sciences with ancient and indigenous understandings, we will explore an emerging story of thinking more like a prairie than a plow. We start by discussing old ways of thinking we have inherited--surplus, power hierarchies, mechanistic worldviews, separation from a creative sacred Earth--that have wrought negative impacts on biodiversity, ecosystems and cultures. Then we will deepen our exploration of perennialism by engaging with community groups to develop teaching modules that will help create new options and opportunities for both agriculture and society. 3 hrs. sem PHL

Fall 2018

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ENVS 0349 - Social Environment Justice      

From Social Justice to Environmental Justice
We will examine environmental justice cases in the context of the social justice movements that have preceded them, paying particular attention to how these earlier movements have influenced the challenges and tactics of environmental justice today. Drawing on the work of Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Dorothy Day, and others, we will explore the roles race, class, gender, and religion have played in confronting poverty, racism, and violence. We will then investigate contemporary environmental justice movements, using case studies to explore how these movements are rooted in, as well as distinct from, social justice movements of earlier periods (ENVS 0215 or any 100 or 200 level course in Religion or by permission) (not open to students who have taken ENVS 1028) AMR NOR PHL

Spring 2018

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ENVS 0380 - Global Challenges      

Global Challenges of the 21st Century
In this course we will begin by studying theories of social and political change, and then we will analyze the systematic causes of poverty and environmental degradation around the world. We will then study prospective solutions, focusing on the role of selective members of global civil society in achieving these solutions. Over the course of the semester, each student will prepare a comprehensive analysis on how to tackle and overcome a specific global challenge. (ENVS 0211 or PSCI 0214) 3 hrs. sem. SOC

Fall 2014, Fall 2015

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ENVS 0385 - Global Political Ecology      

Global Political Ecology
In this course we will draw on theories of social and political change to understand the systematic causes of inequality and environmental degradation around the world. Using a political ecology lens, we will look at both proximate as well as ultimate drivers of environmental conflict focusing on the relations between production and consumption, representation and regulation, rights and responsibilities, and information and norms. We will compare the disproportionate distribution of environmental benefits and burdens across communities and nations. We will also study prospective solutions, focusing on the role of individuals and organizations in achieving these solutions. (ENVS 0211 or PSCI 0214) 3 hrs. sem. CMP SOC

Fall 2016, Spring 2018, Spring 2019

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ENVS 0390 - Env Negotiation/Dispute Res      

Environmental Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
In this seminar, we will gain an understanding of environmental negotiation and dispute resolution as applied to public policy at both the domestic and international levels. We will consider the mutual gains approach to negotiation, facilitation, mediation, and dispute systems design. We will grapple with challenging features typical of environmental negotiations, such as the large number of stakeholders involved, scientific uncertainty, and value differences. We will undertake role-playing simulations. Throughout, we will think critically about the negotiating styles and assumptions employed by both seminar participants and those presented in course materials. (Junior or Senior standing; Sophomores by approval; ENVS 0211 or IGST 0101 or PSCI 0109). 3 hrs. sem. (International Relations and Foreign Policy)/ SOC

Spring 2014

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ENVS 0395 - Religion, Ethics + Environment      

Religion, Ethics, and the Environment ET
We will explore the relationship between religion and ecology through two general approaches. Firstly, we will examine what religious traditions (especially, Jewish and Christian, but also Hindu and Buddhist) have had to say about the human-nature relationship by studying such dominant themes as: doctrines of creation and stewardship, restraints on human impact, concepts of interdependence, and ideas of sacred space. Secondly, we will turn our attention to contemporary religiously-based environmental activism, examining the possibilities and problems that emerge when religious traditions are mobilized on behalf of the environment. Students may write research papers using one or both of these approaches. (RELI 0110 or RELI 0130 or RELI 0160 or RELI 0190 or RELI 0295 or ENVS 0215) 3 hrs. sem. PHL

Spring 2015, Spring 2017

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ENVS 0401 - Community Engaged Practicum      

Community-Engaged Environmental Studies Practicum
In this course students work in small groups with one of a variety of partners and organizations to complete a semester-long, community-engaged project. Project themes vary by term and typically focus on local and regional environmental issues that have broader application. Projects rely on students’ creativity, interdisciplinary perspectives, skills, and knowledge developed through their previous work. The project is guided by a faculty member and carried out with a high degree of independence by the students. Students will prepare for and direct their project work through readings and discussion, independent research, collaboration with project partners, and consultation with external experts. The course may also include workshops focused on developing key skills (e.g., interviewing, public speaking, video editing). The project culminates in a public presentation of students’ final products, which may various forms such as written reports, policy white papers, podcasts, or outreach materials. (Open to Juniors and Seniors) (ENVS 0112, ENVS 0211, ENVS 0215, GEOG 0120 or GEOG 0150) 3 hrs. sem./3 hrs. lab

Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

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ENVS 0444 - The New West      

The New West: From Reagan to Burning Man
The U.S. West since 1976 has been transformed by economic, social, political, and environmental forces. Immigration, amenity tourism, climate change, globalization, technology, political change, and economic booms and busts have remade a region once defined by isolated rural communities, extractive industries, “natural landscapes,” and filmmakers’ imaginations. In this course we will draw from history and politics to make sense of conflicts over public lands, water, fire, energy, Native sovereignty, racial inequality, rural gentrification, urbanization, and sprawl. Short papers will culminate in a historical policy brief on current challenges in the West. (ENVS 0211 or ENVS 0215 or HIST 0216) 3 hrs. sem. AMR NOR

Fall 2016

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ENVS 0445 - Novels Environmental Justice      

Recent Novels of Environmental Justice
In recent years environmental justice has emerged as a major topic in the humanities. This intersection of environmentalism and social justice is motivated by a concern for the differential access to natural resources (clean water, clean air, tillable land) afforded to different groups of people within particular social systems. Students will encounter these themes thorugh the reading of many global Anglophone novels, including Waterland, by Graham Swift; The Hungry Tide, by Amitav Ghosh; Animal's People, by Indra Sinha; A Thousand Acres, by Jane Smiley; Ceremony, by Leslie Marmon Silko; and Disgrace, by J.M. Coetzee. 3 hrs. sem. CMP LIT

Spring 2014

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ENVS 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
In this course, students (non-seniors) carry out an independent research or creative project on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment. The project, carried out under the supervision of a faculty member with related expertise who is appointed in or affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program, must involve a significant amount of independent research and analysis. The expectations and any associated final products will be defined in consultation with the faculty advisor. Students may enroll in ENVS 0500 no more than twice for a given project. (Approval only)

Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

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ENVS 0700 - Senior Independent Study      

Senior Independent Study
In this course, seniors complete an independent research or creative project on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment. During the term prior to enrolling in ENVS 0700, a student must discuss and agree upon a project topic with a faculty advisor who is appointed in or affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program and submit a brief project proposal to the Director of Environmental Studies for Approval. The expectations and any associated final products will be defined in consultation with the faculty advisor. Students may enroll in ENVS 0700 as a one-term independent study OR up to twice as part of a multi-term project, including as a lead-up to ENVS 0701 (ES Senior Thesis). (Senior standing; Approval only)

Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

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ENVS 0701 - Senior Thesis      

Senior Thesis
This course is the culminating term of a multi-term independent project, resulting in a senior thesis on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment. Approval to enroll is contingent on successful completion of at least one term (and up to two) of ENVS 0700 and the approval of the student’s thesis committee. The project, carried out under the supervision of a faculty advisor who is appointed in or affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program, will result in a substantial piece of scholarly work that will be presented to other ENVS faculty and students in a public forum and defended before the thesis committee. (Senior standing; ENVS major; ENVS 0112, ENVS 0211, ENVS 0215, GEOG 0120, and ENVS 0700; Approval only)

Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2016, Winter 2017, Spring 2017, Fall 2017, Winter 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2018, Spring 2019

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ENVS 0703 - Senior Integrated Thesis      

Senior Integrated Thesis
This course is the culminating term of a multi-term independent project, resulting in a senior thesis on a topic pertinent to the relationship between humans and the environment and that meaningfully integrates perspectives, methodologies, and/or approaches from multiple academic divisions (e.g., humanities/arts, natural sciences, social sciences). Approval to enroll is contingent on successful completion of at least one term (and up to two) of ENVS 0700 and approval of the Environmental Studies Program. The project, carried out under the co-supervision of two faculty advisors from different academic divisions of whom at least one is appointed in or affiliated with the Environmental Studies Program, will result in a substantial piece of scholarly work that will be presented to other ENVS faculty and students in a public forum and defended before the thesis committee. (Open to Senior ENVS majors) (Approval Only)

Fall 2018

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ENVS 1024 - Conserv. Land Mgmnt Practice      

Conservation and Land Management in Practice
In this place-based course, we will investigate land conservation and resource management at numerous spatial scales centered on the northern forest of Vermont and New York. Studying the application of conservation tools and practices from site to landscape scales, we will explore issues including forest and wildlife management, recreational use, educational programming, public-private partnerships, and history of land conservation and use in these contested spaces. We will focus on three public-private conservation stories to glean local, regional, and national contexts and hear numerous perspectives on successes and challenges. Group projects will compare and contrast land conservation initiatives in other regions. WTR

Winter 2017

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ENVS 1025 - Renewable Energy-Public      

Kingdom Community Wind - Perspectives On Renewable Energy Development
In this course we will study Vermont renewable energy development goals, solar and wind turbine siting controversies, net metering rules, and Renewable Energy Credit policies. We will compare the Lowell, Vermont Kingdom Community Wind Project to the Cape Wind Project in Massachusetts, considering the diverse perspectives of developers, opponents, and regulators. Using public materials, we will analyze the issues and arguments surrounding large renewable (solar/wind) energy development. We will ask: How should renewable energy projects be sited? How have public discussions and projects in Massachusetts and California played out differently from those in Vermont? Are Vermont’s public policy tradeoffs different from those faced elsewhere? WTR

Winter 2015, Winter 2017

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ENVS 1026 - Impact Investing      

Impact Investing for a Sustainable Planet
In this course we will explore the field of impact investing, with specific emphasis on its evolution, company case studies, and current players in the field. We will look at “first movers”, “lost leaders”, and growth companies which sustainably manage natural resources, mitigate climate change, and protect ecosystems. We will focus on practical evaluative tools to undertake effective sourcing, due diligence, monitoring, and exits in building a solid portfolio of impact investments. This course counts as a cognate for ENVS majors with a focus in the natural sciences. WTR

Winter 2015, Winter 2017, Winter 2018

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ENVS 1027 - Farming and Food Policy      

Farming and Food Policy
The interest in farming and food policy in the United States over the last several decades has grown dramatically. Examples range from movements such as Slow Food and localvores, the growth of organic food and Free Trade, and increased concerns with food equity. In this course we will examine why these issues have risen on the public agenda, and delve into the foundations of farming and food policy at the state, national, and international levels. The class will feature guests involved in food systems, and the culminating student project will focus on how various policies affect a particular food (such as apples or milk) or an aspect of the food system (such as food inspection requirements). This course counts as a cognate for ENVS majors with a focus in the natural sciences. SOC WTR

Winter 2015

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ENVS 1028 - Social & Environmental Justice      

Social Justice and Environmental Justice
In this course we will study contemporary environmental justice in the context of social justice movements that have preceded them, paying particular attention to how these earlier movements have influenced the challenges and tactics of environmental justice today. Drawing on the work of Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Dorothy Day, and others, we will explore the roles race, class, gender, and religion have played in confronting poverty, racism, and violence. We will then go on to examine contemporary environmental justice movements, exploring how these movements are rooted in as well as distinct from social justice movements of earlier periods. This course counts as a cognate for ENVS majors with a focus in the natural sciences. NOR PHL WTR

Winter 2015, Winter 2016

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ENVS 1029 - Food, Culture, & Communication      

Food, Culture, and Communication
In this course we will examine the dialogue between the science of body and the science of place. Our goals will be to enhance understanding of the human body through experiential anatomy and also heighten sensitivity to food both as culture and as a medium for communication. Weekly movement sessions, readings, and writing assignments will encourage a synthesis of personal experience with factual information. Beyond one exam and formal writing assignments, students will present a research/culinary project and maintain an exploratory journal. This course counts as DANC/ENVS 0277 for the Creative Arts Focus in Environmental Studies, or as a cognate for ES majors doing a science focus. ART PE WTR

Winter 2015

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ENVS 1030 - Interactive Deep Dive      

Changing Our Impact on the Ocean: An Interactive Deep Dive
We will explore, through geographic case studies, how humans impact the ocean, what happens scientifically as result of those impacts, and how local to international communities respond to them. Topics covered will rotate by week: 1) Nutrient pollution: the Gulf and Chesapeake Bay, 2) Ocean Acidification: Washington and Maine, 3) Ocean Temperature: the Caribbean and Alaska, and 4) the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Students will write short position papers, do projects in small groups, and make at least one presentation to the class related to the four main topics. Each week we will have a mock “policymaking” session. Readings will include primary, gray, and popular literature. This course counts as a cognate for ENVS majors who have a focus in the natural sciences. WTR

Winter 2016

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ENVS 1031 - Nonfictions of Env. Justice      

Environmental Justice at the Margins: Non/fictions
Does it make sense to talk about environmental justice at the margins of global society, where the political, social, and legal structures that ensure justice tend to fail? With three literary case studies—the toxic slums of a fictionalized Bhopal; the ghost-voices of Chernobyl’s radioactive wasteland; and the land-mined countryside of a post-war Mozambique—we will consider the strategies writers use to fictionalize real contaminated environments. Our three primary texts are Indra Sinha’s Animal’s People, 2015 Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich’s Voices from Chernobyl, and Mia Couto’s The Last Flight of the Flamingo, which we will read alongside critical writings and short films. This course counts as an ENVS humanities cognate. LIT WTR

Winter 2017

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ENVS 1032 - Forest Conservation in America      

Forest Conservation in North America
The wild and wooded lands of North America have been critical for the development of society, and their significance is only expected to grow. In this course we will explore the wide variety of political and economic approaches used to “protect” forested lands, and examine how those approaches shape the landscape around us today. Students will be introduced to the roles of different publicly-owned forests, programs for privately-owned forests, and the challenges those strategies might face in the future. The course will incorporate examples from local forestlands conserved by land trusts, towns, state, and federal agencies. This course counts as an ENVS social science cognate. NOR WTR

Winter 2017

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ENVS 1036 - Sea Turtles to Sharks      

Sea Turtles to Sharks
In the past two decades there has been an exponential increase in the number and size of marine protected areas (MPAs) worldwide. MPAs are used to aid fisheries, protect biodiversity, and stabilize coastal ecosystems. In this course we will engage an interdisciplinary approach, drawing from the fields of conservation biology, political ecology, and anthropology, to investigate MPA design and effectiveness in multiple locales globally. Specific issues we will investigate include: marine organism life-cycle traits, connectivity, land-sea linkages, predator-prey dynamics, centralized versus decentralized MPA governance, gendered marine property, indigenous rights, and “sea grabbing.” We will draw comparisons among MPA projects and examine dynamics between individuals within a given MPA project. The course will consist of lectures and classroom discussions. SOC WTR

Winter 2017

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ENVS 1037 - Global Energy Justice      

Global Energy Justice
Can classical and modern theories of justice help us make decisions about current and emerging energy systems? We will consider classical and modern theories of justice and apply them to the reality of energy systems. The course is divided into four parts: (1) understanding energy systems (including site visit) and how they promote and impede justice; (2) exploring justice theory and what it can offer when applied to energy problems; (3) examining policy mechanisms and tools that promote energy justice; and (4) analyzing case studies around the world in which communities or countries have made remarkable gains promoting energy justice.This course counts as an approved social science cognate for environmental studies majors. SOC WTR

Winter 2018

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ENVS 1038 - Adirondack Conservation      

Adirondack Park: Conversations about Conservation
The Adirondack Park is considered one of the world’s greatest experiments in conservation. Throughout its ~130 year history, this experiment has attempted to balance rigorous environmental protections for millions of wilderness acres with the economic realities of local residents who live within the park boundaries. We will undertake an interdisciplinary approach to exploring how park conservation is affected by climate change, rural economies, recreation, tourism, the local food movement, and political action. Building upon course readings and discussions, and direct engagement with the Adirondack landscape, stakeholders, and local industries, students will develop practical policy recommendations to address pressing conservation issues in the park. This course counts as an approved social science cognate for environmental studies majors. SOC WTR

Winter 2018

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ENVS 1039 - Dances with Avatar      

ENVS 1039 Dances with Avatar
Kevin Costner’s 1990 film Dances with Wolves and James Cameron’s 2009 Avatar share more than plot, character, and setting. Both tell stories of colonial invasion, military conquest, and environmental exploitation. Both feature Euro-American protagonists transformed physically and culturally by contact with indigenous peoples; both “heroes” try to “save” native peoples and “nature” from annihilation. In this course we will critique ideas of nature, race, gender, and technology and situate both films in historical, cultural, and ideological context. We will also examine critical responses as reflections of cultural debates at the turn of the 21th century. AMR NOR SOC WTR

Winter 2018

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ENVS 1110 - Ice Cores: By Land and By Sea      

Ice Cores: By Land and by Sea
Ice coring is a primary technique for polar scientists studying Earth’s climate, both past and present, as well as for understanding air-ocean-land interactions. Although there are similarities in extracting glacial and sea ice cores, the scientific questions these cores help answer are quite different. What can we learn about past climate from two-mile thick ice? How do brine channels provide pathways for salts moving between the ocean and the atmosphere? In this hands-on course, we will learn the different analysis techniques used to study ice cores, and pursue group research questions using ice cores from both Antarctica and the Arctic. SCI WTR

Winter 2017

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Program in Environmental Studies

Franklin Environmental Center at Hillcrest
531 College Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753