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Environmental Studies

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Box 7056
Davidson, NC 28035

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Davidson, NC 28035

Environmental Studies Major

As you plan your courses for the Environmental Studies major, you may find these documents helpful.

The interdisciplinary major in Environmental Studies consists of eleven courses, as follows:

Interdisciplinary Overviews (3 Courses)

ENV 201: Environmental Science, ENV 202: Environmental Social Sciences, and ENV 203: Environmental Humanities. These three courses may be taken in any sequence, but two must be completed by the end of the sophomore year and the third must be completed by the end of the junior year. ENV 201, 202, and 203 are prerequisites for more advanced courses that fulfill major requirements, including ENV 498: Capstone I.

  • ENV 201 - Environmental Science
  • ENV 202 - Environmental Social Sciences
  • ENV 203 - Environmental Humanities

Depth Component Courses (4 courses)

Three content courses plus a related methodology course. Students may choose from one of three tracks (Environmental Natural Science, Environmental Social Science, Environmental Humanities) or may self-design a Depth Component, subject to the approval of the Environmental Studies faculty. At least three courses in the Depth Component must be at the 200 level or above; at least two courses in the Depth Component must be from the same department.

Methodology Course

The ENV major requires a methodology course in the track of the depth component. This methodology course is specifically intended to support the capstone project. Therefore, students should complete the methodology course by the end of the junior year. Students who do not complete an appropriate and relevant methodology course by the end of the junior year will be at a significant disadvantage in undertaking the capstone project in the senior year. In order to choose the most appropriate methodology course, students should have regular conversations with their ENV major adviser and other ENV professors about plans for the capstone project; this includes plans to conduct research during the summer(s) or during study abroad. For example, if the main research for the capstone project will involve interviews, then a statistics course is not the most appropriate methodology course.

Breadth Component Courses (2 Courses)

The Breadth Component is determined in conjunction with the Depth Component. If a student chooses one of the established tracks for the Depth Component, the Breadth Component will consist of one course from each of the other two tracks. Students who self-design the Depth Component will also propose a corresponding Breadth Component, again subject to the approval of the Environmental Studies faculty.

Content Courses for Depth and Breadth Components

Environmental Natural Sciences Courses

ANT 273 - Bioarchaeology (for depth component only)
BIO 222 - Vertebrate Zoology
BIO 227 - Conservation Biology and Biodiversity
BIO 237 - Biodiversity & Conservation
BIO 267 - Cases in Environmental Health
BIO 317 - Entomology
BIO 321 - Ecology
BIO 356 - Diversity & Extinction Analysis
BIO 361 - Amphibian & Reptile Conservation
BIO 366 - Renewable Natural Resources: Science and Policy (= ANT 382)
BIO 371 - Research Independent Study (topic subject to approval by the Environmental Studies faculty)
CHE 371 - Energy
CHE 372 - Environmental Chemistry
ENV 120 - Introduction to Environmental Geology
ENV 232 - Introduction to Environmental Health with Community-Based Learning (= HHV 232)
ENV 233 - Introduction to Environmental Health with Laboratory-Based Learning (= HHV 233)
ENV 315 - Chemical Equilibrium (= CHE 215)
ENV 325 - Regional Geology
ENV 330 - Surface Geology and Landforms
ENV 335 - Soil Science
ENV 367 - Ecotoxicology (= BIO 367)
PHY 103 - Physics of the Environment

Environmental Social Science Courses

ANT 207 - Foragers, Farmers, and Chiefs of the Ancient World
ANT 227 - Environment and Culture in Latin America
ANT 261 - Science, Policy, and Society
ANT 267 - Food and Culture
ANT 271 - Human Ecology
ANT 273 - Bioarchaeology (for depth component only)
ANT 310 - Politics, Society, and Culture
ANT 325 - Environment, Economy, & Culture
ANT 360 - Anthropology of Development and Environmental Sustainability
ECO 226 - Environmental and Natural Resource Economics
ECO 236 - Economic Growth and Sustainable Development
ENV 250 - Human Geography Theory and Research
ENV 272 - Human Geography (= SOC 272)
ENV 282 - Water and Development
ENV 373 - Urban Geography (= SOC 363)
ENV 375 - Political Ecology
POL 328 - The Politics of Information: Case Studies of Sustainability Assessments
POL 398 - Environmental Politics (formerly POL 338)
POL 472 - Citizens, Consumers, and the Environment
POL 400 - Seminars in Political Science (POL 400-479)
POL 479 - Sem. - Environmental Law and Policy only

Environmental Humanities Courses

ART 230 - Earth Art-From Lascaux to Lutyens
CLA 347 - The Ancients and Their Environments
ENG 289 - Environmental Literature
ENG 389 - Studies in Literature and the Environment
ENV 210 - Introduction to Environmental Literature
ENV 271 - Agriculture and Development: Reading the Green Revolution
HIS 244 - Settlement of the American West, 1800-1900
HIS 246 - Fires, Famines, Fevers, and Floods
PHI 140 - Environmental Ethics
REL 247 - Food in Religious Perspective
REL 248 - Christianity and Nature
REL 250 - Issues in Theological Ethics
REL 358 - Humans and Other Animals

Capstone (2 Courses)

ENV 498 Capstone I (Prerequisites: ENV 201, 202, 203)
ENV 499: Capstone II (Prerequisite: ENV 498)

Capstone project: ENV majors design and propose an independent project that demonstrates both the knowledge and skills of interdisciplinary Environmental Studies.

ENV 498 proposals must be submitted by the end of the junior year, earlier if seeking summer support. The Environmental Studies faculty evaluates and approves the proposals.

Capstone projects will culminate in a major paper or other significant project appropriate to the subject (such as an art installation or performance). Projects require relevant research. The major paper or project is due at the end of ENV 499: Capstone II. Students in ENV 498 and ENV 499 will work independently as well as meet with other majors and the Capstone professor in group sessions.

ENV 498 - Environmental Studies Capstone
ENV 499 - Environmental Studies Capstone

Honors in Environmental Studies

Honors in ENV is awarded to students who meet all of these criteria:

  • 3.2 GPA overall by the time of graduation
  • 3.5 GPA in the major by the time of graduation
  • have successfully completed a year-long project that includes work done for (a) ENV 498 and (b) a grade of A or A- in ENV 497 (Honors Research)
  • have successfully completed the year-long project as assessed by an interdisciplinary three-person committee including at least two core ENV faculty, and
  • have successfully defended the year-long project in an oral defense


  1. Students may not choose both the ENV major and the ENV minor.
  2. No more than two courses at the 100 level may count for the major, including not more than one course at the 100 level in the Depth Component.
  3. A maximum of two courses may count toward both the ENV major and a second major, or a minor.
  4. No more than two courses taken away from Davidson may count toward the major. Once the Registrar has granted transfer credit, students may petition the Environmental Studies faculty to approve transfer courses for the major.
  5. Students may petition the Environmental Studies faculty to approve independent studies for the major. A maximum of two independent studies may count toward the major.
  6. ENV 201, 202, 203, 498, and 499 must be taken at Davidson; exceptions must be approved by the Environmental Studies faculty.
  7. Careful course planning is important for all Environmental Studies majors, particularly for students who plan to study abroad and those who plan to do graduate work in an environmental field.
  8. Most Environmental Studies majors will receive the Bachelor of Arts degree. To receive the Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Studies, students must: (a) choose the Environmental Sciences track for the Depth Component, (b) complete a capstone project in Environmental Sciences, and (c) take one additional science or mathematics courses at the 200 level or above beyond the methodology course and three depth component courses. Three of those courses under part (c) must include a lab component, yielding a total of four lab courses, including ENV201. Independent study courses may count as a course with a lab with the approval of the Environmental Studies Faculty. The additional laboratory course, beyond those required for the depth component, does not have to be environmental in content; if a student also chooses a minor in a science or mathematics department, those courses could count as the additional course for the B.S. degree in ENV.
  9. Please visit the Environmental Studies Department's website for up-to-date information regarding course requirements.