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Undergraduate: Environmental Studies

  • Program Overview

    Environmental Studies (ENS)

    The Environmental Studies major, leading to a Bachelor of Arts degree, is designed to provide students with the analytical and communication skills and the broad background necessary to understand and address complex environmental issues. The major also offers the opportunity for students to carry out focused study within a specific area of interest. Environmental issues are not resolved in the scientific, technological, social, or political arenas alone. The curriculum is, therefore, interdisciplinary and integrates principles and methodologies from the social sciences, engineering, the natural sciences, and humanities. The goal is to address the complex scientific, legal, political, socio­economic and ethical issues that define and surround environmental issues.

    The major in Environmental Studies prepares the student for further education and entry-level employment in areas such as public interest science and advocacy, environmental conservation, law, journalism, management, television documentary production, ecotourism, population studies, and public service including public health.

    To demonstrate depth of learning, an area of concentration is required of all students in the major. Additionally, a research course, an internship, or field study is an essential part of the curriculum to provide real-world experience in an appropriate subject area.

    The Environmental Studies major is administered by the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. A Living Learning Center and a minor, with a residential component, are also available. A lounge and study area are also available within the Living Learning Center for commuter students enrolled in the major or minor. The Living Learn­ing Center, which is part of the Science and Society College, offers special programs, such as a seminar series showcasing faculty research and selected courses in the major and minor. Students may not pursue the minor in conjunction with the major.

    Students should contact the director of undergraduate studies to design and approve an acceptable course of study before declaring the major.

    Students may learn more about the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences by visiting http://www.somas.stonybrook.edu.

  • Degrees and Requirements

    Requirements for the Major and Minor in Environmental Studies (ENS)

    Environmental Studies (BA)

    The Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies major is designed to provide students with the analytical and communication skills and the broad background necessary to understand and address complex environmental issues. Environmental issues are not resolved in the scientific, technological, social, or political arenas alone. The curriculum is, therefore, interdisciplinary and integrates principles and methodologies from the social sciences, the natural sciences, and humanities. The goal is to address the complex scientific, legal, political, socio­economic and ethical issues that define and surround environmental issues. The Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies prepares the student for further education and for entry-level employment in areas such as public interest science and advocacy, environmental conservation, law, journalism, management, television documentary production, ecotourism, population studies, and public service including public health.

    To demonstrate depth of learning, an area of concentration is required of all students in the major. Additionally, a research course, an internship, or field study is an essential part of the curriculum to provide real-world experience in an appropriate subject area.

    The Environmental Studies major (BA) is administered by the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. An Environmental Studies Academy and a minor, with a residential component, are also available. The Environmental Studies Academy, which is part of the Science and Society College, offers special programs, such as a seminar series showcasing faculty research and selected courses in the major and minor. Students may not pursue the ENS or COS minor in conjunction with the major.

    Completion of the major requires approximately 62 credits. Of these, no more than one course (4 credits) with a grade lower than C can be credited to the major.  

    Requirements for the Major in Environmental Studies 

    A. Foundation Courses (36 credits)

    • AMS 102 Statistics or equivalent (see Note 5)
    • ANP 120 Introduction to Biological Anthropology
    • BIO 201 Fundamentals of Biology: Organisms to Ecosystems
    • BIO 204 Fundamentals of Scientific Inquiry in the Biological Sciences I
    • CHE 131, CHE 133 General Chemistry and Lab (See Note 4)
    • ECO 108 Introduction to Economics
    • ENS 101 Prospects for Planet Earth or SUS 111 Introduction to Sustainability
    • ENS 119/PHY 119 Physics for Environmental Studies or equivalent (see Note 1)
    • MAT 125 (or MAT 130/MAT 125) or MAT 131 or MAT 141 or MAT 171 or AMS 151 Calculus. If students do not place into MAT 125 or MAT 131 or MAT 141 or MAT 171 or AMS 151 on the basis of the math placement examination, MAT 123 (or MAT 119/MAT 123) is a required course for the major.
    • PHI 104 Moral Reasoning or PHI 105 Politics and Society
    • POL 102 Introduction to American Government

    B. Core Courses (14 credits)

    • ATM 305 Global Atmospheric Change or ENV 304 Global Environmental Change
    • ENS 311/BIO 386 Ecosystem Ecology and Global Environment
    • MAR 340 Environmental Problems and Solutions or ENS 312 Population, Technology, and Environment
    • ENS 301 Contemporary Environmental Issues and Policies or SUS 305 Collective Action and Advocacy
    • At least two credits from one of the following courses: ENS 443 Environmental Problem Solving, ENS 487 Independent Research, or ENS 488 Internship (see Notes 2 & 3)

    C. Concentration (12 credits) 
    Students should select four upper division courses in a thematic area in consultation with the undergraduate director. Some sample concentrations are listed below, but other possibilities may be approved if discussed in advance with the departmental advisor. For all concentrations, appropriate substitutions will be permitted with approval of the undergraduate director.

    1. Conservation Biology/Biological Anthropology
    Four courses from the following:

    • ANP 307 Comparing Ecosystems in Madagascar
    • ANP 321 Primate Evolution
    • ANP 350 Methods in Studying Primates
    • ANP 360 Primate Conservation
    • MAR 315 Marine Conservation
    • BIO 336 Conservation Biology
    • BIO 351 Ecology
    • BIO 353 Marine Ecology
    • BIO 356 Applied Ecology and Conservation and Biology Lab
    • One of the following: MAR 373 Marine Apex Predators: Ecology & Conservation*, MAR 376 Biology & Conservation of Sea Turtles, MAR 377 Biology & Conservation of Seabirds
    • SUS 326 Conservation Genetics

    2. Marine Science, Marine or Terrestrial Ecology
    Four courses from the following:

    Ecology themed:

    • BIO 319 Landscape Ecology Lab
    • BIO 351 Ecology
    • BIO 352 Ecology Lab*
    • BIO 353 Marine Ecology
    • BIO 354 Evolution*
    • BIO 356 Applied Ecology and Cons. Bio. Lab.*
    • BIO 371 Restoration of Aquatic Ecosystems*
    • BIO 385 Plant Ecology
    • EBH 359 Behavioral Ecology*
    • MAR 301 Environ. Microbio.*
    • MAR 302 Marine Microbio. and Microbial Ecology*
    • MAR 305 Experimental Marine Bio.
    • MAR 315 Marine Conservation
    • MAR 320 Limnology
    • MAR 349 Intro. to Bio. Oceanogr.*
    • MAR 366 Plankton Ecology*
    • MAR 370 Marine Mammals*
    • MAR 375 Marine Mammal and Turtle Rehab.
    • MAR 380 Ichthyology
    • MAR 385 Princ. of Fishery Bio. and Management
    • MAR 386 Ecosystem Science for Fisheries Management
    • MAR 388 Tropical Marine Ecology

    Marine Science themed:

    • ENV 316 Coastal Zone Management
    • MAR 303 Long Island Marine Habitats
    • MAR 304 Waves, Tides, and Beaches
    • MAR 333 Coastal Oceanography
    • MAR 334 Remote Sensing
    • MAR 336 Marine Pollution
    • MAR 346 Marine Sedimentology
    • MAR 351 Intro. to Ocean Chem.*
    • MAR 352 Intro. to Physical Oceaogr.*

    3. Environmental Law, Waste Management, and Public Policy
    Four courses from the following:

    • AAS 352/HIS 352 Environ. History of China
    • ENS 333/POL 333 Environ. Law
    • ENV 316 Coastal Zone Management
    • GEO 313 Understanding Water Resources
    • HIS 302 Environ. History in Global Perspective
    • HIS 365 Environ. History of N. America*
    • MAR 336 Marine Pollution
    • MAR 392 Waste Management Issues
    • MAR 393 Waste Management Treatment Tech.
    • MAR 394 Environ. Toxicology and Public Health
    • PHI 364 Philosophy of Technology
    • PHI 375 Philosophy of Law
    • POL 320 Constitutional Law and Politics: US
    • POL 351 Social Surveys in Contemporary Society
    • POL 359 Public Policy Analysis
    • SOC 344 Environmental Sociology
    • SUS 309 Global Environmental Politics
    • SUS 317 American Environmental History
    • SUS 318 American Environmental Politics
    • SUS 321 Ecology and Evolution in American Literature
    • SUS 325 Environmental Writing and the Media
    • SUS 329 Environmental Film, Media, Arts
    • SUS 330 Extreme Events in Literature
    • SUS 344 Sustainable Natural Resources
    • SUS 366/PHI 366 Philosophy of the Environ.
    • SUS 405 Environmental Sustainability in Tanzania

    *These courses have additional prerequisites outside the major 


    D. Upper-Division Writing Requirement

    The advanced writing component of the major in ENS requires registration in, and satisfactory completion of, the 0-credit MAR 459 or SUS 459 (S/U grading) along with enrollment in an approved advanced course that entails writing of either a term paper or a laboratory report.  Completion of MAR 459 or SUS 459 with a grade of S will also result in fulfillment of the WRTD requirement.  A list of preapproved courses can be found at  http://www.somas.stonybrook.edu/education/undergraduate/.

    Notes:
    1. PHY 121 or PHY 125/PHY 126/PHY 133 or PHY 131/PHY 133 or PHY 141/PHY 133 may be substituted for PHY 119/ENS 119.
    2. Two credits of any course numbered 487 or equivalent with one of the following designators: ANP, ANT, ATM, BCP, BIO, CHE, ECO, ENS, ENV, EST, GEO, MAR, PHY, POL, SUS. In addition to other prerequisites, credit toward the major requires approval of the research topic by the SoMAS Director of Undergraduate Studies.
    3. Two credits of any course numbered 488 or equivalent with one of the following designators: ANP, ANT, ATM, BCP, BIO, CHE, ECO, ENS, ENV, EST, GEO, MAR, PHY, POL, SUS. In addition to other prerequisites, credit toward the major requires approval of the internship by the SoMAS Director of Undergraduate Studies.
    4. CHE 129/CHE 130 may be substituted for CHE 131.
    5. AMS 110, AMS 310, BIO 211, ECO 320, POL 201, PSY 201, or SOC 202 may be substituted for AMS 102.

     

    Honors Program in Environmental Studies

    Graduation with departmental honors in Environmental Studies requires the following:

    1. Students are eligible to participate in the Honors Program if they have a 3.50 GPA in all courses for the major by the end of the junior year. Students should apply to the SoMAS undergraduate director for permission to participate.
    2. Students must prepare an honors thesis based on a research project written in the form of a paper for a scientific journal. A student interested in becoming a candidate for honors should submit an outline of the proposed thesis research project to the SoMAS undergraduate director as early as possible, but no later than the second week of classes in the last semester. The student will be given an oral examination in May on his or her research by his or her research supervisor and the undergraduate research committee. The awarding of honors requires the recommendation of this committee and recognizes superior performance in research and scholarly endeavors. The written thesis must be submitted before the end of the semester in which the student is graduating.
    3. If the student maintains a GPA of 3.5 in all courses in their major through senior year and receives a recommendation by the undergraduate research committee, he or she will receive departmental honors. 

    Study Abroad

    Stony Brook University offers study abroad experiences that are focused on issues of sustainability in Costa Rica, Madagascar, and the Turkana Basin (Kenya). While issues of climate change, water and energy security, sustainable agriculture, environmental justice, sustainable economic development, conservation of unique and threatened ecosystems, population growth, and human health are important everywhere, viewing these issues through the lens of a different place and a different culture provides a valuable perspective. Students are encouraged to participate in study abroad experiences and to talk with their major director to determine how study abroad coursework can be used to fulfill some requirements for their major.

    Undergraduate College Academy Minor in Environmental Studies

    The Environmental Studies Undergraduate College Academy, housed in the Science and Society College, offers a minor in Environmental Studies as well as activities that emphasize both scientific and social issues encompassed by the broad field of environmental studies. Through this program, motivated natural science and social science students are able to apply their other coursework specifically to the study of the environment. In addition, participation in the program adds a rewarding academic component to each student's residential experience. The minor in Environ­mental Studies provides enhanced exposure to one subfield of environmental studies, the natural science of the environment. 

    Requirements for the Minor

    All core courses must be taken at Stony Brook University. No more than two courses applied to the minor can count toward the student’s major or other minor. No more than one elective course in the minor may be taken under the Pass/No Credit option; all other courses required for the minor must be passed with a letter grade of C or higher. (Note: The P/NC option carries financial implications. All students should check with their financial aid advisor before choosing this option.)

    Declaration of the Minor

    Each ENS minor is open to all undergraduate students and takes approximately 4 semesters (fall/spring) to complete and students are encouraged to declare before the start of their sophomore year but no later than the first semester of their junior year depending on target date of graduation. Students should consult with the Faculty Director as soon as possible and plan their course of study for fulfillment of their degree requirements.

    Completion of the minor requires 18 credits.

    1. One introductory course chosen from the following:

    • ATM 102/EST 102 Weather and Climate
    • BIO 113 General Ecology
    • BIO 201 Principles of Biology: From Organisms to Ecosystems
    • GEO 101 Environmental Geology
    • GSS 105 Introduction to Maps and Mapping 
    • MAR 101 Long Island Sound: Science and Use
    • MAR 104 Oceanography

    2. ENS 101 Prospects for Planet Earth or SUS 111 Introduction to Sustainability
    3. ENS 301 Contemporary Environmental Issues and Policies
    4. ENS 443 Environmental Problem-Solving OR at least 3 credits of (i) ENS 487: Independent Research in Environmental Studies; or (ii) research in any SBU department; or (iii) ENS 488: Internship in Environmental Studies, approved by the faculty director. Research or internship in ANP, ANT, ATM, BIO, CHE, ECO, ENV, GEO, MAR, POL, or SUS will be accepted with permission of the faculty director.
    5. Two advanced courses chosen from the following:

    • ANP 360 Primate Conservation
    • ANT 420 Environmental Analysis Using Remote Sensing and Geographic Information Systems
    • ATM 397 Air Pollution and Its Control
    • BIO 351 Ecology
    • BIO 353 Marine Ecology
    • CHE 310 Chemistry in Technology and the Environment
    • GEO 304 Energy, Mineral Resources, and the Environment
    • GEO 315 Groundwater Hydrology
    • GSS 355 Remote Sensing GIS Data
    • SUS 311 Disasters and Society: A Global Perspective
    • SUS 312 Environment, Society, and Health
    • SUS 315 Ethnographic Field Methods
    • SUS 318 American Environmental Politics
    • SUS 325 Environmental Writing and the Media
    • Any upper division ENS or MAR course

     

     

     

     

     

  • Sequence

    Sample Course Sequence for the Major in Environmental Studies, BA

    A course planning guide for this major may be found hereThe major course planning guides are not part of the official Undergraduate Bulletin, and are only updated periodically for use as an advising tool. The Undergraduate Bulletin supersedes any errors or omissions in the major course planning guides.  

    FRESHMAN

    FALL Credits
    First Year Seminar 101 1
    WRT 101 3
    ENS 101 or SBC 111 3
    MAT 125 3
    CHE 131  4
    CHE 133
    1
     Total 15
     
    SPRING Credits
    First Year Seminar 102 1
    WRT 102 3
    ANP 120 3
    PHI 104 3
    SBC
    3
    SBC 3
     Total 16
     
    SOPHOMORE

    FALL Credits
    BIO 201 3
    BIO 204 2
    ECO 108 4
    SBC 3
    SBC 3
     Total 15
     
    SPRING Credits
    ENS 119 4
    POL 102  3
    AMS 102 3
    SBC  3
    Elective  3
     Total 16
     
    JUNIOR

    FALL Credits
    ATM 305 3
    MAR 340 3
    ENS Concentration Course 3
    SBC  3
    Elective  3
     Total 15
     
    SPRING Credits
    ENS 301 or CSK 305 3
    ENS 311
    ENS Concentration Course
    Upper-division SBC 3
    Elective 3
     Total 15
     
    SENIOR

    FALL Credits
    CSK 302  3
    ENS Concentration Course   3 
    Upper-division SBC  3
    Upper-division elective  3
    Upper-division SBC  3
     Total 15
     
    SPRING Credits
    ENS 443, ENS 487, or ENS 488 2
    ENS Concentration Course 3
    Upper-division elective  3
    Upper-division elective   3 
    Upper-division elective  3
    Upper-division elective  3
     Total 17

      

     

     

     

  • Contact

    Environmental Studies (ENS)

    Interdisciplinary Major and  Undergraduate College Academy Minor in Environmental Studies

    School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences (SoMAS)

    Director of Undergraduate Studies:  Kamazima Lwiza

    Undergraduate Advisor: Nancy Black

    Office: W0511 Melville Library

    Phone: 631-632-9404

    Email:  nancy.black@stonybrook.edu  

    Website:  http://www.somas.stonybrook.edu          

     

     

     

     

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