Environmental Studies



Environmental Studies (ENS) Courses of Study

Link to Environmental Studies Courses



3.2.08.1.1

Program Overview

The mission of the Environmental Studies Department, an interdisciplinary learning community, is to prepare leaders who are able to critically assess, develop, and promote sustainable futures for life on Earth.

The goals of the Environmental Studies Program are the following:

  1. To develop an interdisciplinary understanding of the interconnectedness of humans and Earth, promoting sustainability with a respect for natural systems.
  2. To produce leaders in six sub-disciplines within environmental studies who have the ability to develop and critically assess appropriately-scaled environmental decisions leading to sustainability.
  3. To improve students’ abilities to think critically, apply theoretical knowledge to real-world problems, and communicate ideas.
  4. To develop and promote a holistic integration of the triad of academics, work, and service.
  5. To provide preparation and guidance for continued professional study and/or careers in fields that promote sustainability.

Courses are offered in the natural and social sciences and there are abundant natural resources on and near campus. Courses and work crews give Environmental Studies students the balance of theory, first-hand knowledge, and field experience. Internships off campus are also encouraged.

Interests of students majoring in Environmental Studies vary from forestry, agriculture, conservation biology, environmental chemistry, and soil science to economics and business, environmental policy, education, park interpretation, community activism, journalism, art, and urban gardening. Students may elect to major or minor in Environmental Studies. Successful programs most often result when students, with the help of an advisor, begin planning coursework and identifying goals during the freshman year.

Requirements for Majors and Minors: In order for students to declare a major or minor in Environmental Studies, they must have completed 32 credit hours and have a GPA of 2.8 or higher. Transfer students must have completed one semester at Warren Wilson College to declare a major in Environmental Studies and have a GPA of 2.8 or higher during that semester. Students within Environmental Studies must turn in a proposal written in consultation with a faculty advisor and turned in to the advisor. It identifies academic goals and lists courses and internships to be completed. Students must submit program proposals at least one month before pre-registration during the second semester of the sophomore year or, for transfer students, by the beginning of the second semester of the junior year. At this time students must also complete a declaration of major form at the registrar’s office and declare a concentration within Environmental Studies. Six concentrations are available.

Total Credit Hours: Students must earn a minimum of 68 credit hours for the major. The required courses for each concentration are listed on the next few pages. Courses that may be accepted as electives within the ENS major are those with ENS or BIO and many CHM course descriptions, or have the word “environment” in the title, or fit into the proposed program of study specific to the environmental career a student has in mind. For instance, EDU courses may be appropriate electives for environmental education students, but probably not for sustainable forestry students.

Degrees Offered: The standard degree for an Environmental Studies major is Bachelor of Arts, but a Bachelor of Science can be earned as an alternative. (See section 3.2.08.1.2 for details on the requirements for the B.A. and B.S. degrees.)

Honors Program: Graduation in Environmental Studies with Honors is possible for students who qualify. (See section 3.2.08.2.1 for requirements.)



3.2.08.1.2

B.A. or B.S. in Environmental Studies

Bachelor of Arts: The standard degree for an Environmental Studies major is Bachelor of Arts. To obtain a B.A. in Environmental Studies, see the major requirements below (Section 3.2.08.2).

Bachelor of Science: Students can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in any concentration if they meet the course requirements for their concentration and:

  1. Take one semester each at the college level of calculus and statistics;
  2. Take a minimum of 24 credit hours of 200-level or above laboratory science courses; and
  3. Complete and pass the Natural Science Seminar sequence of courses.*

*See Natural Sciences listing (section 4.26) for requirements for the Natural Science Undergraduate Research Sequence. Students planning to complete a Natural Science Undergraduate Research Sequence should take SCI 390 Research Design during the junior year.



3.2.08.2

Major in Environmental Studies

Grades: Students must earn a combined GPA of 2.0 for all required core courses in the major. Students must also earn a final grade of C- or better in each individual course within a concentration including electives.

Requirements: A minimum of 68 credit hours as follows:

  1. Required core courses for all ENS Majors:

    1. A. All of the following:
    2. BIO 116 General Biology
    3. BIO 202 Ecology
    4. 	OR
    5. ENS 201 Applied Ecology
    6. CHM 116 General Chemistry I
    7. ENS 116 Introduction to Environmental Studies

    8. B. Choose one from the following list:
    9. ENS 245 Environmental Politics and Political Theory
    10. PSC 245 Environmental Politics in Global Perspectives
    11. HIS 205 Environmental History of the United States
    12. ECO 380 Environmental and Ecological Economics

    13. C. Choose one from the following list:
    14. MAT 141 Statistics
    15. MAT 241 Calculus I
    16. MAT 253 Statistics for Natural Sciences

    17. D. Choose one from the following list:
    18. PHI 252 Environmental Ethics
    19. REL 213 Religion and Environmental Justice
  2. Courses within the concentration (15 to 29 credit hours): courses vary depending on the concentration. See Section 3.2.08.3 below for a list of concentrations and their requirements.
  3. Electives (9 to 24 credit hours depending on concentration). A total of 68 credits is required within the ENS major.

3.2.08.2.1

Honors Program

Graduation in Environmental Studies with Honors is possible for students who qualify. Please see Honors Program Natural Sciences below for details.



3.2.08.2.2
Honors Program Natural Sciences

The objectives of the Natural Sciences Honors Program are (1) to set high academic standards to which all students can aspire, (2) to encourage students to pursue scholarly research, and (3) to provide recognition of outstanding students.

Requirements: To graduate with Honors in this program, a student must

  1. Achieve a 3.5 GPA for courses required in the major and achieve an overall 3.5 GPA.
  2. Pursue a research project involving original laboratory or field work or an original analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of primary source material.
  3. Identify the research project during the junior year by preparing a well-documented proposal, which must be submitted to the North Carolina Academy of Science (NCAS) or other source for funding.
  4. Present the completed project (including a formal written research report in a form suitable for publication) to the Natural Science Presentation course and earn a course grade of A- (90%) or better.
  5. Present and defend the research report in a professional forum in addition to the Natural Science Undergraduate Research Sequence (e.g., the NCAS Conference).
  6. Receive final acceptance for Graduation with Honors, which is contingent on an approval vote from the faculty of the student’s major.

Requirements: To graduate with Honors in the Environmental Education and Environmental Policy programs, a student must

  1. Achieve a 3.5 GPA for courses required in the major and achieve an overall 3.5 GPA.
  2. Complete a thesis that will provide a comprehensive integration and connection among the elective courses and other experiences the student selected for the Program Proposal. The topic or theme should serve as a culmination of the integrated understanding that the student has achieved. Students must submit a thesis proposal to their faculty advisors two weeks before spring registration for the fall semester of their senior year.
  3. Present the completed thesis to the Environmental Education Internship Seminar or other appropriate venue and earn a grade of A- (90%) or better.
  4. Submit a copy of the thesis to the Library for review by any interested party.
  5. Receive final acceptance for Graduation with Honors, which is contingent on an approval vote from the ENS faculty.


3.2.08.3

Concentrations

In addition to the required core courses for all ENS Majors listed above, each concentration has additional required courses.



3.2.08.3.2 – Environmental Education Concentration

Requirements: In addition to the requirements listed above for all Environmental Studies majors, the following requirements must be met to fulfill this concentration.

  1. Required Courses:
    1. EDU 305 Educational Psychology
    2. ENS 126 Introduction to Environmental Education
    3. ENS 426 Methods and Materials in Environmental Education
    4. ENS 484 Environmental Studies Internship Seminar
    5. ENS 485 Environmental Studies Internship
    6. ODL 320 Program Planning and Design
  2. Electives within the ENS major: (minimum 20 credit hours)
    1. The study of systems and their interaction is crucial to Environmental Education, so students have the option of choosing a strand within Environmental Education that emphasizes specific systems, such as food systems or community systems.

    2. A. Suggested Electives for a Food Systems strand: Integrating food, agriculture, and Environmental Education
    3. ANT 321 Traditional Agricultural Systems
    4. ENS 249 Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture
    5. ENS 248 Community Organizing for Sustainable Living
    6. ENS 330 Soil Science
    7. ENS 421 Environmental Policy
    8. ENS 440 Sustainable Farm Management
    9. ENS 451 Community and Land Use Planning
    10. SOC 271 Environmental Sociology

    11. B. Suggested Electives for a Community Systems strand: Community Organizing for Sustainable Living
    12. BA 212 Management and Leadership in Organizations
    13. BA 310 Introduction to Non-profit Management
    14. EDU 305 Educational Psychology
    15. ECO 201 Microeconomics
    16. ECO 380 Environmental and Ecological Economics
    17. ENS 220 Environmental Attitudes, Values, and Behavior
    18. ENS 421 Environmental Policy
    19. ENS 425 Sustainable Development and the Politics of Growth
    20. ENS 451 Community and Land Use Planning
    21. ENS 248 Community Organizing for Sustainable Living
    22. GBL 225 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
    23. PAX 325 Resolving Conflict Local and Global
    24. PAX 327 Environmental Justice: Peace or Conflict

    25. C. Suggested Electives for a Natural Systems strand: Connecting People to Natural Places
    26. BIO 235 Vertebrate Zoology
    27. BIO 241 Invertebrate Zoology
    28. BIO 440 Plant Taxonomy
    29. CHM 117 General Chemistry II
    30. EDU 305 Educational Psychology
    31. ENS 230 Geology
    32. ENS 233 Forest Biology
    33. ENS 310 Conservation and Wildlife Biology
    34. ODL 210 Backcountry Skills and Techniques
    35. ODL 215 Initiatives for Adventure Education
    36. ODL 220 Wilderness First Responder
    37. ODL 350 Trip Leader Practicum

    38. D. Suggested Electives for a Communication Systems strand: Using the Media, Arts, and Marketing for Environmental Education
    39. ART 171 Introduction to Digital Imaging
    40. ART 200 Ceramics Studio
    41. ART 209 Photography Studio
    42. ART 216 Drawing II (or other art classes)
    43. BA 121 Marketing
    44. EDU 305 Educational Psychology
    45. ENS 220 Environmental Attitudes, Values, and Behavior
    46. ENS 248 Community Organizing for Sustainable Living
    47. MUS 112 Music Cultures of the World
    48. WRI 142 Introduction to Writing for the Media
    49. WRI 213 Creative Writing: Creative Non-fiction
    50. WRI 220 Writing About Place
    51. WRI 320 Environmental Writing

    52. E. Suggested Electives for Spiritual Systems strand: Connecting Faith to Conservation
    53. ENS 230 Geology
    54. PHI 252 Environmental Ethics
    55. REL 213 Religion and Environmental Justice
    56. REL 238 History and Literature of Buddhism
    57. REL 321 Religion, Peace, and Social Justice Seminar


3.2.08.3.3 – Environmental Policy Concentration

Requirements: In addition to the requirements listed above for all Environmental Studies majors, the following requirements must be met to fulfill this concentration.

  1. Required Courses

    1. A. All of the following:
    2. PSC 151 Introduction to American Government
    3. ECO 201 Microeconomics
    4. HIS 205 Environmental History of the United States
    5. ENS 421 Environmental Policy

    6. B. One of the following:
    7. ENS 245 Environmental Politics and Political Theory
    8. PSC 245 Environmental Politics in Global Perspectives

    9. C. One of the following:
    10. ECO 380 Environmental and Ecological Economics
    11. ENS 425 Sustainable Development and the Politics of Growth

    12. D. One of the following two options:
    13. 1. This course:
    14. ENS 485 Environmental Studies Internship
    15. 2. These three courses:
    16. SCI 390 Research Design
    17. SCI 486-489 Natural Science Research (minimum 2 credits)
    18. SCI 493 Natural Science Presentation
  2. Electives within the ENS major: (minimum 14-18 credit hours)

    1. A. Strongly Recommended Courses:
    2. ENS 451 Community Land Use Planning
    3. GBL 225 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems


3.2.08.3.4 – Sustainable Agriculture Concentration

Requirements:In addition to the requirements listed above for all Environmental Studies majors, the following requirements must be met to fulfill this concentration. These courses build the discipline from conceptual understanding to practical application and have been designed to be taken in the order listed.

It is strongly recommended that all students pursuing the Sustainable Agriculture Concentration commit to a minimum of one academic year working on the WWC Farm or Garden Crew AND complete at least one full-time summer farm internship on an established commercial sustainable farm before completing the program.

  1. Required Courses: all of the following:
    1. ENS 249 Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture
    2. ENS 341 Agroecology
    3. ENS 440 Sustainable Farm Management
    4. SCI 390 Research Design
    5. SCI 486-489 Natural Science Research (minimum 2 credits)
    6. SCI 493 Natural Science Presentation
  2. Electives within the ENS major: (minimum 24 credit hours)

    1. A. Suggested Electives for business emphasis in Sustainable Agriculture:
    2. BA 121 Marketing and Advertising
    3. BA 201 Accounting I
    4. BA 309 Business Law
    5. BA 313 Small Business Management
    6. BA 315 The Art and Science of Managing People
    7. ECO 201 Microeconomics
    8. ECO 301 Microeconomic Theory and Practice
    9. ECO 380 Environmental and Ecological Economics

    10. B. Suggested Electives for natural science emphasis in Sustainable Agriculture:
    11. BIO 217 Introduction to Animal Science
    12. BIO 241 Invertebrate Zoology
    13. BIO 322 Genetics
    14. BIO 351 Mammalian Physiology
    15. BIO 450 Microbiology
    16. CHM 117 General Chemistry II
    17. CHM 225 Organic Chemistry I
    18. CHM 226 Organic Chemistry II
    19. ENS 330 Soil Science
    20. MAT 241 Calculus I
    21. MAT 242 Calculus II
    22. PHY 251 Physics I

    23. C. Suggested Electives for a social science emphasis in Sustainable Agriculture:
    24. ANT 321 Traditional Agriculture Systems
    25. ECO 380 Environmental and Ecological Economics
    26. ECO 383 Economic Growth and Development
    27. ENS 220 Environmental Attitudes, Values, and Behavior
    28. ENS 425 Sustainable Development and the Politics of Growth
    29. ENS 451 Community and Land Use Planning
    30. PSC 257 International Relations
    31. PSY 231 Research Methods in Social Science
    32. PSY 318 Social Psychology
    33. SOC 271 Environmental Sociology

    34. D. Suggested Electives for a humanities emphasis in Sustainable Agriculture:
    35. ENG 337 Romanticism
    36. ENG 338 Literature and Culture of the Victorian Period
    37. ENG 339 Modernism
    38. HIS 205 Environmental History of the United States
    39. ENS 220 Environmental Attitudes, Values, and Behavior
    40. INT 325 Great Books I
    41. PHI 255 Philosophy of Science and Logic
    42. WRI 213 Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction
    43. WRI 220 Writing About Place


3.2.08.3.5 – Sustainable Forestry Concentration

Requirements: In addition to the requirements listed above for all Environmental Studies majors, the following requirements must be met to fulfill this concentration.

It is strongly recommended that all students pursuing the Sustainable Forestry Concentration commit to a minimum of two years working on the Forestry Crew.

  1. Required Courses:
    1. GBL 225 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
    2. *ENS 233 Forest Biology
    3. *ENS 334 Silviculture
    4. *ENS 333 Introduction to Forest Management
    5. SCI 390 Research Design
    6. SCI 486-489 Natural Science Research (minimum 2 credits)
    7. SCI 493 Natural Science Presentation
    8. *These courses build the discipline from theory to application and should be taken in the listed order.
  2. Electives within the ENS major: (minimum 18 credit hours)

    1. A. The Forest Management emphasis is for students who want to pursue a career in professional forestland management for a variety of goods and services. Students would be prepared for jobs with state or federal forestry, parks and wildlife agencies, land trusts and land conservation organizations, private forest owners, and ecological consulting firms.
    2. Suggested electives for Forest Management emphasis:
    3. BIO 219 Plant Morphology and Anatomy
    4. ECO 380 Environmental and Ecological Economics
    5. ENS 220 Environmental Attitudes, Values and Behavior
    6. ENS 230 Geology
    7. ENS 310 Conservation and Wildlife Biology
    8. ENS 302 Aquatic Ecology and Water Pollution
    9. ENS 330 Soil Science
    10. ENS 451 Community and Land Use Planning
    11. GBL 325 Advanced GIS
    12. MAT 253 Statistics for Natural Sciences

    13. B. The Forest Science emphasis is for students who want to pursue a career in forestry research or go on to graduate school. The strong natural and quantitative science focus, coupled with a B.S., will make the student an attractive graduate school applicant. Students would be prepared for jobs as research technicians for state and federal forestry agencies, private industry and non-government research institutions. Students interested in graduate school must work closely with their academic advisor to choose courses that meet the requirements of specific graduate programs.
    14. Suggested electives for Forest Science emphasis:
    15. BIO 219 Plant Morphology and Anatomy
    16. BIO 322 Genetics
    17. CHM 407 Biochemistry I
    18. CHM 117 General Chemistry II
    19. CHM 225 Organic Chemistry I
    20. ENS 230 Geology
    21. ENS 302 Aquatic Ecology and Water Pollution
    22. ENS 330 Soil Science
    23. GBL 325 Advanced GIS
    24. MAT 253 Statistics for Natural Sciences

    25. C. The Forest Policy emphasis is for students who want to pursue a career in environmental policy and advocacy, especially as it pertains to forest systems. Students would be prepared for careers with government agencies, non-government advocacy groups, for-profit industries and non-profit institutions.
    26. Suggested electives for Forest Policy emphasis:
    27. BA 121 Marketing and Advertising
    28. BA 212 Management and Leadership in Organizations
    29. BA 310 Introduction to Non-Profit Management
    30. ECO 380 Environmental and Ecological Economics
    31. HIS 205 Environmental History of the United States
    32. ENS 220 Environmental Attitudes, Values and Behavior
    33. ENS 310 Conservation and Wildlife Biology
    34. ENS 421 Environmental Policy
    35. ENS 425 Sustainable Development and the Politics of Growth
    36. ENS 451 Community and Land Use Planning
    37. PSC 257 International Relations
    38. SOC 271 Environmental Sociology


3.2.08.3.6 – Water and Earth Resources Concentration

Requirements: In addition to the requirements listed above for all Environmental Studies majors, the following requirements must be met to fulfill this concentration.

  1. Required Courses:

    1. A. The following two courses:
    2. CHM 117 General Chemistry II
    3. ENS 204 Introduction to Environmental Engineering: Water and Waste Management

    4. B. One of the following courses:
    5. CHM 225 Organic Chemistry I
    6. CHM 321 Quantitative Chemical Analysis

    7. C. One of the following courses:
    8. ENS 302 Aquatic Ecology and Water Pollution
    9. ENS 303 Hydrology

    10. D. One of the following courses:
    11. ENS 229 Environmental Geology
    12. ENS 230 Geology
    13. ENS 330 Soil Science

    14. E. The Natural Science Undergraduate Research Sequence:
    15. SCI 390 Research Design
    16. SCI 486-489 Natural Science Research (minimum 2 credits)
    17. SCI 493 Natural Science Presentation
  2. Suggested electives: (minimum 14 credit hours)
    1. BIO 440 Plant Taxonomy
    2. BIO 450 Microbiology
    3. CHM 225 Organic Chemistry I *
    4. CHM 321 Quantitative Chemical Analysis *
    5. ECO 380 Environmental and Ecological Economics
    6. ENS 229 Environmental Geology *
    7. ENS 230 Geology *
    8. ENS 302 Aquatic Ecology and Water Pollution *
    9. ENS 303 Hydrology *
    10. ENS 330 Soil Science *
    11. ENS 421 Environmental Policy
    12. ENS 431 Toxicology
    13. GBL 225 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
    14. GBL 325 Advanced Geographic Information Systems
    15. Selected Special Topics courses

* These courses may be used to fulfill the “suggested electives” requirement (Section II) only if not used to fulfill the “required courses” (Section I) above.



3.2.08.4

Pre-environmental Management Cooperative College Program

  1. Advisor:
  2. Mark Brenner,

Warren Wilson College participates in the Cooperative College Program with the Nicolas School of the Environment at Duke University in a combined program of liberal arts and professional education in environmental resources. In this program students attend Warren Wilson College for three years, completing the Warren Wilson College core competency and service requirements and the Cooperative College Program entrance requirements for Duke University. Students then attend Duke University for two years. Students earn two degrees: a B.A. from Warren Wilson College, and a Master of Environmental Management (MEM) from Duke University. The MEM is a professional degree in one of seven areas: Energy and Environment, Ecotoxicology and Environmental Health, Water Resources Management, Environmental Economics and Policy, Ecosystem Science and Conservation, Global Environmental Change, or Coastal Environmental Management.

The Cooperative College Program allows students to receive a broad liberal arts education and also earn a professional degree. It provides for maximum education with minimum investment of time and money. Students receive the advantages of a small college with extensive faculty-student interaction, as well as the larger variety of courses at a large university.

3.2.08.4.1

Requirements for Admission to the Cooperative College Program at Duke University

Grades: A minimum overall GPA of B (3.0 out of 4.0) is required. Courses with grades below C do not transfer. Students must also be recommended by the Cooperative College Program liaison officer at Warren Wilson College. Admission into Duke’s School of the Environment is very competitive, and minimal completion of Duke’s admission requirements does not guarantee acceptance into its program.

Requirements: A minimum of 92 credit hours must be completed at Warren Wilson College, including the following:

  1. Mathematics:
    1. MAT 141 Statistics
    2. OR
    3. MAT 253 Statistics for Natural Sciences
    4. MAT 241 Calculus I
  2. Courses related to a particular area of interest:

    1. A. Energy and Environment
    2. ECO 201 Microeconomics

    3. B. Water Resources Management
    4. CHM 116, 117 General Chemistry I and II (recommended)
    5. PHY 251 Physics I (recommended)
    6. ECO 201 Microeconomics (recommended)

    7. C. Coastal Environmental Management
    8. ECO 201 Microeconomics

    9. D. Environmental Economics and Policy
    10. ECO 201 Microeconomics

    11. E. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Health
    12. CHM 116, 117 General Chemistry I and II
    13. CHM 225 Organic Chemistry I (recommended)
    14. BIO 202 Ecology
    15. OR
    16. BIO 201 Applied Ecology (recommended)

    17. F. Ecosystem Science and Conservation
    18. BIO 202 Ecology
    19. OR
    20. BIO 201 Applied Ecology
    21. ECO 201 Microeconomics (recommended)

    22. G. Global Environmental Change
    23. BIO 116 General Biology (recommended)
    24. ENS 230 Geology (recommended)



3.2.08.5

Minor in Environmental Studies

Total Credit Hours: Students must earn a minimum of 29 credit hours as follows to fulfill the minor requirements.

Requirements: The following courses must be completed with a minimum of a C average. An internship is suggested, and a program proposal for the minor is required.

  1. All of the following:
    1. ENS 116 Introduction to Environmental Studies
    2. BIO 116 General Biology
    3. CHM 116 General Chemistry I (or equivalent)
    4. BIO 202 Ecology
    5. 	OR
    6. ENS 201 Applied Ecology
  2. Plus 12 additional credit hours of Environmental Studies.