Center for Environmental Studies Website
Director, Associate Professor KAREN R. MERRILL
Associate Director, Lecturer SARAH S. GARDNER
Professor: K. LEE. Associate Professor: MERRILL. Lecturer: S. GARDNER. Research Associates: R. BOLTON, W. FOX, VENOLIA.
MEMBERS OF THE CENTER
HENRY W. ART, Professor of Biology
LOIS M. BANTA, Visiting Associate Professor of Biology
DONALD deB. BEAVER, Professor of History of Science
CHARLES BENJAMIN, Class of 1946 Visiting Professor of International Environmental Studies
DIETER BINGEMANN, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
ROGER E. BOLTON, Professor of Economics, Emeritus
MICHAEL F. BROWN, Professor of Anthropology and Latin American Studies
JAMES T. CARLTON, Adjunct Professor of Biology and Professor of Marine Science
BRIDGET J. CLARKE, Assistant Professor of Philosophy
RONADH COX, Associate Professor of Geosciences
DAVID P. DETHIER, Professor of Geosciences and Mineralogy and Director of Research, Hopkins Forest
GEORGES B. DREYFUS, Professor of Religion
JOAN EDWARDS, Professor of Biology
ANTONIA FOIAS, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Sociology
WILLIAM T. FOX, Professor of Geosciences, Emeritus and Research Associate in Environmental Studies
JENNIFER L. FRENCH, Assistant Professor of Spanish Language
PAUL GALLAY, Visiting Professor of Environmental Law
SARAH S. GARDNER, Lecturer in Environmental Studies
DOUGLAS GOLLIN, Associate Professor of Economics
MARKES E. JOHNSON, Professor of Geosciences
KAI N. LEE, Professor of Environmental Studies
KAREN R. MERRILL, Associate Professor of History
MANUEL MORALES, Assistant Professor of Biology
LEE Y. PARK, Associate Professor of Chemistry
DAREL E. PAUL, Assistant Professor of Political Science
DAVID P. RICHARDSON, Professor of Chemistry
SHEAFE SATTERTHWAITE, Lecturer in Art
STEPHEN C. SHEPPARD, Professor of Public Affairs
DAVID C. SMITH, Senior Lecturer in Biology
HEATHER M. STOLL, Assistant Professor of Geosciences
JOHN W. THOMAN, Jr., Professor of Chemistry
CONCENTRATION IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
The Environmental Studies Program, within the liberal arts mission of Williams College, provides students with an opportunity to explore how humans interact with the environment, including physical, biological, philosophical, and social elements. The program is designed so that students will understand the complexity of issues and perspectives and to appreciate that most environmental issues lack distinct disciplinary boundaries. Our goal is to aid students in becoming well-informed, environmentally-literate citizens of the planet who have the capacity to become active participants in the local and global community. To this end, the program is designed to develop abilities to think in interdisciplinary ways and to use synthetic approaches in solving problems while incorporating the knowledge and experiences gained from majoring in other departments at the College.
The concentration in Environmental Studies allows students to pursue an interdisciplinary study of the environment by taking elective courses in the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities and the arts. The purpose of the program is to provide the tools and ideas needed to engage constructively with the environmental and social issues brought about by changes in population, economic activity, and values. Environmental controversies typically call upon citizens and organizations to grasp complex, uncertain science, contending human values, and ethical choices-in short, to grapple with matters for which the liberal arts are a necessary but not sufficient preparation. Environmental Studies accordingly includes courses in natural sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the arts, in order to equip students with the broad educational background needed to analyze complex environmental matters and to fashion pragmatic, feasible solutions.
The program is administered by the Center for Environmental Studies (CES), located in Kellogg House. Founded in 1967, CES was one of the first environmental studies programs at a liberal arts college. In addition to the academic program, CES is the focus of a varied set of activities in which students lead and participate, often with other members of the Williams community. The Matt Cole Memorial Library at Kellogg House holds a substantial collection of books, periodicals, unpublished documents, maps, and electronic media. Kellogg House also houses a Geographic Information Systems laboratory as well as study and meeting facilities available to students and student groups. The Center administers the Hopkins Memorial Forest, a 2500-acre natural area northwest of campus, where field-study sites, a laboratory, and passive-recreation opportunities may be found in all seasons. CES also operates an environmental analysis laboratory at the Science Center.
The Environmental Studies Program has three overlapping components:
* The concentration in Environmental Studies, which consists of a set of seven courses.
* The Four Places goal. (See below.)
* Honors in Environmental Studies; a senior thesis is encouraged but not required.
101 Humans in the Landscape
302 Environmental Planning and Design Workshop
402 Senior Seminar
The core courses are intended to be taken in sequence, although there is some flexibility allowed. Environmental Studies (ENVI) 101 is a broad introduction to the field, emphasizing the humanities and social sciences. ENVI 203 is a course in ecology (offered in Biology) that provides a unified conceptual approach to the behavior of living things in the natural world. ENVI 302 puts teams of students to work on planning projects of immediate importance in the Berkshires. ENVI 402, the senior seminar, is an opportunity for concentrators majoring in a wide variety of disciplines to draw together their educational experiences and provide a personal accounting of how they understand the interdisciplinary character of environmental studies and its connections to their future lives and careers. The core course structure affords students freedom to explore and to specialize in diverse fields of study, while sustaining a focus on environmental questions throughout their time at Williams.
An interdisciplinary course emphasizing field science, ENVI 102 (Introduction to Environmental Science), is strongly recommended for all students interested in the concentration.
In order to earn the concentration a student must take one course from each of the following three groups. Courses may be counted both toward the concentration in Environmental Studies and toward a disciplinary major.
The Natural World
American Maritime Studies 211/Geosciences 210 Oceanographic Processes
American Maritime Studies 311/Biology 231 Marine Ecology
Biology/Environmental Studies 134 The Tropics: Biology and Social Issues
Biology/Environmental Studies 220 Field Botany and Plant History
Biology 302/Environmental Studies 312 Communities and Ecosystems
Biology 402T/Environmental Studies 404T Current Topics in Ecology: Biological Resources
Chemistry 341/Environmental Studies 341 Toxicology and Cancer
Chemistry/Environmental Studies 364 Instrumental Methods of Analysis
Environmental Studies 102 Introduction to Environmental Science
Geosciences 101/Environmental Studies 105 Biodiversity in Geologic Time
Geosciences/Environmental Studies 103 Environmental Geology and the Earth's Surface
Geosciences/Environmental Studies 104 Oceanography
Geosciences 201/Environmental Studies 205 Geomorphology
Geosciences/Environmental Studies 206 Geological Sources of Energy
Geosciences/Environmental Studies 208 Water and the Environment
Geosciences/Environmental Studies 214 Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems
Geosciences/Environmental Studies 215 Climate Changes
Geosciences/Environmental Studies 218T The Carbon Cycle
INTR/Environmental Studies/Biology 225 Natural History of the Berkshires
Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
American Maritime Studies 201/History 352 America and the Sea, 1600-Present
American Maritime Studies/English 231T Literature of the Sea
Anthropology 214/Environmental Studies 224 The Rise and Fall of Civilizations
ArtH/Environmental Studies 201 American Landscape History
ArtH/Environmental Studies 310 American Agricultural History
ArtS 329 Architectural Design II
Economics 366 Rural Economics of East Asia
English/Environmental Studies 378 Nature/Writing
History/Environmental Studies 353 North American Indian History: Precontact to the Present
History/Environmental Studies 474 The History of Oil
Philosophy/Environmental Studies 223 Environmental Ethics
Religion/Environmental Studies 287 The Dynamics of Globalization: Society, Religion and the Environment
Religion 302 Religion and Society
Sociology 368 Technology and Modern Society
American Maritime Studies/Environmental Studies 351 Marine Policy
Economics 204/Environmental Studies 234 Economic Development in Poor Countries
Economics/Environmental Studies 213 The Economics of Natural Resource Use
Economics/Environmental Studies 221 Economics of the Environment
Economics 369/512 Agriculture and Development Strategy
Economics 383 Cities, Regions and the Economy
Economics/Environmental Studies 386 Environmental Policy and Natural Resource Management
Environmental Studies/Political Science 246 Nature, Wealth and Power: Social Science Perspectives on Conservation and Natural Resource Management in the Developing World
Environmental Studies/Political Science 270T Environmental Policy
Environmental Studies 307/Political Science 317 Environmental Law
Environmental Studies 313 Global Trends, Sustainable Earth
Political Science 229 Global Political Economy
Political Science 327/Environmental Studies 329 The Global Politics of Development and Underdevelopment
In addition to courses fulfilling the concentration requirements, the following electives and related electives are offered:
Environmental Studies 397, 398 Independent Study of Environmental Problems
Environmental Studies 493-W31-494 Senior Research and Thesis
Winter study courses play an important role in the program, offering opportunities to experiment in fields unfamiliar to the student, and for interdisciplinary topics to be developed by faculty working alone and in teams. Students are urged to review each year's winter study offerings bearing in mind their interests in the environment.
Rationale for Course Numbering
The numbering sequence of the four required courses reflects the order in which they should be taken, although Environmental Studies 302 may be taken in the senior or sophomore year if a student is away junior year. Cross-listed courses are assigned the same number as the departmental number whenever possible.
Four Places-A Goal
The human place in natural landscapes is intrinsically geographic, and learning about humans in particular places is an essential part of environmental studies. By the time each student in Environmental Studies graduates, she or he should have developed intellectual insight into and personal experience of four places: "Home"; "Here"-the Berkshires; "There"-an alien place; and "The World"-a global perspective. For practical purposes, "There" is a place where the geography is unusual in the student's experience (e.g., developing country, inner city, arctic), so are the socioeconomic circumstances (for example, per capita income might be a small fraction of a year's tuition at Williams), and the working language is not standard English. Although this goal is not a requirement for the concentration, it is a significant aspect of the program, and CES resources are aimed in part at enabling all students to meet this goal. For example, students are encouraged to pursue summer internships in their "Home" communities, or to do semester or winter study courses at locations outside the temperate zones ("There"); field courses in natural science or history courses emphasizing New England can deepen familiarity with "Here." Students concentrating in Environmental Studies should plan winter study courses and summer work or study experiences with the Four Places goal in mind, particularly the experiences "There" and at "Home." Courses not in the list of electives for the concentration may be considered as substitutes, on a case-by-case basis, if they also meet the Four Places goal in a way not otherwise available in the program. Students should see the program director for further information.
Honors in Environmental Studies
A student earns honors in Environmental Studies by successfully completing a rigorous, original independent research project under the supervision of two or more members of the faculty, including at least one member of the CES faculty. The research project should be reported and defended both in a thesis and orally. A student may undertake an honors thesis and submit it to both his or her major department and Environmental Studies; petitions for a joint honors project should be approved by the department chair and the director of the program no later than the beginning of the student's senior year. Students who pursue honors in Environmental Studies alone should enroll in Environmental Studies 493-W31-494, Senior Research and Thesis, in addition to completing the requirements for the concentration.
Because most research requires sustained field, laboratory, or library work that is difficult to combine with conventional coursework, students are strongly encouraged to spend the summer before senior year doing honors research. Funds to support student research are available from restricted endowments of the Center, and an open competition is held each spring, to allocate the limited resources. Some departments also provide limited support for summer thesis research. Students and their faculty sponsors should plan the thesis with the possibility of summer research in mind.
Honors in Environmental Studies will be awarded on the basis of the academic rigor, interdisciplinary synthesis, independence, and originality demonstrated by the student and in the completed thesis.