Academic Course Catalogs

Drop Shadow

Environmental Studies

Michel A. Boudrias, PhD, CHAIR
Elizabeth D. Baker Treloar, MS
Hugh I. Ellis, PhD
Sarah C. Gray, PhD
Ronald S. Kaufmann, PhD
Mary Sue Lowery, PhD
Bethany O’Shea, PhD
Nathalie B. Reyns, PhD
Steven P. Searcy, PhD
Drew M. Talley, PhD
Zhi-Yong Yin, PhD

The Environmental Studies Major

The environmental studies major is offered by the Marine Science and Environmental Studies Department and is designed as an interdisciplinary approach studying environmental issues from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities perspectives. This major is intended to provide students with a background in the natural sciences balanced by breadth in the social sciences and humanities most directly connected to environmental issues facing the world today. Students majoring in environmental studies will be well prepared to pursue graduate studies in environmental policy, resource management, environmental science, law or any area in the rapidly developing industries related to environmental sustainability.
The environmental studies major offers a curriculum that includes preparatory courses in the natural and social sciences designed to prepare students for both the core upper division environmental science classes and the suite of electives they will take as part of the major. Several of the courses in the preparation for the major satisfy core curriculum requirements. Students must complete a capstone experience that consists of at least two units of practical experience followed by Senior Seminar where students formally share the results of their work. Certain courses offered through field programs (like the School for Field Studies) or study abroad programs may satisfy some requirements of the major.

Preparation for the Major

Lower Division
Lower-Division Courses required of environmental studies majors include:
Take either:
ENVI 112 (= BIOL 112)
Ecology and Environmental Biology (3) OR
ENVI 121 Life in the Ocean (4)

Take either:
ENVI 109 Introduction to Physical Geography (4) OR
ENVI 110 Introduction to Earth Systems (4) OR
ENVI 104 Natural Disasters (3) and ENVI 104L –Natural Disasters Laboratory (1)
MATH 120 Introduction to Statistics (3)
CHEM 151 General Chemistry with lab (4) & 151L
ECON 101 Principles of Microeconomics (3)
ECON 102 Principles of Macroeconomics (3)
POLS 125 American Politics OR
POLS 175 International Relations (3)
SOCI 218D Contemporary Social Issues: Community, Urbanization and Culture (3)
Total Preparation Units: 26-27
Note: Some of the preparatory courses may have additional prerequisites.

Major Requirements

The major is made up of core environmental studies and marine science courses that are required and a selection of three additional elective courses that must include at least one science course with lab and at least one non-science course. These requirements are designed to emphasize the scientific basis of environmental topics while still providing options for students who want to emphasize the natural or social sciences at the upper division level. Students will complete a total of 32-34 units of upper division credit.

Upper-Division Environmental Studies Core

23 units of upper division courses in environmental Studies and/or marine science
ENVI 300 Environmental Issues (3)
ENVI 305 Environmental Assessment Practices (3)
PHIL 338 Environmental Ethics (3) OR
PHIL 344 Environmental Justice (3)
ENVI 314 Introduction to Maps & Spatial Data Analysis (3) OR
ENVI 313 Geospatial Information Systems for Organizations (3)
ENVI 331W Coastal Environment Science (4)
ENVI 485 Environmental Geology (4) OR
ENVI 487 Surface Water Hydrology (4) OR
MARS 473 Climatology (4) OR
MARS 474 History of Earth and Climate (3) AND
MARS 474L History of Earth and Climate Laboratory (1)

Capstone Experience — at least two units of practical experience in ENVI 496, 498, 499, or an equivalent course and ENVI 495, Senior Seminar (1) for a total of three units

Note: Practical experience units must be completed at least one semester before taking ENVI 495.
A maximum of three units in addition to capstone requirements of ENVI 496, 497, 498 and 499 may be used in any combination to satisfy course requirements of the major.

9-11 units consisting of three upper division courses, at least one science with lab and at least one non-science

Science
ENVI 315 Geographic Information Systems (3)
ENVI 355 Environmental Chemistry (3)
ENVI 420 Introduction to Remote Sensing (4)
ENVI 485 Environmental Geology (4)
ENVI 487 Surface Water Hydrology (4)
MARS 427 Marine Environment (3)
MARS 473 Climatology (4)
MARS 474 History of Earth and Climate (3) with OR without
MARS 474L History of Earth and Climate Laboratory (1)

Non- Science
ECON 308 Envrionmental and Natural Resource Economics (3)
HIST 370 American Environmental History (3)
POLS 329 Law of the Sea (3)
POLS 342D Urban Politics (3)
POLS 349 Politics and the Environment (3)
SOCI 362 Social Change: Global Perspectives (3)
SOCI 400 Urban Planning (3)
SOCI 455 Cities in Global Context (3)

Environmental Studies Minor

The environmental studies minor is offered by the Department of Marine Science and Environmental Studies. The environmental studies minor is intended to accompany majors in the natural sciences, liberal arts, business, or education. This minor is intended to provide coursework in subjects that will help a student work in fields related to sustainability, environmental policy or management. This minor requires a consultation with an environmental studies advisor prior to registering for ENVI 300. A minimum of 18 units is required. Certain courses offered through field programs (like the School for Field Studies) may satisfy some requirements of the minor.

Required Courses

Lower Division
Take either:
ENVI 112 (= BIOL 112)
Ecology and Environmental Biology (3) OR
ENVI 121 Life in the Ocean (4)

Take either:
ENVI 104/104L
Natural Disasters (4) OR
ENVI 110 Introduction to Physical Geography and Earth Systems (4) OR
MARS 220 Introduction to Physical Oceanography (4)

Upper Division
ENVI 300 Environmental Issues (3)
Prerequisites for ENVI 300 are ENVI 104/104L or ENVI 109 or ENVI 110 and ENVI 121 or ENVI 112 (= BIOL 112) or BIOL 190.

Take three courses, including at least one science course with laboratory and at least one non-science course. Note: Some of these courses have additional prerequisites.

Science Courses
ENVI 305 Environmental Assessment Practices (3)
ENVI 314 Introduction to Maps and Spatial Data Analysis (3)
ENVI 315 Geographic Information Systems (3)
ENVI 331W Coastal Environmental Science (4)
ENVI 355 Environmental Chemistry (3)
ENVI 420 Introduction to Remote Sensing (4)
ENVI 485 Environmental Geology (4)
ENVI 487 Surface Water Hydrology (4)
MARS 427 Marine Environment (3)
MARS 473 Climatology (4)
MARS 474 History of the Earth and Climate (3) WITH OR WITHOUT
MARS 474L History of the Earth and Climate Laboratory (1)

Non-Science Courses
ANTH 335 Nautical Archeology (3)
ANTH 336 Pre-Classical Seafaring (3)
ANTH 339 Post-Medieval Seafaring and Empire (3)
ECON 308 Environmental and Natural Resource Economics (3)
HIST 370 American Environmental History (3)
PHIL 338 Environmental Ethics (3)
PHIL 344 Environmental Justice (3)
POLS 329 Law of the Sea (3)
POLS 342D Urban Politics (3)
POLS 349 Politics and the Environment (3)
SOCI 362 Social Change: Global Perspectives (3)
SOCI 400 Urban Planning (3)
SOCI 455 Cities in Global Context (3)

Environmental Studies Courses (ENVI)

ENVI 104 NATURAL DISASTERS (3)
This course will give students an introduction to the earth and the dynamic natural processes that impact humanity and life in general. Man and nature are becoming increasingly intertwined as the human race continues to proliferate. This course will emphasize the fundamental scientific principles and processes related to natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, severe weather, hurricanes, meteorite impacts, and climate change. Historic catastrophes will be emphasized. This course satisfies the core curriculum requirement for a physical science course without a laboratory. Every semester.

ENVI 104L NATURAL DISASTERS LAB (1)
This laboratory course will introduce students to skills and methods used to study natural disasters. Students will learn to identify rocks and minerals, employ map skills to study faults, volcanoes, coastal erosion, flooding, and other natural hazards, and interpret meteorological data. Natural hazards in San Diego will be examined through local field trips. ENVI 104L will fulfill the core curriculum requirement for a physical science laboratory. Prerequisite: concurrent registration in ENVI 104 or consent of instructor.

ENVI 109 INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY (4)
An introductory course to give students a comprehensive overview of the earth and its component systems. The emphasis of this course is the interactions among the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Various global environmental issues also will be examined from the perspective of physical geography. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week and some field experience, which may include an overnight trip. This course satisfies the core curriculum requirement for a physical science course with a laboratory. Fall semester.

ENVI 110 INTRODUCTION TO EARTH SYSTEMS (4)
Lecture and field investigations of geographic and geological processes. The objective of this course is to give students a comprehensive overview of the earth and its component systems. The emphasis of this course is the interactions among the atmosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week and some field experience, which may include an overnight trip. Every semester.

ENVI 112 ECOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGY (3)
Investigation of the natural environment and the relationship of its biotic and abiotic components. Topics include the ecosystem concept, population growth and regulation, and our modification of the environment. Two lectures per week and one laboratory every other week. Laboratory will include field trips, one of which will be an overnight trip to the desert. This course satisfies the core curriculum requirement for a life science and a laboratory. Cross-listed as BIOL 112. Every semester.

ENVI 121 LIFE IN THE OCEAN (4)
An introduction to the organisms in the ocean, including their phylogenetic and ecological interrelationships. Biological principles and processes that are basic to all forms of life in the ocean will be stressed. This course will satisfy the core curriculum requirement for a life science and for a laboratory course. This course will not satisfy the requirements of the marine science major. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week. Every semester.

ENVI 170 THE SCIENCE OF CLIMATE CHANGE (3)
An introduction to the earth’s climate system and the science of climate change. The course will first cover the following topics: introduction to earth-system science and the components of the climate system; atmospheric composition, energy balance, and circulation; the hydrologic cycle; methods to collect climate data; natural climate change in the geologic past and 20th century warming. With this foundation students will examine the scientific basis of anthropogenic global warming and the potential impacts of future climate change. This course may include a field trip outside of class time. This course will satisfy the core curriculum requirement for physical science without lab.

ENVI 294 SPECIAL TOPICS IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES (2-4)
Topics of special interest and/or unique opportunity at the Lower-Division Level. Prerequisites: Dependent on topic or consent of the instructor.

ENVI 300 ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES (3)
This course is a consideration of environmental problems that confront our society today. By looking at controversial environmental issues, students will be encouraged to distinguish political interests and emotional hyperbole from scientific facts; furthermore, students will be presented examples of scientific facts that support different interpretations of an issue. Both environmental resolutions and their social implications will be considered. Three hours of lecture per week. Fall semester. Prerequisites: ENVI 104/104L or ENVI 109 or ENVI 110 and ENVI 121 or ENVI 112 (= BIOL 112) or BIOL 190, or consent of instructor.

ENVI 305 ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT PRACTICES (3)
An interdisciplinary approach to environmental decision making. An introduction to the law relative to environmental impact reports, their contents and development. Three hours of lecture per week. Fall semester. Prerequisites: ENVI 104/104L or ENVI 109 or ENVI 110 and ENVI 112 or ENVI 121 or BIOL 190.

ENVI 312 INTRODUCTION TO GIS (3)
An overview of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), including its history, role in complex spatial analysis projects, and geographic data management. Related technologies such as global positioning system (GPS) and remote sensing also will be introduced. Laboratory exercises will emphasize digital cartography using ArcView software. Two hours of lecture and one laboratory per week. Prerequisite: MATH 115 or higher.

ENVI 313 GEOSPATIAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS FOR ORGANIZATIONS (3)
An introduction to geographic, or geospatial, information systems (GIS) applied to business/organizational decision-making applications. The course includes conceptual knowledge that underlies the spatial dimensions of many decisions and hands-on use of desktop GIS software. Topics include concepts and techniques for managing, analyzing, visualizing, and disseminating spatial information. Application areas include entrepreneurship, marketing, real estate, planning, public safety, transportation, economic development, and international issues. Prerequisite: ITMG 100 or equivalent or permission of instructor.

ENVI 314 INTRODUCTION TO MAPS AND SPATIAL DATA ANALYSIS (3)
Use of maps as an analytical tool. Topics include: map reading; the use of maps as a medium for describing and analyzing various types of spatially-distributed data; stereoscopic interpretation and cartographic representation of landforms, vegetation, and land use. Laboratory exercises will use ArcGIS software. Two hours of lecture and one laboratory per week. Fall semester. Prerequisite: MATH 115 or higher.

ENVI 315 GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (3)
Theory and practice of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a tool for the display and manipulation of spatial data. Applications include: urban planning; land use classification; biomass analysis; crop monitoring; forest resource assessment and management; and disaster assessment, management, and recovery. Laboratory exercises will use ArcGIS software. Two hours of lecture and one laboratory per week. Spring semester. Prerequisites: ENVI 313 OR ENVI 314 and MATH 115 or higher or consent of instructor.

ENVI 331W COASTAL ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE (4)
An interdisciplinary study of physical, chemical, and biological processes in the oceans with an emphasis on coastal environments. Topics include coastal oceanography, nutrient distribution and geochemical cycles, primary productivity, food webs and fisheries, and benthic habitats. This course examines the interactions between abiotic forces in the oceans and the organisms that live in a variety of habitats. Environmental issues will be connected to major scientific themes. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week. Prerequisites: CHEM 151/151L and ENVI 121 or BIOL 221/221L.

ENVI 355 ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY (3)
A survey of the natural environment from a chemist’s point of view and the evaluation of chemicals from an environmental point of view. This course is concerned with the chemistry of air, water, soil, and the biosphere in both pristine and polluted states. Pollution prevention and mitigation schemes are considered. Two one-hour lectures and one three-hour lab per week. Prerequisites: CHEM 151/151L & 152/152L. Cross-listed as CHEM 355.

ENVI 361 ECOLOGICAL COMMUNITIES OF SAN DIEGO COUNTY (2)
A general survey of the ecological communities of San Diego County will acquaint students with local marine, freshwater, chaparral, and desert habitats. The course is primarily field study, and one overnight trip to the desert will be included. Identification of organisms and their ecological relationships will be stressed. One laboratory per week. Cross-listed as BIOL 361.

ENVI 364 CONSERVATION BIOLOGY (4)
This course focuses on the history of conservation awareness, theory, and practice. Lectures address conservation biology from a historical perspective; readings and discussion are directed toward both classic and current literature. Student presentations will be expected. Weekend field trips may be required. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week. Spring semester. Prerequisites: BIOL 190, 221/221L, 225/225L, and 300. Cross-listed as BIOL 364.

ENVI 420 INTRODUCTION TO REMOTE SENSING (4)
An introduction to remote sensing technology and its applications in earth science. This course will cover principles of remote sensing, aerial photography, photogrammetry, electronic multispectral imaging, and methods of digital image processing and analysis. Applications of remote sensing in marine and terrestrial environments and integration of remote sensing and geographic information systems also will be discussed. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week and some field trips. Prerequisites: ENVI 312 or ENVI 313 or ENVI 314 and at least one course in physical science, or consent of instructor.

ENVI 485 ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY (4)
This course focuses on the interaction between humans and the geologic environment. We will examine geologic processes responsible for forming a variety of Earth resources, such as ore deposits (e.g., copper minerals) and energy resources (e.g., fossil and nuclear fuels). Anthropogenic extraction, processing, and disposal of these resources, and their impact on the environment, will be investigated. Two Earth resources will be the subject of detailed study: groundwater and soils. An in-depth explanation of processes relating to both (e.g., groundwater flow, water quality, soil composition) will be developed, followed by an investigation of practices used in the monitoring and assessment of anthropogenic contamination of soil and groundwater. This course will help to prepare students for working in academia, government, or as an environmental consultant. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week. Some weekend field trips may be required. Prerequisites: ENVI 104/104L or ENVI 109 or ENVI 110 and MATH 115 or higher; or consent of instructor.

ENVI 487 SURFACE WATER HYDROLOGY (4)
A course to cover principles of surface water hydrology and methods to solve hydrologic problems related to urbanization, soil and water conservation, and water resources management. The components of the hydrologic cycle and the concept of water balance will be discussed in detail. This course also will cover various methods of hydrologic computation, the basics of watershed modeling, applications of GIS in hydrology, and issues especially relevant to Southern California. Three hours of lecture and one laboratory per week and some field trips. Prerequisites: ENVI 104/104L or ENVI 109 or ENVI 110 and MATH 120, or consent of instructor.

ENVI 494 SPECIAL TOPICS IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES (2-4)
Topics of special interest and/or unique opportunity. Prerequisites: Upper-Division Standing and consent of instructor or chair of Marine Science and Environmental Studies; other prerequisites may apply.

ENVI 495 SENIOR SEMINAR (1)
The techniques of seminar presentation will be studied by preparing and presenting individual seminars on topics of interest. Enrollment for credit is limited to, and required of, all senior students majoring in environmental studies. Prerequisites: Completion of two units of ENVI 496, 498, or an equivalent course. Every semester.

ENVI 496 RESEARCH (1-3)
Students develop and/or assist in research projects in various fields of environmental studies under the supervision of a faculty member in Marine Science and Environmental Studies. Prerequisite: Approval of the faculty research supervisor is required. Every semester.

ENVI 497 UNDERGRADUATE LABORATORY ASSISTANT (1)
Assist laboratory instructor in all aspects of an Environmental Studies laboratory. Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Pass/fail only. Every semester.

ENVI 498 INTERNSHIP (1-3)
Experience in the practical and experimental application of environmental studies. Students will be involved in projects conducted by agencies and institutions outside the university, such as state parks, government agencies, research facilities, or environmental industries. Enrollment is arranged on an individual basis according to a student’s interest and background, and is dependent on positions available and faculty approval. The department internship coordinator should be consulted before beginning an internship. Taking one unit in two or more consecutive semesters is recommended, but variations can be arranged in advance with the instructor or the chair of Marine Science and Environmental Studies. A maximum of three internship units can be earned toward fulfillment of the requirements of the major. Pass/fail only. Every semester.

ENVI 499 INDEPENDENT STUDY (1-2)
An in-depth study of an environmental problem of the student’s choosing. Guidance and coordination will be offered through a weekly meeting. The student will be required to submit a written report. Prerequisite: consent of the chair of marine science and environmental studies. Every semester.