SIS with leavesClasses for Fall 2018 are live on SIS! The classes below not only fill a variety of distribution requirements, but also address the environment and climate change from interdisciplinary perspectives. 

Featured Course:

ENV 0195-02 Sustainability in Action

Worried about climate change? Wondering how to help? Curious about careers  in sustainability? Take ENVS 195-02: Sustainability in Action on Wednesdays from 6-9 PM to learn about the many ways you can address environmental problems and build your career in this introductory sustainability course. Find more info at!

EOS-0131 Groundwater

(Cross-listed as CEE 113 and ENV 113). The geology and hydrology of groundwater. Topics include: hydraulic properties of soils, sediments, and rocks; physics of groundwater flow; flow nets, modeling groundwater systems; geology of regional flow; aquifer exploration and water well construction methods; well hydraulics and aquifer testing; applications in the geosciences and in civil /geotechnical/environmental engineering. Recommendations: EOS 1 or 2, and MATH 32.

ANTH-0026 Anth of Socialism & Post-Soc.

Anthropology of socialism and postsocialism, analyzing political, economic, and sociocultural transformations in the former Soviet Union and other socialist states. Takes a global approach; juxtaposes post-socialism with post-colonial and post-industrial processes. Explores power and resistance; ethnicity and nationalism; gender and body politics; health and illness; commodification and consumption; religion, magic, and rationality; resource extraction; environmental changes; and criminal economies. No prerequisites.

PAI-0033 Interdisciplinary Practices

This course is a studio + seminar course that investigates the role of art in communicating and reflecting upon current science particularly related to intersections of environment. The course acts as a survey of methodologies for incorporating scientific material into a creative practice as well as a time for students to develop their own processes for making creative work about a topic of their interest. This course is designed to allow students with existing artistic skill to develop a practice of integrating scientific material into their work, or for students engaged in studies related to scientific fields to find new ways to think about their existing studies. The course contends with knowledge construction and encourages both the integration of current scientific information into artistic discourse while simultaneously allowing for productive critique of existing epistemological structures. Non-SMFA students will receive a letter grade.

BIO-0144 Prin Conservation Bio

(Cross-listed as ENV 144.) Learning and application of principles from population ecology, population genetics, and community ecology to the conservation of species and ecosystems. Focus on rare and endangered species, as well as threatened ecosystems. Includes applications from animal behavior, captive breeding, and wildlife management. Readings from current texts and primary literature. Recommendations: BIO 14 or equivalent.

ANTH-0174 Thinking with Plants

Explores use of plants as material resources (food, medicines, licit/illicit drugs, infrastructure) and as symbolic resources. Topics include circulation of plants; colonial cultivation, extraction, and power; place of plants in different lived environments and symbolic ecologies; plants, capitalism, and commodity chains; indigenous knowledge, tourism, and biopiracy; commercialization, criminalization and legality; multi-species approaches to living with and among botanicals.

CSHD-0143 Special Topics: School Gardens Public Schools

Group seminar study of an approved topic that is not covered by a regular course in the department. Please contact the department for detailed information.

AMER-0194 Special Topics: Earth Matters

Courses offered on an ad hoc basis and open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students. Please see departmental website for specific details.

PHIL-0191 Seminars: Environmental Ethic

The course explores the values, rights, responsibilities and status of entities underlying alternative ethical approaches to environmental issues. Subjects include: anthropocentric vs. biocentric frameworks to natural resource protection; precautionary principle; ethics of cost-benefit analysis; equity and risk management; status of “rights” of non-human species and future generations; ethical considerations of sustainable development & energy use; genetically modified crops; transgenic animals; deep vs. narrow ecology; economic and non-economic value of wilderness & sacred lands. Recommended: Two courses in philosophy.

EC-0030 Environmental Economics

(Cross-listed as ENV 30.) An examination of the uses and limitations of economic analysis in dealing with many of the environmental concerns of our society. Public policies concerning the environment will be evaluated as to their ability to meet certain economic criteria. Prerequisite: Economics 5 or Economics 8.

PS-0138 Topics In Compar Pol: Politics Of Oil & Energy

This course examines how oil, energy, and other natural resources have shaped economic and political outcomes in countries around the world. It begins by exploring research on how oil and natural resources affect political regimes and the risk of civil war and international conflict. The economic effects of oil and natural resources are then considered through an analysis of the “resource curse” hypothesis. We will evaluate this hypothesis by investigating the experiences of countries in the Middle East, Latin America, Africa, and North America. The final part of the class takes a public policy focus by looking at how governments design and implement policy related to oil and energy, how oil and energy industries respond to this policy, and how this affects consumers and the public as a whole. We examine topics such as the role of OPEC, regulation, and energy policy in the United States.

SCP-0156 Advanced Sem: Shelter & Land

This advanced seminar takes an in depth look at topics related to “shelter” and “landscape” and explores crossovers with architecture, sculpture, function and design, as well as relationships between culture, nature and the crisis of sustainability. From the failures of the public housing projects to the contemporary innovations of the engineered natural world, artists have explored these ideas from the Land Art of the 1960s and 1970s to the sustainable design emphasis of today. Non-SMFA students and MAT Art Education students will receive a letter grade.

ENV-0167 Environmental Toxicology

(Cross-listed as CEE 157.) This course is designed to present the basic scientific principles of toxicology and the relationship of toxicology to health-based risk assessment and hazardous materials management. The toxic effects of hazardous substances on specific organ systems are described, as well as the mechanisms of action of some frequently encountered environmental contaminants. Specialized topics related to the field of toxicology are also discussed, including animal to human extrapolation of data, mutagenicity/carcinogenicity, and teratogenesis. Recommendations: Senior standing or consent of instructor.

VISC-0129 The Greening of Art

(Cross-listed w/ENV 129) “The Greening of Art: Ecology, sustainability and sculpture since 1960” explores the impact of theories for sustainable development on contemporary sculpture. We will cover the history of the ecology movement since the 1960s, as well as the development of ideas of sustainability since the late 1980s, highlighting the difference between ecology and sustainability in concept, context and reception. We will study artists whose work contributes to shape current perceptions of ecology, such as Hamish Fulton, Helen Mayer Harrison, Newton Harrison, Joseph Beuys and Mark Dion. Furthermore, the socio-political implications of recent definitions of sustainability will be considered and framed within the discourse on globalization: in this context, we will look at the work of Rirkrit Tiravanija, Eteam, Andrea Zittel, Marjetica Potrc, Gediminas and Nomeda Urbonas, among many others. We will finally consider local practices, such as artist Julie Stone’s commitment to community gardening, which blurs the boundaries between environmental activism and sculpture.

BIO-0010 Plants & Humanity

(Cross-listed as ENV 10.) Principles of botany accenting economic aspects and multicultural implications of plants, their medicinal products, crop potential, and biodiversity. Emphasis placed on global aspects of this dynamic science, with selected topics on acid rain, deforestation, biotechnology, and other applications. Also covered are medicinal, poisonous, and psychoactive species, as well as nutritional sources from seaweeds and mushrooms to mangos and durians. Three lectures.

EOS-0051 Global Climate Change

Introduction to Earth’s climate system to better understand causes of present and future climate change. Emphasis placed on processes that control Earth’s modern climate, such as global energy budgets, the behavior of greenhouse gases, and features of global and regional climate systems such as El Nino South Oscillation. Lectures and problem-based classroom exercises. Prerequisite: EOS 1, 2 or 5. May be taken by grad students as EOS 151 with extra assignments.