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Haverford College

2011-12 Course Catalog

Areas of Concentration / Programs: Environmental Studies, 2011-12



Environmental Studies at Haverford College has been strengthened by a recent grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and support from other donors that enabled the college to hire three new faculty members in the areas of Environmental Chemistry (Helen White), Environmental Anthropology (Nikhil Anand) and Environmental Biology (Jonathan Wilson). Beginning with the 2011-12 academic year, Haverford, Bryn Mawr and Swarthmore colleges are cooperating to offer a Tri-College Environmental Studies Interdisciplinary Minor, involving departments and faculty from the natural sciences, the social sciences, the humanities and the arts. The Tri-College Environmental Studies program aims to bring students and faculty together to explore the interactions among earth systems, human societies, and local and global environments.

The Environmental Studies Interdisciplinary Minor aims to cultivate in students the capacity to identify and confront key environmental issues through a blend of multiple disciplines, encompassing historical, cultural, economic, political, scientific and ethical modes of inquiry. Acknowledging the reciprocal dimensions of materiality and culture in the historical (de)formation of "the" environment, this program will be broadly framed by a series of interlocking dialogues: between the "natural" and the "built"; between the local and the global; and between the human and the nonhuman.

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AFFILIATED FACULTY AT HAVERFORD COLLEGE: Helen White, Chemistry, Environmental Studies Director*
Nikhil Anand, Anthropology*
Kim Benston, English*
Craig Borowiak, Political Science (on leave 2011-12)
Steve Finley, English
Andrew Friedman, History
Jerry Gollub, Physics
Karl Johnson, Biology
Jason Lambacher, Political Science
Iruka Okeke, Biology
Rob Scarrow, Chemistry
Jonathan Wilson, Biology

AFFILIATED FACULTY AT BRYN MAWR COLLEGE: Ellen Stroud, Growth and Structure of Cities, Environmental Studies Director*
Don Barber, Geology
Peter Briggs, English
Andrew Brook, Philosophy (on leave Fall 2011)
Rick Davis, Anthropology
Victor Donnay, Mathematics
Jonas Goldsmith, Chemistry
Karen Greif, Biology
Carol Hager, Political Science (on leave Spring 2012)*
Michael Rock, Economics
David Ross Economics
Bethany Schneider, English
Michael Sears, Biology

AFFILIATED FACULTY AT SWARTHMORE COLLEGE: Peter Collings, Physics and Astronomy, Environmental Studies Director*
Elizabeth Bolton, English Literature
Timothy Burke, History
Erich Carr Everbach, Engineering
Alison Holliday, Chemistry
Eric Jensen, Physics and Astronomy
José-Luis Machado, Biology
Arthur McGarity, Engineering*
Rachel Merz, Biology
Carol Nackenoff, Political Science (on leave 2011-12)
Hans Oberdiek, Philosophy
Colin Purrington, Biology (on leave 2011-12)
Christine Schuetze, Sociology and Anthropology*
Richard Valelly, Political Science
Mark Wallace, Religion (on leave Fall 2011)

* member of Tri-College Environmental Studies Steering Committee

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The Environmental Studies Interdisciplinary Minor consists of six courses, as follows:

  1. A required introductory course to be taken prior to the senior year. This may be ENVS 101 described below, or Bryn Mawr ENVS 101 (Intro Environmental Studies) or Swarthmore ENVS 001. Any one of these courses will satisfy the requirement, and students may take no more than one such course for credit.
  2. Four elective course credits from approved lists of core and cognate courses, including two credits in each of the following two categories (a) and (b). No more than one cognate course credit may be used for each category (see course list below for more information about core and cognate courses). For Haverford College students, no more than one of these four course credits may be in the student’s major.
    1. Environmental Science and Engineering: courses that build understanding and knowledge of scientific methods and theories, and that explore how these can be applied in identifying and addressing environmental challenges. At least one of the courses in this category must have a laboratory component.
    2. Environment and Society: courses that build understanding and knowledge of social and political structures as well as ethical considerations, and how these inform our individual and collective responses to environmental challenges.
  3. A senior seminar (case-based), with culminating work that reflects tangible research design and inquiry, but which might materialize in any number of project forms. Bryn Mawr College’s ENVS 397 (Environmental Studies Senior Seminar, co-taught by faculty members from Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges in 2011-2012) and Swarthmore College’s ENVS 091 (Environmental Studies Capstone Seminar) satisfy the requirement, and plans are for ENVS 397 to be taught at Haverford College starting in 2012-2013.

Haverford College students interested in the Environmental Studies minor should plan their course schedule with the Haverford College Director of Environmental Studies in consultation with their major advisor. In choosing electives, students are encouraged to reach beyond their major, and to include mostly intermediate or advanced courses. Additional information about the minor, including an updated list of approved electives and when they will be offered, is available on the Environmental Studies website.


Courses listed here are taught at Haverford college or are co-taught by Haverford faculty members. Other options are available at Bryn Mawr or Swarthmore Colleges.

ENVS 101 Case Studies in Environmental Issues NA or SO

N. Anand, H. White
A cross-disciplinary introduction to environmental studies. Tracing an arc from historical analysis to practical engagement, distinctive approaches to key categories of environmental inquiry are presented: political ecology, earth science, energy, economics, public health, ecological design, sustainability, policy and environmental ethics. Basic concepts such as thermodynamics, biodiversity, cost-benefit analysis, scale, modernization, enclosure, the common and situational ethics are variously defined and employed within specific explorations of environmental challenges in the modern world. Limited to 40 students, with preference given to juniors who are declared Environmental Studies minors, then to sophomores, then first year students (with a minimum of five spots reserved for first year students).

ENVS 397 (Bryn Mawr College): Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies

C. Hager, J. Wilson
This capstone Environmental Studies course is designed to allow Environmental Studies seniors to actively engage in environmental problem solving by bringing the perspectives and skills gained from their majors and applying them to collaborative interdisciplinary projects. Prerequisite: Open only to Environmental Studies students who have completed all introductory work for the minor.

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The ES Minor Steering Committee determines the list of courses approved to meet the minor requirements and classifies the courses in two categories: core and cognate courses.

  • Core courses are those within the Tri-College community that are centrally organized around environmental themes and devote at least 50% of the class time to studying environmental issues.
  • Cognate courses are those that have less focus on the environment compared to core courses, but nevertheless build understanding and knowledge of areas of inquiry that are highly valuable to the study and solution of environmental problems. While the focus on the environment typically occupies less than half of the class time in cognate courses, there is some mention of how the main focus of the course can inform understanding of environmental issues.

The approved lists are subject to revision and the list published on the website immediately prior to each semester will govern which courses may be used to satisfy the elective requirements. The current approved list is as follows. An asterisk (*) indicates cognate course; no more than one credit of these may be used for each category. (L) indicates laboratory course; one of the courses in category A must be a laboratory course.

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BIOL 123 * Perspectives in Biology: Scientific Literacy (half-credit)
BIOL 124 * Perspectives in Biology: Tropical Infectious Disease (half-credit)
BIOL 310 * Molecular Microbiology (half-credit)
BIOL 314 * Photosynthesis (half-credit)
CHEM 112 *(L) Chemical Dynamics
CHEM 358 Topics in Environmental Chemistry
PHYS 111b Energy Options and Science Policy

BIOL 220 (L) Ecology
BIOL 225 * Biology of Plants
BIOL 250 * Computational Methods
BIOL 309 (L) Biological Oceanography
BIOL 320 (L) Evolutionary Ecology
GEOL 101 (L) How the Earth Works
GEOL 103 (L) Earth Systems and the Environment
GEOL 130 Life in Earth’s Future Climate
GEOL 206 * Resources
GEOL 209 Natural Hazards and Human Populations
GEOL 230 * The Science of Soils
GEOL 255 Problem Solving in the Environmental Sciences
GEOL 302 Low Temperature Geochemistry
GEOL 314 Marine Geology
GEOL 328 * Geographic Information Systems
MATH 210 * Differential Equations w/ Apps (Environmental Problems)

BIOL 016 *(L) Microbiology
BIOL 017 *(L) Microbial Pathogenesis and Immune Response
BIOL 025 *(L) Plant Biology
BIOL 026 *(L) Invertebrate Zoology
BIOL 034 *(L) Evolution
BIOL 036 (L) Ecology
BIOL 039 (L) Marine Biology
BIOL 115E * Plant Molecular Genetics - Biotechnology
BIOL 116 * Microbial Processes and Biotechnology
BIOL 130 * Behavioral Ecology
BIOL 137 Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function
CHEM 001 *(L) Chemistry in the Human Environment
CHEM 043 *(L) Analytical Chemistry
CHEM 103 Topics in Environmental Chemistry
ENGR 003 *(L) Problems in Technology
ENGR 004A (L) Environmental Protection
ENGR 004B *(L) Swarthmore and the Biosphere
ENGR 035 *(L) Solar Energy Systems
ENGR 057 * Operations Research
ENGR 063 Water Quality and Pollution Control
ENGR 066 Environmental Systems
MATH 056 * Modeling
PHYS 024 (L) The Earth and Its Climate

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ANTH 252 * State and Development in South Asia
ANTH 263 * Anthropology of Space: Housing and Society
ANTH 281 Nature/Culture: Introduction to Environmental Anthropology
ENGL 217 * Humanimality
ENGL 257 * British Topographies
ENGL 356 Studies in American Environment and Place
HIST 119 * International History of the United States
HIST 253 History of the US Built Environment
POLS 261 * Global Civil Society
POLS 260 Environmental Political Theory (temporary course, 2011-12)
POLS 360 Global Environmental Politics (temporary course, 2011-12)

ANTH 203 Human Ecology
ANTH 210 * Medical Anthropology
ANTH 237 Environmental Health
ANTH 263 * Anthropology and Architecture
ARCH 245 The Archaeology of Water
CITY 2xx Building Green
CITY 278 American Environmental History
CITY 325 Environmental History of the Body
CITY 345 Advanced Topics in Environment and Society
CITY 360 Brazil: City, Nature, Identity
CITY 377 Global Architecture of Oil
EAST 352 China's Environment: History, Policy, and Rights
EAST 362 Environment in Contemporary East Asia
ECON 225 * Economics of Development
ECON 234 Environmental Economics
ECON 242 Economics of Local Environmental Programs
ENGL 2xx Food for Thought
ENGL 204 * Literatures of American Expansion
ENGL 268 Native Soil: Indian Land and American Lit 1588-1840
ENGL 275 Food Revolutions
HIST 212 * Pirates and Travelers
PHIL 240 Environmental Ethics
POLS 222 Intro to Environmental Issues
POLS 278 * Oil, Politics, Society and Economy
POLS 310 * Comparative Public Policy
POLS 321 * Technology and Politics
POLS 339 * The Policymaking Process
POLS 354 * Comparative Social Movements
SOCL 247 Environmental Social Problems
SOCL 316 * Sociology of Science

ECON 076 Environmental Economics
EDUC 065 Environmental Education
ENGL 070G Writing Nature
HIST 089 Environmental History of Africa
LING 120 Anthropological Linguistics: Endangered Languages
LITR 022 * Food Revolutions: History, Politics, Culture
POLS 043 Environmental Policy and Politics
POLS 048 * The Politics of Population
RELG 022 Religion and Ecology
SOAN 006 * FYS: Forest of the Symbols
SOAN 023C Anthropological Perspectives on Conservation