Environmental Studies Core Courses
This is a problem-based, project-oriented, required course for senior Environmental Studies majors. Students will work collaboratively on a current environmental problem. Tasks will include characterizing the problem, analyzing possible solutions and publicly presenting the results. Capstones are small, intensive seminars. Space is not guaranteed every semester, therefore seniors are encouraged to enroll before their final semester if possible.
Aims of the Capstone Seminar
The aim is to improve students’ ability to synthesize and integrate material from a range of disciplines; to deploy diverse methodologies and vocabularies in a problem-solving context; to bring theoretical knowledge and skills to bear on practical problems; to work in teams with other students; and to communicate results to a variety of audiences.
The syllabus will vary depending on the problem that is addressed in a particular section of the course. Examples of problems that could be addressed in the Capstone include green roofs for NYU buildings, a transportation plan for mid-town Manhattan, an energy plan for stabilizing global or national greenhouse gas emissions, or a plan for disposing of New York City garbage. Students will work together to define the problem, and explore and evaluate solutions. They will also address such fundamental questions as how to characterize and frame a problem and how to evaluate solutions. They will explore various dimensions of a problem, from technical considerations to issues of social justice. Each capstone will work as a single, problem-solving team under the leadership of an adjunct-practitioner. Students may work individually or collaboratively as part of the team. Capstones will meet weekly, and much of the work may be done outside of class in interviewing stakeholders, analyzing data, visiting sites, and so on. The first several weeks will provide an overview of the semester’s research topic. Students will then start their collaborative research projects. Experts may be brought in to brief the seminar on particular aspects of the problem under discussion. The Environmental Studies Program Director will supervise the capstones in order to ensure their academic integrity and to guarantee that the workload and expectations are uniform across sections. There will be regular sharing of research and critical feedback from peers, faculty and practitioners. At the end of the term, the research projects will be presented to students, ES faculty and interested members of the NYU community.
A comprehensive survey of critical issues in environmental systems science, focusing on: human population; the global chemical cycles; ecosystems and biodiversity; endangered species and wildlife; nature preserves; energy flows in nature; agriculture and the environment; energy systems from fossil fuels to renewable forms; Earth’s waters; Earth’s atmosphere; carbon dioxide and global warming; urban environments; wastes; and paths to a sustainable future. This course is a gateway to the Environmental Studies major and minor, and one of its core courses. It will cover a very significant amount of demanding material, in order to prepare students for upper-level courses. This course will be challenging, and students should expect a steep learning curve. Teaching Assistants will be available to help students along the way.
Aims of the Course
This course will serve as one of the two required introductory core courses for students entering the major or minor in Environmental Studies. It will provide students with a comprehensive survey of major topics in environmental systems science, from the structure and dynamics of the natural environment to human impacts upon the environment of living things, air, water, and soils. This course will serve as the main technical introduction for students in the Environmental Studies major who are taking the Environmental Science Track, so instructors of the subsequent, more specialized courses in the Environmental Science Track can assume that students have the background of a general environmental science course. For students who are taking the Environmental Values and Society Track in the Environmental Studies major, this course will serve as the main source of technical understanding, so it must be broad enough to provide a foundation for their further work in their track.
A systematic survey of central concepts and issues relating to environment and society including environmental history and concepts of nature and the environment; the rise of environmentalism; environmental skepticism; anthropogenic global change; population and consumption, ecological footprint analysis and other environmental indicators; environmental justice; public goods and collective action problems; regulatory regimes; environmental politics; environmental movements; environmental values; environmental protest and disobedience; and the future of environmentalism. This course is a gateway to the Environmental Studies major and minor, and one of its core courses. It will cover a very significant amount of demanding material, in order to prepare students for upper-level courses. This course will be challenging, and students should expect a steep learning curve. Teaching Assistants will be available to help students along the way.
Aims of the Course
This course will serve as one of the two required core courses for students entering the NYU major (or minor) in Environmental Studies. It will provide students with a systematic survey of central issues concerning environment and society, and an introduction to some central concepts. This course will serve as the main technical introduction for students in the Environmental Studies major who are taking the society concentration, so instructors of the subsequent, more specialized courses in the can assume that students have the background of a general environment and society course. For students who are taking the “science track” in the Environmental Studies major, this course will serve as the main source of understanding environment and society issues, so it must be broad enough to provide a foundation for their further work as well.
The internship, which is intended to be completed during the junior year, will prepare students for their professional lives by providing them with experience in environment-related organizations such as non-profits, research institutes and governmental organizations. At the beginning of the internship, students and the internship advisor will agree to a learning contract that establishes specific goals as well as a schedule for achieving them. Interns will meet collectively during the semester to share their experiences and to present brief reports.
Please visit our Internship Page for lists of internships and scholarships.
OverviewAn advanced course for Environmental Studies majors pursuing honors. Students will pursue independent, high-level research projects, and 'workshop' them in the seminar under the supervision of a core faculty member.