Environmental Studies

Requirements & Courses

  • Environmental Studies Major Requirements

    Thirty-six credits, which include a 20-credit core and 16-credit electives.

    1. CORE: 20 credits from: ENV 105, 205, 291, 310, 480 and ECN 350.
    2. ELECTIVES: 16 credits from: POL 141, 219, 225, 226/227; PHL 225 or REL 225; COM 253; NMS 253; ENV 280, 370, 380M.

    Other Considerations:

    • Students are expected to complete an internship, research experience, or independent study appropriate for the student’s academic and career goals.
    • Recommended courses include: ECN 111 or 112; MTH 116 or 118
  • Environmental Science Major Requirements

    Fifty-six credits, which must include a thirty-two credit core and twenty-four elective credits.

    1. CORE (32 Credits): ENV 105, 205, 210, 291, 310, 370, 480; BIO 121; CHM 115
    2. ELECTIVES (24 Credits): 4-credits from: ENV 360; BIO 319. 8-credits from: POL 141, POL 219, POL 225; PHL 225 or REL 225; NMS 253; ECN 350; COM 253. 12 upper-level science or mathematics courses formulated with aid from ENV faculty and student.

    Other Considerations:

    • Students are expected to complete an internship, research experience, or independent study appropriate for the student’s academic and career goals.
    • Recommended courses may include PHY 112 or 121; MTH 116 or 118, 121
  • Minor Requirements

    Twenty-four credits, which must include:

    1. CORE (16-credits): ENV 105, 205, 291, 310, 480
    2. ELECTIVES (8-credits) from the following: ENV 280; POL 141, 225, 219; PHL 225; COM 253; NMS 253; ECN 350; ENG 180

    Environmental Studies students are recommended to conduct research or take a Spring Term experience abroad that utilizes our relationships with various institutions. MTH-116 (Statistics) and/or MTH-121 (Calculus) are strongly advised; MTH-121 is required for most graduate work.

Courses

  • ENV
    105
    .
    Intro to Environmental Studies
    4 credits
    Examination of humans and their relationship to the natural environment. Explores current status of environmental problems, controversies and solutions. Laboratory. Course fee.
  • ENV
    110
    .
    Environmental Geology
    4 credits
    Investigation into the causes of geologic hazards such as earthquakes, mass movement, volcanoes and desertification. Includes investigation into geologic process involved in the formation of energy and material resources, their origin, uniqueness and the impact of their use on the environment. Topics center on the interrelationships among all physical Earth processes. Laboratory.
  • ENV
    205
    .
    Environmental Health
    4 credits
    Prerequisite: Sophomore standing
    Exploration of the relationship between the environment and human health. Topics include exposure to pollution, environmental disasters, injuries, and occupational health. The following concepts will be explored: environmental justice, toxicology, public health, and risk assessment.
  • ENV
    210
    .
    Earth and the Environment
    4 Credits
    This course incorporates a geoscience approach to environmental issues and problems. Topics include geologic hazards and the internal earth processes that produce them; natural resource formation and exploitation including: soils, water, minerals, fossil fuels and alternative energy. The course also covers the impact climate change has on existing problems such as pollution, waste production and disposal. Environmental regulations and their connection with current and past environmental research at Alma College are covered.
  • ENV
    291
    .
    Scientific Writing and Methods
    2 credits
    Prerequisite: Sophomore standing
    Examination of the different types of scientific writing, literature, along with practice of effective science communication within multiple formats. Brief coverage of how science writing and communication is different from everyday writing and communication. Skill development in effectively representing and understanding basic statistical analyses, graphs, diagrams and illustrations and their role in effective communication.
  • ENV
    310
    .
    Climate & New Earth Reality
    4 Credits
    This course engages students in the science of climate change. Specifically, the course will provide the geophysical and geochemical evidence of anthropogenic climate change. Topics include: simple atmospheric modeling, the nature of greenhouse gases and their relationship to the earth's energy balance. Also covered are the effects of climate change - past and present - on our biosphere and lithosphere. Attention will be paid to the issue of equity and equality - specifically investigating areas of environmental justice.
  • ENV
    360
    .
    Watershed Hydrology
    4 credits
    Prerequisite: ENV-205 and ENV-291, or permission. CHM-115 recommended.
    Investigation of the methods and means describing how surface water and groundwater move in the environment. Topics include the relationship between surface and groundwater, migration of contaminants in fluvial and subsurface systems, and the theoretical and practical application of mathematical expression of water movement. Real-world, local problems serve as a centerpiece for project development.
  • ENV
    370
    .
    Risk Assessment
    4 credits
    Prerequisite: BIO-291 or ENV-291 or sophomore standing
    Systematic approach to the prediction of risks to human health and the environment. Theoretical framework of basic risk assessments is paired with application of real-world examples of known and unknown chemical and biological agents. Students learn to prepare ecological risk assessments.
  • ENV
    380
    .
    Environmental Problems and Issues
    4 credits
    Prerequisite: ENV-105 or 110 or Permission
    Examination of selected environmental issues and problems. Content varies. Topics may include pollution, energy, natural resources, land use planning and recycling. Course fee.
  • ENV
    380
    .
    Environmental Policy Analysis
    4 credits
    Prerequisite: 100-level or introductory level Environmental course
    An immersion into the science of our changing global environment and policies based on neoclassical economic philosophy that attempt to address broad and specific problems. Students interested in science and those interested in economics will work collaboratively to address real-world problems and issues with the goal to help move our policy-thinking towards a more effective model of addressing global problems. Students will evaluate policy decisions as they have played out with certain environmental issues, and discuss new ways of approaching complex, and dynamic environmental and economic changes that the world faces in the 21st century.
  • ENV
    380M
    .
    Topics in Env Studies
    4 credits
    Selected topics in Environmental Studies problems. Content varies. Topics may include pollution, energy, natural resources, land use planning and recycling. Course fee.
  • ENV
    385
    .
    Environmental Studies Practicum
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: ENV-105, 110 and one additional course from the ENV curriculum
    Practicum in the field of Environmental Studies.
  • ENV
    480
    .
    Topics Seminar in Environmental Studies
    2 credits
    Prerequisite: Sixteen credits of ENV or Senior Standing or Permission
    Capstone course in environmental studies. Interdisciplinary approach incorporating scientific knowledge with policy and humanistic issues that are applied to real-life environmental problems.
  • ENV
    499
    .
    Environmental Studies Independent Study
    1 credit
    Prerequisite: ENV-105, 110 and one additional course from the ENV curriculum
    Independent study in the field of environmental studies.