Environmental Studies

Sewanee: The University of the South

Environmental Studies Courses

ENST 100 Walking the Land

A field-oriented geology and writing course conducted on the Cumberland Plateau and surrounding provinces. The emphasis is on observation of geological features, particularly geomorphology, and how these relate to other natural parts of the landscape. Historical aspects of human use of the land are also be emphasized. Extensive walking and hiking. Field journals are part of the writing-intensive approach. Four hours (one afternoon) a week. (Credit, full course.) Potter

ENST 101 Introduction to Environmental Studies

An interdisciplinary introduction to Environmental Studies through the examination of the scientific and social aspects of environmental issues. Field components of the course focus on the University Domain and the surrounding area. This course is required for all students who major or minor in Environmental Studies and should be taken before the junior year. (Credit, full course.) Staff Fielding

ENST 140 Readings in Island Ecology

Supervised readings in geology, coastal marine biology, botany, and animal behavior as preparation for the interdisciplinary summer program in island ecology. No prerequisite. Normally not open to seniors. (Credit, half course.) Potter, Smith

ENST 201 Foundations of Food and Agriculture

Integrating local, regional, and global perspectives, this course outlines the history of agriculture, introduces the development of food systems and policy, and reviews the environmental impact of food production. Among topics addressed are the history of agricultural expansion in the US, the development of agriculture and food policies, interaction among agricultural markets at home as well as abroad, and sustainable agriculture. Classroom activities emphasize the involvement of multiple constituencies in identifying and articulating agricultural issues. Field opportunities include garden activities and local trips aimed at relating broader issues to how livelihoods are pursued on the Cumberland Plateau. (Credit, full course.) Staff Carter

ENST 210 The Politics of Energy and Climate Change

This course explores the complex interactions among public policy, science, and interest groups as students address the details of current climate legislation. Students learn how specific interests use and interpret science to achieve desired policy outcomes. The course analyzes campaign strategies, positions, talking points, and messaging from the many groups with interest in energy and climate change policy. In addition to receiving a brief introduction to congressional policymaking, students learn how constituencies, committees, leadership, and timing can affect chances of passing policy legislation. Approved for Advent Semester 2009 only. (Credit, full course.) Daniel Carter

ENST 217 Fundamentals of GIS

An introduction to the basic concepts and applications of geographic information systems (GIS). Topics include geographic data acquisition, data management, cartography, and methods of geospatial analysis. Laboratory exercises and projects focus on applications of GIS in understanding and managing the environment. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies major or permission of instructor. (Credit, full course.) Van de Ven

ENST 220 Reading the Landscape

A study of how patterns in the current biological and physical landscape of the Cumberland Plateau can be explained by historical human land use and natural disturbances. Landscape change is examined through field investigation of specific places on the Domain conducted in combination with the analysis of aerial imagery and other geospatial data resources. The course also addresses how disturbance history can influence one’s aesthetic valuation of the landscape and guide landscape-level conservation efforts. This course may count as a non-laboratory science course in partial fulfillment of the college’s natural science distribution requirement. (Credit, full course.)

ENST 240 Island Ecology

An interdisciplinary field course combining the study of geology, hydrology, marine biology, invertebrate zoology, marine plant communities, and wildlife ecology in a single coastal island ecosystem. Prerequisite: completion of Environmental Studies 140 and acceptance into the Island Ecology Program. Satisfies the science and laboratory science requirements and one writing-intensive credit. Offered each summer. (Credit, two full courses.) Potter, Smith

ENST 285 The Development of Aldo Leopold’s “Land Ethic”

This course traces the development of Aldo Leopold’s famous essay “The Land Ethic” through his 40-year career at the beginning of the ecology and conservation movements. Early writings by this noted conservationist are analyzed from the perspectives of environmental history and natural resource management and policy. Leopold essays from a broad spectrum of time (1915-1949) are discussed. Topics include ecosystem management, wildlife conservation and utilization; outdoor recreation, public lands, and wilderness; and agriculture as a land use. To contextualize Leopold’s historical voice, perspectives on modern issues are contrasted with perspectives contemporary to Leopold. (Credit, full course.)

ENST 300 Seminar in Ecology and Ethics

Students analyze and evaluate scientific and ethical arguments from selected environmental issues. Emphasis is on exploring the relationship between science and ethics. A research project is required. Fulfills the capstone experience of the Environmental Studies concentration. Prerequisite: one course from each of the two groups of Environmental Studies courses (science and humanities/social science) or permission. This course counts as hours outside the major field for all majors unless it is accepted in fulfillment of a requirement for a specific major. (Credit, full course.) Peters

ENST 301 Introduction to Spatial Information Systems and Field Mapping

An introduction to the ArcView Geographic Information System and the concepts and uses of Spatial Information Systems, the analytic side of GIS. The course focuses on the use of GIS in natural systems but has modules and exercises in the social science aspects including crime mapping and human demographics. The course contains three modules on field mapping. No prerequisites but knowledge of trigonometry is very useful, and students should know the basics of Windows and Excel. Not open for credit to students who have completed Forestry/Geology 410. (Credit, full course.) Staff

ENST 302 Ecology, Evolution, and Agriculture

An investigation of the reciprocal interaction between humans and the organisms that nourish us. The class examines the origins and subsequent evolution of domesticated plants, animals, and agricultural pests, and the ways in which these organisms have shaped our bodies and communities. The class also focuses on the relationship between food production and hunger. Class involves reading, writing, and discussions, invited speakers, field trips, and the study of ecological processes and natural history in and around an organic garden. (Credit, full course.) Staff

ENST 305 Ecological Integrity in Agriculture

This course develops a critique of problems and solutions relating to agricultural technology, policy, and practice with a specific focus on ecology and ecological integrity. The course begins with a brief survey of agricultural history, through the era of modern food systems, with emphasis on the development of industrial agriculture. After evaluating the environmental impact of modern agriculture, the course addresses the foundations of sustainability, with specific reference to the ecology of sustainable agriculture. Field opportunities are provided for students to interact with local producers on their farms and to engage directly the ecological processes involved in food production on the Domain. Prerequisite: Biol 130. (Credit, full course.)

ENST 310 Comparative Watershed Studies

The course compares watersheds of the Cumberland Plateau with those of the Kraichgau region of southwestern Germany. Emphasis is on the hydrology, geology, forest cover, and history of human use of select watersheds and how these factors have defined the present natural and cultural landscapes. Prerequisite: GEOL 121. (Credit, half course.) Knoll

ENST 311 Comparative Watershed Studies Field Course

A two-week field course in the Kraichgau region of southwestern Germany. The course is hiking-based and requires students to keep a detailed notebook. Prerequisite: EnSt 310 and permission of instructor. Early summer of odd-numbered years. (Credit, half course.) Knoll

ENST 317 Advanced Applications of GIS

Spatial analysis methods for environmental analysis and management. Topics include remote sensing and image analysis, surface analysis, spatial statistics, internet mapping, visualization of geographic data, and other advanced GIS methods. Laboratory course. Prerequisite: ENST 217. (Credit, full course.) Van de Ven Van de Ven

ENST 320 Environment and Sustainability Colloquium

This required course for junior E&S majors addresses some topical theme from an interdisciplinary perspective and with focus on the connections between science and policy. Colloquium themes vary from year to year, and students present relevant research articles and lead discussions with emphasis on developing skill in public speaking. Student also work with course instructors and faculty mentor(s) to propose a research project to be completed as part of their senior Environment and Sustainability capstone. Prerequisite: EnSt 101 and completion of foundational science requirement in major. (Credit, full course.) Staff

ENST 332 Archaeological Resource Management and Policy

This course explores international and national approaches to archaeological heritage management. It includes review of public policy that protect sites (much of it incorporated into environmental legislation) and of regulations that guide the process. The course centers around study of how the determination of such policies affects negotiation between the past and present as archaeologists, various governments, descendant communities, and others try to balance a concern for preservation with growing demand for development and sustainability. Interwoven into the course are topics such as how diverse cultures view the past, the growing commodification of archaeological sites in the tourist trade, the antiquities market, and careers in cultural resource management. (Credit, full course.) Sherwood

ENST 334 Environmental Policy and Law

This course combines the study of public policy with the study of major environmental problems. Students explore public policy concepts and the instruments used in environmental regulation. Topics include air and water quality issues, hazardous waste and risk management, natural resources and biological diversity. The course also discusses the impact of environmental groups and citizen activism on this highly complex area of public policy. Prerequisite: EnSt 101 or EnSt 200. (Credit, full course.) Staff Fielding

ENST 336 Environmental Land-Use Policy

This course examines the complex systems and values influencing land-use decision-making in both rural and urban settings throughout the U.S. and abroad. Students learn how government agencies and local citizens often conflict in their attitudes and values regarding the costs and benefits of growth and development. Particular attention is paid to forest conversion issues on the South Cumberland Plateau. Students attend local planning sessions and meetings with local officials. Prerequisite: EnSt 101 or EnSt 200. (Credit, full course.) Carter

ENST 340 Tools for Environmental Policy Analysis

This course introduces students to quantitative tools applicable to the analysis of environmental policy — including forecasting methods, simulation modeling, and mathematical programming. Probability distributions, risk modeling, and decision-making under uncertainty are also addressed. Students apply such tools to a range of policy analyses and also, where relevant, learn to work with large-scale models developed by others. (Credit, full course.)

ENST 341 Environmental Data Analysis

A survey of the principles of study design and data analysis in the field of environmental studies. Topics include study design, hypothesis testing, sampling methodology, exploratory data analysis, and the graphical presentation of results. These concepts and techniques are examined through discussion of the primary literature and problem sets. (Credit, full course.) Staff

ENST 400 Seminar in Environmental Studies

A capstone experience for the Environmental Studies concentration. An examination of selected environmental issues from a variety of perspectives in the natural and social sciences and humanities. Special emphasis is on student research on the Domain and in the region. (Credit, full course.) Staff Carter

ENST 431 Practicum in Religion and Environment

This course, which calls for involvement in some faith-based or otherwise engaged form of appropriate activity or service, offers students a capstone opportunity to examine their spiritual experiences and religious beliefs in the context of active engagement with environmental issues in a variety of ways. Reflection on the engagement experience - expressed both in written form and through oral presentation - is required. (Pass/fail only, half course.)

ESCI 430 Watershed Science Capstone

Capstone course for students pursuing the Watershed Science Certificate. A multidisciplinary, project-oriented course in which students address issues related to two or more of the following topic areas: the interaction of biological processes and watershed function, chemical processes in streams and watershed, the relation between forested landscapes and hydrologic systems, or geological processes in terrestrial aquatic systems. Prerequisites: Geol/Fors 314 and instructor’s permission. (Credit, full course.) Staff

Sewanee: The University of the South