Department Learning Goals

Learning Goals for Environmental Studies Majors

Students will be able to:

  • Use an interdisciplinary approach that employs perspectives and methods of analysis from the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking, drawing from both quantitative and qualitative forms of analysis, that allow students to understand, analyze, and draw conclusions about real environmental problems.
  • Link theory and practice in order to understand the interconnections between abstract theorizations of environmental dynamics - whether ecological, political, economic, or ideological - and how these are reflected 'on the ground' both locally and globally.
  • Work collaboratively in the design and implementation of research projects and the presentation of final results.
  • Collect original data and interact with decision makers during hands-on field experiences.
  • Communicate effectively in writing (e.g., research papers, policy briefs, lab reports, personal journals), in oral presentations (e.g., research talks, debates), and in visual media (e.g., maps, figures, powerpoint slides, posters, film).

Learning Goals for students in natural science courses for non-majors

Students will be able to:

  • Understand the perspectives, assumptions and methods of environmental science.
  • Apply an interdisciplinary approach - including the natural sciences, social sciences and the humanities - to the study of environmental problems.
  • Understand the linkages between the natural sciences, technology, and society.
  • Evaluate the quality and relevancy of sources presenting scientific information.
  • Use critical thinking and problem solving skills to interpret scientific data.
  • Clearly communicate scientific information.

Articulate competing viewpoints on environmental issues and evaluate the strength of the evidence supporting those viewpoints.