Jan 23, 2020  
College Catalog 2018-2019 
    
College Catalog 2018-2019 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Environmental Studies Major


Major Requirements


The Environmental Studies major consists of 7 courses (26 credits) in environmental studies plus a 7-course emphasis.

1.  Foundations Courses: These courses are meant to introduce students to the range of topics and approaches utilized in studying environmental issues.

2.  Disciplinary or Interdisciplinary Emphasis: The emphasis allows students to gain depth, either by learning how one discipline approaches environmental issues or by taking an interdisciplinary perspective to understand a particular environmental theme or problem.  The emphasis is a series of seven courses to provide depth that include a methods course and a research-based course.

Disciplinary Emphases:

  • Anthropology
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Economics
  • Education Studies
  • Geography
  • Geology
  • History
  • Mathematics/Computer Science
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Political Science
  • Psychology

Interdisciplinary Emphases:

  • Climate Science and Policy
  • Communication Studies
  • Community and Global Health
  • Environmental Justice
  • Food Systems
  • International Environment and Development
  • Sustainable Design

3.  Capstone:  As the capstone course for the ES major, this combined internship and seminar course provides students the opportunity to reflect on their career goals while gaining “real world” experience working for a local nonprofit, agency, or company.  Students reflect on the skills they have gained, network with professionals in the field, and chart out a plan for their first five years out of college.  The courses are to be taken concurrently in the fall semester of the senior year. 

Preapproved Disciplinary Emphases


Anthropology

Required course: (choose 1)

Methods course: (choose 1)

Research course: (choose 1)

Elective courses: (choose 4)

Biology

Required courses:

Methods course:

Research course: (choose 1)

Elective course:

  • 1 approved elective course (may be a pre-approved study away course)

Chemistry

Required courses:

Methods course: (choose 1)

Research course: (choose 1)

Economics 

Required courses:

Methods course: (choose 1)

Research course:

Elective courses: (choose 2)

Note that this emphasis fulfills the requirements for a minor in Economics

Educational Studies

Required courses:

Methods course:

Research course:

Elective courses:

Geography

Required course:

Methods course: (choose 1)

Research course: (choose 1)

Elective courses:

Geology

Required courses:

Methods course: (choose 1)

Research course: (choose 1)

Elective courses: (choose 2)

History

Research course: (choose 1)

Elective courses (choose 6)

  • At least 4 of the 7 required courses should be cross-listed between history and ES (or otherwise have a clear environmental focus)

Mathematics/Computer Science

Required courses:

Methods course:

Research course:

Elective courses:  (choose 2 with the same prefix, in addition to a research course)

Note that many upper-level MATH and COMP courses have additional prerequisites.

Philosophy

Required courses:

Methods course:

Research course:

  • To be chosen in collaboration with advisor

Elective courses: (choose 3)

  • To be chosen in collaboration with advisor

Physics

Required courses:

Methods course:

Research course: (choose 1)

Elective courses:

  • 1 or 2 courses above the 300 level (2 courses if PHYS 614 was not taken)

Political Science

Methods course:

Research course

Choose 1 of 2 tracks:

A.  American Politics

B.  International Politics

Psychology

Required courses:

Methods course: (choose 1)

Research course:

Elective courses: (choose 2)

Preapproved Interdisciplinary Emphases


Climate Science and Policy

Consensus is growing on the national and international scale that climate change is real and urgent action is needed. However, responses differ among policy makers and other actors about the methods we should use to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions. This interdisciplinary emphasis examines the climate change problem and the most effective policy and development options for carbon mitigation strategies. Students can opt for a emphasis that weighs more heavily on either the science or policy dimensions.

Required courses:

Methods course: (choose 1)

Research course:

Elective courses: (choose 3)

Note that ECON electives require ECON 119 - Principles of Economics   as a prerequisite.

Communication Studies

Communication of environmental ideas and beliefs by individuals, institutions, societies, and cultures are central to the definition and solution of environmental problems. This emphasis focuses on how environmental messages and media (traditional and social media) are crafted, distributed, and received.  This includes a wide range of themes including journalism, social marketing, risk communication and collaboration and conflict.

Required courses:

Methods course: (choose 1)

Research course:

  • The required courses fulfill this requirement

Elective courses: (choose 3)

NOTE:  Students completing this emphasis are required to also register for a Media and Cultural Studies minor (there are no additional courses required).  It is understood that students will seek out opportunities to develop environmental themes in their project/portfolio work in the non-ES courses.

Community and Global Health

The emphasis in Community and Global Health (CGH) aims to connect the Environmental Studies major with the College’s Concentration in Community and Global Health. Environmental conditions are known to have a significant impact on human health. Students in the CGH emphasis receive an introduction to the issues involved in health issues and then can take a broad interdisciplinary approach to these issues or tailor the emphasis with a focus on science, social science or humanities.

Required courses:

Methods course:

Research course: (choose 1)

Elective courses: (choose 2)

Environmental Justice

Poor and minority populations have historically borne the brunt of environmental inequalities in the United States, suffering disproportionately from the effects of pollution, dispossession of land, resource depletion, dangerous jobs, limited access to common resources, and exposure to environmental hazards. This interdisciplinary emphasis focuses on the ways that race, ethnicity, class, and gender have shaped the political and economic dimensions of environmental injustices, along with more recent political movements pushing to rectify environmental injustices and to develop new possibilities for understanding the human place in nature.

Required core courses:

Methods course: (choose 1)

Research course: (choose 1)

Elective courses: (choose 3)

Food Systems

The food system emphasis allows focus on an interconnected set of biological, technological, economic, and social issues that connect to how food systems work.  Food system topics include small and large scale food production, access and consumption issues as well as a concern for the biophysical properties to agroecological systems.

Required courses:

Methods course:

Research course: (choose 1)

Electives: (choose 3 in consultation with your advisor)

International Environment and Development

This interdisciplinary emphasis focuses on the concept of sustainable development by tracing historical and contemporary understandings of wealth and resource distribution within and between countries.  These courses provide students with a grounding in the economic, political, and cultural conceptions of development, focusing on states in the Global South.

Required course:

Methods course: (choose 1)

Research course: (choose 1)

Elective courses: (choose 4)

Sustainable Design

By marshaling natural resources in creative ways and on an unprecedented scale, industrial nations have developed new methods of converting the raw materials of nature–wood and metal, soil and water, coal and oil–into an economy capable of delivering fantastic comfort, abundance, and convenience to a steadily growing number of people. Yet the material advances of the industrial revolution are also directly responsible for many of the most serious environmental problems that now confront humanity. This interdisciplinary emphasis combines coursework at Macalester and DIS - Copenhagen to develop the skills of sustainable design: the active attempt to re-design the material world in ways that mitigate or eliminate the negative environmental impact of the buildings, products, and industrial systems on which the modern world relies.

Required courses:

Methods course: (choose 1)

  • DIS Copenhagen Program - Architecture Foundations Studio
  • DIS Copenhagen Program - Sustainable By Design

Research course:

Elective courses:

  • 3 other Art or Architecture courses (from Macalester or on study away program)