Environmental Studies

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

Environmental Studies Program
HSS 336
415-338-1149
Director: Carlos Davidson

Professors—Barbosa, Davis, Grove, Hafernik, Holzman, Kassiola, Palmer, Parker, Pinderhughes, Reist, Silverman, Wilkinson

Associate Professors—Chattopadhyay, Davidson, DeWitt, King, Manning

Assistant Professors—Boyer, Chitewere, Fieldman, Gen, Henderson, Komada, Kooser, LeBuhn, Nelson, Oliphant, Paton, Roberts, Sklar

Lecturers—Plater, Vasey

Programs

B.A. in Environmental Studies: Concentration in Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice
B.A. in Environmental Studies: Concentration in The Urban Environment
B.A. in Environmental Studies: Concentration in Humanities and the Environment
B.S. in Environmental Studies: Concentration in Earth System Science
B.S. in Environmental Studies: Concentration in Natural Resource Management and Conservation


Program Scope

The Bachelor of Science and the Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies are interdisciplinary degrees for students interested in studying and working within the environmental field. The objective of the program is to produce exceptional graduates who are grounded in the study of contemporary environmental problems and solutions that transcend the existing academic disciplines and programs at San Francisco State University. The program provides students with the knowledge and skills required for understanding relationships between humans and the physical world. It examines how the environment is being used, abused, and perceived, and what individuals and organizations are doing and can do to protect it for themselves, future generations, and other living beings and ecosystems. Students participate in an internship and take a senior seminar. Both requirements emphasize community engagement and preparation for future environmental careers.

The major offers two degrees: a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies. The major consists of a group of courses that will be required for all students declaring this major (36-46 units) and five areas of concentration from which the student will choose one. Two of these concentrations will lead to the Bachelor of Science (82-95 units in the major) and three will lead to the Bachelor of Arts (57-66 units in the major).

Career Outlook

The environmental studies field is diverse and includes opportunities for employment at many different venues. Private industry opportunities include solid waste management, resource recovery and recycling, hazardous waste management, water treatment and delivery, and air pollution control. Major local corporations have employment opportunities in environmental health and safety and environmental management. Environmental consultants who specialize in creating or reviewing environmental impact reports and statements and environmental regulations are needed at the federal and state agency level as well as in the private sector. Other employment opportunities include government agency level resource scientists, natural resource managers, and planners. In addition, local nonprofit activist groups provide a small number of full-time positions in the environmental field.

Core Curriculum
Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science

The core curriculum for both Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science is the same. On-line course descriptions are available. All courses are 3 units unless otherwise indicated.

Core Curriculum Units
ENVS 300 Introduction to Environmental Studies 3
CHEM 115 General Chemistry I: Essential Concepts of Chemistry 5
ENVS/
CHEM 380
Chemistry Behind Environmental Pollution 3
ENVS 450 Environmental Law and Policy 3
ENVS/
GEOG 600
Environmental Problems and Solutions 3
ENVS 680 Internship 1
ENVS 690 Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies 3
Select one class from each category:
Physical Environment 3
GEOG 101 Our Physical Environment  
GEOL 270 Environmental Geology
Human Environment 3
GEOG 102 The Human Environment  
ANTH 120 Introduction to Social and Cultural Anthropology
ENVS/ECON 306 Economics and the Environment
Environmental Justice/Urban Issues 3-4
ANTH 321 Endangered Cultures  
RAZA 450 Indigenisimo: Indigenous Cultures and Personality
URBS 514 Sustainable Development in Cities (4)
URBS 515 Race, Poverty, and the Urban Environment (4)
Ecology 3-10
BIOL 230 and
BIOL 240
   or
BIOL 313
Introductory Biology I (5)
Introductory Biology II (5)*

Principles of Ecology
 
Human Values and Environmental Ethics 3-4
BECA 502 Environmental Communication on the Electronic Media  
ENG 535 Literature and Ecology
ENVS 392 Nature, Culture, and Technology
PHIL 470 Environmental Ethics
PLSI 354 Politics, the Environment, and Social Change (4)
Total for core 36-45

* This choice is appropriate for those pursuing the B.S. degree. BIOL 230 and BIOL 240 are sequential courses and both must be completed to fulfill the requirements for this major.

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies: Concentration in Environmental Sustainability and Social Justice

This concentration enables students to participate in the conceptualization and design of institutions and social practices appropriate for an environmentally sustainable and just future. The communication of the role of values in the environmental crisis and the required transformation of both dominant values and social structures are objectives in this concentration.

Note: 15 units from the core curriculum must be completed prior to beginning courses in this concentration.

Program Units
Core requirements (see above) 36-45
Concentration Requirements
GEOG 421 Future Environments 3
PLSI 354 Politics, the Environment, and Social Change (if not taken in core) 0 or 4
URBS 514 Sustainable Development in Cities (if not taken in core) 0 or 4
Elective Courses: With advisement choose 15 units of electives. 15
AIS 310 American Indian Religion and Philosophy  
BECA 390 The Age of Information
BECA 502 Environmental Communication on the Electronic Media
BIOL 349 Bioethics
BUS 450 The Greening of Business
CST 300 Introduction to Critical Social Thought
ENVS/ECON 306 Economics and the Environment
ECON/GEOG 425 Economic Geography
ECON 550 Environmental Economics
ECON 620 Economic Development
ENVS/IR 331 Global Environmental Crisis: Challenges and Responses
ENVS 392 Nature, Culture, and Technology
ENVS 570 Campus Sustainability
GEOG 422 Environmental Perception
GEOG 427 Agriculture and Food Supply (4)
GEOG 647 Geography of Water Resources (4)
GEOG 666 Geography of Garbage: Recycling and Waste Reduction
GPS 315 Introduction to Global Peace Studies
H ED 418 Environmental Health
HIST 476 American Environmental History
IR 334 International Organizations: New World Order (4)
IR 520 Modernization and Third World Countries
PHIL/PLSI 150 Contemporary Moral/Political Issues
PHIL 365 Science and Civilization
PHIL 470 Environmental Ethics
SOC 471 Societal Change and Development (4)
SOC 477 Environmental Sociology (4)
SOC 483 Global Sociology (4)
TPW 490 Grant Writing
URBS/H ED/SW 456 Urban Community Organizing and Citizen Action
WOMS 541 Women Writers and Social Change
WOMS 578 Third World Women and Ecology
WOMS 621 Feminist Theory
Total for concentration 18-26
Total for major 56-71

Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies: Concentration in the Urban Environment

This concentration provides students with a strong interdisciplinary theoretical and empirical foundation for understanding and dealing with environmental issues in urban settings. Courses provide students with the knowledge, information, skills, and fieldwork experience needed to establish this foundation. The concentration is designed to build on the university's mission as the city's urban university by developing linkages between students in the concentration and institutions in the San Francisco Bay Area. Students graduating with an urban environment concentration will have the opportunity to prepare themselves to work in the public, private, and non-profit sectors on local, national, and global environmental issues related to urban environments.

Note: 15 units from the core curriculum must be completed prior to beginning this concentration.

Program Units
Core requirements (see above) 36-45
Concentration Requirements
GEOG/URBS 658 Land Use Planning 4
URBS 514 Sustainable Development in Cities (if not taken in the core) 0 or 4
URBS 515 Race, Poverty, and the Urban Environment (if not taken in the core) 0 or 4
Elective Courses: With advisement choose 3 courses (9-12 units). 9-12
BUS 450 The Greening of Business  
ENVS/ECON 306 Economics and the Environment
ECON/GEOG 425 Economic Geography
ECON 550 Environmental Economics
ENVS/IR 331 Global Environmental Crises: Challenges and Responses
ENVS 570 Campus Sustainability
ENVS 699 Special Study
H ED 418 Environmental Health (4)
GEOG 432 Urban Geography (4)
GEOG 433 Urban Transportation (4)
GEOG 652 Environmental Impact Analysis (4)
GEOG 655 Urban Environmental Design
GEOG 661 San Francisco Bay Area Environmental Issues (4)
GEOG 666 The Geography of Garbage
SOC 480 City in a Global Society (4)
URBS 530 Alternative Urban Futures
URBS 535 Urban Economics
URBS 660 The Roles of Non-profit Organizations in Urban Life
URBS 686 Fieldwork in Urban Studies
Total for concentration 13-24
Total for major 56-68

Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies: Concentration in Humanities and the Environment

This concentration has two components: Ways of Viewing the Environment and Communicating About the Environment. The first explores the varied and complex ways that different cultures—past and present—view the environment. In the second, students will develop a forum for communicating ecological knowledge and wisdom. Each has its own requirements and goals.

Ways of Viewing the Environment examines questions such as: What do we mean by the word “nature” and what attitudes does it reveal about our surroundings? How has the concept of wilderness changed over time? How has it been possible for some cultures to idealize nature on one hand yet neglect the environment on the other? How do metaphors of the land influence the way we treat it? To what extent does our view of culture impede ecological progress? How do different arenas of public life—politics or the media, for example—view the environment? How is science open to the kind of analysis practiced in the humanities? What cross-fertilization is possible between cultural and scientific studies?

The goal of Communicating About the Environment is to prepare students to educate, enlighten, or persuade others regarding environmental issues. Working closely with an adviser, students develop an individualized study plan in a form of verbal or visual communication, including a culminating project in that same discipline. Students might choose to work in speech and communication studies, technical and professional writing, creative writing, journalism, photography, design and industry, cinema, or any other discipline dealing with verbal or visual communication.

Note: 15 units from the core curriculum must be completed prior to beginning this concentration.

Program Units
Core requirements (see above) 36-45
Ways of Viewing the Environment: (chose one course from the following)
BECA 502 Environmental Communication on the Electronic Media (if not taken in the core) 0 or 3
ENG 535 Literature and Ecology (if not taken in the core)
PHIL 470 Environmental Ethics (if not taken in the core)
Elective Courses: With advisement select 2-3 courses. 6-9
AIS 450 American Indian Science  
AMST 410/
HUM 450
California Culture
ANTH 557 Ethnography of the Inner City (4)
BECA 502 Environmental Communication on the Electronic Media
ENG 514 Age of the Romantics
ENG 526 Age of the American Renaissance: 1830-1860
ENVS 392 Nature, Culture, and Technology
GEOG 421 Future Environments
GEOG 422 Environmental Perception
GEOG 651 San Francisco Bay Area Environmental Issues (4)
H ED 418 Environmental Health
HH 382 Holistic Health and Human Nature
HH 383 Chinese Perspectives in Holistic Health
PHIL/PLSI 150 Contemporary Moral and Political Issues
PHIL 383 Ethics in Medicine
PHIL 520 Modern Religious Thought
PLSI 354 Politics, The Environment, and Social Change (4)
REC 230 Growth Through Adventure
REC 430 Ecology of Outdoor Recreation
SOC 477 Environmental Sociology (4)
SOC 483 Global Sociology (4)
URBS 515/
GEOG 667
Race, Poverty, and the Urban Environment (4)
WOMS 578 Third World Women and Ecology
Communicating About the Environment
Students take at least 12 units of upper division courses in an area of emphasis (on advisement) and a 3-unit culminating project.
15
Total for concentration 21-27
Total for major 57-72

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies: Concentration in Earth System Science

This concentration is for students interested in using scientific tools to address environmental issues. It provides students with a solid background in both quantitative and qualitative problem-solving techniques. Required courses provide basic skills in chemistry, physics, mathematics, and environmental regulations. Elective courses are chosen to reflect student’s specific academic goals. Students completing this concentration will be familiar with a broad range of scientific approaches and will also obtain depth in a specific field by appropriate selection of electives. A goal of the concentration is to produce graduates who can understand our planet as an integrated system, and who can address environmental issues in this context.

Students complete the core courses required of all Environmental Studies majors and an additional required set of fundamental science courses. They select a focused group of elective courses to obtain depth in some aspect of Earth’s systems.

Program Units
Core requirements (see above)

36-45
CHEM 215 General Chemistry II: Quantitative Applications of Chemistry Concepts 3
GEOG 652 or
GEOL 101
Environmental Impact Analysis
Physical Geology
4
MATH 226 Calculus I 4
MATH 227 or
MATH 124 or
BIOL 458
Calculus II (4)
Elementary Statistics
Biometry (4)
3-4
PHYS 111/112 General Physics I/Laboratory 4
PHYS 121/122 General Physics II/Laboratory 4
Elective Courses
Choose courses from one emphasis from the elective list for the concentration in Earth System Science and meet with a faculty advisor to plan the course sequence. Other courses, including special study classes (e.g., BIOL, CHEM, or GEOL 699) may be substituted upon advisement.
16-22
Chemical Analysis
CHEM 216 General Chemistry II Lab (2) 18
CHEM 333/334 Organic Chemistry I/Laboratory (3/2)
CHEM 320 Quantitative Chemical Analysis (4)
CHEM 422 Instrumental Analysis (4)
CHEM 420 or
ENGR 434 or
GEOL 476
Environmental Analysis
Principles of Environmental Engineering
Groundwater Contamination
Climate System
METR 200 Introduction to Atmospheric Physics and Thermodynamics (4) 20-22
METR 410 Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics (4)
METR 460 Introduction to use of Computers in Meteorology (2)
GEOG 611 or
METR 415 or
METR 470
Remote Sensing of the Environment II (4)
Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Ocean
Meteorological and Oceanic Observing Techniques and Systems (2)
OCN/GEOL/METR 405 or
GEOG 313
Planetary Climate Change (4)
Weather and Climate (4)
GEOL 450 or
GEOG 312
Geomorphology (4)
Geography of Landforms (4)
Coastal System
ECON550 Environmental Economics 16-18
BIOL 534 or
BIOL 585
Wetlands Ecology (4)
Marine Ecology
GEOG 613/ BIOL 535 or
METR 415
Remote Sensing of Wetlands (4)
Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere and Ocean
OCN 102/103 Introduction to Oceanography/Laboratory (3/1)
GEOL 452 or
GEOL 465
Coastal Processes
Physical Oceanography
Hydrologic System
CHEM 216 General Chemistry II Laboratory (2) 22
GEOG 647 Geography of Water Resources (4)
GEOG 642/
GEOL 642
Watershed Assessment and Restoration (4)
GEOL 450 or
GEOG 312
Geomorphology (4)
Geography of Landforms (4)
GEOL 475 Hydrogeology (4)
METR 100/101 or
OCN/GEOL/METR 405
Introduction to Meteorology/Laboratory (4)
Planetary Climate Change (4)
Surficial Processes
GEOL 450 or
GEOG 312
Geomorphology (4)
Geography of Landforms (4)
22-23
GEOG 317 or
GEOL 454
Geography of Soils (4)
Quaternary Climate and Soils
GEOL 460 Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (4)
GEOG 603 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
GEOG 621 Geographic Information Systems for Environmental Analysis (4)
GEOG 642/
GEOL 642
Watershed Assessment and Restoration (4)
Total for concentration 35-48
Total for major 74-90

 

Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies: Concentration in Natural Resource Management and Conservation

This concentration is for students interested in using natural science and geographic tools to address environmental issues. It provides students with a solid background in both quantitative and qualitative problem-solving techniques. This concentration is designed to provide students with the theoretical and applied biological, geographic, and technical information and skills they will need to tackle problems and issues that involve natural resource use and management. Students completing the concentration will be familiar with a broad range of scientific approaches and will also obtain depth in a specific field by appropriate selection of courses. A goal of the concentration is to produce graduates who can understand our planet as an integrated system, and who can address environmental issues in an ecological and political context.

Note: 15 units from the core curriculum must be completed prior to beginning courses in this concentration.

Natural Resources Management and Conservation Concentration Units
Core requirements (see above) 36-45
BIOL 230 Introductory Biology I (if not taken in major core) 0-5
BIOL 240 Introductory Biology II (if not taken in major core) 0-5
BIOL 458 Biometry 4
BIOL 530 Conservation Biology 3
GEOG 603 or
GEOG 652
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Environmental Impact Analysis (4)
3-4
GEOG 657 Natural Resource Management 4
Elective Courses
Students must consult with a faculty adviser prior to selection of elective courses in order to determine which courses are most appropriate for the student’s particular program. Choose courses from the elective list for the concentration in Natural Resource Management and Conservation. At least one course from each of the themes must be included. Within each theme other courses may be selected on advisement.
20-24
Natural Resource Management and Conservation Choose at least one course from each of the themes. Within each theme other courses may be selected on advisement.  
Ecology
BIOL 482 Ecology (4)
BIOL 529 Plant Ecology (4)
BIOL 532 Restoration Ecology
BIOL 585 Marine Ecology
BIOL 582 Biological Oceanography (4)
Biodiversity
BIOL 460 General Entomology (4)
BIOL 475 Herpetology
BIOL 478 Ornithology (4)
BIOL 480 Mammalogy (4)
BIOL 504 Biology of the Fungi (4)
BIOL 514 Plant Taxonomy (5)
BIOL 556 Natural History of Marine Invertebrates (4)
BIOL 570 Biology of Fishes (4)
GEOG 316 Biogeography (4)
Resources
GEOG 317 Geography of Soils (4)
GEOG 427 Agriculture and Food Supply (4)
GEOG 646 Geography of Marine Resources (4)
GEOG 647 Geography of Water Resources (4)
GEOG 666 Geography of Garbage: Recycling and Waste Reduction
Applied Methodology/Techniques
BIOL 531 Applied Conservation Biology
GEOG/GEOL 642 Watershed Assessment and Restoration (4)
GEOG 658 Land Use Planning (4)
GEOG 610 Remote Sensing of the Environment I (4)
GEOG 611 Remote Sensing of the Environment II (4)
GEOG 621 GIS for Environmental Analysis (4)
GEOG 652 Environmental Impact Analysis (if not taken in the concentration Requirements)
GEOL 475 Hydrogeology (4)
GEOG 602 Field Methods in Geography (4)
Additional Electives: Courses from any of the above categories may be selected, as well as any of the courses below.
BECA 502 Environmental Communication on the Electronic Media
BUS 450 Greening of Business
ENVS 570 Campus Sustainability
ENVS/ECON 306 Economics and the Environment
ECON 550 Environmental Economics
ECON/GEOG 425 Economic Geography (4)
GEOG 422 Environmental Perception
GEOG 606 Cartography (4)
GEOL 450 Geomorphology (4)
GEOL 476 Groundwater Contamination (GEOL 475 prereq)
GEOL 452 Coastal Processes
IR 312 Introduction to International Political Economy (4)
ENVS/IR 331 Global Environmental Crises: Challenges and Responses (4)
PLSI 354 Politics, the Environment, and Social Change (4)
ENVS/GEOG/
BIOL 699
Special Study
Total for concentration 34-49
Total for major 77-84


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