Courses Offered

For a full list of approved Environmental and Urban Studies courses, please click here.

Winter 2019

*Denotes new course

ENST 12402. Life Through A Genomic Lens
The implications of the double helical structure of DNA triggered a revolution in cell biology. More recently, the technology to sequence vast stretches of DNA has offered new vistas in fields ranging from human origins to the study of biodiversity. This course considers a set of these issues, including the impact of a DNA perspective on the legal system, on medicine, and on conservation biology.
T Th 9:30am-10:50am|
Instructor(s): Aaron Turkewitz, Marcelo Nobrega

ENST 21301. Making The Natural World: Foundations Of Human Ecology
Humans have “made” the natural world both conceptually, through the creation of various ideas about nature, ecosystem, organism, and ecology, and materially, through millennia of direct action in and on the landscape. In this course we will consider the conceptual underpinnings of contemporary Western notions of nature, environment, and balance, through the examination of specific historical trajectories of anthropogenic landscape modification and human society. Taking examples from current events we will evaluate the extent and character of human entanglement with the environment. ENST 21201 and 21301 are required of students who are majoring in Environmental and Urban Studies and may be taken in any order.
T Th 12:30-1:50pm
Instructor(s): Alison Anastasio

ENST 23100. Environmental Law
This course will examine the bases and assumptions that have driven the development of environmental law, as well as the intersection of this body of law and foundational legal principles (including standing, liability, and the Commerce Clause). Each form of lawmaking (statutes, regulations, and court decisions) will be examined, with emphasis on reading and understanding primary sources such as court cases and the laws themselves. The course also analyzes the judicial selection process in order to understand the importance of how the individuals who decide cases that determine the shape of environmental law and regulations are chosen. 
T Th 2:00pm-3:20pm
Instructor(s): Ray Lodato

ENST 23289. Marine Ecology
This course provides an introduction into the physical, chemical, and biological forces controlling the function of marine ecosystems and how marine communities are organized. The structures of various types of marine ecosystems are described and contrasted, and the lectures highlight aspects of marine ecology relevant to applied issues such as conservation and harvesting.
T Th 2:00pm-3:20pm
Instructor(s): John Timothy Wootton

ENST 23505. Environmental Ethics*
M W 3:00pm-4:20pm
Instructor(s): Sarah E. Fredericks

ENST 23550. Urban Ecology And The Nature Of Cities
Urban ecology is an interdisciplinary field derived from the academic discipline of ecology. How well does classical ecological theory, typically formed from reductionist views of nature without humans, describe and predict patterns in human-dominated landscapes? Students will learn fundamental concepts in ecological theory, examine how these concepts apply to urban systems, and explore the paradigms of ecology in, of, and for cities. Readings and discussions will focus on classical research papers from the ecological literature, history of modern ecology, and contemporary approaches to studying biotic systems in cities.
M W 1:30pm-2:50pm
Instructor(s): Alison Anastasio

ENST 23640. Fruited Plains And Scarred Mountains: The Environmental History Of Work In The United States*
Ask most people to name an ecosystem, and they’ll probably talk about mountains, beaches, plains, or forests. But most of us spend nearly a third of our adult lives in another ecosystem we often don’t think about: our workplace. In fact, one of the most common ways humans interact with the environment in our modern world is by working—from farming and mining to housekeeping and coding. This course will examine the environmental history of work in the United States from the colonial era to the present through lectures, discussion, and other forms of active learning. We will cover a range of topics including racialized and gendered labors, the work of empire, energy workplaces, industrialization, agriculture, the information revolution, and climate adaptation. By engaging this history, we will also consider broader interdisciplinary questions: how should environmental concerns shape labor policy and organizing? What workplace considerations must be incorporated into the development of climate adaptation strategies and just transition programs? Why do the stories that we tell ourselves about the meaning of work matter for climate justice? What is the future of work in a climate-changed world? 
T Th 3:30pm-4:50pm
Instructor(s): Trish Kahle

ENST 24756. Exploring The Resilient City
In recent years, sub-national units of government have enacted meaningful policy plans in the wake of the ongoing failure of the international community to address global climate change. Cities in particular have shaped their plans to address the now-inevitable effects of climate change by adopting policies that emphasize resilience and environmental protection, without sacrificing economic growth, and with attention to the ongoing challenges of poverty and inequality.
This course will take a comparative look at the policies adopted by cities on an international basis, while defining what it means to be a resilient city and how much the built environment can be adjusted to limit the environmental impact of densely populated metropolises. It will also consider what impact citizen activism and input had upon the shape of each plan and the direction that its policies took. Students will also be asked to consider what might be missing from each plan and how each plan could be improved to foster greater resiliency. This course is part of the College Course Cluster program: Climate Change, Culture and Society.
T Th 3:30pm-4:50pm
Instructor(s): Ray Lodato

ENST 25115. Francis Bacon's Philosophy Of Nature*
Historians of science have traditionally regarded Francis Bacon (1561–1626) as one of the most prominent seventeenth-century champions of induction, empiricism, and experimental methodology. While these are perhaps his most important contributions to natural philosophy, Bacon and his adherents also exerted a profound influence on Western notions of power over nature and of the possibilities of alteration, manipulation, and exploitation of the natural world. This course will examine some of Bacon's principal works ("The New Organon", "The Advancement of Learning", "The New Atlantis", and "The Great Instauration") in order to first develop an understanding of Bacon's philosophical positions and the changing landscape of natural philosophy in the seventeenth century. Then, we will examine the implications of Bacon's philosophy from his lifetime to the present, focusing particularly on the rise of artisanal and craft knowledge; the emergence of civil institutions for cooperative knowledge making; utopian and cornucopian conceptions of the natural economy; science as the manipulation of nature; the competing and complementary notions of dominion over nature versus environmental stewardship; the practical uses of natural materials during European imperial expansion; the origins of industrialization and technological development; and his influence on modern science, politics, economics, and environmentalism.
T Th 12:30pm-1:50pm
Instructor(s): Justin Niermeier-Dohoney

ENST 25500. Biogeography
This course examines factors governing the distribution and abundance of animals and plants. Topics include patterns and processes in historical biogeography, island biogeography, geographical ecology, areography, and conservation biology (e.g., design and effectiveness of nature reserves).
T Th 2:00pm-3:20pm
Instructor(s): Bruce Patterson

ENST 28800. Readings In Spatial Analysis
This independent reading option is an opportunity to explore special topics in the exploration, visualization and statistical modeling of geospatial data.
Instructor(s): Luc Anselin

ENST 28980. Readings In Urban Planning And Design
This independent reading option is an opportunity to explore contemporary debates and theoretical arguments involved in the planning and design of cities.
Instructor(s): Emily Talen

ENST 29700. Reading And Research
This course is a reading and research course for independent study not related to BA research or BA paper preparation.
Instructor(s): Sabina Shaikh

ENST 29802. BA Colloquium II
This colloquium assists students in conceptualizing, researching, and writing their BA theses. Open only to students with fourth-year standing who are majoring in Environmental and Urban Studies.
W 3:00pm-5:50pm