Academic Departments and Programs

Environmental Studies

The Environmental Studies Program at The College of Idaho offers students an education in the complex relationships among natural systems and human cultures. The interdisciplinary program encourages students to question their own cultural and environmental attitudes and examine these values in their lives and work. The program prepares students to think critically, obtain and analyze data, and speak and write effectively about the environment, while also providing leadership in helping their communities address environmental issues.

Why study Environmental Studies at The College of Idaho?

Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary program that includes the Environmental Studies major, the Environmental Humanities minor and the Environmental Science minor. In the Environmental Studies major, you will take courses in the humanities, the natural sciences and the social sciences, exploring components of ecology and environmental systems, aesthetic representations of the environment, the history of environmental thought, the role of public policy and ethics in environmental decision making, the varied conceptions of "environment" held by different cultures, and the global nature of environmental issues.

All Environmental Studies majors complete a set of core classes and also receive in-depth training in a specific Focus discipline. Options include chemistry, conservation biology, literature, philosophy, political economy, and a student-designed focus. Additional opportunities for study on extended field-based courses include biology excursions in Australia, literature and art-related trips to London, and the Stanley Winter Wilderness Experience in Idaho's Sawtooth Mountains. Given the interdisciplinary nature of environmental studies, the Environmental Studies major includes more extensive coursework than many majors. Interested students should meet with an Environmental Studies faculty member to plan their coursework.

Career Opportunities for C of I Environmental Studies Students

Environmental Studies prepares skilled critical thinkers who are ready to provide leadership in a variety of career fields. Education, public policy, resource management, public health, public administration, international development, nonprofit work, and the sciences are popular choices for our graduates. Many alumni also go on to graduate school to study environmental law and policy, economics, environmental literature, ecology, plant and animal biology, and other related sciences.

Majors

Students pursuing an Environmental Studies (ES) major complete an Environmental Studies Core plus six to eight courses comprising a disciplinary Focus. Students are encouraged to complete some courses in the Core before beginning coursework toward the Focus. Students should consult an ES advisor for assistance with planning a course of study. Students wishing to substitute a second major for the Focus area must submit a formal, written request to the ES Chair to be considered by the ES Committee. Given the deeply interdisciplinary nature of the ES Core and the in-depth study involved in the Focus area, students completing the ES major, an additional three credits in the Fine Arts, and six additional credits in the Social Sciences* fulfill the requirements of three PEAKs: Humanities & Fine Arts; Social Sciences & History; and Natural Sciences & Mathematics.

The Environmental Studies Core (36 credits) introduces essential concepts in environmental studies, foundational approaches to the study of the environment, and the specific ways in which environmental studies are practiced in various disciplines. Courses in the Core should be taken as early as possible.

*Students participating in the Winter Wilderness Experience (WWE) can fulfill 3 of the 6 required Social Science elective credits. ENV-151 Introduction to Human Geography can also fulfill 3 of the 6 required Social Science elective credits.

 Conservation Biology Focus

Understanding the biology of organisms, populations, and ecosystems is essential to addressing environmental issues. The ability to collect and interpret biological data reliably and to gather and interpret relevant scientific literature allows for the critical evaluation of ecological issues and contributes to sound environmental decision making. In the Conservation Biology Focus, students gain both a conceptual framework and the laboratory and field experience needed to understand the biological aspects of environmental issues.

Environmental Studies Major
Conservation Biology Focus
58-60 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)
Course Course Title Credits
Environmental Studies Core Requirements

ENV-200 or
IND-305.1/305.2

Nature and Culture: Introduction to Environmental Studies or
Winter Wilderness Experience Prep/Winter Wilderness Experience

3
6

Environment, Ecology, and Natural Systems

BIO-140

Idaho Natural History and Laboratory

4

ENV-160

Environmental Science I and Laboratory

4

ENV-260 or
BIO-203

Environmental Science II and Laboratory or
Ecology, Evolution, and Diversity

4

Analytical and Quantitative Skills

MAT-125 or
MAT-212

Data Analysis and Statistics or
Advanced Statistical Methods

3

Environmental Thought in the United States

ENG-239

Visions of Environment

3

Global Perspective on Environment

ATH-309

Cross-Cultural Approaches to the Environment

3

Public Policy and the Environment

POE-339 or
POE-389

Environmental Policy Analysis or
Ecological Economics

3

Values and the Environment

PHI-340

Environmental Philosophy

3

REL-348 or
REL-349

Religion and Science or
Religion and Nature

3

Senior Capstone Integrative Seminar

ENV-402

Senior Capstone

3

Conservation Biology Focus Requirements

BIO-201 or
BIO-210

Molecules to Cells and Laboratory or
Molecules to Cells and Integrated Laboratory Research

4

BIO-202

Organismal Biology and Laboratory

4

BIO-306

Conservation Biology

3

ENV-350

Geographic Information Systems and Laboratory

3

Complete 1 Systematics course from the following:

BIO-319

Ichthyology and Laboratory

4

BIO-322

Field Botany and Laboratory

4

BIO-339

Mammalogy and Laboratory

4

BIO-349

Vertebrate Natural History and Laboratory

4

Complete 1 Ecology course from the following:

BIO-317

Stream Ecology and Laboratory

4

BIO-326

Coastal Marine Ecology and Laboratory

4

BIO-345

Ecology and Laboratory

4

BIO-346.1 and
BIO-346

Field Biology Preparation and
Field Biology

2
4

Recommended course (but not required):

MAT-212

Advanced Statistical Methods

3

Chemistry Focus

All human activity depends upon energy, chemical systems, and the earth's elemental cycles, and our dependence upon these systems has had profound effects on our environment. The water, carbon, and nitrogen cycles, for example, reflect the impact of human activity. Addressing environmental problems from a chemical perspective necessitates generating data about the properties of chemical systems, interpreting those data, and understanding the study of matter. In the Chemistry Focus, students study techniques for chemical analysis, the complexities of matter, the earth's elemental cycles, and electrochemistry, and gain experience conducting chemical analyses and interpreting scientific data. The Chemistry Focus provides students with a solid base of coursework that enables exploration of crucial concerns affecting the physical environment.

Environmental Studies Major
Chemistry Focus
60 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)
Course Course Title Credits
Environmental Studies Core Requirements

ENV-200 or
IND-305.1/305.2

Nature and Culture: Introduction to Environmental Studies or
Winter Wilderness Experience Prep/Winter Wilderness Experience

3
6

Environment, Ecology, and Natural Systems

BIO-140

Idaho Natural History and Laboratory

4

ENV-160

Environmental Science I and Laboratory

4

ENV-260 or
BIO-203

Environmental Science II and Laboratory or
Ecology, Evolution, and Diversity

4

Analytical and Quantitative Skills

MAT-125 or
MAT-212

Data Analysis and Statistics or
Advanced Statistical Methods

3

Environmental Thought in the United States

ENG-239

Visions of Environment

3

Global Perspective on Environment

ATH-309

Cross-Cultural Approaches to the Environment

3

Public Policy and the Environment

POE-339 or
POE-389

Environmental Policy Analysis or
Ecological Economics

3

Values and the Environment

PHI-340

Environmental Philosophy

3

REL-348 or
REL-349

Religion and Science or
Religion and Nature

3

Senior Capstone Integrative Seminar

ENV-402

Senior Capstone

3

Chemistry Focus Requirements

CHE-141

General Chemistry I and Laboratory

4

CHE-142

General Chemistry II and Laboratory

4

CHE-252

Analytical Chemistry I and Laboratory

4

CHE-301

Organic Chemistry I and Laboratory

4

CHE-302

Organic Chemistry II and Laboratory
(CHE-412/412L or CHE-420/420L can substitute for this course)

4

CHE-352

Analytical Chemistry II and Laboratory

4

Literature Focus

Our values, beliefs, and language relate deeply to environmental issues and attitudes. Similarly, the human imagination and the stories that we tell ourselves reflect and affect the physical environment. Studying the literary tradition allows us to reflect on historical assumptions and understandings about how humans relate to their world. In the Literature Focus, students examine the British, American, and World literary traditions, and study theories concerning how literature makes meaning for readers.

Environmental Studies Major
Literature Focus
60 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)
Course Course Title Credits
Environmental Studies Core Requirements

ENV-200 or
IND-305.1/305.2

Nature and Culture: Introduction to Environmental Studies or
Winter Wilderness Experience Prep/Winter Wilderness Experience

3
6

Environment, Ecology, and Natural Systems

BIO-140

Idaho Natural History and Laboratory

4

ENV-160

Environmental Science I and Laboratory

4

ENV-260 or
BIO-203

Environmental Science II and Laboratory or
Ecology, Evolution, and Diversity

4

Analytical and Quantitative Skills

MAT-125 or
MAT-212

Data Analysis and Statistics or
Advanced Statistical Methods

3

Environmental Thought in the United States

ENG-239

Visions of Environment

3

Global Perspective on Environment

ATH-309

Cross-Cultural Approaches to the Environment

3

Public Policy and the Environment

POE-339 or
POE-389

Environmental Policy Analysis or
Ecological Economics

3

Values and the Environment

PHI-340

Environmental Philosophy

3

REL-348 or
REL-349

Religion and Science or
Religion and Nature

3

Senior Capstone Integrative Seminar

ENV-402

Senior Capstone

3

Literature Focus Requirements

ENG-280

Theory and Methods of the Study of Literature

3

ENG-498

Literature in English Capstone

3

 

 

Complete at least 1 course from the following:

ENG-245

Poetry Writing Workshop

3

ENG-246

Fiction Writing Workshop

3

ENG-247

Creative Nonfiction Writing Workshop

3

 

 

Complete 12 credits of upper division (300-level) Literature Seminars from the following:

American Literature

Complete at least 1 course from the following:

ENG-329

Inventing America

3

ENG-330

African American Literature

3

ENG-331

Gardens of American Literature

3

ENG-332

Adrienne Rich

3

ENG-333

Hemingway & Faulkner

3

ENG-334

Ecopoetics

3

ENG-335

The American Renaissance

3

English Literature before 1789

Complete at least 1 course from the following:

ENG-306

The Seventeenth-century Lyric

3

ENG-307

Origins and Traditions of English Literature

3

ENG-308

Rival Playwrights: Marlowe, Shakespeare, Jonson

3

ENG-309

The Epic Tradition

3

English Literature after 1789

Complete at least 1 course from the following:

ENG-315

The Supernatural in British Literature

3

ENG-316

The Brontës

3

ENG-317

Nineteenth-century British Fiction

3

ENG-318

Prize Books

3

ENG-319

Nineteenth-century Literature of the British Isles

3

ENG-320

Twentieth-century Literature of the British Isles

3

Postcolonial Literature

Complete at least 1 course from the following:

ENG-322

V. S. Naipaul and Salman Rushdie

3

ENG-323

Postcolonial Studies

3

ENG-324

Narratives Against Oppression

3

ENG-325

Constructing World Literatures

3

Philosophy Focus

With the increasing power of modern science and technology to affect nature, reflections upon the place of humanity in the universe have taken on special urgency. These reflections include questions about the limits of scientific knowledge, the ethical obligations of humans to non-human life and the environment, and technology's impact on humanity's self-understanding. The philosophy emphasis enables a student to examine these and other issues thoughtfully by introducing the most important ideas in Western philosophy and developing students' abilities in critical analysis, argumentation, and presentation.

Environmental Studies Major
Philosophy Focus
52-55 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)
Course Course Title Credits
Environmental Studies Core Requirements

ENV-200 or
IND-305.1/305.2

Nature and Culture: Introduction to Environmental Studies or
Winter Wilderness Experience Prep/Winter Wilderness Experience

3
6

Environment, Ecology, and Natural Systems

BIO-140

Idaho Natural History and Laboratory

4

ENV-160

Environmental Science I and Laboratory

4

ENV-260 or
BIO-203

Environmental Science II and Laboratory or
Ecology, Evolution, and Diversity

4

Analytical and Quantitative Skills

MAT-125 or
MAT-212

Data Analysis and Statistics or
Advanced Statistical Methods

3

Environmental Thought in the United States

ENG-239

Visions of Environment

3

Global Perspective on Environment

ATH-309

Cross-Cultural Approaches to the Environment

3

Public Policy and the Environment

POE-339 or
POE-389

Environmental Policy Analysis or
Ecological Economics

3

Values and the Environment

PHI-340

Environmental Philosophy

3

REL-348 or
REL-349

Religion and Science or
Religion and Nature

3

Senior Capstone Integrative Seminar

ENV-402

Senior Capstone

3

Philosophy Focus Requirements

PHI-214

Introduction to Logic

3

PHI-310

Ancient Philosophy

3

PHI-311

Modern Philosophy

3

PHI-331

Ethics

3

PHI-498

Philosophy Seminar

1-4

PHI/REL

Upper-Division non-Western Philosophy or Religion course

3

Political Economy Focus

The study of the environment requires an understanding of natural systems and of values, beliefs, and language. The application of this knowledge can lead to important social and environmental change. The focus in Politics and Economics, which emphasizes public policy, allows Environmental Studies majors to apply their knowledge to affect substantive change to their communities, regions, and society. A thorough comprehension of political and economic systems, philosophies, and methods is critical for students to become influential members of society.

Environmental Studies Major
Political Economy Focus
57 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)
Course Course Title Credits
Environmental Studies Core Requirements

ENV-200 or
IND-305.1/305.2

Nature and Culture: Introduction to Environmental Studies or
Winter Wilderness Experience Prep/Winter Wilderness Experience

3
6

Environment, Ecology, and Natural Systems

BIO-140

Idaho Natural History and Laboratory

4

ENV-160

Environmental Science I and Laboratory

4

ENV-260 or
BIO-203

Environmental Science II and Laboratory or
Ecology, Evolution, and Diversity

4

Analytical and Quantitative Skills

MAT-125 or
MAT-212

Data Analysis and Statistics or
Advanced Statistical Methods

3

Environmental Thought in the United States

ENG-239

Visions of Environment

3

Global Perspective on Environment

ATH-309

Cross-Cultural Approaches to the Environment

3

Public Policy and the Environment

POE-339 or
POE-389

Environmental Policy Analysis or
Ecological Economics

3

Values and the Environment

PHI-340

Environmental Philosophy

3

REL-348 or
REL-349

Religion and Science or
Religion and Nature

3

Senior Capstone Integrative Seminar

ENV-402

Senior Capstone

3

Political Economy Focus Requirements

POE-241

Introduction to Public Policy

3

POE-250

Introduction to Political Philosophy

3

POE-263

Introduction to Political Economy

3

POE-299

Evidence, Proof, and Knowledge

3

POE-498

Senior Seminar: Politics and Economics

3

Complete 2 upper-division (300- or 400-level) courses in Political Economy (at least one course should have an international emphasis):

POE ELEC

Upper-Division Courses (POE ES Core course not included)

6

Environmental Studies Major
Self-Designed Focus
46-60 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)
Course Course Title Credits
Environmental Studies Core Requirements

ENV-200 or
IND-305.1/305.2

Nature and Culture: Introduction to Environmental Studies or
Winter Wilderness Experience Prep/Winter Wilderness Experience

3
6

Environment, Ecology, and Natural Systems

BIO-140

Idaho Natural History and Laboratory

4

ENV-160

Environmental Science I and Laboratory

4

ENV-260 or
BIO-203

Environmental Science II and Laboratory or
Ecology, Evolution, and Diversity

4

Analytical and Quantitative Skills

MAT-125 or
MAT-212

Data Analysis and Statistics or
Advanced Statistical Methods

3

Environmental Thought in the United States

ENG-239

Visions of Environment

3

Global Perspective on Environment

ATH-309

Cross-Cultural Approaches to the Environment

3

Public Policy and the Environment

POE-339 or
POE-389

Environmental Policy Analysis or
Ecological Economics

3

Values and the Environment

PHI-340

Environmental Philosophy

3

REL-348 or
REL-349

Religion and Science or
Religion and Nature

3

Senior Capstone Integrative Seminar

ENV-402

Senior Capstone

3

Self-Designed Focus Requirements

Students may design a Focus in consultation with an ES advisor. All self-designed Foci must include in-depth study within a single field or discipline and at least 10 upper-division units, and must be approved by the ES Program Committee by the end of the junior year. If you are interested in designing a Focus, see your ES advisor or the Chair of the ES Program.

Minors

Environmental Humanities Minor

15 credits

Course Course Title Credits

MINOR REQUIREMENTS

ENG-239

Visions of Environment

3

ENV-200 or
IND-305.1 and
IND-305.2

Nature and Culture: An Introduction to Environmental Studies or
Winter Wilderness Experience (3 of these credits can count toward the minor)

3

PHI-340

Environmental Philosophy

3

REL-348

Religion and Science

3

Complete 1 course (3 credits) from the following:

ENG-230

Literature of the American West

3

ENG-331

Gardens of American Literature

3

ENG-334

Seminar: Ecopoetics

3

ENG-335

Seminar: The American Renaissance

3

PHI-210

Human Nature and the Scientific World-View

3

Environmental Science Minor

18 credits (Total does not include prerequisite courses)

Course Course Title Credits

MINOR REQUIREMENTS

ENV-160

Environmental Science I and Laboratory

4

ENV-260

Environmental Science II and Laboratory

4

ENV-200

Nature and Culture: Introduction to Environmental Studies

3

GOL-101 or
BIO-140

Physical Geology and Laboratory or
Idaho Natural History and Laboratory

4

MAT-125 or
MAT-212

Data Analysis and Statistics or
Advanced Statistical Methods

3