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. Earning a double concentration is possible; students should consult with their advisors.

Total Credit Hours: Students must earn a minimum of 64 credit hours for the major. The 64 credits are distributed among a programmatic core, courses required for each concentration, and major electives, as explained below. (See sections 3.2.08.2 – 3.2.08.3).

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 64 credit hours as follows:

I. Required core courses for all environmental studies majors: (31 credit hours).

  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. ECO 203 Survey in Economics
  8. ENS 115 Perspectives in Environmental Studies
  9. ENS 250 Topics in Environmental Governance
  10. B. Choose one from the following list:
  11. MAT 141 Statistics
  12. MAT 241 Calculus I
  13. MAT 253 Statistics for Natural Sciences
  14. C. Choose one from the following list:
  15. PHI 252 Environmental Ethics
  16. REL 213 Religion and Environmental Justice

II. Courses within the concentration: (21 to 26 credit hours, depending on the concentration). See Section 3.2.08.3 below for a list of concentrations and their requirements.

III. Environmental Studies Electives Systems: (7 to 12 elective credit hours depending on the concentration). See individual concentration requirements for minimum elective credit hour requirements.

The most common elective courses are organized into systems below. In practice, the systems serve to guide students in their choices of electives to best enrich and complement their paths through the major. Electives must be approved by the relevant head of concentration, and may include courses other than those listed below.

A. Natural Science Systems:

Natural Science Systems courses focus on understanding natural science systems.

  1. BIO 208 Cell Biology
  2. BIO 219 Plant Morphology and Anatomy
  3. BIO 235 Vertebrate Zoology
  4. BIO 241 Invertebrate Zoology
  5. BIO 322 Genetics
  6. BIO 342 Plant Physiology
  7. BIO 345 Developmental Biology
  8. BIO 348 Animal Behavior
  9. BIO 351 Mammalian Physiology
  10. BIO 440 Plant Taxonomy
  11. CHM 117 General Chemistry II
  12. CHM 225 Organic Chemistry I
  13. CHM 321 Quantitative Chemical Analysis
  14. ENS 310 Conservation and Wildlife Biology
  15. ENS 431 Toxicology

B. Natural Resource Systems:

Natural resource courses focus on understanding and managing resources including food, forests, energy, and water. Social science courses focus on understanding the interaction of humans and resources.

  1. ANT 321 Traditional Agricultural Systems
  2. ENS 204 Introduction to Environmental Engineering: Water and Waste Management
  3. ENS 229 Environmental Geology
  4. ENS 230 Geology
  5. ENS 233 Forest Biology
  6. ENS 249 Introduction to Sustainable Agriculture
  7. ENS 302 Aquatic Ecology and Water Pollution
  8. ENS 303 Hydrology
  9. ENS 330 Soil Science
  10. ENS 334 Silviculture
  11. ENS 341 Agroecology
  12. ENS 440 Sustainable Farm Management
  13. SOC 271 Environmental Sociology

C. Community Systems:

Community Systems courses focus on creating sustainable communities, including courses from economics, political history, history, environmental studies, and global studies.

  1. ECO 201 Microeconomics
  2. ECO 210 Macroeconomics
  3. ECO 380 Environmental and Ecological Economics
  4. ENS 248 Community Organizing for Sustainable Living
  5. ENS 422 Introduction to Environmental Law
  6. ENS 432 Epidemiology
  7. ENS 451 Community and Land Use Planning
  8. GBL 225 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  9. GBL 325 Advanced Geographic Information Systems
  10. HIS 205 Environmental History of the United States
  11. PSC 151 Introduction to American Government
  12. PSC 245 Environmental Politics in Global Perspectives
  13. PSC 330 Politics of Developing States
  14. PSC 431 Constitutional Law
  15. PSY 416 Ecopsychology
  16. PAX 327 Environmental Justice: Peace or Conflict

D. Educational Systems:

Educational Systems courses focus on building skills in education and outreach including classes in education, outdoor leadership, or environmental studies.

  1. EDU 212 Teaching Foundations: Middle School / High School
  2. EDU 221 Science Teaching Methods
  3. EDU 235 Exploring Teaching: Elementary and Early Childhood
  4. EDU 305 Educational Psychology
  5. ENS 126 Introduction to Environmental Education
  6. ENS 426 Methods and Materials in Environmental Education
  7. ODL 210 Backcountry Skills and Techniques
  8. ODL 215 Initiatives for Adventure Education
  9. ODL 226 Instructor Development for Outdoor Leadership (8 credit Outward Bound course)
  10. ODL/ENS 320 Program Planning and Design

E. Communication Systems:

Communication Systems courses focus on using the arts and humanities to communicate including courses from creative writing and art.

  1. WRI 140 Creative Writing: Introduction
  2. WRI 142 Introduction to Writing for the Media
  3. WRI 213 Creative Writing: Creative Nonfiction
  4. WRI 220 Writing about Place
  5. WRI 320 Environmental Writing
  6. ART 171 Introduction to Digital Imaging
  7. ART 200 Ceramics Studio
  8. ART 209 Photography Studio
  9. ART 216 Drawing II
  10. MUS 112 Music Cultures of the World

F. Spiritual Systems:

Spiritual Systems courses focus on connecting spirituality to conservation including courses from religious studies and philosophy.

  1. PHI 252 Environmental Ethics
  2. REL 111 Exploring Religions
  3. REL 213 Religion and Environmental Justice
  4. REL 238 History and Literature of Buddhism
  5. REL 321 Religion, Peace, and Social Justice: Seminar

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 and Justice 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 the capstone course ODL/ENS 320 Program Planning and Design (Environmental Education Concentration) or ENS 461 Environmental Policy and Justice Colloquium (Environmental Policy and Justice Concentration), give a presentation, and earn a course grade of A- or better.
  3. Complete the ENS 485 Environmental Studies Internship course, give a public presentation, and earn a course grade of A- or better
  4. Receive final acceptance for Graduation with Honors, which is contingent on an approval vote from the environmental studies faculty.


3.2.08.3

Concentrations

Environmental studies majors must declare a concentration, and each concentration requires specific courses in addition to the environmental studies core requirements. Earning a double concentration is possible; students should consult with their advisors.



3.2.08.3.1 – Conservation Biology 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. BIO 322 Genetics
    2. BIO 402 Evolutionary Biology
    3. ENS 310 Conservation and Wildlife Biology
    4. SCI 390 Research Design
    5. SCI 486-489 Natural Science Research (minimum 2 credit hours)
    6. SCI 493 Communication: Natural Science Seminar
  2. Upper Level courses in Conservation Biology:
    1. ENS 470-476 Topics in Conservation Biology (minimum 4 credit hours)
    2. ENS 479 Advanced Conservation Biology Seminar
  3. Elective Credit Hours: Minimum 8 elective credit hours; refer to “Environmental Studies Elective Systems” above.


3.2.08.3.2 – Ecological 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 Ecological 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 Communication: Natural Science Seminar
    8. *These courses build the discipline from theory to application and should be taken in the listed order.
  2. Elective Credit Hours: Minimum 12 elective credit hours; refer to “Environmental Studies Elective Systems” above.


3.2.08.3.3 – 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. A. All of the following courses:
    2. EDU 305 Educational Psychology
    3. ENS 126 Introduction to Environmental Education
    4. ENS 426 Methods and Materials in Environmental Education
    5. ENS 484 Environmental Studies Internship Seminar
    6. ENS 485 Environmental Studies Internship
    7. ENS 320 Program Planning and Design
    8. B. Two credit hours from the following courses:
    9. PED 109 Canoeing 1cr
    10. PED 111 Kayaking 1cr
    11. PED 125 Introduction to Rock Climbing 1cr
    12. PED 126 Backpacking 1cr
    13. PED 128 Orienteering 1cr
    14. PED 211 Intermediate Paddling 1cr
  2. Elective Credit Hours: Minimum 12 credit hours; refer to “Environmental Studies Elective Systems” above.


3.2.08.3.4 – Environmental Policy and Justice 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. ECO 380 Environmental and Ecological Economics
    2. ENS 350 Global Environmental Health
    3. ENS 422 Introduction to Environmental Law
    4. ENS 461 Environmental Policy and Justice Colloquium
    5. ENS 484 Environmental Studies Internship Seminar
    6. ENS 485 Environmental Studies Internship
    7. PSC 151 Introduction to American Government
  2. Elective Credit Hours: Minimum 10 elective credit hours; refer to “Environmental Studies Elective Systems” above.


3.2.08.3.5 – 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 Warren Wilson College 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 330 Soil Science
    3. ENS 341 Agroecology
    4. ENS 440 Sustainable Farm Management
    5. SCI 390 Research Design
    6. SCI 486-489 Natural Science Research (minimum 2 credits)
    7. SCI 493 Communication: Natural Science Seminar
  2. Elective Credit Hours: Minimum 12 elective credit hours; refer to “Environmental Studies Elective Systems” above.


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 Communication: Natural Science Seminar
  2. Elective Credit Hours: Minimum 7 credit hours; refer to “Environmental Studies Elective Systems” 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 115 Perspectives on 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.