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Environmental Studies

Course Descriptions

Environmental Studies Courses


ENV 201 Contemp Environmental Issues (ST) (4.00 SH). This course investigates complex, real-world environmental issues facing our world today. Students will use case studies to explore environmental issues from multi-disciplinary perspectives and contexts including scientific, economic, political, social, historical, and cultural. Stakeholder identification and analysis, environmental justice, and risk assessment are additional themes considered in this communication-intensive course. A major component of this course will be a project in which students will have the opportunity to engage in in-depth research on the many nuanced perspectives, positions, and stances of a specific environmental issue. Students will communicate findings and advocate for a particular viewpoint as well as suggest possible solutions. Research projects may include topics such as climate change, hydraulic fracking, loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction, deforestation, water and air pollution, natural resource distribution, and sustainable food supplies.

 

Supporting Courses


ART 105 Art and Nature (VP) (4.00 SH). This course takes an in-depth look at the natural world through art. Students explore a variety of subjects from butterflies to birds; seedpods to sea shells; the microscopic to the expanse of landscapes. Content and themes ranging from more scientific to the artistic. Primary techniques are basic drawing and painting using simple and portable materials. The course revolves around the creation of a field journal/sketchbook. More involved projects spin off assignments from the sketchbook. Students can expect to work on location/campus and at the biology department’s Field Station and Nature Trail. Our studio is the great outdoors. Meets Visual and Performing Arts Intellectual Perspective requirement (VP).

ART 120 Sculpture and Science (VP) (4.00 SH). This course will explore the intersection of art and science through a variety of sculptural projects inspired by scientific disciplines. A background in science is not required; the subject matter, processes and tools of both natural and social sciences are used as a framework for making art. Emphasis on experimentation, critical thinking, collaboration and problem-solving. A range of three-dimensional materials and processes will be utilized throughout the course. Development of concept through the study of artists combining science and art. Meets Visual and Performing Arts Intellectual Perspective requirement (VP).

ART 200 Basic Studio Art 3D (VP) (4.00 SH). An introductory class for students to explore the physical and visual properties of three-dimensional form. Students will work with a variety of materials such as plaster, balsa wood, paper, foam, cardboard, and found objects. Problem-solving projects will address aspects of design, technique and process, presentation, function and innovation in the creating of physical objects in space. Traditional and contemporary artists working in three-dimensional media are shown to illustrate project themes. Meets Visual and Performing Arts Intellectual Perspective requirement (VP).

ART 208 Intro to Sculpture (VP) (4.00 SH). This course is an introduction to utilizing sculpture as a three-dimensional vehicle for creative expression. The physical, spatial, and thematic properties of sculptural media are addressed through course projects. A range of materials and processes will be utilized in the course and may include wood, plaster, wax, metal, fabric, found materials, casting, site-specific, and installation. The course is designed for all skill levels. Meets Visual and Performing Arts Intellectual Perspective requirement (VP).

BC 251 Single Camera Video Production (4.00 SH). This course introduces the student to the fundamentals and best practices of single-camera video production. Students obtain experience in pre-production, production and post-production utilizing digital video cameras and digital video editing. They also apply fundamentals for audio and lighting in productions while operating in our cable TV operations and with online video productions with WCN 24/7. Lab required. Also listed as SCSM-251 and CMP-251.

BIO 105 Pattern & Process (SD) (4.00 SH). This is a cluster course for the non-science major. Students will learn how scientific discoveries are made and they will use the scientific method to investigate biological systems. Ecological concepts will be used to illustrate biological patterns at the individual, population, and community level and to explain the importance of change in the natural world. A laboratory which emphasizes field work is included. Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

BIO 113 Global & American Epidemics (SD) (4.00 SH). An introductory course for non-science majors which explores the causes, pathobiology, epidemiology, and treatment of selected worldwide infectious diseases, with a special focus on the United States. The course will emphasize infectious diseases that have impacted American society and shaped our public health infrastructure. It will include an introduction to public health and epidemiology which will be then followed by discussions on selected infectious diseases. During laboratory sessions, students will learn about scientific communication, through reviewing and presenting scientific literature, learn about laboratory methods used to diagnose and study infectious agents, and acquire skills in epidemiological research and outbreak investigations. This course meets the Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

BIO 120 Biology of Birds (SD) (4.00 SH). An introductory course for non-science majors. A primary goal of this course is for students to emerge with a lasting knowledge of and appreciation for birds and birding. Through lecture and laboratory, students will develop understanding and appreciation for the diversity, evolution, life histories, morphological traits, ecological relationships, behaviors, and conservation of birds. Field experiences will help students learn to identify regional species by sight and/or sound. Students will also contribute to and explore citizen-science databases to study how birds are affected by habitat loss, climate change, and disease in North America. Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

BIO 120C C:Biology of Birds (SD) (4.00 SH). Clustered with BC-150C - Tweetspeak Where we bring birding and blogging together! This cluster joins Bird Biology (BIO 120) and Digital Media Essentials (BC-150). It is an interdisciplinary approach to teaching Ornithology and digital media cultivating science literacy and digital media literacy. In these classes, students will become fluent in the science of all things avian. They will also become bloggers and citizen journalists sharing their birding experiences through images, text and video.

BIO 206 Biostatistics & Experim Design (QR) (4.00 SH). An introductory course in experimental design and data analysis designed to encourage an understanding and appreciation of the role of experimentation, hypothesis testing, and data analysis in biology. The course will emphasize principles of experimental design, methods of data collection, exploratory data analysis, and the use of graphical and statistical tools commonly used by biologists to analyze data. Prerequisite: C- or better in BIO 201. Offered every semester. Meets Quantitative Reasoning (QR) IP

CHE 105 Intro Environmental Chemistry (SD) (4.00 SH). This course uses environmental themes in the study of the language of chemistry, atomic and molecular structure, chemical reactions and their energy changes, and mathematical relationships. Relationships between chemistry and society are explored through the concepts of sustainability and green chemistry. The laboratory program will involve investigation of environmental chemistry, analysis and interpretation of both qualitative and quantitative data, as well as communication of the results. CHE 105 can serve as a prerequisite for CHE 117 for students who have not had a previous course in chemistry or who have demonstrated the need for additional preparation in chemistry. (This course cannot be used as part of a chemistry major or minor. PreK-4 early childhood education/PreK-8 special education majors may use this course to meet the physical science requirement.) Offered Fall Semester.

CMP 251 Single Camera Video Production (4.00 SH). This course introduces the student to the fundamentals and best practices of single-camera video production. Students obtain experience in pre-production, production and post-production utilizing digital video cameras and digital video editing. They also apply fundamentals for audio and lighting in productions while operating in our cable TV operations and with online video productions with WCN 24/7. Lab required. Also listed as SCSM-251 and BC-251.

ECO 220 Statistics (QR) (4.00 SH). An introductory course in the analysis and interpretation of quantitative data. Attention is given to the binomial distribution, the normal distribution, sampling, introductory probability theory, and hypothesis testing. Real world applications are used with computer software for statistical analysis. Not available to students with credit in BIO 206, MTH 335, PSY 201, PS 301, SSC 251, or SSC 252. Prerequisite: MTH 131 (or concurrent enrollment in MTH 131).

ENG 131 Nature Writing (HC) (4.00 SH). ENG 101-199 Studies in English, American, world or comparative literature, or in specific literary genres and themes. Individual sections experiment with different approaches and topics. The times and a brief description of each course is provided each semester. These courses are designed primarily for non-English majors. More than one ENG 101–199 may be taken for credit, as long as each course is different. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

ENG 411 Ecocriticism (4.00 SH). This course will be devoted to developing a critical vocabulary and a range of methodologies for thinking, writing, and talking about the relationship between literature and the environment. We’ll work through such issues as the cultural construction of nature and/or landscape; the poetics and politics of nature writing; the idea of wilderness; land as a readable text; land as economic and spiritual resource; environmentalist politics; intersections between environmentalism and other political or theoretical movements or schools (such as feminism); “green” pedagogy; gender and nature; connections between land and community (or land and race, land and ethnicity); construction of space; definitions of terms such as “nature,” “environment,” “ecology,” “wilderness,” “landscape,” and “ecocriticism”; and the phenomenon that Yi Fu Tuan called “topophilia,” or love of place.

ENG 434 The Romantics (4.00 SH). As an artistic movement, romanticism is characterized by its emphasis on passion, feeling, intuition, imagination, nature, and the individual. Political rebellions of the late 18th century inspired writers, painters, and musicians. Their work demonstrates a similar optimistic belief in the individual and a quest to improve self and society. Indeed, artists emerged as leaders in this effort, with Percy Shelley calling them “the unacknowledged legislators of the World.” This course explores the Romantic Movement in British literature (with attention also given to painting and music) and the authors—including Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Byron, Shelley, and Keats—who inspired their American counterparts to transplant romanticism to the new land in the early to mid-1800s. Readings, discussion, and other assignments will increase our appreciation of artists who cultivate “the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings,” “march to the beat of a different drummer,” “sound [their] barbaric yawp over the rooftops of the world,” “feed on honey-dew,” and “drink the milk of Paradise.”

ES 160 Concepts Environmental Science (SD) (4.00 SH). An investigation of the effect of humans on the Earth’s environment and on the other species that inhabit our planet. The course will look at the impact that an increasing human population has on the resource utilization, pollution production, habitat degradation, and the extinction of species. It will include a brief look at the policies and laws that specifically relate to environmental problems. Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

ES 170 Project-Based Environmental Sci(SD) (4.00 SH). A survey of the major environmental issues facing our planet, with an in-depth focus on one environmental issue of local/regional interest. The course emphasizes the science of environmental issues but also explores the social, political, and economical factors that are involved. The first half of the course involves traditional lab and field experiences, while the laboratory portion of the second half of the course is dedicated to a research project related to the environmental issue of local/regional interest.

ES 170C C:Project-Based Envir Science (SD) (4.00 SH). A survey of the major environmental issues facing our planet, with an in-depth focus on one environmental issue of local/regional interest. The course emphasizes the science of environmental issues but also explores the social, political, and economical factors that are involved. The first half of the course involves traditional lab and field experiences, while the laboratory portion of the second half of the course is dedicated to a research project related to the environmental issue of local/regional interest.

GEL 121 Intro to Geology (SD) (4.00 SH). An introductory study of the earth, its materials, its structure, the forces which act upon it and modify it, human interactions with the earth, and the earth’s history. The laboratory includes field work in the area, as well as in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and/or West Virginia. (PreK-4 early childhood education/preK-8 special education majors may use this course to meet the physical science requirement). Meets Scientific Discovery Intellectual Perspective requirement (SD).

GEO 101 World Geography (ST) (4.00 SH). This course in world geography is intended to give the student the opportunity to gain an understanding of the nature of geographic study, the physical planet on which we live, and the multiple ways people have organized themselves culturally, economically, politically, and physically across the globe.

HIS 245 19th Century Europe (HC) (4.00 SH). A study of the political, social, economic, and diplomatic background of Europe from the Napoleonic Era to the close of the century. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 281 Africa to 1800 (HC) (4.00 SH). A survey of African history from the earliest times until 1800. The course examines major political, economic and cultural developments across the continent, including human origins, the great civilizations of the first millennium, and the slave trade. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

HIS 314 Disease in US History (4.00 SH). This course seeks to provide advanced students of history the opportunity to study the nature, course, and impact of diseases on and in the history of the United States. Attention will also be given to the definition and perception of disease and change over time in both. After reviewing the history of disease across the whole of U.S. history, the course will examine the nature, course, and impact of a series of particular diseases in substantial depth along with the historiography of those diseases.

MTH 135 Concepts of Statistics (QR) (4.00 SH). An introduction to the concepts of statistics. Topics include graphical and numerical summaries of data, confidence intervals and significance tests about hypotheses. Emphasis is placed on conceptual understanding and interpretation of data and statistics. Not available to students who have credit for ECO 220, PSY 201, SSC 251, BIO 206. (Offered Spring semester.) Meets Quantitative Reasoning Intellectual Perspective requirement (QR).

MTH 335 Statistics (4.00 SH). An introduction to statistics. Topics include exploratory data analysis, descriptive and inferential statistics. Both classical, and bootstrapping and randomization approaches to inferential analysis are taken. Prerequisites: C- or better in MTH 152 and in MTH 241. (Offered on demand.)

PAX 301 Advanced Peace Studies Seminar (4.00 SH). This seminar course is an experientially based, hands-on exploration of ways to work through conflict and to create conditions of sustainable peace. This seminar will incorporate service learning and civic engagement at the local, national, or international level. Prerequisite: PAX 101 or permission of the instructor.

PCL 203 Professional Presentations (4.00 SH). This course is an advance public speaking course designed to offer students the opportunity to develop presentations in their field (business, public relations, education, etc.). Advanced speaking techniques are cultivated in a variety of speaking occasions.

PCL 207 Business & Professional Leadership (4.00 SH). An analysis of communication and leadership in organizations, this course material focuses on interviewing skills, office communication media and choice-making, and sensitivity to evolving standards of “appropriate” behavior in the workplace. A variety of communication contexts are examined, including: interviews; written, electronic, and oral correspondence; and meetings, lunches, and parties.

PCL 325 Communication Ethics (ST) (4.00 SH). This course is designed to investigate the interrelationship of communication and free speech. The course will provide the opportunities to understand ethical communication in various contexts, assess weaknesses and strengths as an ethical communicator, and apply theories of communication ethics to the major course of study. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

PHI 230 Environmental Ethics (RP) (4.00 SH). Beginning with an examination of the nature of ethics in general, this course will explore a variety of theoretical positions on subjects such as the philosophy of nature, animal rights, deep ecology, eco-feminism, and global justice. One guiding theme will be the difference between the “anthropocentric” and an “eco-centric” attitude. Meets Religious and Philosophical Thought Intellectual Perspective requirement

PS 104 International Relations (ST) (4.00 SH). A study of politics among states and other actors who affect global relations. Once establishing a background in the concepts used to analyze world politics, students will use these concepts to explore the Cold War era, the end of that system, and several pertinent international issues in the areas of security, economics, and the environment. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

PS 222 Political Ideologies (RP) (4.00 SH). Over the last two centuries, an unprecedented number of political dreamers have emerged to question social and political arrangements. Often they have dared to imagine they could craft perfect societies. Students will compare the ways that different belief systems have addressed fundamental concepts like freedom, justice, equality and human nature, as they explore the political belief systems (including liberalism, conservatism, feminism, socialism, anarchism, fascism and environmentalism) that have captured peoples’ imaginations and stirred them to action. Meets Religious and Philosophical Thought Intellectual Perspective requirement (RP).

PS 242 Environmental Policy & Politics (4.00 SH). This course explores “the environment” as a focus of public policy, an issue in political debate, and a basis for thinking about the purposes of political life. It reviews some of the classic readings in environmentalism, considers domestic and international policy approaches to major issues such as climate change, clean air and water, and sustainable development, and explores the ways in which thinking “environmentally” challenges our standard assumptions about policy-making and political life. Prerequisite: PS 101 or consent of instructor.

PS 431 International Law & Organization (4.00 SH). A study of selected international institutions that have been constructed to address challenges faced by the world’s states. The course will introduce the student to several theories of international cooperation and explore the validity of these approaches in explaining behavior in the United Nations system (which consists of many international organizations). Students will leave the course with an understanding of the structures of these organizations, as well as a sense of how and why they work and sometimes fail to work. Topical areas will include peacekeeping, arms control and disarmament (e.g., nuclear weapons, biological and chemical warfare), development and trade, social and humanitarian issues (e.g., refugees, drug trafficking, transnational crime), and legal issues (e.g., war criminals, asylum). Prerequisite: PS 104 or permission of instructor.

PSY 201 Experimental Design and Statistics (4.00 SH). An introduction to experimental research design, methods and statistics for the behavioral sciences. This course includes research ethics training, APA style writing instruction, and data analysis. Students propose research, do peer review, collect and analyze date, and present the results through laboratory modules and term research projects. Prerequisites: PSY 101.

SCSM 101 Prin/Prac Public Relations (ST) (4.00 SH). A concept course which will make students familiar with the background and content of public relations management and help them understand the nature of managerial and ethical responsibilities of public relations practitioners. Attention will be given to the codes of ethics and enforcement processes of national societies of public relations professionals. The primary focus will be on management’s critical areas of accountability: the conceptualization and specification of the tasks and responsibilities which define the nature, scope and warranty of public relations activity. The course also will provide an overview of the various sectors of public relations such as public affairs, community relations, employee relations, financial and shareholder relations, consumer relations, international relations, crisis management and issues management. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

SOC 105 Cultural Anthropology (HC) (4.00 SH). An introduction to the perspectives, methods and topics of study of cultural anthropology. Central focus is on cultural universals of language, religion and values and the cultural stances of ethnocentrism and cultural relativism. Emphasis on contemporary indigenous peoples, and especially Native Americans, as they encounter and assimilate into commercial, global-scale societies. We also discuss the roles and responsibilities of anthropologists as ethnographers, including issues of authority, methodological rigor, objectivity and advocacy. Meets Humanity and Culture Intellectual Perspective requirement (HC).

SOC 260 Food, Culture and Society (ST) (4.00 SH). This course is an introduction to the emerging field of study called the Sociology of Food. We explore social, cultural and political issues, at the global, national and local levels, around the production, distribution, preparation, consumption and symbolism of food. Choices and outcomes regarding these processes reflect individual and group identities and relationships, access to resources and position in various social hierarchies. Students also are asked to reflect on the ethics of food processes and policies and their own food choices. Meets Social Thought and Tradition Intellectual Perspective requirement (ST).

SSC 252 Data Analysis for Soc Sci (QR) (4.00 SH). This class covers some introductory but powerful statistical techniques for analyzing and interpreting social science data. Students will use both descriptive and inferential statistics, and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of various statistical methods. They will also develop skills in presenting and interpreting statistical charts, graphs and tables. There is no formal prerequisite, but SSC 251, PS 301 or other exposure to research methods is recommended. Meets Quantitative Reasoning Intellectual Perspective requirement (QR).

WRI 210 Intro to Creative and Pro Writing (4.00 SH). In this course, students will give their attention to the craft of writing by advancing their understanding of creative nonfiction and professional feature writing. Students will learn to critique their peers’ work in order to advance the class’s understanding of the editing process and the genres in which we are working. Having gained knowledge and confidence through these processes, students will begin to write convincingly about the art of writing. Over the course of the term, each student will write 2 or 3 creative nonfiction essays and 2 or 3 professional feature stories. These essays and stories will be modeled by the examples in the textbooks that we read and discuss. Regularly, students will submit drafts of their work to the class for discussion in a workshop format. For each draft submitted to the workshop, 3 students will be assigned the task of writing a thoughtful critique.

WRI 301 Journalism I (4.00 SH). News reporting and writing, focusing on developing journalistic style and news judgment. Students will learn techniques of researching, interviewing, quoting, editing, beginning­ makeup and design, and rewriting the “hand­out,” or news release. This course also includes an introduction to press law, ethics and broadcast news. All students are expected to submit stories for print consideration. Prerequisite: WRI 210.

WRI 351 Creative Non-Fiction (4.00 SH). Creative Non-Fiction takes as its premise the core of all writing-narrative structure and imagery. In non-fiction, structure becomes plastic and changeable according to a writer’s goals. Students will explore ways to create imagery-rich text. Students will read a wide selection in this genre and analyze what individual writers have done and how they’ve done it. Prerequisite: WRI 210.

WRI 352 Career Writing (4.00 SH). A course in the various types of practical writing required in the workplace. Prerequisite: WRI 210.

WRI 358 Technical Writing (4.00 SH). Throughout the ages, writing has always been mediated by the medium in which the words appear. With the advent of computers, in particular the Internet, the medium has shifted from paper-based to computer-based. We are in danger of losing the subtlety of language in the speed of technology and globalism. Instant messaging, e-mail, Web pages and other forms of computer-mediated communication are changing how we communicate with one another. It is important to emphasize that words must still be carefully crafted and writers must consider both the connotation and denotation of the words they choose. Because these documents will be technical in nature, they’ll contain graphs, charts, and a wide variety of visual elements as well as text. Prerequisite: WRI 210.

 

What can you do with an Environmental Studies degree?

Imagine yourself an environmental consultant, environmental writer, environmental lawyer, conservation proponent, or sustainability analyst.