Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Environmental Studies

Curriculum

Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary program that examines the numerous connections between humans and our environment from a wide variety of perspectives.

The program’s courses span the natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and fine arts and expose students to the power of social activism related to environmental degradation and justice. Below you will find a list of our current or recent offerings. See the course catalog for descriptions and updated information. 

  • 49-034 INTRODUCTION TO EARTH SCIENCE
    See Physics 53-034. (NSL)
  • 49-064 CHEMISTRY OF THE ENVIRONMENT
    See Chemistry 51-064. (NSL)
  • 49-104 INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
    This course introduces students to the essential environmental issues of the 21st century. Students are introduced to core concepts in areas such as environmental degradation and pollution, resource extraction and consumption, urbanization, ecology, sustainable development, activism, and population geography. Each of these topics is taught from an interdisciplinary perspective that examines the interconnections and divisions inherent within the global human population and their relationship to the environment.
  • 49-112 BIODIVERSITY
    See Biology 50-112. (NSL)
  • 49-144 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE
    See Biology 50-144. (NSL)
  • 49-204 ENVIRONMENTAL GIS (Geographic Information Systems)
    The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the practice and theory of utilizing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a method for analysis of the environment.  Student will examine the fundamentals of GIS and their applications with an emphasis on the concepts needed to effectively manipulate, query, analyze, and visualize spatial-based data.  At the end of the semester students should feel comfortable applying GIS to a range of environmental issues, and have a solid understanding of the procedures and data necessary to conduct geographical analysis.
  • 49-284 SUSTAINABLE FOOD AND AGRICULTURE
    This course offers an interdisciplinary perspective on the environmental, economic, and cultural relationship between producers and consumers in the global food network. The seminar begins with an examination of the driving forces of food commodity consumption and food meaning, and then explores the inequalities created through agro-economic links between industrialized countries and the "developing world." The remainder of the seminar critically explores various alternatives for agricultural sustainability for the 21st century.  .
  • 49-294 ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHY
    This course examines some of the philosophical, ethical and political questions that forms of ecological degradation pose for contemporary society. Issues include conceptions and aesthetics of "nature;" ecofeminism; the character of modern science; the role of religion; structures of capitalism; environmental racism; and logics of consumerism and utility. Also Philosophy 18-294. (H)
  • 49-314 ECOFEMINISTS AND QUEER GREENS
    See Feminist Studies 04-314.
  • 49-324 ENVIRONMENTAL ECONOMICS
    See Economics 31-324.
  • 49-344 ANIMALS AND RELIGION
    See Religion 19-344. (H) (R)
  • 49-354 DEMOGRAPHY (WORLD POPULATION GEOGRAPHY) AND URBANIZATION
    See Sociology 34-354. (ScS) (IP)
  • 49-364 U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY
    This course explores the development of environmental policy in the United States since the 1970s. The purpose of this course is to help students (1) conceptualize the economic, political, and cultural issues associated with policy, (2) become aware of the policy process, key actors, and important legislation, and (3) apply this knowledge as capable professionals, scholars, and engaged citizens. The last three weeks of the course focus on contemporary policy issues in Texas such as water use and planning, endangered species protection, and energy policy. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 49-104.
  • 49-374 SACRED SPACE, THE ENVIRONMENT AND RELIGION
    See Religion 19-374. (H) (R)
  • 49-384 ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
    See Physics 53-354. (NSL)
  • 49-404 HEALTH AND FITNESS CONCEPTS
    See Kinesiology 48-404. (ScS)
  • 49-414 GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY
    See Biology 50-414. (NS)
  • 49-434 ECOLOGY
    See Biology 50-434. (NSL)
  • 49-444 GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE
    See Anthropology 35-434.
  • 49-454 ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
    (IP) (WA)
  • 49-474 ADVANCED GIS
    Advanced Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is a researched based course designed to empower students in producing high quality environmental analysis.  The course is designed as guided research process in which students are able to apply the spatial methods learned in Environmental GIS.  Advanced topics on GIS will be covered like web mapping, differential GPS, remote sensing, and environmental modeling. Prerequisite: Environmental Studies 49-204.
  • 49-614 ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY
    See Chemistry 51-614. (NSL)
  • 49-654 CONTEMPORARY GERMAN CULTURE
    See German 12-354. (H) (IP)
  • 49-964 CAPSTONE IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
    This seminar requires students to analyze a local or regional environmental issue from multiple perspectives and it has a strong reading and discussion component. It also encourages environmental activism. Only seniors majoring in Environmental Studies should register for this class. (WA)
  • 49-001 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 49-002 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 49-003 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 49-004 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 49-301 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 49-302 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 49-303 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 49-304 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 49-901 TUTORIAL
  • 49-902 TUTORIAL
  • 49-903 TUTORIAL
  • 49-904 TUTORIAL
  • 49-941 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Must be taken Pass/D/F.
  • 49-942 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Must be taken Pass/D/F.
  • 49-943 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Must be taken Pass/D/F.
  • 49-944 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Must be taken Pass/D/F.
  • 49-951 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    May be repeated with change in content.
  • 49-952 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    May be repeated with change in content.
  • 49-953 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    May be repeated with change in content.
  • 49-954 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    May be repeated with change in content.
  • 49-984 HONORS