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Environmental Studies

Maria Luisa B. Crawford

Steering Committee:
Donald C. Barber
Richard S. Davis
Karen F. Greif
Gary McDonogh
Neal M. Williams

Environmental studies concern interac-tions taking place at the Earth’s surface — the site of intersection of the geosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, as well as our home as human beings. Accordingly, environmental studies are of necessity broadly multidisciplinary. Understanding the Earth’s responses to local and global perturbations requires that we focus our study on the interactions between inorganic, biologic and societal processes, not only in the present day, but through history and over geologic time as well. These interactions are best viewed as a dynamic, interlinked system. Understanding the structure of this system has become one of the most important long-term problems facing society in light of humankind’s increasing capacity to alter the environment.

The Environmental Studies Concentration at Bryn Mawr allows students to explore the interactions between the geosphere, biosphere and human societies. The concentration, offered jointly by the Departments of Anthropology, Biology, Geology and Growth and Structure of Cities, takes the form of concentrations in each of the departments. Thus students interested primarily in the biological aspects of the environment may enroll in the Environmental Concentration in Biology, whereas those more interested in the geology and issues of global climate change should enroll in the Environmental Concentration in Geology. Finally, students wishing to explore the evolution and adaptation of human societies from an environmental perspective may enroll in the Environmental Concentration in Anthropology or Growth and Structure of Cities. This structure accommodates the interdisciplinary background necessary for an environmental education while maintaining a home for the student within a more traditional field. It is anticipated that students with an Environmental Studies Concentration also will enroll in relevant courses in the social sciences and humanities, recommended below.

Given the flexible requirements of the concentration, it is important that students plan their curriculum as early as possible. This is particularly important in order to take advantage of courses that are taught only every other or even every third year. Ideally planning should start no later than the first semester of the sophomore year.

Concentration Requirements

Requirements for the Environmental Studies Concentration in each of the departments are structured to encourage discourse among the disciplines. All concentrators enroll in Geology 103, Anthropology 101 and Biology 220. From there, concentrators diverge into tracks reflecting their specialization within Anthropology, Biology, Geology or Growth and Structure of Cities. Since Growth and Structure of Cities is inherently an interdisciplinary major, students should consult with the department to design the concentration within this major.
Even within these more specialized tracks, however, an emphasis is placed on the interdisciplinary nature of environmental studies. Finally, all concentrators reconvene in a senior seminar in which they discuss in depth issues within a broader environmental theme, set by mutual consent at the beginning of the semester, from their diverse perspectives.

The requirements listed below replace the major requirements of each department, listed elsewhere in the course catalog. These are not additions to those major requirements.

Core Courses for All Students in the Concentration
(Note: some of these courses may have prerequisites).

Introduction to Anthropology (Anthropology 101)
Introduction to Earth Systems Science and the Environment (Geology 103)
Principles of Ecology (Biology 220)
Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies (Anthropology/Biology/Geology 397)

Recommended (one or more)
Principles of Economics (Economics 105)
Urban Culture and Society (Growth and Structure of Cities 185)
Taming the Modern Corporation (Economics 213)
Public Finance (Economics 214)
Introduction to Environmental Issues (Political Science 222)
Environmental Economics (Economics 234)

The Environmental Concentration in Anthropology

Core courses listed above, plus:

Courses outside of Anthropology (at least one)
Energy, Resources and the Environment (Geology 206)
Biology and Public Policy (Biology 210)
Evolution (Anthropology/Biology/ Geology 236)

Anthropology courses
Introduction to Anthropology (102)
Human Ecology (203)
History of Anthropological Theory (303)
Senior Conference in Anthropology (398, 399).
One ethnographic area course that focuses on the cultures of a single region.
Three additional 200- or 300-level courses in Anthropology.

The Environmental Concentration in Biology

Core courses listed above, plus:

Courses outside of Biology
General Chemistry (Chemistry 101/103; 104)
Two additional courses in allied sciences

One additional Geology course, such as:
Sedimentary Material and Environments (Geology 205)
Energy, Resources and the Environment (Geology 206)
Natural Hazards (209)
Quaternary Geology (312)

One additional Anthropology course, such as:
Human Ecology (203)
Human Evolution (209)
Medical Anthropology (210)

Courses in Biology
One Senior Seminar and Research Tutorial (Biology 389-395)
Four 200- or 300-level courses, three of which must be lab courses, recommended:
Genetics (201)
Animal Physiology (303)
Field Ecology (308)
Introduction to Biochemistry (341)

Calculus and Analytic Geometry (Mathematics 101, 102)
Elements of Probability and Statistics (Mathematics 104); or equivalent.
Environmental Toxicology (Biology 209)
Biology and Public Policy (Biology 210)
Evolution (Anthropology/Biology/Geology 236)
Evolutionary Biology: Advanced Topics (Anthropology/Biology/Geology 336).
Computational Models of Biological Organization (Biology 367).

The Environmental Concentration in Geology

Core courses listed above, plus:

Courses outside of Geology
General Chemistry (Chemistry 101/103; 104)
Calculus and Analytic Geometry (Mathematics 101, 102)
One additional Anthropology course, such as:
Human Ecology (203)
Human Evolution (209)
Medical Anthropology (210)

Courses in Geology
How the Earth Works (101)
Mineralogy and Crystal Chemistry (202)
Sedimentary Materials and Environments (205)
Two additional 300-level courses in Geology or Biology; recommended
Geochemistry of Crystalline Rocks (Geology 301)
Low-Temperature Geochemistry (Geology 302)
Advanced Sedimentary Geology (Geology 306)
Evolution (Anthropology/Biology/ Geology 236)
Independent Research (Geology 403)

Introductory Physics (Physics 101, 102)
Elements of Probability and Statistics (Mathematics 104); or equivalent
Natural Hazards (Geology 209)
Biology and Public Policy (Biology 210)
Organic Chemistry (Chemistry 211, 212)
Inorganic Chemistry (Chemistry 231)

The Environmental Concentration in Growth and Structure of Cities

Consult department for details.

Additional Courses for an Environmental Studies Curriculum

Computational courses
Computational Models (Biology/Geology 250)
Analysis of Geospatial Data Using GIS (Biology/Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology/Geology 328)
Experimental design and statistics (Biology 215)

Humans in the Landscape
Human Ecology (Anthropology 203)
Anthropology, space and architecture (Anthropology 263, at Haverford)
Topics in Modern Planning (Growth and Structure of Cities 227)
Japanese Architecture and Planning (Growth and Structure of Cities 270/370)
Urbanization in Africa (History 237)
Nature Writing and Environmental Concern (English 213)
A Sense of Place (English 266b, at Haverford)

Planning and Policy
Medical Anthropology (Anthropology 210)
Environmental Economics (Economics 234)
Research in Policy Methods (Growth and Structure of Cities 217)
Comparative Urbanism (Growth and Structure of Cities 229)
Urban Social Movements (Growth and Structure of Cities 360)
Techniques of the City (Growth and Structure of Cities 365)
Introduction to Environmental Issues (Political Science 222)
Environmental Policy in Comparative Perspective (Political Science 362)

Certain classes from Junior Year Abroad programs may also fulfill requirements for the concentration if pre-approved. These include special environmental programs like the University of Kansas Costa Rica programs.

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