See Also: Major Requirements.

  • ENTS 110: Environment and Society

    This course offers an interdisciplinary introduction to a number of the pressing environmental changes currently facing human societies around the world. We will seek to understand and integrate the social, economic, scientific and political dimensions of these challenges. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the complexity of environmental issues and the interdisciplinary nature of the search for appropriate solutions. Topics will include global warming, population pressures, energy use, industrial waste and pollution, biological diversity, and sustainable agriculture.

    not offered 2023–2024
  • ENTS 120: Introduction to Geospatial Analysis & Lab

    Spatial data analysis using Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, global positioning, and related technologies are increasingly important for understanding and analyzing a wide range of biophysical, social, and economic phenomena. This course serves as an overview and introduction to the concepts, algorithms, issues, and methods in describing, analyzing, and modeling geospatial data over a range of application areas.

    6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2023, Fall 2023, Spring 2024, Spring 2024 · Tsegaye Nega, John Berini
  • ENTS 210: Environmental Justice

    The environmental justice movement seeks greater participation by marginalized communities in environmental policy, and equity in the distribution of environmental harms and benefits. This course will examine the meaning of “environmental justice,” the history of the movement, the empirical foundation for the movement’s claims, and specific policy questions. Our focus is the United States, but students will have the opportunity to research environmental justice in other countries.

    6 credits; Intercultural Domestic Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Social Inquiry; offered Winter 2024 · Colleen Carpenter
  • ENTS 212: Global Food Systems

    The course offers a survey of the world’s food systems–and its critics–from the initial domestication of plants and animals to our day. We will begin by examining the critical theoretical and foundational issues on the subject, and then turn to a series of case studies that illuminate major themes around the world. Topics will include land and animal husbandry, the problem of food security, food politics, the Green Revolution, biotechnology, and the implications of global climate change. Throughout the course, students will assess and seek to integrate differing disciplinary and methodological approaches. The class will include field experiences.

    not offered 2023–2024
  • ENTS 215: Environmental Ethics

    This course is an introduction to the central ethical debates in environmental policy and practice, as well as some of the major traditions of environmental thought. It investigates such questions as whether we can have moral duties towards animals, ecosystems, or future generations; what is the ethical basis for wilderness preservation; and what is the relationship between environmentalism and social justice. The Academic Civic Engagement aspect of the course for Spring 2024 will involve beaver monitoring in the Arb and participation in planning the BeaverFest campus and community event in May.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Fall 2023, Spring 2024 · Colleen Carpenter
  • ENTS 225: Carbon and Climate

    This course will focus on the interconnections between the Earth’s carbon cycle and climate system. Particular interest will be given to how Earth system processes involved in the carbon cycle operate on geologic timescales and how these systems are responding to anthropogenic emissions. Required weekly laboratories will explore carbon cycle processes in local environments and will include outdoor field work, lab analyses, and computer modeling.

    Prerequisites: One lab science course 6 credits; Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2023, Fall 2023, Fall 2023, Fall 2023 · Dan Maxbauer
  • ENTS 232: Research Methods in Environmental Studies

    This course covers various methodologies that are used to prosecute interdisciplinary academic research relating to the environment. Among the topics covered are: identification of a research question, methods of analysis, hypothesis testing, and effective rhetorical methods, both oral and written. 3 credits; Formal or Statistical Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2023 · Tsegaye Nega
  • ENTS 244: Biodiversity Conservation and Development

    How can the need for intensive human social and economic development be reconciled with the conservation of biodiversity? This course explores the wide range of actions that people take at a local, national, and international level to address this question. We will use political ecology and conservation biology as theoretical frameworks to examine the role of traditional and indigenous approaches to biodiversity conservation as well as contemporary debates about integrated conservation development across a spectrum of cultures in North America, Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

    not offered 2023–2024
  • ENTS 248: Environmental Memoir

    Through close readings of contemporary and classic environmental memoirs, this course explores the connections between nature and identity; race, belonging, and landscape; and memory, justice, and hope. Issues of environmental justice and injustice will serve as a key interpretive lens for approaching the texts. Authors include Robin Wall Kimmerer, Aldo Leopold, Terry Tempest Williams, and J. Drew Lanham.

    6 credits; Intercultural Domestic Studies, Literary/Artistic Analysis, Writing Requirement; offered Fall 2023 · Colleen Carpenter
  • ENTS 249: Troubled Waters

    This course considers the contrast between the ways various religions conceive of water as sacred, and the fact that today’s intersecting environmental crises mean that drought, flooding, sea level rise, and lack of access to clean water and safe sanitation have made the human relationship with water more fraught and complex than ever before. We will look at specific situations of environmental injustice (including Flint, Michigan; Jackson, Mississippi; and the protests at Standing Rock) as well as reading more theoretical and theological takes on water, water justice, and water activism.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies; offered Spring 2024 · Colleen Carpenter
  • ENTS 250: Food, Forests & Resilience

    The course will explore how the idea of sustainability is complicated when evaluated through a socio-ecological framework that combines anthropology and ecology. To highlight this complexity, the course is designed to provide a comparative framework to understand and analyze sustainable socio-ecological propositions in Minnesota and Oaxaca. Key conceptual areas explored include: coupled human-natural systems, resilience (ecological and cultural), self-determination, and social justice across stakeholders. The course includes a series of fieldtrips to nearby projects of interest. This course is part of the OCS winter break Oaxaca program, involving two linked courses in fall and winter terms. This class is the first class in the sequence.

    Prerequisites: One of the following is recommended: Environmental Studies 110, Sociology/Anthropology 110, Sociology/Anthropology 250, Biology 210, History 170 or History 205 not offered 2023–2024
  • ENTS 251: Field Study in Sustainability in Oaxaca

    A field-based investigation of socio-ecological systems in Oaxaca, Mexico that will allow students to draw compaisons with similar systems in Minnesota. During winter break, we will visit the city of Oaxaca and neighboring villages to document and research systems of agriculture, sustainable forestry, and ecotourism, emphasizing the integration of methodologies in anthropology and ecology. Following the winter break trip, students will complete and present their research projects. This course is the second part of a two term sequence beginning with Environmental Studies 250.

    Prerequisites: Prior term registration in Environmental Studies 250. At least one term of introductory Spanish (or equivalent proficiency) is required not offered 2023–2024
  • ENTS 254: Topics in Landscape Ecology

    Landscape ecology is an interdisciplinary field that combines the spatial approach of the geographer with the functional approach of the ecologist to understand the ways in which landscape composition and structure affects ecological processes, species abundance, and distribution. Topics include collecting and referencing spatial data at broad scales, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), landscape metrics, simulating change in landscape pattern, landscape connectivity and meta-population dynamics, and reserve design.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 and 126 not offered 2023–2024
  • ENTS 255: Ecology & Anthropology Tanzania Program: Field Methods in Ecology and Anthropology

    This course enables students with interests in both Ecology and Anthropology to conduct studies in partnership with Tanzanian host communities. The challenges facing cultural groups and socio-ecological systems in northern Tanzania are inherently multi-disciplinary, and students must be able to bridge disciplines. This Field Methods course provides students with a common set of skills from both the ecological and anthropological disciplines to be applied in their Independent Study projects. Topics covered in the course include: introduction to research ethics; conducting a literature review; design and implementation of data collection protocols and survey questionnaires; summary, analysis and presentation of qualitative and quantitative data.

    Prerequisites: Participation in Ecology & Anthropology Tanzania Program 3-4 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2023 · Anna Estes
  • ENTS 275: The Arts and Environmental Justice

    How are artists today engaging with climate change, pollution, and other aspects of the planet’s environmental crisis? And are their creative works making any difference? In The Great Derangement, novelist and social anthropologist Amitav Ghosh argues that today’s literary fiction has failed to engage climate change in a meaningful and transformative way: we will read several “climate novels” to test his claim. We will also look at visual arts and music, including work by Maya Lin, Patricia Johanson, and collaborative artist/science/community projects such as those led by CALL, City as Living Laboratory.

    not offered 2023–2024
  • ENTS 288: Abrupt Climate Change

    Abrupt climate change is very fast change related to “tipping points” and threshold crossings. Such change is evident in historical climate records going back millions of years. Includes interpretation of historical paleoclimate data and proxy measurement methods, evolving theories for abrupt change, the role of complex earth systems processes, and trends in global climate change today. Link to human concerns will be made by exploring several case studies on past human civilizations affected by abrupt climate change. Includes a final project on the emerging science of abrupt climate change.

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 or 126, or Chemistry 123 or 128 or any 100-level Geology, or Physics (two five-week courses or one ten week course from 131 through 165) 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Spring 2024 · Trish Ferrett
  • ENTS 289: Climate Change and Human Health

    This course will survey the relationship between climate change and human health. The course will begin by exploring the science of the Earth’s climate before turning to an exploration of topics that illuminate the intimate relationship between climate change and human health. These include short-lived climate forcers and the climate and health impact of mitigation measures, extreme heat/drought, mosquito-borne diseases, indoor air pollution/biomass combustion/cookstoves, and biodiversity conservation. Project proposals for the off-campus component will be developed. This course is part of the OCS winter break program involving two linked courses in fall and winter terms. This course is the first in the sequence, students must register for Chemistry 289 winter term.

    Prerequisites: One introductory course in Biology 125 or 126, Chemistry 123 or 128, any 100-level Geology, or Physics (two five-week courses or one ten week course from 131-165) not offered 2023–2024
  • ENTS 291: Cameroon Program: NGO Internship/Independent Project

    This course consists of two interrelated streams: the internship and the independent project. During the internship, students study and work with an established NGO, offering students practical hands-on experience in service-learning while fostering the development of one-on-one relationships with local activists across cultural and linguistic barriers. Students document and critically analyze their involvement in a pre-existing local sustainable development initiative and/or creative input into the emergence of a new initiative under the guidance of the NGO staff mentor and the supervision of the Program Director. The independent project is accompanied by a final paper.

    1-6 credit; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Winter 2024, Spring 2024 · Colleen Carpenter, George Vrtis
  • ENTS 307: Wilderness Field Studies: Grand Canyon

    This course is the second half of a two-course sequence focused on the study of wilderness in American society and culture. The course will begin with an Off-Campus Studies program at Grand Canyon National Park, where we will learn about the natural and human history of the Grand Canyon region, examine contemporary issues facing the park, meet with officials from the National Park Service and other local experts, conduct research, and experience the park through hiking and camping. The course will culminate in spring term with the completion and presentation of a major research project.

    Prerequisites: History 306 and Acceptance in Wilderness Studies at the Grand Canyon OCS program 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, Intercultural Domestic Studies, Writing Requirement; offered Spring 2024 · George Vrtis
  • ENTS 310: Topics in Environmental Law and Policy

    This seminar will examine topical issues in domestic and international environmental law and policy. We will aim to understand how environmental laws work to achieve policy objectives, with attention also to debates about the role of markets and community-based environmental management. The specific topics may change from year to year, but may include approaches to sustainable development, sustainable agriculture, protection of endangered species, and conservation and management of water resources. This course has no prerequisites and is suitable for students of environmental studies, political science, international relations and political economy.

    not offered 2023–2024
  • ENTS 318: Trees, Forests, and Climate Justice

    Will planting one trillion trees save us from climate change? Will deforestation and wildfires doom us? This course will examine the ways that contemporary worries, hopes, and dreams about forests and the ways their fate is entangled with that of humanity are rooted not only in science and practical policy choices, but in the folklore, sacred stories, and great literature that have long shaped our engagement with “the deep dark woods.” The course is constructed as a multi-disciplinary approach to forests in the Anthropocene; each student will pursue an original, interdisciplinary research project leading to a ca. 25-page research paper.

    6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry, International Studies, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Winter 2024 · Colleen Carpenter
  • ENTS 355: Ecology & Anthropology Tanzania Program: Ecology and Conservation of Savanna Ecosystems in Northern Tanzania

    This course focuses on the foundational principles necessary to understand the ecology and conservation of savanna ecosystems in northern Tanzania, and the important roles that people and protected areas play within them. The course is based on the premise that a thorough understanding of Tanzania’s ecosystems and the challenges facing them cannot be achieved without understanding the human and political contexts in which they exist. The course incorporates primary literature, frequent guest lecturers, stakeholder interactions and student-facilitated discussions. The experiential, site-based approach allows students to gain insight into the practical application of ecological concepts in monitoring and maintaining savanna ecosystems.

    Prerequisites: One Anthropology, Biology or Environmental Studies course or instructor consent 7-8 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2023 · Anna Estes
  • ENTS 391: Independent Study

    not offered 2023–2024
  • ENTS 392: Ecology & Anthropology Tanzania Program: Independent Research

    Students spend three weeks of the program working on a field research project with a small team of other students. The research projects are designed to be carried out in collaboration with local communities, NGOs or regional research organizations. The multi-disciplinary nature of the projects encourages students to identify roles on the team which align with their academic interests and abilities. Projects may be carried out over a number of years, giving each year’s students the opportunity to build on the research carried out in the previous year. Students present their research at the end of the ISP.

    Prerequisites: Environmental & Technology Studies 255 3-4 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2023 · Anna Estes
  • ENTS 395: Senior Seminar

    This seminar will focus on preparing Environmental Studies majors to undertake the senior comprehensive exercise. The seminar will be organized around a topic to-be-determined and will involve intensive discussion and the preparation of a detailed research proposal for the comps experience. The course is required for all Environmental Studies majors choosing the group comps option. Prerequisites: Completion of all other Environmental Studies core courses except comps 3 credits; Social Inquiry; offered Fall 2023 · Tsegaye Nega
  • ENTS 400: Integrative Exercise

    In this course, ENTS majors complete a group-based comprehensive exercise. Each group is expected to research and execute a group project on the topic chosen by the group, under the guidance of an ENTS faculty member. Toward the end of winter term, all groups present their research at a symposium sponsored by ENTS. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 395.

    6 credits; S/NC; offered Winter 2024, Winter 2024 · Aaron Swoboda