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. 6 credits; Social Inquiry; offered Spring 2021 · Kimberly Smith
  • 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 2020 · Tsegaye Nega
  • 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. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • 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. 6 credits; Humanistic Inquiry; offered Fall 2020 · Kimberly Smith
  • 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 2020 · 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 2020 · Mark Kanazawa
  • 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. 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • ENTS 248: Sustainable Development

    Sustainable development is the internationally and nationally recognized framework for reconciling development (economic development, social wellbeing, and peace and security) with environmental protection and restoration. This course will examine the historical origin of this framework, its meaning, the enormous environmental and poverty challenges that sustainable development is intended to overcome, and its actual and potential effect at the international, national, state, and local levels. It is designed to give students the ability to recognize and address sustainable development issues in any context. There are no prerequisites.

    6 credits; Social Inquiry; not offered 2020–2021
  • 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 6 credits; Quantitative Reasoning Encounter, Social Inquiry, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • 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 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2020 · Anna Estes
  • ENTS 260: Comparative Agroecology

    As the world human population continues to expand, while at the same time the arable land base and fossil fuel supply shrink, the need for a sustainable food system is imperative. This course explores factors influencing food production and distribution at both local and national levels, with an eye towards how these factors affect choices made by the ultimate stewards of the land–the farmers. While the course focuses on the scientific aspects of agroecosystem sustainability, comparisons will be made among various production models both in the U.S. and China, bringing in social, economic and policy issues. This course is part of the OCS winter break China program, involving two linked courses in fall and winter terms, this class is the first class in the sequence. 

    Prerequisites: Biology 125 or 126 or Chemistry 123 or 128 or Geology 110 or 120 and instructor permission 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2020–2021
  • ENTS 261: Field Investigation in Comparative Agroecology

    This course is the second part of a two-term course sequence beginning with Environmental Studies 260. The course begins with a two-week visit in December to Beijing and Sichuan province. Field work will include visits to Chinese farms at the forefront of an incipient sustainable agriculture movement in China, as well as discussions with Chinese sustainable agriculture researchers. In regular weekly meetings during the winter term on campus, data will be analyzed and presented in oral and written reports.

    Prerequisites: Environmental Studies 260 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, International Studies; not offered 2020–2021
  • ENTS 265: The Science of the Earth System

    An interdisciplinary approach will be employed to understand the science behind major environmental issues such as pollution and climate change. The initial focus of the class will be to develop a good general understanding of the movement of energy and matter among the global biogeochemical cycles. Case studies will draw from recent literature.

    Prerequisites: One introductory course in Biology (125 or 126), Chemistry 123 or 128 or any 100-level Geology or Physics (two five-week courses or one ten week course from 131 through 165) or instructor’s permission. 6 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2020–2021
  • ENTS 274: Applied Spatial Analysis & Lab

    This course offers students with existing skills in data manipulation and analysis using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Remote Sensing to expand their knowledge of spatial information science and GIS procedures. Students will develop and apply advanced data analysis techniques to propose, construct and carry out a small research projects in an area of interest. The course has a strong practical focus, and students will gain experience in modeling spatially correlated data, quantifying spatial association and autocorrelation, landscape connectivity, spatial point patterns and exploratory analysis.

    Prerequisites: Environmental Studies 120 or consent of the instructor 6 credits; Science with Lab, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; not offered 2020–2021
  • ENTS 288: Abrupt Climate Change

    Abrupt climate change is very fast change, related to “tipping points” and thresholds, evident in current and historical climate records. Includes interpretation of historical climate data and measurement methods, evolving theories for abrupt change, the role of complex earth systems processes, and trends in global climate change today. The course will address our future through examining cases studies on past human civilizations and discussion of how to reduce our vulnerability to an unstable future climate. Includes a term-long project at the intersection of abrupt climate change and an issue of human concern.

    Prerequisites: One introductory course in 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; not offered 2020–2021
  • 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) and Math 111 or 215 or Statistics 120, or consent of the instructor 6 credits; Social Inquiry, Quantitative Reasoning Encounter; offered Fall 2020 · Deborah Gross, Tsegaye Nega
  • 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. 6 credits; Social Inquiry; not offered 2020–2021
  • 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 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2020 · Anna Estes
  • 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 credits; Does not fulfill a curricular exploration requirement; offered Fall 2020 · 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 2020 · Mark Kanazawa
  • 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 2021