Environmental Courses

101 Fundamentals of Environmental Studies (1)
A theoretical and practical introduction to the interdisciplinary field of environmental studies. Cultivates both a broad understanding of ecological principles and the creative capacity to imagine and enact individual and social change that takes those principles into account. Christiansen, White.

102 Introduction to the Environment (1)
Explores the interconnected web of earth's natural systems including the atmosphere, biological communities, oceans and continents, as well as humankind's interactions with and dependence on them. Major topics include global climate and problems of global warming and desertification; resources and problems of world hunger and population growth; and pollution and problems of ecosystem destruction. Staff.

187, 188, 189 Selected Topics (1/4, 1/2, 1)
An examination of subjects or areas not included in other courses. Staff.

201 Ecology and Environmental Field Trip (1/2)
Prerequisites: Membership in the Center for Sustainability of the Environment and permission of the instructor.
Demonstrates, in seminars and a one-two week field trip to a selected region of the United States, how ecosystems have been shaped by the interplay of biological, geological and human history and are thus both adapted to, and susceptible to changes in, modern landscape, climate and human practices. Examines environmental issues of both local and national significance related to these ecosystems. Staff.

206 Sustainable Living Seminar (1/2)
Residents of the College's E-house and other students explore, through practice, the relationship between their daily actions and the earth's ecosystems. Several models of sustainability are discussed, and students are asked to articulate the view they believe appropriate for their own lives. Students cooperatively develop a significant improvement in the house or its grounds and monitor the environmental footprint of their actions. Note that residence in the E-House is not available in 2015-16. Staff.

220 Economics, Politics, and Environmental Policy (1)
Examines decisions affecting environmental quality made by government, businesses and individuals; economic analysis relevant to such decisions; the policy-making process; and dispute resolution techniques that may be useful in conflicts over environmental issues. Focuses on current national and local environmental policies, with comparisons to practices in other countries. Saltzman.

287, 288, 289 Selected Topics (1/4, 1/2, 1)
An examination of subjects or areas not included in other courses. Staff.

387, 388, 389 Selected Topics (1/4, 1/2, 1)
An examination of subjects or areas not included in other courses. Staff.

391, 392 Internship (1/2, 1)
Offered on a credit/no credit basis. Staff.

401, 402 Seminar (1/2, 1)
Prerequisite: Junior or senior standing or permission of instructor.
Staff.

411, 412 Directed Study (1/2, 1)
Staff.

Majors and Concentrations

There are three majors and two concentrations offered by the Center for Sustainability and the Environment. Majors may be completed in environmental science, environmental studies, and sustainability studies. Concentrations are offered in environmental sciences and environmental studies.

Requirements for Major in Environmental Science

The ten-unit environmental science major provides broad exposure to environmental sciences at the introductory level, focused work in science at the upper level and a set of cognates designed to show the social and humanistic context in which scientists work.

  • Core: Five units of science and mathematics, consisting of Biology 195, Chemistry 121, Geology 101, Geology 111 and Mathematics 141.
  • Science electives: Five units of focused work in science. Courses should have a central theme such as (but not limited to) habitat protection, modeling in environmental science, or water resources, and should be selected in consultation with a science faculty adviser and approved by the CSE director. Courses must be at the 200-level or higher, no more than three courses can be in one department, and at least one 300-level course must be included. Before beginning the study of theme, the student must secure the CSE director’s approval of the proposed five-course sequence. This approval must be granted no later than mid-semester of the second semester of the student’s sophomore year. A copy of the approved program and any subsequently approved changes are to be filed with the registrar after being signed by the CSE director.
  • Cognate courses: Two and one-half units, ENVN 201, ENVN 220, and one additional cognate selected from the “Society and Culture” or “Language, Idea and Image” lists in the environmental studies major.
  • Experiential requirements:
    • Attendance at a series of seminars each semester. In these, students who completed internships the previous semester will report on them, and other items of general interest, such as graduate schools and careers, will be discussed.
    • An environmental research project, service project or internship. Students should have prior approval of the CSE director, and must make a presentation in the seminar and submit a paper summarizing the experience.

Requirements for Concentration in Environmental Science

Some environmental careers are practiced primarily in one field of science. Students interested in pursuing such careers should consider the option of a science major with an environmental science concentration. It is strongly advised that students talk with science faculty in choosing their option.

The following are required for the concentration:

  • Core: A major in biology, chemistry, geology, mathematics, mathematics/physics, or physics and six additional courses as described below:
    • Four science courses in two sciences outside the student’s major including two or three units in one science and one or two in another. Only two courses can be at the introductory level, which means they lack prerequisites. Courses are to be selected from the list below and in consultation with the concentration director and the student’s major department. It is possible to substitute other upper-level science courses, depending on the interests of the student.
      Biology 195, 215, 216, 225, 227, 237, 332, 240, 365
      Chemistry 121,123, 200, 206, 211, 212, 337, 327 (1/2 unit)
      Geology 101, 202, 205, 208, 211, 216, 306, 307, 311
      Mathematics and Computer Science 209, 141, 143, 171, 173, 210
      Physics 115, 116, 167, 168
    • ENVN 220
    • One unit selected from the “Society and Culture” or “Language, Idea and Image” lists in the environmental studies major or one additional upper-level science course not in the student’s major.
  • Experiential requirements:
    • Attendance at a series of seminars each semester. In these, students who completed internships the previous semester will report on them, and other items of general interest, such as graduate schools and careers, will be discussed.
    • An environmental research project, service project or internship. Students should have prior approval of the concentration director, and must make a presentation in the seminar and submit a paper summarizing the experience.

Requirements for Major in Environmental Studies

The ten-unit environmental studies major provides a deep understanding of the complex relationships among natural and social systems, as well as a proficiency in the analytical, rhetorical and creative skills necessary to perceive the wonders of the natural and human worlds and to solve the environmental challenges we face in the twenty-first century.

  • Core: Four units of required foundation courses consisting of: Anthropology 105, ENVN 101, Biology 195, Geology 101.
  • Categories of emphasis: Six units total from the following three categories with at least one but no more than three courses in each category. If students choose to take three courses from a single category, at least two courses must be at the 200-level.
    • Earth Systems
      Biology 206, 237, 240
      Geology 103, 104, 106, 111, 115, 211, 306, 311
      Physics 102
      Mathematics 109, 210
    • Language, Idea and Image
      Art 121, 241
      Art History 311, 315
      Communication Studies 311
      English 206, 238, 354, 358
      Philosophy 335
    • Society and Culture
      Anthropology 220, 240, 271
      Economics 273
      ENVN 220
      History 337, 382
      International Studies 130
      Philosophy 206, 220, 301, 304
      Political Science 216, 356
      Religious Studies 242
  • Experiential requirements:
    • Attendance at a series of seminars each semester. In these, students who completed internships the previous semester will report on them, and other items of general interest, such as graduate schools and careers, will be discussed.
  • Completion of one of the following for up to one-half unit:
    • An environmental research project, service project or internship. Students should have prior approval of the concentration director, and must make a presentation in the seminar and submit a paper summarizing the experience.
    • One-year of residence in Environmental House with ENVN 206: Sustainable Living Seminar. (Note that residence in the E-House is not available in 2015-16.)
    • ENVN 201: Ecology and Environmental Field Trip

Requirements for Concentration in Environmental Studies

The environmental studies concentration is designed for students who have an interest in environmental issues and plan careers in related fields. Due to the varying interests and backgrounds of the students who choose this option, the choice of courses for this concentration is more open than in the environmental science concentration. Participating students may pursue a major in any field. Students who complete this concentration might, for example, enter science journalism or work for environmental advocacy groups.

The following are required for the concentration:

  • ENVN 102, 220.
  • Two skills courses selected from the following: Economics 101, English 203, Mathematics 209, Political Science 216.
    No more than one lab science course selected from the following (this option not available for science majors): Biology 195, Chemistry 121, Geology 101.
  • Two courses that deal explicitly with environmental issues, selected in consultation with the director.
  • One course in the student’s major that is given an environmental focus by completion of an environmental paper, project or activity within the existing structure of the course. Normally these will be at the 200-level or higher. This work will be done in consultation with the director and the course instructor.
  • Experiential requirements:
    • Attendance at a series of seminars each semester. In these, students who completed internships the previous semester will report on them, and other items of general interest, such as graduate schools and careers, will be discussed.
    • An environmental research project, service project or internship. Students should have prior approval of the concentration director, and must make a presentation in the seminar and submit a paper summarizing the experience.

Requirements for Major in Sustainability Studies

The major in sustainability studies at Albion College is an interdisciplinary, international program that is grounded in the social sciences and designed for students who are engaged in today’s and tomorrow’s sustainability challenges. Students develop an understanding of human prosperity, social justice, and ecological integrity as essential elements in a sustainable world. Students explore the relationships among the economy, lifestyle, politics and policy, the physical environment, natural resource use, climate change and biodiversity preservation. A required international experience stresses the global dimensions of sustainability and introduces other nations’ approaches to sustainability. Students prepare for careers as sustainability professionals in corporate and civic settings, policy advocates, and educators.

The requirements for the major in sustainability studies are as follows:

Nine and one-quarter to ten units of courses including:

  • ENVN 101, 102 and  220;
  • One of the following: Anthropology 271, 357 or Political Science 237;
  • Two of the following, with at least one from the arts and humanities list, and both from different departments:
    • Art 315, English 206, 238, 354, Philosophy 301 (arts and humanities courses); 
    • Political Science 216, History 337, Communications 331 (social science courses).

In some cases, courses may require prerequisites, class standing or permission of the instructor. Please discuss these options with your adviser.

  • PBSV 289: Innovative and Sustainable Cities
  • Study abroad in an approved program, with a minimum of three courses summing to a minimum of 2.25 units approved in advance. A list of programs and approved courses is available from the director of the Center for Sustainability and the Environment.

 Two cognate courses including:

  • Geology 111
  • One of the following: Anthropology 240, Biology 240, Geology 104, 106, 115, Physics 102.

 Experiential requirement including:

  • Selection from one approved opportunity for experiential learning (up to one-half unit). This can include one of the following:
    • Honors Program or departmental honors thesis 
    • FURSCA
    • ENVN 201or 206
    • An approved internship or summer work experience
  •  Participation in the bi-weekly Center for Sustainability and the Environment Seminar unless excused because of a conflicting obligation.

Introduction

The Center for Sustainability and the Environment (CSE), through its member students and affiliated faculty, encourages all Albion students to develop an awareness of the physical makeup of the biosphere and an appreciation of the vulnerability of the ecosystem. It further encourages students to explore environmental issues from multidisciplinary perspectives and to recognize that their actions have environmental consequences. Through dynamic interaction between environmental theory and practice, locally based but recognizing that the environment knows no boundaries, the Center enriches its immediate and extended communities.

Admission—Students must apply for admission to the Center and the majors and concentrations that it sponsors. Normally this step is taken as part of the application process to the College, and most members are admitted as incoming students. Admission to the Center is also available, by application, to all first- and second-year Albion students. Visit the Center's website for information on the application process.

Policy on Advanced Placement Credit

Advanced Placement (AP) cannot be used to satisfy the requirements for Biology 195. Students who place out of Chemistry 121 are required to take Chemistry 123. Students with AP credit for Mathematics 141 are required to take Mathematics 143 or 210.

Faculty

Timothy N. Lincoln, director, Center for Sustainability and the Environment; professor of geological sciences.
B.S., 1972, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Ph.D., 1978, University of California, Los Angeles.

Douglas W. White, associate director, Center for Sustainability and the Environment; adjunct assistant professor of biology.
B.S., 1976, Pennsylvania State University; M.S., 1978, University of Tennessee; Ph.D., 1989, Rutgers University.