Environmental Science

Course Catalog: Environmental Science

The environmental science program at Rocky Mountain College, while simultaneously cultivating skills in critical thinking and effective communication, provides students with the intellectual training necessary for understanding the complexity of natural ecosystems as they interface with human concerns.

The environmental science program provides an education of multiple dimensions uniquely characterized in two general ways: through specialty and interdisciplinary courses in the environment ranging from the natural and social sciences to the humanities and arts and through an intensive hands-on approach to our great outdoor classroom, Yellowstone County.

Upon graduation, students are prepared for a wide and rapidly evolving range of careers concerned with the interface between human beings and their environment. For those students whose career choices require graduate or professional study, the environmental science program provides the training and discipline necessary for the pursuit of an advanced degree.

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate with a major in environmental science will be able to:

  1. Understand the principles of ecology and environmental issues that apply to air, land, and water issues on a global scale;
  2. Develop critical thinking and/or observation skills and apply them to the analysis of a problem or question related to the environment;
  3. Demonstrate ecology knowledge of a complex relationship between predators, prey, and the plant community;
  4. Apply their ecological knowledge to illustrate and graph a problem and describe the realities that managers face when dealing with a complex issues;
  5. Understand how politics and management have ecological consequences.

Major in Environmental Science

The major requires a minimum of 62 total semester hours. A minimum of 31 semester hours must be in ESC courses. A total of seven semester hours must be 300-level or above from ESC or BIO electives (3 semester hours may be through the Yellowstone Association Institute agreement with RMC).

The following courses are required:
ESC 105 and ESC 106: Environmental Science: Sustainable Communities with Laboratory
ESC 209: Field Survey Techniques in Zoology
ESC 223: Organismal Biology
ESC 436: Yellowstone Winter Ecology
EST 103: Introduction to Environmental Studies
GPY 102: World Regional Geography
GPY 118: Montana Rivers (Lab)
GPY 321: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Also required:
CHM 101: General Chemistry I
GEO 101 and GEO 104: Fundamentals of Geology with Laboratory
MAT 210: Probability and Statistics

Choose one of the following:
ESC 314: Range Ecology
ESC 325: Wetlands and Riparian Ecology
ESC 347: Forest Ecology

Choose one of the following:
ESC 317: Bird Conservation and Research
ESC 330: Wildlife Management and Conservation

Choose one of the following:
CHM 102: General Chemistry II
ESC 316: Geochemistry

Choose three of the following:
ECO 354: Environmental Economics
ENG 244: Literature and the Environment
ESC 251: Environmental Document Writing and Review
GPY 224: Environment and Society
GPY 226: Energy and Society
GPY 302: Sustainable Development
GPY 322: Remote Sensing
HST 365: American Environmental History
PHR 304: Environmental Ethics
PHR 378: Philosophy of Technology and Modern Culture
POL 313: Environmental Politics

An internship is required and can be used for up to four semester hours of science electives with permission from faculty.

Minor in Environmental Science

A minimum of 28 semester hours is required, including:
ESC 105 and ESC 106: Environmental Science: Sustainable Communities with laboratory
ESC 209: Field Survey Techniques in Zoology
GPY 321: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Choose one of the following:
ESC 223: Organismal Biology
CHM 101: General Chemistry I
GEO 101 and GEO 104: Fundamentals of Geology with Laboratory

In addition, 12 semester hours in upper-division ESC courses are required.

CHM 101 - General Chemistry I

Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 4

This course introduces students to the science of chemistry. The concepts of atoms, molecules, bonding, and energy successfully explain the properties of matter and how reactions happen. Goals of this course include introducing students to representative materials and reactions, to important models and theories of the science, and to the symbols and language of chemists. The laboratory will involve observations of elements, compounds and their reactions (including synthesis), and quantitative measurements of properties or amounts of matter. Three hours of lecture, one two-hour laboratory session, and one hour of recitation per week.

Prerequisite: MAT 100 or placement into higher mathematics course


CHM 102 - General Chemistry II

Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 4

This course will further develop the principles presented in CHM 101 with emphasis on the following core concepts: chemical kinetics, chemical equilibria, solution and acidbase chemistry, thermodynamics of reactions, and electrochemistry. Examples used in this course will point to the various branches of chemical studies (organic, physical, biological, inorganic, analytical, geological, materials, and nuclear). The knowledge and skills gained over the two semesters will be applied to the analysis of a contemporary topic or issue in chemistry. The laboratory experiments are designed to explore chemical principles and to expose students to more advanced chemical instrumentation in the department. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week.

Prerequisite: CHM 101 with a grade of C- or higher


ECO 354 - Environmental Economics

Semester: Fall; Even years
Semester hours: 3

This course introduces the multidisciplinary field of environmental economics. Students will employ a critical geographic framework to examine the basic implications of economic theory related to ecosystems and environmental problems involving water, air pollution, energy, climate change, natural resources, and human health and development.

Prerequisite: None; ECO 205 is recommended


ENG 244 - Literature and the Environment

Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3

This course is a comparative study of the environmental imagination as expressed in literature. By reading and discussing a wide range of literary texts, students investigate timeless and more urgent questions, such as “What is nature?”; “What is our responsibility to the environment?”; and “How do various cultures express their relation to the natural world?”.


ESC 105 - Environmental Science: Sustainable Communities

Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 3

An introductory course designed for students entering the environmental sciences and studies program and for other students who would like to take an ecology course. Topics address the central concepts of ecology including the physical environment in which life exists. Students will explore the properties and processes of populations and communities, ecosystem dynamics, biogeography and biodiversity, as well as issues in conservation and restoration ecology. Three hours of lecture per week. This course fulfills a natural science core curriculum requirement, and if taken concurrently with ESC 106, may fulfill the natural science with lab requirement.


ESC 106 - Environmental Science: Sustainable Communities Laboratory

Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 1

In the laboratory, students will apply environmental science concepts to ecological studies in the natural environment and learn how to present their results in a scientific report. One two-hour laboratory session per week.

Corequesite: ESC 105


ESC 209 - Field Survey Techniques in Zoology

Semester: Spring; Even years
Semester hours: 4

A field and laboratory course covering basic field techniques to survey and inventory areas to assess biodiversity, with an emphasis on Montana mammal, bird, reptile, amphibian, and fish fauna. Topics include species identification, survey and trapping, experimental design, data analysis, and report completion. Once identification and survey skills are learned, field teams will be formed and assigned to survey and inventory local habitats of concern with the goal of helping guide local management and restoration of these habitats. An additional fee is required.

Prerequisite: ESC 105 and 106, or BIO 120


ESC 215 - Fast Food Nation

Semester: Offered at discretion of department
Semester hours: 3

Are we what we eat? This course focuses on the environmental impacts of our food systems. Plants matter to us at the most basic level. They have evolved to provide us with nutrients by appealing to our senses of taste, touch, smell, and sight. We humans have responded by manipulating plants in a quest for “fast” (and cheap) food. This course uses the scientific concepts of plant growth, technology, and ecology to evaluate our environmental health in our diet and to explore several new, alternative approaches for healthy eating.


ESC 223 - Organismal Biology

Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 4

This course provides students with an overview of general evolutionary principles, systematics, and biological diversity, primarily in multicellular organisms. Topics include evolution and biodiversity, the structure and function of plant and animal forms, and the physiology of plant and animal systems. Weekly laboratory sections will provide a hands-on introduction to the major groups of living organisms, evolution, and systematics. Students will also design and conduct a semester long independent research project. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory sessions per week.

Prerequisite: BIO 120 or ESC 105


ESC 243 - Tropical Ecology

Semester: Fall and Spring; Offered at discretion of department
Semester hours: 4

This field course takes place in a tropical ecosystem over a break or during two weeks in the summer. In lectures and in the field, students will learn about the complexity and diversity of tropical ecosystems. Lectures and field activities focus on those ecological concepts particular to the tropics, natural history walks, bird studies, field activities that explore adaptation of plants and animals to tropical ecosystems, and examination of issues of tropical conservation. Students stay at field stations in different tropical environments. Additional travel fees required. This course is taught concurrently with ESC 343.


ESC 244 - Island Biogeography in the Galapagos

Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 4

This field course takes place in the Galapagos Islands over spring break. Students will have the opportunity to examine various islands and their associated species in the Galapagos from a small sleep-aboard boat. Lectures and readings will cover the theory of island biogeography, unique flora and fauna of the islands, speciation of Darwin’s Finches, conservation in developing countries, ecotourism, and marine ecosystems. Opportunities will exist for nature hikes, bird watching, and snorkeling. Additional travel fees are required. This course is taught concurrently with ESC 344.


ESC 251 - Environmental Document Writing and Review

Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3

This course will help participants learn to identify the writing and editing requirements unique to environmental and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents, including making graphics, writing chapters, and reviewing documents for accuracy. Participants will also practice interdisciplinary team skills as they relate to each phase of the analysis and documentation process. Students will also learn how to review the full range of NEPA documents including Environmental Impact Statements (EISs), Environmental Assessments (EAs), Findings of No Significant Impacts (FONSIs), and Records of Decisions (RODs). We will also review documents in support of NEPA such as Biological Survey Reports. Participants will concentrate on setting review priorities and reviewing for compliance with the law and for quality and clarity.

Prerequisite: ESC 105 or EST 103


ESC 262 - Ethnobotany

Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3

Life on earth is sustained by plants and we are enriched daily by our interactions with them in the form of food, medicine, fuel, fibers, building materials, and other resources. Plants have significantly shaped the human societies growing in their midst, and this course will examine the relationship between plants and human culture. We will explore the role of plants in material culture, religion and ritual, nutrition, local and global economies, medicine and pharmaceuticals, and recreational drug culture. We will also discuss basic plant biology: what is a plant, how are they related to other organisms, how do we identify them, and why do plants look the way they do. Finally, we will use the primary literature to compare cultural and scientific evaluations of plants and their utility.


ESC 299 - Independent Study

Semester: Offered at discretion of department
Semester hours: 1-3

This course allows a superior student to devise and pursue independent study in an area agreed upon in consultation with, and supervised by, a faculty member. Students should be either a major or minor and have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater.


ESC 307 - Montana Wildflowers

Semester: Spring; Offered at discretion of department
Semester hours: 2

Students receive an intensive introduction to the evolutionary relationships of vascular plants and their classification. The course emphasizes plant identification based on use of taxonomic keys and focuses on angiosperm species in the Yellowstone River watershed, particularly the prairie habitats, the Pryor Mountains, the riparian habitats of the Yellowstone, and the foothills of the Beartooth Mountains. Field trips are required. Students will collect, identify, and prepare a prescribed number of plants for the herbarium. Additional lab sections are available for students working on larger plant collections.

Prerequisite: BIO 120 or ESC 223


ESC 308 - Montana Wildflowers Lab I

Semester: Spring; Offered at discretion of department
Semester hours: 1

Students in this lab will collect, identify, and prepare plants for the herbarium.

Prerequisite: Instructor permission
Corequesite: ESC 307


ESC 309 - Montana Wildflowers Lab II

Semester: Spring; Offered at discretion of department
Semester hours: 1

Students in this lab will collect, identify, and prepare a prescribed number of plants for the herbarium.

Prerequisite: Instructor permission
Corequesite: ESC 308


ESC 314 - Range Ecology

Semester: Fall; Alternate years
Semester hours: 4

This course is the study of mixed grass prairies of the West and an introduction to ecological concepts applicable to that area. Topics include historical and current land use, ecosystem responses to change, methods for maintaining natural prairie habitats, the use of prairies as rangelands, and determinations of ecological conditions and trends on rangelands. The laboratory focuses on identification of common prairie plant species and their importance for both wildlife and domestic animals. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week.

Prerequisite: BIO 120 or ESC 223


ESC 316 - Geochemistry

Semester: Spring; Even years
Semester hours: 4

Scientific literature and other resources will be used to illustrate the current ideas about the mechanisms that control water quality and chemistry in aqueous systems. Lecture topics will include hydrogeology, acid-base and reduction-oxidation reactions in natural systems, the geochemistry of metals, stable isotope geochemistry, and case studies of contaminated sites in Montana and throughout the West. Laboratory exercises will include basic sample collection, measurement of major ion concentration, and geochemical modeling with several field exercises. Three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory per week. This course is cross-listed with GEO 316 and CHM 316.

Prerequisite: CHM 101; GEO 101 is recommended


ESC 317 - Bird Conservation and Research

Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 4

This is a field and laboratory course covering bird evolution, life histories, behavior, populations, and conservation. Laboratory time will focus on survey techniques and bird observations and identification in the field. The primary objective of this course is to teach students the role of evolution in the development of special adaptations of bird characteristics and systems as well as the importance of conservation of populations and bird habitats around the world. Specific case studies will examine complex conservation issues of North America species. Students will be required to design a field study project to address a bird conservation question.

Prerequisite: ESC 105 or BIO 120 and ESC 209


ESC 325 - Wetlands and Riparian Ecology

Semester: Fall; Alternate years
Semester hours: 4

The biology and chemistry of wetlands is studied in this course. Topics include the investigation of wetland structure, wetland functions, and the ecological value of wetlands. The laboratory introduces protocols for analyzing wetland plant communities and includes a field study of a wetland in the Billings community. Students learn legally acceptable methods for determining wetland boundaries. The course examines the ecology of rivers and compares differences in hydrological processes of rivers and wetlands. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week.

Prerequisite: BIO 120 or ESC 223, and CHM 101


ESC 330 - Wildlife Management and Conservation

Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 4

A multidisciplinary approach to conservation and management issues encompassing genetics to ethics. Topics include population genetics, evolutionary mechanisms, biodiversity, reserve design, and re-introduction strategies. Written reports and oral presentations are required. An additional fee is required.

Prerequisite: BIO 120 or ESC 223; and ESC 105 and ESC 106


ESC 333 - Research Development

Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 1

This course is designed to help independent student researchers design and develop an undergraduate research project. Students will meet weekly to discuss hypothesis development, literature searches, scientific article analysis, permitting, data collection, and proposal development. Students will also work with individual faculty mentors to develop their projects.


ESC 343 - Tropical Ecology

Semester: Fall and Spring; Semester offered subject to faculty discretion
Semester hours: 4

This field course takes place in a tropical ecosystem over a break or during two weeks in the summer. In lectures and in the field, students will learn about the complexity and diversity of tropical ecosystems. Lectures and field activities focus on those ecological concepts particular to the tropics, natural history walks, bird studies, field activities that explore adaptation of plants and animals to tropical ecosystems, and examination of issues of tropical conservation. Students stay at field stations in different tropical environments. Additional travel fees required. This course is taught concurrently with ESC 243.


ESC 344 - Island Biogeography in the Galapagos

Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 4

This field course takes place in the Galapagos Islands over spring break. Students will have the opportunity to examine various islands and their associated species in the Galapagos from a small sleep-aboard boat. Lectures and readings will cover the theory of island biogeography, unique flora and fauna of the islands, speciation of Darwin’s Finches, conservation in developing countries, ecotourism, and marine ecosystems. Opportunities will exist for nature hikes, bird watching, and snorkeling. Additional travel fees are required. This course is taught concurrently with ESC 244.

Prerequisite: ESC 105 or BIO 120


ESC 345 - Soil Science

Semester: Fall; Alternate years
Semester hours: 4

This course provides an introduction to the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils; soil formation and classification; nutrient cycling; and land resource planning and protection. The laboratory includes field trips. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week.

Prerequisite: CHM 101, GEO 101, and GEO 104


ESC 347 - Forest Ecology

Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 4

This course is designed to introduce students to the forest ecosystems of the West. Topics include the forest environment, biotic and abiotic components of a forest, forest composition, tree physiology, forest production, patterns across space and time, disturbance, urban ecology, forest ecosystem services, and the role and impact of humans on forest communities. The laboratory focuses on identification of common Montana tree species, forest ecosystems in Montana, and the importance of these species and systems. Three hours of lecture and one two-hour laboratory session per week.

Prerequisite: ESC 223 or BIO 120


ESC 401 - Application of Geographic Information Systems

Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 4

Application of GIS is used to produce a professional report using real-world data in cooperation with a business, an industry, or a government agency. Software and projects vary from year to year. Three two-hour sessions per week.

Prerequisite: GPY 321


ESC 436 - Yellowstone Winter Ecology

Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 4

This course focuses on the ecology of Yellowstone National Park, emphasizing the complex interactions of large mammals with the forest and range plant communities. Students explore the methods used by the National Park Service to establish natural resource policies and examine the Park’s scientific research priorities. Two extended weekend laboratories provide research opportunities that include topics in winter ecology and aspects of the role of large mammals in the Yellowstone ecosystem. An additional fee is required.

Prerequisite: ESC 317 or ESC 330; and ESC 314 or ESC 325 or ESC 347; or permission of the instructor


ESC 450 - Internship

Semester: Offered at discretion of department
Semester hours: 1-4

A maximum of three semester hours can be counted toward a major in environmental studies or a major or minor in environmental science. This course is a guided work experience in an already established place of business. The student must arrange the internship in agreement with the instructor and the Office of Career Services. Contract is required. Pass/no pass grading.

Prerequisite: junior or senior standing


ESC 490 - Seminar

Semester: Offered at discretion of department
Semester hours: 1-3

Selected topics in environmental sciences or environmental studies are explored.


ESC 495 - Advanced Field Research Techniques

Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 4

Designed as an advanced research techniques class, this course takes students through the process of research development. The focus will be on more in-depth student-developed field projects that will include several overnight field trips in Montana. Additional skills learned will include marking and population assessments, survey and trapping techniques (such as electro-fishing – or for specialized species (such as bats)), and radio-telemetry and tracking. The development of independent or team projects implemented locally will be required for the latter portion of the semester.

Prerequisite: ESC 209 or BIO 306


ESC 496 - Research Analysis

Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 3

This course is designed to help independent student researchers complete the analysis and dissemination portions of their research projects. This is an advanced course for students who have gathered data during a research project or other similar independent student research. Class exercises and lab assignments will be carried out with the data collected by students and focus on data analysis, presentation completion, and a final written document appropriate to the student’s area of study.

Prerequisite: By permission of the instructor.


ESC 499 - Independent Study

Semester: Offered at discretion of department
Semester hours: 1-3

This course allows a superior student to devise and pursue independent study in an area agreed upon in consultation with, and supervised by, a faculty member. Students should be either a major or minor and have a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or greater.

Prerequisite: junior or senior standing


EST 103 - Introduction to Environmental Studies

Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 4

This course explores the complexity of environmental issues as approached from the perspectives of the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Since environmental issues are inherently complex, attention is focused on how human beings perceive, understand, and respond to environmental change. Emphasis is placed on developing students’ abilities to investigate matters critically and to respond in original, thoughtful, and imaginative ways. The laboratory portion of this course introduces students through field experience to some of the landscape and environmental issues in our region. Students will be involved in some combination of various activities, such as backpacks, a river cleanup, a film festival, special speaker events, among other activities. They will be expected to keep journals, write papers, take exams, and learn basic photography and watercolor techniques.


GEO 101 - Fundamentals of Geology

Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 3

This course provides an introduction to the science of earth materials, earth systems, and earth history, including the study of minerals, rocks, volcanoes, earthquakes, rock deformation and metamorphism, weathering, and erosion within the modern paradigm of plate tectonics. Special emphasis is placed on interpreting the geologic landscape and history of the Rocky Mountains through an understanding of Earth processes. Three hours of lecture and one recommended two-hour laboratory per week, plus field trips. This course fulfills a natural science core curriculum requirement, and if taken concurrently with GEO 104, may fulfill the natural science with lab requirement.


GEO 104 - Fundamentals of Geology Laboratory

Semester: Fall and Spring
Semester hours: 1

Focus on description of the earth materials and earth systems within the framework of plate tectonic theory. Introduction to identification of minerals, rocks, geologic maps, and structures.

Corequesite: GEO 101 or GEO 218


GPY 102 - World Regional Geography

Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3

This introductory geography course is a requirement for students in the environmental programs and may be used to satisfy a core curriculum requirement for the social sciences. The course provides students with tools and knowledge from the social and physical sciences that will help them to think critically about how global systems work and how they connect and transform social activity and bio-geophysical landscapes around the world. Students will learn the cultural, political-economic, and bio-geophysical characteristics that distinguish the world’s diverse regions; how place-specific characteristics shape and are shaped by global processes; and the role of policy in shaping global flows and their local expressions. Formerly EMP 102.


GPY 118 - Montana Rivers

Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 3

This integrative, field-based course introduces students to the environmental programs at Rocky Mountain College and is a required course for geography, environmental science, and environmental studies. Through hands-on experiences in the outdoor classrooms of the Yellowstone and Missouri River watersheds, students will gain a geographic perspective on key regional environmental issues. Activities include a multi-day canoe trip on the Missouri River or Yellowstone River and outdoor service learning activities, such as the annual Yellowstone River Cleanup. Students will read and keep journals, write papers, examine basic ecology and geology, analyze and communicate effectively about patterns of landscape change and management, and work as part of a team of outdoor professionals. Students will learn basic GPS and mapping (GIS) skills. Formerly EMP 118.

Corequesite: EST 103, ESC 105, and 106; or permission of instructor


GPY 224 - Environment & Society

Semester: Spring; Odd years
Semester hours: 3

This course presents a geographic perspective on environmental problems and introduces students to the core ideas, terminology, major controversies, complexities, and scholarly context surrounding contemporary socio-environmental problems. Topics include landscape as a dynamic artifact of human-environment interaction; roots of (mostly American) political ecology thinking; social, environmental, and political-economic factors shaping human environment interaction and environmental problems; and the roles of consumers, markets, governments, policies, science, and collective action in use and conservation of ecosystem resources. This course may be used to satisfy a core curriculum requirement for the social sciences. Formerly EMP 224.


GPY 226 - Energy and Society

Semester: Spring; Even years
Semester hours: 3

This course introduces students to knowledge, theories, and analytical techniques that will help them better understand and communicate effectively about the scientific, technical, economic, social, political, and environmental dimensions of Earth-Energy-Society interactions. While other energy sources will be discussed, the course focuses primarily on human use of energy from hydrocarbons (fossil fuels). Particular attention will be given to policy tools and technical options for addressing problematic or unsustainable patterns of energy production. Patterns of Earth-Energy-Society interactions will be examined from a historical-geographic perspective. Formerly EST 226.


GPY 302 - Sustainable Development Policy and Practice

Semester: Fall; Odd years
Semester hours: 3

This course provides students with an understanding of key themes of sustainable development policy and practice. Course materials and activities will track the theory and practice of development as it has evolved from the empire-building focus of the colonial period of human history to the present era of "sustainable development," which, in theory, proposes to meet the needs of the current generation without jeopardizing the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Students will critically examine common assumptions regarding sustainable development, and study the effects of particular development theorizations as well as the spatial processes and linkages leading to development outcomes. Students will consider whose needs are best met by orthodox approaches to sustainable development, how to define development success, and how development success can be achieved through policy and practice. Formerly EMP 302

Prerequisite: GPY 102 or permission of instructor


GPY 321 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

Semester: Fall
Semester hours: 4

This course introduces students to the theory and practical application of geographic information systems (GIS). Topics include fundamentals of cartography, GIS data types, data input, GIS database structure and management, analysis of spatially distributed data, and report preparations using GIS. Formerly ESC 321.

Prerequisite: MAT 100 and a previous science course


GPY 322 - Remote Sensing

Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 4

This course introduces the principles of remote sensing to students who are new to the field but who have experience with GIS (particularly with ArcMap). The focus is on hands on application of remote sensing data and workflows to natural resource management, earth science, and environmental systems monitoring. Formerly ESC 322.


HST 365 - American Environmental History

Semester: Fall; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3

This course examines the interrelationship of human society and nature in American history. Topics will include ecology as it relates to European conquest of the Americas, Native American peoples, public lands policies, American national character, technological society, conservation, and the modern environmental movement.


MAT 210 - Probability and Statistics

Semester: Fall, Spring, and Summer
Semester hours: 3

This course provides a non-calculus-based study of discrete probability theory and its statistical applications. Distribution theory and its applications in hypothesis testing and setting confidence intervals are discussed.

Prerequisite: MAT 100 or satisfactory score on a placement exam


PHR 304 - Environmental Ethics

Semester: Spring; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3

This course will address issues such as whether natural beings and the natural world have rights or whether only humans have rights. Students will determine what is ethically appropriate for humans in their relationship with the environment as well as what environmental ethics must take account of to be consequential in the world today.


PHR 378 - Philosophy of Technology and Modern Culture

Semester: Fall; Alternate years
Semester hours: 3

It is often a difficult task to understand one's own culture and age. Recent philosophical work offers profound insights into our age and places these insights within a much wider context.


POL 313 - Environmental Politics

Semester: Spring
Semester hours: 3

This course explores the political problems associated with the human impact on the natural environment: pollution, natural resources, public lands, land use, energy, cultural/social justice, and population.


  • Kayhan Ostovar, Associate Professor
  • Megan Poulette, Associate Professor