Location: Bowdoin / The College Catalogue / Courses / Environmental Studies

The College Catalogue

Environmental Studies – Overview

  • John Lichter, Program Director
  • Eileen Sylvan Johnson, Program Manager; Rosemary Armstrong, Program Assistant

  • Professors: John Lichter (Biology), Dharni Vasudevan† (Chemistry)
  • Associate Professors: Philip Camill (Earth and Oceanographic Science), Connie Y. Chiang (History), Matthew W. Klingle (History), Lawrence H. Simon (Philosophy)
  • Senior Lecturer: Jill E. Pearlman†
  • Lecturers: DeWitt John (Government), Eileen Sylvan Johnson, Conrad Schneider

  • Contributing Faculty: Mark O. Battle, David Carlon, David Collings, Vladimir Douhovnikoff, Damon P. Gannon, Shaun Golding, Natasha Goldman, David R. Griffith, Laura A. Henry, Guillermo Herrera, Amy S. Johnson, Susan A. Kaplan, Michèle G. LaVigne, Peter D. Lea, Barry Logan, Sarah F. McMahon, Casey Meehan, Erik Nelson†, Emily Peterman, Nancy E. Riley, Collin Roesler, Allen L. Springer, Samuel Taylor, Anthony Walton, Allen Wells, Nathaniel T. Wheelwright†, Enrique Yepes, Mary Lou Zeeman†

Requirements for the Coordinate Major in Environmental Studies (ES)

Among Bowdoin’s major programs, the coordinate major is unique to the Environmental Studies Program. To receive a major in environmental studies, a student must also have a disciplinary major, either in a departmental major such as biology, economics, history, etc., or in a program major such as Asian studies, gender and women’s studies, etc. Courses taken to satisfy the College’s distribution requirements or to fulfill the requirements of the second major may be double-counted toward the environmental studies major requirements, except as noted. A grade of C- or better must be earned in a course to fulfill the major requirement.

Completion of the ES major requires the following courses:

1. Introductory, interdisciplinary course: ES 1101 {101} Introduction to Environmental Studies, preferably taken as a first-year student.

2. One introductory course (numbered 1100 {100} or higher) in biology, chemistry, earth and oceanographic science, or physics.

3. One environmental science course: ES 2201 {201} Perspectives in Environmental Science (same as Biology 1158 {158} and Chemistry 1105 {105}).

4. One environmental social science course chosen from ES courses numbered 2300–2330. Please check the Environmental Studies Program website for current courses satisfying this requirement.

5. One environmental humanities course: ES 2403 {203} Environment and Culture in North American History (same as History 2182 {242}).

6. One senior seminar chosen from ES courses numbered 3900–3999: A culminating course that provides an opportunity for exploration of a topic or a senior capstone course experience of one semester is required of majors. Such courses are multidisciplinary, studying a topic from at least two areas of the curriculum. It is preferable to take this course during the senior year. Please check the Environmental Studies Program website for an updated list of courses satisfying this requirement.

7. Beyond the core courses, students must choose a concentration (listed below):

ES Disciplinary Concentrations: For this option, ES coordinate majors must take three introductory courses (numbered 1100 {100}) or above within one of the following concentrations:

for History, Landscape, Values, Ethics, and the Environment, students choose from ES humanities courses designated with a “c”

for Environmental Economics and Policy, students choose ES social science courses designated with a “b”

for the Interdisciplinary Environmental Science Concentration, students choose ES natural science courses designated with an “a” (in addition, Chemistry 2100 {210} Chemical Analysis and Chemistry 2400 {240} Inorganic Chemistry count toward this concentration). ES majors are strongly advised to take one of the ES science courses outside of their departmental requirements. ES science majors should consult with their ES science advisor in identifying a science course outside their major.

Student-designed Environmental Studies Concentration: Students majoring in ES have the option of designing their own concentration consisting of three courses in addition to the core courses and senior seminar. Student-designed concentrations are particularly appropriate for students interested in exploring environmental issues from a cross-divisional perspective. Students must submit a self-designed concentration form (available from the program), explaining their plan of study to the program director by the first week of the first semester of the junior year, listing the three ES courses proposed, and explaining how the courses are related to the issue of interest to the student. Proposals must be approved by the program director.

Requirements for the Minor in Environmental Studies

The minor consists of five courses: Environmental Studies 1101 {101}; two intermediate courses (numbered 2000–2969 {200–289}) or higher, one of which should be outside a student’s departmental major; and two core courses in the disciplinary area as specified below. Courses taken to satisfy the College’s distribution requirements or to fulfill the requirements of the second major may be double-counted toward the environmental studies minor requirements, except as noted. A grade of C- or better must be earned in a course to fulfill the minor requirement.

for natural science majors: ES 2403 {203} Environment and Culture in North American History (same as History 2182 {242}) and one social science course from ES courses numbered 2300–2330.

for social science majors: ES 2201 {201} Perspectives in Environmental Science (same as Biology 1158 {158} and Chemistry 1105 {105}) and ES 2403 {203} Environment and Culture in North American History (same as History 2182 {242}).

for humanities majors: ES 2201 {201} Perspectives in Environmental Science (same as Biology 1158 {158} and Chemistry 1105 {105}), and one social science course from ES courses numbered 2300–2330.

Online Catalogue content is current as of August 1, 2013. For most current course information, use the online course finder. Also see Addenda.