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Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences

ENVS Course Descriptions

View the schedule of classes to determine course offerings by semester.

  • ENVS 201 Human Ecology (3)

    Introduces the student to aspects and dimensions of the impact of burgeoning human populations on human societies and life on Earth in general. Specific applied topics in environmental science, ecology and sustainability are covered, with a focus on urban ecosystem issues. An emphasis is placed on current and newsworthy topics at scales ranging from local to global. Understanding the place of humans in the biosphere and how to ensure a habitable planet for future generations and for other organisms is a primary goal of the course. [GSCI / QQT]

  • ENVS 221 Science of the Environment (4)

    A survey of a number of scientific disciplines related to the earth's changing environment, including geology, ecology, zoology, hydrology, climatology and chemistry. These disciplines are integrated to provide a clearer understanding of complex environmental issues, using both local and global case studies. The laboratory portion of the course investigates environmental hypotheses and theories and introduces students to the techniques of environmental data collection and analysis. Lab fee required. [GSCI / QQT]

  • ENVS 285 Environmental Chemistry (4)

    Exploration of the fundamental principles of chemistry as they apply to the natural cycles of compounds in the environment, focusing on the source, fate and reactivity of compounds in natural and polluted environments. Emphasis is placed on environmental changes due to human activity, especially those related to land use and the exploitation of aquatic resources. Issues discussed include climate change, air pollution, industrial and municipal waste in waterways, and chemical cycling in urban areas. Lab fee required. prerequisite: ENVS 221
  • ENVS 289 Independent Study: Introduction to Field/Lab Research (3)

    Provides students with the opportunity to pursue a research topic or special project in the natural and environmental sciences. Students work closely with a faculty member who helps set goals, develop a course plan and guide progress. Projects vary with individual student interests. Lab fee may be required. prerequisite: permission of the division chair

  • ENVS 300 Greater Baltimore Urban Ecosystems: Field Investigations (4)

    An introduction to local ecosystems; their determining natural forces and human-caused challenges; and strategies, methods and techniques used to assess ecosystem condition. Students develop skills to evaluate ecological assessment reports, guidance documents and sampling techniques produced and used by environmental agencies and other interested parties. The course includes both classroom and field components, with frequent class trips to local ecosystems to assess and compare their characteristics. prerequisite: ENVS 221

  • ENVS 375 Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology in Society (4)

    The science behind practices such as cloning and genetic engineering and advances in biotechnology in human health, agriculture, aquaculture and environmental sciences are discussed. This course raises awareness of the impact of biotechnology on human society and discusses related ethical issues, and it provides students with the knowledge to evaluate the risks and impacts of advances in biotechnology. The laboratory portion of the course introduces students to the techniques used in molecular genetics, molecular biology and biotechnology. prerequisite: CHEM 101

  • ENVS 420 Research Seminar in Environmental Science (2)

    Introduces students to the design and interpretation of environmental and ecological field studies and to statistical methods relevant to environmental science and ecology. Emphasizes preparation of research proposals and reports as well as written and oral communication of report findings. prerequisite: ENVS 300

  • ENVS 490 Special Projects in Environmental Sciences (3)

    Provides students with the opportunity to pursue a research topic or special project in environmental science. Students work closely with a faculty member who helps set goals and develop a course plan and guides progress. The project must be carefully planned and have approval of the course instructor. Eligible for continuing studies grade. Laboratory fee required. prerequisite: ENVS 221, ENVS 300 and ENVS 420

  • ENVS 493 Honors Seminar (3)

    An advanced interdisciplinary seminar that focuses on important books and issues and encourages independent thinking, clear presentation and an understanding of the concerns and methods of various disciplines. The course may be team taught; topic and instructor(s) may change from semester to semester. Course may be repeated for credit when topic changes. prerequisite: 3.3 GPA and permission of the Denit Honors Program director

  • ENVS 494 Honors Project (3-6)

    Directed individual instruction in an advanced project of the student's choice; the project must be academically related to this discipline. Each student works closely with a faculty director who guides his/her progress. The project must be of honors quality and must be finally approved by both the faculty director and a second faculty member. Course is eligible for a continuing studies grade. prerequisite: 3.3 GPA and permission of both the Denit Honors Program director and the faculty director