Undergraduate Courses

To see a complete list of courses offered and their descriptions, visit the online course catalog.

The courses listed below are provided by Student Information Services (SIS). This listing provides a snapshot of immediately available courses within this department and may not be complete. Course registration information is available on the SIS website.

Column one has the course number and section. Other columns show the course title, days offered, instructor's name, room number, if the course is cross-referenced with another program, and a option to view additional course information in a pop-up window.

Latin American Ecocriticism
AS.217.425 (01)

Increased awareness of climate change has led to a shift in the way we address and intervene in environmental issues in the new millennium. Yet the interest in making sense of the environment has a long history in literature and the arts. How have Latin American writers and artists understood and depicted their environments and environmental questions? How do the form and content of texts and cultural artifacts influence our understanding of the non-human world? Can works of fiction shape ecological transformations? In this course we will discuss texts from the early colonial period to the present, including the literary works of Graciliano Ramos, Horacio Quiroga, and Clarice Lispector; political ecology; film; Ana Mendieta’s earth-body art; contemporary experiments in bio-art; postcolonial theory; and the intersection of environmental justice with such topics as nationalism and human rights. Going beyond ecocriticism’s original focus on the Anglo-American world, we will engage recent scholarship on Latin America that sheds light on the region’s cultural and geopolitical importance to the global climate, with particular attention to Brazil. This course aims to introduce students to current debates in Latin American Ecocriticism and the Anthropocene and thus contribute to an incipient but expanding field.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 12:00PM - 1:15PM
  • Instructor: Bedran, Marina
  • Room: Bloomberg 176
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/17
  • PosTag(s): INST-GLOBAL, MSCH-HUM, ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR

Guided Tour: The Planets
AS.270.114 (01)

An introduction to planetary science and planetary exploration primarily for non-science majors. A survey of concepts from astronomy, chemistry, geology, and physics applied to the study of the solar system.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 3:00PM - 4:15PM
  • Instructor: Burgess, Jerry, Lewis, Kevin, Sing, David Kent
  • Room: Olin 305
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 38/110
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Introduction to Ecology
AS.270.202 (01)

Ecology is the study of organisms and their environment. This course focuses on the patterns of distribution and abundance of organisms. Topics include population dynamics and regulation, competition, predation, host-parasite interactions, patterns of species diversity, community succession, the flow of energy and matter through ecosystems. We will also discuss the role of natural and human disturbances in shaping communities.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Avolio, Meghan Lynn
  • Room: Shaffer 302
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/45
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MINOR, ARCH-RELATE, BEHB-BIOBEH

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial Analysis
AS.270.205 (01)

The course provides a broad introduction to the principles and practice of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and related tools of Geospatial Analysis. Topics will include history of GIS, GIS data structures, data acquisition and merging, database management, spatial analysis, and GIS applications. In addition, students will get hands-on experience working with GIS software.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: M 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Staff
  • Room: Wyman Park W112
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/24
  • PosTag(s): ARCH-RELATE, ENVS-MINOR

Mineralogy
AS.270.222 (01)

Introduction to the classification, crystallography, and physical properties of minerals. Weekly lab topics include field identification, crystal morphology and symmetry, optical microscopy and Raman spectroscopy. One field trip to the Smithsonian National Museum of History and Research Archives is planned.

  • Credits: 4.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: WF 9:00AM - 9:50AM, W 3:00PM - 6:00PM
  • Instructor: Wicks, June K
  • Room: Olin 206B
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 10/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Oceans & Atmospheres
AS.270.224 (01)

A broad survey of the Earth’s oceans and atmospheres, and their role in the environment and climate. Topics covered include waves, tides, ocean and atmosphere circulation, weather systems, tornadoes and hurricanes, El Niño, and climate change. For science and engineering majors

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MWF 1:30PM - 2:20PM
  • Instructor: Haine, Thomas, Waugh, Darryn
  • Room: Olin 304
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 11/32
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR

Earth History
AS.270.303 (01)

This course will explore the evolution of life in the context of environmental, ecological, and geological changes to the Earth surface system. The goal of the class is to provide students with an understanding of how geological and paleontological records provide insight into the origin(s) of life, oxygenation of the atmosphere, the evolution of multicellularity, evolutionary radiations and extinctions, and modern global change.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 1:30PM - 2:45PM
  • Instructor: Gomes, Maya L
  • Room: Olin 204
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 8/20
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR

Mammalian Evolution
AS.270.312 (01)

An introduction to the evolutionary history and diversity of mammals, with emphasis on the first half of the Cenozoic - the beginning of the Age of Mammals. The course will focus primarily on the adaptive radiation of mammals (including our own order primates) that followed the extinction of the dinosaurs, exploring the origins and relationships of the major groups of mammals as well as the anatomical and ecological reasons for their success. Lectures will be supplemented with relevant fossils and recent specimens.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 9:00AM - 10:15AM
  • Instructor: Cooke, Siobhan
  • Room: Olin 247
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 1/20
  • PosTag(s): BEHB-BIOBEH, ENVS-MAJOR

Conservation Biology
AS.270.317 (01)

In this course, students examine the meaning and implications of biodiversity with a focus on disciplines associated with conservation biology, wildlife conservation and wildlife management, including taxonomy, genetics, small population biology, chemical and restoration ecology, and marine biology. This includes exploring how conservation biology differs from other natural sciences in theory and in application. Students learn the major threats to biodiversity and what natural and social science methods and alternatives are used to mitigate, stop, or reverse these threats. The course also includes the economic and cultural tradeoffs associated with each conservation measure at the global, national, regional, and local levels. One required field trip.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: Th 3:00PM - 5:30PM
  • Instructor: Burgess, Jerry
  • Room: Olin 247
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/20
  • PosTag(s): BEHB-BIOBEH, ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR, CHBE-ACBE

Introductory Oceanography
AS.270.325 (01)

This class is an introduction to a wide range of physical, chemical, and biological phenomena in the world’s oceans. Underlying basic principles are exposed wherever possible. Topics covered include: seawater, waves, tides, ocean circulation, chemical oceanography, biogeochemical ocean processes, and remote sensing of the oceans. Recommended Course Background: freshman Physics, Chemistry, Calculus through ordinary differential equations.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MWF 9:00AM - 9:50AM
  • Instructor: Gnanadesikan, Anand
  • Room: Olin 304
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 12/20
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Mineral Physics Recitation
AS.270.333 (01)

This course is designed for undergraduate students interested in pursuing geophysics research in the topics of solid state physics or inorganic chemistry. It will consist of a weekly seminar paired with a separate paper reading+discussion group, covering a range of topics on the frontiers of mineral physics. Themes rotate each semester, and Fall 2018 will be paired with the Mineralogy Lecture Series on Modeling and Experimental challenges in Cosmochemistry. Recommended Course Background: Relevant coursework such as Mineralogy or equivalent in other department, and instructor permission.

  • Credits: 2.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Wicks, June K
  • Room: Olin 206B
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 20/20
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Botany in Action: An Evolutionary Approach to Plant Science
AS.270.349 (01)

We all know what a plant is- they're usually green, you can eat some of them, some have pretty flowers, and some of them make good medicine. But where do these properties come from and how did they arise? Why do we find them in such large numbers? This course focuses on various aspects of botany through the lens of plant evolution. Understanding and critically assessing contemporary and traditional botanical applications, from cosmetics to urban development, requires foundations in plant ecology, evolution physiology, and biochemistry. The class will incorporate lectures, discussions, and hands-on laboratory activities, and students should expect to construct phylogenetic trees, dissect flowers, identify the plants in and around JHU Homewood campus, and calculate the plant biodiversity of their kitchen pantries.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: WF 3:00PM - 4:15PM
  • Instructor: Yee, Eric
  • Room: Olin 204
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 16/18
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Forested Landscapes
AS.270.353 (01)

Forests are critical global ecosystems that provide not only timber and wood products, but an array of services including habitat for wildlife, water filtration, carbon storage, and recreational opportunities. This integrated seminar-based course features an interdisciplinary approach to understanding forested landscapes that stresses not only inventorying the biotic and abiotic components, but examining how these pieces are distributed in the landscape (patterns) and what forces drive these patterns (processes). Topics focus on the biological, geological, climatological, cultural, and historical underpinnings needed to observe, interpret, and analyze forest communities. It will cover aspects of biogeography, climate forcing of vegetation dynamics, effects of invasive species, land use change and creation of urban forests. This course has an associated 1- credit field trip typically during the summer semester. Please email the instructor if you are interested in this course for more details on the field trip. This field trip counts as a lab requirement for ENVS majors.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: W 3:00PM - 5:30PM
  • Instructor: Burgess, Jerry
  • Room: Olin 247
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/14
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR

A Modern History of Climate Science
AS.270.356 (01)

This course charts the evolution of the field of climate science over the last 250 years. We will explore the history of scientific development that led to advances in climate research in the 19th and 20th century. We will also explore the political and social context in which climate science evolved in the West and the backlash of climate change denial that developed due to the influence of the fossil fuel industry. While this course is focused on history, students will be exposed to introductory scientific and technical concepts needed to understand basic climate science. Our understanding of the earth's climate has come a long way in the last two centuries. We understand the implications of climate change on humanity and have already begun to feel the effects of the changing climate on our society. Yet, it has taken us too long to prioritize climate action and policy. Why does knowledge not always translate into governance and policy? While we understand how the climate impacts our society, do we understand how our society impacts climate research? We will look for answers to these and more questions in this course from a historical framework.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MW 4:00PM - 5:15PM
  • Instructor: Siddiqui, Ali Hasan
  • Room: Olin 304
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 18/18
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Planetary Interiors
AS.270.404 (01)

This course investigates the physical processes occurring in planetary interiors. Topics include formation and differentiation of planetary bodies, planetary structure, thermal evolution, convection, and dynamo generation of magnetic fields. Standard remote sensing methods used to investigate planetary interiors and results from recent planetary satellite missions will also be discussed. Recommended: Knowledge of vector calculus, PDEs and introductory physics.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Stanley, Sabine
  • Room: Olin 145
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 13/20
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Tectonics Seminar
AS.270.431 (01)

Introduction to plate tectonics and its "framework" role in understanding the Earth. Kay papers will be discussed in a weekly seminar class. Focus will be on early works that helped establish the theory, in addition to recent breakthrough contributions that have led to modifications and improvements to the theory of plate tectonics.

  • Credits: 1.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: M 3:00PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Viete, Daniel R
  • Room: Olin 347
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 1/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Introduction to Sustainability
AS.271.107 (01)

Humans are having such a massive impact on Earth systems that some call this the Anthropocene epoch. Should we consider this state of affairs progress or catastrophe? How to we find a sustainable path to the future? This course provides an interdisciplinary introduction to the principles and practice of sustainability, exploring such issues as population, pollution, energy and natural resources, biodiversity, food, justice, and climate change through the lens of systems thinking. Course open to freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. Seniors by instructor permission only.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: MWF 10:00AM - 10:50AM
  • Instructor: Staff
  • Room: Shaffer 303
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/60
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Society and Nature Conflicts: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studying Environmental Problems Over Time
AS.271.345 (01)

In this seminar students will read seminal pieces in the field of socio-environmental research. Socio-environmental research recognizes that society and nature inherently interact in such a way that they affect and change one-another - it is not only that society affects the nature or that nature only affects society. Solving environmental problems necessitates understanding this duality and thus an interdisciplinary background. Assigned readings will span early from thinkers on environmental problems (Before 1900) to current approaches to studying and solving environmental problems.It is aimed at upper level undergraduates and graduate students.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 1:30PM - 2:45PM
  • Instructor: Avolio, Meghan Lynn
  • Room: Olin 346
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 6/10
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR

Climate Change: Science & Policy
AS.271.360 (01)

Prereq: 270.103 or permission of instructor. This course will investigate the policy and scientific debate over global warming. It will review the current state of scientific knowledge about climate change, examine the potential impacts and implications of climate change, explore our options for responding to climate change, and discuss the present political debate over global warming.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
  • Instructor: Waugh, Darryn, Zaitchik, Benjamin
  • Room: Olin 304
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 28/50
  • PosTag(s): INST-IR, ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR

Research Design
AS.271.399 (01)

This course supports students in the design of their senior capstone project, including crafting a suitable research question, identifying appropriate methodologies, and writing a formal project proposal.

  • Credits: 1.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times:
  • Instructor: Burgess, Jerry
  • Room:  
  • Status: Approval Required
  • Seats Available: 4/5
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Course # (Section) Title Day/Times Instructor Room PosTag(s) Info
AS.217.425 (01)Latin American EcocriticismTTh 12:00PM - 1:15PMBedran, MarinaBloomberg 176INST-GLOBAL, MSCH-HUM, ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR
AS.270.114 (01)Guided Tour: The PlanetsTTh 3:00PM - 4:15PMBurgess, Jerry, Lewis, Kevin, Sing, David KentOlin 305
AS.270.202 (01)Introduction to EcologyTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMAvolio, Meghan LynnShaffer 302ENVS-MINOR, ARCH-RELATE, BEHB-BIOBEH
AS.270.205 (01)Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial AnalysisM 1:30PM - 4:00PMStaffWyman Park W112ARCH-RELATE, ENVS-MINOR
AS.270.222 (01)MineralogyWF 9:00AM - 9:50AM, W 3:00PM - 6:00PMWicks, June KOlin 206B
AS.270.224 (01)Oceans & AtmospheresMWF 1:30PM - 2:20PMHaine, Thomas, Waugh, DarrynOlin 304ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR
AS.270.303 (01)Earth HistoryTTh 1:30PM - 2:45PMGomes, Maya LOlin 204ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR
AS.270.312 (01)Mammalian EvolutionTTh 9:00AM - 10:15AMCooke, SiobhanOlin 247BEHB-BIOBEH, ENVS-MAJOR
AS.270.317 (01)Conservation BiologyTh 3:00PM - 5:30PMBurgess, JerryOlin 247BEHB-BIOBEH, ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR, CHBE-ACBE
AS.270.325 (01)Introductory OceanographyMWF 9:00AM - 9:50AMGnanadesikan, AnandOlin 304
AS.270.333 (01)Mineral Physics RecitationWicks, June KOlin 206B
AS.270.349 (01)Botany in Action: An Evolutionary Approach to Plant ScienceWF 3:00PM - 4:15PMYee, EricOlin 204
AS.270.353 (01)Forested LandscapesW 3:00PM - 5:30PMBurgess, JerryOlin 247ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR
AS.270.356 (01)A Modern History of Climate ScienceMW 4:00PM - 5:15PMSiddiqui, Ali HasanOlin 304
AS.270.404 (01)Planetary InteriorsTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMStanley, SabineOlin 145
AS.270.431 (01)Tectonics SeminarM 3:00PM - 4:00PMViete, Daniel ROlin 347
AS.271.107 (01)Introduction to SustainabilityMWF 10:00AM - 10:50AMStaffShaffer 303
AS.271.345 (01)Society and Nature Conflicts: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studying Environmental Problems Over TimeTTh 1:30PM - 2:45PMAvolio, Meghan LynnOlin 346ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR
AS.271.360 (01)Climate Change: Science & PolicyTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMWaugh, Darryn, Zaitchik, BenjaminOlin 304INST-IR, ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR
AS.271.399 (01)Research DesignBurgess, Jerry