BIO 3580: Yellowstone Seminar

Students will study the microbiology, geology, and ecology of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). This short course will include seminar style discussion sections focused on primary literature paired with lectures on field preparation and safety, in order to prepare students for the weeklong Yellowstone expedition, which will take place in July. One weekend day hike will be required.

Credits: 2

PREREQ: BIO1550 And BIO1560

Department: Environmental Studies
ECO 2280: Environmental Economics

Economics can help define, address, and solve many environmental problems. This course provides students with a set of conceptual tools that are useful in addressing environmental issues like pollution and pollution abatement, the conservation of natural resources, environmental regulation, and the political economy of environmentalism.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ECO1510 Or CEC1510

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 1500: Introduction to Environmental Science

A survey of the physical, biological, and cultural dimensions of current and past environmental problems. The nature of scientific inquiry and principles that apply to the study of the environment are covered, with emphasis on developing facility in interpreting environmental data.

Credits: 4

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 2030: Computer Applications in the Sciences

Introduces techniques for advanced use of software commonly employed in the analysis and presentation of lab and field data. Microsoft Office (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), image analysis (ImageTool), and reference software (Zotero) are covered.

Credits: 3

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 2040: Introduction to Renewable Energy

Renewable energy sources—including solar-thermal, photovoltaic, wind, wave, hydrogen, biomass, and geothermal energies—are discussed and compared with fossil fuels. The course outlines current practices as well as limitations—engineering, economic, social, and ecological—of extracting usable energy. Topics include practical solutions on both the large scale and the scale of the individual homeowner.

Credits: 4

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 2050: Wildlife Toxicology

Students explore the source, fate and effect of contaminants on wildlife, along with what we can do to help through education, science and policy. Through the pairing of introductory ecotoxicological concepts with key case studies, this course spans political, scientific, and public relations realms and teaches the importance of being good global stewards of the environment.

Credits: 4

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 2260: Art and the Environment

A participatory course that explores how the environmental art movement in North America has evolved from depicting the environment as subject to incorporating it as a medium and targeting it as intended audience. Students learn about major artists, their key works, and their influence on the ecosystems that inspired them. Material is drawn from the disciplines of art history, ecological restoration, and environmental policy.

Credits: 3

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 2300: Physical Geography

Location and local landscape influence natural resource availability, biome type, and agricultural potential. This course explores the earth’s physical processes to understand the important links between geography and ecosystems. Students examine relationships between landforms, climatic variations, erosion processes, vegetation patterns, and hydrology. While this course focuses on the United States, broader linkages are made to regions around the world.

Credits: 4

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 2720: Geology

The lecture covers interactions among the lithosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, and hydrosphere. Topics include the formation and subsequent alteration of earth materials, geologic hazards, global change, glaciation, and plate tectonics. Lab work includes identification of rocks and minerals, interpretation of topographic and geologic maps, structural geology, and landform analysis.

Credits: 5

PREREQ: ENV1500

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3025: Biostatistics

An introduction to statistics with a focus on techniques for the biological sciences. The lecture covers probability, sampling, descriptive and inferential statistics, parametric and nonparametric tests, biodiversity statistics, ordination methods, and robust experimental design. In the lab, students apply concepts from the lecture and practice analyzing data, constructing graphs, and testing hypotheses using the R software.

Credits: 5

PREREQ: Math Fluency:20-28 Or MAT1150 Or MAT1100 Or BMA1100 Or BMA1010

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3030: Environmental Policy

The environment has become increasingly significant in national and international politics. This course examines the key concepts, players, and issues in environmental policy. Students evaluate the contributions by scientific, political, economic, and social systems to the generation of environmental policy. Environmental topics include population growth, natural resource use, global climate change and energy, endangered species protection, and pollution.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ENV1500 Or POL1570

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3045: Environmental Impact Assessment

A practical guide to the quantitative assessment of potential impacts to the environment from a proposed development project. Topics include basic federal and New York State SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) requirements; use and interpretation of maps; and assessments related to physical, biological, and socioeconomic components. Students work as teams (using the map room, library, and computer resources) to prepare a sample Environmental Impact Statement related to ongoing development near the campus.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ENV1500 Or BIO1560

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3070: Economic Botany

An introduction to botany with an emphasis on interactions between people and plants. Topics include plant structure and function, evolution of major plant lineages, modern plant systematics, plant-animal interactions, the history of agriculture and plant domestication, ethnobotany, and a survey of economically important plant families. Lab work includes field trips.

Credits: 4

COREQ: ENV3071

PREREQ: ENV1500 And (BIO1560 Or BBI1560 )

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3071: Economic Botany Lab

An introduction to botany with an emphasis on interactions between people and plants. Topics include plant structure and function, evolution of major plant lineages, modern plant systematics, plant-animal interactions, the history of agriculture and plant domestication, ethnobotany, and a survey of economically important plant families. Lab work includes field trips.

Credits: 1

COREQ: ENV3070

PREREQ: ENV1500 And (BIO1560 Or BBI1560 )

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3080: Wildlife Ecology

A field-intensive lecture and lab investigating the flora and fauna of the Hudson Valley. Emphasis is placed on the ecology, identification, and taxonomy of local vertebrate groups. Multiple site visits on campus and at local parks provide opportunities for students to master best practices in the application of wildlife observation methods and equipment.

Credits: 5

PREREQ: ENV1500 Or (BIO1560 And BIO1561 )

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3120: General Ecology

A rigorous examination of classical and emerging concepts of ecology. Topics include life histories, population growth, competition, sexual selection, symbiosis, predation, disturbance and succession, energy flow and material cycling, biogeography, and conservation ecology. Lab work includes field trips.

Credits: 5

PREREQ: Math Fluency:20-28 Or MAT1150 Or MAT1100 Or BMA1100 Or BMA1010 Or ENV1500 Or BIO1560 Or BBI1560

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3150: Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

An introduction to one of the most widely used computer tools in environmental science. Used for storage, display, and analysis of spatially related data, this digitized mapping system is of primary importance in fields like land use planning, wildlife management, conservation biology, pollution monitoring, and geological resources. Students learn the ArcView system and become experienced in its use with a variety of data.

Credits: 4

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3153: GIS Advanced Analysis Lab

Provides reinforcement and additional development of key technical skills acquired during ENV 3150. Students engage in a series of self-paced, online, instructor-supported learning modules that assess their proficiency in applying Geographic Information System (GIS) technology. Upon completion, students receive third-party certification of their abilities from ESRI, the world’s leading manufacturer of GIS software.

Credits: 1

PREREQ: ENV3150

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3220: Restoration Ecology

An introduction to the new synthetic discipline of restoration ecology, which attempts to mitigate human impacts on the environment. Topics include the effects of different disturbances on natural and human-modified ecosystems and the methods used to restore ecosystem function in degraded areas. Examples are drawn from diverse terrestrial and marine systems.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ENV1500 Or BIO1560 Or BBI1560

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3230: Psychology of Sustainability

The role of psychology in building a sustainable future is examined by studying the attitudes, behaviors, and ethics associated with critical environmental problems. Readings and class discussions apply psychological theories and empirical work to such topics as perception of environmental risk, environmental justice and conflict resolution, and psychological benefits of sustainability.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ENV1500 Or PSY1530 Or BPS1530

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3240: Environmental Education

Prepares students to become communicators and teachers of environmental values, concepts, and issues. Topics include environmental and educational philosophies, basic components of environmental literacy, teaching methods, cognitive development, effective practices for the classroom and nature center, informal education practices, reviews of local environmental education programs, and the daily activities of professionals in a variety of environmental education careers.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ENV1500

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3250: Ecology of Urban Environments

Traces the evolution of the modern city, emphasizing ecological issues including human population growth, urban wildlife ecology, energy, and material flows. These principles are used to consider the future of the city. The focal cities are New York and Phoenix.

Credits: 4

COREQ: ENV3251

PREREQ: ENV1500 Or BIO1560

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3251: Ecology of Urban Environments Lab

Examines in greater depth concepts discussed in ENV 3250. Field observation, data collection and analysis, and simple models of the urban environment and processes are employed.

Credits: 1

COREQ: ENV3250

PREREQ: ENV1500 Or BIO1560

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3280: Field Biology of Local Landscapes

Learn to identify local flora and fauna, use taxonomic keys, record field observations, interpret local landscapes, and conduct biological surveys. Off-campus field trips develop competency in these professionally valuable skills and provide opportunities to learn about a variety of ecosystems. The biota studied includes vertebrates, flowering plants, ferns, and butterflies. Some bird classes begin at 7:00 a.m.

Credits: 2

PREREQ: BIO1560 Or BBI1560

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3300: Environmental Regulations

Acquaints students and environmental professionals with basic domestic and international environmental regulations and policies used by enforcement/regulatory agencies and donor/lender institutions. Specific federal acts include NEPA, Clean Air, Clean Water, RCRA, Superfund/CERCLA, TSCA, and FIFRA.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ENV1500 Or POL1570

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3420: Tropical Ecosystems

A field-based course in Costa Rica, surveying the diversity of tropical ecosystems and the challenges of balancing development and conservation. Students visit rainforest, dry forest, cloud forest, marsh, paramo, and agroecosystems, including coffee and banana plantations. The history and current state of conservation in the country are addressed in discussions with Costa Rican park guards, farmers, and foresters. Limited to sophomores, juniors, and seniors with a GPA above 2.5. Must be in good enough physical condition to hike 1–2 hours with a backpack.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ENV1500 Or BIO1560 Or BBI1560

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3640: Watershed Science

The lecture establishes relationships between changes in terrestrial landscapes and changes in the chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of associated freshwater systems. Lab work provides technical proficiency in standard methods for assessing the sources and impacts of pollution in freshwater environments. Throughout the semester, land-use decisions are discussed within the context of public policy.

Credits: 5

PREREQ: ENV1500 Or ENV3720 Or CHE1560 Or BCH1560

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3700: Natural Resources

Principles associated with the development and management of natural resources, including forests, grasslands, streams, and fisheries. Topics include sustainability, environmental and social implications of exploiting the natural environment, and renewable resources.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ENV1500

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3720: Aquatic Pollution

Examines the sources and impacts of pollution in freshwater and marine environments, including eutrophication, pathogens, pesticides, heat, heavy metals, oil, acid rain, and plastics. The effects are examined through the lens of ecology.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ENV1500 Or BIO1560 Or BBI1560

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3800: Human Ecology

An interdisciplinary review of the reciprocal relationships between culture and environment in both traditional and complex societies. Past human-induced environmental degradation provides lessons applicable to current problems. Topics include the Green Revolution; cultural change and population trends; traditional vs. industrial food production; and the impact of global change, concepts of sustainability, and the commons.

Credits: 3

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3805: Conservation Biology

The decline in biodiversity is a serious (and perhaps irreversible) threat to the biosphere. This course covers concepts and questions in a new synthetic discipline, which focuses on biodiversity protection. Beginning with the origin, patterns, and maintenance of biodiversity, the class explores the values of biodiversity, the nature of the threats to biodiversity, the demography and genetics of small populations, strategies to protect biodiversity, and ethical and legal bases of conservation efforts.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ENV1500 Or (BIO1560 And BIO1561 ) Or BBI1560

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3820: Animal Behavior

An evolutionary approach that addresses questions about the development, physiological basis, functional value, and evolutionary history of behaviors. Topics include foraging and antipredator behaviors, reproductive strategies of males and females, communication, habitat relationships, and sociobiology. Labs, films, and field trips illustrate concepts and research methods.

Credits: 4

COREQ: ENV3821

PREREQ: BIO1560 Or BBI1560

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3821: Animal Behavior Lab

Labs, films, and field trips illustrate concepts and research methods. One weekend field trip required.

Credits: 1

COREQ: ENV3820

PREREQ: BIO1560 Or BBI1560

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 3880: Environmental Studies Junior Seminar

Prepares students for conducting research in environmental studies. Presentation of faculty research, analysis of research papers and proposals, and guest lecturers accompany student development of a senior project research proposal. Required for all environmental studies majors.

Credits: 3

PREREQ: ENV1500

Department: Environmental Studies
ENV 4460: Marine Ecology

This advanced course surveys the organizing ecological principles that structure all marine communities. The lecture and lab synthesize information from all levels of organization (organism, population, and community). Through texts and primary literature, students examine the biotic and abiotic factors controlling the abundance and distribution of marine organisms. Lab work is coupled with field experimentation and observation.

Credits: 5

PREREQ: ENV1500 And BIO1560

Department: Environmental Studies
JOU 3260: Environmental Journalism

In this introduction to the issues associated with reporting on the environment, students gain an understanding of the science behind local and global environmental issues and the journalistic approaches necessary to illuminate those issues. The course grapples with the difficulties inherent in translating scientific information for mass audiences.

Credits: 4

PREREQ: ENV1500 Or (JOU2515 And JOU2915 )

Department: Environmental Studies
LEG 3025: Environmental Law

U.S. environmental law and policy, the common-law foundations of environmental law, and the regulatory process and toolkit are examined. The focus is on major environmental statutes: the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, the Comprehensive Environmental Response, the Compensation and Recovery Act (Superfund), and the Safe Drinking Water Act.

Credits: 4

Department: Environmental Studies
LIT 2850: Birds: Literature, Ornithology

A study of the cultural, literary, and natural history of birds. Students read poems and essays, study ornithology texts and field guides, and occasionally go into the field to look at birds. Owning a pair of binoculars would be helpful.

Credits: 4

Department: Environmental Studies
PHI 2820: Philosophy of the Environment

relationships between humans, their values, and the nonhuman species that comprise the natural environment. Specific inquiries include: What does it mean, metaphysically, to say that humans are “part of nature”? Do humans have duties towards nonhuman species? Do any nonhuman species have rights? When do ecological philosophies become politically controversial? Readings include a variety of contemporary and traditional philosophers.

Credits: 4

Department: Environmental Studies
POL 2080: Environmental Justice

An introduction to the impact of environmental laws and policies on the fair treatment of people of different races and incomes in the U.S. Global climate change, nuclear energy, and public responsibility for the environment constitute the center of a political and legal analysis of the relationship of citizens and government to the environment.

Credits: 4

Department: Environmental Studies
SOC 2165: Culture, Consumption, and the City

An introduction to the development of consumer society and consumer culture, with emphasis on the city as a landscape of consumption. Topics include commodification, materialism, large-scale changes in cities and industries, the street as a site for identity, neighborhoods as contest spaces, and the environmental and social consequences of consumerism.

Credits: 3

Department: Environmental Studies
SOC 2255: Environmental Sociology

This course brings a sociological perspective to environmental issues, both past and present, by asking: Who is civilized? Who is savage? What is nature? By addressing questions of how human societies, animals, and land have shaped each other, students better understand the root causes and consequences of today’s environmental crisis. Topics include world hunger, water, and environmental equity for all.

Credits: 3

Department: Environmental Studies