Environmental Studies Courses 2012-2013
ENVS 100 Introduction to Environmental Studies 3 credits
An introduction to the field of environmental studies emphasizing connections between person, place, and time. The unique natural and social history of the Southern Rocky Mountains is used to introduce the importance of human relationships to the land. Through readings in the foundational texts of environmental philosophy, exposure to the complexities of “environmentalism,” and reflective outdoor experiences, students develop an appreciation for their unique ecological identity, significance in history, and role in their surroundings.
ENVS 197 Special Topics 1-6 credits
ENVS 200 Writing the Environment 3 credits
Students develop communication skills through presentations and writing on a variety of environmental issues appropriate to a wide variety of audiences. Through environmental essays, writing for nonprofit websites, grant proposals, and other forms of environmental writing, students are introduced to a broad range of skills needed for effective communication. Focus throughout the course on the analysis of arguments and texts further develops students’ analytical and communication skills. Prerequisite: ENVS 100; COTH 202 is recommended.
ENVS 292 Independent Study 1-3 credits
ENVS 297 Special Topics 1-6 credits
ENVS 301 Science, Technology, and the Environment 3 credits
A study of ecosystem principles informed by the natural sciences. Ecosystem principles are used as the basis for discussions regarding appropriate and alternative technologies. The interactions between scientific advances in the understanding of ecosystems and technological applications are emphasized. Field experiences on campus are used to demonstrate local environmental concerns and social and technological solutions. Prerequisite: at least one credit from General Education Area II that is a laboratory or includes a laboratory and completion of Area II GE.
ENVS 350 U.S. and Western Environmental Politics 3 credits
An historical and contemporary investigation of U.S. environmental policies with an applied focus on the impact of national policy on the ecosystems and cultures of the American West. Reciprocally, this course traces how public lands agencies, social movements, historical land uses, and diverse cultures in the West shape U.S. environmental policy. Students combine analysis and discussion of major U.S. policies, prominent theories and issues, and student-led environmental service projects to better understand environmental challenges. Prerequisites: ENVS 100; ECON 201 or ENVS 200 or SCI 202; junior standing, or instructor approval.
ENVS 360 Global Environmental Policy 3 credits
A critical examination of key perspectives, economic and political processes, policy actors, and institutions involved in global environmental issues. Students analyze ecological, cultural, and social dimensions of international environmental concerns and governance as they have emerged in response to increased recognition of global environmental threats, globalization, and international contributions to understanding of these issues. The focus of the course encourages students to engage and evaluate texts within the broad policy discourse on globalization, justice, and the environment. Prerequisites: ENVS 100; ECON 201, ENVS 200 or SCI 202; junior standing or instructor approval.
ENVS 370 Water Policy and Politics 3 credits
Study of the history, politics and institutions related to water policy and administration with comparative reference to different regions of the United States and internationally. Attention is given to the industrial development of the East and the created water resources of the arid West as a way to understand changing social sentiments toward water and water policy. The course also examines water pollution laws and water management. Prerequisites: ENVS 100; ECON 201 or ENVS 200 or SCI 202; junior standing or instructor approval.
ENVS 375 Seminar in Water Topics 1-3 credits
An occasional offering that may include water topics in politics and policy, ethics and philosophy, or science. Prerequisite: ENVS 200 and ENVS 301, or instructor permission.
ENVS 376 The Colorado Water Workshop 1 credit
A three-day annual conference bringing students together with a variety of water users, managers, ranchers, environmentalists, regulators and others involved in water issues for presentations and discussion on matters ranging from specific municipal or water district projects to major basin-wide planning for the great rivers of the West to global issues of water use and protection. Topics vary from year to year. Prerequisite: ENVS 350 and ENVS 370, or instructor permission.
ENVS 390 Environmental Monitoring 4 credits
A field-work based study of local (Gunnison Basin) environmental problems. Numerous monitoring techniques are implemented based on principles of biology, chemistry, and geology. The emphasis is on collaborative and integrative group projects dealing directly with real-world environmental problems. Prerequisites: ENVS 301 and one of the following: ECON 216, MATH 213 or SOC 211.
ENVS 392 Independent Study 1-6 credits
ENVS 397 Special Topics 1-6 credits
ENVS 400 Applied Environmental Studies 3 credits
A field-based, collaborative, problem-solving experience that addresses a current environmental issue. Students collect information, analyze results, write a report, publicly present their findings, and begin to implement solutions informed by their analysis. Prerequisites: ENVS 350 and ENVS 390.
ENVS 410 Environmental Ethics 3 credits
A seminar on the complexities of environmental issues from a philosophical perspective. The course also offers a survey of the evolution of environmental moral philosophy as well as in-depth analysis of major thinkers in the field. Students confront ethical concerns from both historical and personal perspectives, with an emphasis on the ability to critically evaluate and apply these perspectives to their work in environmental fields. Prerequisite: ENVS 301 and 350; or PHIL 335.
ENVS 420 Natural History of the Gunnison Basin 3 credits
An overview of place-based natural history, current ecological research, and current environmental issues facing the region. Prerequisites: ENVS 100 and instructor permission.
ENVS 430 Watersheds of the World 3 credits
This field course is designed to provide students with an introduction to important science and policy issues in selected watersheds throughout the world. Students receive an overview of place-based natural history, current ecological research, and current environmental issues and policy facing the region. Examples include the local and global effects of resource extraction, tourism, air and water pollution, land use changes, and global climate change. This is an expedition course (approximately 3 weeks) and is experiential in nature. Prerequisites: ENVS 100 and instructor permission.
ENVS 497 Special Topics 1-6 credits
ENVS 499 Internship in Environmental Studies 1-6 credits
An opportunity to apply skills and knowledge from course work to an employment setting. Prerequisite: approval from an Environmental Studies advisor and the Program Director.