Warren Wilson College Catalog 07-08

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Courses in Environmental Science

ENS 116 Introduction to Environmental Studies 4cr

Examines the interrelated ecological, economic, social, political, and technological aspects of environmental issues. Designed for anyone interested in the environment and required for students majoring or minoring in Environmental Studies.
Triad: Language/Global Issues

ENS 126 Introduction to Environmental Education 4cr

Environmental education --is it science, civics, or propaganda? Through discussions, a workshop, readings, and student presentations, the class will explore the history, philosophies, approaches, and prospects for environmental education. The emphasis will be on surveying the field of environmental education, rather than upon specific environmental issues or concepts. There is a fee charged.

ENS 199 Independent Study 1-4cr

ENS 205 Environmental History of the United States 4cr

A history of the American land, from before settlement by the first immigrants (from Asia) to the present. Emphasis is on the changes in vegetation and landscape that have resulted from human use and management. Includes discussion of agriculture, logging of the old-growth forest, disposal of the public domain, conservation movements, national forests and parks, forestry and natural resource professions, and the environmental movement.

ENS/PSY 220 Environmental Attitudes, Values, and Behavior 2cr

Explores the relationships among attitudes, values, and behaviors towards the natural and built environments from the macro level of cultural and historical context and from the micro level of psychological processes. Readings will draw from a wide range of psychological perspectives, including social psychology, cognitive psychology, behavioral therapy, psychodynamic perspectives, environmental psychology, and ecopsychology. Class will include a combination of lecture, discussion, class presentations, response papers, and experiential activities.
Prerequisite: PSY 100 Introduction to Psychology or ENS 116 Introduction to Environmental Studies or permission of the instructor.

ENS 230 Geology 4cr

This course provides an overview of earth materials and processes such as planet formation, plate tectonics, landscape development, and rock formation. Exercises will include map studies and rock and mineral classification. Although primary emphasis is placed on physical geology and the interpretation of geologic processes, an introduction to historical geology is also provided.

ENS 233 Forest Biology 4cr

This course focuses on the complexity and beauty of the forest as a biological community. The specific relationships between forest organisms and their environments receive much attention, but students also examine the distribution of forest types in North America and the more important forest species, especially trees. Forest management is considered, but emphasis is on natural influences--such as wind, fire, and insects--and the identification of woody plants. Students should anticipate much additional study on tree identification beyond the scheduled hours of the class. A $20 field trip fee is required.
Prerequisite: BIO 116 General Biology.

ENS 235 Conservation and Wildlife Biology 4cr

Conservation biology is the applied science of maintaining the earth's biological diversity. The main focus is biological, but it is cross-disciplinary and reaches into philosophy, economics, and sociology. Game, non-game, endangered species, and principles of wildlife management are included.
Triad: Language/Global Issues
Prerequisite: ENS 116 Introduction to Environmental Studies.

ENS 245 Environmental Politics and Political Theory 4cr

This course will investigate the various perspectives through which contemporary humans view the relationship between the human and non-human worlds. These alternative approaches define the parameters within which "acceptable" policy alternatives are debated and adopted. Environmental perspectives and policy options ranging from cornucopian free-market growth to deep ecology and ecofeminism will be investigated and critically analyzed. The goal of the course is to help students become informed, rational, ethical judges of the competing claims of the eight major perspectives that join environmental politics and political theory.

ENS 249 Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture 4cr

This course presents a broad overview of a contemporary sustainable farming systems in the United States through the study of the history of food production as it relates to the development of biological agriculture. Students will discuss history of U.S. agriculture, the rise of industrial and biological forms of agriculture, and the ethical, economic, ecological, and social aspects of agricultural sustainability. Four major systems of alternative agriculture - certified organic, biodynamic, biointensive, and permaculture - will be presented as examples of contemporary sustainable agriculture. Labs will consist largely of field trips to local sustainable farms and small group tutorials.
Prerequisite: ENS 116 Introduction to Environmental Studies.

ENS 260 Sustainable Agriculture Practicum 2cr Pass/Fail

An understanding of the day-to-day operations of a farm will be gained through at least 200 hours of work on a commercial agricultural operation pre-approved by the advisor, or at least one semester's work on the College's Farm or Garden Crew. The physical work will be integrated with background readings appropriate to the particular farming system, regular communication with the advisor during the work stay, a reflective paper and a presentation to the campus community describing the experience and commenting on it. Note that all Sustainable Agriculture students must complete actual farm work; agricultural research or an internship at a think tank will not fulfill the requirement. Students must already be on the farm crew or have arranged for a farm job off campus before enrolling and be an ENS major with a concentration in Sustainable Agriculture.


Prerequisite: ENS 196 Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture.

ENS 290-298 Special Topics in Environmental Studies 2-4cr

In-depth consideration of a topic of particular concern within the disciplines of Environmental Studies. May be repeated for credit under different topics.

ENS 299 Independent Study 1-4cr

ENS 302 Aquatic Ecology and Water Pollution 4cr

This course presents the principles by which aquatic systems are organized and emphasizes the manner in which representative aquatic ecosystems function. Ecological theory relating to energy flow and matter cycling will be a major topic as will studies of the adaptations for life in different types of aquatic systems. The second half of the course focuses upon water pollution sources, effects, detection, and control. One major weekend field trip with a fee of $20 is required.
Prerequisites: BIO 116 General Biology and CHM 116 General Chemistry I.

ENS 330 Soil Science 4cr

This course introduces soil as a natural body of critical importance to the sustainable use of natural resources and the maintenance of environmental quality. The course explores factors influencing the development of soils and then examines the resulting soil's physical, chemical, and biological properties. Students will gain experience in the identification of common soil characteristics in the field as well as by performing standard laboratory analyses. This course is a natural science course. Specific soil management issues such as managing soils for agriculture or forestry will be discussed, but are not a focus of this course.
Prerequisite: CHM 117 General Chemistry II.

ENS 333 Introduction to Forest Management 4cr

This course provides an introduction to forest management policy and decision-making processes. Emphasis is upon multiple-use management. Students learn how to develop management plans to meet multiple objectives and best utilize diverse forest resources.
Prerequisite: ENS 233 Forest Biology.

ENS 334 Silviculture 4cr

Students examine the many silvicultural systems used in the United States, with emphasis upon the Eastern forests. Each system is compared and analyzed with regard to silvics of the most important species, economics, management objectives, and environmental protection.
Prerequisite: ENS 233 Forest Biology.

ENS 350 Environmental Impact Assessment 4cr

Environmental Impact Assessment is a process that involves determining whether impacts are occurring from existing practices and developments, as well as predicting whether impacts are likely to occur if potential projects or practices are implemented. Impacts of various human activities on the land, air, water, and biota will be evaluated. Various mathematical models for predicting impacts on these resources will be explored. The advantages and disadvantages of mitigation practices for reducing these impacts will also be investigated. In addition to looking at impacts in general, we will also study the various requirements for doing formal impact analyses and producing environmental impact statements (EISs).
Prerequisites: ENS 116 Introduction to Environmental Studies, BIO 202 Ecology, and one additional 200-level or above ENS course.

ENS 377 Discovery Through Wilderness Variable cr

This demanding interdisciplinary course challenges participants to explore their personal limits and to integrate knowledge from several academic disciplines. On an off-campus trip, the class visits a wilderness area to study its ecology and culture. Past Discovery Through Wilderness courses have visited Bolivia, the Pacific Northwest, the Caribbean islands, and Nepal. A pre-trip term paper and presentation are required, as are individual field projects. Class preparation during the semester involves organizational details, first aid, team building, wilderness skills, and extensive reading and study about the cultural and natural history of the region. Personal trip expenses vary from year to year; contact the instructor for details.
Prerequisite: Open to all students in all majors, but intended primarily for juniors. An application must be completed, and permission of the instructor is required. Participants must be in excellent physical and mental health.

ENS 399 Independent Study 1-4cr

ENS 421 Environmental Policy 4cr

This course is a broad survey of the public policy process focusing on environmental policy as it is formulated at the federal level of government in the United States. The course is divided into three parts: an analysis of the policy process using the policy cycle model, an investigation of two case studies of important environmental issues (which will vary from year to year), and individual student research on a particular policy concern culminating in the writing of a major research paper.
Triad: College Composition II
Prerequisites: ENS 116 Introduction to Environmental Studies and PSC 151 Introduction to American Government.

ENS 425 Sustainable Development and the Politics of Growth 4cr

Since "sustainable development" is so often cited as the goal of our environmental policy, this course will attempt to discover exactly what is meant by this term. Issues of economic incentives will be analyzed. Unlike a standard course in environmental policy that focuses on the formulation and implementation of statutory law at the federal level of the American government, this course will emphasize economic, theoretical, and international issues.

ENS 426 Methods and Materials in Environmental Education 4cr

The goal of this course is to give students experience, competence, and confidence as environmental educators. Students will examine environmental education curriculum materials, try out various teaching methods, and discuss how the objectives of environmental education can be translated into programs and activities. Several teaching sessions in local schools and other educational settings are arranged.
Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. ENS 126 Introduction to Environmental Education is required.

ENS 431 Toxicology 2cr

Toxicology is the study of the adverse effects of xenobiotic agents. This senior level class will introduce the basic principles of biochemical toxicology. Emphasis will be placed upon the impact of enviornmental pollution on humans and wildlife. This course will require two examinations, one presentation and one 5-page paper. Additional readings will be assigned during the course of the course.
Prerequisite: CHM 116 General Chemistry I, CHM 117 General Chemistry II, and BIO 116 General Biology.

ENS 432 Epidemiology 2cr

Epidemiology is the study of disease distribution within populations and what affects this distribution. Epidemiologists have progressed from examining infectious diseases in the late 1800s to modern studies of obesity, lead exposure, and even cell phone use. Our world is a healthier and safer place because of this discipline. This course consists of two sections: First, a series of lectures and readings will introduce the principles of epidemiology; second, this class will then use this newfound knowledge to develop and implement a study on campus. The first section of this course will demand considerable out-of-class reading and study.
Prerequisite: MAT 141 Statistics.

ENS 440 Sustainable Farm Management 4cr

This course emphasizes activities at an individual farm scale, presenting basic design principles and examples of environmentally and economically sustainable agriculture systems. The student will develop an understanding of the decisions made on the farm and the science behind them, including assessment and improvement of soil quality; management of water and fertility; species, variety/breed, and land-use determinations; and evaluation and control of pests. Techniques such as crop rotation, green manuring, intercropping, rotational grazing, integrated pest management, and time and resource budgeting will be addressed. There is no formal lab, but extensive use will be made of the College Farm and Organic Garden to illustrate the course content.
Prerequisite: Junior Standing. ENS 249 Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture and ENS 330 Soil Science.

ENS 451 Community and Land Use Planning 4cr

This course will address theoretical and practical aspects of land use planning at the local level. The terms "community" and "citizenship" will be analyzed in their modern and historical contexts. Students will investigate various concepts and techniques used by state, regional, urban, and rural planning organizations. Topics such as historic preservation, public lands, and conservation partnerships will also be discussed.
Prerequisites: Junior standing, PSC 151 Introduction to American Government and ENS 116 Introduction to Environmental Studies.

ENS 484 Environmental Education Internship Seminar 1cr

This seminar will focus on helping students identify placement sites for a concentration in environmental education that will meet their personal and professional goals, prepare their proposals, and determine appropriate projects that will be completed during the internship. The seminar will also help students to prepare for their internship experience, and hear from some of the other students who have successfully completed their internships.
Prerequisite: ENS 116 Introduction to Environmental Studies or permission of instructor.

ENS 485 Environmental Studies Internship 2-16cr Pass/Fail

The Environmental Studies Internship offers students majoring or minoring in Environmental Studies the opportunity to apply their course work in an off-campus situation. Because the field is competitive, one or more internships are strongly recommended for students in Environmental Studies. Students need to plan for this experience at least 10 weeks in advance. Work is supervised by a Warren Wilson faculty member in Environmental Studies and by a staff member in the organization with which the student is placed. A paper is required.
Prerequisites: Application to the organization and an interview with the faculty sponsor at least ten weeks prior to the beginning of the proposed internship.

ENS 490-498 Special Topics in Environmental Studies 2-4cr

In-depth consideration of a topic of particular concern within the disciplines of Environmental Studies. May be repeated for credit under different topics.

ENS 499 Independent Study 1-4cr