2014 - 2015 Academic Catalog

Environmental Studies

Overview Requirements Course Descriptions

As our society has become increasingly aware of, and alarmed about, the impact of humanity on the environment, sustainability has begun to permeate our culture. From industry to agriculture, to science and technology, individuals who are knowledgeable about the environment and best "green" practices are likely to have an advantage in the twenty-first century, as both the government and the public exert greater pressure for environmental accountability from all business, commercial, private, and public enterprises.

Environmental Studies is an interdisciplinary major with a primary focus on policy and advocacy, grounded in an understanding of relevant scientific and humanistic concepts. The Environmental Studies major provides students the opportunity to examine the connections between the environment and the community, both local and global. Through a combination of coursework and connected-learning experiences, the program prepares students to address the many environmental challenges we face, including matters of public policy, economics, and ethics. The Environmental Studies program utilizes Lasell College as a learning lab. We challenge students to consider the impact of the College on the environment and encourage students to propose solutions and take leadership action.

This major prepares students to pursue career opportunities in policy and regulation, advocacy, resource management, and outdoor education. Students may also continue with graduate study in such fields as environmental studies, environmental science, environmental law and policy, resource economics, and business management. Graduates receive a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies.

The Environmental Studies Program at Lasell College provides students with the knowledge and skills necessary to incorporate sustainability considerations into their decision-making in order to effect change in places where they live, work, and study.

The following goals and associated learning outcomes delineate what we strive for students to achieve when they complete the major program of study in Environmental Studies.

Goal 1: Effective communication skills
Upon completion of the major program of study in Environmental Studies, students will be able to

  1. communicate effectively within the discipline in writing
  2. communicate effectively within the discipline orally
  3. communicate effectively within the discipline, using graphical, visual, and quantitative representation

Goal 2: Produce globally engaged citizens
Upon completion of the major program of study in Environmental Studies, students will be able to

  1. evaluate need for citizen action and plan for/participate in such action
  2. practice/organize collaborative/interdisciplinary approaches to environmental issues
  3. consider sustainability in making decisions (environmental, social, and economic)

Goal 3: Evaluate and process discipline-specific information
Upon completion of the major program of study in Environmental Studies, students will be able to

  1. communicate/evaluate/justify personal views on environmental issues
  2. identify/evaluate alternative courses of action/solutions to environmental issues
  3. read and comprehend discipline-specific information
Course Code Course Title Credits
Core Courses
BIO102 Diversity of Living Organisms 4
CHEM203 General Chemistry I 4
ECON101 Principles of Econ-Micro 3
ENV101 Introduction to Environmental Studies 3
ENV102 Environmental Ethics & Society 3
ENV201 Environmental Law & Policy 3
ENV204 Environmental Economics 3
ENV205 Green Business 3
ENV211 Environmental Science 3
ENV220 World Geography 3
ENV301 Environmental Field Sampling 3
ENV302 Natural Resource Management/GIS 4
ENV303 Environmental Justice 3
ENV305 Energy: Moving on from Fossil Fuel 3
ENV307 Building Sustainable Cities 3
ENV400 Internship 4
ENV420 Environmental Studies Senior Seminar 3
IDS399 Internship Seminar 1
MATH208 Statistics 3
POLS101 American Government 3
SOC331 Research Methods in the Social Sciences 4
Choose 4 from the following:
BIO101 Principles of Biology 4
BUSS224 Organizational Behavior 3
BUSS334 Nonprofit Management 3
BUSS335 Business & Society 3
CHEM204 General Chemistry II 4
COM208 Public Relations 3
COM213 Writing for Public Relations 3
ECON301 International Trade & Finance 3
ENV206 Special Topics in Environmental Science 3
MATH205 Calculus I 4
MATH210 Math Applied to Science 3
POLS208 Contemporary International Relations 3
POLS320 Policy Making & the Political Process 3
SOC335 Social Policy 3
Choose 1 from the following:
PSYC101 Psychological Perspectives 3
SOC101 Sociological Imagination 3

Core Curriculum Requirements and remaining Unrestricted Electives: 37-39 credits

Minimum credits required for graduation: 120

Courses listed below fulfill Knowledge Perspective requirements:

Individuals & Society
PSYC 101 Psychological Perspectives
SOC 101 Sociological Imagination

Scientific Inquiry & Problem Solving
BIO 101 Principles of Biology
ENV 211 Environmental Science

ENV101 - Introduction to Environmental Studies

This course uses case studies to explore global environmental challenges and engages students in considering sustainable solutions. Solutions that promote a healthy environment, social equality, and economic viability are discussed. Students explore steps individuals, organizations, and communities can take to reduce their ecological footprint and to slow global warming. Leaders from community organizations and local government agencies are invited to discuss issues with students.

ENV102 - Environmental Ethics & Society

This course explores issues and problems arising out of ethical considerations related to the general environment and specific ecosystems. Also considered are the moral aspects of population control and resource use. The foundations for beliefs and worldviews regarding nature and the human relationship to it are explored. In addition, the variety of philosophical perspectives and pragmatic choices and actions people take related to environmental ethics are studied.

ENV201 - Environmental Law & Policy

This course examines the role of law and politics in the management of natural resources and the environment. The course first reviews the major US environmental protection legislation and then explores the process of developing and establishing environmental policy related to water, air, energy, and land resources. Historical and contemporary circumstances that influence public policy decisions, the influence of science and technology, social and economic paradigms, and ethics and values are discussed. Even though the emphasis is on domestic U.S. policies and institutions, international issues are addressed, including how US domestic environmental policies influence and are influenced by global forces. This is a writing intensive course.

ENV203X - Persuading People, Preserving Planet

This Connected Learning Experience is designed to continue students’ development along the Core Curriculum by demonstrating in an inquiry-based way the nature of integrative learning. As such, this team-taught, multidisciplinary course will develop the ability to foster behavior change within the places they live and work as they study how to create a more sustainable planet. Students will explore the environmental challenges created by our use of energy, consumption of water, use of transportation, production of waste, and practices in agriculture. These challenges include climate change, air pollution, water quality, and biodiversity loss. Students will also investigate the behaviors that drive these environmental challenges. Students will select behaviors to study on campus and use the tools of science to collect informing data. They will then study strategies to change behavior from the field of psychology. Applying these strategies, students will develop programs to foster sustainable behaviors on campus. Although this course is a pilot for the proposed Core Curriculum, it will satisfy the following Areas of Inquiry in our current general education curriculum: Psychological/Societal and Scientific. (Co-requisite is that students must register for a lab section).

ENV204 - Environmental Economics

This course explores economic problems associated with environmental issues. The course introduces modeling and analytical tools used in the field. The course first examines the problem of market failure in the presence of externalities and public goods, and considers public policy responses to these market failures, including command-and-control regulations, tax and subsidy incentives, and marketable pollution permits. The course then addresses the methods to measure the costs and benefits of environmental improvements and how these types of analysis are used in public policy decisions. These decisions are analyzed in the context of problems such as air pollution, ozone depletion and global warming, threats to biodiversity, and development. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisite: ECON101

ENV205 - Green Business

All businesses, from oil companies to computer manufacturers want to be "green." Being "green" is not only good for a business' marketing and publicity, but it also helps the bottom line. This course examines what it means to be a "green" business. Topics include the Triple Bottom Line, sourcing materials, energy management and recycling.

ENV206 - Special Topics in Environmental Science

This course examines a particular area of environmental studies with the goal of allowing faculty and students to explore issues that meet special interests.

ENV208X - Monsters in my Closet: Waste Couture

The goal of ENV 208X/FASH 208X is to explore the environmental, social and economic issues and problems arising out of the global fashion industry. We will examine where and how our clothing is manufactured, distributed and disposed of as well as some of the innovative approaches some companies are taking in order to address some of the problems associated with the industry.

ENV211 - Environmental Science

During this course, students are introduced to the concept of environmental sustainability. Issues such as climate change, biodiversity, food and agriculture, water resources, and energy are explored. Students are challenged to consider the impact of Lasell College on the environment and will complete a greenhouse gas inventory. Students also examine the role of science and technology in the pursuit of environmental sustainability.

ENV220 - World Geography

This course surveys the earth's social, cultural and economic patterns and their relationship to the physical geography of the earth. A regional approach is taken to provide a foundation for more intensive systematic studies of important environmental/political issues.

ENV301 - Environmental Field Sampling

The environmental movement relies on monitoring data to make the case for cleaner air, water, etc. In this course, students learn how to conduct basic water quality, air quality, and other forms of environmental monitoring as well as discuss how to use the data that is collected.

ENV302 - Natural Resource Management/GIS

This course surveys natural resource issues from global to local scales through the use of geographic information systems (GIS). GIS, remotely sensed images, and global positioning systems are used as tools in managing community natural resources. Students map natural resources and community features to explore management strategies. Students work with town commissions, state agencies, and environmental organizations to obtain spatial data for analysis.

ENV303 - Environmental Justice

All people should have the right to live in and enjoy a clean and healthful environment. However, access to clean air and water, exposure to excessive noise, and access to natural areas is inequitable in our society. This course explores how racial, economic, and cultural backgrounds influence access to a clean and safe environment. Local, national, and international issues of the environment and social justice are explored. Students engage with local community organizations on projects promoting environmental justice.

ENV305 - Energy: Moving on from Fossil Fuel

Our economic prosperity relies on burning fossil fuels to power everything from our trucks to our office computers. As fossil fuels become more scarce, it is necessary to find other sources of energy. This course introduces students to our energy grid and to alternative sources of energy like wind, solar and geothermal. Prerequisites: ENV 101, ENV 211

ENV307 - Building Sustainable Cities

Urban areas are becoming more important in the environmental field as a greater percentage of our population lives in cities. This course examines how urban areas function as systems. Urban ecological theory is examined as well as a focus on how to build "green" buildings. Prerequisites: ENV 101, ENV 211

ENV400 - Internship

This internship is scheduled to take place during the junior year and introduces students to challenges faced by companies, non-profit organizations, or government agencies. Placement is tailored to meet the student’s career goals and interests in the environmental field. Students work 150 hours over the course of the semester alongside professionals in the field. Written reflections are submitted during and at the conclusion of the internship as well as regular meetings with the internship supervisor. The internship supervisor monitors each student’s performance and visits each internship site as needed. Prerequisites: ENV 101, ENV 102, ENV 201, ENV 211.

ENV420 - Environmental Studies Senior Seminar

This course is a capstone course in Environmental Studies that focuses on current issues and trends in the environmental field. Students complete an applied thesis or practicum project in an area related to their particular interest and present it to the class and/or at symposium. Environmental career opportunities are discussed along with resume development, networking, interviewing techniques, and other career development skills. Prerequisites: ENV 400, Senior standing.

BIO102 - Diversity of Living Organisms

This course emphasizes the evolutionary history of life on earth. Topics include: Darwinian evolution, genetics, a survey of the five kingdoms of life, principles of ecology, and human ecology. The laboratory introduces the student to the diversity of living organisms. Corequisite: BIO 102L.

CHEM203 - General Chemistry I

The course begins with a study of measurement and matter. An introduction to atomic theory follows. Mass relationships in chemical reactions are introduced, followed by the study of chemical reactions in aqueous solutions. The gas laws are then covered, followed by an introduction to thermodynamics. Concepts of chemical bonding are studied along with periodic relationships among the elements. Quantum theory is used to explain the electronic structure of atoms. Laboratory experiments complement the material covered in lecture. The laboratory experiments are designed to introduce methods, materials, and equipment of chemistry as well as to illustrate important chemical principles. Prerequisite: MATH 104. Corequisite: CHEM 203L.

ECON101 - Principles of Econ-Micro

This course is an introduction to the principles of the economic behavior of individuals, firms, and industries in the mixed economic system. Topics include consumer demand; elasticity; supply and costs of production; the allocation of economic resources; international trade; and the role of government in promoting economic welfare.

ENV101 - Introduction to Environmental Studies

This course uses case studies to explore global environmental challenges and engages students in considering sustainable solutions. Solutions that promote a healthy environment, social equality, and economic viability are discussed. Students explore steps individuals, organizations, and communities can take to reduce their ecological footprint and to slow global warming. Leaders from community organizations and local government agencies are invited to discuss issues with students.

ENV102 - Environmental Ethics & Society

This course explores issues and problems arising out of ethical considerations related to the general environment and specific ecosystems. Also considered are the moral aspects of population control and resource use. The foundations for beliefs and worldviews regarding nature and the human relationship to it are explored. In addition, the variety of philosophical perspectives and pragmatic choices and actions people take related to environmental ethics are studied.

ENV201 - Environmental Law & Policy

This course examines the role of law and politics in the management of natural resources and the environment. The course first reviews the major US environmental protection legislation and then explores the process of developing and establishing environmental policy related to water, air, energy, and land resources. Historical and contemporary circumstances that influence public policy decisions, the influence of science and technology, social and economic paradigms, and ethics and values are discussed. Even though the emphasis is on domestic U.S. policies and institutions, international issues are addressed, including how US domestic environmental policies influence and are influenced by global forces. This is a writing intensive course.

ENV204 - Environmental Economics

This course explores economic problems associated with environmental issues. The course introduces modeling and analytical tools used in the field. The course first examines the problem of market failure in the presence of externalities and public goods, and considers public policy responses to these market failures, including command-and-control regulations, tax and subsidy incentives, and marketable pollution permits. The course then addresses the methods to measure the costs and benefits of environmental improvements and how these types of analysis are used in public policy decisions. These decisions are analyzed in the context of problems such as air pollution, ozone depletion and global warming, threats to biodiversity, and development. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisite: ECON101

ENV205 - Green Business

All businesses, from oil companies to computer manufacturers want to be "green." Being "green" is not only good for a business' marketing and publicity, but it also helps the bottom line. This course examines what it means to be a "green" business. Topics include the Triple Bottom Line, sourcing materials, energy management and recycling.

ENV211 - Environmental Science

During this course, students are introduced to the concept of environmental sustainability. Issues such as climate change, biodiversity, food and agriculture, water resources, and energy are explored. Students are challenged to consider the impact of Lasell College on the environment and will complete a greenhouse gas inventory. Students also examine the role of science and technology in the pursuit of environmental sustainability.

ENV220 - World Geography

This course surveys the earth's social, cultural and economic patterns and their relationship to the physical geography of the earth. A regional approach is taken to provide a foundation for more intensive systematic studies of important environmental/political issues.

ENV301 - Environmental Field Sampling

The environmental movement relies on monitoring data to make the case for cleaner air, water, etc. In this course, students learn how to conduct basic water quality, air quality, and other forms of environmental monitoring as well as discuss how to use the data that is collected.

ENV302 - Natural Resource Management/GIS

This course surveys natural resource issues from global to local scales through the use of geographic information systems (GIS). GIS, remotely sensed images, and global positioning systems are used as tools in managing community natural resources. Students map natural resources and community features to explore management strategies. Students work with town commissions, state agencies, and environmental organizations to obtain spatial data for analysis.

ENV303 - Environmental Justice

All people should have the right to live in and enjoy a clean and healthful environment. However, access to clean air and water, exposure to excessive noise, and access to natural areas is inequitable in our society. This course explores how racial, economic, and cultural backgrounds influence access to a clean and safe environment. Local, national, and international issues of the environment and social justice are explored. Students engage with local community organizations on projects promoting environmental justice.

ENV305 - Energy: Moving on from Fossil Fuel

Our economic prosperity relies on burning fossil fuels to power everything from our trucks to our office computers. As fossil fuels become more scarce, it is necessary to find other sources of energy. This course introduces students to our energy grid and to alternative sources of energy like wind, solar and geothermal. Prerequisites: ENV 101, ENV 211

ENV307 - Building Sustainable Cities

Urban areas are becoming more important in the environmental field as a greater percentage of our population lives in cities. This course examines how urban areas function as systems. Urban ecological theory is examined as well as a focus on how to build "green" buildings. Prerequisites: ENV 101, ENV 211

ENV400 - Internship

This internship is scheduled to take place during the junior year and introduces students to challenges faced by companies, non-profit organizations, or government agencies. Placement is tailored to meet the student’s career goals and interests in the environmental field. Students work 150 hours over the course of the semester alongside professionals in the field. Written reflections are submitted during and at the conclusion of the internship as well as regular meetings with the internship supervisor. The internship supervisor monitors each student’s performance and visits each internship site as needed. Prerequisites: ENV 101, ENV 102, ENV 201, ENV 211.

ENV420 - Environmental Studies Senior Seminar

This course is a capstone course in Environmental Studies that focuses on current issues and trends in the environmental field. Students complete an applied thesis or practicum project in an area related to their particular interest and present it to the class and/or at symposium. Environmental career opportunities are discussed along with resume development, networking, interviewing techniques, and other career development skills. Prerequisites: ENV 400, Senior standing.

IDS399 - Internship Seminar

A critical component of a successful Internship experience is finding an appropriate placement. In this seminar students will identify their personal work style and strengths, will identify a good career match, will create an effective cover letter & resume, will explore effective networking, interviewing, and negotiation skills. This course will help students identify search tools for finding internships. A goal of this course is to secure an internship for the following semester. Must have at least Sophomore standing.

MATH208 - Statistics

This is an introductory course in descriptive and inferential statistics with an emphasis on applications in business and the social and biological sciences. Topics include: data analysis, and graphical methods of describing data, measures of central tendency and variability, probability, the normal distribution, sampling distributions, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, correlation, and regression analysis. Prerequisites: MATH 106 with a grade of C or better or demonstrated competency through placement testing and ENG 102.

POLS101 - American Government

This is an examination of the basic principles that form the foundation for the structure and practice of American government. The impact of the political system on the citizen is explored along with the central assumptions and concepts that serve as the basis for the field of political science.

SOC331 - Research Methods in the Social Sciences

This laboratory course introduces students to the basic methods used in sociological research. Topics include scientific method, measurement, sampling, experiments, survey research, and qualitative approaches such as content analysis and field studies, and ethical issues in conducting research. As part of the lab, students learn to use SPSS to perform statistical analysis and to access and draw upon large data sets. Students learn to use professional online search procedures and write reports in accepted professional formats. Prerequisites: MATH 208 and either PSYC 101 or SOC 101 or permission of the Dept Chair. Co-requisite: SOC 331L

BIO101 - Principles of Biology

This is an introductory lecture and laboratory course in biology to develop an appreciation for the patterns and functions that characterize living organisms. Emphasis is placed on cellular biology. Topics include: the chemistry of life, cell structure, and cell metabolism (respiration, photosynthesis, protein synthesis.) Corequisite: BIO 101L.

BUSS224 - Organizational Behavior

In this course, students study individuals within the context of the organization using a behavioral approach. Group dynamics and intergroup dynamics are emphasized in relation to productivity and work satisfaction along with the examination of specific aspects of organizations that influence behavior. Areas covered include: structure, leadership, and change. Teaching modalities include case studies and role-playing. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisite: PSYC 101 or SOC 101.

BUSS334 - Nonprofit Management

Managing in the nonprofit sector is different than in the for-profit sector. In this course students explore businesses that do not intend to maximize profit and retain it for future expenditures. Managers must operate under more regulated conditions and must be well prepared to interact within the public sector. Not-for-profit managers must be well versed in public policy and other regulations that affect them. Students engage in projects with non-profit organizations. Prerequisite: BUSS 101, HEM 101, FASH 101, or SMGT 102

BUSS335 - Business & Society

This course explores the effects of business decisions upon soci­ety. Students examine the relationships between business, government, and society, and how each entity must coexist with the other. Ethical issues and public policy are considered when making business decisions. This is a writing intensive course. Prerequisites: BUSS 101, HEM 101, FASH 101, or SMGT 102 ; Junior standing.

CHEM204 - General Chemistry II

This second half of this two-semester sequence explores areas of solution chemistry, acid/base chemistry, chemical kinetics and physical chemistry, nuclear, and organic chemistry. Physical properties of solutions are explained including vapor pressure lowering, boiling point elevation, freezing point depression and osmotic pressure. The effects of chemical kinetics on reactions are covered. Chemical equilibrium, acid and base equilibrium, and solubiity equilibrium are introduced. Laboratory experiments complement the material covered in lecture. The laboratory experiments are designed to introduce methods, materials, and equipment of chemistry as well as to illustrate important chemical principles. Prerequisite: CHEM 203. Corequisite: CHEM 204L.

COM208 - Public Relations

In this course, students explore the evolution, theoretical basis for, and practice of professional Public Relations. Students review the history and current practices of Public Relations and examine the differences between: PR and advertising; press relations and public affairs; promotions and news events; marketing and media placements. Students gain insights into the Public Relations function for corporations, high tech companies, government agencies, politics, education, the entertainment industry, sports, and non-profit institutions. Lectures, case studies, readings, group work, guest speakers, and class discussions focus on techniques useful in such areas as local and national publicity, special events, and community and government relations for organizations. Prerequisite: COM 101.

COM213 - Writing for Public Relations

This course serves as a workshop in which students apply the fundamental skills of journalism to the different formats commonly used in writing copy for public relations and advertising, including press releases, public service announcements, profiles, brochures, and advertisements. In addition, students continue to sharpen their editing skills by revising their own work and by copyediting and critiquing the work of other students. Central to the objectives of this course is that students improve their ability to write clearly and concisely, avoiding common errors in grammar, punctuation, spelling, and usage. Prerequisite: ENG 102.

ECON301 - International Trade & Finance

This course examines theory, tariffs, and import quotas; adjustment mechanisms, foreign exchange, and exchange controls are also covered. Additional topics include the theory of comparative advantage, the causes and consequences of imbalances in the balance of payments or exchange rates, and the evolution of the international monetary system. Prerequisites: ECON 101, ECON 102.

ENV206 - Special Topics in Environmental Science

This course examines a particular area of environmental studies with the goal of allowing faculty and students to explore issues that meet special interests.

MATH205 - Calculus I

This course is an introduction to limits, continuity, and methods of differentiation. Application to problems in business management and physical science is emphasized. Prerequisite: MATH 203 with a grade of C or better or demonstrated competency through placement testing. Restrictions: not open to students who have completed MATH 206, or any 300 level mathematics courses.

MATH210 - Math Applied to Science

This course provides a review of fundamental mathematical concepts such as probability and trigonometric, exponential and logarithmic functions and explores the ways that these topics and techniques have been applied to investigations in architecture, calculus, exponential growth and decay, logarithmic scales, earthquake analysis, astronomy, biology, medicine, genetics, radiocarbon dating, chemistry, and Newtonian physics. The course is designed to demonstrate the power and utility of mathematics and explores the development of mathematics during the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, especially in Greek, Hindu and Arabic cultures. Prerequisite: MATH 205 with a grade of C or better.

POLS208 - Contemporary International Relations

Basic concepts and major contemporary problems of international relations are examined in this course. Topics include the Middle East, East-West relations, deterrence versus disarmament, human rights, and developing countries. Throughout the semester, the local impact of national issues are discussed.

POLS320 - Policy Making & the Political Process

This course examines the dynamics of public policy-making in the United States at the national, state, and local levels. The course explores the factors influencing policy formation in a variety of areas: health, education, welfare, and urban planning. An analysis of how policy outcomes are evaluated is also covered.

SOC335 - Social Policy

This course examines historical and contemporary factors influencing the making of social policy and introduces the student to processes used to identify and solve social problems. Special attention is given to the relationships of values to social policy and the impact of social policy decisions on the provision of social and human services. Approaches to the analysis of social policy are examined. Prerequisite: Any 200 Level Sociology course.

PSYC101 - Psychological Perspectives

In this course, students learn to think like psychologists as they study classic and contemporary topics in human behavior, feeling, and thought. Students learn to apply psychological perspectives of thought, including biological, cognitive, sociocultural, humanistic, psychodynamic, and behaviorist, to better understand the human experience. Students will learn to use these perspectives to explore how individual behavior is influenced by and influences one’s biology, family, community and society. Topics may include human development, personality, psychopathology, human relationships, language, memory, perceptual processes, and intelligence, among others.

SOC101 - Sociological Imagination

This course is designed to help students develop their ability to think critically about the world around them using the framework of sociology. Students explore the relationship between individual and society – how personal experience is shaped by social forces, but also how society is created and changed through individual interaction. The focus is on the interrelationships of groups, social organization, and social institutions such as education, religion, family, and the economic and political order.