Director, Professor KAI N. LEE

Professor: LEE. Lecturer in Art and Planning Associate: SATTERTHWAITE. Visiting Part-time Lecturer: CARTER. Visiting Instructor: LEVY.


HENRY W. ART, Professor of Biology

DONALD deB. BEAVER, Professor of History of Science

ROGER E. BOLTON, Professor of Economics

MICHAEL F. BROWN, Professor of Anthropology

JAMES T. CARLTON, Adjunct Professor of Biology and Professor of Marine Science

HARVEY D. CARTER, Visiting Part-time Lecturer in Environmental Studies and Political Science

RONADH COX, Assistant Professor of Geosciences

DAVID P. DETHIER, Professor of Geosciences

RICHARD D. DEVEAUX, Assistant Professor of Mathematics

GEORGES B. DREYFUS, Assistant Professor of Religion

JOAN EDWARDS, Professor of Biology

ANTONIA FOIAS, Assistant Professor of Anthropology

WILLIAM T. FOX, Professor of Geosciences, Emeritus

DOUGLAS GOLLIN, Assistant Professor of Economics

WILLIAM K. JAEGER, Assistant Professor of Economics

PETER JUST, Associate Professor of Anthropology

BIRGIT G. KOEHLER, Assistant Professor of Chemistry

KAI N. LEE, Professor of Environmental Studies

MARC LEVY, Visiting Instructor of Environmental Studies

GRETCHEN A. MEYER, Assistant Professor of Biology

KENDA B. MUTONGI, Assistant Professor of History

FRANCIS C. OAKLEY, Professor of History

VIJAYENDRA RAO, Assistant Professor of Economics

SHEAFE SATTERTHWAITE, Lecturer in Art and Planning Associate in Environmental Studies

CHERYL SHANKS, Assistant Professor of Political Science

DAVID C. SMITH, Senior Lecturer in Biology

DAVID L. SMITH, Professor of English

JOHN W. THOMAN, Associate Professor of Chemistry

CRAIG S. WILDER, Assistant Professor of History

REINHARD A. WOBUS, Professor of Geosciences


The concentration in Environmental Studies allows students to focus some of their elective courses in an integrated, interdisciplinary study of the environment-that is, the natural world, both in itself and as it has been modified by human activity. 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 deal 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 concentration is administered by the Center for Environmental Studies (CES), located in Kellogg House. Founded in 1968, CES is one of the oldest 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 contains study and meeting facilities available to students and student groups. The Center administers the Hopkins Memorial Forest, a 2430-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 Bronfman Science Center, and is developing a geographic information system laboratory at the Center for Computing.

The environmental studies program has three overlapping components:

* In order to earn the concentration in environmental studies, students must complete a set of seven courses, described further below.

* All students are strongly encouraged to meet the Three Places goal described below.

* Students are encouraged to pursue Honors in Environmental Studies by planning a senior thesis as described below, normally working together with the honors program in their disciplinary departments.

Concentration Requirements

Seven courses are required: four are core courses to be taken by all students earning the concentration; three are distribution courses to be selected from the lists below.1

Core courses

101 Humans in the Landscape

203 Ecology

302 Environmental Planning and Analysis Workshop

402 Senior Seminar

The core courses are intended to be taken in sequence in each of a student's four years at Williams, although there is some flexibility allowed. Environmental Studies 101 is a broad introduction to the field, emphasizing the humanities and social sciences; a companion interdisciplinary course emphasizing field science, Environmental Studies 102 (Introduction to Environmental Science), is strongly recommended for all students interested in the concentration. Environmental Studies 203 is a course in ecology, offered by the faculty in Biology, that provides a unified conceptual approach to the behavior of living things in the natural world. Because environmental studies is typically connected to practice in the world of affairs as well as nature, Environmental Studies 302 (Environmental Planning) puts teams of students to work on planning projects of immediate utility in the Berkshires. Environmental Studies 402, the senior seminar, is an occasion 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. Questions about course planning and scheduling should be taken up with the director of the program.

Note that enrollments in Environmental Studies 102, a field course, are limited. Students must consult with one of the instructors in that course during autumn semester, in order to assure enrollment. Environmental Studies 102 must be taken before the junior year, and Environmental Studies 101 is strongly recommended to be taken before the end of junior year.

1The Center's faculty has considered several times in the past whether a major in Environmental Studies is appropriate for Williams. Although a few students have completed interdisciplinary contract majors in environmental studies, the faculty continue to believe that, for most students, the combination of in-depth understanding in a discipline, together with the synthetic skills fostered in the program, provides the best preparation for graduate training, a career, and active citizen participation. The leadership and contributions of our graduates, now numbering over 800, affirm the soundness of this approach.

Distribution Courses

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/Biology 311 Marine Ecology

Biology/Environmental Studies 134 The Tropics: Biology and Social Issues

Biology/Environmental Studies 220 Field Botany and Plant Natural History

Biology/ Environmental Studies 241 Conservation Biology (Deleted 1997-98)

Biology 302/Environmental Studies 312 Communities and Ecosystems

Biology/Environmental Studies 401T Human Impacts of Succession

Biology 402T/Environmental Studies 404T Current Issues in Ecology

Chemistry/Environmental Studies 304 Instrumental Methods of Analysis

Chemistry 308/Environmental Studies 328 Toxicology and Cancer

Environmental Studies 102 Introduction to Environmental Science

Geosciences/Environmental Studies 103 Environmental Geology and the Earth's Surface

Geosciences/Environmental Studies 104 Oceanography

Geosciences/Environmental Studies 166 Climates through Time (Deleted 1997-98)

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 GIS (Deleted 1997-98)

Geosciences/Environmental Studies 230T The Ice Age Unmasked

Humans in the Landscape

American Maritime Studies/English 231T Literature of the Sea

ANSO 214/Environmental Studies 224 The Rise and Fall of Civilizations

Anthropology 102/Environmental Studies 106 Human Evolution: Down from the Trees, Out to the Stars

Anthropology/Environmental Studies 209 Human Ecology

ArtH/Environmental Studies 201 American Landscape History

ArtH/Environmental Studies 252 Campuses

ArtH 304/Environmental Studies 324 American Transport History

ArtH/Environmental Studies 305 North American Suburbs

ArtH 306/Environmental Studies 326 North American Dwellings

ArtH/Environmental Studies 307 The North American Park Idea

Economics 201T/Environmental Studies 207T Cities

Economics/Environmental Studies 223 Gender and Economic Development

Environmental Studies 204 Regions of America

Environmental Studies 278/ArtH 208 Transportation and the Shaping of Urban America

History/Environmental Studies 116 Environmental History of Africa

History 220/Environmental Studies 222 Nature: The History of an Idea

History/Environmental Studies 228 The Western Urban World: Hamlets, Villages, Towns, and Cities in Early History

History of Science 305 Technology and Culture

Religion/Environmental Studies 287 Inhabiting Nature: Religious, Philosophical, and Sociological Perspectives

Sociology 308 Property: A Social Analysis of Material Goods

Environmental Policy

American Maritime Studies/Environmental Studies 351 Marine Policy

ANSO/Environmental Studies 314 Information, Property, and Society (Deleted 1997-98)

Economics 204/Environmental Studies 234 Economic Development in Poor Countries

Economics/Environmental Studies 212 Sustainable Development

Economics/Environmental Studies 218 Population Economics

Economics/Environmental Studies 369 Agriculture and Development Strategy

Environmental Studies/Political Science 226 International Environmental Politics

Environmental Studies/History 306 Urban Theory

Environmental Studies/Political Science 308 Environmental Policy

Environmental Studies/Political Science 317 Environmental Law

Variations from the requirements of the concentration must be approved in writing by the director of the program. Students are urged to consult with program faculty and the director as soon as they develop an interest in the concentration.

In addition to courses fulfilling the concentration requirements, the following electives and related electives are offered:

Environmental Studies 397, 398 Independent Study

Environmental Studies 493-W031-494 Senior Research and Thesis

ArtS 329 Architectural Design II

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.

Three 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 three places: Home; Here-the Berkshires; and There-an alien place. 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 Three 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 Three 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 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-W031-494, 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.

A faculty recommendation for honors in Environmental Studies will be made on the basis of the academic rigor, interdisciplinary synthesis, independence. and originality demonstrated by the student and in the completed thesis. In contemplating an honors thesis. students should take into account their mastery of the basic materials and skills (often in more than one academic discipline), their ability to work independently, and their commitment and desire to pursue a sometimes arduous but typically rewarding process that combines intellectual achievement with tests of character and fortitude.