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Courses

Environmental studies is an applications-oriented field, and courses in the program prepare you to approach environmental problems from a wide variety of perspectives and disciplines. The courses all tend to be intensely interdisciplinary; students are being prepared to use the methods and theories from many branches in the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities to interpret and solve environmental problems. Since there are rarely any easy answers to environmental problems, students in environmental studies courses also learn to think critically and analyze environmental issues from the perspective of a variety of competing stakeholders. Professors emphasize clear and jargon-free communication so that the results of student research can be presented in a manner accessible across the disciplines.

Courses
ENVR 109 Introduction to Ecology
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSNB)
Description
See BIOL 109.

ENVR 110 Pollutants in the Environment
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSNC)
Description
See CHEM 110.

ENVR 111 Marine Biology of the Chesapeake Bay
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSNB)
Description
See BIOL 111.

ENVR 199 Introduction to Biological Thinking
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSNB)
Description
Same as BIOL 199.
Prerequisites
Cross-listed with BIOL 199 when appropriate.

ENVR 201 Introduction to Environmental Studies
Units: 1
Description
Overview of contemporary environmental issues, including species extinction, resource depletion, and pollution. Students examine behavior leading to environmental degradation, the scientific, ethical, and economic aspects of the resulting problems, and study policies intended to provide solutions.

ENVR 215 Geography of the James River Watershed
Units: 1
Description
(See Geography 215)

ENVR 220 Ecotourism
Units: 1
Description
(See Geography 220)

ENVR 230 Environmental Economics
Units: 1
Description
(See Economics 230.)
Prerequisites
Economics 101.

ENVR 250 Introduction to Earth Systems and Physical Geography
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSNB)
Description
(See Geography 250.)

ENVR 260 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Units: 1
Description
(See Geography 260; same as Biology 260.)

ENVR 269 Topics in Environmental Ethics
Units: 1
Description
Introduces students to the moral issues and ethical approaches that characterize interaction with our natural environment. Topics will vary but will typically include issues such as our moral obligation to nonhuman species and to future human generations, and ethical analysis of contemporary environmental issues such as climate change and species extinction.

ENVR 300 Special Topics
Units: .5-1
Description
Selected topics about the environment.

ENVR 315 Landscape Ecology
Units: 1
Description
Applied science that focuses on the development, consequences, and management of environmental patterns. These patterns include the spatial distributions of species and the environment resources upon which they depend. Attention is paid to the importance of scale in natural resource management. Landscape ecology also emphasizes the role of humans in the environment.
Prerequisites
Geography/Environmental Studies 250, Environmental Studies 201, Biology 207, or permission of instructor

ENVR 320 Directed Research
Units: .5
Description
Research with a faculty member in an environmental area.

ENVR 321 Land Use Law
Units: .86
Description
A study of comprehensive plans and the planning process of land. Topics will include land use control by zoning, including history, power and purposes of zoning, types of zoning and uses. Types of zoning relief, historic and agricultural preservation, private land use controls and eminent domain will also be discussed. Particular emphasis will be placed on Virginia law and procedure and field trips to local Planning Commission and Board of Zoning hearings may be included.

ENVR 322 The Global Impact of Climate Change
Units: 1
Description
Rapid climate change is causing an increase in the temperature of the atmosphere and oceans. This is a truly global problem that requires international research and collaboration to resolve. The USA is a major producer of the atmospheric "greenhouse" gases that make a significant contribution to this global "anthropogenic" warming. The aim of this course is to introduce students to the global environmental impact of anthropogenic climate change, and to challenge students to think about the possible impact of the way we live in the USA on poor, marginalized and at risk communities around the world. Same as Geology 322U.

ENVR 323 The Geology of Disaster
Units: .86
Description
Basic geological principles as applied to help predict the occurrence and impact of natural disasters. Application of basic scientific principles to earth science. Exploration of the impact of the earth's varied internal processes on environmental change and human evolution. Same as Geology 320U.

ENVR 324 Environmental Law
Units: .86
Description
Survey of issues involved in the field through examination of major cases that have shaped the implementation of major federal environmental statutes since their passage beginning in the 1960s. Topics covered include the common law basis for environmental protection, constitutional and statutory authority to protect the environment, standing to bring environmental cases, the rules of judicial review, and substantive issues involving major environmental statutes and their implementing regulations. The cases are predominantly federal, but Virginia cases are used where appropriate. Same as LA 320U.

ENVR 325 Global Sustainability
Units: 1
Description
Examines the twenty-five global issues that the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development has identified as the most critical global social, economic, and environmental challenges that are driving global change. Development of approaches to address the challenges. Same as BIOL 302U.

ENVR 330 Environmental and Resource Economic Theory
Units: 1
Description
(See Economics 330)
Prerequisites
Economics 271.

ENVR 350 Environmental Gradients
Units: 1
Description
Investigation of the approaches, key concepts, and methods of studying environmental gradients. Explores quantitative methods for describing different aspects of climate, water, nutrient, and biotic systems and their interactions. A modeling approach is introduced and different types of conceptual, statistical, and simulation models are used to explore the different systems.
Prerequisites
Geography/Environmental Studies 250, Environmental Studies 201, Biology 207, Chemistry 110, or permission of instructor

ENVR 360 Environmental Remote Sensing
Units: 1
Description
(See Geography 360; same as Biology 360.)
Prerequisites
Environmental Studies/Biology/Geography 260 or permission of instructor.

ENVR 362 Environmental Law and Policy
Units: 1
Description
(See Political Science 362.)
Prerequisites
Environmental Studies 201 or Political Science 260.

ENVR 365 Advanced Spatial Analysis
Units: 1
Description
(See Geography 365.)
Prerequisites
Environmental Studies/Geography/Biology 260.

ENVR 388 Individual Internship
Units: .5
Description
Supervised independent field work. No more than 1.5 units of internship in any one department and 3.5 units of internship overall may be counted toward required degree units.
Prerequisites
Permission of environmental studies coordinator.

ENVR 390 Independent Studies
Units: .5-1
Description
Topics independently pursued under supervision of a faculty member.
Prerequisites
Permission of instructor

ENVR 391 Environmental Senior Seminar
Units: 1
Description
Close study of a current environmental problem. Student develops a project to address the problem using approaches and skills from the environmental studies core and elective courses.
Prerequisites
Permission of environmental studies coordinator.

ENVR 406 Summer Undergraduate Research
Units: 0
Description
Documentation of the work of students who receive summer fellowships to conduct research [or produce a creative arts project] in the summer. The work must take place over a minimum of 8 weeks, the student must engage in the project full-time (at least 40 hours per week) during this period, and the student must be the recipient of a fellowship through the university. Graded S/U.
Prerequisites
Approval for summer Arts and Sciences fellowship by faculty mentor