ES Coordinate Major

The environmental studies major consists of nine courses detailed below. Students also choose a disciplinary major either in an academic department, e.g. economics, or an academic program, e.g. gender, sexuality, and women's studies.

Completion of the ES major requires the following courses:

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

2. One Environmental Science course: ES 2201 Perspectives in Environmental Science (same as Biology 1158 and Chemistry 1105), preferably taken second semester. Please note: rising seniors will not receive enrollment preference for the class, and if oversubscribed may not be able to complete the major.

3. One introductory course (numbered 1100 or higher with a weekly lab) in biology, *chemistry, earth and oceanographic science, or physics. *Chemistry 1091 or 1092 also meet this requirement

4. One Environmental Social Science course chosen from ES courses numbered 2300-2330.  Beginning with the class of 2021, Environmental Policy and Politics ENVS 2330/ Gov 2910 will be the core social science course for the major and minor.

Note:  Social science core course offerings for 2018-2019 are as follows:

  • Fall 2018 - ES 2330 b. Environmental Policy and Politics. Shana Starobin. (Same as Gov 2910) prerequisite: ENVS 1101
  • Fall 2019 - ES 2330 b. Environmental Policy and Politics. Shana Starobin. (Same as Gov 2910) prerequisite: ENVS 1101

5. One Environmental Humanities course: ES 2403 c. Environment and Culture in North American History (same as History 2182, prerequisite: ES 1101), preferably taken before the end of sophomore year.

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. It is preferable to take this course during the senior year.

Note: Senior Seminar offerings 2018-2019 are as follows (Spring 2019 seminars are tentative):

  • Fall 2018 - ENVS 3908 b. Private Actors, Public Goods. Shana Starobin. (Same as GOV 3430). Prerequisite: Two of either ENVS 2302, or ENVS 2304 (same as GOV 2915) or ES 2330 (same as GOV 2910) or ENVS 2403 (same as HIST 2182) or GOV 2330-2599, and ENVS 1101
  • Fall 2018 - ENVS c. Nature of Health in US & the World. Matthew Klingle. (Same as HIST 3180) Prerequisite: None
  • Fall 2018 - ENVS 3957 a. The Physics of Climate. Mark Battle. (Same as PHYS 3810, EOS 3050) Prequisites 2150 or PHYS 2810 (same as ENVS 2253 and EOS 2810) or PHYS 3000
  • Spring 2019 - ENVS 3906 b. Law Politics and the Search for Justice. Allen Springer. (Same as GOV 3610) Prereqisite: None (Tentative)
  • Spring 2019 - ENVS 3902 a. Earth Climate History. Phil Camill. (same as EOS 3020), prerequisite: ES 2221/ EOS 2005 (Tentative)
  • Spring 2018 - ENVS 3XXX Building Resilient Communities. Eileen Johnson.  Prerequisite: ENVS 1101(Tentative)

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

ES Disciplinary Concentrations: For this option, ES coordinate majors must take three courses (numbered 1100) or above within one of the following concentrations (for students matricipating 2018-2020):

~for History, Landscape, Values, Ethics, and the Environment, students choose from ES 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 here and from the program), explaining their plan of study to the program director by the first week of the first semester of their 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.

Students may also choose from the following list of courses to satisfy the requirements of the major. These courses will receive environmental studies credit with the approval of the director after consultation with the student and the instructor. It is expected that a substantial portion of the student's research efforts will focus on the environment.

Social Science

Anthropology 1050 b. Introduction to World Prehistory. Scott MacEachern.
Anthropology 2647 b. Activist Voices in India. Sara Dickey. (Same as ASNS 2562, Film 2248, GWS 2250)

Natural Science

Mathematics 2108 a. MCSR.  Biomathematics. Mary Lou Zeeman. (Same as Biology 1174)
Mathematics 3108 a. Advanced Topics in Modeling. Every other Spring. Mary Lou Zeeman.

Requirements for the Minor in Environmental Studies

The minor consists of five courses: Environmental Studies 1101, and two courses at the intermediate courses (2000-2969) or higher, one of which should be outside a student's departmental major, and two core courses in the disciplinary area as specified below.

~ natural science majors: ES 2403 Environment and Culture in North American History and one social science course from ES courses numbered 2300-2330

~ social science majors: ES 2201 Perspectives in Environmental Science and ES 2403 Environment and Culture in North American History

~ humanities majors: ES 2201 Perspectives in Environmental Science, and one social science course from ES courses numbered 2300-2330

Additional Information
A grade of C- or better must be earned in a course to fulfill the major or minor requirements and no courses taken Credit/D/Fail may be applied to the major or minor. 

AP Credit: If the student declares a coordinate major in Environmental Studies, has a score of five of the AP exam, and takes Environmental Studies 2201 with a minimum grade of B-, the student is exempt from taking an introductory science course and does not need to replace it with another course. Students must have their scores officially reported to the Office of the Registrar by the end of their sophomore year at Bowdoin.

Students may elect to pursue research under advisement of a faculty member in the form of an intermediate Independent Study, Advanced Independent Study or Honors Project. One semester of an intermediate study or honors project can fulfil the reqirement for one concentration course.