academic catalogue

2021-2022 Catalogue

Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary field that draws on knowledge and analytical tools from many areas of study to understand the function of natural ecosystems, the effects of human societies on the environment, and the role that the environment has played in shaping human cultures and artistic endeavors. The major in Environmental Studies and Sustainability prepares students for careers in policy-making, education, conservation, government service, research, and the arts. Students will also be well prepared to work for non-governmental organizations or enter into post-graduate studies in environmental law, urban planning, and scientific disciplines such as ecology.

Major Program

The student learning outcomes of the major are:
I. to understand the fundamental scientific principles that govern the operation of natural ecosystems;
II. to gain an appreciation for the effects of the human economic activities and governmental policies on the environment; 
III. to explore interdisciplinary approaches to, and become effective leaders for, environmental sustainability and justice;

IV. to explore ethical, spiritual, cultural, and psychological dimensions of human relationships to non-human nature;
V. to consider the ways in which the natural world has inspired creative endeavors in literature and the arts;
VI. to integrate material from the various disciplines into a coherent framework for understanding the role of humans in the environment

To ensure a broad and multidisciplinary background in the study of the environment, all students will take courses from and complete work in the following three areas of study:
1) Science and the Biosphere (scientific approaches to understanding environmental issues),
2) Human Institutions and the Environment (policy, economic, and educational viewpoints on human relationships with non-human nature), and
3) Creative, Ethical, and Spiritual Perspectives on Ecology (artistic, philosophical, and spiritual considerations).

4) Students will also complete a senior capstone experience that will integrate concepts and methods of environmental studies with those of another academic discipline.

Professional Development: Throughout her Wesleyan education each student is given opportunities to explore professional and career choices, and to develop and demonstrate the knowledge and skills essential for professional success. Each student will complete PDE 400 Professional Development Experience and PDE 401 Professional Practice Seminar.

Integrative Experience: An integrative experience is required of each student as part of the general education program. The integrative experience requirement is met with ESC/BIO 440 Senior Integrative Exercise in the Life Sciences. In this course, students work individually to research a focused topic integrating concepts and methods of Environmental Studies with those of another discipline. Students work collaboratively in a small group to organize oral presentations which integrate individual topics into a broader theme, question, or problem. Students present their work at the end of the semester.

Major requirements: Environmental Studies and Sustainability. (41 hours)

I. Science and the Biosphere (16 hours)
ESC 150 Principles of Environmental Science 4 hours
ESC/BIO 208 Field Biology 4 hours
ESC/BIO 280 Ecology 4 hours
ESC/BIO 360 Conservation Biology 4 hours
 
II. Human Institutions and the Environment (12 hours)
Required (6 hours)
At least two of the following (at least one at the 300 level):
PHI/LED 207 Effective Leadership in Community 3 hours
ECO 206 Economic Thought 3 hours
POL/PHI 240 Introduction to Political Thought 3 hours
PHI/LED 307 Power and Service Leadership 3 hours
POL 306 Environmental Politics and Policy 3 hours
POL 356 Activism and Political Organization 3 hours

 

Two Courses from the Following (6 hours)

ECO 104 Issues in Microeconomics 3 hours
ECO 206 Economic Thought 3 hours (if not used to fulfill the requirement above)
ECO 302 International Trade 3 hours
EDS 114 Understanding Learning 3 hours
POL 115 American Politics 3 hours
POL/PHI 240 Introduction to Political Thought 3 hours (if not used to fulfill the requirement above)
POL 230 International Relations 3 hours
POL/PHI 300 Foundations of Political Thought 3 hours
POL 306 Environmental Politics and Policy 3 hours (if not used to fulfill the requirements above)
POL 342 International Organizations 3 hours
POL 356 Activism and Political Organization 3 hours (if not used to fulfill the requirement above)
PHI/LED 207 Effective Leadership in Community 3 hours (if not used to fulfill the requirement above)
PHI/LED 307 Power and Service Leadership 3 hours (if not used to fulfill the requirement above)
 
III. Creative, Ethical, and Spiritual Perspectives on Ecology (9 hours)
Required (6 hours)
ART 110 Creativity: Art/Design from Nature 3 hours
PHI 223 Ethics 3 hours
 
Complete at least one course from the following list (3 hours)
ARH 235 Outside the Mainstream 3 hours
ARH 354 Women's Issues in Contemporary Art 3 hours
ART 108 3-D Design 3 hours
ART 225 Graphic Design 3 hours
ART 318 Intermediate Ceramics 3 hours
ENG 102 Workshop in Research Writing 3 hours
ENG 111 Analyzing Literature 3 hours
ENG 161 Creative Writing 3 hours
ENG 302 Digital Culture 3 hours
PHI 210 Readings in Philosophy (Philosophies of Nature, Ecology, Environment, or Social Justice subjects only) 3 hours
REL 396 Special Topics in Religion (Religion and Ecology or Religion and Politics subjects only) 3 hours
REL/PHI 309 From Modernism to Postmodernism 3 hours
WIS 301 Wesleyan Liberal Arts Seminar: Interpretations of Land and Nature 3 hours
 
IV. Senior Seminar (3 hours)
ESC/BIO 440 Senior Integrative Exercise in the Life Sciences 3 hours

V. Additional course work (1 hour)
Electives may include any of the courses listed above, plus ESC 396, ESC 451 and ESC 452.

The 41 hours required for the major must include at least 12 hours at the 300-level or higher.
 

Minor Requirements: Environmental Science (32 hours)

ESC 150 Principles of Environmental Science 4 hours
ESC/BIO 208 Field Biology 4 hours
ESC/BIO 360 Conservation Biology 4 hours
BIO 110 Principles of Biology I - Biological Processes 4 hours
BIO 112 Principles of Biology II - Diversity of Biological Systems 4 hours
CHM 101 General Chemistry I 4 hours
CHM 102 General Chemistry II 4 hours
CHM 240 Quantitative Analysis 4 hours

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