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: Miguel Bedran, Marina
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 2/15
  • PosTag(s): GRLL-ENGL, ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR, INST-GLOBAL

Freshman Seminar: Sustainable + Non-Sustainable Resources
AS.270.110 (01)

An introduction to the important resources involved in the origin and production of oil, natural gas, coal, cement, metals and geothermal fluids.

  • Credits: 1.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: T 9:00AM - 10:15AM
  • Instructor: Sverjensky, Dimitri
  • Room:  
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/12
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Freshman Seminar: Environmental Poisons
AS.270.113 (01)

An exploration of the occurrence and potential effects of poisons in the environment, from naturally occurring ones such as arsenic to those that may be introduced by mankind such as nuclear waste.

  • Credits: 1.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: Th 9:00AM - 10:15AM
  • Instructor: Sverjensky, Dimitri
  • Room:  
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/12
  • PosTag(s): n/a

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: Lewis, Kevin, Sing, David Kent
  • Room:  
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/110
  • 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: Szlavecz, Katalin
  • Room:  
  • Status: Reserved Open
  • Seats Available: 23/45
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MINOR, ARCH-RELATE

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: MW 3:00PM - 4:15PM
  • Instructor: Kelly, Rebecca E
  • Room:  
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/24
  • PosTag(s): ARCH-RELATE, ENVS-MINOR

The Dynamic Earth Laboratory
AS.270.221 (01)

This course is a hands-on learning experience for introductory geological concepts and techniques using geological tools, such as mineral/rock samples, microscopes, and maps. Field trips are its essential part. The course is open to undergraduates at all levels; freshmen who wish to get their hands (and boots) dirty are encouraged to enroll.

  • Credits: 2.00
  • Level: Lower Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: Th 9:00AM - 11:30AM
  • Instructor: Lewis, Kevin, Smith, Emily
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 11/20
  • 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: Waugh, Darryn
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 11/32
  • PosTag(s): GECS-SCI, ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR

Geoscience Modeling
AS.270.307 (01)

An introduction to modern ways to interpret observations in the context of a conceptual model. Topics include model building, hypothesis testing, and inverse methods. Practical examples from geophysics, engineering, and medical physics will be featured.

  • Credits: 4.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 1:30PM - 2:45PM
  • Instructor: Haine, Thomas
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 10/15
  • PosTag(s): n/a

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:  
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/40
  • PosTag(s): BEHB-BIOBEH

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 3:00PM - 3:50PM
  • Instructor: Gnanadesikan, Anand
  • Room:  
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/20
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Sediments to Sequences
AS.270.351 (01)

Sediments and sedimentary rocks are archives of information about environmental, tectonic, and biological conditions that prevailed at the time they were laid down. Stratigraphy is the study of geological rock layers that involves documenting sedimentary successions, interpreting them, correlating sedimentary units across basins, and where possible, dating them, either directly or indirectly. This lecutre-style course will explore advanced techniques for interrogating the stratigraphic record. Topics include cyclicity in the sedimentary record, sequence stratigraphy, chemostratigraphy, sedimentary control on the fossil record, and the record of deep sea sediment cores.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: Th 1:30PM - 2:20PM
  • Instructor: Smith, Emily
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 6/10
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Stable Isotope Geochemistry
AS.270.354 (01)

Stable isotope measurements are used to probe fundamental questions in the Earth and environmental sciences because they can be used to extract information about chemical, physical, and biological processes associated with the formation of geomaterials. Stable isotope patterns have been used for applications ranging from tracking the rise of oxygen on the early Earth to studying human diet. The majority of the course will focus on light isotope systems (O, C, S, etc.) and low-temperature applications, including: (1) tracing sources and sinks of fluids, sediments, biological materials, and contaminants, (2) studying rates and mechanisms of biochemical reactions, and (3) paleoenvironmental reconstructions. We will also review novel stable isotope applications including heavy isotope systems and mass independent fractionations. At the end of the course, students will be able to make interpretations about how stable isotope patterns inform our knowledge of how geomaterials are formed and provide information about the Earth system.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: TTh 1:30PM - 2:45PM
  • Instructor: Gomes, Maya L
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 16/16
  • PosTag(s): ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR

Lunar Exploration and Analog Geology
AS.270.362 (01)

This course involves readings, discussion, and lectures about astronaut-enabled geological exploration of the Moon and analogous terrains on Earth. Topics include: volcanism, impact geology (cratering, ejecta, ballistic sedimentation), faulting, field methods (video and voice descriptions, sampling protocol), and field equipment (spacesuits, rovers, landers, cores, etc.), Apollo history and Artemis plans/current events. Assessment will involve participation, ~5 assignments related to the course objectives, and a presentation or short paper (student’s discretion) synthesizing a small range of covered topics of interest to the student at the conclusion.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: F 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Runyon, Kirby Daniel
  • Room: Ames 234
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 8/15
  • 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:
  • Instructor: Stanley, Sabine
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 16/20
  • 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: MW 12:00PM - 1:15PM
  • Instructor: Kelly, Rebecca E
  • Room:  
  • Status: Reserved Open
  • Seats Available: 1/60
  • 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: MW 1:30PM - 2:45PM
  • Instructor: Avolio, Meghan Lynn
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 14/18
  • PosTag(s): n/a

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: Zaitchik, Benjamin
  • Room:  
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/50
  • PosTag(s): INST-IR

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: T 12:00PM - 1:15PM
  • Instructor: Monopolis, Alexios Nicolaos
  • Room:  
  • Status: Open
  • Seats Available: 15/25
  • PosTag(s): n/a

Environmental Ethics
AS.271.401 (01)

Environmental Ethics is a philosophical discipline that examines the moral relationship between humans and the natural environment. For individuals and societies, it can help structure our experience of nature, environmental problems, human-environmental relations, and ecological awareness. Beginning with a comprehensive analysis of their own values, students will explore complex ethical questions, philosophical paradigms and real-life case studies through readings, films and seminar discussions. Traditional ethical theories, including consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics will be examined and applied. Environmental moral worldviews, ranging from anthropocentric to ecocentric perspectives, will be critically evaluated. Organized debates will help students strengthen their ability to deconstruct and assess ethical arguments and to communicate viewpoints rooted in ethical principles. Students will apply ethical reasoning skills to an examination of contemporary environmental issues including, among others, biodiversity conservation, environmental justice, climate change, and overpopulation. Students will also develop, defend and apply their own personal environmental ethical framework. A basic understanding of modern environmental history and contemporary environmental issues is required. Prior experience with philosophy and ethics is not required.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: T 1:30PM - 4:00PM
  • Instructor: Monopolis, Alexios Nicolaos
  • Room:  
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/12
  • PosTag(s): GECS-SOCSCI, INST-PT, ENVS-MINOR

Environmental Policymaking and Policy Analysis
AS.271.403 (01)

This course provides students with a broad introduction to US environmental policymaking and policy analysis. Included are a historical perspective as well as an analysis of future policymaking strategies. Students examine the political and legal framework, become familiar with precedent-setting statutes such as NEPA, RCRA, and the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, and study models for environmental policy analysis. Cost benefit studies, the limits of science in policymaking, and the impact of environmental policies on society are important aspects of this course. A comparison of national and international policymaking is designed to provide students with the proper perspective. This course is taught in conjunction with an identical graduate course. All students will be expected to perform at a graduate level.

  • Credits: 3.00
  • Level: Upper Level Undergraduate
  • Days/Times: M 6:00PM - 8:45PM
  • Instructor: Monopolis, Alexios Nicolaos
  • Room:  
  • Status: Waitlist Only
  • Seats Available: 0/21
  • PosTag(s): INST-AP, INST-CP, ENVS-MINOR

Course # (Section) Title Day/Times Instructor Room PosTag(s) Info
AS.217.425 (01)Latin American EcocriticismTTh 12:00PM - 1:15PMMiguel Bedran, Marina GRLL-ENGL, ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR, INST-GLOBAL
AS.270.110 (01)Freshman Seminar: Sustainable + Non-Sustainable ResourcesT 9:00AM - 10:15AMSverjensky, Dimitri 
AS.270.113 (01)Freshman Seminar: Environmental PoisonsTh 9:00AM - 10:15AMSverjensky, Dimitri 
AS.270.114 (01)Guided Tour: The PlanetsTTh 3:00PM - 4:15PMLewis, Kevin, Sing, David Kent 
AS.270.202 (01)Introduction to EcologyTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMSzlavecz, Katalin ENVS-MINOR, ARCH-RELATE
AS.270.205 (01)Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial AnalysisMW 3:00PM - 4:15PMKelly, Rebecca E ARCH-RELATE, ENVS-MINOR
AS.270.221 (01)The Dynamic Earth LaboratoryTh 9:00AM - 11:30AMLewis, Kevin, Smith, Emily 
AS.270.224 (01)Oceans & AtmospheresMWF 1:30PM - 2:20PMWaugh, Darryn GECS-SCI, ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR
AS.270.307 (01)Geoscience ModelingTTh 1:30PM - 2:45PMHaine, Thomas 
AS.270.312 (01)Mammalian EvolutionTTh 9:00AM - 10:15AMCooke, Siobhan BEHB-BIOBEH
AS.270.325 (01)Introductory OceanographyMWF 3:00PM - 3:50PMGnanadesikan, Anand 
AS.270.351 (01)Sediments to SequencesTh 1:30PM - 2:20PMSmith, Emily 
AS.270.354 (01)Stable Isotope GeochemistryTTh 1:30PM - 2:45PMGomes, Maya L ENVS-MAJOR, ENVS-MINOR
AS.270.362 (01)Lunar Exploration and Analog GeologyF 1:30PM - 4:00PMRunyon, Kirby DanielAmes 234
AS.270.404 (01)Planetary InteriorsStanley, Sabine 
AS.271.107 (01)Introduction to SustainabilityMW 12:00PM - 1:15PMKelly, Rebecca E 
AS.271.345 (01)Society and Nature Conflicts: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Studying Environmental Problems Over TimeMW 1:30PM - 2:45PMAvolio, Meghan Lynn 
AS.271.360 (01)Climate Change: Science & PolicyTTh 10:30AM - 11:45AMZaitchik, Benjamin INST-IR
AS.271.399 (01)Research DesignT 12:00PM - 1:15PMMonopolis, Alexios Nicolaos 
AS.271.401 (01)Environmental EthicsT 1:30PM - 4:00PMMonopolis, Alexios Nicolaos GECS-SOCSCI, INST-PT, ENVS-MINOR
AS.271.403 (01)Environmental Policymaking and Policy AnalysisM 6:00PM - 8:45PMMonopolis, Alexios Nicolaos INST-AP, INST-CP, ENVS-MINOR