ES Coordinate Major

Among Bowdoin's major programs, the coordinate major is unique to the Environmental Studies Program. An environmental studies major must also have a disciplinary major, either in a department major such as biology, economics, history, etc, or in a program major such as Asian studies, gender and women's studies, etc. Two 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 Our Earth: Introduction to Environmental Studies, preferably taken as a first-year student.

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

3. 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.

4. One Environmental Social Science course chosen from ES courses numbered 2300-2330*.  *Fall 2015 ENVS 2334 Environmental Sociology will count as an ES Social Science Core Course

Note:  Social science core course offerings for 2016-2017 are as follows (Spring courses are tentative): 

  • Fall 2016 - ES 2301  Building Resilient Communities. Eileen Johnson. prerequisite: none
  • Fall 2016 - ES 2306 Comparative Environmental Politics. Laura Henry. (Same as Gov 2484) prerequisite: none
  • Fall 2016 - ES 2312 Contemporary Arctic Issues. Susan Kaplan. (Same ad Anth 2572) prerequisite: Anthro 1050, 1101, 1102 or ENVS 1101, or permission
  • Spring 2017 - ES 2308 International Environmental Policy. Allen Springer. (same as Gov 2615) prerequisite: none
  • Spring 2017- ES 2303 Natural Resource Economics and Policy. Guillermo Herrera. (same as Econ 2228), prerequisite: Econ 1101

5. One Environmental Humanities course: ES 2403 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 2016-2017 are as follows (Spring courses are tentative):

  • Fall 2016 - ES 3921 b. Economics of Land Use. Erik Nelson. (Same as 3521), prerequisite: Econ 2555
  • Fall 2016 - ES 3998  c. The City Since 1960. Jill Pearlman.  prerequisite: None
  • Spring 2017 - ES 3902 a. Earth Climate History. Phil Camill. (same as EOS 3020), prerequisite: ES 2221/ EOS 2005
  • Spring 2017 - ES 3906 a. Advanced Environmental Organic Chemistry. Dharni Vasudevan. (same as Chem 3060) prerequisite: Chem 2250
  • Spring 2017 - ES 3963 b. Law, Politics and the Search for Justice. Allen Springer. (Same as Gov 3610) prerequisite: none 
  • Spring 2017 - ES 3981 c. Nature and Health in America. Matthew Klingle. (Same as History 3180)  prerequisite: ES 1101, 2203 and one history course 2000-2969

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 or above courses (numbered 1100 {100}) or above within one of the following concentrations:

~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 {102} b. Introduction to World Prehistory. Scott MacEachern.
Anthopology 2647 {248} 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 {174})
Mathematics 3108 a. Advanced Topics in Modeling. Every other Spring. Spring 2016. Mary Lou Zeeman.

Requirements for the Minor in Environmental Studies

The minor consists of five courses: Environmental Studies 1101 {101} two courses at the intermediate level or higher, one of which should be in the disciplinary area outside a student's 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 Environment and Culture in North American History and one social science course from ES courses numbered 2300-2330.

~ for social science majors: ES 2201 Perspectives in Environmental Science and ES 2403 {203} Environment and Culture in North American History.

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