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Environmental Studies Program

Chair: Andrew J. Friedland

Professors A. J. Friedland, R. B. Howarth, J. E. Shepherd, R. A. Virginia; Associate Professor D. T. Bolger; Assistant Professors K. Fisher-Vanden, D. J. Ranco, C. S. Sneddon; Instructor M. K. Dorsey; Adjunct Professors R. O. Brooks, N. N. Miller, B. D. Roebuck (Toxicology); Adjunct Assistant Professor J. E. Barrett; Adjunct Instructor S. P. Stokoe; Senior Lecturer T. S. Osborne (English).

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. Of course we concern ourselves with pollution and its causes and effects, but we also consider resources, both renewable and non-renewable; we consider 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 activities 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. In each offering, twenty students will be admitted to a program which is designed to give students firsthand experience with issues of population, land and water use, and resource management in the region of Southern Africa. One course, 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 5 or 3 or Physics 3 or Astronomy 1 or 3; and Economics 1. Requirements: Environmental Studies 1 or 3; 2 or the equivalent; 20, 25 or 30; 55 or 56; 58, 60 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 14 and one additional course: either Earth Sciences 1 or 6; Environmental Studies 12; or Geography 3. 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). Environmental 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 students whose work demonstrates the capacity for satisfactory (B+) work. Enrollment in Environmental Studies 91 does not imply admissions into 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 and Economics 1. Requirements: Environmental Studies 3; 50 or 84; and three 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. The Africa Foreign Study Program satisfies this requirement (Environmental Studies 40, 42 and 84).

The Environmental Science Minor

Prerequisites: Environmental Studies 2 or the equivalent and Chemistry 5 or 3 or Physics 3.

Requirements: One course from Environmental Studies 1, 3, or 42; 30; 50 or 84; and two other related non-introductory Environmental Studies science courses (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).

Africa Foreign Study Program

Prerequisites: Environmental Studies 2 or the equivalent; 39 or with permission 65. Also one of the following courses (check with the Program office for updated list):

African and African American Studies 11: Introduction to African Studies

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

African and African American Studies 41:Women in Africa (Identical to Women’s and Gender Studies 30)

African and African American Studies 43: (Identical to Religion 50)

African and African American Studies 44: Cultures and Peoples of Africa

African and African American Studies 45: Africa: Ecology and Development

Comparative Literature 51: African Literatures

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

Government 44: Politics and Political Economies in Africa

History 5.1: Pre-Colonial African History

History 66: History of Africa since 1800

History 67: The History of Modern South Africa

History 68: Nationalism and Decolonization in Modern Africa

Religion 50: Indigenous African Religions

Related Courses: The following courses may be of particular interest to students interested in environmental issues.

Anthropology 3: Introduction to Cultural Anthropology

Anthropology 51: Colonialism and Its Legacies

Biology 14: Ecology and Evolution

Biology 21: Biological Diversity

Biology 25: Introductory Marine Biology and Ecology

Biology 33: Animal Behavior

Biology 51: Ecosystem Ecology

Biology 53: Aquatic Ecology

Biology 54: Population Ecology

Chemistry 63: Environmental Chemistry

Earth Sciences 26: Hydrology and Water Resources

Earth Sciences 28: Environmental Geology

Earth Sciences 55: Remote Sensing (Identical to Geography 55)

Earth Sciences 73: Environmental Isotope Geochemistry

Earth Sciences 76: Contaminant Hydrogeology (Identical to Engineering Sciences 42)

Economics 38: Urban and Land use Economics

Engineering Sciences 41: Environmental and Natural Resource Management

Geography 14: Water Resources Management and Policy

Geography 20: Economic Geography and Globalization

Geography 55: Remote Sensing (Identical to Earth Sciences 55)

Geography 58: Geographic Information Systems

Government 58: International Political Economy

1. Humans and Nature in America

06W, 07W: 10

“The land was ours before we were the land’s,” Robert Frost wrote, summarizing in one line the history of American environmentalism. This course will look at the changing relation between Americans and their land over the past two centuries. Reading will include the journals of Lewis and Clark, and writings by Tony Morrison, Leslie Silko, Terry Tempest Williams and Edward Abbey. The course brings an interdisciplinary analysis to these writings, with an emphasis on appreciating the literary, scientific, social, and historical contexts that shape our view of nature.

Limited enrollment. Dist: LIT. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: W. Satisfies the Interdisciplinary requirement (Class of 2004 and earlier). Bolger, Osborne.

2. Introduction to Environmental Science

05F, 06F: 12

To understand current environmental problems, we need to study the physical, biological, chemical and social processes that are often the basis of those problems. This course will give the skills necessary to ask intelligent questions about - and perhaps obtain answers to - some of the environmental problems our planet is facing today by examining scientific principles and the application of those principles to environmental issues. This course will survey a variety of topics including pollution, biodiversity, energy use, recycling, land degradation, and human population dynamics. It is designed to introduce environmental science and environmental issues, topics which are explored in greater depth in other Environmental Studies courses. Dist: SCI. Friedland.

3. Environment and Society

06S, 07S: 12

An examination of the human sources of a variety of environmental problems and of human responses to environmental problems at the local, national, and international levels. The course will describe the actors in controversies over these problems and the institutions and rules which have so far been created to deal with the issues. The course will then proceed to the question: Will those current institutions and laws, originally devised to deal with the pollution of our natural environment, be able to resolve the more fundamental issues arising out of the increasing conflicts over land use, energy, food, and growth? Faculty from a number of different disciplines will participate.Dist: SOC. Dorsey, Sneddon.

5. From Pole to Pole: An Introduction to the Earth’s Cold Regions (Identical to Social Science 5)

06S, 07S: 10

The high northern and southern latitudes of the earth share an extreme climate, but are vastly different in their histories, ecological systems and human cultures. Polar regions are increasingly under threat from climate change, resource extraction, and the loss of indigenous cultures. This course introduces the major physical, ecological and human systems of high latitudes, including the circumpolar northern Arctic regions and the continent of Antarctica and its southern oceans. Using an interdisciplinary perspective the course examines the science, societies, politics and policies that shape our viewpoint of cold regions. The connections of the polar regions to global processes and international issues will be emphasized. Dist: SOC. Virginia.

7. First-Year Seminars in Environmental Studies

Consult special listings

12. Energy and the Environment

06S, 07S: 10A

Energy, in a variety of forms, is a fundamental need of all societies. This course explores the scientific concepts and applications to society of the issues regarding energy extraction, conversions and use. It will examine the scientific basis for environmental and social concerns about our present energy mix including global climate change, toxic emissions and wastes from energy combustion, and nuclear proliferation. We will also consider choices that are made in the development and utilization of energy resources and the role of public policy. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 2 or permission of the instructor. Dist: TAS. Friedland.

20. Conservation of Biodiversity

06W, 07W: 2

On a global scale we are witnessing an unprecedented decline in what has come to be called Biodiversity. Human population growth, and increasing rates of material consumption and technological development have increased the rate and scale at which we impact populations of native animals and plants. One goal of the course will be to address the biological aspects of this issue. What is Biodiversity? How is Biodiversity distributed geographically and taxonomically? What does humankind do to cause animal and plant extinctions? Is there a Biodiversity crisis? What is the current rate of extinction and what is the natural extinction rate? What properties of individual species make them vulnerable to extinction? What are the major threats to Biodiversity? The second objective is to examine the social dimensions of Biodiversity. How do our cultural and political perceptions and institutions contribute to the loss of Biodiversity? What value is Biodiversity to humankind? What is being done to preserve Biodiversity in the realms of science, technology, and policy? These questions will be addressed through lecture material, course readings, and writing assignments.

Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 2 or Biology 14, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TAS. Bolger.

25. Ecological Agriculture

06X, 07X: 11, Laboratory Tu 1:00-5:00

This course will introduce the principles of ecological agriculture. Concepts from ecology and ecosystem science will be applied to the study of agriculture and the design of sustainable production systems. An introduction to soils and their management and controls on plant growth will be emphasized in the field and in the laboratory. Environmental issues associated with conventional and low-input agriculture will be considered. Visits to local farms and field exercises at the Dartmouth student organic farm will supplement the classroom material.

Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 2 or Biology 14 or permission of the instructor. Dist: TLA. Virginia.

28. Global Environmental Health

05F: 11

This course will focus upon the scientific and public health principles that govern environmental health outcomes at the individual to the global scale. Case studies will be used to illustrate the principles. Some of the issues that will be discussed include lead poisoning, mercury in the food web, the epidemic of tobacco use that is sweeping the the global movement of persistent organic pollutants, and natural contaminates in the human supply. These cases will increase in complexity with regards to causative agents and health outcomes. Lastly, trends of environmental diseases coupled with the prevention of these diseases will be emphasized

Prerequisites: Environmental Studies 2 or Biology 14 or permission of the instructor. Roebuck.

30. Global Environmental Science

06S: 11

This course examines human influences on the major global biogeochemical cycles (water, carbon, nitrogen, sulfur). The emphasis is on understanding cycling processes in terrestrial (and, to a lesser extent, aquatic) systems and how human activities (e.g., air pollution, deforestation, desertification, changes in biodiversity) can disrupt these cycles, changing the ability of our global environment to support life. Important feedbacks between biological and physical processes and their effects on the atmosphere are emphasized. The response of natural and managed ecosystems to changing climate and resource availability will be discussed along with prospects for the future. The course also examines international science policies and programs to limit human interference in global cycling processes.

Prerequisite: Mathematics 3 or the equivalent, and Chemistry 5 (or Chemistry 3), and Environmental Studies 2, or the permission of the instructor. Dist: SCI. Barrett.

39. Natural Resources, Development, and the Environment

06X: 10

How do countries develop their natural resources and also maintain environmental quality? How are water resources and food security maintained in the face of pressures for economic development? Using a multidisciplinary and comparative approach, this course explores the social, political, and scientific issues behind economic development and environmental preservation. Agricultural practices, resource conservation strategies, and tensions between development and conservation are interrogated. The course examines these issues in the historical, social, and political contexts of developed and developing countries, with an emphasis on the emerging nations of sub-Saharan Africa.

Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 2 or the equivalent, or permission of the instructor. Dist: SOC. Shepherd.

40. Foreign Study in Environmental Problems I

05F, 06F: D.F.S.P.

Natural Resources and Environmental Issues in Southern Africa. This course will examine the natural resource constraints and policy dilemmas faced by developing countries and the impacts of people on the environment. Topics will include land and water use, biodiversity and wildlife management, population and environmental health, agricultural practices and community dynamics, and development economics. These topics will be illustrated through field work at National Parks and safari areas, farming areas, and at community-based development projects. Dist: SOC. Virginia.

42. Foreign Study in Environmental Problems II

05F, 06F: D.F.S.P.

Social and Political Aspects of Development and Conservation in Southern Africa. This course will examine the historical, social, and political context of the interplay between resource use, economic development and environmental conservation in southern Africa. The impact of colonial and ethnic traditions and international institutions, on strategies for economic development, urban growth, wildlife management, ecotourism, resource conservation (especially water and soil) and land use will be discussed. Issues of gender in agricultural development and environmental protection will be considered. Dist: INT. Shepherd.

44. Environment and Politics in Southeast Asia (Identical to Geography 44)

05F, 06F: 2

Over the past several decades, the people and environments of Southeast Asia have confronted a host of political, economic and cultural processes commonly grouped together under the heading “development”. As witnessed by recent media reports detailing massive forest fires in Indonesia and dam controversies in Malaysia and Thailand, these development processes have resulted in drastic transformations in the landscapes, forests, and river systems of the region. These processes have likewise produced dramatic alterations in the livelihoods of the people who depend on and interact with the region’s ecological systems. Dist: SOC or INT; WCult: NW. Fox.

50. Environmental Problem Analysis and Policy Formulation

06S, 07S: 2

Students working together in groups will formulate and justify policy measures that they think would be appropriate to deal with a local environmental problem. The purposes of this coordinating course are to (1) give students an opportunity to see how the disciplinary knowledge acquired in their various courses and departmental major programs can be integrated in a synthetic manner; (2) provide a forum for an in-depth evaluation of a significant environmental policy problem; and (3) give students the experience of working as a project team toward the solution of a real-world problem. Considerable field work may be involved, and the final examination will consist of a public presentation and defense of student-generated policy recommendations.

Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 1, 2 or 3, and at least one upper-level Environmental Studies course, or permission of the instructor. Open only to seniors or to other classes with permission of the instructor. Satisfies the Culminating Experience requirement. Dist: SOC. Howarth.

52. Environmental Issues in Indian Country (Identical to Native American Studies 52)

06W, 07W: 10A

This course will explore a variety of approaches to studying environmental issues in Indian Country (in both the United States and Canada). While a number of academic disciplines will be investigated over the semester, students should form a synthetic understanding of the issues scholars face when taking on “Indian” and “environmental” issues in their studies. We will focus on three key issues: (1) The impact of the ‘invented’ Indian on understandings of Indigenous environmental practices, (2) The differences between Native and non-Native approaches to Indigenous environmental knowledge; (3) Resistances to colonialism and the maintenance of Indigenous knowledge within contemporary political and legal contexts. Open to all classes. Dist: SOC; WCult: NW. Ranco.

55. Natural Resource and Ecological Economics (Identical to Economics 55)

06W, 07W: 10

This course examines the use of economic concepts and methods in the management of natural resources and ecological systems. Topics including welfare economics, common pool resources, nonmarket valuation, and discounting procedures are developed and applied to problems such as fisheries management, forest management, and biodiversity conservation. The course explores the links between economic growth, resource depletion, and global environmental change and the use of economic and ecological indicators in measuring and achieving sustainable development. Emphasis is placed on both the disciplinary aspects of economic analysis and the role of economics in interdisciplinary problem-solving.

Prerequisites: Economics 1 and Mathematics 3 or the equivalent; Environmental Studies 2 or 3; or permission of the instructor. Dist: SOC. Howarth.

56. Environmental Economics, Policy and Management (Identical to Economics 56)

06S, 07S: 2

This course applies economic methods and concepts to issues of the environment, environmental policy analysis, and management. Topics include property rights, externalities, cost-benefit analysis, economic instruments for pollution control, and environmental policy and management applications (e.g. acid rain, global climate change, ozone, local air pollution, solid and hazardous waste). The course will combine lectures that introduce methods and concepts of environmental economics with classroom discussion of case studies.

Prerequisites: Economics 1 and Mathematics 3, or the equivalent, or permission of the instructor. Dist: SOC. Fisher-Vanden.

58. Environmental Justice Movements in the United States (Identical to Native American Studies 58)

05F, 06F: 10A

This class will explore how communities of color have responded to the incidence, causes, and effects of environmental racism. Special attention will be given to how the critiques offered by these communities challenge the knowledge and procedural forms of justice embedded in environmental policy in the United States. Case studies will be drawn from readings on African-Americans, European-Americans, Chicano and Latino Americans, and Native Americans.

Open to all classes. Dist: SOC. Class of 2007 and earlier: WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: CI. Ranco.

60. Environmental Law

06X: 10A

Today’s struggles over establishing environmental law and policy are not simply based on questions of ‘what to do,’ i.e., of what regulations to implement or law to pass, but rather of what should humanity’s relation be to its surroundings, i.e., ‘what to think.’ This course will therefore consider an understanding of the historical attitude toward the environment, particularly in America; the role of the lawyer in effecting environmental policy today; and the lawyer’s role in defining our future relation to the environment. There will be visiting lecturers.

Enrollment limited. Dist: SOC. Brooks.

65. International Environmental Issues

06W, 07W: 10A

This course will examine key international environmental issues such as desertification, wildlife, fragile ecosystems, ocean issues, environmental health, and land use. The approach is from a social science, human ecology perspective. The United Nations Environment Programme will also be focused upon. Case histories will be drawn from the Indian Ocean, the Mediterranean Sea, China, East Africa, and elsewhere. Readings will be from original materials and the current literature. Dist: INT. Dorsey.

72. Nature Writers

06S: 10A

This course combines reading, writing and field work to explore the breadth and richness of the Nature Writing genre. It will be a literature class that will expose you to a variety of nature writing forms; a field course, in which you will take to the field a number of times during the term to put yourself in the practical position of a nature writer; and a writing workshop in which you will write your own literary nature-related essays and critique each other’s pieces in class.

Enrollment is limited, and students interested in the course must apply. Applications will include a writing sample-a 3-page personal narrative based on a nature-related experience; the forms should be requested from the instructor. Applications are due on the last day of classes of winter term (the term before the class is offered), and students who are accepted will be informed on or before the first day of class. Dist: LIT. Class of 2007 and earlier; WCult: NA. Class of 2008 and later: WCult: W. Osborne.

73. Environmental Journalism

07S: 10A

This course is an advanced writing seminar. It is designed to teach students to write clear, interesting and readable articles for the general public on complex, environmental topics. Students will identify, research and write about actual environmental issues, with frequent critiques and rewrites. They will be evaluated as members of a professional writing staff and their goal will be publication in a variety of commercial media. Enrollment is limited. Written permission required. Dist: SOC.

79. The Soil Resource (Identical to and described under Earth Sciences 79)

07S: 2A; Laboratory W 4:00-6:00

Dist: SLA. Bostick.

80. Seminar in Environmental Studies

05F: 2A

This course may be offered any term and the content varied according to the interests of the instructor. Seminars explore contemporary issues and problems in environmental science, environmental policy, and environmental topics from the humanities and social sciences. Seminars are primarily designed for juniors and senior but others may seek permission to enroll. Admission for all students requires the permission of the instructor. Dist: Varies.

In 05F, Quantitative Conservation. Prerequisites: Environmental Studies 20 or Biology 54. Dist: SCI. Bolger.

84. Seminar on Environmental Issues of Southern Africa

05F, 06F: D.F.S.P.

This seminar will coordinate and supplement the material in courses and field work of the program, using guest speakers and student presentations. Students, working in small sub-groups, will undertake multidisciplinary studies of specific regional environmental issues in southern Africa. These projects will lead to a single major paper produced by the group on an environmental topic selected in consultation with the instructor. The paper will be printed in a volume for use by future students and by interested individuals in the U.S. and in southern Africa. Satisfies the Culminating Experience requirement. WCult: NW. Shepherd.

89. Forest Biogeochemistry

07S: 2A

This seminar will examine elemental cycling and related biogeochemical processes in terrestrial ecosystems with a strong focus on forests of the temperate and tropical zones. Emphasis will be placed on nutrient cycling, particularly the nitrogen cycle, and trace metal cycling, particularly lead. There will be some discussion of water dynamics in forests during the growing season and during winter.

Prerequisites: Environmental Studies 2 and 30; or Chemistry 5 (or 3) and an advanced course in ecology or earth sciences; or permission of the instructor. Dist: SCI. The staff.

90. Independent Study and Research

All terms: Arrange

Open to students who are enrolled in the Environmental Studies Program. Permission is required from the faculty whom the student will work and the Program Chair.

91. Thesis Research in Environmental Studies

Independent study of an environmental problem or issue under the supervision of a member of our staff. Open only to Environmental Studies majors. May be taken two terms, both for course credit, but can only count once toward the major. Credit requires completion of a suitable report. See description of the Honors Program in Environmental Studies.

Prerequisite: Permission of the faculty advisor.