Environmental Studies

Program Codes: ENST
Bachelor of Arts

The Environmental Studies (B.A.) program uses the tools of the social sciences and humanities to examine the challenging intersection of nature and culture. In the context of the global environmental crisis, Environmental Studies students will learn how different cultures view themselves in relation to the natural world and explore how those views impact Earth's systems. The Environmental Studies program allows students to explore these crucial issues from a variety of perspectives across the traditional disciplines, including politics, the arts, sciences, sociology, economics, ethics, philosophy, and environmental history.

The program employs a three-fold thematic approach to build and focus student understanding of the relationship between nature and culture and of the importance of stewardship. The three themes—Environment and Human Expression, Environment and Society, and Environment and Science —represent broad perspectives through which to examine the opportunities and issues surrounding our society's dialogue with nature.

The Environmental Studies program is built upon the College's well-established strengths in environmental and cultural stewardship and in the Liberal Arts. The design of the program is flexible enough to allow students to pursue their individual interests while they are also developing a solid foundational experience in the Liberal Arts. Upon graduation a wide range of career opportunities are open to the Paul Smith's Environmental Studies student. Careers in environmental writing, advocacy, environmental education, parks and recreation, and business are all appropriate for Environmental Studies graduates. In addition, the students may choose concentration electives that prepare them for further academic study.

At the end of the program students will be able to:

  • Creatively and critically interpret, in written and oral form, the influence of philosophy, literature, religion and the arts in developing environmental policies and perspectives.
  • Critically interpret the influence of politics, social forces, economics, and geography in developing environmental perspectives, policies and actions, highlighting the influence of social, cultural and ecological diversity.
  • Analyze how different societies’ patterns of relating to and valuing the natural world have shaped the ecosystems around them over time, and how societies in turn have been shaped by their material environments.
  • Effectively communicate and discuss how ecosystems function in conjunction with the mechanisms of human influence on nature.
  • Through out-of-classroom group and individual work, describe how history, art, local culture, and economic activity have influenced environmental and social outcomes in the Adirondacks and other regions.
  • Integrate critical thinking and research skills as a basis for informed action by using one or more applied tools for environmental study and management in independent and group research/action projects.
  • Employ and integrate a variety of intellectual and disciplinary concepts in their study of and engagement with complex environmental policies and perspectives.

Degree Requirements:

Minimum 120 credits for B.A. degree with 45 credits in 300/400 level courses and 90 credits in the Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Contact the Department Chairperson

Semester 1

3
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3
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Semester 2

3
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3
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3-4
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Semester 3

3
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3-4
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ELECTIVE
3-4

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Semester 4

3
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3
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ELECTIVE
3-4

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Semester 5

OR

3-4
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3-4