The mission of Environmental Studies at Bethel is to guide students in the pursuit of truth about the workings of creation and the human place in it, and to enable them to practice environmental stewardship in lifestyle and profession. Caring for the whole of creation is an immense privilege and responsibility, and we prepare students for this task through a curriculum that integrates knowledge and perspective from a variety of established disciplines (e.g., biology, chemistry, geology, history, political science). Environmental studies combines classroom and laboratory instruction with a variety of field experiences. Students cap their education in environmental studies by designing and conducting a specific research project under the direction of a faculty mentor. Those who complete the program successfully will be prepared for a variety of types of employment (e.g., natural resource conservation, outdoor education, environmental advocacy) or for graduate school. The number of such opportunities is continually increasing as is the need for educated, committed environmental stewards.
ENS 104 • Environment and Humanity. 3 Credits.
Interrelationships and interactions of humans with the natural environment in which they live. Causes of and potential solutions to environmental problems like pollution of water, air, and soil; extinction of wildlife; and degradation of natural and human ecosystems are examined, using the science of ecology as a knowledge base.
Corequisites: Concurrent registration in ENS 104D is required. Offered: Fall, Spring.
ENS 104D • Environment and Humanity Lab. 1 Credit.
ENS 201 • Introduction to Geographic Information Systems. 3 Credits.
An introduction to the science, hardware, and software of mapping geographic locations and analyzing information about those locations. Investigation of remote sensing, GPS data collection, GIS data types, editing GIS data, and spatial data analysis and display, with emphasis on applications to creation stewardship problems.
Offered: Fall, odd # years. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in geography.
ENS 205L • Sustainable Living. 3 Credits.
A multidisciplinary approach to the challenges of living a sustainable life in a complex world. Considers how ecological, ethical, and cultural understandings inform our responsibility for personal and global decisions.
Prerequisites: GES 130 and GES 160 (may be taken concurrently) or GES 244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Spring
ENS 305K • Transforming Technology: Environmental Perspectives. 3 Credits.
An examination of the pervasive influence of technology in shaping our views, values, society, and environment. Develops ability to critically analyze technology and the social and environmental influences and impacts of technology. Basic concepts of environmental science serve as a focal point, leading to an understanding of the value-laden nature of technology in our modern society and how such technologies and technological artifacts have changed our environments, our social structures, and our values.
Prerequisites: Laboratory Science (D) course; Mathematics (M) course. Offered: Spring, even # years
ENS 316 • Wildlife Ecology and Management. 3 Credits.
Analysis of terrestrial vertebrate populations, communities, and habitats. Exploration of how these analyses are applied to the manipulation, exploitation, protection, and restoration of animal populations and communities.
Prerequisites: Two of BIO 122/122D, BIO 128/128D, ENS 104/104D; BIO 218 (may be taken concurrently) or major in Environmental Science or major in Environmental Studies; Junior or senior standing. Corequisites: Concurrent registration in ENS 317 is required. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in biology. Offered: Spring, even # years.
ENS 317 • Wildlife Ecology and Management Lab. 1 Credit.
Laboratory experience accompanying ENS 316. Includes some outdoor and off-campus investigations.
Corequisites: Concurrent registration in ENS 316 is required. Offered: Spring, even # years. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in biology.
ENS 318KZ • Ecology in the Tropics: Natural History and Future Prospects. 4 Credits.
Travel in Kenya or Ecuador surveying the land, climate, plans, animals, homes, transportation, and industries, noting especially the impact of human presence. Ecuador includes the Amazon rainforest, Andean cloud forests, volcanic mountains, highlands, towns, cities, and the Galapagos Islands. Kenya includes Nairobi, African savanna, the Rift valley, and Masai Mara.
Prerequisites: Laboratory Science (D) course; Mathematics (M) course. Offered: Interim. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in biology and general studies.
ENS 330K • Science, Values, and the Making of Environmental Policy. 3 Credits.
What role do citizens and experts play in the public policy process? Do people approach scientific evidence with competing value perspectives? These questions are examined in order to understand the interplay between key people, institutions, values, and power that is present in a series of environmental policy case studies.
Prerequisites: Laboratory Science (D) course; Mathematics (M) course. Offered: Fall, even # yrs. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in political science.
ENS 335K • Environmental Ethics. 3 Credits.
An examination of the intersection of science, society, and technology as it pertains to issues in environmental ethics. The course moves from theory by considering science, society, and technology philosophically, to application by concluding with a major research project on an applied issue in environmental ethics involving scientific data and technological choice.
Prerequisites: Laboratory Science (D) course; Mathematics (M) course. Offered: Fall, interim. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in philosophy.
ENS 341K • Environmental Writing. 3 Credits.
As the environmental crisis has deepened, American nature writing has evolved into a richly creative endeavor that explores the complex interactions of nature, technology, and society. Students study environmental writing as a means for valuing biodiversity and for envisioning changes in global policies, applications of technology, and environmental ethics.
Prerequisites: Laboratory Science (D) course; Mathematics (M) course. Offered: Fall or spring. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in English.
ENS 399 • Introduction to Research. 1 Credit.
An introduction to research methodology in the environmental sciences, with experience in the use of environmental literature and an examination of how to distinguish and evaluate different types of scientific writing and presentations. Experience in the development of a research proposal.
Prerequisites: Major in Environmental Studies or Environmental Science; Junior standing. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in Biology. Offered: Fall, Spring.
ENS 481 • Internship in Environmental Studies. 1-4 Credits.
Off-campus field experience working with an environmental organization, business, or governmental agency.
Prerequisites: Major in environmental studies or environmental science. Offered: Fall, spring, summer
ENS 496 • Research in Environmental Studies. 1 Credit.
An opportunity to become involved in an independent research project of the student’s own choosing in some area of environmental studies. Experience in the collection, manipulation, analysis, and portrayal of information and development of skills needed to be effective in environmental research.
Prerequisites: ENS 399; Consent of instructor. Offered: Fall, Spring
ENS 498 • Seminar in Environmental Studies. 1 Credit.
A senior capstone course for environmental studies and environmental science majors centered on a multidisciplinary discussion of current environmental issues in society.
Prerequisites: ENS 496. Offered: Spring
Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies
Several courses in the environmental area are available during the summer term through the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies. Courses offered on a regular basis include: Field Botany, Natural Resources Practicum, Animal Ecology, and Water Resources. See the Au Sable advisor in the Department of Biology for additional course offerings and further details.