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Environmental Studies Courses

ENVS 106 Humans, the Environment, and Sustainability (4)
Examines the interactions between our society and the environment, with the goal of achieving sustainability. Topics include society’s energy and water requirements, biodiversity conservation, food production, urban planning, sustainable development,and other current topics. Although the course emphasis is a social systems perspective, environmental issues necessitate an interdisciplinary approach. Offered on demand.

ENVS 283 Seminar in Alaska (4)
The natural laboratory of SE Alaska, together with collaborations with local experts and native elders, provides opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience with environmental issues. Emphasis will be placed on understanding the complexity of environmental issues and the interdisciplinary nature of the search for appropriate solutions. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Course fee required. Offered selected summers.

ENVS 304 Environmental Ethics (4)
From ancient Sumer to the present, ecological realities have required human beings to reflect on their values and their responsibilities to nature. Students examine the relevance of philosophy to environmental questions and, in particular, explore the connection between the environment and ethics. Identical to PHIL 304.

ENVS 306 Ecopoetry (4) W
An in-depth exploration of the various ways in which contemporary poets and critics seek to understand past and present poetries as negotiating the often porous boundaries between the human and non-human in our experiences of the world. Prerequisites: ENG 105 with a grade of C or higher or consent. Identical to ENG 306. Offered in selected semesters.

ENVS 326 Environmental Policy Analysis (4) W
Examines environmental politics and policy by studying a set of substantive environmental policy issues to establish the issue context, define the policy problems, and evaluate alternative solutions. Prerequisite: ENG 105 with a grade of C or higher. Identical to POLS 326. Offered each spring.

ENVS 410 Environmental Writings (4) I,W
A study of the important environmental writings and how they have shaped our understanding of the relationship between humans and nature. Prerequisites: ENG 105 with a grade of C or higher and junior/senior status. Identical to ENG 410. Offered spring of odd-numbered years.

ENVS 420 Topics in Sustainability (4)
This course explores aspects of sustainability related to water, energy, food, waste handling, and transportation. We will explore how these components are interrelated, how a changing climate may be affecting these relationships, and how our personal habits relate to these aspects of sustainability. Offered each spring.

ENVS 444 Communicating Ocean Science to Informal Audiences (COSIA) (4)
Helps students improve their ability to communicate scientific knowledge through presenting science activities in a museum setting. The course will combine instruction in inquiry based science teaching methods with six weeks of supervised teaching at the Virginia Aquarium, plus the preparation of an additional informal environmental education project. Prerequisites: Students must have completed a lab science course (L), and have junior or senior status. It is highly recommended that they have taken a 300/400-level course in the natural sciences and/or a 300/400-level course in ENVS or EDUC, because this course will require an understanding of advanced scientific concepts and the effective dissemination of that knowledge to a lay audience. Offered each semester.

ENVS 470 Internship in Environmental Studies (2 or 4)
An intensive study of the environment through on-site field experience. Placements involve hands-on experiences such as education, grassroots activism, public policy, and habitat management. Students may enroll for 2 or 4 semester hours in a given semester. A minimum of 80 hours devoted to the internship is expected for 2 semester hours, and a minimum of 160 hours is expected for 4 semester hours, but some placements may require more time. Students must coordinate their internship placement with the supervising faculty member at least two months prior to placement. Pass/fail grading. Prerequisites: junior/senior status and consent. Offered each semester and most January Terms (2 semester hours only).