Environmental Studies (ENV)
Some courses may not be offered each semester. Some courses run only once per academic year, or every other academic year. Search Pace's Courses Guide for complete listing of all courses offered.
ENV 110 Nature and Culture: A Study in Connections (3 credits)
This course examines prominent worldviews (organic, mechanistic, preservationist, conservationist, religious and secular stewardship for example) that have guided human action toward the natural world. From a global and interdisciplinary perspective lead by the influential writings of philosophers, economists, environmentalists, theologians, historians, political science, biologists, and naturalists we analyze the interaction between human and natural phenomena, the impact human actions have on the natural world, and the ways nature affects civilizational change. The primary goal of the course is to provide students with an opportunity to see how different views of nature influence human choices and offer alternative courses of action toward viable solutions and have important consequences that are subject to an ethical analysis.
ENV 111 Environmental Studies: Economic, Ethical & Political Perspectives (3 credits)
This interdisciplinary course will concentrate on the interdependence between nature and culture, integrating the economic, political and philosophical issues involved in environmental problems. General topics in value assessment and application to public policy are studied from a problem-oriented approach.
ENV 112 Environmental Studies: Basic Issues (3 credits)
As in ENV 111, the relationship between nature and human culture will serve as a backdrop for the course. From the perspectives of economics, philosophical ethics and political science, this course critically examines central topics in the environment. Air and water pollution, population, deforestation, biodiversity, global warming, resource use, renewable and nonrenewable energy are considered from an interdisciplinary perspective.
ENV 130 Naturalists (3 credits)
This course is designed to provide students with aesthetic insight into the natural world through the creative and imaginative writings and observations of famous naturalists. Significant time will be spent studying ways in which nature viewed through aesthetic categories has influenced the conceptual profile and strategies of the environmental movement in the West. Classroom discussions and experiential field studies will blend theory with first hand experiences. Investigation of the perception and reality of “our place” in the world of nature and how aesthetic responses and art has influenced that perception over the years provide the enduring theme for the course.
ENV 205 Globalization, Trade and the Environment (3 credits)
Is globalization a beneficial project in attaining a just, peaceful, sustainable and healthy environment? This course will sift through the various interpretations of what is meant by globalization and how to measure it. Furthermore, we will examine the view that globalization is actually a capitalist project whose aim is to promote material well-being at the global level through managing the world resources in an open liberal democratic society anchored in the belief in free markets and personal entrepreneuship. We will also analyze the profound implications of these developments in such areas as trade, the natural environment and gender. The course will pay special attention to the field of governance and the institutional structure to which globalization has given rise over the past two decades.
ENV 211 Environmental Assessment (3 credits)
Following a study of relevant environmental regulations, this course will demonstrate the tools and techniques used in developing and interpreting natural resource inventories and in analyzing the potential social, cultural and political impacts of particular types of land use. Using extensive fieldwork, students will learn how to locate, read and interpret maps, how to conduct field surveys of soil, vegetational and animal resources, and how to analyze the accumulated data and predict the land use capability of a particular site. Professionally prepared environmental impact statements will be analyzed for content, methodology, and compliance with applicable laws.
ENV 215 Foundations of Environmental Law: Introduction for Non-Lawyers (3 credits)
This course offers students an introduction to American environmental law and an overview of how the United States legal system works at the local, state, and national level. The majority of the semester will be focused on the foundations for environmental law. Students will become acquainted with specific environmental laws, enforcement and methods for compliance. The history of the environmental movement will be discussed as well as development of laws that affect environmental issues. Throughout the course, the roles of individuals and nonprofit organizations in the administrative and litigation processes will be considered.
ENV 220 Darwin on Ecology (3 credits)
This course will examine the roots and development of the science of natural history and the pivotal role played by Charles Darwin in its transformation into the modern interdisciplinary science of ecology. A solid historical background will provide a context for understanding the functioning of natural systems, the interdependence of organisms, and issues of strong current interest such as the value of biodiversity and sustainability.
ENV 221 Environmental Science: The Web of Life (3 credits)
An introduction to living systems and the environment that sustains them. Topics covered include: the diversity of life, food chains, ecosystems, elements of recycling, eutrophication, and the Greenhouse Effect. This course will provide students with a basic knowledge of the organization, structure and function of living organisms, with emphasis on their interaction with the environment.
ENV 222 Environmental Science: Principles, Problems, and Solutions (3 credits)
This course assumes no prior knowledge of chemistry. The course will teach the basic principles of chemistry and then focus on some environmental issues, which have chemical implications. Some of those topics which will be covered are: air pollution, water pollution and cleanup, soil fertility, agricultural chemicals, nuclear topics, plastics, hazardous waste, acid rain, ozone depletion, greenhouse gases, and photochemical smog.
ENV 223 / BIO 215 Urban Ecology (3 credits)
This course will explore environmental issues related to the urban scene. The focus is on comprehending basic ecological dynamics of urban and suburban areas. Numerous medical problems will be evaluated as the impact of pollutants, noise and population stress on the quality of life, are evaluated. A variety of media, mini-experiments, field trips and discussions will be used to facilitate understanding of concepts.
ENV 230 Natural Beauty: An Introduction to Environmental Aesthetics (3 credits)
This course examines various aesthetic senses of nature and their influence on human reactions to the natural world. We will read texts by environmentalists, naturalists, philosophers, ecologists, theologians, and literary works. We will view works of art from different historical periods and traditions. The class will not only study the aesthetics of beauty, but also investigate aesthetic qualities broadly defined to include symbolic codes and properties that metaphorically express particular cultural values.
ENV 231 / BIO 170 Spaceship Earth: Issues of Sustainability (3 credits)
This course is based on discussion and activities that build on basic information previously acquired by students. They will analyze text and media information relevant to ecological issues shaping national and international perspectives. They will also evaluate environmental problems and use collaborative learning to explore creative solutions. A review of fundamental working concepts is included in the text used for this course.
ENV 235: Sustainable Living in Our World (3 credits)
Behavioral and social sciences are critical for understanding environmental attitudes and behaviors consistent with sustainable living. This course integrates the study of human attitudes and behavior with an introductory survey of sustainability issues relevant to students’ lives. Classes combine lectures with self-reflective discussion, and assignments apply learning to real-world context outside the classroom setting. Theories of psychology are used to examine overconsumption, solid waste (trash) disposal, water resource management and sustainable transportation. The final project involves a formal debate about America’s response to climate change. Students are expected to participate in one class field trip to a wastewater treatment plant (Brooklyn or Yonkers) scheduled outside class time, and are encouraged to visit the alternate campus to better understand the contrast between sustainability for urban vs. suburban settings. We will examine Pace’s current and future commitment to sustainability vis-à-vis online presence, course offerings, sustainable living practices and implementation of the Pleasantville Master Plan.
ENV 296D Environmental Policy and Advocacy (3 credits)
This course will examine the environment as a public policy issue and the context within which environmental policy occurs. The history of American environmentalism and the evolution of advocacy will be the major focus. A class project in conjunction with Pace Law School will provide hands-on experience in public advocacy.
ENV 296F An Environmental Study of the Greater New York City Region (3 credits)
This course covers the history of the greater New York City environment from earliest times to the present. We begin with a consideration of the geologic and pre-Columbian background, followed by more detailed examination of the effects of developments during successive phases: the Dutch and British colonial periods, early and late 19th century industrial periods, 20th century urbanization of the region, and looming environmental challenges of the 21st century. There will be two cruises on the South Street Seaport sailing vessel, Pioneer, and several trips on land. Although geological and other environmental science topics will be covered, the course is designed for a general audience and has no technical prerequisites. This course meets on Saturdays. On field trip days, students should expect a full day in this course.
ENV 296G Human Ecology (3 credits)
This course explores the relationship between humans and their physical environments. A socio-historical perspective is taken in introducing students to the relationship between ecological and social change. Such topics as human migrations and adaptations, the modified physical landscape, environmental control and abuse of nature are examined. This course looks at early and modern attempts at environmental planning.
ENV 296L Scientific Inquiry and Analysis (3 credits)
What is science? Is it a well established set of principles when coupled with disciplined experimentation that provides truth about the world, or is it more like a game of chance where the correct answer is a matter of luck or deceit? This course provides an introduction to methods of reasoning in the context of scientific inquiry, focusing on distinguishing good reasoning from poor reasoning with the aim of improving the ability to critically evaluate scientific information.
ENV 296M Sustainable Communities: A Value-based planning Approach to Envisioning Sustaining Futures (3 credits)
After critically considering the environmental movement and comparing it with the sustainability movement, the course presents the pros and cons of the rational and value-based planning approaches in building sustainable communities. Emphasizing the priority of principles over methods, the course draws from the UN Earth Summits, the Earth Charter and from practical experiences in the metro New York area.
ENV 296N Darwin's Dangerous Idea: The Nature of Science and the Theory of Evolution (3 credits)
This course is designed to provide students with an introduction to the nature of science and the theory of evolution. Evolution is the cornerstone of modern biology, and unites all the fields of biology under one theoretical umbrella. Notwithstanding the importance of evolutionary biology, no other field of science has been more questioned and misinterpreted. Students will be introduced to the nature of science as an evidence and logic-based process. What is a hypothesis? What is the relationship between fact and theory? Why is the theory of evolution, despite being so controversial, the quintessential example of scientific theory?
ENV 296O Environmental Roots and Rights: The Practice and Principles of American Environmentalism (3 credits)
Rooted in citizen activism that dates to the earliest days of the republic, fundamental to the development of 20th century democracy, and pervasive in 21st-century politics, business, and social mores, American environmentalism helps define America and its place in the world. The first half of the semester offers a survey of the development of American environmentalism from the blossoming of citizen activism in the founding days of the republic, to the growth of the American conservation movement, to the birth of the contemporary environmental movement and the world’s most aggressive body of environmental law. The second half of the semester is devoted to a case study of a current high-profile environmental issue, culminating with competing teams of students drafting briefs, preparing exhibits, and making oral arguments in a moot court public hearing at Pace Law School presided by Pace Law Professor Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. The course also includes noted guest lecturers.
ENV 296P Animals and Society (3 credits)
This course attempts to answer the question why our society seems ambivalent towards animals and what significance this has in our lives. Readings, guest lectures, films and discussions shed light not only on our culture's largely unexamined bias, but also on the lives of the animals themselves. The course also explores the myths and realities of buffalo, circus elephants, and wild horses in our culture, as well as the role that farm animals, laboratory animals, wildlife and pets have played in shaping our American Identity. In addition, the course also explores the positive side of the human-animal bond, from animal-assisted therapy to horse whispering. Students are encouraged to question their own assumptions about animals and to ask, what are the consequences of these assumptions?
ENV 296Q "Act Locally": Environmental Issues and Government (3 credits)
This course focuses on the philosophy of famous scientist and naturalist Rene Dubos, "Think Globally, Act Locally". By becoming educated about global environmental issues, students will develop skills enabling them to respond in a responsible way to issues specific to their daily lives. The course will integrate theories and philosophies from experts stressing the community entity that will afford them the opportunity to provide a substantial community service. Students will work on an off campus project(s) that will likely be situated in a local sanctuary, educational institution, or area in need of environmental remediation.
ENV 296R Topics in Environmental Studies: Native Voices (3 credits)
This course offers students a rare opportunity to learn about American Indian cultures and their people's current efforts to protect what is sacred - the land, the water, the animals and other natural resources. Nearly all the readings (novels and non-fiction) will be by Native authors and scholars, and will challenge you to think outside the box of Western culture. By the end of the course, you will understand the connections that exist between their struggles and our struggles in a historical and colonial context. Students will collaborate in promoting events held on campus during class time that will inform the larger Westchester community, and will work with a local nonprofit organization to outreach to the 2,000 Indigenous peoples who live in Westchester County. This course may substitute for a literature course with the permission of the Chairperson of the English Department.
ENV 296T Sustainable Living in our World (3 credits)
This course examines the role of psychology and other social sciences in solving environmental problems of the 21st century. This is accomplished through the study of environmental attitudes, environmental behavior, and the relationship between attitudes and behavior. Lectures and readings incorporate both theory and practice, applying key concepts to real-world issues. We focus primarily on issues of water use, solid waste management and transportation as related to the life of the average citizen rather than the scientific expert. Students are encouraged to engage in self-reflection to better understand the many internal and external constraints preventing environmentally responsible behavior in the general public. Field trips are designed to help students relate sustainability to their local community and its infrastructure. In their final project, students collect archival and field data on transportation patterns of Pace faculty, staff, and students, and propose ways to increase sustainability of transportation for members of the Pace-Pleasantville community.
ENV 296Y Food Revolution: The Politics and Ecology of What We Eat (3 credits)
This course will look at food and culture in the globalized world. Students will grapple with complex issues such as food aid, marketing and advertising strategies, obesity and malnutrition in the land of plenty, world overpopulation, loss of genetic diversity, bee colony collapse, food riots, cash crops, immigrant farm workers in the United States, why farmers are committing suicide in India, landless workers in South America, and the politics of hunger. We'll also examine solutions to these many problems, such as: hydroponics, sustainable farming, revolution and democracy.
ENV 311 Introduction of Environmental Law: History & Development of Environmental Regulation (3 credits)
This class is an introduction to the development and evolution of environmental laws in the United States. Students will get an historic perspective on how the current environmental laws came to be and will explore the charters of the federal agencies that administer environmental laws. There will also be significant discussion pertaining to the various types of environmental litigation such as allowing citizens suits.
ENV 380 Junior Year Research Seminar (3 credits)
The Junior Year Seminar in environmental studies stresses research methods, writing skills, and experimental design and provides a forum for the presentation of student research and supervised internship experience. The seminar acquaints students with the diverse activities of individuals working in environmental areas and will be supplemented with field trips to local environmental agencies and sites of environmental concerns. The seminar also prepares students for the senior year research project undertaken in collaboration with a faculty member.
ENV 498 Mentoring/Environmental Studies Clinic (3 credits)
Students will select a faculty mentor and join an interdisciplinary research project.
ENV 499 The Senior Year Experience in Environmental Issues (3 credits)
The preparation of a thesis is the cumulating project of the environmental studies program. The thesis integrates coursework from three disciplines involved in environmental study, and applies class work to significant issues. Students will be encouraged to investigate topics of current importance and especially regional environmental problems, and produce a major research paper. A seminar is an integral part of the experience and provides a mechanism for sharing experiences.