Course Listing

Course Level: 100 200 300 400

109 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. .5 unit.

110 Introduction to Environmental Chemistry. An introduction to principles of chemistry focusing on anthropogenic impacts from energy and agriculture to Earth's atmosphere and hydrosphere. Topics include: atomic, structure, periodic properties; molecular structure; redox, acid-base, and solubility reactions; enthalpy of phase changes and combustion reactions; and stoichiometry. Includes laboratory focused on field sampling, statistics, and environmental analysis. Prerequisite: Prior High School Chemistry class is highly recommended.  1 unit.

120 Introductory Topics in Environmental Science. Selected topics in environmental science that are not offered as part of the regular course listings. Require no previous environmental science courses. 1 unit.

121 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.) 1 to 2 units.

126 Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems. Through field-based inquiry over the semester, students learn about biotic and abiotic factors controlling aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and demonstrate their understanding by creating lessons and inquiry projects for their K-12 students. Includes portfolio sections demonstrating mastery of questioning, analysis, and data interpretation skills related to environmental processes and systems. Prerequisite: Education 120 - Environmental Education Practicum.  1 unit. 

127 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.

128 Introduction to Global Climate Change. Introduction to the contemporary Earth climate system that focuses on the roles of the atmosphere, oceans, cryosphere, and land surface, and an overview of how this system has changed in the past and is predicted to change in the future. Includes the use of mathematical models to describe complex systems and the role of policy, economics, and ethics in mitigating human impact.  1 unit. 

135 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. 1 unit.

145 Environment and Society. Introduction to humanistic and social science perspectives on global environmental change, engaging with a wide variety of explanatory frameworks and disciplinary lenses. Students will examine the socioeconomic, political, cultural, historical, and philosophical drivers of current environmental conditions. Includes perspectives emphasizing potential responses to climate change and other environmental challenges. 1 unit.

155 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. 1 unit.

209 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.) Prerequisite: Environmental Program 128 and Mathematics 126. 1 unit. 

210 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. Prerequisite: Chemistry & Biochemistry 108 or 250 and Biology 208 or Geology 130 or 140. 1 unit.

211 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: Environment Program 128 and Mathematics 126. 1 unit.

212 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. Prerequisite: Environmental Science 211 or the following: (Chemistry & Biochemistry107 or Environmental Studies Program 110) and Mathematics 126/125 and EV128. 1 unit.

220 Topics in Environmental Science. Selected topics in environmental science that are not offered as part of the regular course listings. May require at least one 100 level Environmental Science course as prerequisite. 1 unit.

221 Environmental Inquiry. This class focuses on developing a holistic understanding of transdisciplinary environmental issues through study of an integral meta-theoretical framework. Students learn to design and propose potential thesis projects by evaluating transdisciplinary environmental issues through phenomenological, empirical, and systems-based inquiry, and assess the relative merits of post-positivist, constructivist, and critical perspectives. Prerequisite: ED225/EV265: Foundations of Environmental Education. 1 unit. 

228 Analysis of Environmental Data. Prerequisite: Mathematics 126 or 125 or 127 or High School equivalent (Calculus I). 1 unit.

255 Nature and 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. 1 unit.

260 Topics in Environmental Social Sciences. Selected topics in the environmental social sciences that are not offered as part of the regular course listings. 1 unit.

261 Topics in Environmental Humanities. Selected topics in environmental humanities that are not offered as part of the regular course listings. 1 unit.

265 Foundations of Environmental and Sustainability Education. Environmental and sustainability education focuses on the ecological, economic and social aspects of our interdependence with the natural world. Class discussion and literature analysis address the characteristics and goals of environmental and sustainability education, the evolution of the field of environmental and sustainability education, and fundamental aspects of cognitive and developmental theories as they relate to education. Students begin a course project portfolio that, when completed, meets expectations for environmental education certification from the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. 1 unit. 

271 U.S. Environmental Law and Policy. This course surveys key domestic actors, institutions, and policy/legal regimes that have shaped historical and contemporary regulation of environmental issues in the United States. Students will collaboratively interrogate law/policy dimensions of environmental equity and justice, explore structural deficits and opportunities, apply these insights to specific environmental regimes, and cultivate environmental legal and academic research and communication skills. Environmental Studies majors and minors can count this course or EV/PS274 toward the major, but not both.  Prerequisite: EV145 or consent of instructor1 unit. 

272 Cities, Sustainability and Environmental Justice. This course examines the relationship between urban development and environmental justice in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the role of urban planning practices in creating and maintaining the disproportionate exposure to pollution and the unequal access to environmental amenities faced by communities of color. It also investigates the political processes through which municipal sustainability efforts are being used by activists and city officials to create solutions to environmental and social injustices in urban areas. 1 unit. 

273: 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. 1 unit.

274 U.S. Environmental Politics and Policy
Considers contemporary and historical environmental politics in the United States and how politics is translated into policy. Examines federal policies and their effectiveness in protecting the environment and furthering environmental justice and investigates the role of actors including social movements, environmental organizations, industry, and state and local governments in shaping environmental governance. Environmental Studies majors and minors may count this course or EV271 toward the major, but not both. Recommended prerequisites: EV145 or PS200. 1 unit.

276 Environmental Sociology. This course examines the political and institutional conditions that produce and organize environmental degradation and disruption, give shape to patterns of environmental inequality, and foment conflict. It concludes by examining the conditions and strategic actions that improve the chances for positive environmental outcomes and ecological sustainability. 1 unit. 

277 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. 1 unit.

281 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. 1 unit. 

282 Contesting Climate Justice. An examination of multiple conceptions of fairness, equity, and justice in relation to climate change, and how calls for justice and fairness are used both to reinforce and to challenge existing power relations, within and among nations. Prerequisites: None. 1 unit. 

285 Introduction to Literature and Environment. An introduction to environmental literature, through genres such as nature writing, memoir, climate fiction (cli-fi) and topics such as wilderness, apocalypticism, climate change, and environmental justice. 1 unit. 

293 Independent Research. Faculty-supervised independent research in environmental natural science, social science, or humanities for students with limited coursework in environmental studies or science. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. 1 unit.

301 Political Ecology of the Southwest. Focuses on political ecology in a seminar setting for understanding political economy and ecological concerns. Highlights the struggles and genius of Southwest cultures under changing conditions. May have a multi-day-off-campus field trip. Prerequisite: Any 100 or 200-level Southwest Studies course or Environmental Program 145 or Environmental Program 141. 1 unit. 

307 Stream Ecology. An introduction to physical processes, biogeochemical cycles, and dynamics of freshwater biota in inland waters. Taking a process-oriented and comparative approach, the course focuses on how the function of river systems impacted due to effects from human interactions with aquatic ecosystems. Field and laboratory exercises integrate material across disciplines. Additional recommended prerequisites: GY140 or GY150; EV351. Prerequisites: CH107 or EV110; MA126; EV209 or BE208. 1 unit.

309 Population Dynamics of Wild, Harvested, and Endangered Species. Why do some fisheries collapse? Will the African elephants go extinct? This course examines environmental questions in population ecology using differential and difference equation modeling in R. Course topics include population dynamics of single and multiple interacting species through time and space, the analysis of equilibria and stability, bifurcation, chaos, sensitivity, and parameterization. Prerequisite: MA126; EV209 or BE208. 1 unit.

310 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.) Prerequisite: Chemistry & Biochemistry 342 or 366; or 210 and consent of instructor. 1 unit.

315 Atmosphere-Biosphere Interactions. The course examines transport and transformation of energy and matter through ecosystems, and how humans impact these. It focuses on solar energy, carbon, and water through the lens of atmosphere-biosphere interactions. The course develops all concepts through hands on data acquisition, analysis, and interpretation. Key concepts include fluxes, gradients, and budgets. Prerequisite: Environmental Program 209, Environmental Program 212, Mathematics 126, or consent of the instructor. 1 unit. 

316 Environmental Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Introduction to the fundamental principles and techniques of Geographic Information Systems and the applications of GIS to environmental studies and science. Through hands-on lab and independent exercises, students will explore geospatial data collection, geospatial data manipulation, database creation and management, spatial analysis, and cartographic mapping. Students will also be exposed to common open-source GIS tools, and basic concepts of remote sensing and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). 1 unit.

320 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. 1 unit.

321 Environmental Management. Environmental management efforts are scientifically, ecologically, and politically contentious, yet necessary given the heightened awareness of our impacts on the environment. Students will learn about principles underlying conservation and management approaches, explore how these principles are applied in practice, and identify potential solutions to the multiple challenges environmental managers face. Case studies may focus on public lands management, restoration and conservation, forestry, and/or water resources, private lands conservation strategies, and the role of environmental non-profits. May involve day or overnight trips. Prerequisites: EV128 and EV145. 1 unit.

323 Subnational Climate Governance. Examines the role of subnational governments such as states, cities, and provinces in climate change politics, with a particular focus on the role of cities in mitigating and adapting to a changing climate. Investigates how local political actors ranging from business interests to social justice activists shape climate initiatives as well as the relationship between subnational climate policies and higher levels of government. Prerequisite: EV/PS 272 or consent of instructor. 1 unit. 

331 Introduction to Ecology and Conservation in Tanzania.

333 Atmospheric Dynamics. Course focuses on the dynamic processes in the atmosphere that transfer both matter and energy, and that govern the vertical structure and weather patterns. Topics include the physical properties of the atmosphere, radiation transfer, stability, large-scale circulation, clouds and storm development, weather forecasting, and humanity's impact on weather and climate. Prerequisite: Environmental Program 212, or Chemistry & Biochemistry 108 and Physics 214, or Physics 251. 1 unit

334 The U.S. Environmental Movement. Uses social movement theory to analyze the environmental movement in the United States as well as its successes and failures. Investigates the growing diversity of perspectives within environmentalism and the challenges and opportunities that mark environmental activism today. Recommended prerequisites: PS200, EV271, or EV274.

335 Environmental Economics. This course develops: 1.) the tools necessary for the economic analysis of environmental and natural resource problems; 2.) the ability to apply those tools in the investigation of a real world environmental resource problem and; 3.) the insight to form policy recommendations on the basis of such analysis and investigation. Particular emphasis on problems of market failure, such as externalities, public goods, non-market goods, uncertainty, income distribution, inter-temporal resource allocation and policies to correct for imperfect markets. Prerequisite: Economics 201. 1 unit. 

341 Ecological Economics. Ecological economists adopt a transdisciplinary framework that draws from a diverse web of knowledge across the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Students will critique neoclassical economic thought and use a systems approach to analyze the interdependencies among social, economic, and ecological issues. May include overnight field trips. 1 unit. Prerequisite: Any 100-level or higher economics course or consent of instructor. 1 unit.

342 Sustainable Development. Focuses on the rhetoric and practices of “sustainable development” and its attempts to reconcile economic growth, social equity, and environmental protection. Students will investigate the histories of colonialism and social struggle. Students will develop sophisticated analyses of the intersections of global socioeconomic inequality and the challenges of ecological sustainability. 1 unit.

343 Landscape Ecology. This course explores the principles of landscape ecology and their application to contemporary issues in conservation and management. Students will examine methods for detecting and characterizing landscape patterns and processes; explore how landscape patterns emerge and change over time; discuss implications for populations, communities, and ecosystems; and develop strategies for landscape scale conservation and management. Prerequisites: MA117 or BE220 or EV228; EV209 or BE208. 1 unit. 

348 Economics of the Environment.

351 Hydrology. An introduction to hydrology in the context of watersheds, focusing on the major components of the hydrologic cycle; precipitation, canopy interception, infiltration, soil water storage, runoff, streamflow, and groundwater flow. Management of Water resources and the response of water quantity and quality to anthropogenic activity will also be discussed. Prerequisites: GY140 or GY150; EV212. 1 unit. 

352 Waters of the West. An introduction to western water laws, water management policies, and the legacy of water federalism. Particular attention is given to instream flow programs, Native waters, community ditches, water justice, and water conservation efforts in the Southwest. Prerequisites: SW102 or EV128 or EV145 or COI. 1 unit.

356 Global Environmental Policy. This course studies the actors, institutions, and mechanisms that structure global environmental regimes. Students will examine the theoretical and regulatory foundations that have shaped contemporary study and practice; explore emergent and innovative responses in policy/law to interlinked environmental issues; and interrogate connections between formal global regulation and subnational, private, and nonstate governance mechanisms. Recommended prerequisites: EV271 or PS209. 1 unit.

360 Advanced Topics in Environmental Social Science. Selected environmental social science topics that require an intermediate background. Offered when interest and opportunity arise. May require at least one 200 level Environmental Science course as prerequisite. 1 unit.

361 Advanced Topics in Environmental Humanities. Selected advanced topics in the environmental humanities that are not offered as part of the regular course listings. 1 unit. 

365 Environmental and Sustainability Education. This advanced course in curriculum, instruction, and assessment builds on foundational knowledge in environmental and sustainability education by focusing on the development and assessment of curriculum that builds environmental literacy through transdisciplinary environmental inquiry. Class discussion, lesson planning, and reflective teaching focus on developing a comprehensive framework that facilitates a broad approach for inquiring about environmental issues and detecting narrowness and bias in the arguments made by others concerning environmental challenges, issues, and problems. Teaching methods specific to environmental and outdoor education are emphasized through a practicum that spans the course. Students complete a course project portfolio that meets expectations for environmental education certification from the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education. Prerequisite: Education 120 and Education 225. 1 unit. 

373 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. 1 unit. 

375 Community Forestry. Focuses on the role of forest ecosystems in social, political, and economic systems and how definitions and management of forests are contested. Students will gain and apply skills and tools from multiple social science disciplines to understand the short and long-term ramifications of forest management policies. Includes service-learning field trips. 1 unit.

385 Environmental Education. This course centers on curriculum, instruction, and assessment in environmental education. Class discussion and lesson planning develop a comprehensive framework that facilitates a broad approach to environmental issues. Teaching methods specific to environmental and outdoor education are emphasized through a practicum that spans the course. Prerequisite: Education 120 and Education 225. 1 unit.

391 Junior Research Seminar. A seminar required for third-year Environmental Studies majors planning to write a senior thesis. The course takes students through steps of the research process including establishing a research question, writing a research proposal, examining primary/secondary sources, research approaches and theory, and methodological questions within interdisciplinary examinations of environmental issues. Prerequisite: Open to third year Environmental Studies track majors or consent of instructor. 1 unit. 

392 Research Workshop. This workshop supports faculty-student collaborative research on a specified theme or topic. The class may focus on discussion of literature, workshopping manuscripts for publication/conference presentations, theoretical discussions, and/or project-based learning projects. The class is intended for Junior and Senior EV Science and Studies majors. The class will not count towards an elective requirement in EV. The class may be offered as an adjunct or as a half block class. It is offered on a P/F basis only. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. .25 or .5 units.

393 Independent Research. Faculty-supervised independent research project in environmental natural science, social science, or humanities for students with substantial coursework in environmental studies or sciences. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. 1 unit.


421 Environmental Synthesis. 
This is the required capstone course for all Environmental Science and Environmental Studies majors. The course provides a platform for interdisciplinary integration of multiple perspectives by examining a single local/regional environmental issue through multiple lenses. Students engage in original research that has the potential to influence on-the-ground decision-making. Prerequisite: Senior standing in Environmental Science or Environmental Studies major, or consent of instructor. 1 unit.

431 Atmospheric Chemistry. Course focuses on the chemical composition of Earth's atmosphere, including the governing chemical mechanisms and their associated kinetics. The generation, transport, and transformation of criteria pollutants in the troposphere and stratosphere will be explored. Course has significant field and laboratory components as well as a student-designed research project. Prerequisite: EV333 or consent of instructor. 1 unit.

490 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. 

491 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.) Prerequisite: Environmental Program 322 or consent of instructor. .25 to .5 units.

493 Independent Research. Advanced faculty-supervised independent research in environmental natural science, social science, or humanities. Usually done as thesis research before EV499: Senior Thesis. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. 1 unit.

499 Senior Thesis. A thesis topic chosen by a student with advice from a member of the Environmental Studies Program. Environmental Science majors must have a topic grounded in the natural sciences and Environmental Studies majors may have a topic grounded in the natural sciences, social sciences, or humanities. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Environmental Studies majors must complete EV391: Junior Research Seminar to write a thesis.

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Report an issue - Last updated: 06/08/2022