Program title (short):      Environmental Studies BA

Program title (long):       Environmental Studies BA


Additional terms:

This program is 8 semesters (4 years) long.
This program needs summer terms.

First term admitting students: Fall 2008

Degree: Bachelor of Arts

Catalog description:

This is an interdisciplinary major under the authority of the vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean. The program is administered by the environment program coordinator. The Environmental Studies Major is designed to serve those interested in a broader knowledge of the natural environment and the role of humans in that environment. Students begin with a foundation of knowledge in economics, policy, science, humanities, and statistics. Carefully chosen electives, a required practical internship or research experience, and a capstone seminar provide depth of experience and help students prepare for graduate and professional programs as well as for careers in education, government service and the private sector.


Field of Study:Social Science and Human Services


Brief summary or overview of reason for proposed new program or rationale for changes:

The Environmental Studies area of concentration has existed at UMM for some time (formalized in 2005), and eight students have graduated from UMM with that major (all since the late 1990s)


Mission, Priorities and Interrelatedness:

The EnSt major complements UMMs liberal arts mission and supports the 2007 UMM Strategic Plan that calls for a broad integration of liberal learning outcomes and integration of green initiatives and global and multicultural perspectives into the curriculum. Based on this mission, the EnSt major prioritizes an inter-disciplinary acquisition of knowledge and practice and will aid students in gaining an ethically-principled set of skills for understanding the complex interactions of humans and their diverse environments in both local and global contexts. Creation of an EnSt major is supported by a 2007 allocation to UMM via the campus compact process.


Need and Demand:

The Environmental Studies area of concentration has existed at UMM for some time (formalized in 2005), and eight students have graduated from UMM with that major (all since the late 1990s) (N. Helsper, pers. com.). As of February 2007, 11 currently enrolled students were seeking an Environmental Studies area of concentration (B. Boever, pers. com.). The Office of Admissions reports strong student interest in Environmental Studies among our potential student pool (J. Morales, pers. com.).


Comparative Advantage:

UMM is well positioned to offer an interdisciplinary major taking advantage of our liberal arts tradition. We are a small rural campus with strong ties to the region and its environment. Examples include the Center for Small Towns, the vibrant local foods movement, the wind turbine and new biomass facility, and the recently established campus Sustainability Coordinator position. As such, we have unique opportunities to offer students a program on a scale that can truly be a part of our institutional and community identity.


Efficiency, Effectiveness, and use of Resources:

Much faculty expertise and interest in the environment already exists at UMM. In the sciences, faculty members whose teaching and research interests are focused on the environment include all four of the current members of Geology, five in Biology and additional faculty from Physics and Chemistry. Environmental interest and expertise are also found in the Humanities and Social Science Divisions, including faculty in Anthropology, Economics, English, History, Political Science, and UMM has recently obtained, through the campus compact process, the resources required for an additional environmental faculty hire. Most of the courses in this major serve other major programs.


Program Quality and Assessment:

Learning Objective 1: Students will demonstrate knowledge of the physical environment and how human activities impact the physical environment.


Assessment of Objective 1: Exams and papers from EnSt 2101, Geol 1101, and science electives.


Learning Objective 2: Students will understand the political and economic aspects of the relationship between humans and their physical environment.


Assessment of Objective 2: Exams and papers from EnSt 1101, Econ 1111 and social science electives.


Learning Objective 3: Students will communicate an understanding of the social and ethical dimensions of the relationship between humans and their physical environment.


Assessment of Objective 3: Papers from Engl 2106, performance in EnSt 4901.


Learning Objective 4: Students will develop a deep, coherent and practical understanding of a chosen aspect of Environmental Studies.


Assessment of Objective 4: Completion of an approved set of coherent elective courses, successful completion of EnSt 3996. The overall Environmental Studies program will be assessed through the standard UMM assessment process. In addition, pre- and post- testing will be used in various courses to determine knowledge gained. Seniors and graduates will be surveyed to gain feedback for improving the major requirements and curriculum.


Program Development:

The EnSt major will draw on courses already developed and approved by the Curriculum Committee and Campus Assembly, but will seek to add new course offerings as they become available. The faculty in disciplines which must contribute new, dedicated resources for this major (Biology and English) have endorsed the resource allocation required to begin this major. CRPC has endorsed the allocation of resources required to begin this major.


Program length in credits:          120 to 120 credits

Major length in credits:     52 to 54 credits


How many semesters of a second language are required?:  2 semester(s)

Specific language(s) required: Any Second Language

Other requirements, if applicable:

Selection of electives must be intentional and done in close consultation with an Environmental Studies advisor. Students must submit an elective plan (preferably by the end of sophomore year), to be reviewed and approved by the Environment Program Coordinator and the other voting members of the Environment program. A list of electives follows, but other courses may be appropriate to add depth and provide more theoretical context for the environmentally focused coursework. For instance, Pol 3421: International Organizations might be an appropriate elective for students wishing to understand international environmental policy. Some generally focused courses (Engl 3032: Creative Nonfiction for example) are appropriate if course project topics are environmentally themed (requires written approval of course instructor and the Program Coordinator). Elective plans must be designed to ensure that there is sufficient depth of coverage in the chosen EnSt electives. For many students, a double-major (or minor) with a closely related disciplinary major is desirable. For some majors, electives can be selected in such a way that many of the courses in a coherent Environmental Studies elective plan will also count towards the second major.


No grades below C- are allowed.  Required courses may not be taken S-N unless offered S-N only.


A minimum GPA of 2.00 is required in the major to graduate. The GPA includes all, and only, University of Minnesota coursework. Grades of "F" are included in GPA calculation until they are replaced.


Required Courses
  ENST 1101 {Approval Pending}

  ECON 1111 - Principles of Microeconomics, SS (4.0 cr)
  ENGL 2106 - Topics in Writing: The Environmental Imagination: Reading and Writing about the Natural World, ENVT (4.0 cr)
  GEOL 1101 - Physical Geology, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
  STAT 1601 - Introduction to Statistics, M/SR (4.0 cr)
    or STAT 2601 - Statistical Methods, M/SR (4.0 cr)
  ENST 2101 {Approval Pending}
    or Biol 1111 and Biol 2101
  ENST 3996 {Approval Pending}
   ENST 4901 {Approval Pending}

Elective Courses
Take 24 or more credit(s) from the following:
At least 16 of the 24 elective credits must be from upper division (3000- or 4000-level) courses. Of these 16 credits, at least four credits must be from Social Science and at least four must be from Science and Mathematics.


Take no more than 8 credit(s) from the following:  

  1000- 2000-level Science and Mathematics Electives
   Take 0 - 8 credit(s) from the following:
      CHEM 1101 - General Chemistry I, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
      CHEM 1102 - General Chemistry II, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
      GEOL 2001 - Advanced Environmental Geology, ENVT (4.0 cr)
      GEOL 2161 - GIS and Remote Sensing, SCI (4.0 cr)
   1000- 2000-level Social Science Electives
   Take 0 - 8 credit(s) from the following:
      ANTH 2101 - Physical Anthropology, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
      ANTH 2501 - Medical Anthropology-An Overview, SS (4.0 cr)
      POL 1201 - American Government and Politics, E/CR (4.0 cr)
   1000- 2000-level Humanities and Education Electives
   Take 0 - 8 credit(s) from the following:
      ED 2301 - Environmental Science and Place-Based Education, ENVT (4.0 cr)
      PHIL 2111 - Introductory Ethics, HUM (4.0 cr)

Take 16 or more credit(s) from the following:
   3000- 4000-level Science and Mathematics Electives
   Take 4 or more credit(s) from the following:
      BIOL 3131 - Ecology, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
      BIOL 4131 - Vertebrate Natural History, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
      BIOL 4151 - Entomology, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
      BIOL 4171 - Plant Systematics and Evolution, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
      BIOL 4191 - Freshwater Biology, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
      BIOL 4331 - Global Change Ecology, SCI (4.0 cr)
      BIOL 4351 - Conservation Biology , SCI-L (4.0 cr)
      CHEM 3101 - Analytical Chemistry, SCI-L (4.0 cr)
      GEOL 3501 - Hydrology, SCI (4.0 cr)
   3000- 4000-level Social Science Electives
   Take 4 or more credit(s) from the following:
      ANTH 3204 - Culture, Food, and Agriculture, ENVT (4.0 cr)
      ECON 3007 - Environmental and Natural Resource Economics I, ENVT (2.0 cr)
      ECON 3008 - Environmental and Natural Resource Economics II, ENVT (2.0 cr)
         POL 3355 - Environmental Political Theory, ENVT (4.0 cr)
       HIST 3360 – An Environmental and Geographic History of the United States, ENVT (4.0 cr)
        SOC 3131 - World Population, ENVT (4.0 cr)
      SOC 3204 - Culture, Food, and Agriculture, ENVT (4.0 cr)
   3000- 4000-level Humanities and Education Electives
   Take 0 or more credit(s) from the following:
      ENGL 4012 - Research Seminar: Imagining the Earth, HUM (4.0 cr)
      SPAN 3623 - Seminar: Ecology and Nature in Latin American Literature, ENVT (4.0 cr)