B.A. in Environmental Studies

Contact Person:
Phillip Neisser, Environmental Studies
103 Dunn Hall, (315) 267-2230, neissept@potsdam.edu

43-51 credit hours required.

The major includes course offerings from twelve departments and programs.  The curriculum emphasizes the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences to prepare students to shape viable environmental policy and practice, as citizens as well as environmental educators, planners, policy analysts, advocates, lawyers, and field managers. The major also prepares students for graduate school in related environmental fields. 

The curriculum’s distinctive feature is that it employs the nearby Adirondack Park as case study and field site, grounding theory in the experience of a protected area of international importance. First-year students are advised to begin with the Adirondacks Environmental Studies Semester. The service-learning capstone experience provides students with the opportunity to gain hands-on experience in the environmental field during the summer after the junior year. In a three-credit fall seminar, seniors develop and present a project based upon their field work.

A grade of 2.0 or better must be achieved in all courses.

Each student is also required to complete a minor in one of the disciplines that offer courses for the Environmental Studies major, with no more than two courses counting toward the major. All disciplines participate except Computer Science, Modern Language, Theater/ Drama, Education, and Music.

All courses are 3 credits unless noted. Credits are divided as follows: 

Humanities and Social Sciences
ENVR 110 Introduction to Environmental Studies
ENVR 210
Environmental Futures
ENVR 310 Adirondack Environmental Studies  

One of the following Humanities courses:
HIST 470
African Environmental History
HIST 453
Nature in American History  
LITR 351
Nature and Literature  
PHIL 330 Environmental Ethics  
And other courses to be listed.

One of the following Social Science courses:
ECON 320 Economy and Environment
HLTH 300 Environmental Health
POLS 324
Natural Resource Policy (4)
POLS 344
Global Climate Change (4)
POLS 355 Politics and the Environment (4)
POLS 348 Water Policy (4)
SOCI 340 Environment and Society  
SOCI 341
Environmental Justice
ENVR 395 Globalization and the Environment
And other courses to be listed.  
Plus one elective from either list above.
Three of the Following, each from a different department:
BIOL 111 Adirondack Ecology / Natural History
BIOL 300 Ecology (3-4)  
CHEM 301 Fundamentals of Environmental Science  
GEOL 101 Environmental Geology  
GEOL 103 Physical Geology  
GEOL 106 Geology of Our National Parks  
PHYS 325
Energy and the Environment  
And other courses to be listed.

Plus one of the following:
BIOL 101 Evolution and Ecology
BIOL 148
Biodiversity Conservation
BIOL 209 Winter Ecology
BIOL 312 Insect Ecology (4)
BIOL 400
Field Ecology (4)
BIOL 409
Fresh Water Ecology
CHEM 321
The Sustainable World
GEOL 407
Environmental Geophysics
PHYS 330 Meteorology
And other courses to be listed.  


COMP 304 Technical Writing, Prereq: COMP 201 (4)  
ENVR 210
Environmental Futures (1)
GEOL 340
Geographic Information Systems (4) OR
   WILD 240
   Backpacking (2)

Adirondack Capstone

ENVR 390 Field Preparation  
ENVR 391 Field Projects (3-6)  
ENVR 490 Senior Seminar