Santa Clara University

Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences

Courses

ENVS 1A & 2A: Analyzing Green Rhetoric (CTW I and II)

A two-course, themed sequence featuring study and practice of academic discourse, with emphasis on critical reading and writing, composing processes, and rhetorical situation. The second course will feature more advanced study and practice of academic discourse, with additional emphasis on information literacy and skills related to developing and organizing longer and more complex documents. Topics may include the rhetoric surrounding current environmental issues, and environmental criticism with a variety of media. (4 units each quarter)

ENVS 10: Joy of Garbage

What happens to the things we don’t want? This class follows the path of our waste products as they are burnt, decomposed, landfilled, treated, recycled, reused, dumped on minority communities, or shipped abroad. Building on basic chemical and biological principles, and using the scientific method to guide us, this class explores the fates of organic and nonorganic detritus, and searches for sustainable solutions to waste problems. (4 units)

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ENVS 11A & 12A: Nature and Imagination (C&I I and II)

A two-course sequence focusing on a major theme in human experience and culture over a significant period of time. Courses emphasize either broad global interconnections or the construction of Western culture in its global context. Themes may include nature, imagination, and environment in myth, art, literature, music, drama, story, philosophy, and sacred text. (4 units each quarter)

ENVS 20: The Water Wars of California L & L

In California, the average person uses about 230 gallons of water a day while most of the population is concentrated in areas that receive less than 20 inches of rainfall per year. This course will use the history of water resource use and abuse in the state of California as a backdrop for investigating the interplay of hydrology, climate, and human population growth. Students will examine factors that affect the supply, distribution, demand, and quality of fresh water in the state of e will be highlighted, and population pressures on water resources will be analyzed. Concepts will be reinforced by field projects and through comparative case studies from California and beyond. Laboratory 15 hours. (4 units)

ENVS20

ENVS 21: Intro to Environmental Science L & L

This course presents an introduction to environmental issues, seen through the lens of the biological sciences. Basic scientific concepts at different scales of biological organization, from genes to ecosystems, are illustrated by their application to contemporary environmental questions. In lecture, students are expected to think critically, read widely, and participate in group discussions. In laboratory and field exercises, the emphasis is on applying the scientific method and analyzing data.  Laboratory 15 hours. (4 units)

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Sample Syllabus

ENVS 22: Intro to Environmental Studies

This course presents an overview of environmental studies as an interdisciplinary academic field focused on society-nature relationships. It draws from multiple social scientific disciplines, including geography, political economy, and sociology to pose environmental questions, understand the root causes of problems, and analyze potential solutions at local, national, and global scales. After considering several environmental narratives and reviewing the key events, influential scholarly works, social movements, politics, and policy changes that contributed to the rise of different environmentalisms, this course analyzes the social dimensions of several case studies. These cases include climate change, food security, biodiversity loss, industrial pollution, and green innovation. In the third section, learners consider the personal and collective dimensions of social change, environmental citizenship, and governance interrogating the ethics and leadership models of organizations and individuals active in solving environmental problems. (4 units)

Sample Syllabus

ENVS 23: Soil, Water, and Air L & L

What does plate tectonics have to do with the availability of natural resources? Are we running out of soil and water? How is the climate changing? Building on basic physical and chemical principles we will focus on understanding the geological, hydrological, and atmospheric cycles that shape our environment and our human society. We will investigate how continents, landscapes, oceans, freshwa­ter reservoirs, and the atmosphere interact, which processes are taking place to change them, and how are they affected by human action. Understanding of the concepts will be deepened by laboratory activities and a field trip. Laboratory 15 hours. (4 units)

ENVS 50: World Geography

Provides an understanding of world geography through an appreciation of contemporary global problems in different world regions. Broad topics that will be covered include globalization, demographic trends, economic development and underdevelopment, human-environment interactions, changing cultures and geopolitics. These topics will illustrate the distribution of political, cultural, socio-economic and physical processes and features around the world and will be covered at local, regional and global scales.  Also listed as ANTH 50 and POLI 50. (4 units)

ENVS 79: Environmental Thought

Using an ecocritical approach, this course examines primary and secondary sources related to the evolution of environmental thought in modern times. The work of seminal thinkers from within the conservation movement, environmental philosophy, and the environmental sciences will be explore, as well as the social and economic influences in post-WWII America that created the modern environmental movement. (4 units) NCX

ENVS 80: Energy and the Environment

From oil spills to coal mine accidents, from foreign policy impacts to climate change, energy has been a top news story. This course explores the basics of traditional fossil fuel energy production and alternative energy sources including natural gas, nuclear, biomass, wind, solar, hydropower, and fuel cells. Students will explore the energy demands of the United States relative to other countries and seek to piece together the multifaceted puzzle of energy production, storage, and transmission, as well as conservation and efficiency. Students will gain an understanding of the vast array of societal and environmental impacts of our energy demands, while defining opportunities and challenges for the future. (4 units)

ENVS 95: Sustainable Living Undergraduate Research Project (SLURP)

This course is designed to promote a culture of sustainability within the residential learning communities of the modern university. Students engage in intensive research over the course of the academic year and will compile and present their results during the spring quarter. Enrollment is limited to residents of the SLURP floor in the CyPhi Residential Learning Community. (2 units in each of two academic quarters) NCX

ENVS 95 SLURP (1)

ENVS 101: Capstone Seminar L & L

Capstone is a guided group and individual research course that each year is aimed at a different environmental topic of global significance. Past topics have included the regulation of biotechnology, using ecosystem services to create financial incentives for conservation, the social equity and biological effectiveness of private land conservation, and the national choices facing China with respect to agricultural policy. The course begins with lectures so that students gain a foundational background for the quarter's research topic. Students write individual papers, group papers, give oral presentations, and develop project management skills. Some students pursue their research after the course, even to the point of publication. Prerequisite: ENVS 21, 22, 23 and senior class standing. (5 units) NCX

ENVS 110: Statistics for Environmental Science L & L

A course in applied statistics for environmental scientists. Students gain training in experimental design, quantitative analysis, and hypothesis testing. Theory and concepts are covered in lectures and readings. Laboratory sessions provide practical experience using statistical software. Examples used in lectures and lab assignments are derived from medical research, public health, and environmental risk assessment. Laboratory 30 hours. Also listed as BIOL 160. Prerequisite: BIOL 23 or ENVS 21. (5 units)

ENVS 110

ENVS 116: Introduction to GIS

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) can be used to overlay different kinds of spatial data to create maps and address a wide variety of spatial questions.  This class will focus on methods of generating, querying, analyzing, and displaying GIS data - utilizing industry standard software.  Prerequisites: ENVS 21 or 23 recommended. (5 units)

ENVS115

 

ENVS 120: Introduction to Environmental Law and Regulation in the United States

Introduction to the U.S. Legal system's approach to environmental protection. Topics include the role of legislatures and environmental agencies at the federal, state, and local levels; the independent role of judiciary in establishing environmental law; and specific statutes, such as the Clean Air Act. Students evaluate questions of federalism, uses of economic incentives, and relationships between environmental protection and economic growth. Prerequisite: ENVS 22 recommended. (5 units)

ENVS 122: Environmental Politics and Policy

This course examines environmental politics, policy and governance in the last half century. Part one reviews major environmental legislation in the United States, including the Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and policy responses to global warming. In part two, learners step back to interrogate the power dynamics, social movements, legal battles and struggles over meaning and representation that accompany significant social change. The final section examines the rise of global environmental governance highlighting the role of nonprofit organizations, civil societies, and corporate firms as voluntary environmental regulation moves from the margins to the mainstream. A concluding discussion identifies avenues for civic engagement, accountability, and environmental citizenship. Learners will gain insight into the policymaking processes by participating in simulation games, reading and research assignments, developing tools to assess policy outcomes, and finding strategies to identify political opportunities. Also listed as POLI 157. Prerequisite: ENVS 22 recommended. (5 units)

ENVS 124:  Water Law & Policy

This class is designed to introduce Engineering and Environmental Science and Studies majors to the legal concepts related to water.  The course will examine the rights, policies and laws related to water, including issues of water supply and access (i.e., water transfers/water markets, Riparian and Appropriative Doctrines), water pollution and quality (i.e. the Clean Water Act, EPA Standards, instream flows for fish), and new regulations pertaining to on-site storm water management/flood control.  This class will have a broad focus on California water law and policy with some national and international case studies.  (5 units)

ENVS 131: Environmental Education

Environmental education plays a fundamental role in our attempts to make human systems more sustainable. An introduction to the study and practice of environmental education. Surveys philosophies, theories, and methods of environmental education with a special emphasis on techniques for engaging K-12 students in outdoor settings to maximize learning of environmental concepts and to improve the students' understanding of their personal connections to nature. Introduces creative ways that we—as current or future teachers, parents, or mentors—can use active study of and interactions with the outdoor environment to engage young people in the study of environmental systems and basic biological, chemical, and physical sciences. A portion of the course will be taught in field-based settings. Students will participate in service-learning projects that will give them practical experience planning and leading environmental education lessons. Especially valuable for future teachers. (5 units) NCX

ENVS 132: Agroecology

The goal of agroecology is to reduce the negative environmental impact of farming while meeting the food needs of the world. Examines in a holistic framework the biological, technical, socioeconomic, and political processes that govern agroecosystem productivity and stability. A wide variety of current agricultural practices are assessed and discussed. Management techniques and farming systems' designs that sustain long-term production are emphasized. One required weekend field trip. Laboratory 30 hours. Also listed as BIOL 131. Prerequisite BIOL 23 or ENVS 21. (5 units)

ENVS 132

ENVS 140: Sustainability Outreach

Aims to deepen students' understanding of sustainability. Students participate in an outreach program designed to facilitate sustainable development at Bay Area high schools. Each high school's efforts will be a microcosm of sustainable development and a leadership learning experience for the high school students and SCU students, their mentors.  Readings and in-class discussions will also enhance students' ethical understanding of sustainability.  (1 unit) NCX

ENVS 141: Environmental Biology in the Tropics

This summer course examines tropical biology and ecology and their relationship to issues of sustainable development. The course includes 1.5 weeks of instruction at SCU and 3.5 weeks of field study in Costa Rica. Particular emphasis on tropical ecology, community ecology, reforestation and restoration ecology, sustainable agriculture and fair trade, and ecotourism. Taught in conjunction with ANTH 197. Also listed as BIOL 157. Enrollment by application via International Programs. Prerequisite: ANTH 1, BIOL 23, or ENVS 21. (5 units) NCX

ENVS 142: Writing Natural History

Engages students in ecocritical reading and writing about the natural history of Baja California Sur. The on-campus portion of the course prepares students to engage in first-hand explorations of the environment in and around the Sea of Cortez. During the on-site portion of the course, students will compile extensive field notes in preparation for the composition of their own natural histories. Must be concurrently enrolled in ENVS 144. Prerequisites: CTW 1 and 2. Enrollment by application only. Travel fees required.(5 units) NCX

ENVS 144: Natural History of Baja

Examines the natural history, biology, and ecology of desert and coastal ecosystems in Baja California Sur. Meets once a week in the winter quarter and over spring break in the Sierra La Laguna (Cape Region) and Isla Espiritu Santo (La Paz Bay), Baja California Sur, Mexico. Students will become familiar with desert, oak scrub, riparian, thorn forest, beach, mangrove, coral reef, and rocky intertidal habitats; develop field observation and species identification skills; and explore challenges of sustainable development of this fragile ecosystem.Must be concurrently enrolled in ENVS 142. Enrollment by application only.  Travel fees required. Prerequisite: BIOL 23 or ENVS 21. (5 units)

Natural History of Baja

ENVS 145: Environmental Technology

A survey course covering a variety of environmentally conscious technologies. Addresses "bleeding edge" as well as more traditional technologies that enhance both human welfare and environmental quality in both the developed and developing countries. Students will concentrate on environmentally conscious technologies used in the general areas of air quality, biotic systems, climate, energy, land, population, transportation, waste, and water. Prerequisite: ENVS 23 or by permission of instructor. (5 units)

ENVS 146: Agriculture, Environment & Development: Latin America

Offers a cross-disciplinary examination of the prospects for "sustainable development" in rural areas of Latin America. Students will use diverse points of view to look at interactions between poverty, development, and environmental degradation. While there is no single, universally accepted definition of sustainable development, a central goal of this course is that each student will come away with the ability to understand the key elements that distinguish different discourses on this subject. Prerequisite: ENVS 22 recommended. (5 units)

ENVS 147: International Environment and Development

Examines the intersection of environment and development in the developing world. Students will explore meanings and measures of development as well as international institutions that influence development and environmental policy. Conceptual frameworks for addressing human-environmental relationships, including globalization, famine and hunger, sustainable development, population-poverty interactions, and gender will be explored. Specific topics to be covered include deforestation, water use, conservation and development, oil extraction, and urbanization. Prerequisite: ENVS 22 recommended. (5 units)

ENVS 148: Solar Theory and Applications

Solar energy is more than just photovoltaic (PV) arrays on a roof. Learn about different types of PV technologies as well as passive solar design, and concentrated solar thermal (making power at the level of a conventional power plant!). Find out the key technological, environmental, and economic issues, and what it would take to employ solar energy to greatly decrease our reliability on fossil fuels. Students will use the Western U.S. as a case study. Prerequisite: ENVS 21 or ENVS 22 or ENVS 23 or ENVS 80 recommended. (5 units)

ENVS 148

ENVS 149: Politics of African Development

Examines how history, politics and policies have shaped the contemporary political, social, and cultural dimensions of development and environmental challenges in sub-Saharan Africa. Special topics include the politics of natural resource use, the causes of hunger and famine, problems of conservation and environment, environmental health and gender and development. (5 units)

ENVS 150: Political Ecology

This course develops critical tools to analyze human-environment interactions.  Beyond simplified explanations and short-term fixes, it asks: Who defines environmental problems?  What types of knowledge count?  And, how do questions about nature become questions about power?  Study environmental issues in a global context and focus on political economy, access, and struggles over representation.  Learn methods to map power dynamics, examine social-ecological relationships, conduct research, and facilitate participation.  Topics include:  global environmental change, sustainable development, hunger, food systems, disasters, urban environments, conservation, consumption, health, justice, environmental politics, social movements, and the commons.  Students write papers, give oral presentations, and work as teams.   Prerequisite: ENVS 22 recommended. (5 units)

ENVS 151: Restoration Ecology

The science and practice of restoring degraded ecosystems with an emphasis on plant ecology. Through field trips to restoration projects and examination of case studies from the literature, students will grapple with basic questions: How do we decide what to restore? How do we restore it? And how do we know if we're finished? Emphasis on reading and writing scientific papers, understanding data analysis, and critically judging the success of restoration projects in meeting goals of biodiversity and ecosystem function. Laboratory and field work 30 hours. Also listed as BIOL 151. Prerequisite: BIOL 23 or ENVS 21. (5 units)

Restoration

ENVS 153: Conservation Science

Conservation is a scientific enterprise and a social movement that seeks to protect nature, including Earth's animals, plants, and ecosystems. Conservation science applies principles from ecology, population genetics, economics, political science, and other natural and social sciences to manage and protect the natural world. Conservation is all too often seen as being at odds with human well-being and economic development. This course explores the scientific foundations of conservation while highlighting strategies to better connect conservation with the needs of a growing human population. We will examine whether conservation can protect nature, not from people, but for people. Also listed as BIOL 153. Prerequisite: BIOL 23 or ENVS 21. (5 units)

ENVS153

ENVS 154:  Literature & Environment

What assumptions in western thought undergird ideas about the relationship between humans and the natural world?  While literature and the environment have a long shared history, only in the last two decades has serious consideration and critique been given to the nature of this connection and what it means for both of these expansive--and problematic--terms.  This course will explore ideas and facts about our environment from three different perspectives (non-fiction environmental writing, theory, and contemporary fiction) to help us understand how these powerful assumptions developed and how we might change our priorities to create a sustainable future.  This course fulfills one of the requirements for the Literature and Cultural Studies track in the major and minor in English or can serve as an elective; it fulfills the pathway in sustainability; it fulfills one of the requirements for ENVS majors and minors in the Environmental Studies concentrations in “Environmental Thought.” (5 units)

ENVS 155: Environmental & Food Justice

This course unites two vibrant fields for academic study and arenas for social, political, and ecological action. Environmental Justice as a principle affirms the right of all people to healthy livable communities. Environmental injustice occurs when environmental benefits and burdens are unevenly distributed along the lines of identity, including race, class, and/or nationality. Food justice research addresses inequalities in food access and studies the patterns, causes, and solutions associated with increasing hunger and obesity among eaters and the accumulation of environmental costs in agricultural landscapes. After reviewing several seminal studies in environmental and food justice, this class delves into case studies in California and Central America. Learners will conduct a major research project, participate in team-based collaborations, and engage local communities as a part of this course. (5 units)

ENVS155 (2)

ENVS 156: General Ecology L & L

Quantitative study of the interrelationships of organisms with their biotic and abiotic environments. Emphasis on population dynamics, interspecific relationships, community structure, and ecosystem processes. Laboratory and field work 30 hours, including one weekend field trip. Also listed as BIOL 156. Prerequisites: BIOL 23. (5 units)

ENVS 158: Conservation Psychology

Many environmental problems (e.g., global warming, pollution, biodiversity loss, and resource depletion) are caused by human behavior, and changing this behavior is necessary in order to solve them. Topics include psychological reasons (emotions, thoughts, values, motivations, social context) why people behave in environmentally sustainable or unsustainable ways, and how psychology can be used to develop policies and other interventions to help promote sustainable behavior. Also listed as PSYC 158.Prerequisites: PSYC 1, 2, 40, 43, or permission of the instructor. (5 units)

ENVS 160: Water Resources L & L

Worldwide, rivers are now so overtapped that they discharge little or no water to the sea for months at a time. As water levels in aquifers are declining, while water is still flowing freely and cheaply from our taps, we are wondering how much fresh water is available and how to best manage it. This course covers the fundamental concepts and analyses in hydrology and water resources management, such as runoff, flow in aquifers, snowmelt, evaporation, and infiltration. Using these concepts and basic physical and chemical principles we will investigate issues of water cycling, use and abuse, pollution, and conservation. Interactions between water and human societies, ecosystems, agriculture, natural resources, and climate are explored through domestic and international case studies. The concepts are reinforced through indoor and outdoor laboratory exercises. Laboratory 30 hours. Prerequisites: ENVS 21 and 23 or by permission of instructor. (5 units)

ENVS 165: Climate Science & Solutions

Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the physical processes involved in climate change, as well as it's socioeconomic consequences.  The course also explores the strengths and weaknesses of policies and other tools used to mitigate or adapt to climate change.  Prerequisites: ENVS 23 or instructor's permission.  (5 units)

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ENVS 195: Sustainable Living Undergraduate Research Project (SLURP)

This research-based course is designed to promote a culture of sustainability within the residential communities of Santa Clara University. Students will engage in intensive research over the course of the academic year and will compile and present their results during the spring quarter. (2 units in each of three academic quarters) NCX

ENVS 95 SLURP (2)

ENVS 196: Special Topics in Environmental Studies

Course content and topics vary depending on the professor. (units vary)

ENVS 197: Special Topics in Environmental Science

Course content and topics vary depending on the professor. (units vary)

ENVS 198: Environmental Proseminar

A seminar course for graduating seniors, intended to permit reflection on an internship or research experience and foster the further development of professional skills. Prior to enrolling, students must complete 100 hours of work in one of the following options: (1) an approved off-campus environmental internship (see your academic adviser for approval before initiating the internship), (2) approved environmental research with SCU faculty (ENVS 199A or 199B) or as partof a study abroad program. Students pursuing Option 1 enroll for 5 units; those pursuing Option 2 enroll for 2 units.  Students are graded P/NP only.Prerequisites: Completion of 100 hours of internship or research and senior class standing.(2 or 5 units) NCX

ENVS 199: Directed Reading, Research or Internship

Students wishing to enroll in 199A or 199B should meet with the faculty supervisor no later than the fifth week of the term preceding the start of the project. A written description of the proposed project must be presented to the department chair for approval. (1–5 units) NCX

ENVS 199A: Directed Reading in Environmental Science or Environmental Studies

Detailed investigation based on directed readings on advanced environmental topics, under the close supervision of a faculty member. Prerequisite: Permission of ESI executive director and instructor before registration. (1-5 units) NCX

ENVS 199B: Directed Environmental Research

Supervised laboratory, field, or other research under the guidance of a faculty member. The goal should be a written report suitable for publication. Prerequisite: Permission of ESI executive director and instructor before registration. (1-5 units) NCX

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