Environmental Studies Program

The Environmental Studies Program' coursework is strongest in the areas of ecosystem science, biogeochemistry, and conservation biology. It also focuses on the policy and decision-making aspects of then environment. The program posits "a broad view of what is meant by the environment" when considering what is applicable in the study of the environment: Resources and quality of life are as important as the causes and effects of pollution Taking the liberal arts philosophy of Dartmouth to heart, courses from such varied departments as Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Economics, Engineering Sciences, Geography, Government, and Mathematics can be applied towards the major requirements, depending on the particular focus of each student.

The Courses

It is possible to major and minor in Environmental Studies as well as to minor in Environmental Science. To see a full list of courses as well as the precise requirements for each major and minor option, please see the Environmental Studies Program web site. Here are some of the courses which have been highlighted as particularly influential, demanding, and fulfilling:

Environmental Studies 1, "Humans and Nature in America"
This course provides a pretty ideal, but generalized example of the kind of mixture which one should have in mind when considering environmentalism: Andy Friendland lectures on the scientific aspects and Terry Osborne on the literature. They each bring their important perspectives on the issue to bear. This class provides an introductory overview to Environmental Studies, as its course number would indicate, so students need to continue with their coursework in order to truly understand to a greater extent the problems and solutions concerning environmentalism.
Environmental Studies 50, "Environmental Problem Analysis and Policy Formulation"
This class is based on a group research project which centers around a particular problem in the Upper Valley. It is meant to introduce the students to policy-making procedures and the process of coming to concensus within ideological or practical differences. The projects range from how land use change in Hanover has affected the environment/atmosphere on the Dartmouth campus to a particular project which led into the creation of the group, "Dartmouth Recycles." One of the great aspects of the course is knowing that within the college and upper valley community, your results and recommendations have a chance of at least being taken seriously into consideration and perhaps even being implemented. After they are finished, the projects are bound and kept in the Environmental Studies Library, which is housed in Steele Hall.
Environmentals Studies 60, "Environmental Law"
This can be an eye-opening course for some students in that it provides a new perspective on issues and concerns which are tangentially introduced in Earth Sciences courses.This course is offered once a year (for the next two years, it will be during the 10A slot in the summer) and taught by Professor Brooks, from UVM law. Based on case studies, it can create the impetus to take other Environmental Studies courses.

Here's one student's take on the program.

The Foreign Study Program

A common question to students who return from the Environmental Studies Program African Foreign Study Program is, "Wow, Zimbabwe. How was that?" It is impossible to understand the myriad of ways in which that experience can and does affect students, even if the answers range from a two-hour conversation complete with photojournal. While there, the twenty lucky students take three courses: Environmental Studies 40 which examines issues of land and water use, resource management, and population; Environmental Studies 42, which offers a comprehensive study of social and political factors behind Zimbabwe's environment initiatives; and 84, a seminar focused on independent research and study.

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