Courses: Current and Upcoming

Next Semester Courses: Fall 2014

ENVS-10100-01 Environmental Seminar NS

0.5 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Paula Turkon, Administrative Annex 118, Ext. 4-3280, pturkon@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 46

PREREQUISITES: None

STUDENTS: Required for all first-year Environmental Studies and Environmental Science majors.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Exposes students in the department to environmentally relevant research, examples of careers in the environmental field, and opportunities to meet local and regional professionals.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Seminars, discussion and readings in environmental studies and science.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Attend at least 11 seminars. Pass/Fail only.

 

ENVS 10400-01 Gardening Principles and Practices NS

1 CREDIT, first half of semester.

INSTRUCTOR: Karryn Olson-Ramanujan, Admin Annex 106, Ext. 4-5815, kolsonramanujan@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 15

PREREQUISITES: None

STUDENTS: Intended for all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Learning outdoors in the student-run organic and permaculture gardens, this hands-on course will enable you to work with soil and plants, and to learn about the conscious design of landscapes and social networks that care for them.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Practicum with 1 meeting day per week plus one additional hour weekly to be done with a small group project.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: This course is offered on a pass/fail basis. To pass the course, you need to (1) attend and fully engage in the Friday classes and submit weekly reflections, and (2) devote one additional hour per week to a group project.

 

ENVS-11000-01 The Environmental Crisis LA NS 2a

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Susan Nixson

ENROLLMENT: 80

PREREQUISITES: None

STUDENTS: Intended for all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Course provides basic literacy to understand the current environmental crisis, covering such topics as energy, population growth, climate change, biodiversity loss, resource exploitation, food production, and toxics. Course also investigates potential solutions to minimize impact on the personal, regional, national and international scales.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture/Discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Grading based on short assignments, participation, and a final exam.

 

ENVS-11200-01 Sustainability Principles and Practices NS 2a LA SS

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Paula Turkon, Administrative Annex 118, Ext. 4-3280, pturkon@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 31

PREREQUISITES: None

STUDENTS: Intended for all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Course informs students on sustainability by using systems thinking approaches to examine the connection between the four primary components of sustainability: economic, environmental, social equity and health. Students will research sustainability practices on campus and in the community and propose sustainable solutions for various scenarios.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture, Discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Based on attendance, participation, exams and project work.

 

ENVS-11900-01, 02, 03 Introduction to Environmental Humanities LA HU

4 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Fae Dremock

ENROLLMENT: 18

PREREQUISITES: None

STUDENTS: Intended for all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  How do we determine ethical decisions when humans and nature collide? Are we part of nature or separate from it? How does our cultural understanding of nature, and of ourselves as individual humans, affect public policy about the environment? Should nature have the right to be protected from us? How does our belief in nature affect the ways environmental science is perceived in political and economic decisions? Why do the stories we tell about human-environment interactions matter? ENVS 119 explores issues + public debates surrounding these questions through journalism, literature, film, social media, and folk tales. Students explore their understanding and interpretation of nature and the environment from an interdisciplinary perspective. Discussion topics can range from debates over dandelions in suburban lawns to fights over conservation in India to debates over urban development to the possibility of rights for pollinators and trees.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture/Discussion/Writing Lab

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING:  Course is writing-intensive w/ many short assignments and a longer semester project.

 

ENVS-12000-02, 03, 04 Environmental Sentinels NS

4 CREDITS

INSTRUCTORS: Jason Hamilton, CNS 252, Ext. 4-1439, jhamilton@ithaca.edu and Jake Brenner, CNS 258, Ext. 4-3967, jbrenner@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 18 each section

PREREQUISITES: None

STUDENTS: Required for all first-year Environmental Studies and Environmental Science majors.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Understanding the effect of humans on Earth’s natural systems and developing strategies for repairing damaged ecosystem services requires a deep understanding of natural history, biodiversity, and an ability to perceive subtle changes as they happen. If you took a trip to an exotic, far-off place, you would expect to be amazed by all the new sights, sounds, smells and tastes. You wouldn’t be surprised with your lack of familiarity with what you saw because you are a tourist. But if you go into your backyard, can you identify that tree over there? Is that plant dangerous? What is that creepy thing running across your shoe? What is that sound coming from up in that tree? Is this bark good for anything? Is it strange that there are no frogs in this wetland? Today, most of us are tourists, not only when we leave home, but all the time. In this course we will use primitive technology skill building (friction fires, natural rope, medicinal plants, tracking, etc.) to start to learn how to observe the natural world. Next we will start to be able to identify what is out there. This will be followed by understanding why this particular group of organisms is living and interacting in this place. This will lead to the ability to predict what should be out there and what shouldn’t. We will blend the skills and approaches of deep wilderness awareness, an ability to “read” land use (and abuse) history from natural clues, and modern ecological science and natural resource management. We will spend time outdoors, not using nature as a way to test ourselves, as a simple pretty picture, or something to just be talked about. Rather, we will learn to truly experience the world around us with all our senses, and gain an appreciation of the plants, mammals, birds, ecological indicators, and natural hazards in our area.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion, group projects, lots of “dirt time”

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Course requires consistent participation, willingness to engage in outdoor activities, keeping a nature journal, weekly readings and reflection papers. Grading will be based on regular attendance and creative participation and leadership; readings and short reading-related reflection papers and presentations; nature journal; project work

 

ENVS-13000-01 Earth Systems Science 1 LA NS

4 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Chris Sinton, office CNS 257, Ext. 4-5806, csinton@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 18

PREREQUISITES: None

STUDENTS: Required of all Environmental Sciences majors; open to all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course takes a whole-systems approach to develop an integrated understanding of the physical, chemical, biological and human interactions that determine the past, current and future states of the Earth. Treating the earth as a system of interacting “spheres” (geosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, exosphere, anthroposphere, cryosphere), but particularly focusing on the geosphere (environmental geology) this course provides a physical basis for understanding the world in which we live and upon which humankind seeks to achieve sustainability.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and lab

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Based on attendance, participation, lab performance, exams, and project work.

 

ENVS-20100-01 through 07 Introductory Environmental Research

1-3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTORS: 01: Susan Allen-Gil, CNS 253, Ext. 4-1066, sallen@ithaca.edu

02: Jason Hamilton, CNS 252, 4-1439, jhamilton@ithaca.edu

03: Jake Brenner, CNS 258, Ext. 4-3967, jbrenner@ithaca.edu

04: Chris Sinton, office CNS 257, Ext. 4-5806, csinton@ithaca.edu

05: Michael Smith, office Muller

06: Anne Stork, CNS 167, Ext. 4-3575, astork@ithaca.edu

07: Paula Turkon, Administrative Annex 118, Ext. 4-3280, pturkon@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 5 each section

REREQUISITES: Permission of instructor.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: For students who desire hands-on research in issues relating to sustainability and the environment. Research can involve participation in continuing projects or new, student-proposed projects. Students will work closely with a faculty member to guide their study.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Independent research

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: These will vary depending on professor.

 

ENVS-20200-01 Topics in Sustainability: Community Projects For a Just and Sustainable Economy

4 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Elan Shapiro (cell 592-8402, elanshapiro343@gmail.com) plus numerous community educators

ENROLLMENT: 20

REREQUISITES: One ENVS course (ideally with significant sustainability focus) and one Social Science course (ideally with significant community focus) or by permission of instructor.

STUDENTS: Open to all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is an opportunity to learn about just and sustainable community development by being an integral and positive part of the process – through:

  • Trainings in effective community work
  • Team projects in our local community, linked to pioneering initiatives
  • Presentations, discussion and feedback sessions based on the projects
  • Field trips and class presentations with innovative community leaders
  • Functioning as a learning community, and
  • Study, reflection and personal change work.

We will focus initially on the deep challenges to effective collaboration and healthy community posed by race and class inequity, both institutionalized in our society and internalized in each of us. We will also establish the importance of systems thinking and place-based and community-based learning in coming up with sustainable solutions. These themes will help us explore inspiring projects and strategies that bring together social justice and ecological sustainability, while we practice skills and utilize tools linked to these programs. Team projects, guided by community mentors, will engage participants for 4 hours a week in supporting a variety of community building initiatives in such areas as food justice/food security;  Finger Lakes ReUse Center/green job development, indigenous rights and community art; and Latino community empowerment. The project work, done mostly on Thursday mornings, in our local community, accounts for half the course effort and credit.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Based on attendance, participation, quality of project work, reflections, and presentations. Team projects are half the course effort and credit.

 

ENVS-20400-01 ST: Rainforests, Reefs and Ruins of Belize NS LA

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Susan Allen-Gil, CNS 253, Ext. 4-1066, sallen@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 22

PREREQUISITES: None

STUDENTS: Designed for Exploratory, Environmental Studies/Science, Biology and Anthropology majors, but open to all students. Requires permission of instructor.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Focuses on the environment and culture of Belize as a case study to explore topics, including the structure and function of tropical ecosystems and Mayan civilization; factors leading to high biodiversity in the tropics; the importance of biodiversity to human civilization (including the use of timber and medicinal plants); appreciates the scientific, artistic and spiritual accomplishments of the Mayan civilization; and studies the current condition of coral reefs. We will also explore the anthropogenic threats to these ecosystems, including overharvesting of natural resources, population growth, industrialized agriculture and tourism. This course serves as preparation for ENVS 20500, a 2-week Winter Session trip to Belize in January 2012 where we will examine tropical ecosystems, Mayan civilization, and human impacts on biodiversity.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion and independent research.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Book group reports, group applied projects, conversation projects, 2 exams. Grading will be based on an assessment of all work, written and oral.

 

ENVS 20500-01 ST: Belize Winter Session Field Course LA

1 CREDIT

INSTRUCTOR: Susan Allen-Gil, CNS 253, Ext. 4-1066, sallen@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 22

PREREQUISITES: ENVS 20400, sophomore standing and permission of instructor.

STUDENTS: Designed for Exploratory, Environmental Studies/Science, Biology and Anthropology majors, but open to all students. Requires permission of instructor.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Two-week cultural immersion course in Belize. Activities include deep jungle overnight trips, home stays with Belizean families, and service learning. Students are responsible for additional course fees for study abroad component. Course may be used to fulfill ENVS cultural immersion requirement.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Field excursion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Trip essays.

 

ENVS-30100-01 through 07 Environmental Research

1-3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTORS: 01: Susan Allen-Gil, CNS 253, Ext. 4-1066, sallen@ithaca.edu

02: Jason Hamilton, CNS 252, 4-1439, jhamilton@ithaca.edu

03: Jake Brenner, CNS 258, Ext. 4-3967, jbrenner@ithaca.edu

04: Chris Sinton, office CNS 257, Ext. 4-5806, csinton@ithaca.edu

05: Michael Smith, office Muller

06: Anne Stork, CNS 167, Ext. 4-3575, astork@ithaca.edu

07: Paula Turkon, Administrative Annex 118, Ext. 4-3280, pturkon@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 5 each section

PREREQUISITES: At least two courses required of the major in Environmental Studies or Environmental Science and permission of instructor.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: For students who desire hands-on research in issues relating to sustainability and the environment. Research can involve participation in continuing projects or new, student-proposed projects. Students will work closely with a faculty member to guide their study.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Independent research

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: These will vary depending on professor.

 

ENVS-31000-01 Topics in Environmental Social Sciences: Contemporary Applications of Ancient Agriculture SS

3 CREDITS                                                                                                                                       

INSTRUCTOR: Paula Turkon

ENROLLMENT: 15

PREREQUISITES: One 200 level (or above) course in BIOL, ENVS, or ANTH 

STUDENTS: Intended for all students, particularly students with interest in anthropology, archaeology, agriculture, and food systems.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Modern industrial agricultural production systems, though extremely productive, are also inefficient in terms of energy use and soil productivity. They are also environmentally destructive. Monoculture, for example, although it boosts yields and profits, reduces biodiversity and sustainability. Industrial agriculture exploits the power and speed of turbines, tractors, and plows, requires the support of chemical herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers, and involves genetically modified seed stocks. Though prehistoric and preindustrial agricultural production technologies also impacted natural environments, their lasting effects were far less destructive and they were far more efficient.
Due to a variety of factors, including our socio-political institutions and our dependence on industrial agriculture’s high productivity, returning to past technologies and social systems may not be feasible. However, there are emerging “intermediate technologies” that hybridize past and present technologies with the goal of maintaining productivity and minimizing environmental impact. This course will focus on examining these ancient food production technologies that are being resurrected and modified as solutions to modern food production problems. Early agricultural technologies to be examined in this class include: integrated aquaculture/chinampas, food production terraces, water management and irrigation techniques, black earth/terra preta/biochar, companion planting/permaculture, and raised field agriculture.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Seminar style with research/lecture/and discussion.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Class discussion/research/project.

 

ENVS-34001-01 Topics in Environmental Science: Environmental Toxicology NS

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Susan Allen-Gil, CNS 253, Ext. 4-1066, sallen@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 8

PREREQUISITES: One of the following course sequences: BIOL 11900-12000, BIOL 12100-12200, ENVS 12000-12100, or CHEM 12100-12200.

STUDENTS: Designed primarily for Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Biology and Chemistry Majors

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will focus on the effects of pollutants on non-human components of ecosystems. After a general introduction to important concepts, we will address a local contamination site as a consulting company. We will investigate the ecology, type and extent of contamination, possible ecological effects, and suggested remediation strategies. Possible sites include lead pollution from Ithaca Gun factory, TCE on South Hill, a former dump site on Ithaca College Natural Lands, or coal/creosote contamination on Court Street.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture/Discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Take-home essays, individual contribution to group report.

 

ENVS-34002-01 Topics in Environmental Science: Environmental Toxicology w/ Laboratory

4 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Susan Allen-Gil, CNS 253, Ext. 4-1066, sallen@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 8

PREREQUISITES: One of the following course sequences: BIOL 11900-12000, BIOL 12100-12200, ENVS 12000-12100, or CHEM 12100-12200.

STUDENTS: Designed primarily for Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Biology and Chemistry Majors

COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will focus on the effects of pollutants on non-human components of ecosystems. After a general introduction to important concepts, we will investigate a local contamination site. We will research the ecology, type and extent of contamination, possible ecological effects, and suggested remediation strategies. Possible sites include lead pollution from Ithaca Gun factory, TCE on South Hill, a former dump site on Ithaca College Natural Lands, or coal/creosote contamination on Court Street.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture/Discussion, field work, laboratory analyses

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Take-home essays, individual contribution to group report.

 

ENVS-37000-01 Topics in Earth Science: Freshwater Resource Issues

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Chris Sinton

ENROLLMENT: 18

PREREQUISITES: None

STUDENTS: Intended for upper class ENVS majors

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The goal of this course is to have students thinking in interdisciplinary, systemic, and holistic ways about how we use (and abuse) water.  We will start with understanding essential water science concepts and then begin to incorporate aspects of water ownership, politics, economics, and sustainability. We will look specifically at the Cayuga Lake watershed to see how water moves in this region and how it is used.  We will compare this with how water used in the rest of the United States and the world.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture/Discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Problem sets and data plots; short reports/essays; presentations.

 

ENVS 38200-01 Topics in Environmental Policy: Implementing Domestic Environmental Policy SS 

3 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Rebecca Brenner, Rothschild Place/Admin Annex 106, Ext. 4-5813, rbrenner@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 16

PREREQUISITE: Two ENVS courses and junior standing

STUDENTS: Intended primarily for majors and minors in Environmental Studies and Environmental Science but open to all students.

COURSE DESCRIPTION In this course we will be discussing, implementing and applying major domestic environmental policies such as the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Clean Air Act, Lacey Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act etc. We will read about the history, development and foundational thought on the crucial legislation that drives decision-making in the United States. We analyze case studies that highlight an array of environmental policy. Using the National Environmental Policy Act, we will implement a project including mitigation, alternatives, and analysis. All assignments are also building job related skills such as writing memos, fact sheets, press releases etc. This is an action-packed policy class that will prepare you to either work in the environmental consulting field, agency, non-profit, advocacy group or as an interested citizen. In the second half of the semester we will hold a debate on a current piece of legislation.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Seminar/discussion

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Exams, papers and participation.

 

ENVS 39000-01 Gardening Principles and Practices – Course Assistants NS

1 CREDIT, first half of semester.

INSTRUCTOR: Karryn Olson-Ramanujan, Admin Annex 106, Ext. 4-5815, kolsonramanujan@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 10

PREREQUISITES: Permission of instructor.

STUDENTS: Must have background in permaculture or organic gardening.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Leading projects in the student-run organic and permaculture gardens, and collaborating with instructor to teach course material.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Practicum with 1 meeting day per week plus coordination of small group projects.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: This course is offered on a pass/fail basis.

 

ENVS-40100-01 Environmental Seminar NS LA

0.5 CREDITS

INSTRUCTOR: Paula Turkon, Administrative Annex 118, Ext. 4-3280, pturkon@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 10

PREREQUISITES: ENVS 10100

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Exposes students in the Environmental Studies/Science program to environmentally relevant research, examples of careers in the environmental field, and opportunities to meet local and regional professionals.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Seminars, discussion and readings in environmental studies and science.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Prepare questions for speakers based on readings, attend at least 11 seminars, introduce 1 speaker and/or attend one dinner with speaker. Pass/Fail only.

 

ENVS-49000-01 through 07 Independent Study LA

1-4 CREDITS

INSTRUCTORS: 01: Susan Allen-Gil, CNS 253, Ext. 4-1066, sallen@ithaca.edu

02: Jason Hamilton, CNS 252, 4-1439, jhamilton@ithaca.edu

03: Jake Brenner, CNS 258, Ext. 4-3967, jbrenner@ithaca.edu

04: Chris Sinton, office CNS 257, Ext. 4-5806, csinton@ithaca.edu

05: Michael Smith, office Muller

06: Anne Stork, CNS 167, Ext. 4-3575, astork@ithaca.edu

07: Paula Turkon, Administrative Annex 118, Ext. 4-3280, pturkon@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 6 each section

PREREQUISITES: Permission of instructor

COURSE DESCRIPTION: The program of study may be a reading program of materials of special interest to the student or one involving developing and executing a research project on a specific topic. Reading or research is undertaken under faculty direction.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Independent study

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: To be determined individually between student and faculty member.

 

ENVS-49500-01 through 07 Internship: Environmental NLA

1-12 CREDITS

INSTRUCTORS: 01: Susan Allen-Gil, CNS 253, Ext. 4-1066, sallen@ithaca.edu

02: Jason Hamilton, CNS 252, 4-1439, jhamilton@ithaca.edu

03: Jake Brenner, CNS 258, Ext. 4-3967, jbrenner@ithaca.edu

04: Chris Sinton, office CNS 257, Ext. 4-5806, csinton@ithaca.edu

05: Michael Smith, office Muller

06: Anne Stork, CNS 167, Ext. 4-3575, astork@ithaca.edu

07: Paula Turkon, Administrative Annex 118, Ext. 4-3280, pturkon@ithaca.edu

ENROLLMENT: 5 each section

PREREQUISITES: Permission of instructor; completion of three-quarters of an Environmental Studies major or minor.

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Permits students to explore environmental studies through a variety of work experiences. Internships may be taken at national, state or local levels and in London under the auspices of the Ithaca College London Center.

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Students are expected to submit, as part of their course obligations, a thorough written evaluative report based on their experiences.

COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Internship

COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: To be determined individually between student and faculty member.

 

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