Environmental Studies Requirements
Required for the Major in Environmental Studies: The environmental studies major is composed of course work in four areas: (1) a set of core courses to be completed by the end of the junior year, (2) an in-depth focus, (3) cognate courses that supplement the breadth gained in the core courses, and (4) the senior-level seminar.
Except for transfer students, the core courses must be taken at Middlebury College. A maximum of three courses taken off campus may be credited toward completion of the major. The student's advisor must approve all such off-campus courses.
Joint Majors: Students may pursue a joint major with environmental studies and other majors. The other major usually overlaps the student's focus. Those who focus in architecture and the environment, conservation biology, environmental chemistry, environmental geology, geography, or human ecology automatically qualify as joint majors. Students in other foci should consult with the director about joint majors. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the environmental studies major, there is no reduction in course requirements for the environmental studies component of a joint major.
Minor in Environmental Studies: The minor in environmental studies consists of five courses from across the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences: ENVS 0112; ENVS or ENVS/PSCI 0211; ENVS or ENVS/ENAM 0215 (these three to be completed by the end of the sixth semester); one course from among DANC 0277, ECON 0265, ENAM 0227, ENAM 0315, ENVS 0209, ENVS 0210, ENVS 0395, GEOG 0207, HIST 0222, PHIL 0356, PSCI 0212, PSCI 0214, PSYC 0233, RELI 0295, or SOAN 0211; one course from among BIOL 0140, ENVS 0240, ENVS/CHEM 0270, GEOL 0112, or GEOL 0323. Except for transfer students, ENVS 0112, ENVS or ENVS/PSCI 211; and ENVS 0215 must be taken at Middlebury College. However, students receiving a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement Examination in environmental science will receive credit for ENVS 0112. With the approval of the director of the Environmental Studies program director, a maximum of one course taken off campus (not including AP Environmental Science) may be credited toward completion of minor requirements other than 0112, 0211, and 0215.
ENVS Program Honors: Program honors will be awarded to students who do an environmentally-oriented thesis that is of superior quality (B+ or higher) and presented in a public forum, and whose average in courses taken toward the major is also B+ or higher. Seniors may pursue an independent honors project by taking one or two semesters of ENVS 0500 followed by one semester of ENVS 0700. With prior approval from the director, an environmentally-oriented thesis in another department may also qualify as an ENVS joint major for program honors in environmental studies. Students who are joint majors should discuss their honors requirements with their advisors.
International Environmental Studies: The program offers no formal or official major, minor, or focus in international environmental studies For students interested in international environmental studies, we recommend the following approach: (1) select the existing focus that most closely meets your academic goals (for example, environmental economics or environmental policy or human ecology); (2) undertake language training, if relevant, for the areas of the world in which you plan to study; (3) study abroad for a semester to gain a deeper understanding of the issues and areas that most interest you; and (4) weave some of the following courses, which explicitly deal with international and comparative environmental issues, into your academic career: ENVS 0240, ENVS 0380, ENVS 0390, FREN 0315, GEOG 0207, GEOG 0210, GEOG 225, HARC 264, HIST 0419, PSCI 0209, PSCI 0210, PSCI 0214, PSCI 0452, RELI 0395, SOAN 0211, SOAN 0333, SPAN 0384.
I. Core Courses: All Environmental Studies majors are required to complete these four 0100-level to 0200-level core courses plus the ENVS 0401 senior seminar. The 0100-level to 0200-level core classes provide an introduction to perspectives on environmental issues from the humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences, as well as basic approaches critical to understanding human interactions with the environment. The 0100-level to 0200-level core courses must be completed by the end of the junior year, and ENVS 0112 in particular should be completed by the end of the sophomore year.
ENVS 0112 Natural Science and the Environment
ENVS 0211 Conservation and Environmental Policy
ENVS 0215 Nature's Meanings: American Experiences
GEOG 0120 Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems
**Note: Only those students who have completed all four of the above-listed core courses are eligible to enroll in ENVS 0401 or to sign up for ENVS 0700.
**Note: Students receiving a score of 5 on the Advanced Placement Examination in environmental science will receive credit for ENVS 0112.
II. Foci: Students must complete all of the requirements for one of the following foci. Courses taken within the focus that are not specified must be approved by the student's advisor. Some foci qualify the student for joint major status. Note that each focus falls into one of three broad groupings.
Conservation Biology: (This focus requires nine courses). BIOL 0140; BIOL 0145; BIOL 0392; BIOL 0211 (or MATH 0116 or PSYC 0201); two research methods courses chosen from BIOL 0302, BIOL 0304, BIOL 0323, and ENVS 0360; one organismal course chosen from among BIOL 0201, BIOL 0202, BIOL 0203, and BIOL 0310; and two BIOL electives chosen from the 0200-0700 level (only one of which can be BIOL 0500 or higher). Note: Winter Term courses offered through the Biology Department can be used to satisfy one of the elective courses. (This focus qualifies students for joint major status.)
Environmental Chemistry: (This focus requires seven or eight courses depending on senior work). CHEM 0103; CHEM 0104 or 0107; [CHEM 0203, CHEM 0204]; CHEM 0270; CHEM 0311; and at least one semester of formal senior-level research focusing on chemistry and the environment chosen from: independent study (ENVS 0500 or CHEM 0700), or the senior thesis sequence (CHEM 0400/0700/0701 or ENVS 0500/0700). Students wishing to pursue graduate study in environmental chemistry are advised to take additional courses, in the appropriate field of science, and should consult with their advisor. (This focus qualifies students for joint major status.)
Environmental Geology: (This focus requires eight courses). One introductory course from among GEOL 0112 (preferred), GEOL 0161, and GEOL 0170; one course from among GEOL/GEOG 0251, GEOL/GEOG 0255, and GEOL/GEOG 0257; one course from among GEOL 0201, GEOL 0211, and GEOL 0281; three electives, one of which can be ENVS 0360, and two of which must be at the GEOL 0300-level; and two courses of senior work, GEOL 0400 and GEOL 0700. These are considered minimum requirements. Please note that geology graduate programs require additional courses in the cognate sciences of biology, chemistry, computer science, mathematics, and physics. Students should consult with their advisors regarding additional cognates. (This focus qualifies students for joint major status.)
Environmental Policy and Analysis
Conservation Psychology: (This focus requires seven courses). PSYC 0105; PSYC 0201; PSYC 0202; PSYC 0233; PSYC 0416; two additional courses to be determined in consultation with the student's advisor.
Environmental Economics: (This focus requires seven courses). MATH 0121 or MATH 0122; ECON 0155; ECON 0210; ECON 0255; ECON 0265; ECON 0465; one course from among ECON 0328, ENVS 0380, ECON 0425, ECON 0428, and ECON 0444.
Environmental Policy: (This focus requires seven courses). ECON 0155; ECON 0265; ECON 0210 or MATH 0116 or PSYC 0201; GEOG 0207 or PSCI 0209 or PSCI 0212 or PSCI 0214; PSCI 0421 or PSCI 0452; two courses from among ENVS 0209, ENVS 0380, ENVS 390, and any Political Science courses at the 0200-0300 level.
Geography: (This focus requires seven courses). GEOG 0100; GEOG 0120; three courses at the 0200-level (none of which may be numbered 0250 or above); one course at the 0300-level; and one 0400-level seminar. All joint majors must complete joint senior work in Geography or an equivalent, approved by the advisor. The electives, the seminar, and the joint senior work must be selected in consultation with, and approved by, the students Geography advisor.
Human Ecology: (This focus requires eight or nine courses depending on senior work). SOAN 0103; SOAN 0105; SOAN 0211; SOAN 0301 or SOAN 0302; SOAN 0305 or SOAN 0306; two electives related to the topic of human ecology (to be selected in consultation with your advisor) from among Sociology-Anthropology offerings, or ENVS 0210. In addition, students will take either SOAN 0700 (one-semester senior project) or SOAN 0710 (multi-semester senior project). (This focus qualifies students for joint major status.) No more than one course may be taken outside of the regular fall and spring semesters at Middlebury (e.g., as a Winter Term course or transfer credit).
Joint Major, Architectural Studies/Environmental Studies "Architecture and the Environment": (This focus requires eight courses) HARC 0100; HARC 0130; HARC 0230; HARC 0231 (prerequisite for HARC 0731); HARC 0330 (or approved substitute); one additional course that deals with architectural history, urbanism, or contemporary visual culture; HARC 0731 and HARC 0732, to be taken sequentially. Advisory:This joint major track does not result in a professional degree in architecture. Many graduate architecture schools expect applicants to have taken a survey of modern architecture as well as college-level courses in calculus and physics.
Creative Arts: (This focus requires eight courses) Students proposing a Creative Arts focus will submit to the arts advisor and ES chair a 1-2 page statement articulating their proposed connection between art and the environment, specifically linking their creative work with environmental perspectives.
For students emphasizing Dance, Studio Art, or Theater: ARDV 0116 or ART 0157 or ART 0158 or ART 0159; ENVS/DANC 0277 or ENVS/DANC 0377; three courses in the student's arts department at the 0100-0400 level that are best suited to enrich their approach to questions of human interactions with the environment (chosen in consultation with the appropriate arts advisor); two studio courses in one discipline which must be above the 0200-level, selected in consultation with the student's advisor; senior independent project or advanced studio course in the discipline of the selected art form. Public showing of artistic work is required, along with an artist's written statement linking environmental studies and the artistic emphasis in question.
For students emphasizing Film and Media Culture: FMMC 0105; ENVS/DANC 0277 or ENVS/DANC 0377; FMMC 0101 and two critical studies courses that are best suited to enrich the student's approach to questions of human interactions with the environment (chosen in consultation with the FMMC advisor); two production oriented classes selected in consultation with the student's FMMC advisor; senior independent project or advanced studio course in the discipline of the selected art form. Public showing of artistic work is required, along with an artist's written statement linking environmental studies and the artistic emphasis in question. The guidelines, prerequisites, expectations, and forms for applying to do an independent project are detailed on the Film and Media Culture website.
Environmental History: (This focus requires seven courses).HIST 0222; three HIST courses in students' area of interest at the 0100-0300 level; one 0400-level HIST readings course (preferably, but not necessarily HIST 0406 or HIST 0419); HIST 0600;one course from among AMST 0245, HARC 0218, PHIL 0356, RELI 0110, RELI 0120, RELI 0130, RELI 0140, RELI 0150, RELI 0160, RELI 0220, RELI 0225, RELI/AMST 0274, RELI 0295, RELI 0395, or one literature course at 0200-0300 level in chosen area of study.
Environmental Nonfiction: (This focus requires seven or eight courses depending on senior work).ENAM 0170; ENAM 0103; or CRWR 0175; ENAM 0201 0206 or 0208; ENAM 0243 or ENAM 0227; two semesters of Level Two writing workshops, with either ENAM 0380 or ENAM 0385 repeatable by permission of the instructor; one term of ENAM 0701 or two terms of ENAM 0711.
Literature: (This focus requires eight courses).ENAM 0103 or CRWR 0175; ENAM 0201 or 0204; ENAM 0206 or 0208; two courses from among ENAM/AMST 0207, ENAM/AMST 0209, ENAM 0250, ENAM 0311, FREN 0315, and SPAN 0384; ENAM 0330, ENAM 0331, or ENAM 0332; ENAM 0243 or ENAM 0227; and an upper level seminar approved in writing by the advisor for the literature focus.
Religion, Philosophy, and the Environment: (This focus requires eight or nine courses depending on senior work). RELI 0295; ENVS 0395 or PHIL 0356; at least one introductory level course from among RELI 0110, RELI 0120, RELI 0190, PHIL 0150, or any additional 0100 or 0200-level RELI or PHIL course with approval of the advisor; an additional four courses from among PHIL 0205, PHIL 0206, GEOG 0207, and any 0300-0400-level course in philosophy or religion with approval of the advisor; at least one semester of independent study related to the focus (ENVS 0500).
III. Cognate Courses
Two of the following courses are required, with the restrictions that: (1) students focusing in an environmental science (biology, chemistry, or geology) must take both of their cognates outside of the natural sciences; (2) students focusing in an area other than environmental science must take both cognates as science courses with laboratory (these courses are in addition to ENVS 0112); and (3) courses in a student's focus or focus department cannot count as cognates. Not all of these courses are offered each year; check with the relevant department to determine course offerings.
Natural Science Courses
Any winter term course explicitly labeled ENVS and explicitly described in the Winter Term Catalogue as counting as a natural science lab cognate for Environmental Studies majors with a focus outside of the natural sciences.
BIOL 0140 Ecology and Evolution
BIOL 0302 Vertebrate Natural History
BIOL 0304 Aquatic Ecology
BIOL 0323 Plant Community Ecology
BIOL 0392 Conservation Biology
CSCI 0190 Computer Models and Environmental Simulation
ENVS 0240 Global Climate Change
ENVS/CHEM 0270 Environmental Chemistry
GEOL 0112 Environmental Geology
GEOL 0161 Elements of Oceanography
GEOL 0201 Bedrock Geology of Vermont
GEOL 0205 Energy and Mineral Resources
GEOL 0221 Geology of Climate Change
GEOL 0250 Arctic and Alpine Environments
GEOL 0251 Geomorphic Processes
GEOL 0255 Surface and Ground Water
GEOL 0257 Soils, Geology, and the Environment
Arts, Humanities, and Social Science Courses
Any winter term course explicitly labeled ENVS and explicitly described in the Winter Term Catalogue as counting as a cognate for Environmental Studies majors with a focus in the environmental sciences.
AMST 0214 Mastodons, Mermaids, and Dioramas: Capturing Nature in America
AMST 0245 American Landscape
AMST 0315 Fast Food/Slow Food
ARBC 0431 The Environmental Middle East: Forests, Rivers, and Peoples
DANC 0277 Body and Earth
ECON 0265 Environmental Economics
ECON 0465 Special Topics in Environmental Economics
EDST 0420 Environmental Education in Action
ENAM 0227 Encounters with the Wild: Nature, Culture, Poetry
ENAM 0243 Maritime Literature and Culture
ENAM 0311 Nature's Renaissance
ENAM 0315 Visions of Nature
ENAM 0385 Workshop for Nature Writers
ENVS 0209 Gender Health and the Environment
ENVS 0210 Social Class & the Environment
ENVS 0330 Conserving Endangered Species
ENVS 0380 Global Challenges of the 21st Century
ENVS 0390 Environmental Negotiation and Dispute Resolution
FMMC 0285 Sustainable TV: Producing Environmental Media
FREN 0315 Beyond Versailles: Encounters with Nature in French Literature
GEOG 0207 Resource Wars: A Geopolitical Perspective
GEOG 0210 Geographic Perspectives on International Development
GEOG 0213 Population Geography
GEOG 0216 Rural Geography
GRMN 0445 Contemporary Germany and Sustainability
HARC 0231 Architecture and the Environment
HARC 0264 Art, Change, and the Global Environment
HARC 0327 Photography and the Environmental Ethos
HIST 0222 Introduction to Environmental History
HIST 0411 Readings in U.S. History: American Environmental History (formerly HIST 0406)
HIST 0441 Readings in African History: Environmental History (formerly HIST 0419)
IGST 0402 World Rivers, Transboundary Stories: Global Literature and Environmental Policy
PHIL 0356 Philosophy and the Environment
PSCI 0209 Local Green Politics
PSCI 0212 Comparative Environmental Politics
PSCI 0214 International Environmental Politics
PSCI 0421 Seminar in American Environmental Politics
PSCI 0452 Global Environmental Justice
PSYC 0233 Environmental Psychology
PSYC 0416 Environmental Problems and Human Behavior
RELI 0295 Faith, Freedom, and Ecology
RELI 0395 Religion, Ethics, and the Environment
SOAN 0159 Human Origins, Culture, and Biodiversity
SOAN 0211 Human Ecology
SOAN 0308 Environmental Sociology
SOAN 0321 Native Peoples of the Americas
SOAN 0333 Africa: Environment and Society
SPAN 0384 Place and the Environment in Spanish American Fiction
IV. Senior Experience
All seniors are required to take ENVS 0401, the ENVS senior seminar devoted to community-connected learning and requiring significant interdisciplinary work. Note that some ENVS foci require independent work during the senior year. Students who are not required to do independent senior work in their focus may elect to do independent work in ENVS, which may be carried out as a one or more semester ENVS 0500 project, or as an ENVS thesis (at least one semester of ENVS 0500 followed by one semester of ENVS 0700). For further details, please visit http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/es/requirements/seniorwork.
Students must carry out this work under the supervision of a faculty member whose expertise is in the area that best characterizes the project. Students planning to conduct independent work are strongly encouraged to speak with their advisor and the director well in advance of enrolling in ENVS 0500.