Welcome to the department of Environmental Studies, which offers a B.A. in Environmental Studies and a B.S. in Environmental Science.

Our department is a dynamic collection of experts in fields such as policy studies, geography, aquatic science, resource management, social justice, environmental literature and analysis, the philosophy of science, conservation biology, and environmental health.

We have an exciting new curriculum for all students entering in Fall 2016 and thereafter.  The curriculum is described fully in the College Bulletin and on our department's website.

For students who entered the college before FA16, information about the old curriculum can be found at

Courses appropriate for prospective majors

Environmental Studies / Environmental Science

A new student with a strong interest in the Environmental Studies or Environmental Science major should take:

  1. FY Seminar (already assigned)
  2. Language
  3. ENST 161 
    One additional course required for the Environmental Studies or Environmental Science degrees, selected from one of the five categories: Humanities/Arts & Environment, Society & Environment, Foundations of Environmental Science, Applications of Environmental Science, Environmental Studies Specialization, or Disciplinary Specializations.  Students who are especially interested in environmental science are urged to select a course designated Foundations of Environmental Science.

NOTE: non-majors should not enroll in ENST 161; they should enroll in ENST 121.

Category lists of courses satisfying these requirements are available on the Banner system, and on the department website.

For course descriptions and requirements for the major, refer to the Academic Bulletin: Environmental Studies and Environmental Science or the department web site.

Courses that fulfill distribution requirements

Environmental Studies Advising Guide, March 2016

*For students enrolled in the new curriculum (starting Fall 2016)

The Environmental Studies program offers two majors – B.A. Environmental Studies (13 courses) and B.S. Environmental Science (16 courses) – that provide students the opportunity to develop their own academic programs within a structure that provides breadth and depth. Students are expected to engage with their academic advisor as they define their interests and goals (an ongoing process), and then select relevant courses that will meet the major requirements.

Both majors share a core of 4 required courses: ENST 161, 162, 252, and 406

B.A. Environmental Studies majors must complete an additional 9 courses from the categories below. At least three courses must be ENST courses and at least three must be at the 300-level or above.

Humanities/Arts & Environment – at least 1
Society & Environment – at least 2
Foundations of Environmental Science – at least 1
Applications of Environmental Science – at least 1

Other courses may be taken from the Humanities/Arts & Environment, Society & Environment, Foundations of Environmental Science, Applications of Environmental Science, Environmental Studies Specialization, or Disciplinary Specialization lists.  No more than two Disciplinary Specialization courses can be applied to the degree.

NOTE:  No more than two may be numbered 550 or 560

B.S. Environmental Science majors must complete an additional 12 courses from the categories below.  At least three must be ENST courses and at least five of which must be at the 300-level or above.

Humanities/Arts & Environment – at least 1
Society & Environment – at least 1
Foundations of Environmental Science – at least 3
Applications of Environmental Science – at least 5

NOTE:  No more than two may be numbered 550 or 560

For both majors, note that a single course may satisfy more than one requirement. However, this does not reduce the total number of courses required for the majors.

Humanities, Arts, & Environment courses.  Humanities, Arts, & Environment courses explore humanity’s relation to the earth from perspectives offered by the arts, literature, philosophy, and religion. Such classes may include aesthetic, spiritual, and ethical principles employed to assess natural and social scientific ideas.

ENST 111 Environment, Culture, & Values                                   
ARTH 160 Sustainable Practices in Public Art
ENGL 212 Writing About the Natural World
ENGL 329 Ecocriticism                                                                                                                    PHIL 113 Philosophy and the Environment                                                                               
RELG 115 Native American Religions
RELG 215 Jewish Environmental Ethics
RELG 311 Buddhism and the Environment

Society and Environment Courses.  These courses address the ways human societies are affected by the environment and also the ways that human actions alter that same environment. Courses focus on the roles of social, political, economic, and scientific processes in shaping various environmental challenges.

ENST 371 Global Environmental Politics
ENST 370 Environment and Society
ENST 290 / SOCI 230 Environmental and Social Justice  
ENST 330 Environmental Policy
ANTH 214 Ecological Anthropology
ARCH 261 Environmental Archaeology
ECON 222 Environmental Economics (ECON 111 prerequisite required)
ECON 332 Economics of Natural Resources (ECON 222 prerequisite required)
HIST 206 American Environmental History

Foundations of Environmental Science.  These courses present students with disciplinary knowledge from the natural sciences foundational to environmental science.  They may or may not consider how this knowledge relates to environmental science and include courses at introductory through advanced levels.

ANTH 100 Introduction to Biological Anthropology
BIOL 120 Life at the Extremes: A Survival Guide
BIOL 121 Alien Worlds
BIOL 122 The Biochemical Basis of Metabolic Disorders
BIOL 123 Interactions of Plants, Animals and Fungi
BIOL 124 Biology of Behavior
BIOL 125 Understanding Cancer
BIOL 126 Infectious Disease versus Immune Defense
BIOL 127 This Is Your Life
BIOL 216 Genetics
BIOL 313 Cell Biology
BIOL 315 Evolution
BIOL 318 Animal Development
BIOL 321 Invertebrate Zoology
BIOL 323 Algae, Fungi & Lichens
BIOL 326 Microbiology
BIOL 333 Physiology
BIOL 334 Vertebrate Biology
BIOL 343 Metabolism
BIOL 416 Population Genetics
BIOL 417 Molecular Genetics
BIOL 425 Biology of Cancer
CHEM 131 General Chemistry I
CHEM 132 General Chemistry II
CHEM 141 Accelerated General Chemistry
CHEM 241 Organic Chemistry I
CHEM 242 Organic Chemistry II
CHEM 244 Thermodynamics and Kinetics
CHEM 347 Concepts of Inorganic Chemistry
MATH 121 Elementary Statistics
MATH 151 Introduction to Calculus
MATH 170 Single-Variable Calculus
PHYS 114 Climate Change and Renewable Energies
PHYS 141 Physics for the Life Sciences
PHYS 142 Physics for the Life Sciences
ENST 218 Geographic Information Systems
ERSC 121 Are We Alone? Understanding Habitable Worlds
ERSC 141 Earth's Hazards
ERSC 142 Earth's Changing Climate
ERSC 201 Surface Processes
ERSC 205 Introduction to Soil Sciences
ERSC 221 Oceanography
ERSC 301 Field Geology
ERSC 305 Earth Materials
ERSC 307 Paleontology
ERSC 309 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy
ERSC 331 Chemistry of Earth Systems
PHYS 102 Meteorology
PHSY 131 Introductory Physics
PHSY 132 Introductory Physics
PHYS 202 The Physics of Meteorology
CHEM 243 Modern Chemical Analysis
CHEM 244 Thermodynamics and Kinetics
CHEM 342 Structure and Function of Biomolecules
CHEM 343 Metabolism
COMP 131 Introduction to Computer Science
COMP 132 Introduction to Computer Science II
MATH 171 Multivariable Calculus
MATH 211 Discrete Mathematics
MATH 225 MATH 225 Probability and Statistics I
MATH 241 Numerical Methods
MATH 262 Introduction to Linear Algebra
MATH 270 Integration and Infinite Series
MATH 325 Probability and Statistics II
MATH 331 Operations Research

Applications of Environmental Science.  These courses apply scientific tools and methods to address environmental challenges.  A substantial component of the course must consider interactions between humans and the environment.

BIOL 129 Changing Ocean Ecosystems
BIOL 314 Ecology
BIOL 322 Plant Systematics
BIOL 324 Plant Geography and Ecology
BIOL 325 Plant Physiology
BIOL 332 Natural History of Vertebrates
CHEM 243 Modern Chemical Analysis
ENST 335 Analysis & Management of the Aq. Environment
ENST 310 Environmental Health Methods  
ENST 310 Agro-ecology
ENST 318 Advanced Applications in Geographic Information Systems
ENST 361 Role of Natural Science in Environmental Studies
ENST 362 Principles of Natural Science for Environmental Studies
ERSC 204 Global Climate Change
ERSC 215 Energy Resources
ERSC 220 Environmental Geology
PHYS 314 Energy & Environmental Physics
BIOL 128 Field Natural History
ERSC 208 Environmental Hazards
ERSC 320 Hydrogeology

Environmental Studies Specializations.  Interdisciplinary courses that study an aspect of human-environment interactions. Normally, courses would include one of the following: four weeks of environmental content or the application of a foundational concept or idea (e.g. inequality, sculpture, development, ethics, etc.) to an environmental issues for at least two weeks.

ENST 311 Cities, Environment, and Health
ENST 311 Energy Justice
ENST 311 Environment, Conflict and Peace
ENST 311 Environmental Activism
ENST 311 Sustainable Agriculture
ENST 311 Sustainability, Social Justice, Human Rights
ARCH/ ANTH 110 Archaeology and World Prehistory
ARCH/ ANTH/ LALC 262 South American Archaeology
AFST 220/ENG 101 Black Sustainability in African Diasporic Literature
EASN 206/POSC 290 Asian Urban Ecology
EASN 305 Nature and the environment in Japanese Literature and Film
EASN 306/ POLSC 390 Politics of Environmental Protection in Asia
ECON 314: Limits to Growth and the Macroeconomics of Climate Change
GRMN 210 Exploring German Cultures
GRMN 215 German Environments
GRMN 400 Mountains in the German Imagination
HIST 151 History of the Environment
HIST 206 Looking Across the Pacific: Japanese and American Environmental History
HIST 211 Food and Environment in America
HIST 373 Ecological History of Africa
Hum 210 British Landscapes: Social, Economic, Political and Natural Landmarks
POLSC 290 The Politics of Parks
RUSS 248, Russian Culture & the Environment
SOCI 230 Conflict and Conflict Resolution Studies
SOCI 237 Global Inequality
SUST 301 Practicum in Sustainability – Building Sustainable Communities

Disciplinary Specialization courses.  Disciplinary specialization courses provide students the opportunity to place their understanding of environmental studies within the broader context of traditional and emerging academic disciplines. Environmental studies is built upon and connects to most disciplines. In many cases, progress within environmental studies requires drawing on these disciplines and communicating with practitioners in these disciplines. Disciplinary specialization courses are entirely optional. Offering these courses and inviting students to consider including them in their major program is consistent with the liberal arts.
INST 290: Population Issues in Developing Countries
Africana Studies
AFST 100 Introduction to Africana Studies

101 Anthropology for the 21st Century
212 Development Anthropology
216 Medical Anthropology
222 Contemporary Peoples of Latin America
229 Principles of Human Variation and Adaptation
233 Anthropology of Religion
255 Global Eastern Africa
256 Health and Healing in Africa
310 Nutritional Anthropology
331 Principles of Human Evolution
American Studies
AMST 201: Introduction to American Studies
251 Paleolithic Archaeology
261 Archaeology of North America
290 Archaeological Methods

Art & Art History
101 An Introduction to the History of Art
102 An Introduction to the History of Art
108 Introduction to the Arts of Asia
122 Fundamentals of Composition and Drawing
206 Museum Studies
221 Introduction to Photography

East Asian Studies
101 Introduction to East Asia

111 Introduction to Microeconomics
112 Introduction to Macroeconomics
214 Political Economy of Gender
223 American Capitalism and Social Justice
228 Economic Analysis of Policy
236 Issues in Developing Economics
288 Contending Economic Perspectives
314 Gender and Development

Educational Studies
120 Contemporary Issues in American Education
130 History of American Education
140 Educational Psychology
260 Introduction to Educational Research

220 Introduction to Literary Studies
312 Advanced Expository Writing

Health Studies
201 Introduction to Health Studies

150 History of Science
151 History of Environment
257 European Intellectual History
281 Recent U.S. History
350 American Science, Technology and Medicine
377 Consumerism, Nationalism and Gender
389 Native Peoples of Eastern North America

International Business & Management
100 Fundamentals of Business
110 Fundamentals of Accounting
200 Global Economy
230 International Organizational Behavior
240 Marketing in a Global Context

International Studies
170 International Relations
260 History of International Relations
271 Ethics and International Security
273 International Political Economy
280 American Foreign Policy
290 Global Health
290 International Development

200 Newspaper Journalism

Latin American, Latino and Caribbean Studies
235 Introduction to Caribbean Studies

101 Intro to Philosophy
102 Moral Problems
180 Political Philosophy
251 Philosophy of Religion
252 Philosophy of Art
254 Philosophy of Science
255 Philosophy of Law
256 Philosophy of Mind
265 Non-Western Aesthetics
275 Beauty
280 Recent Political Thought
285 Justice in World Politics
302 Ethical Theory
303 Epistemology

Policy Studies
200 Foundations in Policy Studies
230 Negotiation and Advocacy
248 The Judiciary
255 Philosophy of Law
301 Policy and Leadership

Political Science
120 American Government
150 Comparative Politics
170 International Relations
180 Political Philosophy
204 Competing Political Ideologies
222 Public Policy Analysis
231 Public Administration
242 Political Behavior
243 Mass Media and American Politics
244 Public Opinion
245 Political Parties and Interest Group
246 The Legislative Process
248 The Judiciary
256 The City
258 Human Rights

PSYC 130 Perception, Memory & Thought
PSYC 140 Social Psychology
PSYC 150 Intro to Cross-Cultural Psychology
PSYC 175 Intro to Community Psychology

Public Speaking
101 Introduction to Public Speaking

110 Religion and Modern Culture
115 Native American Religions
121 Hinduism
122 Buddhism
130 Religions of East Asia
201 Tibetan Buddhism
206 Jews and Judaism in the United States
208 Religion in the United States
210 Religions of Africa

Science, Technology & Culture
259 Writing Science News

110 Social Analysis
236 Inequalities in the U.S.
238 Consumer Culture
240 Qualitative Methods
244 Quantitative Research Methods
270 Social Movements, Protest and Conflict

Women’s and Gender Studies
WGST 200: Introduction to Women's and Gender Studies



The distinction of Honors in Environmental Science and Environmental Studies is awarded by the Department to graduating seniors who have met the requisite academic standards. These include completion of a two-credit independent research project under faculty guidance and maintenance of a minimum GPA of 3.4 in all courses required or applied toward the major. The student's final GPA must be certified at the end of the Senior year just prior to graduation.

The honors project must have both oral and written components. The oral components consist of presentations at department seminars, a professional conference and before a faculty review committee consisting of selected Environmental Studies Department Faculty and the Faculty Research Advisor. The written component may be done with acknowledged assistance from the Faculty Research Advisor and must demonstrate deep understanding of the context and implications of the research.

Detailed guidelines for department honors are available on the department website and through the Department Chairperson.


Many majors are interested in an internship or research experience. There are many opportunities for such both on campus and in the Carlisle/Harrisburg community.  Students often complete this requirement during the summer break as well.  

Co-curricular activities/programs

The Environmental Studies department has numerous employment, internship, and research opportunities in our two major community outreach co-curricular programs: The Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring (ALLARM) and the College Farm. Detailed information on these programs can be found on the department web site.

Students majoring in Environmental Studies or Environmental Science also often find employment, internship, and research opportunities with the Center for Sustainability Education.

Opportunities for off-campus study

Environmental Studies students are encouraged to participate in the following programs abroad: School for Field Studies, where students can participate in a field-based integrated environmental studies curriculum in one of five locations around the world; the Dickinson Science Program in Norwich, England, where environmental studies and science majors can take courses at an internationally-known environmental science center at the University of East Anglia; the Semester in Environmental Science at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, where students can participate in a rigorous field-based program in aquatic sciences; and the Dickinson Program in Queensland, Australia, which offers a wide variety of excellent Environmental Studies and Science courses. Information on many other opportunities for Environmental Studies students is available at the Center for Global Study and Engagement.