ENSS 015: INTRO TO ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE, 1 credit hr.
This course is designed to introduce and critically examine current environmental science and policy problems at both national and international scales. Primarily for non-majors, the format of this class will be a combination of lectures, class discussions, and group presentations. Students will debate and propose resolutions to current environmental problems such as disposal of nuclear waste, global climate change, human overpopulation, and species extinctions.
ENSS 026: ETHOLOGICAL METHODS, 3 credit hrs.
This course will provide a hands-on introduction to the methods of direct and indirect behavioral observation, including the development of observation techniques, ethogram construction, field methods, use of video and other technologies, appropriate data management and analysis. The course will have a significant component of experiential learning, including each student’s individual design and execution of a substantial behavioral observation project. Prerequisites: BIO 013; PSY 024 (or co-enrolled). Cross-listed with BIO 026.
ENSS 035: ONE EARTH: GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE, 3 credit hrs.
Introduces basic ecological concepts before taking up human interactions with the earth and how science is a tool for environmental problem-solving. Includes discussion of models of population growth, the concept of the commons, thermodynamics, and complex policy issues such as biodiversity, risk-assessment, climate change and energy. An interdisciplinary course with special emphasis on critical thinking. Concurrent enrollment in ENSS 036 (laboratory) available.
ENSS 036: ONE EARTH LABORATORY, 1 credit hr.
Hands-on lab and field exercises designed to enhance understanding of concepts discussed in ENSS 035. Includes environmental testing and data collection, visits to various sites of environmental interest, and an independent project. Concurrent enrollment in ENSS 035 required.
ENSS 037: ENVIRONMENTAL CASE ANALYSIS, 3 credit hrs.
Environmental Case Analysis is a team-based learning course designed for Environmental Science and Policy majors in their sophomore year. Students will develop scientific and policy responses to three major case studies, each focused on a problem in a different area of environmental studies. Students will be introduced to interdisciplinary analysis, the use of primary literature in problem-solving, and addressing complexity.
ENSS 041: PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY, 3 credit hrs.
Introduction to the science of geology, its principles, methods and theories as they are employed in studying planet Earth. The importance of geological knowledge in understanding problems of natural resources, hazards, and land use is emphasized. No prereq. Laboratory required.
ENSS 042: PRINCIPLES OF GEOLOGY LAB, 1 credit hr
The course will provide students with interactive exercises that explore geologic processes and dynamics ranging in scale from atoms to the solar system. Students will engage with each other in both laboratory and field environments employing common techniques and instruments used in the geosciences. Concurrent or previous enrollment in ENSS 041 required.
ENSS 050: SPECIAL TOPICS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLICY, 1 to 3 credit hrs.
A forum for new, introductory-level academic inquiries into environmental science and policy. Contact the ENSS director for details.
ENSS 054: ENVIRONMENTAL COMMUNICATION, 1-3 credit hrs.
This course focuses on the role of communication in shaping distinctions and relations between "culture" and "nature", in representing environments for audiences, and in advocating for or against particular environmental policies and practices. We will critically examine 1) how publics come to view environments through representations in a variety of media; 2) problems of efficacy and ethics in the public discourse, forums, and voices playing a part in environmental controversies and debates; 3) our own practices of advocacy. We also will be reflecting on the relationships between all of these arenas--the theory, critique, and practice of environmental communication.
ENSS 061: ENVIRONMENTAL SOCIOLOGY, 3 credit hrs.
Environmental sociology examines the relationship between human communities and the natural environment in the modern world. In particular, it focuses on how political, economic, and cultural institutions shape our interactions with the natural environment. This course also considers how societies are responding to environmental problems on a global and local level, with special attention to the intersection of environmental problems and social inequality. Specific topics of study may include industrial pollution, environmental ideologies, global climate change, and natural disasters, among others.
ENSS 065: GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS, 3 credit hrs.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are used to manage, analyze, and display spatial data by many different types of disciplines. This course will provide students with an introduction to the concepts and techniques utilized by GIS. Concepts and applications are discussed in a multi-disciplinary context. Students explore ESRI's Arc View software including the tools used to input, manage, analyze, and display geographic information.
ENSS 071: ENVIRONMENTALISM IN THE UNITED STATES, 3 credit hrs.
This course uses a sociological approach to examine environmental activism in the United States. Students will learn about the ideological and organizational diversity of contemporary environmental movements, consider beliefs and experiences that lead people to participate in these movements, and study the ways that environmental activism is shaped by social structure and social institutions. Movements covered may include ones that focus on wilderness protection, animal rights, anti-pollution activism, environmental justice, buying "green," and others.
ENSS 072: ENVIRONMENTAL PSYCHOLOGY, 3 credit hrs.
An introduction to the field of environmental psychology. Psychology needs ecology; ecology needs psychology. The field of psychology cannot continue to ignore the ecological context of human life, and environmentalists need psychologists to help them understand human behavior, which the root cause of most contemporary environmental problems. The purposes of this course are to survey central issues in the emerging field of ecological psychology, to examine competing conceptions of this field, and to review our growing understanding of the relationship between human beings and the physical environment. We'll study global problems, their environmental effects and mechanisms, and explore possible solutions based on behavioral interventions. Prerequisite: PSY 001. Cross-listed with PSY 072.
ENSS 101: RESTORATION ECOLOGY PRACTICUM, 1-3 credit hrs.
This course is designed to introduce students to the theory and practice of restoration ecology as an emerging scientific discipline, and to allow for students to spend substantial time in the field applying principles of restoration ecology at a variety of natural areas in central Iowa. Time spent in the classroom will focus on developing an understanding for how ecologists approach the repair of degraded ecosystem structure and function, while the field laboratory will emphasize the application of techniques such as community monitoring, invasive species control, prescribed burning, and plant propagation in ongoing restoration activities. BIO 117-118L are strongly recommended. Prereq.: BIO 001 or BIO 013, and ENSS 035-036 or consent of the instructor.
ENSS 103: FOUNDATIONS OF NATURAL HISTORY AND ENVIRONMENTALISM, 3 credit hrs.
For centuries, the connection between humans and the natural world has been the focus of considerable philosophical and scientific debate, with authors such as Darwin, Thoreau, Leopold, Abbey, Dillard, and Wilson providing contrasting viewpoints of the role of nature in human constructs. This course will explore the writings of these authors and others, with an emphasis toward the development of modern environmentalism and the creation of conservation ethics based on student interpretations of historical and modern naturalist literature. Furthermore, students will be expected to analyze and critique the value that different authors place on natural history through a series of writing assignments and outdoor natural history exercises. Cross-listed with ENG 130.
ENSS 107: CIVIC ENVIRONMENTALISM AND SMART GROWTH, 3 credit hrs.
Civic Environmentalism and Smart Growth is a course about the social, political, economic, and environmental consequences of urban sprawl. Through the study of policy history and current debates, students learn about the patterns of auto-dependency that characterize urban growth in the United States.
ENSS 109: ZOO/GREAT APE PRACTICUM, 2 credit hrs.
Supervised experience in daily practices and routine protocols used in captive animal management. Conducted at off-campus locations. Cross-listed with BIO 109. Preqrequisite: BIO 025 or PSY 024, permission of instructor.
ENSS 110: NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY: SEMINAR, 3 credit hrs.
This course is an immersive travel seminar designed to give students an in-depth understanding of a particular environmental topic where "on the ground" experience is vital to the development of this understanding. All seminars differ, but they generally consist of discussions with policy-makers, activists, and other stakeholders, as well as independent, hands-on analysis of the issues involved.
ENSS 111: INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL SEMINAR, 3-4 credit hrs.
The International Environmental Seminar enables students to gain an appreciation of the ecological and social aspects of environmental issues through an intense immersion experience in a developing country. Students will explore aspects of sustainable development and environmental justice within a specific national context. In general, discussion topics will include tropical ecology, the politics of land use, the effects of conflict on environmental systems, and the interaction between economic development and sustainability. Permission of the Instructor is required.
ENSS 115: ENVIRONMENTAL FIELD COURSE, 1 to 6 credit hrs.
Courses offered under ENSS 115 are generally intensive field studies of specific plant or animal taxa within the state. Recent courses have emphasized detailed consideration of topics in field ecology, ecosystem management, or organismal biology. Credit hours received varies from 1 to 6 depending on the length of the course and number and length of days spent in the field.
ENSS 119: REGIONAL ECOLOGY, 3 credit hrs.
An in-depth study of the ecology of a specified region or type of ecosystem, which will be specified on a per-semester basis. The course will analyze the ecological structure and function of the region, the interaction between humans and both the biotic and abiotic components of the ecosystem, and how our current understanding of conservation science and policy affects our ability to formulate management and regulatory strategies to facilitate sustainable development. May be repeated for credit once, with change of region.
ENSS 125: CONSERVATION BIOLOGY, 4 credit hrs.
Application of ecological theory to managing Earth's biodiversity. Includes consideration of ethical and political frameworks, definitions of species, population genetics, landscape ecology, design of parks and preserves, ecology, and sustainable development. Features case study approach, student-led discussions of primary literature, lab and field experiences including a required weekend trip. Prereqs.: BIO 117-118L or consent of instructor. Cross-listed with BIO 125. Laboratory required.
ENSS 127: ENDANGERED SPECIES CONSERVATION, 3 credit hrs.
This course addresses the challenges of species conservation, with a focus on endangered species, from a global perspective. Topics will include relevant treaties and laws (e.g., CITES and the U.S. Endangered Species Act), the development of the IUCN red list, and Species Survival Plans used in captive animal population management. This course will also study how scientists apply the principles of conservation biology in the developing world, and how emerging socioeconomic challenges place increasing pressure on biologists to find innovative ways to merge science and policy.
ENSS 128: ZOO BIOLOGY, 3 credit hrs.
This course will provide an overview of the field of zoo biology, with emphases on the role of zoos in conservation, species survival plans, captive management of small populations of exotic animals (especially including endangered species), and the use of behavioral research and environmental enrichment methods in captive animal welfare. The course typically will meet at Blank Park Zoo and will have a significant component of experiential learning. Prerequisite: BIO 013 and BIO 025 or PSY 024, permission of instructor. Cross-listed with BIO 128L.
ENSS 135: GLOBAL CHANGE: THE SCIENCE AND POLICY OF GLOBAL WARMING, 3 credit hrs.
An interdisciplinary investigation of anthropogenic global change, using "global warming" as a semester-long case study. Students learn an effective approach to investigating a major environmental issue by first obtaining a strong scientific background in the issue, building mathematical and conceptual models to test scenarios, and finally investigating various policy options. Climate physics, paleoclimatology, biology, uncertainty analysis, economics, and risk assessment are some of the tools students will learn to apply to these issues.
ENSS 138: WATER RESOURCES & POLICY, 3 credit hrs.
The management of water resources and policy in the United States, from the local to national level, and compare the U.S. to countries from across the globe. The field of water resources and policy is inherently interdisciplinary and we will be analyzing issues from legal, social, economic, and ecological perspectives. The course is designed to enhance the critical thinking skills of all students through readings, involved discussions, independent research paper, and a group synthesis at the end of the semester.
ENSS 150: ADVANCED TOPICS IN ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLICY, 1 to 4 credit hrs.
A forum for new, advanced-level academic inquiries into environmental science and policy. See ENSS director for details.
ENSS 151: SUSTAINABIILTY & RESILIENCE, 4 credits
Sustainable systems are those that can continue their core functions indefinitely without degradation; resilient systems are those that can continue their core functions in the face of rapid, and often unexpected, change. In this course we explore what makes something sustainable and resilient and develop techniques to measure and assess environmental, economic, and social sustainability and resilience in real-world systems and institutions.
ENSS 153: ECOLOGICAL ECONOMICS, 3 credit hrs.
In this course we will investigate interactions between ecological and economic systems. We will investigate the sources of environmentally-relevant market failures, and discuss under what circumstances different types of market mechanisms (such as taxes and cap-and-trade) might lead to more economically efficient outcomes. We will also investigate some of the basic assumptions of neo-classical economics (an "empty world" pre-analytic vision, utility maximization), and ask questions like "Under what circumstances economic growth may be problematic?" and "What is the economy really for?"
ENSS 154: ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION MAKING, 3 credit hrs.
In this course, students will take a look at some of the most widespread quantitative techniques for environmental decision-making, including dynamic modeling, cost-benefit analysis, contingent valuation, and risk/uncertainty analysis. We will construct simple computer models and analysis to get a good sense of what these tools can do and where they break down. Students will learn how to use these tools and how to be a skeptical consumer of information provided by others. Along the way, we will explore ethical, scientific, and practical critiques of the use of these techniques, and explore how the worldviews of various disciplines clash when dealing with the application of various quantitative environmental policy tools.
ENSS 156: ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS AND POLICY, 3 credit hrs.
The objectives in this course are to present theoretical models and case studies that familiarize students with the fundamental processes that produce environmental policy. Environmental Politics and Policy provides an analytical framework for making sense of the origin and limitations of landmark legislation. Prereq.: POLS 001 or ENSS 35 or instructor's consent. Cross-listed with POLS 156.
ENSS 157: ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE, 3 credit hrs.
Environmental justice explores the hypothesis that hazardous industrial activity occurs disproportionately in lower income and/or minority neighborhoods. We will look first at the way that knowledge about toxic hazards enters the public sphere, as well as the role of experts and citizens interpreting that information. Then we examine the history of the environmental justice movement, current policy choices and numerous case studies.
ENSS 159: ZOO/GREAT APE INTERNSHIP, 3 credit hrs.
Supervised practical experience in husbandry, management, and research in a captive animal setting. Involves progressively greater responsibility and probable involvement in research, depending on the performance of individual student. Specific work assignments will vary based on the needs of the host institution and the individual professional goals of the student. Cross-;listed with BIO 159. Prerequisite: ENSP 109 or BIO 109, permission of instructor.
ENSS 162: HYDROLOGY, 4 credit hrs.
The study of hydrology investigates the movement and cycle of water throughout the Earth system, from the flow of water in streams and aquifers to evaportransportation and precipitation within Earth's atmosphere. We will discuss the foundational theories and concepts governing the movement of water, investigate how water forms landscapes, and explore our role in the global water cycle.
ENSS 165: APPLICATIONS OF GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS, 3 credit hrs.
This course acquaints students with "real world" GIS solutions by taking a project from concept to completion; this includes generating project proposals, acquiring and creating data, performing spatial analysis, project presentation, and product delivery. Students learn to identify issues at all phases of a GIS project and work with the client and fellow team members to creatively solve problems. Client and consultant relationships are established by working with central Iowa agencies and organizations. Students are exposed to internship opportunities and are able to network with professionals in a variety of fields. Prereq.: ENSS 065.
ENSS 168: DYNAMIC ENVIRONMENTAL MODELING, 3 credit hrs.
Dynamic models are critical tools in the analysis of time-dependent systems. Many environmental systems are dynamic in this way: local populations may fluctuate in response to the appearance of a nonnative species; the risk associated with a pulse of pollutants may depend upon how quickly downstream mixing can occur; and the adaptation ability of species might be a function of the rate of change in ecological conditions. In this course, we will construct dynamic models, learn how to parameterize them even in the face of imperfect data, and discuss generalized patterns exhibited by complex environmental systems, such as overshoot, resilience, oscillations, and chaos. Prereq.: any college-level mathematics or statistics course.
ENSS 191: ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE AND POLICY PRACTICUM, 3 credit hrs.
A seminar that brings aspects of biology, chemistry, geology and policy formulation to bear on a contemporary environmental topic such as energy, soil conservation, hydrology, climate change, land use planning, sustainability or ecosystem ecology. May involve construction of models, performance of simulations or empirical tests. Open as an elective to all Drake seniors; required capstone for ENSS seniors.
ENSS 193: ENVIRONMENTAL LAB ASSISTANTSHIP, 2 credit hrs.
Directed experience in laboratory instruction. May involve helping staff with set-up, conducting and evaluating of lab and field experiences. In preparing to help students learn material, assistants have the opportunity to re-examine their own knowledge and acquire practical experience alongside a teaching mentor. By invitation or approval of instructor for specific ENSS offerings.
ENSS 196: ENVIRONMENTAL INTERNSHIP, 1 to 4 credit hrs.
Extended, usually off-campus experience involving an environmental theme. May include work in local or state government, with law or consulting firms, conservation groups, nature centers or news agencies. Written report or public oral presentation upon completion. Prereqs.: BIO 001 or equivalent, CHEM 002/004, ENSS 035-036, and consent of director.
ENSS 197: ENVIRONMENTAL RESEARCH, 1 to 4 credit hrs.
Extended experience developing a particular scientific question concerned with the environment. May be of independent design or part of larger projects mentored by academic, government, or industry scientists. Collaborative, but student must take the lead in acquisition and analysis of data. Written report or public oral presentation upon completion. Prereqs.: BIO 001 or equivalent, CHEM 002/004, ENSS 035-036, and consent of director.
ENSS 198: INDEPENDENT STUDY, 1 to 4 credit hrs.
Involves student-led inquiry into an environmental topic of interest as approved by the director and in association with at least one faculty mentor. Culminates in written report; other details arranged.