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Environmental Studies Program - Courses

The following is a list of courses currently offered under the Environmental Studies Program, along with a brief description of each course. Please refer to the University Bulletin for complete course descriptions.  Note that some of the topics courses (Envi 382 and 481) are taught on a fairly regular basis and are listed below.

ENVI 101. ENVIRONMENT AND MAN/WOMAN: AN ECOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE.

Multidisciplinary approach to study of relationships between the environment and humans, from an ecological perspective; scope and direction of human impact on biosphere, exemplified by population, agricultural practices and pollution.  Fall semester

ENVI 149. ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS AND POLICY

Examination of the major philosophical issues surrounding the environment and nature. Topics may include the value of nature; human obligations to the land, endangered species, non-human animals, ecosystems and future generations; vetetarianism; aesthetics and the environment; environmental racism; global warming; resource depletion; implications of environmental issues for ethical theory.  Spring semester; commonly offered in Winter and Summer sessions as well

ENVI 201. ENVIRONMENT AND MAN/WOMAN: PHYSICAL ASPECTS.

Interdisciplinary holistic view of interaction of human populations with their physical environment. Environmental problems consequent to such interactions; energy in natural and human ecosystems: sources, environmental impacts and relationship to ecological stability. Alternative forms of human interaction with physical environment, human species as a viable long term proposition. Prerequisites: ENVI 101 or BIOL 117. Spring semester

ENVI 230. INTRODUCTION TO ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY

Introduction to the policy processes that have created the current system of environmental laws and regulations in the United States. In particular, the course identifies the key issues that necessitate environmental regulation, identifies the key actors involved in environmental policymaking, and
examines various political-economic rationales for why some policies are implemented and others are not. It also includes discussion of important normative dilemmas including environmental justice and the role of science in the policymaking process. Spring semester

ENVI 312. ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND POLICY

Environmental laws as perceived and dealt with by various judicial, legislative and administrative units. Pollution case law, impact of economics and technology on environmental laws as fashioned by legislatures and interpreted by the courts. Prerequisites: ENVI 101.  Spring semester

ENVI 323. SOILS, PROPERTIES, PROCESSES AND DISTRIBUTION

Morphological properties of soils as natural bodies, factors in processes of development, systems of classification at topographic, regional and global scales, including soil fertility and its role in land use. Prerequisites: ENVI 101, 201, or GEOG 121. Taught every other year (Spring 2013)

ENVI 325. ECOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES AND AGRICULTURAL PRACTICES

Agricultural systems in western and non-western systems in relationship to ecological principles; factors affecting long term stability. Focus on plant-soil relationships as dynamic system and ecologically based agricultural techniques in garden situation. Prerequisites: ENVI 101.  Spring semester

ENVI 326. FORESTS, ENVIRONMENT AND CIVILIZATION

Basic ecology of forests and trees. Forest types of the world and factors determining their occurrence. The role of forests in history. The significance of forests in regard to current major environmental problems,, e.g., global warming, desertification, loss of biodiversity and flooding. The sociopolitical factors threatening forests, forest preservation efforts. Prerequisites: ENVI 101, 201, or permission of instructor.  Fall semester

ENVI 330. NATURAL HAZARDS (also GEOG 330)

Analysis of physical, geographic, political and perceptual aspects of natural hazards. Discussion and evaluation of physical environments in which natural hazards occur, land use and development patterns in hazardous areas, mitigation measures, and risk assessment and perception of hazards and vulnerability. Prerequisites: ENVI 101, 201, junior or senior standing.

ENVI 342. HYDROLOGY (also GEOL 342)

Water is one of the vital resources in our environment. This course provides an introduction to surface and subsurface hydrology for future policy makers, lawyers, ecologists, environmental chemists, and other students of environmental sciences. Topics include: global and local hydrologic budgets; the processes by which water moves through the environment including weather and precipitation, infiltration, stream and river systems, groundwater flow, evaporation and plant transpiration; an overview of the chemistry of natural and polluted water. Prerequisites: ENVI 201 or instructor permission.  Fall semester

ENVI 382U. BIOLOGY OF BIRDS (also BIOL 379).

Basic biology of birds, focusing on characteristics affecting their ecological role. Conservation issues involving birds. Six to eight field trips emphasizing identification, behavior and ecology; two of these trips on weekends. Prerequisites: BIOL 114.  Spring semester

ENVI 361. FRESHWATER WETLAND ECOLOGY (also BIOL 374).

Structure and function of various freshwater wetland types, including swamps, marshes, fens and bogs. Use of indicator plants to identify wetland types. Laboratory time will involve field trips to different wetland types, learning to identify wetland plants and making a collection. Lecture and laboratory. Prerequisite: BIOL 114.  Fall semester

ENVI 370. ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY: THE CHANGING EARTH

Examination of important environmental issues through geochemical investigation of the earth's atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. Discussion of past and present controls on the chemical composition of the atmosphere, freshwaters, oceans and groundwaters. Prerequisites: ENVI 101, 201, college level chemistry. Taught alternate years, spring semester (Spring 2012)

ENVI 382. SPECIAL TOPICS IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

Intensive study of a particular topic announced in advance. May be repeated for credit. Examples of recently offered topics are: sustainable development in Southeast Asia; anthropology and environmental conservation. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing.

ENVI 397. INDEPENDENT STUDY

Independent study under guidance of faculty member. Prior to registration, student must consult with the faculty supervisor and receive approval of problem to be studied and amount of credit to be received.

ENVI 413. ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENTS

National Environmental Policy Act and its requirements. Environmental impact statements: what they are, how they came into being, their role in environmental decision making. Techniques of environmental analysis. Analysis of state and federal statements. Open to seniors only.  Prerequisites: ENVI 101, 201, and one of 239 or 149 or 230.  Spring semester

ENVI 415. ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING

Environmental considerations in planning process. Past and present planning programs examined; emphasis on techniques and methods used to integrate environmental knowledge with other aspects of planning process. Land use controls, planning for and protecting resource use and allocation alternatives, use of region as management units. Lab work involves practical application of techniques and tools to problem solving. Open to seniors only.  Prerequisites: ENVI 101, 201, and one of 239, 149, or 230.  Fall semester

ENVI 481M. ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS AND POLICY SEMINAR (also PHIL457M).

Philosophical problems involving the relationship between humans and the environment. Examination of non-anthropocentric assumptions and anthropocentric theories. Evaluation of issues involving obligations to future generations and the use of economic instruments to ensure environmental quality. Prerequisite: ENVI/PHIL 149 or consent of instructor.

ENVI 481T. ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ANALYSIS

Environmental policy-making as a process and the substance of environmental policy. Policy evaluation, different types of analysis, regulation and deregulation, consideration of current environmental problems. Prerequisites: ENVI 101, 201, 215.

ENVI 491. PRACTICUM IN COLLEGE TEACHING

Independent study by teaching ENVI courses, particularly ENVI 101 or 102. Assignments include leading discussion sections, maintaining office hours, reading papers and examinations. Closely directed by instructor. Open only to seniors. Pass/Fail option only. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

ENVI 495. INTERNSHIP IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

Internship in public agency, schools and non-profit organizations dealing with environmental planning and management issues. Pass/Fail option only. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

ENVI 498. SENIOR THESIS

Independent in-depth research under supervision of faculty member. May be taken as a one-semester project, or as a precursor to the Honors Thesis (ENVI 499). Prerequisite: permission of faculty supervisor.

ENVI 499. HONORS THESIS

Preparation and defense of an honors thesis. Usually an extension of the work undertaken in ENVI 498. Prerequisite: ENVI 498 and permission of faculty supervisor.

Director of Environmental Studies Program: Joseph R. Graney email
Webmaster: Anne Hull

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Last Updated: 8/7/13