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Environmental Studies Program

Chair: Andrew J. Friedland

Professors D. T. Bolger, A. J. Friedland, R. B. Howarth, A. R. Kapuscinski, R. A. Virginia; Associate Professor C. S. Sneddon; Assistant Professors M. K. Dorsey, D. G. Webster; Adjunct Professor B. D. Roebuck (Toxicology); Visiting Assistant Professors C. A. Fox, J. A. Mikucki; Senior Lecturer T. S. Osborne; Adjunct Instructor S. P. Stokoe; Research Assistant Professor R. T. Jones.

The Dartmouth Environmental Studies Program began in 1970. Its principle mission is to provide an opportunity for undergraduates to understand and assess the complexity of environmental issues and to learn how to search for solutions to these problems.

The Program takes a broad view of what is meant by the environment. We concern ourselves with pollution and its causes and effects, but we also consider resources, both renewable and non-renewable, energy, population, and, not least, quality of life—a thing difficult to quantify but important to human well-being.

Environmental Studies is an important ingredient in a liberal education. We believe that the College can contribute to the appreciation of the value of natural resources, to the understanding of environmental problems, and to the strong dependence of humanity on its surroundings by offering a Program broadly based in the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. At the same time, the Program has a strong teaching and research focus in environmental science (especially ecosystem science, biogeochemistry and conservation biology) and environmental policy and politics (especially international environmental issues, environmental economics and environmental justice).

An additional goal of the Program is to provide courses and course-project activ-ities that are oriented towards providing policy options and potential solutions to decision makers at the level of the College, the community, adjoining communities, states, and the Federal Government. Faculty in Environmental Studies supervise undergraduate theses and participate in graduate education in Ecology, Earth Sciences, Chemistry and Engineering. Environmental Studies is a partner in the graduate environmental science degree programs in Earth Sciences and Ecology through the Earth, Ecosystem, and Ecological Sciences Program (EEES).

Off-Campus Program in Africa: The foreign study program in Southern Africa highlights the global perspective of the Environmental Studies Program. This regional program gives students firsthand experience with issues of population, land and water use, and resource management in the region of Southern Africa. One course, Environmental Studies 40, addresses these issues in the classroom and directly in the field, where students live in a rural farming village. Another course, Environmental Studies 42, uses African faculty and experts from government and NGOs to give a comprehensive view of the political and social context of initiatives for development and environmental conservation with an emphasis on regional problems and regional opportunities for solutions. The role of women in agriculture and conservation is also studied. A third course, Environmental Studies 84, is a coordinating seminar taught by the Dartmouth faculty director which requires an extensively researched group project and paper.


The Environmental Studies Major

Prerequisites: Math 3 or 10 or the equivalent; Chemistry 3 or 5 or Physics 3 or Biology 16 or Earth Sciences 1; and Economics 1.

Requirements: Environmental Studies 1 or 3; and 2 or the equivalent.

Core courses—One from each group:

Science: 20 or 25 or 28 or 30.

Economics: 55 or 56.

Politics and policy: 58 or 65.

A culminating experience in the major; and an elective focus consisting of four related and relevant non-introductory classes (numbered 10 and above).

It is possible to substitute several other course combinations for Environmental Studies 2 on a two-for-one basis. If choosing to substitute for ENVS 2, students must take Biology 16 and one additional course: either Earth Sciences 1 or 6; Environmental Studies 12; or Geography 3. If Biology 16 is taken as a partial substitution for ENVS 2, it may not satisfy the ENVS pre-requisite. It is expected that the elective focus will contain at least one Environmental Studies course. Classes from outside the Environmental Studies Program may be used for the elective focus if they are part of the approved major plan. Every Environmental Studies major will submit a major plan for approval by an Environmental Studies faculty curriculum committee. This written statement must present the rationale for the elective focus classes, the relationship between the Environmental Studies major and any other selected major or minors, and a justification for courses from outside Environmental Studies.

The Environmental Studies Honors Program

A candidate for the Honors Program in Environmental Studies must satisfy the minimum College requirement, have a grade average of ‘B+’ in courses applied to the major, and complete Environmental Studies 91 (Thesis Research). Environ-mental Studies 91 may be taken two times, both for course credit, but can only count once toward the major. Students who complete a senior thesis and have a ‘B+’ average or higher in the courses that constitute the major will earn Honors recognition in the major. High Honors may be granted by a vote of the faculty on the basis of outstanding independent work. An interim evaluation of honors students will be made after one term and continuation recommended for those stu-dents whose work demonstrates the capacity for satisfactory (B+) work. Enrollment in Environmental Studies 91 does not imply admissions into the Honors Program nor does completion of a senior thesis require the awarding of Honors in the major.

The Culminating Experience

The culminating experience requirement for the major in Environmental Studies may be met by completing either Environmental Studies 50, Environmental Studies 84, or conducting Honors Research (Environmental Studies 91).

The Environmental Studies Minor

Prerequisites: Environmental Studies 2 or the equivalent. Requirements: Environmental Studies 1 or 3; and four other related non-introductory courses (numbered 10 and above), two of which are normally from Environmental Studies. Courses from outside Environmental Studies must be from an approved list or by permission of the Chair.

Sustainability Track

This track is an option under the Environmental Studies Minor.

Prerequisites: Environmental Studies 2 or the equivalent. Requirements: Environmental Studies 3; one course on sustainability problem-solving, either Environmental Studies 50, Engineering Sciences 44, or another appropriate course with permission; and three other courses (numbered 10 and above) as follows: one course examining specific society-environment interactions, chosen from a number of options; and two courses, each from a different elective cluster, either (1) courses addressing how ecosystems and earth systems influence sustainability challenges, or (2) courses addressing governance, social justice, and decision-making in pursuit of sustainability goals, or (3) courses addressing how discourse, ethics and identity shape approaches to sustainability challenges, or (4) courses on creative expression, design, and engineering for communicating and solving sustainability problems.

The Environmental Science Minor

Prerequisites: Environmental Studies 2 or the equivalent; Chemistry 3 or 5 or Physics 3 or Biology 16 or Earth Sciences 1.

Requirements: One course from Environmental Studies 1, 3, or 42; 20 or 25 or 28 or 30; and three other related non-introductory Environmental Studies science courses (normally numbered 10 or above). One class from outside Environmental Studies may be used if from an approved list or with permission of the Chair.

Another Major Modified with Environmental Studies

Requirements: One course from Environmental Studies 1, 2, or 3; 50; and three additional Environmental Studies courses, not including 1, 2, 3, or 7. (One of these may be substituted by an appropriate course from another department. (written permission required).


Prerequisites: ENVS 2 or the equivalent; ENVS 39 or ENVS 65, with permission; and at least one of the following courses (availability subject to change; check the ORC and with the Environmental Studies Program office for updated list):

African and African American Studies 14: Pre-Colonial African History (Identical to History 5.1)

African and African American Studies 40: Gender Identities and Politics in Africa

African and African American Studies 44: Africa: The Ethnographic Encounter (Identical to Anthropology 36)

African and African American Studies 45: Africa: Ecology and Development (Identical to Geography 40)

African and African American Studies 50: Colonialism, Development and the Environment in Asia and Africa (Identical to History 75, Environmental Studies 45)

African and African American Studies 51: African Literatures: Masterpieces of Literature from Africa

Comparative Literature 51: African Literatures (Identical to African and African American Studies 51)

Geography 40: (Identical to African and African American Studies 45)

History 5.1: Pre-Colonial African History (Identical to African and African American Studies 14)

History 5.8: Africa and the World

History 66: History of Africa since 1800

History 75: Colonialism, Development and the Environment in Asia and Africa (Identical to African and African American Studies 50, Environmental Studies 45)