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The field of Environmental Studies, and thus our EVST curriculum, has a wide reach that encompasses the natural sciences, social sciences, and humanities so that students grasp the many facets of the human place in nature in light of both its problems and its prospects. But in a broadly interdisciplinary field such as this, it is also important to cultivate some measure of expertise in a specific area, which is the purpose of our specializations, each of which is 20 credits. The choice of a specialization should be made before the completion of 90 credits toward your SU degree (i.e., by the end of your sophomore year) and must be certified by submitting an “Addition of Another Major, Degree, Specialization, or Certificate” form to the Office of the Registrar. In all the specializations, lower-division courses should, whenever possible, be completed before upper-division courses.
The root of “ecology” is the Greek word “oikos,” meaning “household,” and this natural science specialization thus focuses on the geological, biological, and ecological structures and functions of the household of life. And since human beings are such significant inhabitants of this global household, it includes an emphasis on how we can live sustainably within, as well as restore, such ecosystems. Many of the relevant course options in ecological science are in the Biology Department, so we strongly encourage students pursing this specialization to consider completing a minor in Biology, which not only makes for a very appealing major/minor combination (with multiple courses counting for both) but also satisfies the prerequisite requirements for the Biology courses listed below. Building on the natural science courses in the EVST core, coursework in this specialization includes a choice of courses in both physical science and ecological science and much field exploration in diverse and often beautiful Pacific Northwest habitats. Numerous relevant internships are available with government agencies, nonprofits, and agricultural operations.CurriculumChoose two of the following courses in physical science:UCOR 1840 Beaches to MountainsEVST 3910 Fire and IceEVST 3910 Mountains to SoundEVST 3930 The Living Soil: Principles of Soil SciencePHYS 3830 Dinosaurs and You: Climate Past, Present, and FutureUCOR 3840 Arctic Environmental ChangeUCOR 3840 Natural HazardsChoose two of the following courses in ecological science:BIOL 2350 Invertebrate Zoology*BIOL 2360 Marine Invertebrate Zoology*BIOL 2520 Taxonomy of Flowering Plants*BIOL 2530 Marine Botany*BIOL 3650 Marine Biology*BIOL 3660 Conservation Biology*BIOL 3800 Animal Behavior*BIOL 3890 Environmental Physiology*EVST 3930 AgroecologyBIOL 4600 General Ecology*BIOL 4620 Marine Ecology*BIOL 4640 Aquatic Ecology*BIOL 4660 Tropical Ecology*An approved course from Blakely Island Field Studies or another university* These courses will require BIOL prerequisites
The great and epochal human migration from countryside to cities has now resulted, for better or for worse, in more than half the world’s population living in urban areas. And while urban growth is especially intense in developing countries, the urban population of the U.S. is growing faster than the nation’s overall population and recently surpassed 80% of the total. In light of these facts, this EVST specialization addresses the crucial contemporary need to “green” our cities and to develop satisfying and sustainable urban lifestyles. Coursework includes a basic grounding in urban planning and course options in the further physical and sociological dimensions of sustainable communities. The environmentally progressive city of Seattle (along with several other local cities) is a very well equipped living laboratory for studying urban sustainability and offers many opportunities for interesting field trips and rewarding internships.CurriculumPUBA 2010 Introduction to Urban Planning and PolicyChoose three of the following courses: PUBA 2150 Introduction to the Nonprofit SectorPUBA 3090 State and Local PolicyEVST 3740 Acoustic EcologyPUBA 3550 Community Design WorkshopSOCL 3030 Sociology of CommunityEVST 3910 Urban Food SystemsPUBA 4810 Exploring the American CityPUBA 4820 Housing Design and the Sustainable CommunityECON 4780 Urban/Regional EconomicsPHIL 4290 Urban Ethics
A classic definition of environmental education states that its goal is “to develop a world population that is aware of, and concerned about, the environment and its associated problems, and which has the knowledge, skills, attitudes, motivations, and commitment to work individually and collectively toward solutions of current problems and the prevention of new ones.” This specialization serves this ambitious and indispensable goal by equipping students with the knowledge and skills necessary for raising the environmental consciousness and commitment of others, whether through direct, interpersonal teaching or through media-based advocacy and public awareness campaigns. The coursework in this specialization integrates theory and practice and spans the spectrum from more focused and traditional educational approaches to more broad-based communication strategies. The Puget Sound region holds many excellent internship opportunities in environmental education centers, parks, and nonprofit organizations.
EVST 2450 Environmental EducationChoose two of the following courses:EVST 3600 Nature Writing and EnvironmentalismEVST 3920 EcopsychologyEVST 3740 Acoustic EcologyEVST 4860 Children and NatureChoose one of the following courses:ART 1610 Digital Photography IART 4800 Documentary Photography for Social ChangeCMJR 3200 Persuasive and Critical WritingCMJR 3300 Introduction to Graphic CommunicationCMJR 3500 PersuasionENGL 3080 Advanced Writing: Argument and PersuasionCMST 4800 Environmental Discourse in the Public Sphere