Courses

Environmental Studies

Courses taken by Gustavus ES students draw from a variety of departments including Art, Biology, Chemistry, English, Geology, Geography, History, Political Science, Economics, and Sociology/Anthropology to provide students with a strong, liberal arts education. Environmental Studies majors choose one of four tracks, which allows them to narrow their academic focus and explore their own interests in more depth.

Because of the individualized, interdisciplinary nature of the program and the sequential nature of many of the courses, students should normally declare an ES major no later than the end of their sophomore year, and should consult with an advisor from a department within their intended track.

New Major

Students enrolling in 2011 and later must use the new major, while students enrolled in 2010 or earlier may choose either the old or new major.

View the old major
  1. The following five core courses provide the student with a foundational knowledge of important concepts, theories, principles, and facts related to the interdisciplinary study of the environment:
    1. ENV 120 Geochemistry of the Environment
    2. BIO 245 Conservation Biology (prereq is ENV-120 or BIO-101)
    3. ENV 250 Nature and Society
    4. PHI 109 Philosophy of the Environment or ENG 228 American Pastoralism or ENV 104 Environmental History
    5. ENV 399 Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies
  2. Students will choose one of four tracks: Physical Science, Life Science, Social Science, or Humanities. The seven-course tracks are intended to ensure depth within a particular area of environmental studies.
    1. Physical Science Track
      Required:
      1. MCS 121 Calculus I or MCS 140 Elementary Statistics
      2. GEO 246 Geomorphology
      3. GEG 240 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
      4. CHE 246 Environmental Chemistry (CHE107 is a prereq. or permission from Dr. Jeremiason)
    2. Select 3 credits from the following:

      • GEO 212 Evolution of the Earth
      • GEO 237 Global Climate Change
      • GEO 271 Mineralogy
      • GEO 324 Sedimentology/Stratigraphy
      • GEO 350 Hydrogeology
      • GEG 243 Water Resources Management
      • GEG 343 GIS II
      • GEG 345 Remote Sensing of the Environment
      • CHE 258 Inorganic Chemistry I
      • CHE 270 Quantitative Analysis
      • CHE 371 Physical Chemistry
      • An approved internship (1.0 credit)
    3. Life Science Track
      Required:
      1. BIO 101 Principles of Biology
      2. BIO 102 Organismal Biology
      3. BIO 202 Ecology Evolution and Behavior (prereq for ES majors is ENV 120, BIO 101, BIO 102)
      4. GEG 240: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
    4. Select 3 credits from the following, at least two departments must be included:

      • CHE 246 Environmental Chemistry
      • BIO 241 Invertebrate Zoology or GEO 241 Paleontology
      • BIO 242 Vertebrate Zoology
      • BIO 370 Ecology (prereq for ES majors is BIO 202, CHE 246)
      • BIO 372 Animal Behavior (prereq for ES majors is BIO 202, CHE 246)
      • BIO 376 Entomology (prereq for ES majors is BIO 202, CHE 246)
      • BIO 377 Systematics (prereq for ES majors is BIO 202, CHE 246)
      • BIO 383 Aquatic Biology (prereq for ES majors is BIO 202, CHE 246)
      • BIO 385 Evolution (prereq is BIO 202, CHE 246) or GEO 212 Evolution of the Earth
      • GEG 243 Water Resources Management or GEG 343 GIS II or GEG 345 Remote Sensing of the Environment
      • GEO 246 Geomorphology

      Recommend: MCS120 Calculus or MCS 140 Elementary Statistics

    5. Social Science Track
      Required:
      1. E/M 285 Economics of the Environment and Natural Resources (no prerequesites for ES majors -contact Dr. Owen for permission to register)
      2. POL 260 Environmental Politics
      3. GEG 105 Physical Geography
      4. Statistics: select one of the following: MCS 140 Elementary Statistics, E/M 125 Statistics for E/M, PSY 224 Stats and Research Methods, GEG 342 Quantitative Methods in Geography
    6. Select 3 credits from the following:

      • ENV 104 Environmental History (counts as an elective only if not taken as a core requirement)
      • E/M 280 Public Finance
      • E/M 284 Economic Development
      • GEG 233 Central America/Caribbean
      • GEG 235 Geography of Sub Saharan Africa
      • GEG 243 Water Resources Management
      • GEG 240 Geographic Information Systems
      • GEG 343: Geographic Information Systems II
      • IDS 213 Indigenous People
      • POL 220 U.S. Public Policy
      • POL 250 Politics of the Developing Nations
      • IDS 243 Environment, Ecology and Livelihood
      • An approved internship (1.0 credit)
    7. Humanities Track
      Required:
      1. ENG 228 American Pastoralism
      2. PHI 109 Philosophies of the Environment
      3. ENV 104 Environmental History
      4. GEG 105 Physical Geography
      5. POL 260 Environmental Politics
    8. Select 3 credits from the following, only one credit can be at the 100 level:

      • COM 120 Public Discourse
      • COM 247 Ethnography of Communication or COM 265 Video Representation
      • ENG 256 Writing Creative Non-Fiction
      • ENG 336 American Renaissance
      • ENG 121 American Literature I
      • HIS 274 Introduction to Modern China or HIS 278 Introduction to Modern Japan
      • ENG 291 or ENG-391 Independent Study (must be approved by ES director)
      • GEG 233 Central America/Caribbean or GEG 235 SubSaharan Africa
      • PHI 243 Ethics of International Development
      • IDS 243 Environment, Ecology and Livelihood
      • SCA 223 The Study of Nature/The Natural Environment
      • An approved internship (1.0 credit)
      • ENV 101 Interpreting the Fall Landscape (0.5 credit)
      • ENV 103 Interpreting the Spring Landscape
      • T/D 136 Creating Theatre for Social Justice

New Minor

An ES Minor consists of the first four core courses plus two 200-level courses from any of the required courses in the tracks.