Environmental Studies


The Environmental Studies Major

The Environmental Studies major is interdisciplinary with courses that draw from the natural sciences, humanities, and social sciences. Students choose either a Bachelors of Arts degree (BA) or a Bachelors of Science degree (BS), and pursue an in-depth area of concentration.  It is strongly recommended that upon declaration of the ES Major, students develop an ES major plan in consultation with an ES advisor.  The plan should include a brief outline of future courses, internships, off-campus study, and independent research.  While the plan may change, it encourages students to think intentionally about their academic careers and better prepare them to take full advantage of the learning opportunities available both on and off campus. Graduate schools often require particular coursework for admission, so students considering graduate school should speak with their ES advisors as early as possible.

Core Curriculum
Environmental studies majors, both BA and BS, take six core courses.  Students typically complete the first five core courses (ES 196, 211, 223, 225, and 230) by the end of the sophomore year. The 400-level capstone requirement is met in the senior year.

  • ES 196 Environmental Science and Society
  • ES 211 Principles of Ecology
  • ES 223 Earth System Science
  • ES 225 Introduction to Environmental Humanities
  • ES 230 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  • ES 400 Environmental Studies Seminar OR ES 460 Honors Thesis

Bachelor of Arts Requirements
The Bachelor of Arts degree comprises a minimum of 11 courses.  In addition to the six core courses listed above, students must take five elective courses at the 200 or 300 level outside the core.  Up to two elective courses may be taken off-campus or in other departments, subject to advisor approval. All majors should complete an area of concentration through their choice of electives. 

Bachelor of Science Requirements
The Bachelor of Science degree comprises a minimum of 14 courses.  In addition to the six core courses listed above, students will take:  

  • Two year-long sequences in different natural science disciplines (pick sequences from two different columns below, 4 courses in total).

 Bio 111 and Bio 112                       Chem 107 and Chem 108                       Phy 103 and Phy 104
 Bio 111 and Bio 118                       Chem 105 and Chem 108                       Phy 109 and Phy 110
 Bio 113 and Bio 114                       Chem 107 and Chem 118                       Phy 111 and Phy 112
 Bio 110 and Bio 112

  • One course in Mathematics and Statistics, chosen from the following:

Math 105-106 Calculus w/Precalculus                                     Bio 260 Biostatistics
Math 111 Calculus I                                                                 Econ 241 Intro. Econ. & Business Statistics
Math 112 Calculus II                                                                Pol 215 Political Science Research Methods

  • Three elective courses at the 200 or 300 level outside the core. Up to two elective courses may be taken off-campus or in other departments, subject to advisor approval. All majors should complete an area of concentration through their choice of electives.
Area of Concentration

All majors should complete an area of concentration through their electives. The area of concentration can be selected from the list below or self-designed in consultation with an ES advisor.  Recent examples of self-designed concentrations include Environmental Education, Environmental Health, and Nature & Culture.  Concentrations comprise a minimum of two upper-level courses, but we recommend that you take as many courses as you can.  For example, when course options are separated by “OR”, take both classes if possible.  To dive even deeper into a subject, take the courses listed as “also recommended”. 

Earth System Science.  Completion of the BS degree plus…

  • ES 318 Glaciers and Records of Climate Change
  • ES 323 Geologic Disasters & Global Change
  • Also recommended: ES 263, ES 312

Energy and the Environment

  • ES 240 Energy Production and Use
  • Econ 241 Intro. Econ. & Business Statistics OR other statistics course (see list under BS core requirements)
  • Econ 344 Energy Economics and Public Policy (note econ pre-reqs)

Environmental Film

  • ES 319 Environmental Film
  • FS 220 Introduction to Video Production
  • Also recommended: 300-level Film Studies courses.

Environmental Policy and Management

  • ES 333 Environmental Policy
  • ES 240 Energy Production and Use OR ES 251/252 Rocky Mountain West OR ES/Bio 316 Conservation Biology OR ES 317 Chesapeake Bay OR ES 334 Global Environment and Development 
  • Also recommended: ES 241, Anth 223, Econ 341, Econ 334, Pol 221

Environmental Science.  Completion of the BS degree plus… 

  • Two ES Natural Science Electives: ES 251, ES 302, ES 304, ES/Bio 306, ES/Bio 316, ES 318, ES 323, ES 350

Environmental Writing

  • ES 241 Environmental Writing
  • Eng 201 Writing the Public Essay
  • Also recommended: 200- or 300- level writing courses in the English department.

GIS and Spatial Analysis

  • ES 263 Remote Sensing
  • ES 312 Environmental Applications of GIS
  • A statistics course (see list under BS core requirements)
  • Also recommended: CS 111, Math 212

Landscape Ecology and Land-Use

  • ES 312 Environmental Applications of GIS OR ES 304 Landscape Ecology
  • ES 333 Environmental Policy OR ES 252 The Rocky Mountain West: Cultural Geography
  • Also recommended: ES 263, ES 302, ES/Bio 306.

Marine and Freshwater Ecology. Completion of the BS degree plus… 

  • Two of the following: ES/Bio 306 Marine Ecology, ES 317 Chesapeake Bay, Bio 307 Freshwater Ecology
  • Also recommended: ES 312, ES/Bio 316,  ES 317, ES 350, Bio 227, Bio 260

Sustainable Development

  • ES 334 Global Environment and Development 
  • ES 333 Environmental Policy OR ES 240 Energy Production and Use OR GS 310: Gender, Environment, and Development
  • Also recommended: ES 274, AFS 251, Anth 223, Econ 341, Econ 344, Hist 371, Pol 252, Pol 363 

Wildlife and Conservation Biology. Completion of the BS degree plus… 

  • ES 302 Wildlife Ecology OR ES/Bio 316 Conservation Biology
  • ES 312 Environmental Applications of GIS OR ES/Bio 306 Marine Ecology OR Bio 224 Vertebrate Zoology
  • Also recommended: ES 334, Bio 260


Electives

Environmental Studies Courses

  • ES 240 Energy: Production, Use, and Environmental Impact
  • ES 241 Environmental Writing
  • ES 251 The Rocky Mountain West: Physical Geography
  • ES 252 The Rocky Mountain West: Cultural Geography
  • ES 263 Remote Sensing
  • ES 302 Wildlife Ecology
  • ES 304 Landscape Ecology
  • ES/Bio 306 Marine Ecology
  • ES 312 Environmental Applications of GIS
  • ES/Bio 316 Conservation Biology
  • ES 317 Chesapeake Bay
  • ES 318 Glaciers and Records of Climate Change
  • ES 319 Environmental Film
  • ES 322 Geomorphology 
  • ES 323 Geologic Disasters and Global Change
  • ES 333 Environmental Policy
  • ES 334 Global Environment and Development
  • ES 350 Coastal Ecology of Maine
  • ES 450 Independent Study

Generally electives must be taken at the 200 or 300 level.  However, one course among ES 122, 127, 128, 130, 162 or FYS 105, 120, 139, 148 or 156 may count as an elective by permission of the ES Department if it is the first ES course taken. ES121 does not count toward the ES major or minor.

Sample Courses from other Departments

  • Anth 223 Indigenous Peoples, the Environment, and the Global Economy
  • AFS 274 Globalization and its Discontents: The Caribbean Case
  • Bio 200 Physiology of Plant Adaptations
  • Bio 204 Biology of Flowering Plants
  • Bio 211 Genetics
  • Bio 218 Biology of Algae and Fungi
  • Bio 227 Invertebrate Zoology
  • Bio 260 Biostatistics
  • Bio 307 Freshwater Ecology
  • Bio 314 Evolution
  • Chem 203 Organic Chemistry
  • Chem 204 Organic Chemistry
  • Chem 317 Instrumental Analysis
  • Econ 341 Environmental Economics
  • Econ 344 Energy Economics & Public Policy
  • Eng 201 Writing the Public Essay
  • GS 310 Gender, Environment, and Development
  • Hist 230 Native American-European Encounter in North America
  • Hist 236 Urbanism in American History
  • Hist 371 Modern African Environments: History, Ecology, and People
  • IDS 255 Science, Technology, and Nuclear Weapons
  • OMS 406 Organizations, Civil Society, Water
  • Phil 233 Philosophy and Science
  • Pol 221 The Politics of Public Policy
  • Pol 252 North-South Dialogue
  • Pol 327 State Politics and Policy
  • Pol 363 Politics of Developing Areas
  • Phy 310 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics
  • Phy 352 Optics and Laser Physics
  • Phy 420 Advanced Research Methods in Physics
  • Rel 226 Native American Religions
  • WGS 230 Gender and Development
The Environmental Studies Minor

The Environmental Studies minor consists of six courses:

  • ES 196 Environmental Science and Society
  • ES 211 Principles of Ecology OR ES 223 Earth System Science (May take both and use second course as elective)
  • ES 225 Introduction to Environmental Humanities
  • ES 230 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
  • Two electives from the other ES courses (Note: Only one course among ES 122, 123, 124, 126, 127, 128, 130, 162 or FYS 105, 120, 139,148, 156 can be counted towards the minor. ES121 does not count toward the minor)
Additional Opportunities

Environmental Education Certificate
The Department of Environmental Studies and the Department of Education are pleased to offer an Environmental Education Certificate. Students interested in this teaching certificate complete either the BA or BS in Environmental Studies and the Education Minor.  It is important to begin the education coursework as early as possible along with your ES courses, and we recommend that students discuss their plans with their ES advisor, as well as consult with the Education Department.

Public Policy
Students interested in Environmental Policy have the option of doing Public Policy as a second major. The public policy major at Gettysburg College offers a flexible, rigorous, multidisciplinary curriculum that provides training for students interested in problem-solving in domestic or international public arenas. See: /academics/public-policy/

Dual Degree Programs in Environmental Engineering and Environmental Management
Students spend 3 years at Gettysburg College and 2 years at a graduate institution in order to earn both their BS and either MS or MEM in five years total.  See: /academics/es/programs/dual-degree-programs.dot

For more information, contact the ES Department Chair, Rud Platt (rplatt@gettysburg.edu)

 

Revised September 2013/rvp