Environmental Studies Courses Spring 2006

Master’s Programs
Doctoral Program (Ph.D)


Master’s Programs


ES 506
Advanced Professional Seminar for Resource Management & Administration

Competency Areas: RMA – Required
Required of and Restricted to second year RMA students.

This seminar provides students with the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of a current environmental issue that has only been tangentially addressed in previous courses taken within the program. The issue for this year will be an analysis and critique of US Energy Policy. As a capstone seminar for the RMA program, students will choose a topic related to this issue and be prepared to defend their position, while concurrently educating their peers. Students will have the opportunity to conduct scholarly research that will provide the basis for a formal teaching experience. Student-led and conducted seminar sessions will allow the students to practice and refine their communication and presentation skills that they have gained through previous courses.

Changed 12/21/05 to:
This seminar provides students with the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the environmental professions, to examine career goals and to build a professional peer support network. Utilizing a career development approach, core faculty will work with students to identify career paths, establish personal goals, develop job search skills, and explore professional issues.

Before the class, each student will be asked to develop a strategic process flow diagram outlining the steps they feel will be necessary to be completed before being able to accept any job offer. These will be brought to the first class on January 20. Each student will then develop a plan to market their specific skills and knowledge-base to targeted potential employers. This plan will have an attached time line and associated benchmarks to be reached.

Section A: Michael Simpson
Time: Friday, December 2, 2005*, 11:30 – 1:00 pm (required preparatory meeting) and
Fridays, January 20, February 3, 10 & 17 and
March 3 & 10,
8:15 – 11:00 am
Changed 12/21/05 to:
Time: Fridays, 8:15 – 11:00 am, January 20; February 3, 10 & 17; March 3 & 31

Maximum: 18
Credits: 1


ES 523
Advocacy Clinic II

Competency Areas: EAO – Required; CB, EE, Cert, RMA & IND – Elective

This hands-on, project-based course offers participants the opportunity to engage in supervised practical fieldwork on behalf of actual “clients” — organizations at the local, state, national or international level working for environmental protection, corporate accountability, and social justice. Working in small group teams and individually, students will choose, design, conduct and evaluate advocacy projects from a wide variety of client proposal requests. The goal of the course is to provide students with a strong supervised experiential learning opportunity in the field with more group support, attention to theory, and supervision than an individual practicum placement usually allows. Course elements include focus on corporate campaign strategizing, project planning & management, research & lobbying skills, effective communication (e.g., media releases, briefing papers), and project evaluation.

Section A: Abigail Abrash Walton
Time: Thursdays, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Maximum: 16
Credits: 3


ESF 528
Amphibian Field Biology: Ecology & Conservation

Competency areas: Natural Communities II

This course will focus on the biology and ecology of amphibians, particularly those native to New England and the measures being taken to monitor and conserve amphibian populations. The spring is an exciting time of year to study amphibians as a number of species, the Ambystomid salamanders in particular, are much more conspicuous than usual due to their spring courtship and breeding behaviors. The course will take advantage of these weather sensitive phenomena by including field trips to known hot spots.

Section A: Tom Tyning
Time: Fridays, March 31 and April 14,
7:00 – 9:30 pm, and
Saturdays, April 1, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm and
April 15, 8:30 am – 8:30 pm
Changed 12/01/05 to:

Time: Fridays, March 31 and April 21, 7:00 – 9:30 pm, and
Saturdays, April 1, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm and April 22, 8:30 am – 8:30 pm
Maximum: 16
Credits: 2


ESP 526
Art, Culture, and Nature: Understanding the World through the Arts

Competency Area: Civic Ecology II
Priority to First year ES students.

A world in crisis compels us to act. But before we act, before we attempt to change social patterns or individual behavior, we need insight and understanding of the world in which we live. Science offers one powerful and important window, based on the practice of observing phenomena and then sharing and confirming those observations through multiple witnessing. Art also directs our attention, but in a manner very different from science. Art arrests the mind. It causes us to pause, to contemplate deeply, and to think anew about our world. Out of the silence of this pause can emerge new meaning and innovations, which may present powerful alternatives to policy and action. This class explores art as technique to expand thinking and awareness of our natural and human worlds. Through a combination of theory/conceptual thought and art-in-practice, students will gain experience in using art to engage a deeper level of understanding about the world around us. Students are expected to complete one studio project.

Section A: Alesia Maltz
Time: Thursdays, 8:30 – 11:00 am
Maximum: 16
Credits: 3


ESF 558
Bird Migration

Competency Area: Natural Communities II

This course introduces the phenomenon of bird migration – one of the great annual spectacles of the natural world. Two 2-day field trips will provide opportunities to observe migrating waterfowl, shorebirds, hawks and songbirds en route between their northern breeding grounds and wintering areas in the southeastern US, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. During class meetings on March 30 and April 27 we will discuss theories about the evolution of migratory behavior, navigation and orientation, and physiology, as well as look at specific examples of how these international travelers serve as focal points for many conservation initiatives. Food, transportation and camping fees are not included.

Section A: Jon Atwood
Time: Thursdays, 7:00 – 9:00 pm,
March 2, March 30 and April 27,
Field classes, Saturdays & Sundays,
April 1 & 2 and April 29 & 30,
6:00 am – 4:00pm
Maximum: 16
Credits: 2


ESP 603
Corporate Power, Globalization and Democracy

Competency Area: Civic Ecology II
Priority to First year ES students.

The future of the world ultimately depends on how people decide to organize and conduct their economic and political lives. This course will take a critical look at the issues that democratic societies face in an era marked by transnational corporations, “free” trade regimes, the international debt crisis, structural adjustment, and the growing dominance of neoliberalism as a political ideology. In particular, we will explore the economic and policy mechanisms that drive corporate globalization’s “race to the bottom” in working conditions, human rights, democratic participation, environmental protection, public health, and ecological sustainability. The course will also examine a range of economic and policy alternatives that might help create more just, democratic, and sustainable societies.

Section A: Abigail Abrash-Walton
Time: Thursdays, 8:00 – 11:00 am
Maximum: 16
Credits: 3


ESE 544
Curriculum Design

Competency Areas: Cert – Required; EE – Required Alternate; EAO,CB, IND & RMA – Elective
Required of and Priority to ES Teacher Certification students.

Designing curriculum is an extremely creative process, filled with controversies and dilemmas. It is a political, philosophical, and theoretical process. In this class, we will analyze, critique, and redesign both the explicit and hidden curriculum of a variety of materials as we attempt to resolve our conflicting conceptions of curriculum and develop our own philosophy of curriculum design. This is primarily a theory-based course with some opportunities for direct application. Consider this course as a way to help you move further along with your own questions and concerns about curriculum design and as an opportunity to twist, stretch, and flip your current understanding of what it means to design curriculum. In particular, we will experience first-hand and theoretically ideas like constructivism, democratic classrooms, coherent curriculum, authentic learning, problem solving and inquiry. This list of educational jargon will be more meaningful in a few months.

Section A: Jimmy Karlan
Time: Fridays, 8:00 – 11:00 am
Maximum: 16
Credits: 3


ESP 601
Ecological Economics and Public Policy

Competency Area: Civic Ecology II
Priority to First year ES students.

The premise of this course is that human actions are embedded within the natural environment. The political and economic systems that have been developed to meet the needs of a society are framed by the limitations of that environment. This course will allow students to explore how these societal institutions function to deal with questions such as freedom of choice, scarcity, ownership, equity, sustainability and change.

The course will investigate the development of environmental policies as informed by science, economics, public opinion and legal precedent. Students will be introduced to the policy tools utilized to translate policy into implementation and how effective such approaches have been in meeting overall environmental policy objectives. The primary focus will be within the United States, but innovative approaches that have been developed and utilized in other countries will also be presented to the students.

Section A: Jim Gruber
Time: Thursdays, 8:00 – 11:00 am
Maximum: 16
Credits: 3


ES 519
Ecological Research Design

COURSE CANCELLED 11/11/05
Competency Areas: CB – Required; EAO, EE, Cert, IND & RMA – Elective
Required of and Priority to CB students.

This course encourages successful ecological field research by building skills in hypothesis generation, selection of appropriate methods of data collection, use of correct statistical analyses, and effective presentation of results. Basic parametric and non-parametric statistical procedures (chi-square and related tests; ANOVA; regression and correlation analyses) are reviewed. Through lectures, lab exercises, group and individual research projects, and discussion of current literature in the field of conservation biology, students develop skills needed to conduct field studies aimed at biodiversity conservation and natural lands management.

Section A: Jon Atwood
Time: 8:00 – 11:00 am
Meeting times corrected 11/11/05:

Time: Fridays, 8:00 am – 11:00 am

Maximum: 24
Credits: 3


ESF 540
Ecosystems of Mount Desert Island

Competency Areas: Natural Communities II

Please Note: Attendance at ALL pre-trip meetings is mandatory. Enrolled students who fail to drop the course at least 1 week before the first pre-trip meeting or who fail to attend the first pre-trip meeting will be held financially responsible for the cost of the trip and will forfeit their seat in the class. Students on the waitlist Must attend the first class if they wish to be admitted into the course. Students should be in good physical shape to be able to do a 10-mile a day hike.

Mount Desert Island arguably offers the most scenic landscape in New England with its dramatic exposed, glaciated mountains rising out of the Gulf of Maine. This field study trip will focus on the island’s terrestrial ecology including its geological history, fire ecosystems, outcrop succession of its granitic balds, and the impact of visitors on its fragile, coastal heath communities.
Cost: approximately $160 for food, camping, and transportation fees.

Sections A & B: Tom Wessels
Time: Section A: (Pre-trip meeting)
Wednesday, March 8, 6:00 – 9:00 pm and
(Study trip) Monday – Sunday, May 15 – 21
Section B: (Pre-trip meeting)
Wednesday, March 8, 6:00 – 9:00 pm and
(Study trip) Monday – Sunday, May 22 – 28
Changed 11/11/05 to:

Time: Section A: Pre-trip meeting:
Wednesday, February 22, 6:00 – 9:00 pm and
Study Trip: Thursday – Wednesday, May 18 – 24
Time: Section B: Pre-trip meeting:
Wednesday, February 22, 6:00 – 9:00 pm and
Study Trip: Thursday – Wednesday, May 25 – 31
Maximum: 16 per section
Credits: 2


ESE 545
Environmental Education Methods:
Blueprint for a Green School:
Assessing School Campuses for Sustainable Practice

Competency Areas: EE – Methods Required Alternate; EAO, CB, Cert, IND & RMA – Elective
Priority to 2nd year ES Environmental Education students.

This course will explore the conceptual principles and practical application of sustainability on school campuses. Using the Blueprint for a Green School as a guide, students will develop a strategic process for assessing the level of environmental quality and sustainability on a campus and identify the institutional and programmatic opportunities for addressing problems, planning for change and educating with sustainability in mind. The integration of sustainability principles into a school campus means that what is studied is the school itself: the school’s impact on the environment and its institutional example of environmental awareness and conservation. Students will gain skills in assessment, curriculum integration and design, addressing sustainability and strategic planning for change.

Section A: Hilary Harris and Cindy Thomashow
Time: Fridays, 4:30 – 7:30 pm
Maximum: 16
(1 seat reserved for Science Education student)
Credits: 2


ESE 528
Envirnmental Education Methods:
Exhibit Research & Development

COURSE ADDED (11/11/05)
Competency Areas: EE – EE Methods Required Alternate; EAO, CB, Cert, IND & RMA – Elective
Priority to ES Environmental Education students.

Please Note: Attendance at ALL pre-trip meetings is mandatory. Enrolled students who fail to drop the course at least 1 week before the first pre-trip meeting or who fail to attend the first pre-trip meeting will be held financially responsible for the cost of the trip and will forfeit their seat in the class. Students on the waitlist Must attend the first class if they wish to be admitted into the course.

Museums and zoos have changed their exhibit strategies to integrate messages about conservation and environmental literacy. Zoos and museums are regularly visited by over 2 milliom people a year…reaching more people than most professional sports teams. Although many non-formal ‘science’ institutions have long inspired an interest in natural history and endangered species, until recently ‘environmental’ education has not been a strong agenda. Many zoos/museums are pushing the boundaries of the traditional diorama or static exhibit to tackle contemporary social and environmental concerns and by mounting concept rather than object-oriented exhibitions. The new generation of environmental projects tend to contain more political, economic, social and public policy-oriented elements than before. Just how far to push this envelope and still ‘entertain’ the audience of leisure seekers is a continual concern for these institutions.

The Brookfield Zoo, just outside of Chicago, has consciously and deliberately set an agenda of educating for conservation and care for the environment. Their exhibits are engaging and provocative, sometimes directly challenging the audience to relate their personal lifestyle choices to the impact on environmental issues, habitat loss and endangered species. The new Hammill Family Play Zoo is setting a model for cultivation of an ethic of care for the environment in children. We will study their process for deciding on and designing, researching and evaluating the effectiveness of these cutting-edge exhibits. Cost – approximately $350.

Section A: Cynthia Thomashow & Carol Saunders
Time: (Pre-trip meetings) Thursdays, March 9 and April 6,
6:00 – 9:00 pm plus
(Study trip) Saturday – Wednesday, April 22 – 26
Location: Pre-trip meetings and weekend – Keene;
Study trip – Chicago
Maximum: 12
Credits: 3


ESE 519
Environmental Education Methods: Residential and Outdoor Programs

Competency Areas: EE – Methods Required Alternate; EAO, CB, Cert, IND & RMA – Elective
Priority to 2nd year ES Environmental Education students.

Please Note: Attendance at ALL pre-trip meetings is mandatory. Enrolled students who fail to drop the course at least 1 week before the first pre-trip meeting or who fail to attend the first pre-trip meeting will be held financially responsible for the cost of the trip and will forfeit their seat in the class. Students on the waitlist are strongly encouraged to attend the first class.

This course will study the effectiveness of residentially based environmental education. We will be using the Teton Science School in Kelly, Wyoming as a study site. This organization offers a range of progressive residential programming opportunities which include two diverse venues, one an outdoor ecologically-oriented research approach and one a sustainable, place-based school setting. We will examine how they have devised a programmatic infrastructure to address the challenges and opportunities of residential environmental education. We will also explore their delivery model, the organization and management of residential facilities, and the explicit and hidden educational elements of 24-hour programming. While the course discussion topics will focus on residential environmental education, we will also focus on other aspects of environmental education, non-profit organizational management, field biology/ecology, conservation, place-based instruction and sustainability topics. One on-campus three day intensive will prepare this class for a 5-day exploration of the Teton Science School and the Journey School campus.
The cost is $500, which will include: food and lodging, and on-site instruction. Students will be responsible for arranging their own transportation.

Section A: April Landale
Time: (Pre-trip meetings) Saturday, Sunday & Monday,
April 8, 9, 10, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, and
May 8 – 12 (Study trip)
Location: Pre Trip meetings – Antioch, Keene;
Study trip – Teton Science School, Kelly, Wyoming
Maximum: 12
(1 seat reserved for Science Education student)
Credits: 2


ESE 532
Environmental Education Methods:
Teaching Teachers Skills in Environmental Education

Competency Areas: EE – Methods Required Alternate; EAO, CB, Cert, IND & RMA – Elective
Priority to 2nd year ES Environmental Education Students.

In this course you will learn how to enable classroom teachers to integrate environmental education into their curricula. You will develop skills and methods in creating and facilitating programs for teachers who want to incorporate environmental themes in their teaching. We will explore how to work with teachers, interface with school culture, support field-based learning, and how we, as environmental educators, can offer effective programs that meet teachers’ professional development needs. With attention to agenda-setting (content, pacing, and timing), materials development, curriculum standards and assessment, participants will gain experience in planning programs from individual consultations to “half-day in-service” workshops to multi-day residential teacher training institutes. While the Connecticut River Watershed will be a unifying thematic focus for our work, knowledge and skills acquired in this course can be applied to any area of environmental education.

Section A: Sue Gentile
Time: Thursdays, January 19 – March 9,
1:00 – 4:00 pm
Maximum: 16
(1 seat reserved for Science Education student)
Credits: 2


ESP 551A
Environmental Law

Competency Areas: Civic Ecology II
Priority to First year ES students.

This course will survey some critical federal environmental statutes in the United States and highlight important case law decided under those statutes. While an in-depth treatment of environmental law is not possible in a course of this length, we will examine the historical context of the major environmental statutes and regulations as well as their impact on land, air, water, and natural resources. We will explore how law and regulations are passed, and how the judicial, legislative, and executive branches of government and the regulatory agencies function.

The course objectives include becoming familiar with a new vocabulary and learning how to read a legal opinion. We will begin to understand what a lawyer does and how to think like a lawyer. This course will test our abilities to spot legal issues and deliver reasoned and reasonable arguments on opposing sides of an issue.

Section A: Rebecca Todd
Time: Fridays, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Additional meeting time added 03/29/06: Saturday, April 8, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Maximum: 16
Credits: 3


ESP 550A
Environmental Site Assessment

Competency Areas: RMA – Environmental Policy Required Alternate; EAO, CB, EE, Cert & IND – Elective
Priority to RMA students.

This course is useful for anyone who will be working in a field that is related to the preservation, conservation or management of land and water resources. The course content reviews, and allows student to practice, evaluation approaches so as to assess potential or actual impacts from human activities associated with a parcel of land. Such procedures range from the formalized ASTM Phase I site assessment procedures to techniques for rapid site-assessment so as to document and mitigate non-point source pollution.

This course would be a required skill for anyone entertaining the possibility of working for a land trust, watershed association, a planning agency or a consultancy that focuses on landowner regulatory compliance and liability issues.

Section A: Michael Simpson
Time: Fridays, January 20 – March 10,
1:00 – 4:00 pm and
Saturday & Sunday, April 1 & 2,
8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Changed 12/21/05 to:
Times: Fridays, January 20, February 3 – March 3, 1:00 – 4:00 pm and
Saturday and Sunday, April 1 & 2, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm

Class added 01/18/06: Friday, March 31, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Maximum: 16
Credits: 2


ESS 576
Evolutionary Ecology

Competency Area: Biosphere Science II
Priority to First year ES students.

Starting with the 18th century, we will examine the development of evolutionary theory in Western science culminating in debates currently unfolding in the scientific community. Along the way we will study the mechanisms that drive speciation, review our current understanding of the history of life on Earth, and examine a number of topics including: punctuated equilibria versus gradualism, sexual versus asexual reproduction, natural selection versus symbiogenesis, sexual selection, kin selection, group selection, r and k selection, coevolution and niche structuring, and the implications of genetic technology on the future path of the evolution of life on Earth. The course will involve lecture/discussion, field applications, and one half of the course will be run as a seminar where students will share roles as facilitators.

Sections A & B: Tom Wessels
Time: Section A: Thursdays, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Time: Section B: Fridays, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Maximum: 16 per section
(1 seat per section reserved for 2nd year ES students)
Credits: 3


ESF 512
Field Mammalogy

Competency Areas: Natural Communities II

Winter, with its snow, provides the best opportunity for field experiences in keeping track of local mammals and for field study of their behavior and ecology. The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with the mammals of the region. Topics covered will include: scatology and the study of tracks and their value for ecological studies and school environmental education; the autecology of large rodents, including field trips to active dens and lodges; the autecology of the cervids, including a field trip to a winter deer yarding area; autecology of mustelids, canids, and felids — the larger mammals most sensitive to human actions; also issues in game and fur-bearer management.

Section A: Meade Cadot
Time: Fridays, 1:15 – 4:15 pm
Location: Harris Center
Maximum: 16
(1 seat reserved for Science Education student)
Credits: 3


ESAF 500
Financial Administration

Competency Areas: RMA – Required; EAO, CB, EE, Cert & IND – Elective
Required of and Priority to RMA students.

This course is designed for students with little or no financial background and will introduce them to the basic concepts, terms, and processes of budgeting systems for nonprofit agencies. The course will include numerous case studies, computer work and an introduction to accounting procedures.

Section A: Jim Gruber
Time: Thursdays, 4:30 – 7:30 pm
Maximum: 16
Credits: 3


ESE 536
Foundations of Science and Environmental Education

Competency Areas: Cert – Required; EAO, CB, EE, IND & RMA – Elective
Required of and Priority to ES Teacher Certification students.

The objectives of this course are to explore a range of historical and contemporary methodologies of science and environmental education, to consider the relationship between the social context of science and environmental studies and how they are taught in the classroom, and to examine science as an evolving knowledge system. With consideration of philosophy and theory as well as practice, we will consider questions regarding the nature of science and environmental education and how we distinguish between them. You will reflect on your own personal experiences as a learner as you study trends of the past 150 years and ponder how these trends will apply to your practice as an educator.

Section A: Sue Gentile
Time: Fridays, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
Maximum: 16
(1 seat reserved for Science Education student)
Credits: 3


ES 510
Geographic Information System (GIS): An Integrating Technology

Competency Areas: RMA – Required Alternate to Proposal Writing; EAO, EE, IND & Cert – Elective
Priority to RMA students.

This is an introductory course in the use of GIS software to create, manage and work with spatially explicit data. This class will explore how to access GIS information available on the WWW, extract and analyze quantitative data using ArcGIS 9.x software, understand limitations associated with various data sources and use software for preparation of maps.

Section A: Fash Farashahi
Time: Fridays, 4:30 – 7:30 pm
Maximum: 12
Credits: 3


ESP 561
Geographic Information System (GIS) for Conservation Biologists

Competency Area: CB – Required (also fulfills Civic Ecology II competency area)
Required of and Restricted to Conservation Biology students.

This is an introductory course in the use of GIS to effectively communicate spatially explicit environmental information. The class will explore how to access GIS information available on the WWW, extract and analyze data using ArcView software, create data files relevant to natural resource inventory work, and effectively transmit results to both lay and technical audiences. This class will emphasize use of GIS in a research context, especially including its role in habitat conservation planning and policy development.

Section A: Jon Atwood
Section B: Fash Farashahi
Time Section A: Thursdays, 8:00 – 11:00 am
Time Section B: Thursdays, 4:30 – 7:30 pm
Added 12/01/05:

Section B – Thursdays, 4:30 – 7:30 pm EXCEPT on January 26 and February 9 when class will meet from 6:40 – 9:40 pm
Maximum: 12 per section
Credits: 3


ESS 577
Geology and Ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest

Competency Areas – Biosphere Science II
Priority: 7 seats reserved for first year ES students: 11 seats reserved for 2nd year.

Please Note: Attendance at ALL pre-trip meetings is mandatory. Enrolled students who fail to drop the course at least 1 week before the first pre-trip meeting or who fail to attend the first pre-trip meeting will be held financially responsible for the cost of the trip and will forfeit their seat in the class. Students on the waitlist are strongly encouraged to attend the first class. (Limited scholarship money is available to support students attending field study trips. If you are interested in applying for scholarship assistance, please see the ES department for eligibility guidelines.)

This course will examine the geological and ecological framework of the Pacific Northwest bioregion, focusing on northwestern Washington and Vancouver Island. Students will explore ecological dynamics in the context of landscape changes associated with regional tectonism, volcanism, climate and glaciation, and the long-term human use, modification, and management of this exceptionally productive and diverse ecosystem. Study sites will include locations on the Olympic Peninsula and Puget Lowland, and coastal and interior environments of Pacific Rim National Park.
Total cost (including airfare, food, camping, ferries, etc.): $1500 (due to the uncertainty of fuel prices, cost is subject to change).

Section A: Jim Jordan and Peter Throop
Time: (Pre-trip meetings)
Thursdays, February 16, March 30 &May 4,
7:00 – 9:00 pm and
(Study trip) Saturday – Sunday, May 13 – 28
Changed 12/01/05 to:

Times: 7:40