Environmental Studies

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

Director: Barbara Holzman

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.

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 and planners. In addition, local nonprofit activist groups provide a small number of full time positions in the environmental field.

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

Online course descriptions are available.

Core Curriculum

Units

ENVS 300

Introduction to Environmental Studies 3

GEOG 600

Environmental Problems and Solutions 3

ENVS 680

Internship 1

ENVS 690

Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies 3

Select units from each category as indicated.

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

Environmental Justice/Urban Issues

3-4

ANTH 321

Endangered Cultures

ANTH 557

Ethnography of the Inner City (4)

LARA 450

Indigenisimo: Indigenous Cultures and Personality

URBS 515

Race, Poverty, and the Urban Environment (4)

Economics and Public Policy

3-4

ECON/GEOG 425

Economic Geography (4)

ECON 550

Economics of Energy and the Environment

IR 305

World Eco-crisis: Challenges and Responses (4)

Ecology

3-10

BIOL 230

Introductory Biology I (5) and

 BIOL 240

Introductory Biology II (5)1

BIOL 313

Principles of Ecology

Environmental Chemistry

8

CHEM 111

General Chemistry I (5) and

 CHEM 220

The Chemistry of Environmental Pollution

Human Values and Environmental Ethics

3-4

ENG 630

Literature and Ecology

NEXA 392

Nature, Culture, and Technology

PHIL 470

Environmental Ethics

PLSI 354

Politics, the Environment, and Social Change (4)

 

Total for core

36-46

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.

Program

Units

Core requirements (see above)

36-46

PLSI 354

Politics, The Environment, and Social Change [if not taken in core] 0-4

SS 510

Socio-cultural Change: An Interdisciplinary Analysis 3

URBS 530

Alternative Urban Futures 3

Elective Courses
Units are to be selected so that each of the three themes below are represented with at least one course.

15

The Study of Values

AIS 310

American Indian Religion and Philosophy

CST 300

Introduction to Critical Social Thought

GEOG 422

Environmental Perception

HUM 430

Postmodern Criticism

GPS 315

Introduction to Global Peace Studies

NEXA 200

Science and Culture

NEXA 281

Mythic and Scientific Thought

NEXA 394

Split Brain: Mythos and Logos

PHIL/PLSI 150

Contemporary Moral/Political Issues

PHIL 470

Environmental Ethics

PHIL 520

Modern Religious Thought

SOC 362

The Social Construction of Deviance and Conformity (4)

WOMS 621

Feminist Thought

Possibilities and Limits of Technology

BIOL 349

Bioethics

BECA 390

The Age of Information

BECA 502

Environmental Communication on the Electronic Media

GEOG 666

Geography of Garbage: Recycling and Waste Reduction

CIS 300

New Horizons in Science

NEXA 392

Nature, Culture, and Technology

PHIL 365

Science and Civilization

PHYS 600

Science and Society

Building a Global Sustainable and Just Future

ECON 620

Economic Development

GEOG 421

Future Environments

GEOG 427

Agriculture and Food Supply (4)

GEOG 647

Geography of Water Resources (4)

GEOG 655

Urban Environmental Design (4)

IR 334

International Organizations: New World Order (4)

IR 520

Modernization and Third World Countries

NEXA 350

Explorations of the Future

SOC 471

Societal Change and Development (4)

SOC 483

Global Sociology (4)

SW/PLSI/URBS 660

The Roles of Non-Profit Organizations in Urban Life

TPW 460

Grant Writing

URBS/HED/SW 456

Urban Community Organizing and Citizen Action

WOMS 541

Women Writers and Social Change

WOMS 578

Third World Women and Ecology

 

Total for concentration 21-25

 

Total for degree 57-71

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

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.

Program

Units

Core requirements (see above)

36-46

IR 305

World Eco-crisis: Challenges and Responses 4

URBS 492

Research Methods 4

URBS 515

Race, Poverty, and the Urban Environment (if not taken as part of the core) 0-4

Elective Courses
Units selected from the following

12-16

Urban Land Use Planning

GEOG 432

Urban Geography (4)

GEOG 648

Management of National Parks and Resources (4)

GEOG 652

Environmental Impact Analysis (4)

GEOG 655

Urban Environmental Design (4)

GEOG/URBS 658

Land-use Planning (4)

GEOL 270

Environmental Geology

URBS 530

Alternative Urban Futures

Urban Environmental Public Policy

ECON 550

Economics of Energy and the Environment

GEOG 666

Geography of Garbage: Recycling and Waste Reduction

HED 418

Environmental Health

PLSI 354

Politics, The Environment, and Social Change (4)

URBS 535

Urban Economics

The Urban Environment in Global Perspective

ANTH 555

Urban Anthropology

BIOL 318

Our Endangered Planet

GPS 315

Introduction to Global Peace Studies

IR 302

International Political Economy (4)

SOC 480

City in a Global Society (4)

SOC 484

Population Problems (4)

SS/IR 560

Energy in Global Perspective

 

Total for concentration 20-28

 

Total for degree 56-74

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

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

This concentration has two parts: 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.

Program

Units

Core requirements (see above)

36-46

Ways of Viewing the Environment

PHIL 470

Environmental Ethics or

 ENG 630

 Literature and Ecology (4) 3-4

Courses selected from the following on advisement

9-12

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 525

Modern American Mystics

ENG 526

Age of the American Renaissance: 1830-1860

GEOG 421

Future Environments

GEOG 422

Environmental Perception

GEOG 651

San Francisco Bay Area Environmental Issues (4)

PHIL/PLSI 150

Contemporary Moral and Political Issues

HH 382 

Holistic Health and Human Nature

HH 383

Chinese Perspectives in Holistic Health

LARA 590

Environmental Justice: La Raza Issues

NEXA 392

Nature, Culture, and Technology

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

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 nine (9) units of upper division courses from the department of focus (on advisement) and a three (3) unit culminating project.

12

 

Total for concentration 24-28

 

Total for degree 60-74

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

Online course descriptions are available.

Core Curriculum

Units

ENVS 300

Introduction to Environmental Studies 3

GEOG 600

Environmental Problems and Solutions 3

ENVS 680

Internship 1

ENVS 690

Senior Seminar in Environmental Studies 3

Select units from each category as indicated.

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

Environmental Justice/Urban Issues

3-4

ANTH 321

Endangered Cultures

ANTH 557

Ethnography of the Inner City (4)

LARA 450

Indigenisimo: Indigenous Cultures and Personality

URBS 515

Race, Poverty, and the Urban Environment (4)

Economics and Public Policy

3-4

ECON/GEOG 425

Economic Geography (4)

ECON 550

Economics of Energy and the Environment

IR 305

World Eco-crisis: Challenges and Responses (4)

Ecology

3-10

BIOL 230

Introductory Biology I (5) and

 BIOL 240

 Introductory Biology II (5)1

BIOL 313

Principles of Ecology

Environmental Chemistry

8

CHEM 111

General Chemistry I (5) and

 CHEM 220

 The Chemistry of Environmental Pollution

Human Values and Environmental Ethics

3-4

ENG 630

Literature and Ecology

NEXA 392

Nature, Culture, and Technology

PHIL 470

Environmental Ethics

PLSI 354

Politics, the Environment, and Social Change (4)

 

Total for core

36-46

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 students' 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.

Program

Units

Core requirements (see above)

36-46

CHEM 113

General Chemistry II 3

GEOG 652

Environmental Impact Analysis 4

MATH 220

Calculus and Analytical Geometry I 3

MATH 221

Calculus and Analytical Geometry II 3

PHYS 111/112

General Physics I and Laboratory or

 PHYS 220/222

 General Physics with Calculus I and Laboratory

4

PHYS 121/122

General Physics II and Laboratory or

 PHYS 230/232

 General Physics with Calculus II and Laboratory or

 PHYS 240/242

 General Physics with Calculus III and Laboratory

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 their particular program. Courses appropriate for sample specializations are provided below.

23-25

BIOL 401/402

General Microbiology and Laboratory (5)

BIOL 411

Environmental and Industrial Microbiology (4)

BIOL 582

Biological Oceanography

BIOL 482

Animal Ecology (4) or

BIOL 529

Plant Ecology (4) or

BIOL 585

Marine Ecology (4)

BIOL 535/GEOG 613

Remote Sensing of Wetlands (4)

CHEM 114

General Chemistry II Laboratory (2)

CHEM 320

Modern Methods of Quantitative Chemical Analysis (4)

CHEM 333/334

Organic Chemistry I and Laboratory (3/2)

CHEM 335/336

Organic Chemistry II and Laboratory (3/3)

CHEM 420

Instrumental Analysis of Environmental Samples and Complex Mixtures

ENGR 434

Principles of Environmental Engineering

GEOG 317

Geography of Soils (4)

GEOG 611

Remote Sensing of the Environment II (4)

GEOG 647

Geography of Water Resources (4)

GEOL 102/103

Introduction to Oceanography and Laboratory (3/1)

GEOL 450

Geomorphology (4) or

GEOG 312

Geography of Landforms (4)

GEOL 452

Coastal Processes

GEOL 454

Quaternary Geology

GEOL 465

Introduction to Physical Oceanography

GEOL 475

Hydrogeology

GEOL 476

Groundwater Contamination

MATH 250

Probability and Statistics with Computing

METR 100/101

Introduction to Meteorology and Laboratory (3/1) or

METR 200

Introduction to Atmospheric Physics and Thermodynamics (4)

METR 201

Introduction to Dynamic and Synoptic Meteorology (4)

METR 206

Introduction to Use of Computers in Meteorology (1)

METR 401

Introductory Atmospheric Physics (4)

BIOL/CHEM/ENGR/ GEOG/GEOL/METR 699

Special Study (1-3)

 

Total for concentration 44-46

 

Total for degree 80-92

Elective Courses for Sample Specializations:

Some examples of possible electives for specialization within the concentration are provided. Students consult with a faculty adviser in selecting appropriate courses.

Coastal Studies

Units

BIOL 585

Marine Ecology 4

GEOG 611

Remote Sensing of the Environment 4

GEOL 102/103

Introduction to Oceanography and Laboratory 4

GEOL 452

Coastal Processes 3

GEOL 465

Introductory Physical Oceanography 3

GEOL 475

Hydrogeology 3

ENGR 434

Principles of Environmental Engineering 3

Hydrologic Studies

Units

CHEM 114

General Chemistry II Laboratory 2

GEOG 647

Geography of Water Resources 4

GEOL 450

Geomorphology or

 GEOG 312

 Geography of Landforms

4

GEOL 475

Hydrogeology and

 GEOL 476

 Groundwater Contamination 6

ENGR 434

Principles of Environmental Engineering 3

METR 100/101

Introduction to Meteorology and Laboratory (3/1) or

 METR 200

 Introduction to Atmospheric Physics and Thermodynamics (4) and

 METR 201

 Introduction to Dynamic and Synoptic Meteorology (4)

4-8

Climate Studies 

Units

GEOG 611

Remote Sensing of the Environment II 4

GEOL 450

Geomorphology (4) or

 GEOG 312

 Geography of Landforms (4) and

 GEOL 454

 Quarternary Geology or

 GEOL 475

 Hydrogeology or

 GEOG 647

 Geography of Water Resources (4) 7-8

GEOL 465

Introduction to Physical Oceanography 3

METR 200

Introduction to Atmospheric Physics and Thermodynamics 4

METR 201

Introduction to Dynamic and Synoptic Meteorology 4

METR 206

Introduction to Use of Computers in Meteorology 1

METR 401

Introductory Atmospheric Physics 4

Chemical Analysis

Units

CHEM 114

General Chemistry II Laboratory 2

CHEM 320

Modern Methods of Quantitative Chemical Analysis 4

CHEM 420

Instrumental Analysis of Environmental Samples and Complex Mixtures 3

CHEM 333/334

Organic Chemistry I and Laboratory 5

CHEM 335/336

Organic Chemistry II and Laboratory 6

GEOL 476

Groundwater Contamination 3

Remediation

Units

CHEM 114

General Chemistry II Laboratory 2

CHEM 320

Modern Methods of Quantitative Chemical Analysis 4

BIOL 401/402

General Microbiology and Laboratory 5

BIOL 411

Environmental and Industrial Microbiology 4

GEOL 475

Hydrogeology and

 GEOL 476

 Groundwater Contamination 6

ENGR 434

Principles of Environmental Engineering 3

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.

Program

Units

Core requirements (see above)

36-46

CHEM 113/114

General Chemistry II and Laboratory 5

BIOL 240

Introductory Biology II 5

BIOL 530

Conservation Biology 3

GEOG 652

Environmental Impact Analysis 4

One course in statistical methods

3-4

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. Within each theme, other courses may be selected on advisement. At least one course from each of the following themes must be included. Within each theme other courses may be selected on advisement.

23-27

Ecology

BIOL 482

Animal Ecology (4)

BIOL 529

Plant Ecology (4)

BIOL 585

Marine Ecology (4)

BIOL 582

Biological Oceanography

Biodiversity

BIOL 460

General Entomology (4)

BIOL 470

Natural History of Vertebrates (4)

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 647

Geography of Water Resources (4)

GEOG 666

Geography of Garbage: Recycling and Waste Reduction

GEOL 305

Energy and its Environmental Issues

SOC 484

Population Problems (4)

Economics Policy

IR 302

Introduction to International Political Economy (4)

PLSI 354

Politics, The Environment, and Social Change (4)

GEOG 425

Economic Geography (4)

ECON 550

Economics of Energy and the Environment

Applied Methodology/Techniques

GEOG 685

Field Methods in Geography (4)

GEOG 658

Land-use Planning (4)

GEOG 610/611

Remote Sensing of the Environment I or II (4/4)

GEOG 613

Remote Sensing of Wetlands (4)

GEOG 620

Geographic Information Systems (4)

ENGR 434

Principles of Environmental Engineering

BECA 502

Environmental Communication on the Electronic Media

Additional Electives

GEOG 422

Environmental Perception

GEOG 606

Cartography (4)

GEOG 699/ BIOL 699

Special Study

Any course listed in the above themes

 

Total for concentration

43-48

 

Total for degree

79-94

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


1This choice is appropriate for those pursuing the B.S. degree.



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