Course offerings reflect the 2023-2024One unit of credit equals four semester hours.

This course introduces students to an interdisciplinary academic field that focuses on the interrelationships and complexities of environmental processes and problems. The course combines ideas from many disciplines including physical and biological sciences; social sciences; and humanities (e.g. ecology, political science, ethics, biology, philosophy, economics, sociology) to better understand environmental affairs. Special attention is given to understanding how the student, his/her society, and humanity are connected to the environment. The environmental impact of people’s consumptive lifestyles will also be highlighted.

ES 200-201 provide an introduction to environmental science in an interdisciplinary context. This first course focuses on an introduction to the major components, processes and interactions of the four primary Earth systems (atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere). Geological processes such as the rock cycle and tectonics will be examined along with the ability for humans to alter those processes both intentionally and unintentionally. An examination of deep time and reconstruction of past climates provides context for our understanding of modern climate change. Students will learn about the structure of the atmosphere, chemical processes in the atmosphere, atmospheric cycling and the potential impact of changes to that cycle. The structure and processes of the oceans will be studied along with the implications of changing ocean currents and sea levels. The chronology of the Earth, along with the origin, chemical composition, and distribution of energy and mineral resources will be discussed. The chemistry of fossil fuels, nuclear power, renewable energy, greenhouse gases, ozone depletion, acid rain, air pollution, and the environmental consequences of energy and mineral extraction and use will be explored. Scientific methodology, ethics in scientific research, data analysis, and the evaluation of scientific claims are emphasized throughout. Includes laboratory.

ES 200-201 provide an introduction to environmental science in an interdisciplinary context. This second course in the sequence will establish a foundational knowledge of the biosphere and its interactions with the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere. Students will gain the cellular, organismal, population, and evolutionary principles necessary to understand ecosystems on local, regional, and global scales. Students will learn how all species within the ecosystem are interrelated, with each relying on the others, and will examine human interactions with ecosystems and the impact of those interactions. Current environmental issues such as the transformation of ecosystems in response to climate change, overexploitation, and agriculture will be a focus. Topics will include: nutrient cycling, biodiversity, invasive species, extinction, pollution, habitat destruction, and conservation. Scientific methodology, ethics in scientific research, data analysis, evaluation of scientific claims, and an introduction to modeling tools will be included. Includes laboratory.

Prerequisite: ES 200

Small-scale local food production is an overlooked supplement to the modern industrial agricultural system. Organic gardens can not only produce food for gardeners but also help bring fresh-grown produce to food-insecure populations. In this class, students will learn the basic skills of planning and starting an organic garden through hands-on preparation and planting in the Elmhurst University Student Organic Garden. Also, students will gain an appreciation of problems of the current food system through a volunteer experience at a local food pantry and recognize how small-scale agriculture can help the food-insecure in their own communities. This course will meet the
second half of the semester and includes some physical demands including lifting, carrying, and kneeling.

ES 310 provides an introduction to the principles, methods, and issues related to human health, environmental regulation, and their relationship to environmental sciences and sustainability. Environmental science and health is a part of environmental studies in which the primary goal is identifying and preventing disease associated with the environment, and promoting the health of people and the environment. Environmental science and health is associated with recognizing, assessing, understanding and controlling the short and long-term impacts of people on their environments, and the impacts of the environment on health.

This course examines the social, economic, political, governmental, and environmental dimensions of sustainable urban development. Some of the major themes explored include sustainable energy, urban planning, urban demographic trends, environmental justice, green building, urban sprawl, infrastructure, transportation, public health, global climate change, and democratic participation.

Prerequisite: ES 100 or POL 201 or consent of instructor.

An opportunity for faculty and students to study topics of current and unique importance that are not contained in the general curriculum. Topics vary on the basis of interest expressed by students and faculty. Depending on the topic, consent of instructor may be required, and grading options will vary. May be repeated for credit.

Students will apply the theories, concepts, and skills learned throughout the Environmental Studies academic program by working collaboratively with an environmental organization or agency to solve an environmental problem. As a part of this hands-on supervised project, students will develop a formal presentation and a written document. Students must be enrolled in the Environmental Studies Program.

This course is an introduction to Environmental Law. Students are exposed to the complex mix of federal and state laws, regulations, and agreements that share the goal of protecting the environment as they examine major environmental statues in the U.S., as well as international environmental law/ agreements. This course provides an overview of the legal framework for environmental protection framed under broad themes in distinct areas of environmental law that includes, but not limited to: clean air, clean water, endangered species, pesticides, toxic substances, and waste management. Additionally, students will learn about a vast array of considerations concerning environmental law such as technology, ethics and values, science, social justice, and human and non-human health.

Involves the student directly in environmental work. Classroom theory is tested when the student is exposed to a variety of opportunities to enhance professional development. May be repeated for credit. Every term, as needed.

The primary purpose of this course is to give the student an opportunity to apply classroom learning to supervised practical work experience in the field of Environmental Studies. Academic credit is earned for a term of employment and successful completion of skills refinement and development as directed by the Weigand Center for Professional Excellence. Internship possibilities include non-profit organizations, federal, state, and local governments, or other relevant environmental agency/office/business. Evaluation of employee by the employer and a written report by the student are required. Applications should be made early in the term preceding registration. Offered for Pass/No Pass grading. May be repeated for credit. Full-time summer study is possible.

Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing, approval of the Environmental Studies Program Director and the Weigand Center for Professional Excellence.

An independent and concentrated reading/research course centering around a specific problem area, a single field of specialization or a concentration on the writings of major environmental thinkers. May be repeated for credit. Written permission of the instructor is required. As requested.

This course gives Honors Program students the opportunity to design and implement a significant research project in the field of Environmental Studies, culminating in an appropriate public dissemination of research methods and findings. This research must build upon previous coursework taken within the major or minor, facilitating faculty supervision and guidance. Repeatable for credit. Permission of the faculty supervisor and the director of the Honors Program required prior to registration.

This course is required for all Environmental Studies majors. Students will conduct an intensive research project on an environmental issue of particular interest and present their findings through a formal presentation in a collaborative setting. This is an opportunity for students to draw on their past classroom experiences and provide evidence of what they have learned in terms of content knowledge, critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and interdisciplinary insights to help them explore career possibilities in the field. To be taken during the student’s final (senior) year.

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