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Environmental Areas of Concentration


Students with an interest in environmental issues have several options of study at Albright College:

  • Major in environmental science
  • Major or combined major in environmental studies
  • Environmental chemistry track in the chemistry major

All environmental students must complete an introductory environmental seminar (Introduction to Environmental Issues, EVS 101) and a final junior or senior level seminar (Environmental Capstone Seminar, EVS 400) as part of their curriculum of study. The introductory seminar, preferably taken in the first year, allows entering students the opportunity to explore the different options of study and provides a shared foundation for the rest of their program. The capstone course encourages students from the different tracks to integrate the natural and social sciences in their approach to environmental issues, and to work together to apply their specialized knowledge in the pursuit of solving the complex problems facing society today.


Environmental Science

The interdisciplinary nature of the environmental science major (see interdisciplinary studies) allows students to address a wide range of contemporary questions through the natural sciences of biology, ecology, earth sciences, chemistry, the social sciences including political science, sociology, economics, and psychology and the humanities of history and philosophy. The major is designed for science students wishing to pursue careers in environmental research/technology and resource management or pursue graduate study in an environmental field.

Requirements:

Environmental Science majors must take:

ESS 101 and 400
Seven courses within the science/math core:
- BIO 152 and either 151 or 203
- BIO 200 (fulfills general studies quantitative reasoning requirement)
- BIO 211
- CHEM 105 (fulfills general studies natural science requirement)
- CHEM 106 and 207

ESS 325
Two courses from each of the following three groups:
- Biological Group: BIO 214, BIO 220, BIO 246, BIO 318, BIO 319, BIO 337, BIO 491, BIO 494, ESS 298
- Physical Science Group: BIO 312, BIO/ESS 315, ESS 205, ESS 310
- Socio-Political-Cultural Group:  ANT/PSY 265, ANT/IDS 285, POL 214, POL 320, POL 321, ECO 224, HIS 280, PHI 270, PSY 350, REL 280, SOC 291, ESS 260, ESS 298

Two of the four choices from the biological and physical science groups must be field-based laboratory courses. Students should be aware that some graduate programs in the environmental fields also require a semester of calculus and physics and two semesters of organic chemistry. Students are also encouraged to participate in an overseas field course (ESS 280 - Martinique Studies; ESS 298 - Ecological and Anthropological Field Study in Peru; SPP J51 - Protecting Endangered Species: Hawaiian Humpback Whale; IDS J61 - Subtropical Ecosphere). Students interested in this major should contact Professors Osgood or Mech in the Biology Department.

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Environmental Chemistry

Environmental chemistry is offered as a track within the chemistry major (see Chemistry and Biochemistry). This major provides students with a solid background in chemistry with a specific emphasis on the chemistry of the environment.

Requirements:

• ESS 101 and 400
• CHE 105, 106
• CHE 207, 208
• CHE 321, 322,
• CHE 323, 324
• CHE 420
• MAT 131 and 132
• PHY 201 and 202
• BIO 151 and 152

The following related courses are available as electives:

• BIO 211
• CHE 325, 326, 411 and 412
• Independent study in biology or chemistry (BIO 381, 481 or CHE 381, 481)
• Biology or chemistry internship experience (BIO 482 or CHE 482)

Students interested in the environmental chemistry major should contact Professor Pam Artz in the Chemistry Department.

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Environmental Studies

Students who wish to learn about the environment from the perspective of the social sciences and humanities may choose a major or combined major in environmental studies. This field of study is rooted in the liberal arts tradition of diversity and critical thought and requires coursework in the politics, anthropology, sociology and psychology of the environment as well environmental economics. In addition to a hands-on natural science, students may choose to study ecological history, religion and the environment and/or the application of philosophical ethics to the natural world.

Students majoring in environmental studies also receive credit for experiential learning that may consist of study abroad, an internship or independent study arranged with an affiliated instructor.

This interdisciplinary major or combined major helps prepare students for careers in government, public advocacy, consulting, or for graduate study in law or other fields involving environmental issues.

Students interested in this major should contact Professor Barty Thompson, Director of the Environmental Studies Concentration (Sociology-Anthropology Department) or Professor Brian Jennings (Sociology-Anthropology Department).

 

Major in Environmental Studies

Required Courses (Only one of these can also fulfill the general studies social science or interdisciplinary requirement--students choose which course.)

• ESS 101 Introduction to Environmental Issues (general studies interdisciplinary)
• ESS 400 Environment Seminar
• ANT 101 Introduction to Anthropology (general studies social science) or ANT 285 Human Animal (general studies interdisciplinary or social science) or ANT 206 Food & Culture (general studies interdisciplinary or social science)
• ECO 224 Environmental Economics (general studies social science)
• POL 320 Politics & the Environment (general studies social science)
• ANT/PSY/IDS 265 Ecological Psychology (general studies interdisciplinary or social science) 
• SOC 291 Environmenal Sociology (general studies social science)
• ESS 325 GIS

One environmental science course (above the general studies natural science requirement):

• BIO 211 Ecology
• ESS 205 Physical Geology
• ESS 310 Pollution
• ESS 315 Watersheds
• SPP J51 Protecting Endangered Species: Hawaiian Humpback Whale

One humanities course:

• HIS 280 Ecological History
• PHI 270 Environmental Ethics
• REL 280 Religion & the Environment

One additional course from either the environmental science group or humanities group above.

One experiential learning course:

• ESS 280 Martinique Studies
• ESS 282 or POS 399 Internship
• ESS 298 Ecological & Anthropological Methods in Peru (if not taken as methods course)
• SPP J51 Protecting Endangered Species: Hawaiian Humpback Whale

• Another off-campus experience, independent study or internship that relates to environmental issues and that is approved by an affiliated instructor

The experiential learning course may be replaced with one of the following social science courses with the approval of the director of the Environmental Studies Program:

• ESS 260 Environmental Science of Latin America
• POL 214 Public Policy
• POL 273 Globalization
• POL 302 Public Administration
• PSY 350 Animal Behavior and Cognition
• SOC 395 Comparative Cultures of Peru

One statistics course  (satisfies general studies quantitative reasoning requirement):

• ECO 207 Economics Statistics
• POL 207 Research Methods
• PSY 201 Research Design (must be taken in combination with PSY 200)
• SOC 211 Social Statistics

One methods course:

• ESS 298 Ecological & Anthropological Methods in Peru
• PSY 200 Research Design (must be taken in combination with PSY 201)
• SOC 210 Research Methods


It is recommended that students take BIO 152 (General Biology II) to satisfy the general studies natural science requirement

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Combined Major in Environmental Studies

Required Courses:

• ESS 101 Introduction to Environmental Issues (general studies interdisciplinary)
• ESS 400 Environment Seminar
• ANT 101 Introduction to Anthropology (general studies social science) or ANT 206 Food & Culture (general studies interdisciplinary or social science) or ANT/IDS 285 Human Animal (general studies social science)
• ECO 224 Environmental Economics (general studies social science)
• POL 320 Politics & the Environment (general studies social science)
• ANT/PSY/IDS 265 Ecological Psychology (general studies interdisciplinary or social science)
• SOC 291 Environmental Sociology (general studies social science)
• ESS 325 GIS

One of the above courses can satisfy the general studies social science requirement and one can satisfy the general studies interdisciplinary requirement.

One humanities course:

• HIS 280 Ecological History
• PHI 270 Environmental Ethics
• REL 280 Religion & the Environment

One statistics course (satisfies the general studies quantitative reasoning requirement):

• ECO 207 Economics Statistics
• POL 207 Research Methods
• PSY 201 Research Design (must be taken in combination with PSY 200)
• SOC 211 Social Statistics
• MAT110 Elementary Statistics

It is recommended that students take one of the following science courses to satisfy the general studies natural science requirement:

• BIO 152 General Biology II
• ESS 205 Geology
• ESS 315 Watersheds
• SPP J51 Protecting Endangered Species: Hawaiian Humpback Whale

Students interested in environmental studies should contact Professor Barty Thompson, Director or Professor Brian Jennings.