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Environmental Program

www.coloradocollege.edu/academics/dept/environmentalprogram/

Professors DROSSMAN, HECOX; Associate Professors PERRAMOND, HOURDEQUIN (Chair), KUMMEL; Distinguished Lecturer and Legal Scholar-in-Residence KANNAN; Visiting Assistant Professor LEE

The environmental program includes coursework in environmental science and policy. The environmental science major includes an integrated major with an interdisciplinary focus, as well as disciplinary tracks in environmental physics and environmental chemistry. The environmental policy major offers an integrated environmental major with emphasis on political science and economics. All majors include three common interdisciplinary courses: environmental inquiry, environmental management, and environmental synthesis.

An environmental issues minor is available (see Thematic Minors) that can be used with any departmental major. There are also options under Environmental Studies LAS majors.

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE MAJOR:

The environmental science major has three tracks:

  • Integrated Major
  • Chemistry Concentration
  • Physics Concentration 

All environmental science majors require the following:

1.) The integrated major or a major in environmental chemistry or environmental physics.
2.) A Capstone experience that includes Environmental Inquiry (EV221); Environmental Management    (EV321); Senior Seminar (EV490); and either Environmental Synthesis (EV421) or Senior Thesis (EV499)   or Senior Paper (EV420). 3 units.

The Integrated Major (12 units):

Introduction to Global Climate Change (EV128); Calculus I (MA126); Physical Geology (GY140 or GY130); Sustainable Development or Microeconomics (EV141 or EC151); Environmental Policy (EV271 or PS321); Environmental Ethics (EV281/PH246 or EV275 Nature and Society or EV273 Environmental History or FG 215 Ecofeminism or EV130 Environmental Sociology); Human Impacts on Biogeochemical Cycles (EV211); Analysis of Environmental Data (EV228 or BY220 or MA117 or MA217); Energy: Environmental Thermodynamics and Energetics (EV212); Ecology and the Environment (EV209); Water: Hydrology, Aquatic Chemistry and Ecology (EV311); and Air: Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry (EV431).

Chemistry Concentration Requirements (13 units):

A student interested in a major in environmental science with an emphasis in chemistry is required to take Sustainable Development or Microeconomics (EV141 or EC151); Environmental Policy (EV271 or PS321); General Chemistry I and II (CH107 and 108); Organic Chemistry I (CH250); Analytical Chemistry or Bioanalytical Chemistry (CH241 or CH345); Calculus I and II (MA126 and 128); Classical Physics I and II (PC241 and 242) and any three of the following: Organic Chemistry II (CH251); Environmental Chemistry (CH210); Organic Chemistry III (CH351); Instrumental Analysis (CH342); Biochemistry I (CH382), Biochemistry II (CH383), Physical Chemistry I (CH366); Physical Chemistry II (CH367); Inorganic Chemistry (CH475); Air: Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry (EV431). Students are encouraged to take the three advanced classes as a concerted sequence that can lead to graduate studies or careers in areas such as toxicology: CH251, CH382, CH383 with CH345 or atmospheric chemistry: CH366, CH367, and EV431. Research in Environmental Chemistry and a field biology or geology course are also recommended.

Physics Concentration Requirements (12 units):

A student interested in a major in environmental science with emphasis in physics is required to take Sustainable Development or Microeconomics (EV141 or EC151); Environmental Policy (EV271 or PS321); Calculus (MA126, 128, and 203); Introductory Physics (PC241, 242, and 251); Electronics (PC261); Techniques of Experimental Physics (PC361); Mechanics I (PC341); and Air: Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry (EV431). A field biology or geology course is also recommended. A student interested in graduate school or an environmental science career in fields such as Atmospheric Physics, Meteorology, Geophysics, and Oceanography should take additional courses, such as differential equations, computer science, chemistry, and more physics.

Environmental Policy Major — Required core classes (9 units):

Introduction to Global Climate Change (EV128); Human Impacts on Biogeochemical Cycles (EV211); Calculus I (MA126); Analysis of Environmental Data (EV228) or Biostatistics and Experimental Design (BY220) or Probability and Statistics (MA117) or Probability and Statistical Modeling (MA217).

And one of the following:

Environmental Ethics (EV281/PH246) or Nature and Society (EV275) or Environmental History (EV273) or Ecofeminism (FG215) or Environmental Sociology (EV130) Political Science and Economics (5 units) Public Policymaking (PS321/EV373, 2 units); Principles of Economics (EC150, 2 units) or Principles of Microeconomics (EC151) and Principles of Macroeconomics (EC152); Intermediate Microeconomic Theory (EC207).

And one of the following:

Introduction to International Political Economy (PS375/EC375) or Democracy and Markets (PS306) or Introduction to International Development (PS253, pending course approval by the faculty) or Global Environmental Policy (PS356, pending course approval by the faculty).

And one of the following:

Environmental Law and Policy for the Global Commons (EV374/PS324) or Environmental Policy (EV271) or Environmental Health and Security (PS358, pending course approval by the faculty).

And one of the following:

Political Ecology of the Southwest (SW301) or Ecological Economics and Sustainability (EV341/EC341/SW341) or Global Environmental Economics (EC335) or Advanced Topics in Economics: Global Environmental Economics (EC390) or Economic Development (EC337) or Public Finance (EC330) or International Trade (EC342) or Natural Resource Economics (EC404)

And Core Capstone Experience (3 units):

Environmental Inquiry (EV221); Environmental Management (EV321); Senior Seminar (EV490, 0 units); and either Environmental Synthesis (EV421) or Senior Thesis (EV499) or Senior Paper (EV420).

Environmental Issues Minor:

As an alternative to a major in environmental science, students may consider a minor in environmental studies. This thematic minor is intended to be a core of courses for a student wishing to address environmental issues in their lives.

For more complete details and lists of specific courses please see the environmental program office (Tutt Science building, room 130A).

Environmental Science Courses

EV109 Winter Ecology

An introduction to winter-specific processes on the level of ecosystems, populations, and physiological adaptations of individual organisms. Includes hands-on field investigative projects for each of these three areas in snow-covered montane and high alpine environments. Topics include snow pack dynamics, vegetation-atmosphere-snowpack coupling, habitat use by non-hibernating animals via animal tracking, winter-specific plant adaptations, and aquatic ecosystem ecology under ice. Emphasis on how winter-specific processes constrain dynamics during the growing season. (Not offered 2013-14).

.5 unit

EV120 Topics in Environmental Science

Selected topics of current societal interest that relate to our environment offered when interest and opportunity arise. Counts as one unit of natural science credit, a few of which may meet the lab or field requirement. Only one such unit may be counted toward the natural science requirements. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. (Not offered 2013-14).

.5 to 1 unit

EV121 Energy: Environmental

This course provides an overview of this interdisciplinary field at a level appropriate even for non-science majors, applying concepts, methods, and models from many disciplines to the major problems facing a sustainable management of the environment. The complex interactions of the 'biosphere,' the human systems that make up the 'sociosphere,' and the physical Earth systems that support them are considered. (Does not meet the field/lab credit.) (Not offered 2013-14).

1 to 2 units

EV127 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Explores the basics of computer-based information analysis and manipulation. Teaches students fundamentals of basic GIS tasks: mapmaking, spatial analysis, and database creation. Students learn to use software that links these three functions together. Computer-based exercises are used both in class to teach fundamentals, and in labs that assist students to learn and use basic GIS tools.

.5 unit —

EV128 Introduction to Global Climate Change

Introduction to the contemporary Earth climate system and evidence for near-future changes, focusing on the role of the atmosphere, oceans and land surface. Course includes the use of mathematical models to describe complex systems and the role of policy, economics and ethics in mitigating human impact. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Quantitative Reasoning requirement.

Also listed as Southwest Studies 128.

1 unit —

EV135 Meteorology

Basic physics principles introduced and used to study dynamic processes in the atmosphere: atmospheric energy flow, solar radiation, green house effect, large-scale circulation of the atmosphere, small scale processes including clouds and storms, weather forecasting, humanity's impact on weather and climate. Laboratory and field experiments and trips will be utilized. (Not offered 2013-14).

1 unit

EV141 Sustainable Development

Investigates the concept of sustainable development by first introducing the necessary economic terms and concepts. It next explores traditional economic models of production and distribution. Finally it introduces the concept of sustainable development (meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs). It includes fieldwork to explore the behavior of traditional economic models and examples of sustainable development. Counts as one unit of social Science credit, but not as a natural science credit.

Prerequisite: No EC credit after Economics 150, 151, 152 or 160 & May not be counted toward Econ or Poli Econ majors.

1 unit —

EV155 Introductory Earth Systems Science

An overview of the Earth's surface systems including lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. Course will also examine fluxes among these systems such as soil-forming processes, hydrologic processes, and biogeochemical cycles. (Meets the laboratory/field requirement for natural sciences.) Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World lab or field requirement.

1 unit —

EV161 Environmental Sociology

Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Social Inequality requirement. (Not offered 2013-14).

1 unit

EV202 United States Environmental Politics

Studies environmental politics in the United States from the early twentieth century through the present. Follows changing environmental policies at the federal level and investigates the environmental movement, the greening of industry, and the role of state and local governments in environmental regulation. Illuminates the diversity of approaches to environmental protection taken by different political actors in the U.S., the major debates that have arisen regarding the environment over the past century, and the political challenges and opportunities that mark environmental politics today. (Not offered 2013-14).

1 unit

EV209 Ecology and the Environment

The analysis of distributions, abundances, and interrelationships of organisms, populations, communities, and ecosystems with an emphasis on environmental applications. (No credit if taken after BY 208). Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World lab or field requirement.

Prerequisite: Environmental Science 211.

1 unit —

EV210 Environmental Chemistry

An introduction to chemical pollutants in the 'compartments' of air, water, and soil, and calculation and measurement of their levels using the principles of general chemistry. Chemical perspectives on problems such as toxicology, global warming, the ozone hole, food shortages, and waste disposal are also discussed. Includes a significant laboratory component involving the statistical and instrumental analysis of samples collected in the field. (Not offered 2013-14).

Prerequisite: Chemistry 108 or 250 & Biology 208 or Geology 130 or 140.

1 unit

EV211 Human Impacts on Biogeochemical Cycles

An introduction to the chemical, physical, geological, and biological processes and reactions that govern the composition of the natural environment and the cycles of matter and energy that transport the Earth's chemical components in time and space. Course includes a significant emphasis on mathematical modeling of radiative transfer, the global hydrologic, carbon and nitrogen cycles, and the implications of human effects on these processes to (No credit for this course for students who have completed Chemistry 108).

Prerequisite: Environmental Science 128 and Mathematics 126.

1 unit —

EV212 Energy: Environmental Thermodynamics and Energetics

Study of the generation and use of energy in an industrial society, environmental problems created by our energy use, and the physical and chemical principles underlying these issues. Scientific principles include: energy and the laws of thermodynamics, and the chemical equilibrium and kinetics needed to understand chemical systems as means of energy storage. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement.

Prerequisite: Environmental Science 211 or the following: Chemistry 107, Environmental Science 128, amd Mathematics 126 (or Mathematics 125).

1 unit —

EV221 Environmental Inquiry

This class is designed to serve as the first integrative 'capstone' course for prospective Environmental Science majors. By focusing on diverse, multidisciplinary forms of inquiry - from scientific inquiry to governmental policy studies to business sector position papers and contributions from the humanities - this course will provide a structured analysis for exploring selected environmental issues and how they are viewed through diverse types of inquiry. The intended outcome is a comprehensive framework students will take with them into future courses that facilitates a broad approach to 'inquiring' about any environmental issue or problem and detecting narrowness and bias in the arguments made by others concerning environmental challenges, issues, and problems.

Prerequisite: Environmental Science 128 and Environmental Science 228 (or Mathematics 117 or Biology 220). Also open to declared EV Chemistry & EV Physics majors who have completed Sustainable Development or Microeconomics (Environmental Science 141 or Economics 151) and Environmental Policy (Environmental Science 271 or Political Science 321).

Also listed as Theatre 240.

1 unit —

EV222 Quantitative Methods in Environmental Science

Dynamic system modeling applied to environmental examples. Some data analysis and estimation techniques to determine functional relationships and parameters for building models. Analysis of equilibrium and other key system behavior in the context of population models, the carbon cycle, and other ecological phenomena. (Does not meet the laboratory/field requirement for the natural sciences.) Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. (Not offered 2013-14).

Prerequisite: Mathematics 125, 125 or 127 (Environmental Science 221 recommended).

1 unit

EV228 Analysis of Environmental Data

This course will focus on the fundamentals of exploratory data analysis, hypothesis testing, and experimental design in the ecological, environmental, and earth sciences. Topics will include theory and practice of project design, data distribution and description, the central limit theorem, characterization of uncertainty, correlation, univariate hypothesis testing, and multivariate analyses (ANOVA, linear regression). Students will complete a final project using environmental data collected in the field and analyzed using statistical computer software. Hall, McDougall. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. (Not offered 2013-14).

Prerequisite: Mathematics 126 or 125 or 127 or HS equivalent (Calculus I).

1 unit

EV255 Nature & Society

The course examines the interaction between Europeans and the natural world from the Renaissance to the present. It looks at how nature shaped the ways Europeans lived and worked and how, in turn, they thought about and behaved toward nature. In particular, it explores the impact of the Scientific Revolution, industrialization, and mass culture on the changing interplay between nature, society, and culture.

Also listed as History 255.

1 unit —

EV260 Topics in Environmental Social Sciences

Selected topics of current societal interest that relate to our environment offered when interest and opportunity arise. Counts as one unit of social science credit. Only one such unit may be counted toward the social science requirements.

.5 or 1 unit —

EV261 Topics in Environmental Humanities

Selected environmentally-related topics courses taught from the perspectives of the humanities. (Not offered 2013-14).

1 unit

EV271 Environmental Policy

This course will consider environmental policy and law, the role of policy and law in protecting the environment, policymaking, policy strategies, and the relationship of environmental policy, law and science. Counts as one unit of social science credit.

Prerequisite: 100 or 200 level EV class or consent of instructor (Economics 150, 151/152 or Environmental Science 141 recommended).

1 unit —

EV272 Cities, Sustainability and Environmental Justice

Examines the relationship between cities and nature, with a particular emphasis on current efforts by cities around the world to become more environmentally sustainable. Explores the meanings of sustainability in the context of urban areas, and how these meanings differ among cities in the Global North and the Global South. Considers the major political challenges that cities face in their efforts to reduce their environmental impact and questions of environmental justice.

Also listed as Political Science 272.

1 unit —

EV273 American Environmental History

A survey of American history from the perspective of the environment, beginning with the biological and cultural invasion of the New World in 1492 and ending with current environmental problems and their historical roots. Topics include Native American vs. Euro-American views of nature, the impact of changing economic systems on the environment, and the impact of the landscape on various American cultures. Counts as one unit of social science credit. (Not offered 2013-14).

1 unit

EV277 Ecofeminism

The interconnections between feminism and ecology. Ecofeminism explores the links between systems of domination such as sexism, racism, economic exploitation and the ecological crisis. We will assess criticism of ecofeminism and evaluate the potential of this philosophy for political practice. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Diverse Cultures and Critiques requirement. May meet either the Critical Perspectives: Global Cultures or Social Inequality requirement.

Also listed as Feminist & Gender Studies 215.

1 unit —

EV281 Environmental Ethics

Study of values underlying human relations to the natural environment. Conflicts between values. Preservation, conservation, and exploitation of natural resources. Problems in developing and applying a consistent land ethic. Some social, political, economic, and ecological aspects of current environmental crises. Counts as one unit of humanities credit.

Also listed as Philosophy 246.

1 unit —

EV293 Independent Research in Environmental Science

.5 to 1 unit —

EV310 Fate and Transport of Chemicals in the Environment

This course builds upon the skills developed in environmental chemistry or physical chemistry, making use of kinetic and thermodynamic models to examine how chemical pollutants are transported in the environment. Either significant computer simulations or laboratory investigations based on recent journal articles from areas such as the kinetics of metal adsorption on model soils, equilibrium concentrations of pesticide residues in biota based on octanol-water partitioning, and transport modeling of air particulates from an urban environment are included. (Available on a tutorial basis with instructor's consent.) (Not offered 2013-14).

Prerequisite: Chemistry 342 or 366; or 210 & consent of instructor.

.5 to 1 unit

EV311 Water: Hydrology, Aquatic, Chemistry, and Ecology

Introduction to the geochemical, physical hydrological, and biological properties of water systems at the level of a watershed. This course applies principles of surface hydrology, aquatic, ecology, redox and acid-base chemistry, field sampling, and experimental design. Includes a significant laboratory component involving GIS and the analysis of samples collected in the field. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement.

Prerequisite: Environmental Science 212 and Environmental Science 228 (or equilavent) and Geology 140 (or Geology 130), and Biology 208 or Environmental Science 209 required.

1 unit —

EV320 Advanced Topics in Environmental Science

Selected environmental science topics that require a more advanced science background than those offered through EV 120. Offered when interest and opportunity arise. Counts as one unit of natural science credit, a few of which may meet the lab or field requirement. Usually at least one sophomore level science course is expected.) (Not offered 2013-14).

1 unit

EV321 Environmental Management

Focuses on strategies used for the management of humankind's interaction with, and impact upon, the environment. Case studies will allow students to analyze and apply the precautionary principle, environmental assessment, environmental management systems, and planning as strategies of environmental management.

Prerequisite: Environmental Science 221.

1 unit —

EV341 Ecological Economics and Sustainability

Provides an introduction to ecological economics (an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and managing the ecology and economics of our world) and extends concepts of sustainability. It reviews options for economically efficient allocation of resources that also protect the stock of natural capital over time and space. It investigates the application of tools of analysis to a regional management problem in the American West. It includes fieldwork and may involve additional expense. (Counts as one unit of Social Science credit, but not as a natural science credit.) (Not offered 2013-14).

Prerequisite: Econ Credit: Economics 150 (or 151 & 152); EnvSci Credit: EV/EC 141 and Economics 151.

1 unit

EV348 Economics of the Environment

(Not offered 2013-14).

.5 unit

EV373 Public Policymaking

Forces shaping public policies and decisions; internal politics of the national bureaucracy, the Presidency and Congress. Applies theories of policymaking to such cases as the environment, race and military affairs. (Counts as one unit of Social Science credit, but not as a natural science credit.)

Prerequisite: Political Science 200 or consent of instructor.

Also listed as Political Science 321.

2 units —

EV374 Environmental Law and Policy for the Global Commons

Examines the application of international policy and law in the protection of the global commons -- climate, biological diversity, the marine environment and the atmosphere. Considers the major issues -- pollution control, natural resource management, and trade -- and focuses on the international infrastructure and treaties that have been negotiated to regulate the environment -- the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas (UNCLOS), the Rio Declaration, the Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol and Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

1 unit —

EV393 Independent Research in Environmental Science

1 unit —

EV420 Senior Paper

The Senior Paper is based on a critical assessment of an environmental issue from a scientific, social scientific, or humanistic perspective, and will include consideration of ten or more published works from the peer-reviewed literature. This topic may be related to a past research experience, internship, or coursework. This capstone experience will result in a significant paper, critically evaluating these readings, and an oral or poster presentation. The final presentation will be given to the EV Program as part of the Senior Seminar requirement.

Prerequisite: Senior standing and consent of instructor.

1 unit —

EV421 Integrative Experience in Environmental Science

Research projects that focus on cross-disciplinary, cooperative learning experiences involving current problems from the regional community. Individual and team review of the current literature, culminating in a substantial written report.

Prerequisite: Environmental Science 321.

1 unit —

EV422 Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology

This course explores how the biosphere interacts with the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, and the lithosphere in natural and managed (agricultural) systems. The primary focus will be on 1) vegetation-climate interactions and 2) vegetation-soil interactions including the cycling of biologically important elements. Students will gain hands-on research experience using analytical techniques in the field and the laboratory. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement. (Not offered 2013-14).

Prerequisite: (Environmental Science 209 or BY208), and (Environmental Science 211, or Chemistry 108 and Mathematics 126 and (Environmental Science 228 or Mathematics 117 or BY220). Strongly recommended Geology 140 or Environmental Science 155.

1 unit

EV431 Air: Atmospheric Physics and Chemistry

Introduction to atmospheric circulation, radiation transfer, thermodynamics and radiation balance as they determine the vertical structure of the atmosphere and regulate the surface temperature. Kinetics, modeling, and reaction systems as they relate to air pollution and ozone chemistry in the stratosphere and troposphere. Course includes a student-designed laboratory/field project related to local air pollution issues. Meets the Critical Perspectives: Scientific Investigation of the Natural World requirement.

Prerequisite: Environmental Science 212 or Chemistry 108 and Physics 241 or Physics 251.

1 unit —

EV490 Senior Seminar Pass/Fail Only

An adjunct course spread out over the academic year in which guest lecturers and juniors and seniors orally present their independent research (either literature or laboratory) to the program students and faculty in an open forum for discussion. Required for an environmental science major. (Must be taken on a P/NC basis.)

Prerequisite: Required for majors.

EV491 Environmental Science Practicum

Students are placed in organizations working on environmental issues where they work about five hours per week. Students meet in seminar twice a block. In the seminars and written work for the course, students explore the connection between environmental theory and environmental practice, the connections between academic environmental studies and work on behalf of the environment in the community. (Semester-long, extended-format course; to count for major course must be taken for an entire semester for credit with semester-long meetings). (Must be taken on a P/NC basis.) (Not offered 2013-14).

Prerequisite: Environmental Science 322 or consent of instructor.

.25 to .5 units

EV493 Independent Research in Environmental Science

1 unit —

EV499 Senior Thesis:

A thesis topic to be chosen by a student with advice from a member (or members) of the Environmental Science Program. Upon presentation of thesis proposal by the student, program faculty will authorize or deny registration in 499.

Prerequisite: consent of instructor & an appropriate research experience.

1 unit —